The four-day virtual Democratic National Convention kicks off Monday evening with a “We The People” theme.
Featured speakers will include former first lady Michelle Obama, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC), Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and former Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich.
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for live updates throughout the evening.
All times eastern.
12:20 AM: Dana Perino, Chris Wallace praise Michelle Obama’s speech:
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) August 18, 2020
The @MichelleObama speech was recorded before @KamalaHarris was selected as running mate. That’s why she wasn’t mentioned in the speech, aides tell me, which was intended to serve as a character witness for @JoeBiden
— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) August 18, 2020
11:05 PM: CNN’s Dana Bash says Michelle Obama went for the “jugular” by hitting Trump on all of his insecurities like losing the popular vote.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 18, 2020
10:55 PM: Michelle Obama says things can get worse and if we want to end the “chaos,” we have to vote for “Joe Biden like our lives depend on it.” She says we have to vote for Joe Biden in numbers that cannot be ignored because the Republicans are trying to stop us from voting. She says it is also not a time to play games with candidates who have no chance of winning. She asks voters to vote for Biden like they voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012.
If we want to end the chaos and division—and keep alive the possibility of progress on the issues we hold dear—we’ve got to vote for @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris like our lives depend on it. Register today by texting VOTE to 30330. https://t.co/xPu5o0SYLJ
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) August 18, 2020
She says Biden will govern as someone who has lived the life that the rest of us can recognize. She now goes over Biden’s many tragedies. She says Biden knows the anguish sitting at a table with an empty chair.
10:54 PM: Michelle Obama still says going high is the only tactic that works because if we use the same tactics of degrading others, we degrade ourselves. But she says going high does not mean putting on a smile and saying nice things when confronted with viciousness and cruelty. She says going high means “standing fierce against hatred.”
“Going high is the only thing that works.” We can’t degrade ourselves by going low but it means “taking the harder path…unlocking the shackles of lies and distrust.” – #MichelleObama
— Maya Wiley (@mayawiley) August 18, 2020
She says “Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country.” She says Trump is “clearly in over his head” and “cannot meet this moment… It is what it is.” She says her message will not be heard by some people in a divided nation because she is a “black woman speaking a the Democratic National Convention.”
Former first lady Michelle Obama: “Let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can. Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head.” https://t.co/NFCK2ZqNNI #DemConvention pic.twitter.com/9wRWB9G4Qf
— ABC News (@ABC) August 18, 2020
10:45 PM: Michelle Obama says she is one of a handful of people living today who has seen the immense weight and awesome power of the presidency. She says the job is hard and it requires clear-headed judgment and a devotion to facts and history and a moral compass and an ability to listen. It also requires a belief that every life has meaning and worth. She says the president’s words have the power to move markets or start wars or broker peace.
She says you can’t fake your way through the job. She says being president does not change who you are, it reveals who you are. She says a presidential election can reveal who we are. She says Americans sent someone to the Oval Office who lost the popular vote and we’ve all been living with the consequences.
She talks up Obama’s accomplishments and says the Obama administration prevented an Ebola outbreak from becoming a global pandemic. She says the state of the nation is very different four years later because of a virus Trump downplayed for too long.
Michelle Obama says simply stating that a black life matter is met with “derision” from the White House. She says we get division, chaos, and a total lack of “empathy” from the White House. She says kids are wondering if their parents are lying to them when they tell them what is right and wrong because they are now watching people fighting over masks, calling police on innocent people of color…she says they are watching in horror as children are thrown in cages, white supremacists are carrying torches, and pepper spray and rubber bullets are used on peaceful protesters for a photo-op. She says the nation, under Trump, is underperforming on matters of policy and character and that is infuriating.
10:35 PM: Sanders, speaking from Vermont, speaks about confronting systemic racism and climate change. Sanders says Trump cannot even lead during these crises but is leading the country down the path of authoritarianism. He says we need a movement like never before to fight for democracy and decency and against greed, oligarchy, and bigotry. Sanders says we need Biden as our next president. Sanders tells his supporters in 2020 and 2016 and says what was radical is now mainstream but if Trump gets elected all of the progress they have made will be in jeopardy. Sanders says this election is about “preserving democracy” because, under Trump, the “unthinkable has become normal.” He rips Trump’s negligent response to this pandemic and says Nero fiddled while Rome burned and Trupm golfs. Sanders says that together we must build a nation that is more equitable, compatible, and inclusive. He says he knows Biden will begin that fight on day one. He hypes various economic policies Biden supports–like raising the minimum wage and making it easier for workers to join unions. He says Biden will rebuild the infrastructure.
Sanders says Biden will end the demonization of immigrants, the coddling of white nationalists, the religious bigotry, and the ugly attacks on women. Sanders tells his supporters and those who voted for Trump that the future of our economy, country, and planet is at stake. He says the price of failure is just too great to imagine.
10:30 PM: Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), a Biden campaign co-chair, says when we talk about the economy, it is about people who didn’t inherit millions from their parents being able to have a fair shot. Richmond says Biden knows what it is like to live in a real neighborhood instead of penthouses. He says Biden knows what it’s like to commute to work instead of being chauffeured. Richmond says Biden understands the “dignity of work.”
An Amtrak employee then talks about how Biden feels most comfortable around working people. DNC video highlights how Biden took the Amtrak to work for 30 years and features various Amtrak employees who give testimonials about how Biden treated the conductor the same as he would the president of the United States.
10:28 PM: Democrats who ran against Biden now praising him as an empathetic leader.
10:22 PM: Klobuchar says she believe the right to vote is fundamental and the post office is essential. She says Trump may hate the post office but he will have to send the post office a change of address form after November.
KLOBUCHAR: "We need a president who, in George Floyd’s memory, instead of using the Bible as a prop, will heed its words: to act justly."
— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) August 18, 2020
10:18 PM: Longoria talks about the importance of the Post Office and mail-in voting. Sen. Cortez-Masto (D-NV) says voting by mail has been a secure option for decades despite what Trump says. She says even Trump has requested an absentee ballot twice this year. She says her home state took the advice of scientists and experts and put in a vote-by-mail system and accuses Trump of threatening to withhold federal funds from Nevada because of their vote-by-mail system.
10:15 PM: Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) speaks about John Lewis and talks about convicting klansmen who killed black in a church bombing. He speaks about politicians “trying to pit us against each other.” Jones says he has known Biden for more than 40 years and says Biden has been his friend and champion.
10:10 PM: Kasich, at a fork in the road, says America is at a crossroads. He says continuing to follow Trump’s path will be bad for America’s soul because he has pitted one against the other unlike other presidents who have sought to unite. He says what he has witnessed these last four years belies his principles and many can’t imagine going down Trump’s path. He says he has known Biden for 30 years and his story of “profound grief” that has defined him. He claims Biden will not go left and be influenced by the radical left.
Kasich speaking from a fork in the road pic.twitter.com/5QXREMHwTi
— Allan Smith (@akarl_smith) August 18, 2020
10:08 PM: Longoria says they will hear from “unexpected voices” and first up is former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman and Meg Whitman, who says Trump doesn’t know how to run a business. Former Rep. Susan Molinari says Biden is a “really good man” and is exactly what the nation needs at this time. She introduces Kasich.
10:03 PM: Michigan Governor Whitmer now speaking. She points out Trump referred to her as “that woman from Michigan.” She is speaking at a union hall and says auto workers there could have lost their jobs if not for Biden and Obama. She says they “saved the auto industry.” She says “science” and not “ego” will drive Biden-Harris when they deal with the Coronavirus.
9:58 PM: After a segment on the importance of mail-in voting, Sarah Gideon, who is running to defeat Sen. Susan Collins (D-ME), introduces singer Maggie Rogers, who will now perform.
9:50 PM: DNC features a woman whose father died of the Coronavirus because he was a Trump supporter who believed Trump when he said the virus would go away. She says her father went to a karaoke bar and his “only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump and for that he paid with his life.” She says he father was not alone. She says the Coronavirus revealed there are two Americas–the America Donald Trump lives in and the America her father died in…she says we need a leader who can have a data-driven response to the Coronavirus pandemic and “do his job to care.” She says one of the last things her father said to her was that he felt betrayed by Trump.
9:44 PM: After Longoria says “Joe knows about pandemics,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has gotten a free pass from the media, speaks about anti-semitism and anti-Latino and anti-immigrant sentiment. He says a strong body can fight off a virus and America’s divisions weakened it. He blames America’s “divisions” for creating Trump. He says the “European virus” infected the Northeast while Trump was focused on China. He says New York got “ambushed” by Trump’s negligence.
Andrew Cuomo's actions caused the preventable deaths of thousands of New Yorkers, including helpless nursing home residents.
Tonight, he gave a speech equating the coronavirus to a metaphor. #DemocraticConvention
— Abigail Marone (@abigailmarone) August 18, 2020
9:39 PM: Clyburn, from South Carolina, talks about his decision to endorse Joe Biden and essentially give him the nomination. He speaks about a community still healing from the white supremacist shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church. He speaks about a John C. Calhoun statue being removed and says we need a president who knows about profound loss and how to bounce back and how to translate that perspective into politics and solutions while prioritizing hard-working people. He says that’s why he stands with Joe and why he will always be an adopted son of South Carolina.
9:35 PM: Biden is interviewing various people like NAACP President Derrick Johnson, who says voting should be a Constitutional right. Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother, tells Biden that when her son was murdered, there was a big uprising and then things settled down. She says we can’t let things settle down and hold the politicians’ feet to the fire.
9:26 PM: George Floyd’s family is featured. His brother says Floyd and numerous Black Americans killed by police should be alive today. Floyd’s brother asks for a moment of silence for all victims whose deaths did not go viral like his brother’s.
9:23 PM: DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, speaking in front of the “Black Lives Matter” plaza/street sign in the background, rips Trump for staging a photo-op with a Bible in front of a church. She says she is tired of a president “fanning the flames of racial division.” She says we have to un-do the laws that have codified structural racism. She says we can turn this reckoning into a “re-imagining” of the nation. She says Kamala Harris and members of George Floyd’s family stood with protesters at “Black Lives Matter Plaza.”
9:22 PM: DNC features a voter who voted for Trump in 2016 and registered as a Democrat because Trump’s rhetoric is “divisive” and “dangerous.”
9:16 PM: Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), from Milwaukee, WI, says she is speaking from where the women’s right to vote was first ratified. She says Democrats are gathered to “reclaim the soul of America.”
9:10 PM: Longoria is interviewing a small business owner from the PA suburbs whose business has been impacted by the Coronavirus. He says he doesn’t understand how we got here.
— Julia Terruso (@JuliaTerruso) August 18, 2020
9:04 PM: Virtual pledge of allegiance and singing of the Star-Spangled Banner to open the convention. Invocation delivered by Reverend Gabriel Salguero of the Latino Evangelical Coalition.
9:01 PM: Actress Eva Longoria kicks off the convention by saying this is an election to “save democracy.”
8:55 PM: On CNN, Van Jones warns Democrats that Trump will not easy to beat. Jones has said he is scared that Trump will pull out another victory in November.
8:35 PM: Progressives upset there are more Republicans featured than Latinos or Muslims:
— The ReidOut (@thereidout) August 17, 2020
8:25 PM: Moment of Silence of George Floyd tonight:
— Raquel Martin (@RaquelMartinTV) August 17, 2020
Confirmed: Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis man who pointed a gun at protesters last month, will be speaking during the RNC next week.
"Mr. McCloskey will be in full oratory splendor at the RNC," his lawyer Albert Watkins tells Wake Up To Politics. First reported by @jdawsey1.
— Gabe Fleisher (@WakeUp2Politics) August 18, 2020
8:15 PM: AOC fundraising off of Kasich’s comments that AOC “doesn’t represent the Democratic Party”:
Now @AOC is fundraising off of @JohnKasich speaking at the @DemConvention: "Kasich’s role is not to critique the leaders of our party, because he has dedicated his career towards undermining our core mission." pic.twitter.com/6tnPgCmU7m
— Johnny Verhovek (@JTHVerhovek) August 17, 2020
8:00 PM: Other featured speakers tonight include: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who botched his state’s coronavirus response and essentially got a free pass from the establishment media; Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Doug Jones (D-AL); Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Gwen Moore (D-WI). They will advance the DNC’s “We The People” theme:
This country is confronting a series of monumental challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic continues its rampage, tens of millions of people are out of work, and America is confronting the racial injustice that has marginalized too many people. Throughout our history, when we stand united, we can overcome anything. On Monday, we’ll hear from the many Americans who are rising up to take on these three crises, unite our country, and join Joe Biden in rebuilding the country and moving it forward.
DNC Chair Tom Perez wants to end caucuses:
— Christopher Cadelago (@ccadelago) August 17, 2020
It's going to be very challenging for the #DNCConvention speakers to deliver speeches without a live audience. Speechwriters craft these convention speeches with the audience applause in mind. A speech's tempo and rhythm is punctuated by the audience's reaction to it. 1/
— Rebecca Mansour (@RAMansour) August 17, 2020
I'm curious to see how a pro convention speaker like @MichelleObama will deliver a speech without a huge crowd to respond to it. What kind of stagecraft will be used to compensate for the lack of live applause? Will it work? 2/
— Rebecca Mansour (@RAMansour) August 17, 2020
How can you deliver a stemwinder without a live audience to play to? Do you instead go smaller and play to the camera instead of the crowd? Do you deliver a shorter speech, tighter rhetoric, go for the heart? I guess we shall see. 3/
— Rebecca Mansour (@RAMansour) August 17, 2020
A preview of Michelle Obama’s speech and how the virtual convention will look like:
Springsteen featured at DNC:
Some Democrats not happy with non-Democrats at the convention. A virtual convention likely made it easier for the organizers to invite more Republicans.
AOC rips Kasich after Kasich took a jab at her in an interview before his virtual DNC convention speech.
It’s great that Kasich has woken up &realized the importance of supporting a Biden-Harris ticket. I hope he gets through to GOP voters.
Yet also, something tells me a Republican who fights against women’s rights doesn’t get to say who is or isn’t representative of the Dem party. https://t.co/38h6JGpbMj
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 17, 2020
We can build bridges & not lose sight of our values.
It’s important to remember that Kasich is an anti-choice extremist. He 100% will (and has) signed away our reproductive rights the moment he has the opportunity to do so. He is not a friend to workers.https://t.co/7S8504VZcK
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 17, 2020
The former Republican Congressmember endorsing Biden, and speaking tonight at the convention, is Susan Molinari, who was Google's top lobbyist in DC for several years.
— David Dayen (@ddayen) August 17, 2020
Coca Cola convention officials give prime speaking slots to Pepsi executives, then wonder why some Coke fans are suddenly expressing second thoughts about buying Coke
— David Sirota (@davidsirota) August 17, 2020
— Johnny Verhovek (@JTHVerhovek) August 17, 2020
The chorus of Democrats calling for Bloomberg to be pulled from their convention schedule is growing, and now it includes former staffers who are suing the former New York mayor after he fired them at the end of his 2020 campaign.
Our story: https://t.co/2YFUzEAjhc
— Dan Merica (@merica) August 17, 2020
A slate of Republican speakers brought to you by the people who couldn't stop chanting "Bernie isn't even a Democrat!"
— John Iadarola (@johniadarola) August 17, 2020
Not many Latinos featured in prime time at the DNC:
Correction: more Republicans on day one than Latinos the whole week https://t.co/pjkbaralao
— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) August 17, 2020
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have a vision for our country’s future that includes investing in the Latino community.
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) August 17, 2020
"I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't disappointed that there aren't more Latinos and Latinas generally speaking on that program," Julián Castro says. "But more important than the speaking and talking is the doing." https://t.co/ojn9LWwtXt
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 17, 2020
Sanders tells The Nation progressives will hold Biden to his goal of being the “most progressive president since FDR” and adds that he will push Biden to take on the “corporate establishment”:
Well, number one, the first absolute necessity is to defeat Donald Trump. Trump is the most dangerous president in American history. Trump is an authoritarian who is trying to undermine American democracy. Trump is a pathological liar. Trump does not understand or believe in the Constitution of the United States or the separation of powers. He does not respect Congress. He is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, and a religious bigot. For all those reasons and more, Trump must be defeated.
My view is that after we elect Biden, what we’re going to do is everything that we possibly can to move his administration in a progressive direction. Biden has told me, and I would not say it if he hadn’t made the same statement publicly, that he intends to be the most progressive president since FDR. That’s a noble ambition, and our job is to hold him to that goal. I think millions of people are prepared to do that.
Sanders on transformational change in the same interview:
It is imperative that we not only deal with all of the injustices and inequalities that exist in our society today, which of course have been made worse by the pandemic and the economic meltdown, but it is also imperative that we start, in the 21st century, to rethink our value systems.
What Roosevelt did in his State of the Union speech in 1944 was really quite extraordinary. For whatever reason—we were in the middle of a war then and, of course, he died a year later; the media was not particularly sympathetic—what he said back in 1944 has been largely forgotten. But what he said was extraordinarily profound and revolutionary.
What he said is that, yes, our country has political freedom. We have a Constitution. We have a Bill of Rights. We have freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, etc., and that’s all great. But what we have to do is go beyond just political rights and into economic rights.
In other words, it’s not good enough that you just have the constitutional right to vote (that’s good!), to protest (that’s great!), to assemble (that’s wonderful!), and freedom of religion (great!).
What we have got to be talking about, Roosevelt said in 1944, is that economic rights are human rights, and that means you are entitled, as an American, to decent housing, to decent health care, to a decent job, to a decent retirement. Economic rights are human rights, and you’re not going to be a really free person unless we guarantee those rights. That was an extraordinarily profound statement!
What I tried to do in the 2020 campaign is talk about Roosevelt’s 1944 speech and how we make it relevant to the year 2020.
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 17, 2020
Virtual convention a “gut punch” to Milwaukee, which had reportedly hoped $250 million would have been injected into its economy this week:
Downtown Milwaukee restaurant owner Omar Shaikh envisioned overflowing crowds, packed dining rooms and a big payday when the Democratic National Convention came to town.
Shaikh, chairman of the VISIT Milwaukee board, also saw the international attention hosting a convention would bring as a chance for the city along the shores of Lake Michigan to show the world how it’s evolved from a Rust Belt manufacturing hub to a thriving, diverse, modern community.
“It would have been a game-changer,” he said. “There would have been people everywhere ready to spend, hundreds of millions of dollars coming into our city.”
Now, with the convention that begins Monday nearly entirely online due to the coronavirus, Shaikh and Wisconsin Democrats, who a year ago triumphantly hoisted glasses of Milwaukee’s finest after winning the competition to host the convention, are crying in their beer.
“It is a gut punch,” Shaikh said. “It’s almost like you get the call you (won) the lottery, but you can’t cash the ticket in.”
The convention was originally to have taken place in July, attracted about 50,000 people to Milwaukee and injected about $250 million into the economy of the key presidential battleground state. It would have been the first time Milwaukee, a metropolitan area of 1.6 million, hosted a presidential nominating convention.
It's officially a "virtual" convention: Among many elected officials and party leaders on line as @CA_Dem delegates gather in first Zoom breakfast meeting: @RepBarbaraLee, Speaker @Rendon63rd, @RepGarademendi, @SFPelosi, @RepDeSaulnier, @RepJudyChu pic.twitter.com/8sqhImd6ck
— Carla Marinucci (@cmarinucci) August 17, 2020
An absolute pleasure to speak at the opening @DemConvention breakfast for the upper Midwest delegation this morning! The delegates’ commitment to improving the world is at the heart of our party and it’s an honor to stand alongside them. pic.twitter.com/XwWmBJ2xL8
— Tim Walz (@Tim_Walz) August 17, 2020