tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN September 16, 2016 6:00am-7:01am PDT
and it just a good window into how intense that job is. >> it is. i'm so glad we get reminders of that every friday. it's time for "newsroom" with carol costello. >> nice way to end your show. thanks so much for bringing a smile to our faces. we needed that because it's been a crazy political day hasn't it? >> indeed. >> you're right allison. "newsroom" starts now. good morning, i'm carol costello. thanks so much for joining me. a wild morning in presidential politics. hillary clinton due to speak in just minutes at the symposium of black women's agenda in washington. we will bring the speech to you live. and donald trump, expected to make big news of his own today. sources telling us he will likely disavow his debunked birther claim that president obama was not born in the united states. so far trump personally refusing to disavow that conspiracy theory, but his campaign
suddenly reversed course last night putting out this statement. quote, in 2011, mr. trump was finally able to bring this ugly incident to its conclusion by successfully compelling president obama to release his birth certificate. mr. trump did a great service to the president and the country by bringing closure to the issue that hillary clinton and her team first raised. the statement goes on to say inarguably donald j. trump is a closer. we have team coverage this morning. cnn chief political correspondent dana bash is working her sources. sara murray is in washington for the big trump speech. but dana, i want to start with you, because you have sources within the trump campaign saying that mr. trump might actually have those words come out of his mouth later this morning. >> that's right. just to be clear, these are people i'm talking to who are familiar with what's going on. and more specifically, understand that as much as the trump campaign is saying that
jason miller's statement speaks for mr. trump himself, and that in that that's the whole purpose of having a spokesperson that this particular issue is different from pretty much anything else. it predates the campaign. it put him on the map politically when he was a private citizen and more importantly put him on the map with conservative voters and planted the seed that became his successful primary run for president. so given all of that, the pressure is on donald trump to be the one to say this himself. and that he is likely to do so at some point today. having said that, he hasn't done it yet. he did a call-in with a morning show this morning, where he declined to say it. just saying that the statement speaks for itself. but he did tease that he's going to say something at his event here in washington opening his new hotel here trying to keep the suspense going. but who knows what that means.
the reason why i'm putting caveats in my reporting is because we've all seen this movie before. we have to wait until donald trump speaks himself to see what or if he will say anything, anything on this issue. so, so that's really the question -- a lot of issues that we can talk about later about why now in the first place. >> absolutely. you stick around dana. i want to get to sara murray because she's at the site of that big trump speech. what's the mood like there, sara? >> well, carol, i think there's a lot of confusion right now about what this event is actually going to be right now it's not clear if donald trump is planning on taking questions, not planning on taking questions. you see the room is set up like a press conference but there are a number of rows set up for donald trump supporters ahead of the press. but this is a potential place for donald trump to come today and disavow his birtherism belief from previously. but as of this morning, even after his campaign put out the smoemt, as of this morning donald trump himself was
unwilling to say that he believes president obama was born in the u.s. take a listen to what he said on fox news. >> and i'm going to be making a major statement on this whole thing, and what hillary did. but no she is the one that started it. and she was unable, or incapable, of funishing it. that's the way it worked out. but i got him to release his birth certificate. >> i remember. >> we will have a big statement. i hope you're going to be watching. >> the bottom line is, obama was born in america, correct? >> you watch my statement. i have to -- we have to keep the suspense going. okay? so you watch -- you're my friend. you watch the statement. okay. i think you'll be happy. >> now you hear him saying we have to keep the suspense going. and carol, i have to tell you, i've been covering donald trump for almost a year and a half now, and he certainly hasn't really been keeping the suspense going because he's never once disavowed his birtherism belief. he obviously was a champion of this for a long time. he pressed president obama to
release his long form birth certificate. but he said he doesn't want to talk about this anymore. he never once said he believes president obama is born in the u.s. we'll be waiting to see if he does finally make that declaration here today or if this is just another donald trump publicity stunt to get people to tune in and watch the event he's going to be having here at his new hotel in washington. >> all right. sara murray reporting live from washington. we'll get back to you. thank you. so let's boil this all down, shall we? the trump camp now says mr. trump did a great service to the country by pressuring mr. obama to produce his birth certificate. although the president would probably laugh at that like he did at the white house correspondents' dinner in 2011. >> i know that he's taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder, to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the donald. and that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter.
like did we fake the moon landing? what really happened in roswell? and where are biggie and tomb ack? >> to donald trump within the audience at that correspondents' dinner. he was not too. py. still donald trump insisted it was hillary clinton who started the birther debate. let's bring back cnn's dana bash. also joined by senior political correspondent brianna keilar. david louter, the washington bureau chief for "the los angeles times," and assistant editor of "the washington post." dana, you heard what mr. trump said on fox business. he wants to keep the suspense going. democrats would view that comment as just totally disrespectful and ridiculous. >> well, yeah, and i think that -- i know that they would just add that to a long list of
comments that they would put in that category. but the thing that we are all going to be and i think sara laid it out perfectly and, and, explained why there is some confusion, and skepticism. donald trump has a big personal triumph that he's going to talk about today. which is the opening of this big d.c. hotel. so the question is, how much is he going to do that and maybe even no matter what he says about politics have the preamble about this great and wonderful hotel that they've been building here for years and is finally opening or how much is he going to talk about politics and more specifically whether he is going to do what i am told he is being pressed to do. which is have this come out of his own lips, so that the campaign that is really desperate to turn the corner from this can do so. why do they want to do that? lots of reasons. when you look at where this
campaign is right now, donald trump is in striking distance of winning. and winning in a lot of these battleground states. like your home state of ohio, where a lot of that depends, carol, on hillary clinton not getting out the african-american vote. it heps her to do that by having a boogeyman in donald trump to say to them, look, this guy disrespected the first black president which they argue that's what this whole birther thing is all about. if the trump campaign feels they can take that off the table that can help depress -- >> okay so one of the ways that donald trump's camp is trying to take that off the table is by blaming the whole birther movement on hillary clinton's camp and on hillary clinton herself. so i'll pose this question to you brianna keilar. it is true that a clinton strategist suggested bring up obama's american roots. but that strategist never said that president obama was born in kenya and hillary clinton never
demanded proof of obama's citizenship. do i have that right brianna? >> that is exactly right. it was a memo by mark penn, who -- we should mention and this certainly is not excusing it, because this is a very distasteful memo, but this was someone who didn't see eye to eye with other people in hillary clinton's close circle in 2008 and actually a lot of her top confidants abhorred mark penn. in this memo and i'm looking at it right now it's in front of me. what he talks about is not questioning where then-senator obama was born. it's not good what he does suggest, though, i will tell you about this idea that he spent part of his childhood in indonesia, which he did, from about the time he was 6 until 12. before that he was in hawaii. after that he was in hawaii. and so the idea was, sort of, targeting obama as someone who is multicultural and maybe didn't have that kind of middle america values.
that was where mark penn thought he had a vulnerability. in the end the clinton campaign didn't run with this. where you saw the birther idea start to, i guess, gain some traction was with some hillary clinton supporters. certainly some people who supported hillary clinton but this wasn't anything coming from the campaign. once it got past the primaries you had some of john mccain's supporters who were doing this as well. but it really wasn't until 2011, when donald trump kind of become the band leader here that he propelled something that was really seen as fringe, even in republican circles, into a mainstream conversation, not making it mainstream but certainly putting it into the conversation. >> oh, absolutely. and just to remind my viewers, so mr. trump offered $5 million if president obama would produce his birth certificate. he also sent investigators to hawaii -- >> actually, can i say something about that, carol? because reporters have tried to
proof of the investigation or even inquiries. this is what donald trump said he did. if he actually did it. >> he also said and i'm looking at the trump campaign statement now. it says in 2011, mr. trump was finally able to bring this ugly incident to its consclugs by successfully compelling president obama to release his birth certificate. except that is not true. buzzfeed found this interview with donald trump on irish tv in 2014. let's listen. >> you questioned his citizenship during his campaign and you said afterwards if you produce that long form birth cert, you'd produce your tax returns. >> i don't know if he did it. if i decide to run for office i'll produce my tax returns, absolutely. i would love to do that. i did produce a financial statement even though i wasn't even running. i did produce a financial
statement. it was shocking to some because it was so much higher than people thought even possible. it was a great statement. it was my honor to do it. but no, the president should have come clean. he should have come clean over the years. you remember the very famous story where i offered him $5 million if he showed some basic records and he never took me up on it. and that would be for charity. charities would have benefited and it would have been a great -- >> but he is a citizen. he produced that long form birth cert. >> a lot of people don't agree wu. >> hillary clinton? >> very smart. she's going to be in my opinion she's going to run. she's going to be the democratic nominee and she's going to be tough to beat. unless the republicans have somebody very tough and very smart they're not going to win. >> are you going to beat her? >> i think i could beat her if i ran. but we'll see whether or not. i'll wait until november. we have big elections coming up in the united states in november. and i will wait until november
and we'll see. >> okay. so we already know what happened over november. david, how can donald trump possibly spin this into donald trump doing a great service to the country by forcing the president of the united states to produce his birth certificate and blaming the whole birther thing on hillary clinton? when, when, when he obviously said a number of untruths, even in his campaign statement. >> let me take those one at a time. i think unless donald trump today at his press conference does a full-throated reversal or disavowal on this that he's still going to have this as a problem. he'll still have to be asked about this at the first debate later this month. in terms of trying to blame it on hillary clinton as dana and bri was said it was debunked by "the washington post" fact checker, by polite fact, it's just simply not true. in terms of those clips that you
played i'm glad you played the clip, carol of the white house correspondents' dinner in 2012, because look, this was something that was really you ahumiliation for donald trump and we sort of forget that now. he landed in new hampshire in april, april 27th, 2012, landed in new hampshire, took credit then got off the trump helicopter, took credit for bringing this issue to light. saying he was the only one that got to the bottom of the issue, and then a few weeks later he declared actually i'm not going to run for president i thought about it but i'm not going to challenge president obama and it was a real humiliation for him. he's obviously running for president now and doing well. but i feel like this time he's going to try to still say that he somehow did the american people a service by getting to the bottom of the issue by forcing the president -- >> how could that possibly be true? because trump was pushing this birther issue in the middle of
the worst recession since the great depression. and president obama and lawmakers both republican and democratic were trying to get the country out of this. so how could he possibly spin this into doing a service for the country at that particular time? >> david? >> he'll clearly try to say carol that this is all hillary clinton's fault. which it clearly was not. that's simply not true. and he will try to say that he somehow has fixed a problem. it's sort of equivalent to someone who tries to burn down the house and says i decided i'm not going to play with matches anymore and i've bought a hose if someone else does it. it's i doubt it's really going to convince very many voters. but what it's about at this point is trying to put behind him an issue that's clearly been damaging. it's contributed to a perception among voters that you see in all
of the polls that people feel that he is playing with racial, inflammatory ideas that he's a bigot, as many of the polls put it. and that has hurt him very badly with, particularly urban voters in places like pennsylvania, ohio, states that he needs to win. and he needs to get that behind him if he's going to have a chance to win those states. >> and, and, and, and let's hold off for just a second because i must take a break because we have to pay the bills here at cnn. still to come in the "newsroom" hillary clinton moments away from her event in washington. donald trump about an hour away from his big event. will clinton take on trump's birther issue? we're live there?
with this level of engineering... it's a performance machine. with this degree of intelligence... it's a supercomputer. with this grade of protection... it's a fortress. and with this standard of luxury... it's an oasis. introducing the completely redesigned e-class. it's everything you need it to be... and more. lease the e300 for $549 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing.
won't replace the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says you picked the wrong insurance plan. no, i picked the wrong insurance company. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, you won't have to worry about replacing your car because you'll get the full value back including depreciation. and if you have more than one liberty mutual policy, you qualify for a multi-policy discount, saving you money on your car and home coverage. call for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance. all right. you see two live events about to happen. hillary clinton due to speak just moments from now. that's on the left. we'll take hillary clinton's
speech live as she addresses the symposium of black women's agenda. we're guessing she will address the trump birther issue. mr. trump's event's on the right. he's expected to tell the nation he thinks president obama was born in hawaii. i should say he may or may not do that. bernie sanders, remember him? he's now supporting clinton. he addressed the birther issue on cnn last hour. >> isn't that something? my word. after eight years of having president obama as president, donald trump now this he's a legitimate president. well i'm just overwhelmed with emotion. look, this is -- this is pathetic. and this goes to the root of what trump's campaign is about. but let's be clear. it's about bigotry. you remember, let's all remember that a few years ago, donald trump was the leader of the so-called birther movement. and what the birther movement was about, chris, was not being critical of obama. this is a democracy. we can criticize obama. it was delegitimizing the first african-american president in the history of our country.
>> cnn's joe johns in washington this morning at that clinton event to tell us more. hi, joe. >> hi, carol. safe to say hillary clinton is expected to address donald trump's long-standing refusal to acknowledge that president obama was born in the united states. this group, that hillary clinton is expected to speak before encompasses a large number of some of the country's best-known black women's organizations. and the campaign again and again and again has hit the idea of contempt that donald trump essentially is disrespecting the first african-american president when he doesn't acknowledge where the president was born. so, just a little while ago hillary clinton tweeting out, among other things, referring to donald trump as the birther in chief. and hitting him for not releasing his tax records, and
more medical records. she also hit the issue as well when she was in charlotte just last night. let's listen in >> now he's tried to reset himself and his campaign many times. this is the best he can do. this is who he is. so we need to decide who we are. we need to stand up, and repudiate this divisive rhetoric. we need to stop him conclusively in november. this man wants to be our next president. when will he stop this ugliness? this bigotry? >> so we've got duelling appearances here in washington, d.c. of these candidates, donald trump at his hotel just up the street speaking later this morning. pointing up another problem that the hillary clinton campaign has talked about, carol, and that is the notion of running against a
controversial candidate who again and again says controversial things. somewhat soaking up all the media in the room, if you will, making it difficult, they say for hillary clinton sometimes to get her message out. so we'll see how it all plays out at the end of the day. >> hillary clinton due to speak at any moment now. joe johns reporting live. let's talk some more. back again dana bash, brianna keilar, david swordlick from "the washington post" and david louter from the "los angeles times." dana, big picture because i like perspective on this show so this birther controversy, why does it matter? >> well, it matters for a whole host of issues, let's just start with the raw politics and the strategy here. which is a little bit about what we talked about earlier in the show. but when you're looking at the universe of the electorate and where and how donald trump can win, the people who are running his campaign now, who are
looking at the numbers, are seeing the fact that he's got his based frite locked up. they're enthusiastic about it. he's a good intensity for him. but he needs to get beyond that. he just does. we learned that with mitt romney who was a very different kind of republican. but he didn't get beyond his core base and he couldn't win, especially when it came to the electoral college. he needs to do that. and what they're seeing, and john kasich even mentioned this to me. i interviewed him on a different subject but he's the governor of the state of ohio and he says that the intensity is not there for hillary clinton in some of the urban areas where she needs it to be out. so if the trump -- the trump campaign clearly believes that if they can seize on that, and you know, keep particularly african-americans feel if they feel ho-hum about hillary clinton they keep that voting level down the fact only helps donald trump.
so that's just the raw politics and the strategy about it. but then let's talk about the core and the character. i mean you heard joe talk about the fact that hillary clinton is going to continue to hammer away at this. and question do we want a conspiracy theorist at the helm of this country. is that who we want as our president? that is another really core, fundamental thing which you can't put into data. it's more of a feeling about who this guy is that the campaign wants to try to get over, and to me one of the most -- >> but, but, here's, here's the things and i want to post this to, to brianna, so, trump supporters aren't going to change their minds, right? i believe that probably most voters have already made up their minds who they're going to vote for and people are going to vote for trump not because they wildly support him, but they believe that he can shake up washington and some voters just simply don't like hillary clinton. so even with all this birther stuff going around, and what clinton might say about it will it really matter in the end?
you know, i'm not sure. but what we do know is that donald trump has been trying the last couple days to put out an economic plan. right? i mean the clinton campaign this that ultimately, and they thought all along, that this campaign turns on economics, and perception of economics. and clearly, the trump campaign agrees, and donald trump has been putting himself out there as someone who brings a different perspective, business acumen to make the change. yesterday you had ivanka trump cutting off an interview, you had donald trump jr. cutting off an interview. what they were trying to talk about was the economy. ivanka trump was trying to talk about her plan that she helped come up with along with her father for maternity leave and that's not what people are talking about. because donald trump said this to "the washington post," and he has not changed what he has said. his campaign clearly trying to
get ahead of their candidate on this which is actually pretty startling. this doesn't happen very often where you have a campaign so far ahead of the candidate. they've been ahead of him on this issue for days. it's not an accident. they're pushing him. >> trump just tweeted that he's on his way to his brand-new hotel in washington and he has a major announcement to make. or a major statement and we all know at this point what it is. here's the other thing, though -- >> or do we? >> or do we. i don't know. the major statement could be that he's going to say president obama was born in the united states. and, perhaps, mr. trump has finally decided to say that because when he appear before african-american audiences it sometimes has not gone so well. for example what happened in flint, michigan. he's talking inside of a black church, the pastor says excuse me this isn't a political speech. actually let me just show you the exchange. >> hillary failed on the economy.
just like she's failed on foreign policy. everything she touched didn't work out. nothing. now hillary clinton -- >> mr. trump, i invited you here to thank us for -- >> oh, oh, oh, okay. okay. >> not give a political statement. >> okay. that's good. . okay. >> she got up to introduce me, she was so nervous and she was shaking and i said wow this is sort of strange, and then she came up. but she was so nervous. she was like a nervous mess. >> that's not only insulting it's dead wrong. reverend faith green timmons is not a nervous mess, she's a rock for her community in trying times, she deserves better than that. flint deserves better. in fact, so does america. >> the pastor herself also piled on. let's listen to what her response to donald trump's charge that she was a nervous nellie. >> i can't speak to any other pastors but i just know this
that this church is god's house and i can't speak to any other denominations but the united methodist church is very diverse. some are republicans, some are democrats, some united methodists are what would you say, of no affiliation. we are all different. what unites us is christ not our political party. >> david, might a grand statement disavowing his birtherism be more effective than appearing in african-american churches? >> carol i think it's unlikely that there's much that mr. trump could say that is going to change the votes of african-americans. that's a constituency he's ail enated pretty consistently and after 7 1/2 years of criticizing the president, the first african-american president, that's that's probably a ship that sailed for him. i think what this is more about is trying to speak to white voters who feel uncomfortable
about being associated with a candidate who they perceive to be playing with racial stereotypes or bordering on things that are bigoted. he needs to win over those voters. it's not really realistic for him to win large numbers of african-americans. but if he can convince a slice of suburban voters in places like philadelphia and suburbs of cleveland and cincinnati that he's okay, that he's not, that he's not trying to delegitimize the president he has a shot of winning those battleground states that are crucial for his campaign. >> just a final question for you, david, so donald trump is building up the suspense for the supposedly big statement he's going to make, right? hillary clinton is supposed to speak at any minute now and here we are talking about donald trump. so, in that sense has he won the day? >> well, no, carol, i think this
is part of donald trump's problem right? everything for him is a big reveal. his health records. just something that the voters need to know he went on dr. oz. this now. he could have just answered my colleague robert costa's question in his interview last night and moved on with it. instead it's a big ee veal. i don't think the election is going to hinge on this question about his birtherism. i believe it's sort of baked into the cake. but i do think that this is a problem for trump at list in the sense that it's another day he's not talking about his economic message. he's talking about his past statements that are offensive to many americans, not just african-americans. >> i want you all to stay with us. hillary clinton is expected to speak at any moment and we'll break that down. up, i'll be right back. beyond has a natural
grain free pet food committed to truth on the label. when we say real meat is the first ingredient, it is number one. and we leave out corn, wheat and soy. for your pet, we go beyond. (announcer vo) americans don't celebrate the good enough canyon. we didn't aim to be second to the moon. verizon doesn't settle for good enough either. so now we're introducing verizon lte advanced. with 50% faster peak speeds in more than 450 cities, coast to coast. so don't settle for an unlimited plan with limits. switch now and get our best deal. 20 gigs of limitless data with four lines for only $160. welcome to the next gen network.
and i take a draw on it. i don't want to take too much either because i don't know what life is going to bring to me. i get to keep 97% of my rental price. the extra income i get from airbnb has been a huge help. - airbnb has helped me so much financially especially starting my own business. san francisco is such an expensive place to live. the way people work and travel is changing. the guests are now able to stay longer, stay five days, enjoy another day in san francisco and spend more money in the neighborhood. my guests are able to extend their stay and spend more money on activities and restaurants. - the extra income that i get from airbnb has been a huge impact in my life. and good morning i'm carol costello. thanks so much for joining me.
we're keeping an eye on two big events this morning. on the left that is the black women's agenda. they're meeting for a luncheon in washington, d.c. the keynote speaker, hillary clinton. on the right-hand side of your screen is the trump international hotel in washington, d.c. that's where donald trump will be holding a campaign event. we're not exactly sure what he's going to say. but he may or may not disavow his birtherism thoughts. we just don't know. but we're also keeping an eye on this event. when they start we'll bring you back there live. hours from now, michelle obama will be in virginia urging people to vote. it will be mrs. obama's campaign trail debut. and hillary clinton is hoping she will invigorate her campaign, just as she did the democratic national convention. >> there is only one person who i trust with that responsibility, only one person who i believe is truly qualified to be president of the united states, and that is our friend, hillary clinton.
>> mrs. obama reached high approval ratings. with her charm and popularity and she has the cred for millennials. a recent shopping trip with ellen to car pool karaoke. >> that's my song. >> this is it? ♪ this is for my girls all around the world ♪ ♪ stand up put your head up >> all right so let's talk about this with me now myra guten. welcome. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> so i was wondering, is this a first? has a first lady ever campaigned for her husband's replacement? >> not to the best of my knowledge. first ladies have campaigned for senatorial campaigns, they've been in the field to back
congressional candidates. but not their husband's former adversaries. >> so, so it's interesting that michelle obama has been tasked with getting people out to vote. why is that, do you think? >> well, she's an enormously popular political figure and first lady. in july, her positive ratings were at about 58%, which is very high. and particularly in light of her speech at the democratic national convention, she's just become a tremendous political asset, and someone that i'm sure the clinton campaign wants in their corner. >> absolutely. but you know, the big question always is, michelle obama's out there. people are listening to her, but, but will some of michelle obama really rub off on hillary clinton? >> i think that people will listen. i mean certainly mrs. obama has
had extensive experience with mrs. clinton. so i think that she becomes an exceptionally effective surrogate for her. >> so, i'd just like for a moment, i don't want to step back in time and think about hillary clinton as first lady and then compare her to michelle obamas afirst lady. what's the major difference there? >> mrs. clinton was much more of a politically active first lady. when they came to the white house in january of 1993, mrs. clinton immediately undertook the cause of national health care. michelle obama, on the other hand, has been perhaps a reluctant conscript to partisan politics, and has tended to stay away from issues that might be divisive. >> except she picked an issue which you wouldn't think was divisive, right, and that's getting kids to eat healthy and
exercise. but that became divisive in itself. >> that's true. it did. and all first ladies face a certain amount of pushback no matter what they choose. i think perhaps, though, what she's achieved with let's move, and eating healthy, and more exercise, is having more positive returns. >> so how would you rate michelle obama with other first ladies, if you do such a thing? >> she's an exceptionally effective first lady. she's done a very good job in terms of advocacy. not just for her initiative let's move, but also with joining forces, encouraging efforts on behalf of the education of young women. but she's also been even though nonpartisan, an effective political operative. she's fulfilled her ceremonial responsibilities as first lady.
i think she's going to end up rating rather high on the first lady exchange. >> and i'm sure you'll be watching with interest no matter who wins this presidential election because if hillary clinton wins there will be a first man, and if donald trump wins we don't really know much about melania trump or how much of a role she'll really play publicly because we really haven't seen much of her since the republican national convention. >> that's true. my guess would be that if mr. trump is elected, she's likely to be more of a ceremonial first lady than we've seen in many years. 33 and certainly if mrs. clinton is elected, we're going to be in a whole new area of investigation with bill clinton as first gentleman. >> i'm going to interrupt you. because hillary clinton is about to speak. >> i thank you for that warm welcome. there's nowhere i'd rather be than right here with all of you this morning!
please, everyone, be seated. this is such a great opportunity to lift up the work that so many of you have done for years. your organizations, individually, and i am grateful for it, because it has helped to guide me and a lot of the work that i've been privileged to do. i want to thank gwen hess for her introduction. i want to acknowledge it's always great seeing a woman serve as president in any setting. i want to congratulate today's honorees. everyone is so deserving of this recognition. i also want to acknowledge a few others. we have some fierce members of
congress with us today. women whom i admire who have been my colleagues and friends, and with whom i am looking for to continuing our work. congresswoman sheila jackson lee, congresswoman gwen moore, congresswoman yvette clark, congresswoman staysty plaskis, and i want to give a special shout-out to congresswoman joyce beatt beatty. when i saw joyce recently she said, well you are coming, aren't you? and i said i'm working hard to get it set. and i am so proud that it did work out. i thank joyce for that extra push. i also want to acknowledge someone who had such a profound
now looking back, i know, i should have followed my doctor's orders to rest, but my instinct was to push through it. that is what women do every single day. and i felt no different. life has shown us that we do have to work harder at the office while still bearing most of the responsibilities at home. that we always need to keep going because our families and our communities count on us. and i think it is more than fair to say that black women have an even tougher road. and you, your daughters, your granddaughters, i was pleased to meet gwen's beautiful granddaughter earlier, leave the house every morning. put on that game face. that we all practice.
and enter a society that consistently challenges your worth. with the images you see, the lower pay that so many take home, that try to silence your voices, and break your spirit. yet you remain fierce in the face of these challenges. we see that every day in the businesses you start. the art you create. the children you teach. and the communities and organizations you lead. now while your store is are often missing from the history books, make no mistake, you are the changemakers, the path breakers and the ground shakers. and you are proof that yes, indeed, black girl magic is real. now, i've been blessed to see this magic's influence on kids
and communities up close for decades. starting with my first job after law school working with marianne at the children's defense fund. marian's belief was that every single child had worth and potential, and deserved the opportunity to live up to their god-given potential. with the tools, and the support that every child needs. and that if we just improve the odds a bit for those suffering in poverty, they could flourish. so she led our team into some very poor communities. we met kids who had dropped out of school because they couldn't afford textbooks or transportation. some didn't have decent clothes, and stayed home to avoid being humiliated in class. some had untreated medical and dental problems. that made it practically impossible for them to learn.
those stories really hurt my heart. but marian always believed we could deliver health and hope if we never, ever gave up. so she thought us ways to think creatively, as well as strategically. to take our advocacy and turn it into action and results. she sent me to new bedford, massachusetts, to go door to door looking for children who weren't in school. that was back before we had a legal requirement that every child, regardless of disability, deserved to get an education. i met a young girl in new bedford and sat and talked with her on the small, back porch of her house. she told me how badly she wanted to learn, but couldn't because schools weren't accessible or welcoming. so marian had us work to change that. we
we helped convince congress to ensure access to education for all students with disabilities. marian showed me that to drive real progress, you have to change both hearts and laws. you need both understanding and action and there is no question in my mind i'm here today because of her example. i also want to recognize pioneers like barbara jordan and shirley chisholm. who sacrificed and struggled so that i and so many other women running for office could soar. i'm here because of friends and colleagues like donna brazile, reverend leah daughtry and
congresswoman marcia fudge, three black women who ran the democratic national convention in july. it was a great four days and it goes to show that black women deserve more than a seat at the table. it's past time you had a fair chance to run the meeting. and let's be clear. i would not be the democratic nominee for president of the united states were it not for black women like all of you, who made noise at the polls this year in support of our campaign, who did surrogate events, went to barber shops and beauty salons and cafes, got on local radio and local tv to make the case. we have come far together and as i said yesterday, in north carolina, i'm going to close my campaign the way i began my
career all those years ago at the children's defense fund. and the way that i will serve as your president should i have the great honor of being elected, i will be focused on opportunities for kids and fairness for families. the american people deserve something to vote for, not just against, and together, we will make this a freer, fairer and stronger nation. we are going to fight for the parents struggling to balance family and work, push for affordable child care, paid family leave and yes, finally, equal pay for all women. we will fight for the young girls who want a fair chance in life, which is why we'll make
universal pre-k available so that every child, no matter what they look like or where they live, can rise up and be prepared to fulfill their academic destiny. we are also going to do a lot to emphasize s.t.e.m. education, particularly for girls and women, and i thank the agenda for making that a priority. we will fight for the entrepreneur who said that more businesses die in the parking lots of banks than anywhere else, which is why we're going to increase access to capital, and we're going to help african-american women continue to represent the fastest growing segment of women-owned businesses in america right now. we're going to invest in communities that have been left
out and left behind. urban reinvestment and restructuring that's going to give more people decent housing, access to jobs, the transportation to get to those jobs, rural communities that are too often ignored and denied the services they need. i am a fan of jim clyburn's 10-20-30 plan and i'm going to do everything i can to push that forward. we will remember the pain of the mothers of the movement and fight for a criminal justice system that actually delivers justice. and a future where everyone has respect for the law and is respected by the law. and we are going to pass common sense reforms to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, and keep our communities safe. we'll remember the families
neglected in flint and take action so no child's life is ever put at risk again when brushing their teeth or drinking a glass of water at dinner. we'll advocate for everyone concerned about their parents and grandparents as they age, and lift up caregivers and home care workers so that older americans can live in comfort with dignity, and we're going to protect and enhance social security, which is the main source of income for older women. we'll stand side by side to make sure that all of our rights are respected and protected. civil rights and women's rights, lgbt rights, workers' rights and of course, voting rights. we are coming together at a pivotal moment for our country. now, i do believe every election
is important, but this one feels different, doesn't it? that's because it is. the next 53 days will shape the next 50 years. the future of our children and grandchildren hangs in the balance. on the one hand, we have my opponent, donald trump, and in recent weeks, he's tried to restrain himself and clean up his image, but as maya angelou once said, when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. and we know who donald is. for five years, he has led the
birther movement to delegitimize our first black president. his campaign was founded on this outrageous lie. there is no erasing it in history. just yesterday, trump again refused to say with his own words that the president was born in the united states. now, donald's advisers had the temerity to say he's doing the country a service by pushing these lies. no. he isn't. he is feeding into the worst impulses, the bigotry and bias that lurks in our country. barack obama was born in america, plain and simple, and donald trump owes him and the american people an apology.
so my friends, there is no new donald trump. there never will be. donald trump looks at president obama after eight years as our president, he still doesn't see him as an american. think of how dangerous that is. imagine a person in the oval office who traffics in conspiracy theories and refuses to let them go, no matter what the facts are. imagine someone who distorts the truth to fit a very narrow view of the world. imagine a president who sees someone who doesn't look like him and doesn't agree with him and thinks that person must not be a real american. donald trump is unfit to be
president of the united states. [ cheers and applause ] we cannot become insensitive to what he says and what he stirs up. we can't just accept this. we've got to stand up to it. if we don't, it won't stop. in addition to the president, donald trump looks at a discontinuidi distinguished federal judge born in indiana and he sees a mexican, not an american. he looks at a gold star family and sees them as muslims, not patriotic americans.
he looks at women and decides how our looks rate on a scale of one to ten. i look at america, i see everyone. i see our great diversity which is one of our core strengths, not our burden. we know who donald trump is. now it's time for our country to show who we are, and reject his divisive vision. that's why this election is so important. as michelle obama said at the democratic convention, when we go to the polls in november, the real choice isn't between a democrat or a republican. it's about who will have the power to shape our children's lives for the