Closing things out in Philadelphia
Join us for the final day of the Democratic National Convention over here. Our team will capture every moment.
If you missed anything from the third night, catch up below, or watch the convention in less than 3 minutes.
What you missed on the third day of the Democratic National Convention. More coverage at latimes.com/trailguide. See other Democratic roundups here and catch up on the Republian convention here.
7 people arrested outside the DNC
The Secret Service issued a statement late Wednesday saying seven people had been arrested for trying to enter a secure zone.
Four people were arrested under similar circumstances Tuesday night.
The full statement:
On 7/27/16 at approximately 10:50pm, seven individuals unlawfully entered through the outer perimeter fence and entered a Secret Service designated secure zone. The seven individuals were immediately detained without incident by Philadelphia Police and subsequently arrested by Secret Service personnel. At no point did the individuals enter the Wells Fargo Center. The seven individuals will be charged with 18 U.S. Code 1752, Entering Restricted Area. They have been transported to the Philadelphia Federal Detention Center.
— Secret Service statement
Delegates react to President Obama’s speech
Watch: President Obama lauds Hillary Clinton, says America is ‘already great’
President Obama praised Hillary Clinton as a fighter with the experience needed to lead the country.
He used his Democratic National Convention address to assail Donald Trump as offering ideas that would set the country back.
Watch the full speech:
President Obama speaks at the Democratic National Convention.
Some Republicans take to Twitter to voice frustration after President Obama’s hopeful speech
Some Republican operatives and commentators sounded off about President Obama’s speech on Twitter, remarking that it was optimistic compared to Donald Trump’s speech last week.
Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative National Review, tweeted, “they’re trying to take all our stuff” after Obama invoked President Reagan’s use of the phrase “shining city on a hill” to describe the United States.
Among them: Tim Miller, who served as Jeb Bush’s communications director before the Republican dropped out of the presidential contest.
Others noted that Hillary Clinton now has some big acts to follow after First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden and President Obama gave such well-received speeches.
The GOP’s leaders, including Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, focused on attacking Clinton and her nominee, Tim Kaine, as “DC insiders.”
And while Democrats spent the night trying to convince voters things were great in the U.S., Donald Trump was there to assure them they were not.
Obama goes on the offensive against Trump
It’s unusual for a retiring president to go on the offensive so directly against one of the candidates running to succeed him. A traditionalist might consider it unbecoming. In 2008, for example, George W. Bush never talked that way about Barack Obama.
But Obama not only holds Trump in contempt (he has ridiculed him before); he clearly views the Republican nominee as a direct threat to his legacy. Not merely the political legacy of his economic stimulus, his healthcare law and his energy projects, but – more important – the legacy of his battered but still lovely 2012 dream of “One America.”
Trump bemoans ‘poverty, violence and despair’ in response to Obama
Watch: Tim Kaine weaves Spanish into his speech, introducing himself as a fighter for civil rights
Democratic nominee for vice president Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia speaks at the Democratic National Convention. More coverage at latimes.com/trailguide.
The people who love President Obama really loved him tonight
President Obama’s Wednesday night speech at the Democratic National Convention is likely to be among his last prime-time addresses to the nation.
The president’s popularity has been on the rise lately.
His supporters voiced their appreciation on social media as the commander in chief spoke.
Videos from Hillary Clinton’s campaign used to assail Donald Trump at convention
The videos begin with “Hail to the Chief” and a proclamation: “A Message from Your Possible Next President.”
At various junctures of the Democratic National Convention this week videos castigating Donald Trump are being shown on the jumbotron to attendees, presumably to scare them in hopes they help get out the vote.
The 20-second clips have highlighted his own words on, among other things, women, veterans and religion.
In a video on Monday, a clip resurfaced of Trump’s comments earlier in the year calling the European country of Belgium a “beautiful city.”
On Tuesday, it was Trump’s attacks on Sen. John McCain’s war record and comments on pregnancy that were on display.
In Wednesday’s videos, delegates heard Trump’s words about world peace and the U.S. electorate.
For months now, Clinton and her allies have hammered the Republican businessman on television in several battleground states.
Her campaign released a round of television ads using Trump’s words against him to attack the billionaire businessman’s foreign policy acumen.
Behind the music: What was playing when big names hit the stage
These songs were played Wednesday when the major speakers entered or left the stage at the Democratic National Convention:
President Bill Clinton: “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” by McFadden & Whitehead.
Vice President Joe Biden: “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay, “Gonna Fly Now (Theme from ‘Rocky’)” by Bill Conti and “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me (Higher and Higher)” by Jackie Wilson.
Vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine: “Get Ready” by the Temptations.
President Barack Obama: “City of Blinding Lights” by U2, “Land of Hopes and Dreams” by Bruce Springsteen and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder.
Obama on feeling ‘the Bern’
‘America is already great.’ Read the transcript of Obama’s convention speech
Read the transcript of President Obama’s Democratic National Convention address, as released ahead of the speech by the White House.
This is Barack Obama speaking at the 2004 Democratic convention and tonight
Obama: ‘The American dream is something no wall can ever contain’
The American dream is something no wall can ever contain.
— President Obama in his address to the Democratic National Convention
Obama: Hillary Clinton did everything I did but ‘backwards in heels’
She was doing everything I was doing, but just like Ginger Rogers, it was backward in heels. And every time I thought I might have had the race won, Hillary just came back stronger.
President Obama’s remark was a reference to a classic convention speech then-Texas Gov. Ann Richards gave in 1988.
The line, according to Roger’s official website, originated with Bob Thaves, a cartoonist best known for the long-running comic strip “Frank and Ernest.”
The comic strip, which Rogers said someone sent to her, had three characters looking at a poster for a Fred Astaire film festival. A woman says to Frank and Ernest: “Sure he was great, but don’t forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did ... backwards and in high heels.”
Tim Kaine sounded like a folksy, Midwestern uncle. But he got the job done.
When Hillary Clinton named Tim Kaine as her running mate, the questions came immediately: Was he too mild, too bland, too moderate – in short, too nice to wage a ferocious campaign against the likes of Donald Trump?
The answer, based on Kaine’s acceptance speech Wednesday night, turns out to be: Almost.
Kaine sounded like a folksy, joky Midwestern uncle. The adjective Trump would use – will use – is “low-energy.” He stepped on some of his own biggest lines.
But he was just partisan enough –and just riled enough -- to tear a strip off the Republican nominee.
Watch the Obama legacy in 10 minutes as presented at the Democratic convention
Democratic National Convention organizers presented this video about President Obama’s legacy before he took the stage on the third night of the party confab.
President Obama takes the stage
These will be among Obama’s first words tonight
For Joe Biden, the ‘bittersweet’ reality of the end
“This is kind of a bittersweet moment for me and Jill,” Joe Biden told an admiring audience brandishing signs that bore only his first name.
In perhaps his last highest-profile speech to the nation, the vice president ably performed the role he’d mastered: the loyal lieutenant and validator of the middle class.
Of Donald Trump, Biden offered one of his harshest admonishments: “His cynicism is unbounded.”
And, yes, the word “malarkey” made the speech cut.
Watch: Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg castigates Donald Trump’s business record
Former mayor of New York Michael R. Bloomberg, a former Republican, speaks at the Democratic National Convention, attacking Donald Trump. Full convention coverage at latimes.com/trailguide.
California Rep. Judy Chu and labor leader Dolores Huerta take in Tim Kaine’s speech
Not everyone’s a fan of Tim Kaine’s speech
Pence jokes he is a ‘B-list Republican celebrity’ in first solo appearance
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence campaigned solo Wednesday for the first time since he was named Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate, arguing that the GOP nominee is the only person who can fix the dysfunction in Washington.
“I truly do believe, having spent some time with this good man who will be our next president, is that he is first and foremost a leader who will grab Washington, D.C., by the lapels and he will shake the results out that will unleash the full potential of the American people,” he told supporters gathered at a county expo center.
The scene was quite different from Trump’s rallies. Rather than thousands of people, there were hundreds. Pence read from notes rather than riffing on a range of topics, as Trump tends to do. The crowd cheered and applauded but seemed subdued compared with Trump’s audiences.
“I recognize I’m kind of a B-list Republican celebrity, so thank you for coming out tonight,” Pence said.
He said he was “humbled” and “honored” to serve as Trump’s running mate because he believes that the nation is at a crossroads, that it is imperative to stop Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and that the conservative policies enacted in Indiana and Wisconsin are desperately needed in Washington.
Pence did not shy away from the discussing the ideals that have made him a favorite among social conservatives, repeatedly saying the future of the Supreme Court for a generation is at stake in this election.
He was introduced by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Pence thanked them for their remarks, but said he preferred a shorter introduction.
“I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,” he said.
Obama has had a turbulent presidency, but his popularity is on the rise
President Obama’s popularity was highest at the beginning of his presidency. But after hitting weekly averages in the low 40s during his presidency, most recently in 2014, his approval ratings are presently above the average for his term (47%). Obama’s approval rating is higher than George W. Bush’s at the same point during his presidency, but lower than at the same time during the terms of Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.
The fact-checking website PolitiFact, run by editors and reporters from the Tampa Bay Times, has been tracking more than 500 promises made during Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns. According to its tracking (“Obameter”), his record has been mixed, with 240 promises kept and 6% still in the works.
Affordable Care Act
The signature legislation of Obama’s presidency is 2010’s Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The percentage of Americans with health insurance has jumped almost 7 points since 2009, but the largest increase came after Jan. 1, 2014, when major provisions of the Affordable Care Act were officially implemented.
A sticking point in the economy, especially during Obama’s first term, was the persistently high unemployment following the economic collapse in 2008. The seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate peaked at 10% in October of 2009 before returning to pre-crash levels in 2014.
Commander in chief
U.S. troop levels surged in Iraq near the end of Bush’s second term in order to tamp down an insurgency. When Obama entered office, he promised to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bulk of the troops are now out of both countries, but Obama recently announced an increase in the number of troops that will remain in Afghanistan through the end of his term.
Tim Kaine: ‘We should all feel the Bern and we should not want to get burned by the other guy.’
We should all feel the Bern and we should not want to get burned by the other guy.
— Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, going off script to acknowledge cheers for Bernie Sanders during his vice presidential acceptance speech.
Vice President Joe Biden: ‘I ain’t going away, guys’
Watch: Joe Biden calls out Donald Trump’s ‘malarkey’
Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Democratic National Convention. More convention coverage at latimes.com/trailguide.
Watch: Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords says she hopes to call Hillary Clinton ‘Madam President’
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, severely injured in a 2011 mass shooting, speaks at the Democratic National Convention. More convention coverage at latimes.com/trailguide.
Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who was wounded in a 2011 mass shooting, has become a leading opponent of the National Rifle Assn.
On Tuesday, she lauded Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, as a leader on gun control.
Trump calls for tighter border protections at Toledo rally
One billionaire takes on another: Former N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg says Trump is a lousy businessman
Former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg hit Donald Trump on Wednesday night where it hurts: in his business portfolio.
The political independent, showing up at the Democratic National Convention to lend his support to Hillary Clinton, called Trump a “dangerous demagogue” and said he spoke from experience when he described the Manhattan mogul as a fraud and a lousy businessman.
“Throughout his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, and thousands of lawsuits and angry shareholders, and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel they’ve been ripped off,” said Bloomberg, who became a billionaire building his eponymous financial news service -- without, he pointedly noted, the $1-million stake Trump received from his father.
“Trump says he wants to run the nation like he runs his business. God help us! I’m a New Yorker and I know a con when I see one,” Bloomberg said, drawing a thunderous roar from the crowd.
Bloomberg, who briefly considered his own third-party run for the White House, acknowledged he and Clinton have had their political differences and -- in an explicit reach for political independents and other skeptics -- said others may too.
But, he went on, “Whatever our differences may be, I have come here to say we must put them aside for the good of our country. And we must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue.”
The bottom line, Bloomberg said: “Trump is a risky, reckless and radical choice, and we can’t afford to make that choice.”
“Together, let’s elect a sane, competent person,” Bloomberg concluded, an ad lib that drew a thunderous did-he-just-say-that roar inside the convention hall. “Let’s elect Hillary Clinton.”
Former mayor of New York Michael R. Bloomberg, a former Republican, speaks at the Democratic National Convention, attacking Donald Trump. Full convention coverage at latimes.com/trailguide.
Bloomberg on Trump: ‘I’m a New Yorker and I know a con when I see one’
Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s running his business? God help us. I’m a New Yorker and I know a con when I see one.
— Former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
WikiLeaks releases 29 voicemails from DNC staffers
WikiLeaks released 29 voicemails hacked from Democratic Party staffers on Wednesday evening, dropping the latest leaks shortly before prime-time programming at the Democratic National Convention.
The release capped a day of discussion about hacks into the Democratic party’s systems, as Democrats piled on Donald Trump for encouraging Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s emails and release them.
Many of the voicemails appeared to be routine in nature. Most were brief messages clearing up logistics and requesting return calls from Democratic National Committee staffers. The first is a brief conversation from a father and young boy at a zoo visit.
One voicemail came from a woman who identified herself as an aide to Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, a major Democratic donor who served as American ambassador to Portugal. The aide asked if there was going to be a St. Patrick’s Day reception at the White House. In a follow-up voicemail she said Bagley got an invitation to the event. Bagley and her late husband, Smith Bagley, were generous donors to the Clintons and to President Obama’s inauguration.
In another voicemail, a man who says he is William Eacho, former ambassador to Austria and another Obama donor, returned a call from former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz seeking more details “about a small dinner with President Obama this week.”
Three voicemails came from anonymous callers who were contacting the committee to complain about the amount of control Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was given over the party’s platform committee, including his naming of Princeton University Professor Cornel West to the committee.
“I am furious about what you are doing for Bernie Sanders,” said one donor, who mentioned she donated $300 to the committee. “Please don’t give in to him.”
Late last week, Wikileaks released 19,252 emails and attached documents from the DNC.
More protesters cited in Philadelphia outside DNC, bringing total to 69
Watch: Biden calls Trump’s professed commitment to the middle class ‘a bunch of malarkey’
Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Democratic National Convention. More convention coverage at latimes.com/trailguide.
He’s trying to tell us he cares about the middle class. Give me a break. That’s a bunch of malarkey.
— Vice President Joe Biden, on Donald Trump
Introducing himself as vice presidential pick, Tim Kaine steps easily into attack-dog role at Democratic convention
Tim Kaine has a reputation for being a nice guy and the rare Washington politician who enjoys friendships — genuine friendships, not the transactional Beltway type — with lawmakers on both sides of the political divide.
But introducing himself to the nation Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention, the Virginia senator showed he can also wield a dagger with the steeliest of political partisans — albeit in a genial, by-gosh manner.
Chosen as Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Kaine took up the customary role of campaign slasher with gusto, gleefully contrasting Clinton’s detail-laden policy agenda with Donald Trump’s vague promises.
Lowering his vote in a mocking rendition of the businessman’s braggadocio, Kaine ticked through a litany of Trump’s business failures.
“He says, ‘Believe me,’’’ Kaine jocularly scoffed. “Well his creditors, his contractors, his laid-off employees, his ripped-off students did just that. Folks, you cannot believe one word that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth.”
At that, the convention hall took up the chant “Not one word! Not one word!”
“To me,” Kaine went on, “it just seems that our nation is too great to put it in the hands of a slick-talking, empty-promising, self-promoting, one-man wrecking crew.”
Twisting the knife, he quoted the criticisms leveled by several of Trump’s fellow Republicans, among them Ohio Gov. John Kasich who, Kaine said, “had the honor of hosting the Republican National Convention in Cleveland but wouldn’t even attend it because he thinks Trump is such a moral disaster.”
Much of Kaine’s speech was autobiographical, tracing his life from his birth in the Midwest, through volunteer work with Jesuit missionaries in Central America and years as a civil rights lawyer before starting his career in politics as a member of the Richmond, Va., City Council.
“My journey has convinced me that God has created a rich tapestry in this country,” said Kaine, a devout Catholic. “An incredible cultural diversity that succeeds when we embrace everyone in love and battle against the dark forces of division. We’re all neighbors and we must love our neighbors as ourselves.”
He also stepped easily into a second role expected of a presidential understudy: extolling the virtues of the candidate at the top of the ticket.
“When you want to know about the character of someone in public life, look to see if they have a passion, one that began before they were in office and that they have consistently held on to throughout their career,” Kaine said.
“Hillary’s passion is kids and family. Donald Trump has passion, too. It’s himself.”
“And it’s not just words with Hillary; it’s accomplishments,” Kaine said. “She delivers.”
Obama still believes in ‘universal truths’ of 2004 speech
President Obama will take a brief walk down memory lane on Wednesday night as he recalls the famous words that launched his national career.
Twelve years to the day after his speech to the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Obama is back to renew his call for hope, optimism and unity in America — this time on behalf of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
He spoke back then of a “single American family,” despite what the “spin masters and negative ad peddlers” were saying.
“I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America,” Obama said then.
In the years since, as the country has become even more politically polarized, Obama has been called on repeatedly to defend those ideas.
On Wednesday, he plans to do so with vigor, aides said.
Especially at a time of such “vitriol on the campaign trail,” said one veteran aide, Obama wants to make the case for unity and optimism.
“A lot of people saw universal truths in [the 2004 speech] that we’re still looking for,” said another senior aide. “That all still holds true.”
Twelve years ago tonight, Obama said that there wasn’t “a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America.”
“We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America,” he said.
Obama still stands by those words, his advisors say.
California delegation gets rowdy during Leon Panetta’s speech
No dissent allowed in Trump’s ‘Ask Me Anything’
Donald Trump’s famously untamed manner on Twitter raised high expectations for his performance Wednesday on the freewheeling Reddit social media site for an “Ask Me Anything” session with thousands of unseen strangers.
But instead of a rollicking free-for-all, the candidate who has mastered the Web’s anything-goes culture better than any other took nothing but friendly questions from supporters, yielding a slow scroll of talking points from the Republican presidential nominee.
A Reddit user who goes by the name “GodEmperorDonald” wanted to know: “Which US president do you admire the most?”
“There have been many amazing Presidents in American history, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, all of whom I greatly admire,” Trump replied.
And on it went, with another supporter asking whether Trump was “getting tired of winning.”
Organizers of the “Ask Me Anything” told visitors in an introduction that they’d taken “extra security measures to keep our community free from troublemakers,” such as Trump critics.
“We built the wall 10 ft taller, you might say,” their notice said.
Watch: Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy’s impassioned plea for gun control at the Democratic convention
Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut speaks at the Democratic National Convention. More coverage at latimes.com/trailguide.
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom says Trump ‘strangled the sunny optimism of Ronald Reagan’
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom of California speaks at the Democratic National Convention. More coverage at latimes.com/trailguide
After a brief ode to California being a socially inclusive, “jet-propelled engine of job creation,” Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom used the bulk of his five minutes on stage at the Democratic National Convention to rip into Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“His hostile takeover of the American dream is built on two fundamental lies: That America is a dark and desperate place and that he has any kind of a plan to make it better,” Newsom told the noisy crowd inside Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center. “Trump strangled the sunny optimism of Ronald Reagan and replaced ‘tear down that wall’ with the cynical bigotry of ‘build that wall.’”
Newsom, who already has launched a 2018 gubernatorial run, also went after Trump’s pick for a running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. He criticized Pence for advocating for the use of taxpayer money for “conversion therapy” — a widely discredited practice aimed at converting the sexual orientation of minors from gay to straight. Newsom likened the therapy to torture.
“While it was refreshing to finally see an openly gay man speak at a Republican convention, it doesn’t remove the stain of selecting Mike Pence, America’s most anti-LGBT governor,” said Newsom, who served for two terms as mayor of San Francisco. “Pence has supported overt discrimination.”
During his time as mayor, Newsom created a national controversy in 2004 when he ordered the city to issue same-sex marriage licenses. In June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court held that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.
Newsom told the crowded arena of Democrats that the choice between Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton could not be more stark.
“We can live our fears or we can live our dreams,” he said. “Hillary Clinton has dedicated her entire life to putting the American dream within reach.”
Watch: Martin O’Malley: ‘I say to hell with Trump’s American nightmare’
Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley speaks at the Democratic National Convention. More convention coverage at latimes.com/trailguide
Obama calls Sanders to thank him for unity move
President Obama called Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday night to thank him for wrapping up the Democratic convention roll call by moving to nominate Hillary Clinton by acclamation.
Sanders’ action was an important moment for Obama, who remembers well the bitter feelings that followed his own hard-fought and sometimes bitter primary campaign against Clinton in 2008.
At the convention that year, it was Clinton who stood up on the floor and called on her supporters to rally behind Obama. Many of them joined her in shouts of acclamation to nominate Obama to be the 44th president of the United States.
After watching Sanders do the same for Clinton, Obama told aides he wanted to thank him for providing Clinton the moment that she had given so memorably to him.
The gulf between her supporters and Obama’s was “bridged by what Secretary Clinton did on the floor of the chamber” that year, said a senior advisor who talked to Obama about the call.
“He wanted to thank him for that act of unity,” the aide said.
Once closeted under ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ openly gay San Diego veteran to highlight military
Kristen Kavanaugh had dreamed of being in the military since high school, when she toured the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
The Ohio-raised daughter of a National Guardsman, Kavanaugh graduated from the school and went on to spend five years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
During the military’s era of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” Kavanaugh remained a closeted lesbian until she left the Marines in 2007, unable to keep her secret.
“The turning point was Iraq,” Kavanaugh told the Los Angeles Times in 2011, after the the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military ended. “Everyone else could call their loved one and talk openly. I had to guard my words and only talk in general terms. It was awful having to live like that.”
At the time, the former Marine captain said she hoped to join the Navy next. Instead, after graduating from USC with a master’s in social work, Kavanaugh co-founded the Military Acceptance Project, a San Diego-based nonprofit that helps improve inclusiveness in the military.
“This isn’t just a gay issue,” Kavanaugh told the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2014. “There are lots of people who go to work every day and don’t feel accepted by their peers.”
She is also president of Trident Analytical Solutions, a military contractor. Kavanaugh has said in the past that she is considering a future in politics.
“I think the political world needs a different voice with a different perspective,” she told the Union-Tribune.
‘I say Trump is a fraud,’ Gov. Jerry Brown jabs in convention speech
Gov. Jerry Brown of California speaks at the Democratic National Convention. More coverage at latimes.com/trailguide.
Criticizing Republicans for their record on climate change, California Gov. Jerry Brown took aim at GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s onetime suggestion that the warming of the planet was fiction.
“Trump says global warming is a hoax,” said Brown to rousing applause from the convention crowd. “I say Trump is a fraud.”
The governor’s brief speech, part of the warm-up to Wednesday night’s main event, included some cheerleading for California’s efforts. The centerpiece of that plan, a law rolling back greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020, was enacted a decade ago this September.
Brown was briefly delayed by anti-fracking chants on the convention floor. The governor has refused to endorse a statewide ban on the hydraulic fracturing process used for oil drilling.
Still, the governor touted the Golden State’s environmental record.
“We’re proving that even with the toughest climate laws in the country, our economy in California is growing faster than almost any nation in the whole world,” Brown said.
But the veteran politician, in his first national convention speech in almost a quarter of a century, seemed to take the most delight in jabbing the GOP’s environmental record.
“Even the Know-Nothing, anti-immigrant party of the 1850s did not stray this far into sheer ignorance and dark fantasy as have the Republicans and their leader Donald Trump,” Brown said.
“Our candidate, Hillary Clinton, couldn’t be more different.”
Watch: Jesse Jackson invokes Black Lives Matter movement
Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks at the Democratic National Convention. More coverage at latimes.com/trailguide.
Mother of Pulse shooting victim makes case for gun safety
Christine Leinonen’s son Christopher was one of the last victims identified when a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando last month left 49 people dead.
She told the hushed crowd that her son Christopher Leinonen, 32, had been a big supporter of Hillary Clinton, which is why she had come to speak. When he was born, Leinonen said, she was working as a state trooper in Michigan. At the hospital, she said, they locked up her gun.
Where was that common sense the day he died? I never want you to ask that question.
— Christine Leinonen
Angela Bassett, Lee Daniels, Sigourney Weaver and more celebrities join the DNC on Wednesday
Democrats are again relying on star power to introduce heavy policy subject matters Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention.
While “Pitch Perfect” director Elizabeth Banks served as a host for part of Tuesday night’s proceedings, Angela Bassett, Lee Daniels and Sigourney Weaver are slotted for Wednesday.
Sigourney Weaver, the star of the “Alien” franchise, “Avatar” and “Ghostbusters,” was tasked with introducing a video on the dangers of climate change that led into California Gov. Jerry Brown’s speech on the topic.
Lee Daniels, the director of “Precious” and “The Butler,” introduced speakers addressing gun violence including Christine Leinonen, whose son was killed in the Orlando, Fla., terrorist attack last month, and the daughter of the principal killed in the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Bassett will introduce Felicia Sanders and Polly Sheppard, who survived the gun attack that killed nine black worshipers during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., last year.
Bassett starred as Tina Turner in the biopic “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” and more recently in the FX horror series “American Horror Story: Coven.”
Senator uses guns issue to add to Clinton list
As he exits office, Harry Reid delivers blows to GOP
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada speaks at the Democratic National Convention. More coverage at latimes.com/trailguide
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who will exit office in January, delivered a blistering speech at the Democratic National Convention.
He jabbed Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as divisive figures.
"[McConnell’s] Republican Party decided that the answer to hard-working Americans’ dreams is to slander our African American president, stoke fear of Muslims, sow hatred of Latinos, insult Asians, and, of course, wage war against women,” Reid said.
Gun violence is addressed emotionally at convention
Democrats decry Trump’s record on veterans and call him a ‘scam artist’
Democrats opened up a segment praising Hillary Clinton’s record on veterans issues with a barrage of artillery fire aimed at Donald Trump, attacking him as a “scam artist” who tries to use veterans rather than help them.
Clinton may have some work to do to woo vets. Trump has frequently castigated the performance of Veterans Administration hospitals and promised fixes. This week, Trump got a warm embrace from the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Charlotte, N.C., as members shouted “lock her up” about Clinton. She got a much cooler welcome in her earlier VFW appearance.
The segment opened with a video focusing on Trump’s delays in making good on his promise to grant millions to veterans groups, and on the controversy following his remarks sneering at Sen. John McCain, a prisoner of war in Vietnam. “I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump said last year.
“As a Marine, as an Arizonan, as an American, I am offended,” Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona said about the McCain remarks. “Donald Trump is a scam artist; he is trying to keep up the scam by pretending he cares about veterans.”
Jamie Dorff, widow of an Army helicopter pilot who died in Iraq, made a case for Clinton’s veterans credentials, noting that she pushed for a bill to increase survivors’ death benefits from $12,000 to $100,000.
She said her daughter is now graduating from high school and she is finishing a degree.
“Our family is making it step by step, day by day,” Dorff said.
What you need to know about California’s work on climate change
At the Democratic National Convention, Californian politicians are touting California’s leadership in the arena of climate change.
On day one, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León declared that “Democrats in California have led the way” in several areas, including creating clean energy jobs.
As Gov. Jerry Brown announced the Golden State’s roll call votes Tuesday, he called it “the state that defies Donald Trump on climate change.”
Brown will appear at the DNC again Wednesday, this time on stage and in prime time, and is expected to focus entirely on climate change, a topic that has become a top priority and an almost singular focus in his final term.
California has long been considered a pioneer when it comes to addressing the effects of climate change:
- The state’s climate change fight involves an alphabet soup of agencies overseeing various programs.
Late last year, Brown signed the state’s landmark climate change bill to expand renewable energy and boost energy efficiency.
Californians have expressed concern for climate change and support policies aimed at curbing its effects, polls have shown.
For Brown, climate change has often been personal:
Climate change is an issue that melds the spiritual and the political for the former seminarian.
He has made climate change a central part of his agenda, and as a result, a key source of funding for certain state programs.
His dogged persistence led him earlier this year to put forth a budget proposal that picked at a scab formed after internal divisions knocked out a key provision on petroleum use in California’s 2015 climate change bill.
- Most recently, Brown has tried to extend the life of one of the state’s most ambitious programs, its cap-and-trade emissions program, past its 2020 sunset.
The work of Brown and other state leaders catapulted California to a position of leadership on the world stage when global leaders met to discuss climate change at a summit in Paris last year.
- More than a dozen California officials attended the conference, which included the heads of state of many countries.
- There, Brown continued his focus on the potential for catastrophe if California and other governments didn’t do more to fight global warming.
- China’s top negotiator at the talks praised the Brown administration for leading by example.
Watch: Stephanie Schriock of Emily’s List says GOP is ‘afraid of the change we bring’
Emily’s List president Stephanie Schriock speaks at the Democratic National Convention. More convention coverage at latimes.com/trailguide.
The planet is getting hotter and other stats as convention focuses on climate change
Led by Gov. Jerry Brown and other party leaders, Democrats are using part of the third day of their national convention to talk about the dangers of climate change.
While states like California have taken action to curb greenhouse gases emissions, President Obama’s administration has sought pacts with other countries and also attempted to impose limits on carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Meanwhile, scientific data shows an increasingly warming planet for most years since the early 20th century.
Watch: Democrats make their pitch to win the House
Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Chairman, speaks at the Democratic National Convention about the party’s efforts to reclaim the House. More convention coverage at latimes.com/trailguide.
The Democratic National Campaign Committee is hoping that the negative views of Donald Trump can help it cut into the Republicans’ majority in the House — and maybe win it back.
Committee Chairman Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico had an early speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday and made a pitch to voters who “don’t consider themselves Democrats.”
“If your member of Congress is supporting Donald Trump instead ask yourself this: What does that say about their leadership, their character, their values?
“If they won’t even stand up to Donald Trump what makes you think they will stand up for you and your family?” he said.
Democrats are betting Trump and his running mate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will have a drastic down-ballot effect that could put previously safe Republican seats in play.
One seat that political handicappers say Democrats could flip is California’s 25th Congressional District, a seat held by first-term Republican Rep. Steve Knight of Lancaster.
Luján said in March that the seat is “on our battlefield now in a very aggressive way.”
After the June primary, Cook Political Report analyst David Wasserman moved the district into the “toss-up” category, thanks to a surge in registered voters.
Wasserman wrote that Knight was “now the most vulnerable incumbent in California.”
Trump could also cause problems for two Republicans in the Central Valley: Rep. Jeff Denham of Turlock and Rep. David Valadao of Hanford, though Wasserman still ranks those seats as leaning Republican.
So what are the odds that Democrats can win the House? Writing in FiveThirtyEight last month, Wasserman said, “House Democrats probably need a Donald Trump loss of historic proportions to have any chance at a three-part sweep” of the White House, U.S. Senate and House.
“But not even a Clinton rout would guarantee that scenario thanks to structural factors and because voters skeptical of both nominees could well anticipate such an outcome and respond to a Republican message of ‘checks and balances’ — a tactic that’s worked before,” he wrote.
In this sea of politicians, Jerry Brown still stands out
Jerry Brown is in Philadelphia this week with hordes of other Democratic dignitaries, but he still practices a style of politics all his own.
Reflexively flattering delegates, for example, is not on his radar.
“A lot of exchanges, but not anything deep or memorable,” he said of the friendly interactions he has had with old allies, friends and admirers since arriving out here. “A lot of quick interactions as you go along.”
The forum hosted by Politico took an interesting detour as Brown recalled his reaction to the Renoir he saw hanging inside Donald Trump’s plane. Eventually, the moderators tried to steer things toward Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Surely the former rival of the Clintons had some thoughts on mistakes Hillary Clinton’s campaign had made, and what it might improve upon?
But today’s Jerry Brown, though still colorful, is much more disciplined than the Jerry Brown who ran for president in 1992.
“I will leave that to her” to talk about, he said. “In the Catholic Church we go to confession in private.”
And he’s also become a lot more fond of his former political enemy Bill Clinton, who is among the few Democrats who have as much institutional knowledge as he does.
Reflecting on the conversation Brown had with the former president before endorsing Hillary Clinton, he said, “He’s been around. He’s been through it all. He has a lot of knowledge and I think that is very important. What I see now that I didn’t see in 1969 is experience actually has value.”
Congressional Black Caucus: Trump has ‘no plan to address issues directly affecting African Americans’
The most prominent black members of Congress gave a forceful condemnation of Donald Trump on Wednesday, saying that he has “no plan” to help uplift black Americans while Hillary Clinton does.
“You want to know why your polling numbers are so dismal among African Americans? I will tell you,” said Rep. G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina, one of six representatives who took the stage together.
“We know you have gotten rich through your business, but we also know your wealth” has grown “at the expense of other people,” Butterfield said.
One by one, the representatives made their case for Clinton, the Democratic nominee, often bashing Trump’s relationship with African Americans.
“We know you have no plan to address issues directly affecting African Americans,” Butterfield said, naming those issues as including voting rights, gun violence and the survival of historically black colleges and universities.
Andre Carson, a representative from Indiana, said Trump had insulted him not only as a black man but as a Muslim.
“I stand here ... as a young African American Muslim and former police officer,” said Carson, 41, one of two Muslims in Congress. “Millions of good-hearted Muslims and African Americans like me have watched the deep-seated hatred of the past once again become mainstream.”
“We have been singled out in the national spotlight as threats to be dealt with,” he said.
Others on stage from the caucus were Rep. Yvette Clarke of New York, Rep. Karen Bass of California, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York and Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York.
FOR THE RECORD
July 27, 5:41 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York is from Louisiana.
The late Texas Rep. Barbara Jordan, one of the best-known African Americans to have served in Congress, delivered the keynote at the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York, as shown in the video above. When she first gave the keynote speech at the 1976 Democratic convention in New York, she was the first African American to do so.
President Obama’s DNC speech will praise ‘what is right with America’
President Obama will tell the story of “what is right with America” in his address to the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, as he urges the party to rally behind Hillary Clinton as a candidate of hope and promise rather than fear and despair.
The country has “real anxieties,” Obama says in a portion of his prepared remarks released by the White House on Wednesday afternoon.
But he sees a land of optimism and ingenuity, the text says, with people “working hard and starting businesses, people teaching kids and serving our country.”
“I’ve also seen, more than anything, what is right with America,” he’ll say, according to the excerpts.
Obama’s message is a direct attack on the central premise of Republican Donald Trump’s campaign for president, and at his slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
Obama takes issue with the idea that America isn’t great right now. As Trump warns of chaos and trouble, Obama has been urging fellow Democrats up and down the ticket to broadcast a positive message about the country and where they want to take it.
When he takes the stage, part of his appeal will be to a white male demographic that is helping to power the Trump campaign. He understands that there are pockets of America that never recovered from factory closures, he’ll say, and that there are “men who took pride in hard work and providing for their families who now feel forgotten.”
Those feelings are “real,” he says, but they call the country not to despair but to do better.
Clinton has the knowledge and experience to lead the nation at this crucial moment, Obama argues.
“No matter how daunting the odds, no matter how much people try to knock her down,” his speech says, “she never, ever quits.”
Jesse Jackson to Trump: ‘Stop insulting Hispanics, stop insulting Muslims now!’
Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks at the Democratic National Convention. More coverage at latimes.com/trailguide.
Saying that the black vote is crucial to the presidential election, the Rev. Jesse Jackson threw his support behind Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and spoke out against Donald Trump on Wednesday night in Philadelphia.
“Stop insulting Hispanics, stop insulting Muslims now!” the veteran civil rights leader said, adding later that it is “healing time, it is hope time!”
That hope, he said, is bound to Clinton becoming president.
In wide-ranging remarks that, in typical Jackson fashion, sounded like a cross between a political speech and a short but fiery sermon, the onetime presidential candidate spoke out against gun violence and for women’s rights, and called on Americans to come together in the midst of a “stormy season of violent campaign rhetoric.”
“There is a tug of war for Americans’ soul,” Jackson said.
Clinton, he said, is the answer.
Jackson is a regular figure at Democratic Party conventions. One of his best-known convention appearances was in 1984, when he had unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination as part of a multi-racial “rainbow coalition.”
Watch: Neera Tanden says that for Hillary Clinton, ‘politics is about fighting for people’
Neera Tanden, Center for American Progress president, speaks at the Democratic National Convention. More coverage at latimes.com/trailguide
Time to talk about civil rights at the DNC
The Democratic National Convention is giving a stage to prominent civil rights activists and black Americans on Wednesday night in remarks focused on diversity, the Flint water crisis and gun violence.
While Black Lives Matter figures — such as the Mothers of the Movement, who spoke Tuesday in emotional speeches about their children, some of whom died in police shootings -- won’t be highlighted, the lineup of speakers Wednesday was expected to send a strong message about the role Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton sees race, religion and civil rights playing if she becomes president.
It’s not a predictor, but so far more people have watched the Democratic convention than the Republican one
The first two nights of the Democratic National Convention have bested the Republicans’ gathering last week in ratings, according to the latest numbers released by Nielsen.
About 27 million viewers tuned in to cable and broadcast coverage of the second night in prime time, when former President Bill Clinton spoke.
The figures put the 2016 Democratic convention well ahead of the 2012 convention and beat numbers for the Republican National Convention.
Viewing numbers for the conventions are not a reliable predictor of election results. In the 10 presidential elections since 1976, the losing political party had the higher-rated convention six times.
Gov. Jerry Brown brings his climate crusade to the DNC stage
There is no subject that Gov. Jerry Brown likes to talk about more on the world stage than California’s efforts to combat climate change, which means he fits in well with tonight’s theme of protecting the nation.
Brown, who announced California’s delegation votes for president from the floor on Tuesday, skipped the Democratic National Convention in 2012. But this time he seems eager to play the roles of senior statesman and champion of an issue on which Democrats are passionate.
“Of the one or two big issues that face the world, the alteration of the climate is fundamental,” said Brown in an online video interview with the Washington Post on Tuesday. “In California, we are doing more than anyone else. But relative to the challenge, we’re just getting going and time is running out.”
Brown’s speech comes more than seven months after his efforts to influence the international debate at the U.N. climate talks in Paris, and a week before lawmakers return to Sacramento to debate a closely watched extension of California’s landmark law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Trump warns women of setbacks if Clinton is elected president
Donald Trump issued a warning Wednesday that women would be set back if Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is elected president.
“I want to see a woman become president, but it can’t be her because she’s a disaster,” Trump told cheering supporters in Scranton, Penn. “She’s set you back a long way, women, if that happens. It will be a long time before it happens again. So you better be careful what you wish for.”
Trump, who has a history of making controversial comments about women’s appearances, is less favored by women voters than men in the polls.
The GOP nominee did not repeat his incendiary call earlier in the day for Russia to hack into Clinton’s emails. But Trump did say he had nothing to do with the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s communications, which experts suspect Russia is behind.
“I wish I had that power,” he said. “Man, that would be power.”
Abortion rights takes center stage at the Democratic National Convention
Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, stood on the stage in Philadelphia on Wednesday and began by announcing that she’d had an abortion of her own years ago.
“I wanted a family,” said the mother of two, “but it was the wrong time.”
Her story, she said, is hardly unique.
“About 1 in 3 American women have abortions by the age of 45, and the majority are mothers just trying to take care of the families they already have,” Hogue said. “You see, it’s not as simple as bad girls get abortions and good girls have families. We are the same women at different times in our lives — each making decisions that are the best for us.”
While the Democratic platform has always favored abortion rights, this year also represents the first time it has included a plank advocating for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, a 1970s-era legislative provision that bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or when a mother’s life is in danger.
This comes at a moment when the Supreme Court made its most important abortion ruling in two decades.
Last month, in a 5-4 decision, justices struck down a Texas law aimed at putting abortion providers out of business by imposing unnecessary regulations on clinics and doctors.
The Supreme Court decision will not just have major implications for other abortion-unfriendly states, but has energized abortion rights groups.
Hillary Clinton, Hogue noted, is a lifelong supporter of abortion rights.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, has said women who have abortions should be punished. His running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, is a longtime foe of legal abortion, even when a woman’s life is in danger.
“These aren’t just ‘women’s issues,’” said Hogue. “These are the very foundation of our freedom.”
Stricter gun control has become the life mission of convention speakers Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly
They’ve made stricter gun-control laws their life mission, traveling to Capitol Hill and statehouses around the country lobbying lawmakers.
And when candidates — mostly Republicans — assail tougher gun laws, the super PAC they’ve formed looks to target them with negative advertising.
Former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, are leading opponents of the National Rifle Assn., which is staunchly against gun control. Their work began after a 2011 mass shooting at a grocery store in Tucson in which Giffords was severely wounded. Giffords and Kelly have teamed with the likes of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as voices calling for stricter reforms after high-profile shootings.
The couple are set to make a joint appearance Wednesday night to speak in support of Hillary Clinton, the newly minted Democratic presidential nominee.
In recent months, both have criticized Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, who has touted his pro-2nd amendment credentials and railed against gun control.
Giffords and Kelly formed the super PAC Americans for Responsible Solutions to help elect supporters of gun control and defeat its opponents.
During the 2014 Midterm elections, the group raised about $21 million and spent $19 million on several races, according the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Of that total, more than half was spent to defeat Republicans.
Yet their efforts were not always successful.
The group spent about $2 million in an attempt to defeat Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona, but she still went on to win. Moreover, Democratic Sens. Mark Udall of Colorado and Kay Hagan of North Carolina, both benefited from the super PAC’s support, yet they failed to win reelection.
So far this cycle, Americans for Responsible Solutions has raised about $10 million.
At a rally in Philadelphia this week, Giffords urged members of both parties to support tougher gun-control reforms.
“I’ve seen great courage when my life was on the line,” she said. “Now is the time to come together. Be responsible. Democrats. Republicans. Everyone. We must never stop fighting! Fight! Fight! Fight!”
Obama’s speech Wednesday night will recall his 2004 themes of national unity
President Obama plans to make the case for Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday with a speech that harks back to the ideals of his first address to the party gathering, delivered 12 years ago tonight.
Clinton wants to draw Americans together, seeking common cause instead of division, Obama plans to say.
“This isn’t a back-and-forth recitation of policy,” one senior advisor said Wednesday in previewing the speech. “This is about who we are as a country.”
The remarks echo themes Obama raised at the party’s nominating convention in 2004, when he declared that the country was not a divided land of “red states and blue states” but rather “the United States of America.”
They also preview how Obama intends to campaign for Clinton over the next few months, according to senior advisors familiar with the president’s plans.
Obama sat down with them in June to talk about the message he wanted to deliver to the convention crowd, probably the largest in-person audience he will address for the remainder of his presidency.
Unlike two sitting presidents before him, Presidents Reagan and Clinton, Obama did not want to talk about the achievements of his own administration.
Instead, he wanted to talk about Clinton, he said, about her readiness to be commander in chief and her approach to making big decisions. Obama sees himself partly as a witness who can talk about seeing the former secretary of State in action, the advisor said.
“Few people actually are at the table when some of these momentous decisions are being made,” said the advisor, who would not be named discussing Obama’s speech before he delivers it. “It’s about revealing experiences he has had.”