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tv   Unfinished Business The Essential Hillary Clinton  CNN  September 17, 2016 5:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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. tonight, from red hot politics to a black tie gala, we'll discuss all of them. the congressional black caucus foundation is holding its annual awards dinner tonight, and president obama will deliver its
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final keynote to this group. there you are, we'll take a final look at the beautiful celebration tonight. looks like a beautiful room coming days after the congressional black caucus tore into donald trump over the birther controversy. it sounds a little bit like bakari sellers, but i'm not sure. again, the congressional black caucus blasted him for just a terse statement admitting that barack obama was born in the united states, after years of leading that movement. we're going to hear what he will say when he talks about it and bring you the president's speech live this evening. you will also hear from the democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton. as you know hillary clinton has been suffering from pneumonia and has kept her schedule to a
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minimum, but has gotten out on the campaign trail this week. hillary clinton is one of the honorees tonight. she will be the first nominee of a major party. what we can expect from barack obama tonight and jeff zeleny joins us now, jeff, are you there or outside the room? >> reporter: good evening, don, i'm in the room right now. i can see everybody seated here tonight. this is a celebration dinner marking the end of president obama's eight years in office. but it is also of course coming up to the moment as you said in this red-hot election campaign. and boy, the timing of this dinner, given donald trump's comments yesterday certainly is poignant. i am told by a senior administration official that president obama is going to
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directly address donald trump's birther remarks, but likely in a lighthearted way, likely as he did in the oval office, saying i am not surprised to know where i was born. but he will turn it into a serious conversation, even a call to action to democrats and to african-american leaders in this country to rise up and motivate voters in their communities to stop donald trump. don, i'm told he is also going to talk about voting rights. of course there are so many voting rights cases across the country and other key battleground states. the president will talk about that as well as a lot of the accomplishments of his eight years in office. and the fact that the work is yet to be done, which is why he is calling on these voters and others to pass the torch the hillary clinton. but don, it is such an interesting moment here in time that the president is indeed addressing this. at the end of this birther
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controversy which had been put to rest, but donald trump managed to revive it yet again. and that could fire up the commitment if donald trump needs to beat hillary clinton. >> and donald trump gave a very short statement saying yeah, president obama was born in the united states. let's move on, let's make america great again. really members of the cbc, the congressional black caucus, many of them coming out and blasting donald trump. donald trump is not going to be in that room tonight. it would not be a receptive room for him. but many see this as you know, a gift to hillary clinton as you said. and enthusiasm, especially among african-americans, and young african-americans as well. jeff? >> they certainly do, they certainly believe it is a wake-up call to some of the young voters in particular who may not have been paying
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attention. c we saw others coming out rising up after donald trump made that very short statement here and they're saying look his acknowledgment that the president is indeed an american citizen does not undo all the damage he has done over the last five-plus years here. so don, i can tell you talking to people in this room, again, a moment of celebration, but also an urgent moment to get democrats and other voters to pay attention to this election. as we know it is tightening in battleground states and across the country. hillary clinton has enjoyed a lead coming out of the convention. that has fallen a bit. it is a very tight race. and we are just now nine days before that first debate here between donald trump and hillary clinton. so we say the stakes are high a lot. but don, it's true, the consequences of this election are steep. and that is what this whole tone of this dinners tonight. >> don't go anywhere, i want to
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continue to discuss what is happening in that room, then we have a lot of guests that we're going to get to this evening. as you see, they're starting up. the president will speak in a short time. also hillary clinton will speak as well. a recipient of one of the awards, it is being hosted by trevor noah of "the daily show." you can say it is of course a star-studded affair when is comes to washington and especially with the cbc here. the phoenix awards here, the highest honor for the congressional black caucus. and among the many roles of the congressional black caucus, women have a high role and a very strong agenda with that caucus. hillary clinton is very aware of that. the president as well. they see this as a galvanizing force for her in the upcoming 52 days left.
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>> without question, don, they do see this as a key moment. and we are seeing the members of congress being introduced right now. this is a star-studded moment from bobby rush and others. hillary clinton made the point yesterday and in washington, she said that african-american women vote in a higher demographic percentage than any other delegate in the electorate. and she was calling on them to really control the heel of history here. it -- you know, we've seen president obama on the campaign trail. michelle obama out in virginia yesterday. perhaps the most forceful campaigner inside this party or any political party here. so it is very critical for secretary clinton and her campaio have this same level of support from african-american
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voters as president obama did. and don, i can tell you i covered many dinners of the president's eight years in the white house and even before when he was a senator from illinois. and there is a deep sense of nostalgia here when his term comes to a close. but it will not be completed unless hillary clinton is elected. it will not be all for naught, but these congressional black foundation members realize and know that they have work to do here to carry on the president's legacy and elect hillary clinton. >> you're correct, this is also about president obama's legacy. this is the seventh time that he will speak at this annual dinner. this is the 46th dinner and you can see prominent members upon the stage there. you can see civil rights leader
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john louis. >> we're going to continue on here on cnn and discuss what is happening here in washington, of course this is coming at a very pivotal time, the election of the next president of the united states just 52 days away. african-americans, black voters in this country will play a key pivotal role in who becomes the next president. if you don't believe me, that is why donald trump is reaching out to black voters because he knows it could take him over the top. the president will address this crowd shortly and hillary clinton will address them as well, right after a very quick break. ta
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than cold medicine alone. so you can breathe... and sleep. shut your mouth and say goodnight mouthbreathers. breathe right. . you're looking live now at pictures of washington, d.c. this is a phoenix dinner, a culminating event here at the congressional black caucus. this honors the achievement of the group, and the 46th dinner they're having. democratic candidate for president, hillary clinton will be speaking.
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and president obama will speak as well. this will be his seventh time speaking as well. this is a very important event not only for obama for his legacy, but for hillary clinton, she needs the black voters to get her over the top in the next few weeks when the election is held in november. she needs the enthusiasm and she needs that obama coalition to come out in order for her to win. so african-americans very important. women very important. every key demographic in this election very important. tonight, we're talking about the african-american vote. and as we look at members of congress being introduced on stage. let's get some perspective from our panel, jason johnson is a professor at morgan state university. julian zellasar is a professor. and we have a senior writer of and the author of the episodic
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career. and political anchor time warner cable news and cnn washington correspondent jeff zeleny, who is in that room in washington, d.c. so let's talk to the panel now. what is president barack obama likely to do tonight? will the gloves come off? >> yeah, absolutely, he will take off the gloves. but i also feel as if you know, he will defend his own legacy. so i think there is two separate missions. you have to remember that when president obama was in his first term he was widely critiqued by members of the congressional black caucus for not speaking directly enough to african-american concerns. and that is partly because there is sort of a game of keep-away in politics. because if you deal with concerns, you are seen being too specific and not being in the interest of all americans. so he is going to do that. defend his legacy.
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he is in a good place with black voters right now. but secretary clinton is not, she is showing weakness among black voters, who are 30% less likely to support her than older african-americans. so he is going to make that case. >> let's talk about that. i was discussing it with the pastor the other day. it was interesting because the pastor was saying young people don't have the experience that older people have. they didn't go through the civil rights movement. the struggle for them was different. the struggle for them was they couldn't even go to the same rules. my mother recently said what did we get cattle prodded for and tear gassed for is to have to deal with this crazy election cycle, young people don't know what is going on. >> she is right, you don't even have to do it in a broad generational sense, the reality is, people in their young 20s, this is the only president they
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remember, barack obama. it will be probably written about, that a lot of the "black lives matter" movement, and my leng -- millenials, what they're thinking about, is this sort of historical move, is the exception not the rule. you step outside the university you start to see things a little bit differently. it's not such a kind world out there. the people who elected barack obama not necessarily the people who show up on the police force in their town. >> not a shock, but especially to the people on the stage. the people on the stage were the reason there could be a barack obama, or you know, one of the reasons that all of us can sit here on the stage including you, julian, because you fought for civil rights for everyone. it's surprising that it's a shock to young people, they think that the world was you
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know as it is, barack obama as a black president has always been possible? >> well, look, you have two narratives, one was the narrative starting in 2008. the transformation in american history. but then you have had what happened. you had the restence to barack obama, you have had the racism and everything from the issues to policing to voting rights front and center, all culminating with donald trump and some of the support he received from nationalist groups and i think that is what is on the mind of many young voters. >> so in the vein of what is going on now, we look at the pictures of the congressional black caucus. their goal, i'm sure is to get hillary clinton elected. so that in that vein and especially needing the enthusiasm of young voters and beyond, how do you get them on
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boar board, jason? >> so now it's the reverse. it's older black people saying look, we know what it would be like to live under president trump. it's time for black boomers and black seniors to talk to young people and say look, i know you're not in love with the lady but you need to get active and get involved and we've come full circle. that is what the caucus has done, saying look, your vote for jill, that would be a problem. >> and on the other side as we pay attention to this, on the other side the talk has been and the strategy has been to say that many of those people up on the stage, the democrats, they haven't fought for you. they're not looking out for your best interests. they just want your vote. they have not done anything for you financially or politically
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when it comes to criminal justice and social justice and beyond and that is how they're looking to capture the vote. >> and donald trump made that exact argument just a month or so ago in michigan when he addressed the audience of black voters and he said what the hell do you have to lose? i'm told that president obama is going to address that directly, address that pessimism directly. we've heard hillary clinton do sort of a litany of what the voters have to lose. but we're told that president obama will do that tonight. it's interesting, president obama has been trying to reach out to some african-american voters, he was in flint, michigan this week. the trip didn't go so well for him. but yesterday, the birther comment he made sort of interrupted that progressive he made any at all. so indeed, donald trump will not
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be in the room but will be present here in an underlying remark, addressing that ", what the hell do you have to lose"? president obama will tell people what they have to lose if they vote to donald trump. >> so jeff, will it be a mix of political and sentimental? or will it lean in a combination of both? >> i think almost all political, don, i'm told by a senior administration official that this will be largely almost entirely a political speech. the president of course is sentimental in the final months but told his advisers there is a lot of work to be done. in fact, his work will not be complete if he is replaced in the white house by donald trump. that will erase a lot of his legacy. so not as much time for sentiment at this point as there is for politics and an argument for why he believes hillary
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clinton should be his successor in the white house. and she will also be speaking here tonight. don, we do not believe they will appear on stage together. she will speak before him accepting that award as you said. and then he will speak after her. again, giving somewhat of a call to action to these african-american leaders. as well as others listening across the country. >> all right, jeff, jeff is inside the room, there is trevor noah, and they will be hosting tonight. they will be hosting this evening. and we will see many -- that is kelly rowland, many prominent african-americans on that stage tonight. and of course many iconic members of congress, and the pioneers of the civil rights leaders, many who have gotten us to where we are tonight. many have so many privileges they did not have. we were talking about this being
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a legacy for president obama. this is about legacy, because donald trump has said that he wants to dismantle obamacare. >> one falanalysis of donald tr was that 21 million americans would become uninsured because of president obama's plan. so it's a rollback of access. and i think a lot of times people -- donald trump, there is a reason that he is still competing very strongly with secretary clinton. it's not a fluke. he is a really powerful orator in his own style. but once you start to break down his own policies i wrote a piece of how african-americans are sometimes called a captured group in politics, because most don't see anything they want on the gop side, but they are not
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being offered what they want in a two-party system. so an analysis was done of this captured groups and this is a real problem for all americans i would argue, not just black americans. >> it has been said for a while that some people believe that democrats take african-americans' vote for granted. and that donald trump, the republicans may have a point when it comes to that. but the question has been lately if you talk to members of congress, they will say yeah, every party should have to fight for your vote. but is donald trump the one at this point in time. that is the issue. >> yeah, i mean, i think part of the point of the speech i'm sure is to suggest that even if this is the case there are differences. there are differences between the parties. if you look at the issue like voting rights democrats and republicans have pretty much win on different sides of this debate. and i think president obama wants to remind voters ofthat. and i think the third party issue is very much on their
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mind. they do not want to start to lose votes to a third party through a protest that give you donald trump and the gop. >> as we wait for the president to speak and hillary clinton to get this award. let's talk about something you said. you said the president is a great orator and a great search. so let's talk with cosmetics, and you guys remember kennedy, nixon, if you listen to it on the radio, nixon won, if you saw it on television, kennedy won. i'm just talking about the reaction from the audience and people i speak to. there is a clear distinction between president obama who is very comfortable who sort of leans into the podium, and talks, and is like come on, y'all, and then there is the closer who is a great speaker. and hillary clinton who admits i'm not a great speaker or candidate, certainly not her husband, bill clinton. how does she capture that? does she need to loosen up?
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is there something she needs to do to pull in those young voters that is beyond policy. that is beyond criminal justice reform? >> she has to be herself. this is -- >> does she come off as herself? >> no, that is the problem. everything hillary clinton does seems so forced and scripted. this is somebody who was extremely popular at the state department, who galvanized women in the '90s and she was a progressive woman who said i don't have time to make cookies. >> she needs more swag. >> when people say she is not being herself, we have to remember her days with the defense fund, and her days in arkansas. one of the things when i was on the campaign trail in 2008, one of the special moments was being in memphis. and watching her go through the civil rights museum around the site of the assassination at the
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motel. and she was reliving memories. she was not just kind of passing through shaking hands and making a perfunctory political statement. this is her life, what she chose to do with her life, if she reminds people of that that says a lot. >> and what is going to get her there and help her with some voters, every little bit counts in this contain. >> and they talked about how to attract these very am abusive ll -- with young black voters understand, one of the big divides is over whether or not she really stands for criminal justice reform. >> okay, i have to take a break, you're some very smart people.
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i'm enjoying this conversation, so make sure you stay with us at home because it's going to be a very important night, hillary clinton looking at pictures from the black caucus foundation. again, president obama will address this event in just moments. for now, hillary clinton being honored with this inaugural trail blazer award. our live coverage right after this. it's your daily retreat. go ahead, spoil yourself. the es and es hybrid. this is the pursuit of perfection.
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all right, we're going to get back now to our special coverage of of the congressional black caucus. the foundation did there, it's charlie rangel, new york congressman, charlie rangel receiving one of the awards there. let me just make sure which one he is getting. anyway, he is getting one of the awards there this evening. so he is going to be speaking in a while. we're waiting for president obama, it will be his last address in front of this group as president, seventh time he is doing it. charlie rangel, by the way,
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getting the congressional black caucus foundation award. it's not clear how much he will speak out about the birther movement that donald trump has raised over the last five years. the only reason that hillary clinton is allowed to speak she is getting a trail blazer award. but the members of the congressional black caucus have plenty to say themselves about the presidential nominee donald trump. >> donald trump is nothing more than a two-bit racial arsonist. >> donald trump is doing everything that he can to divide of the -- he is a hater, he is a bigot, and he is a racist. >> trump has acted in a way that suggests he is a bigot. >> by any definition, donald trump is a disgusting fraud. >> we will not elect a cheap bigot of the united states of america. >> joining me now from washington, the congressional
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black caucus foundation dinner is angela rye, a cnn political commentator, and a frequent guest on my show. angela, before we go into this whole birther thing, give us some behind the scenes detail of what is going on. as a matter of fact, is that a big topic? >> you said is what a good -- you said is that a good topic? >> big. >> it has not -- i got you. it has not come up yet, i'm sorry, mr. rangel was doing a rallying cry for that award, for that acceptance speech. as you saw the members were just introduced and went back stage. they're all still back stage right now waiting to shake hands and take their annual picture with president obama, this year, of course, the spouses always joined in. and there will be a chief of staffs group picture with the president. that is what is happening now.
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they're waiting for those photos, don. >> let's talk about some of the conversation, i know there has been behind the scenes conversation, we discussed it. i had the representative greg meeks, both members of the caucus on my show last night. they both spoke out about this crucial time for this country, what are the people who are attending saying about that? >> well, this has been about celebrating president obama's final speech to the caucus, where he was once a member, right? so there has not been a whole lot of conversations about donald trump. he doesn't get to control everything, he can run press but is not controlling this very special moment. this is the 46th annual legislative conversati legislative conference. it's a big deal also, a fundraiser, for those who see me on cnbc, they watch you and are glad that they are fact-checking
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for all the lies that donald trump tells. i have seen some of his surrogates around, of course there was an event that donald trump held, the black outreach event around here this week. i heard there were only 50 people attending, if that. this is a crowd that is not very receptive to donald trump. and i would say perhaps they are bipartisan. but these are mainstream kind of republicans and he doesn't have an audience at all. >> so that happened yesterday, the outreach you say that happened. but also what happened yesterday, donald trump finally admitted that president o-- at least in his mind, that president barack obama was born in the united states. something everybody knew. here is the moment and then we'll discuss. >> hillary clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. i finished it. i continue etin finished it.
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you know what i mean. president obama was born in the united states. period. now, we all want to get back oh making america strong and great again. >> here is hillary clinton's response to donald trump. >> for five years he has led the birther movement. to de-legitimatize our first black president. his campaign was founded on this outrageous lie. there is no erasing it in history. barack obama was born in america, plain and simple. and donald trump owes him and the american people an apology. >> donald trump started off his statement by falsely saying that hillary clinton started the birther movement. hillary clinton responding
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saying he needs to apologize. he did not go that far. i know you said tonight it's a celebration, but as they talk, do you think they think that donald trump owed the people and barack obama an apology. >> and people think they owed him an apology when he first got on this birther train. donald trump, when he really believes something, don, we know he tweets b s about it. he is not saying anything about apologizing to the president. what is really interesting is you saw he was reading that particular speech. i think it was tremendously disrespectful and some of the cbc members thought he chose to, yesterday, during again, this 46th annual legislative conference of this cbc foundation. of course we know he went on a tour in d.c., and still not at
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this conference. so i think that is also very interesting this terms of timing. the members think it is disrespectful, of course, because barack obama was once a cbc member, and this is their annual legislative conference. the message is very clear and one they don't take kindly to. >> let's talk about voter enthusiasm. there has been an issue concerning that when it comes to hillary clinton. democrats are concerned. her campaign is concerned as well. the first lady was out yesterday trying to you know get voters enthused. get some enthusiasm from african-american voters. take a listen. >> it's not enough to just come to a rally. it isn't. it's not enough to just get a few selfies. it's not enough to just get angry. and just speak out. we also have to work and make that change and take action. and that starts with electing
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folks who will stand with you and fight with you. and that is why you need to get yourself and everyone you know registered to vote today. >> so this is yesterday, angela, with cnn, just the beginning sort of the united front of the obama administration and the hillary clinton you know folks campaign. this is a united front. will the first lady -- the current vice president, the sitting president and members of congress, do you think that will make a difference in voter enthusiasm, especially among black folk? >> well, if you look at the approval rating it's telling not just for black voters but also voters throughout the country who may not be decided. younger voters, women voters, we know that hillary clinton is making a big push for millennial voters. she certainly needs the help. we also saw this is not michelle obama's first trip to the rodeo.
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she also made an amazing speech at the dnc also very helpful to hillary clinton, making it clear where her allegiance lies and where she will campaign over the next few months. so we're starting to see her get out on the trail. and she is somebody who also has very high approval ratings and very well loved in this country. so it's really good timing, in part also i don't know if you saw that sn's cover, barack obama and first lady on it. so those in the community think it will be very, very helpful if you look at the approval ratings. >> she certainly does get high marks among the millennials, thank you very much, angela. sometimes it's different in the room than what you see on television. we appreciate it. >> you got it. >> make sure you stay tuned to the congressional black caucus
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dinner, president obama taking the podium in just moments. donald trump invited or would have been welcome. he decided to skip it. we'll talk about that, why, after a very quick break. ♪ ♪ ♪ the highly advanced audi a4. ♪ every day starts better with a healthy smile. start yours with philips sonicare, the no.1 choice of dentists. compared to oral-b 7000, philips sonicare flexcare platinum removes significantly more plaque. this is the sound of sonic technology cleaning deep between teeth. hear the difference? get healthier gums in just 2 weeks vs a manual toothbrush and experience an amazing feel of clean.
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welcome back, everyone, this is our essential coverage of of the congressionalle black caucus foundation dinner, president obama slated to speak soon, and also we'll hear from hillary clinton who is getting an award there for washington, d.c. i want to bring in simone sanders, a press secretary for the clinton campaign. and also the director of the diversity coalition for donald trump. a little bit of confusion here, some of the caucus members said that donald trump was invited to speak tonight, but bruce, was he ivited tonight and if so why did he decide not to? >> i don't know, don, i can't speak for the campaign, however, i've been busy running the largest diversity campaign in history, so i don't know, to answer that. >> do you think he should have gone? because he would have been
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welcome. >> i don't know if he was invited. there is a lot of times, all you have to do is invite mr. trump. it's not so much that he doesn't want to attend, but invite him. >> but if you are the head of the coalition, wouldn't you want your candidate at an event this big and is so important to voters, to people of color? >> i am -- head of the largest national diversity, meaning we represent korean-americans for trump, african-americans for trump, hispanic/americans for trump, which you can go on line and click on who we are. we represent all different sorts of facets, especially the minority bases across the country. our web is bigger, we're not just one small group. we're a larger group of americans. >> the larger group of americans that you're speaking of are made
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up of smaller groups. and this is a big group of african-americans, big enough and powerful enough to be carried on cnn and in countries around the world. your candidate is not there. that is my questioni ingquestio >> well, yeah, i do not do the scheduling, i run the diversity campaign for trump. it is a great event. don, i want to make one point if i might add. i had time to really watch yesterday and kind of digest and sleep on it and watch the press conference that the cbc had. you know, i would like to have a press conference for ndc trump, and bring all the cultures to the front and have people see the ethnic backgrounds for donald trump. it kind of hurt when every person had a chance to speak the only thing that came out was hate, racists, fraud, all of these things.
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if i were a voter in my district and my congresswoman or man went up there to win, i would be wanting them to fight for you know, real policies and issues that relates to trying to help our hpcu colleges get bigger and stronger, you know, fight to bring a company in our district for jobs, not sit up there and say hateful racist comments. >> i get your points. i want to get simone in, she needs time to speak. >> so don, what i want to say in response. to possibly respectfully for the next president of the united states. that is not really -- fair for the american people, for them to say that. >> okay, we get your point. go ahead. >> so don, i think to kind of help bruce understand why the cbc member after member got up in that press conference yesterday and say what they had to say about donald trump, when the dredd-scott decision
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happened, it said an african-american, whether she was a free black person or someone that was you know recently enslaved or what not, was not a citizen, and that is why we had so when you have someone like donald trump and many folks that carried the conspiracy of the birther movement bringing that up that's opening up an old wound, an old wound that says black people in this country aren't citizens, that questions if we belong here. so that's why those cbc members got up there and said that. one has to wonder, did donald trump believe what he was saying? and cbc members responded to that. or was he playing on the feelings of voters, some people in the republican base and some people in his own base, and he knew this would get them riled up and propel him to where he is right now. >> it was also the tone, bruce, of his comments yesterday on birther. the brevity of those comments. and also for comments like this
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one. play this of donald trump, please. >> it is time for a change. what do you have to lose by trying something new? i will fix it. watch. i will fix it. you have nothing to lose. nothing to lose. >> some of those what do you have to lose has been your schools are failing, your neighborhoods are unsafe, you don't have jobs, sort of casting african-americans in a role as being always the victims of crime, unemployed, uneducated. many african-americans found fault in that and many of those african-americans were cbc members and they were voicing that concern yesterday. >> well, i disagree. that is only applicable, don -- and you know, we have situations in a lot of our cities across the country, detroit, you know, los angeles, here in atlanta, a lot of places but you know, in
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all due respect, in most of the cities that we're talking about are under the same old democrat regime. so the question is do you want to try something different? do you want to have an opportunity to bring school choice in to some of these schools and not say, well, the federal government has mandated that you have to go here, to give a black child an opportunity to get a voucher and let that mom and dad choose another school? these policies have been failing, though, don. this is not a broad brush around -- remember, i'm a black person too. >> yeah. we can see that. but here's the thing. >> we know. >> the issue is -- >> i know, right? >> the question -- and there are people -- that's not me laughing. there are other people in the room. but here's the thing. people see the campaign and not just the candidate as tone deaf. they're saying, listen, some of that may be important, yeah, school choice may be important, maybe it will help out, but your candidate and your campaign is tone deaf when it comes to
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speaking with and to african-americans and not at african-americans and not insulting them by your language. symone, am i wrong with that? >> no, i think that's absolutely right. and i'd also add if mr. trump would like to come and make that case to african-american voters then he has had many opportunities. he's missing one right now. maybe not at this dinner, but all this week he was in d.c. a couple days ago. he could have spoke to members of the congressional black caucus and people who are attending the congressional black caucus foundation annual legislative conference. i think voters really do have questions if donald trump is actually sincere in his outreach because every single opportunity it seems that he's had to address african-american voters he's either declined, been busy, or just you know, couldn't be bothered with an invitation. >> mm-hmm. bruce? >> well, this is what i do know. donald trump has outcampaigned hillary clinton 2-1. his rallies command 20,000 to 40,000 people minimum at his
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venues from all over the country. he takes the entire news -- we're averaging 20-plus million plus viewers every time. the word is getting out, guys. it's not something that people of color from all over the country don't see what's going on. so that's an unfair statement to say donald trump's message is not getting out to black communities -- >> no, what i said -- i want to be clear, bruce. what i said is donald trump is not going to african-american voters to speak to them. and i'd also note as someone who was a staffer on the bernie sanders campaign, where we garnered the most people in attendance of any presidential candidate then or now, that rally attendance is not an indication of if you're winning or if people are going to come out to the polls and support you. >> well, it also -- in those rallies, too, he's also made a concerted effort over the last couple of weeks to reach out specifically to african-americans to get him over that threshold that he needs for electoral votes in this country. so make sure -- you guys will be with us next hour. bruce. thank you. i've got to get to a break. but stay with us. hillary clinton expected to take the podsium at any moment. we'll be back after a quick
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hello, everyone. don lemon here. we want to welcome our viewers joining us from around the world this hour. what you're looking at now, i want to tell you, as we are watching these pictures from the congressional black caucus as we await the president of the united states to speak and also the presidential candidate secretary of state hillary clinton to speak at this, you're looking at this is jennifer pinkney. she is the widow of clemento pinkney who died at the emanuel a.m.e. church in january where nine people were killed. she was in the church when her husband was killed. she is getting an award this evening. there she is up at the podium with her children. again, president barack obama is going to speak here, deliver his final keynote address before the congressional black caucus foundation dinner. the president is expected to issue a call to action. to stop donald trump here. at any moment donald trump's main opponent is going to stake
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the stage. she is hillary clinton. she's going to be accepting the organization's trailblazer award. cnn's senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny is inside the room. he's watching this very closely as we look at jennifer pinkney leaving the stage, accepting this award. her husband being killed, the pastor of that church being killed in january of 2015 inside the emanuel a.m.e. church. i'm sure the anticipation is building in that room. give us a quick preview. tell us what's going on. >> reporter: it is indeed, don. it was jennifer pinckney as well as other family members of that shooting on stage there. definitely a somber moment this evening. but as president obama prepares to take the stage, he is behind the stage right now, as is hillary clinton. they're both going to be addressing this audience tonight. i'm told by an adviser to hillary clinton that she in fact will not address donald trump directly. she's accepting an award here tonight. her remarks are going to be brief. she is not going to say any of the things she's been saying about donald trump and his birtherism comments.
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but president obama is. he is going to deliver that call for action to democrats to rise up and awaken, and in one official's words pay closer attention to this election here. he is going to go directly after donald trump's pessimism, as he calls it. and that argument he made in michigan about a month ago when donald trump stood before black voters and said what the hell do you have to lose by staying -- by joining the republican party here. the president is going to answer that question, i am told. but he's-l don, going to talk about the accomplishments of his time in office and why he believes hillary quln needs to be elected to carry on the legacy. this very much has the feel of a passing of the torch moment. we done believe the president and secretary clinton will be on stage at the same time, done, but they are both backstage now. this is a very -- coming at a moment here, some 50 days before the election where polls are tightening in the balanceground states and elsewhere. and the clinton campaign is trying to motivate and energize
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black voters and other voters, other supporters here to rise up against donald trump. the significance of this evening, don, coming on the heels of yesterday is very high here in washington. >> hillary clinton will not give a political speech this evening. it will be more of a thank you for this award. but she is certainly well aware of the power of this group, especially in motivating african-americans. and especially women who have been so pivotal and defining and helping to elect president of the united states in recent history, especially black women, jeff. she's very aware of that. >> she is aware of that. and she was talking to a group of black women just yesterday, don, and she reminded them that they are the demographic group in the electorate that votes in the highest proportion. african-american women came out in high numbers to, a, support hillary clinton in her nominating fight with bernie sanders. they were critical. and of course they were so important in both of president obama's elections. so she is calling on them. and don, this is an example. we talk a lot about battleground
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states like ohio. republicans know that if black voters turn out in high numbers in the three cs, columbus, cleveland, and cincinnati, it is hard for them to win. so democrats are trying to rally their supporters and be slightly more enthused about hillary clinton's candidacy. that's what president obama will be talking about tonight. why they should support hillary clinton. don. >> jeff zeleny joining us from the dinner. jeff, thank you very much. as you can see, they're getting -- handing out the awards. and we are awaiting the president of the united states and also the democratic candidate hillary clinton as well. he's going to speak in just a mome moment. i want to bring back my panel now. jason johnson is here. he is politics editor for, professor at morgan state university. also jillian zelizer is a historian and professor for princeton university and author of "the fierce urgency of now." farrah judea is a senior writer,
6:04 pm and the author of "the episodic career." and errol lewis is a cnn political commentator and a political anchor of time warner cable news. good evening to you. as you look at these women who are up on stage now, what are you thinking about? >> well, first of all, i went to emanuel a.m.e. church during the south carolina primary and it was very instructive. it was a trip where first of all the death of reverend pinckney and the other members of what's called mother emanuel helped remove the confederate flag from the state capitol. so there was a moment of racial unity. and i also talked to republicans who were very conflicted about donald trump at the time. what's interesting is evangelicals moved back toward donald trump. i think that this dinner, this congressional black caucus dinner, is reaching out and bringing people to the stage who have been part of american history, you know, during the seven-plus years of president obama's term.
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and this in some ways, this dinner is highlighting how racial issues affect not only black people but entire communities. again, that shooting really changed the racial dynamics in south carolina, at least for a time, and we'll see what kind of -- if there's a kind of call to unity. this is a black audience obviously but will there be a call to the higher nature, call to racial unity in america by either president obama or by secretary clinton? >> as you can see trevor noah up there, relatively new host of "the daily show," is the emcee of the evening. we were talking to bruce levelle, who's part of the coalition for minorities for outreach for the donald trump campaign. if it seems like it's pretty harsh pushback for him it's warranted considering what donald trump is doing and how african-americans feel about it. people at home may be watching and say oh, why does he get such pushback? the reason i questioned him about being tone deaf is because that is what african-americans are saying about donald trump, his campaign, his surrogates
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here in the united states. >> right. bruce is not doing his job. he is not doing his job. donald trump is doing worse amongst african-american voters than any republican candidate has in the last three cycles. there's no excuse for that. he is losing african-american republicans. there was an exodus of the black outreach team at the rnc earlier this year. so you know, for trump to claim that he's reaching out to black voters, no, he's not. he's actually turning off black voters. and for actually -- for david duke to be polling higher for black voters than donald trump is nationally, that's a problem. >> is that true? >> that is true. >> i have not seen that poll i guess. >> yes. >> so what is it, then? why continue to say that donald trump is reaching out to black voters? why continue to give that narrative if you believe it's a false narrative when he's actually not? >> well, obviously he is continuing his effort to appeal to a broader public than his
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base. i don't think the goal is actually to win african-american votes. i think most of his campaign knows that's not going to happen. given his record, given the kinds of statements we've had. but he's trying to soften his image with a broader base of republican voters. he's not doing well still in some republican states. so i think that's partly what this is about. >> does that make it doubly more sob insulting to african-americans? that's why members of the cbc came out -- it was also what he said yesterday about the birther movement. >> sure. and to the extent he's talking past black audiences, he's not addressing them directly but talking past them and about them to another audience. i think julian's exactly right. that seems to be what he's doing. and it's an interesting kind of tactic. it's not the first time it's been done in this country. on the other hand, it doesn't endear him to those voters for sure. and one thing he doesn't want to do, it's a fundamental mistake that i think a lot of novice politicians make and to some extent donald trump is a novice.
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he's never run for office before. you don't want to enrage the base that can deny you the victory. >> hillary clinton is about to speak. this is the video introducing her as you can hear there in the room. they're showing hill clinton and how he had started. fighting for african-americans. that's part of her resume. do people at home see that? you guys are political experts. we cover this every day here on cnn. the bulk of us here, african-americans, we can see he's speaking past african-americans to another group but does the audience see that at all? >> i do think so. but what we have to remember, like someone watching us tweeted at me like why did you call him a powerful speaker? it's because political science studies show that nativist and racial appeals work. just the way negative advertising works. so donald trump is on the one hand trying to say i'm not a racist but on the other hand he's using racial appeals because they work.
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he is a strategic, you know, navigator of some people who might vote for him who actually like racist talk and some people who don't. >> everybody knows when you're really trying to talk to me or the girl behind me. right? and that's what's happening with donald trump. everybody knows he's not really trying to talk to you. he's trying to talk to the person behind you. and sophisticated voters, they don't have to be on this panel. they realize when they're being pandered to or spoken to. >> simple way to do it is i'm speaking to julian but i'm talking to you. to say listen, i'm not racist. the loud voice is going to the person behind you, sort of speaking over your head. and that's what people see and it's obvious. they see through it. >> exactly. >> racial appeals do work. >> it's even like the speech he had where he outlined a number of stereotypes about african-ameran while allegedly making a claim to why they should support him. and i think he does this all the time. that's why birtherism really struck a chord. he was at the head of a movement
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that was very explicitly dealing with this issue of race and the presidency. so i do think it's a problem for him. i think his best bet, frankly, is when he appeals to the base. and i don't think he's going to move that far away from that. >> i think we saw an interesting version of this back in 2008. i remember when oprah winfrey came out and said barack obama, he's the one, he's the guy. and there was some talk about, well, is this going to guarantee that lots of black women come vote for obama? no. he already had all of them. this is for the whoit women who are a huge part of oprah's base. >> there is hillary clinton. congressman james clyburn introducing her. she's getting the trail blazer award. secretary of state hillary clinton.
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[ cheers and applause ] >> hello. it's so great to be back here with all of you tonight. i want to thank my friend, congressman jim clyburn. don peebles. representative butterfield. members of the congressional black caucus. and congratulate all of the honorees. on a personal note i want to recognize a dear friend who is retiring after 46 years, congressman charles rangel. he is one of a kind. and we are grateful for your years of service. and what can i say about one of the best presidents this country has ever had, barack obama?
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[ cheers and applause ] all through this campaign i have made the point over and over again, president obama saved our country from a second great depressi depression. he brought osama bin laden to justice. and so much more. i for one don't think he gets the credit he deserves for doing what he's done on behalf of our country and the world. and it's not just the president he's been. but the man he is. even when hateful nonsense is thrown their way, barack,
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michelle, their two beautiful daughters have represented our country with class, grace, and integrity. [ applause ] as michelle says, when others go low, we go high. i know i speak for not just everyone in this room but so many tens of millions of americans. mr. president, not only do we know you are an american. you're a great american. and you make us all proud to be americans too. let me thank the leadership of the cbc foundation for this
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great honor. and to thank all of my friends in the congressional black caucus for it as well. i dedicate it to all the trail blazers who came before me, who blazed trails that i could follow in their footsteps. barbara jordan, shirley chisholm. i would not be standing here without them. generations of women and men who struggled and sacrificed and cleared a path for all of us. this award is also for everyone out there helping to break down the barriers holding americans back. to leaders like all of you and to a rising generation of young activists. to all those on the front lines dedicated to the proposition
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that in america every single child deserves the chance to fulfill his or her god-given potential. this has been the cause of my life. ever since i went to work for the children's defense fund all those years ago. and i'm going to close my campaign the way i began my career. and the way that i will serve as your president. focused on opportunities for our children and fairness for our families. we have so much work to do together. i've heard many heartbreaking stories over this campaign. one was from tiana gaines turner, a working mother to three children from northeast philadelphia. she testified at the dnc platform meeting in june and told us how her husband had been laid off and she worked in a
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part-time job. she said she'd been hungry more times than she could count and that life felt like a maze because she faced barriers no matter which way she turned. but despite all of this, tiana has hope. she still believes her 8-year-old daughter will be president one day. and she believes that this election can make all the difference in the world to her and her family. let's prove her right. as a country we have a moral obligation to give her family and every family a chance to rise up and reach their dreams. that is what's at stake in this election. it's not about golf course promotions or birth certifica s certificates.
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[ applause ] it comes down to who will fight for the forgotten. who will invest in our children? and who will really have your back in the white house? we need ideas, not insults. real plans to help struggling americans in communities that have been left out and left behind. not prejudice and paranoia. we can't let barack obamobama's legacy fall into the hands of someone who doesn't understand that. [ applause [ applause ] whose dangerous and divisive vision for our country will drag us backwards. instead we need to come together, to get incomes rising with a higher minimum wage, to invest in neglected communities with efforts like jim clyburn's
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10-20-30 plan. to get guns out of the hands of dangerous people. to fight for a criminal justice system that actually delivers justice. and to make sure that all kids have good schools and good teachers, no matter what zip codes they live in. [ applause ] when you really think about it, the choice this november is about so much more than democrats and republicans. as michelle obama said at the democratic convention, it's about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four years of their lives. it's also about the kind of country we want to be and what we want to leave behind for future generations. i thank everyone here who has been fighting for this vision over so many years.
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i thank all that have supported me. i want you to know i'm not taking your vote or anyone's vote for granted. i'm working every single day to earn your support. and i need your help over the next 52 days to bring our campaign across the finish line together. [ applause ] barbara jordan famously said that a government is invigorated when each of us is willing to participate in shaping the future of this nation. so to everyone here tonight, please keep doing what you're doing, but also help to register voters. tell others about the clear choice in this election. in some states early voting is nearly here. so we need to keep the pressure on. let's send a loud and clear
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message once and for all. we are stronger together. and no matter what, remember this. love trumps hate. thank you all very much! [ cheers and applause ] >> there is the former secretary of state hillary clinton, current democratic candidate for the presidency of the united states, accepting her award, the trail blauzer award there this evening. as we prepare. just moments from now, in just a short time the president of the united states is going to step up to that podium there in washington and give his remarks, his final time addressing this crowd, sxefth final time. he's expected to talk about his legacy, which is important, but also as our jeff zeleny said, who's in the room, it's going to be an extremely he believes -- mostly i should say political speech. let's talk about what the secretary said. she thanked of course the cbc
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members. she talked about president obama's will go cy, that he doesn't get enough credit she believes in her estimation. she said that the family has handled the past eight years with class, grace, and dignity. you can't argue against that. there has not been an obama scandal, family scandal at all. since they've been in the white house. and then i thought this was important, faria. she talked about when she was accepting the trailblazer award, barbara jordan and shirley chisholm. that was important because? >> because shirley chisholm was the first black women to run for -- well, the first woman and first black woman to run for president on the democratic ticket. she of course didn't win but she was unbought and unbossed. her campaign slogan. and she was a maverick. shirley chisholm does not get enough recognition. but by acknowledging shirley chisholm's influence to a black audience and then saying very importantly i don't take your vote for granted to the
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congressional black caucus foundation, she was basically i think, secretary clinton was acknowledging she still has some work to do, but she's listening and she knows black history. >> it is interesting, julian, how she snuck in the political because she said -- she talked about -- she talked about her history with the children's defense fund, how when she first started working for african-americans under marian wright edelman. and then she said this is not about golf courses or promoting your hotels or promoting your golf courses, it's not about birth certificates. we're here to fight for the forgotten. we need ideas, not insults. we need she said -- she said we don't need prejudice and we don't need paranoia. she said she wasn't taking anyone's vote for granted. but she did get her barbs in when it comes to donald trump. and this was -- although it was an acceptance speech and she was thanking people, she got it in. >> i think at this point in the campaign she's not going to let any opportunity go by where she doesn't take some shots. a lot of this campaign trump and
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the republicans have been defining who she is. and i think she wants to start to change the narrative and tell people who she is and what she's about. she might not be able to change her appearance in front of the cameras. we talked about that earlier. i don't think you can. the television cameras can be cruel. but on the other hand -- >> meaning not how she looks but how she relates to the audience. >> no, absolutely. >> how comfortable she is with the audience. >> they presented her as someone who's corrupt or they presented her as someone who's untrustworthy. she wants to link herself to the civil rights movement. she wants to link herself to the progressive agenda. and she wants to tell voters more about who she is, and that's what she did in this speech. >> at any moment now the current president of the united states barack obama is going to gipt on that stage and address this audience for the very last time. the video that introduces him is playing in the room. we will discuss as soon as he gets up there. we will go right to the president of the united states. jason, talk about what the president is expected to say. he's expected to mention this
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birther controversy but also talk about what's important and his legacy. >> this is going to be president obama's nicer version of the take off your house shoes speech that he gave in 2011. he's going to remind everyone i have a legacy at stake. and i think what he also wants to do is he's going to sprinkle some of that obama magic on hillary clinton. he's got to remind people that all the enthusiasm you have for me, it has to go to her as well. the greatest weakness hillary clinton has in this campaign is not reminding people of how unqualified donald trump may be, it's giving people a reason to vote for her. and i think that's what president obama's going to do. i wouldn't be surpriseed if he sang at the end too. that always works. >> i'm getting the five-minute warning. it could be a little sooner. errol, can he sprinkle some of that obama magic on hillary clinton this evening, enough that it will stick for 52 days? >> that's the question. this is the most politically active group of black folk you're going to find anywhere in the country. if you look at charlie rangel who's been through what, 22, 23 elections for his own seat as
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well as any number of presidential races, these are folks who know what this business is all about. and i think we can expect to hear president obama speak to them as fellow political professionals. he doesn't need to sort of rouse them and get them on their feet, although that might happen. he needs to sort of appeal to them and say look, we've got a lot of work to do. and this is kind of an argument that he's made in a very subtle sort of way, saying to people over the years i'm a better speaker than you are, i've got more power than you are and look how they're treating me. if i get treated this way, what do you think's going to happen to you and your politics and your legacy? i'm looking to hear him say we're all in this together, this is our movement, and if you want this to continue i'm going to be fine in my post-presidency. if you in your community are going to be fine it's up to you and the time to act is now. >> go ahead. >> one other thing that's key, we have to remember that most of these people supported hillary clinton. president obama doesn't have to
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sell the congressional black caucus. >> the president being introduced right now. let's listen. >> -- and the first lady of the united states of america! [ cheers and applause ] >> so as you can see now, they're doing the introductions. and it's a crowd obviously in a crowd who is very favorable. the first lady, by the way, looking extremely beautiful this evening. and there is the president stepping up to the mike. >> hello, cbc! [ cheers and applause ] thank you, don, for the great work you are doing and that kind introducti introduction. i love you too. i want to thank the cbc foundation, chairman butterfield, members of the congressional black caucus, and
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the whole cbc family. it's always good to be with the conscience of congress. i also want to congratulate tonight's honorees. beginning with charlie rangel, a founding member of the cbc, an outstanding public servant who as we just talked about will be riding off into the sunset together. representative marcia fudge. [ cheers ] robert smith. the mother emanuel family. and your trailblazer award recipient, my friend, a champion for change, secretary hillary clinton. there's an extra spring in my step tonight. i don't know about you guys, but
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i am so relieved that the whole birther thing is over. [ laughter ] i mean, isil, north korea, poverty, climate change. none of those things weighed on my mind like the validity of my birth certificate. and to think that with just 124 days to go, under the wire, we got that resolved. i mean, that's a boost for me in the home stretch. in other breaking news the world is round, not flat. [ laughter ] lo lord. this is of course my last cbc dinner as president.
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next time i show up i have to buy a ticket. [ laughter ] now, don't get me wrong, though. we've still got so much work to do. and we are sprinting all the way through the tape. but the days are winding down. i've noticed that whenever michelle and i travel around the country folks come up and they say oh, we're so sad to see you go. and i really appreciate that. and michelle says, that's right. she gave a speech yesterday. a bunch of young people were chanting "four more years." and she said, nope. no. no. she's ready. but we do want to take this opportunity. just to say thank you.
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say thank you for your support over the years. to say thank you for your friendship. to say thank you for your prayers. as i just look across this auditorium, there are so many people here who lifted us up, who steadied us when things got tough. when we began this journey, coming on ten years now, we said this was not about us, it wasn't about me, it wasn't about michelle, it wasn't just to be a black president or the president of black america. we understood the power of the symbol. we know what it means for a generation of children of all races to see folks like us in the white house. and as michelle says, we try to
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be role models, not just for our own girls but for all children, because we know they watch everything we do as aresults. they look to us as examples. so we've taken that responsibility seriously. and i've been so blessed to have a wife and a partner on this journey who makes it look so easy. [ applause ] and is so strong and so honest and so beautiful. and so smart. but we're all -- we're just thankful because you guys have lifted us up every step of the way. now, we know, however, that what matters most for our community is not just the symbol, not just having an african-american president. it's having a president who's going to do his or her darnedest
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to make the right decisions and fight the right fights. and think about the fights we've waged together these past eight years. together we fought our way back from the worst recession in 80 years. turned an economy that was in freefall. helped our businesses create more than 15 million new jobs. we declared that health care is not a privilege for a few but a right for everybody. secured coverage for another 20 million americans, including another 3 million african-americans. our high school graduation rate is at an all-time high, including for african-american students. more african-americans are graduating from college than ever before. together we've begun to work on reforming our criminal justice system, reducing the federal
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prison population, ending the use of solitary confinement for juveniles, banning the box for federal employers, reinvigorating the justice department civil rights division, pushing to make sure police and communities are working together to mac sure that our streets are safe and that our law is applied equally. we're giving opportunities for kids so they don't get in the criminal justice system in the first place. and i want to thank all of you who have helped us reach more than 250 my brother's keeper communities across the country. just this week we learned that last year across every race and age group in america incomes rose and poverty fell. folks' typical household incomes rose by about $2,800. which is the fastest growth rate
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on record. lifted 3.5 million people out of poverty, including 1 million children, the largest one-year drop in almost 50 years. by so many measures our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was eight years ago. and none of it's been quick. none of it's been easy. none of it has come without a fight. and so much of our work remains unfinished. but then we knew that we would not solve all of our challenges in one year or one term or even one presidency. not even in one lifetime. because we understand better than anybody that this is the story of america. that the project of america is never finished. it is constantly a work in progress.
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and what has always made us unique is our capacity to change. our conviction that change doesn't come from some ruler but it comes from the bottom up, from us, from the actions we take, whether it's women seeking the right to vote or a young john lewis leading a mighty march in selma, we do our part to slowly, steadily make our union a little bit more perfect. we know that. and that's what we've done these past eight years. and now that's what we have to keep on doing. you may have heard hillary's opponent in this election say that there's never been a worse time to be a black person. he missed that whole civics lesson about slavery and jim crow. [ applause ] but we've got a museum for him to visit.
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[ cheers and applause ] so he can tune in. we will educate him. he says we've got nothing left to lose, so we might as well support somebody who has fought against civil rights. and fought against equality. and who has shown no regard for working people most of his life. well, we do have challenges. but we're not stupid. [ applause ] we know the progress we've made. despite the forces of opposition. despite the forces of discrimination. despite the politics of
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backlash. and we intend to keep fighting against those forces. when government refused to expand medicaid that hits the folks most in need, we'll fight. when folks block an increase to the minimum wage or refuse to expand paid family leave or won't guarantee equal pay for equal work that hurts the pocket books of every family and african-american families, we will fight. when we're not investing in the schools that our kids deserve. when one group of americans is treated differently under the law. when there are those who somehow think it's wrong to make sure folks have access to affordable housing or unwilling to do what it takes to make sure our veterans get the benefits that
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they've earned or aren't helping to sign foingz for health insurance, we will not stop our march for justice. we will not stop pushing for the security and prosperity of all people. that doesn't stop with my presidency. we're just getting started. [ applause ] and when people -- when across this country in 2016 there are those who are still trying to deny people the right to vote, we've got to push back twice as hard. right now in multiple states republicans are actively and openly trying prevent people from voting, adding new barriers to registration, cutting early voting, closing polling places in predominantly minority communities, refusing to send out absentee ballots, kicking
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people off the rolls, often incorrectly. this should be a national scandal. we were supposed to have already won that fight. we're the only advanced democracy in the world that is actively discouraging people from voting. it's a shame. then they try to justify it by telling people voter fraud is rampant. between 2000 and 2012 there were ten cases of voter impersonation nationwide. ten. people don't get up and say i'm going to impersonate somebody and go vote. they don't do that. meanwhile, some of the same folks who are trying to keep you from voting turn a blind eye when hundreds of thousands of
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people are killed by guns. imposing voter i.d. restrictions so that a gun license can get you on the ballot but a student i. dican i.d. can't. apparently more afraid of a ballot than a bullet. no, our work's not done. but if we are going to advance the cause of justice and equality and prosperity and freedom, then we also have to acknowledge that even if we eliminated every restriction on voting we would still have one the lowest voting rates among free people. that's not good. that is on us. and i am reminded of all those
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folks who had to count bubbles in a bar of soap. beaten trying to register voters in mississippi. risked everything so that they could pull that lever. so if i hear anybody saying their vote does not matter, that it doesn't matter who we elect, read up on your history. it matters. we've got to get people to vote. [ applause ] in fact, if you want to give michelle and me a good send-off -- and that was a beautiful video. but don't just watch us walk off into the sunset now. get people registered to vote. if you care about our legacy, realize everything we stand for is at stake, the progress we've made is at stake in this election. my name may not be on the
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ballot, but our progress is on the ballot. tolerance is on the ballot. democracy is on the ballot! justice is on the ballot! good schools are on the ballot! ending mass incarceration, that's on the ballot right now! and there is one candidate who will advance those things. and there is another candidate whose defining principle, the central theme of his candidacy is opposition to all that we've done. there's no such thing as a vote that doesn't matter. it all matters. and after we have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the african-american community, i
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will consider it a personal insu insult, an insult to my legacy if this community lets down its guard and fails to ak vait itsei activate itself in this election. you want to give me a good send-off? go vote! [ applause ] and i'm going to be working as hard as i can these next seven weeks to make sure folks do. [ applause ] hope is on the ballot. and fear is on the ballot too. hope is on the ballot and fear is on the ballot too. a few days ago michelle and my
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mother-in-law and the girls and i, we snuck over and got an early look at the new smithsonian national museum of african-american history and culture. we looked at the shackles that had been used to bring folks over. we saw the shacks where slaves had been trying to make their way out of nowhere. and then with each successive level we saw the unimaginable courage and the struggles and the sacrifices and the humor and the innovation and the hope that
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led to such extraordinary progress, even in our own lifetimes. and it made us proud. not because we had arrived but because what a road we've had to travel. what a miracle that despite such hardship we've been able to do so much. and i know everybody in this room understands that progress is not inevitable. its sustainment depends on us. it's not just a matter of having a black president or first lady. it's a matter of engaging all of
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our citizens in the work of our democracy. it was that slave who said, you know what, despite the risk of a lash i'm going to learn how to read. it's harriet tubman saying despite the risk to my life i'm going to free my people. it's fannie lou hamer saying despite the ostracism, the blowback, i'm going to sit here in this convention hall and i'm going to tell people what it's like to live the life i've led. i'm going to testify to why a change needs to come. it's a young john lewis saying i'm going to march despite those horses i see in front of me.
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all those ordinary people. all those folks whose names aren't in history, they never got a video providing a tribute to them. that's why we're here. that's how progress is sustained. and then it's a matter of electing people to office who understand that story. who feel it in their hearts. in their guts. and understand that government can't solve all our problems but it can be a force for good. to experience this incredible new monument, this museum, is to be reminded we're just a small part of a long chain. generation after generation, striving against the odds.
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what an inspiration they are. and what an inspiration all of you are. especially the young people who are here. that's why i'm still fired up. that's why i'm still ready to go. and if you are too, if you're ready to continue this journey that we started, then join me. register folks to vote. get to the polls. keep marching, keep fighting, keep organizing. if we rise to this moment, if we understand this isn't the end point, this is the beginning, we're just getting going. we're just getting moving, then i have never been more optimistic that our best days are still ahead. thank you for this incredible journey, cbc. god bless you. god bless this country that we love. we love you. [ cheers and applause ] ♪
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>> 44th president of the united states, barack obama, giving a very rousing and moving speech there. pretty close to preaching, i would say, when it comes to this speech. and there is the first lady of the united states on the stage. both of them, regardless of your ideology, representing this country over the last eight years with class, grace, and dignity as the former secretary of state said. one cannot deny that. again, if you're republican, democrat, independent or what have you. and now they're going to the crowd to do this rope line. i want to bring in my panel and discuss something that the president said. if we could turn around that sound where he said i'll take it as a personal insult because i thought that was the line of the evening, when people were concerned, we said can he sprinkle smaf that magic, obama magic on hillary clinton, i think that was the biggest moment. that was not sprinkle. that was a whole bucket of obama magic that he tried to sprinkle on hillary clinton and onto young people who have not been
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so enthusiastic, at least we're hearing from pollsters, to vote and from people we've been speaking to. i want to share a story, but i'll share a story after i get your thoughts on this speech. first to you, jason. >> it was very powerful. he was -- i mean, everything that presidents obama said tonight was so passionate, so relaxed. you could put a track on the back of this and make it a diss track for donald trump and an anthem for what his presidency has been. i think this is going to be replayed. i think it's going troeznate a lot. i'm surprised he didn't actually say hillary clinton's nam. but i think he did a very good job of galvanizing voters and galvanizing an audience that's already on his side to really get out there. >> but he did say there was one person that he knew to carry that on. >> exactly. >> julian? >> it was a very powerful speech. it connected his own legacy to the history of the civil rights movement. with some very specific issues that are on the table right now. such as voting rights. as a response to donald trump's speech. and he also made a very passionate and very clear appeal
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to democratic voters about why voting for hillary clinton, without naming her, is in fact sustaining, again, not just his presidency but a movement for social justice that has been ongoing, at least since the 60s if not longer. >> story i want to sharish because we're going to have to move on and get to some breaking news now-s as this was happening my mother texted me and talked about there were days -- there were tests to vote. she was part of that era where she had to go in and recite parts of the constitution in order to vote. she said they stopped that. and then they were allowed after that to go in, for people who could not read, which was my grandmother, and then to vote. >> that's powerful. >> so know your history, as the president said. thank you, panel. i appreciate it. we've been watching that coverage. i need to get to breaking news. this is out of new york city. there's been an explosion that has taken place in the chelsea neighborhood of manhattan in new york. happened just a couple of miles from here wherefrom where i sit here at the time warner center in new york city. several ambulances, fire trucks at the scene now. authorities say that at least two people are injured.
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officials say there are multiple injuries. and as of right now the cause of that blast is unknown. again, there have been -- there's been an explosion in new york city. multiple injuries. and again, that is according to dispatch, and it has been confirmed. authorities are confirming that. i want to get to cnn's jean casarez. also live on the phone with us right now. jean, what are you seeing? >> reporter: don, i am seeing many, many ambulances. i'm in the chelsea district of new york city. i'm seeing multiple fire trucks. hooks and ladder. but really multiple, for blocks and blocks. we're seeing ambulances and fire trucks. a lot of people are just watching. but what we can confirm at this point, that there was an explosion. we do not know how large. but we can confirm multiple injuries at this point. it is believed that there was some type of a device in a trash can or in a dumpster. we don't know at this point how serious those injuries are.
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but i can tell you there are helicopters that are flying above us. we do know the counterterrorism unit is en route and on scene from the new york police department. but police are not allowing anyone anywhere near the scene because they just yelled out that it is still extremely dangerous here. so what we're seeing is a controlled situation. people are calm. law enforcement is calm. but obviously something that we're right in the midst of and they're working it very hard right now, don. >> jean, i want you to stand by because i had several cnn personnel, producers and correspondents on the scene. and i want to bring in now shimone pokavec who is a cnn crime and justice producer in washington, d.c. has some information. what are you hearing? >> so don, i think right now what's important for folks to know is the nypd, the fbi and other law enforcement officials don't exactly know what caused this explosion. could it have been a device? could it have been something else? we just don't know.
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all we really know right now is something exploded inside a dumpster. it was a dumpster on the corner of somewhere around 23rd street and 6th avenue. it's in the chelsea area of manhattan. and it exploded. it caused an explosion. we don't foe what caused that explosion. people were injured. we have anywhere from 15 to 20. we're hearing different numbers. the initial injuries do not appear to be life-threatening. but that can change. veral folks have been taken to different hospitals. and i think right now for the nypd and the fbi, which is also on scene, it's really about figuring out what caused this explosion. but the bomb squad is there. they're looking. they're trying to find remnants of a bomb, if this was a bomb, but right now they just don't know what caused this explosion. obviously, this is a scary situation. a lot of fear here right now. sort of in the heart of manhattan. lots of people out. so there is some concern. and earlier today, as you know,
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a similar incident occurred in new jersey where a pipe bomb detonated outside of a race. there was a race for a charity event. and a device exploded there. so everyone here is a little excited trying to figure out exactly what caused this. but we just don't know right now. we just don't know what caused this. >> shimon, i want you to stand by again. i want to update our viewers if you're tuning in we have some breaking news out of new york city. there's been an explosion that's taken place. it's in the aels a&e neighborhood of manhattan here in new york city. that explosion, as you can see from the map there, 23rd street and 6th, near 23rd street and 6th avenue. between we're hearing from people, between 6th avenue and 8th avenue. there are several ambulances, fire trucks at the scene. authorities say that at least two people are injured. at least. other officials say there are multiple injuries. and as of right now the cause of that blast is unknown. get back now to cnn's jean casarez, who is on the ground. these are the live pictures now that we're getting from our
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affiliate new york 1. you can see their correspondent there on the scene. but as you can see, the chelsea neighborhood this evening very busy. it is one of the busiest neighborhoods in the evening. very close to the greenwich village neighborhood that many people know about. and just below really midtown proper. but again, an explosion in the chelsea neighborhood. that number could be between 10 to possibly 20 people we're told right now. again the cause of that blast sun known. jean casarez at the scene. what do you know? >> reporter: don, i want to tell you something i've been watching. a bomb-sniffing dog has been just several feet away from me. they are taking it from building to building to see if it reacts, if it hits, which is the terminology on anything. but they have been taking this dog. and i have walked from 5th avenue on 24th street for 6th and now to 7th and they're long blocks, and at every intersection there are a very large amount of ambulances and fire trucks. so it's not only on 23rd street
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in the chelsea area, but the ambulances and the fire trucks are also every block in between. this is a very large diameter and radius that they are working on. but just spotted a bomb-sniffing dog. so when we hear the bomb squad has moved in, that includes the canines. don. >> jeanish stand by. get as much information for us as possible. again, you're looking at a map. this is new york city. manhattan. it is west 23rd street and 6th avenue that we're pointing out here specifically. i don't know if we have that new york 1 shot, our affiliate there, even if the reporter's on the scene. but -- there we go. that's the scene on 23rd street. and you can see if you know manhattan, that's the chelsea cinema. this is right at -- this is 8th avenue. and if you see the boston market there, 8th avenue. and right on the corner right there is the bbq or whatever. so on a saturday night this would be a very busy time for that neighborhood. there has been -- this is the breaking news. an explosion has taken place in
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the neighborhood that you're looking at. the chelsea neighborhood in manhattan here in new york city just a couple blocks from the time warner center where we are, a mile or so from where i sit. several ambulances and fire trucks are on the scene. and you can hear, as you heard from our jean casarez, the scene, as we see the emergency vehicles going by with flashing lights and the police tape th e there. she said the crime scene spanned a couple of blocks, couple of avenues as well between maybe as far over as 5th avenue to 8th avenue here in manhattan. we're also hearing that there are now multiple injuries. just how many we don't know. but there could be between 10 to possibly 20 people who have been injured here. and as of right now the cause of that blast we just don't know. authorities have been updated on this. the president of the united states just speaking at the congressional black caucus in
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washington, d.c. i would imagine the president has gotten -- has been briefed on this particular situation. we have also gotten word that the republican candidate for the presidency donald trump has also been briefed as well. and of course officials from new york city have been on the scene and are sending in information that we have for us. errol lewis, who works for time warner news and is associated with new york 1, joins me here on the set. and as you can see, the reporters are out on the scene. we're getting this information coming in and i'm seeing it and getting chb of it just as you are seeing it as well. this is a reporter from new york 1 that you're looking at. he's there doing his job. he's one of our affiliates and we'll keep an eye on the scene here. but again an explosion taking place in the chelsea neighborhood, which is between, errol -- which is between greenwich village and midtown
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proper. >> that's right. >> starting after the 20s and going into the 30s. very businessate times. >> very, very busy. especially on saturday night. chelsea one of the hottest neighborhoods, actually. comes in year after year as one of the places where everybody wants to be. housing prices are rising and so forth. very trendy area. i've been to that cinema that was in the shot many, many times there. 8th avenue and 23rd street. this is a cultural center among other things. a lot of artists live there. a lot of galleries and museums for people to patronize as well. this is a big, big deal. this isn't off in some remote neighborhood. >> i want to get to daily beast editor tim teaman. he's on the scene. what can you tell us? >> i've never seen anything like it. i've lived here in chelsea for 6 1/2 years. you can probably here the firemen behind me. apologies. lots of ambulance now on the move.


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