By LIBBY CATHEY and LAUREN KING, ABC News
(MILWAUKEE) — Following a first night of programming focused on unity — featuring a handful of Republican speakers and former first lady Michelle Obama — Democrats continue their mostly virtual convention in Milwaukee Tuesday under the theme of “Leadership Matters” with primetime speeches from both the party’s more established leaders and its younger stars.
“We’ll hear from the leaders and the experts, the veterans and the activists, all those who seek to unite and not divide, and who step up — not back down — from a fight over what’s right,” the Democratic National Convention Committee said in a news release.
ABC News Live will kick off primetime coverage each day at 7 p.m. ET on the network’s steaming news channel and primetime coverage will air from 10-11 p.m. ET each night of the convention on the ABC Television Network.
9:11 p.m. ‘Rising stars’ open with keynote address split among 17 people
The second night of the DNC opens with a keynote address from a group of diverse and young leaders. Using clips from their self-shot videos, the whole speech is pieced together with the 17 people taking turns speaking — sometimes with each other.
"Tonight kicks off with a keynote speech—and like everything else about this convention, It is completely different from what we've seen before."@GStephanopoulos reports as the second night of the #DemConvention begins: https://t.co/FQIMUQ3KsD pic.twitter.com/CTAxO6yQbK
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 19, 2020
9:07 p.m. What it’s like to be in Milwaukee this week for the DNC: Reporter’s Notebook
Before the coronavirus pandemic, the Democratic convention was supposed to bring 50,000 people to Wisconsin’s largest city, crowding its hotels, restaurants and bars for a full week this summer.
I was supposed to be one of those visitors — and was looking forward to returning to Wisconsin, where I went to college, to attend my first presidential convention. But the pandemic forced Democrats to repeatedly downsize their ambitions for the convention, and eventually scrap plans for Joe Biden to accept the party’s nomination in Milwaukee.
Instead of a packed flight from Washington, D.C., I flew on a relatively empty plane to Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Airport, where one of the few signs of the political event anchored in town was a large C-SPAN billboard on the highway leading into the city.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, a group of party officials and a production team putting on the event, a handful of local and national journalists and the Secret Service are all that’s left of what was supposed to be Milwaukee’s coming out party: a celebration of the midsize city that punched above its weight to land the convention over Miami and Houston.
Read more from ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel’s report from Milwaukee:
9:01 p.m. Excerpts from second night of DNC speeches released
The second night of the Democratic convention is centered around the theme of “leadership matters” with an array of speakers making the case for why Joe Biden’s leadership is needed at this moment for the country.
In her remarks, Jill Biden, the former second lady, is planning to make her argument from inside Brandywine High School, where she taught English from 1991 to 1993.
“You can hear the anxiety that echoes down empty hallways. There’s no scent of new notebooks or freshly waxed floors. The rooms are dark and the bright young faces that should fill them are confined to boxes on a computer screen,” she will say during her remarks, according to excerpts released by the DNCC. “How do you make a broken family whole? The same way you make a nation whole. With love and understanding—and with small acts of compassion. With bravery. With unwavering faith.”
“There are times when I couldn’t imagine how he did it — how he put one foot in front of the other and kept going. But I’ve always understood why he did it. … He does it for you,” she will add.
The DNCC also released a clip of the keynote address from the 17 speakers who are part of a segment in which the collection of Democrats is set to highlight how the Trump administration is failing the country.
“This is a different kind of convention,” they will say. “This is a different kind of keynote, This year, all of us are on this stage and we’ve got a lot to say.”
“There’s a lot riding on this election, when we’re facing the biggest economic and health crisis in generations, because our president didn’t and still doesn’t have a plan,” the group will say. “When doctors, nurses and home health care aides in Philadelphia have to risk their own lives to protect others because there’s not enough protective equipment. When factory workers in Ohio are faced with dangerous conditions because this administration hasn’t given clear guidance on how to protect our people. When teachers in Gwinnett County in Georgia and across the country are being asked to return to the classroom without a plan to keep them safe and parents are exhausted juggling full-time work and full-time childcare. And visiting our parents and grandparents, through the window of a nursing home, worrying all the time that they’ll get sick. When unemployment in North Charleston, South Carolina, a city I represent, has risen nearly fourfold and evictions are putting families out on the street in the middle of a pandemic.”
— ABC News’ Kendall Karson
8:52 p.m. Milwaukee mayor calls night 2 of DNC to order
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett calls the second night of the DNC to order.
8:49 p.m. Dowd: Era of bipartisanship not possible
ABC News Political Analyst Matthew Dowd says he doesn’t think an era of bipartisanship is possible because “so many sides are locked in,” so what Joe Biden “has to do is get into an era of nonpartisanship … because most of the country is fed up with both political parties.”
8:42 p.m. Molinari: We are in ‘need of someone bringing us together’
Former Republican Rep. Susan Molinari, who made the case for Joe Biden at the DNC on Monday night, told ABC News’ Linsey Davis that President Trump is “dividing” the U.S. and “this country is hurting so much” that we are in “need of someone bringing us together.”
8:33 p.m. Trump hits back at Michelle Obama’s DNC address: ‘She was over her head’
Reacting to former first lady Michelle Obama’s blistering condemnation of his presidency in her taped address aired Monday night as part of the virtual Democratic National Convention, President Donald Trump on Tuesday sarcastically thanked her in some early morning tweets.
“Thanks for your very kind words Michelle!” the president responded.
Making an at-times emotionally powerful 18-minute address, the former first lady warned the American people against the danger of reelecting Trump to a second term.
“If you take one thing from my words tonight, it is this: if you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can; and they will if we don’t make a change in this election. If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it,” Obama said in her taped address.
In his first on camera reaction to Obama’s speech, Trump sought to turn the former first lady’s critique of him — that he is in “over his head” — back on her.
“She was over her head,” the president said, blasting the nation’s first black first lady in response to a reporter’s question at an event commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment ensuring women the right to vote.
Read more about his response to the former first lady:
8:28 p.m. Cecilia Vega: ‘Entirely different culture’ in the Democratic Party now
Former President Bill Clinton, who has a long history with Democratic conventions, will only speak for five minutes on Tuesday. Ahead of the second night of the DNC, ABC News Anchor/Senior National Correspondent Cecilia Vega was asked if four years after Hillary Clinton’s run if the Clinton brand is now off brand.
“The reality is the party has changed from the Bill Clinton days of the Democrats. We’re looking at an entirely different culture right now,” said Vega.
8:18 p.m. Election advantage stays with Biden; enthusiasm deficit eases, but remains: POLL
The share of Joe Biden supporters who are very enthusiastic about supporting him has grown from 28% in March to 48% today, though he still has a wide deficit compared with President Trump, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.
8:12 p.m. ABC News political director previews Night 2 of the DNC
The list of speakers on the second night of the DNC is long, with 17 “rising stars” giving the keynote and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez only getting one minute.
“The biggest speech of the night probably belongs to Jill Biden,” ABC News Political Director Rick Klein told Linsey Davis on ABC News Live Prime. “She’ll be talking about the relationship with her husband, his commitment to leadership.”
8:06 p.m. Alabama Sen. Jones says Democrats are ‘quite unified’
Alabama Sen. Doug Jones joined ABC News Live to talk about how Democrats have unified.
“I think Democrats are quite unified. You only have to look at what occurred last night…I think that those voices capture what’s going on in America.”
7:56 p.m. Trump: ‘Not the best television I’ve ever watched’
President Trump was asked earlier Tuesday how he’d make his convention more lively than the DNC and he pointed to the Democrats’ taped elements — and noted the relatively poor broadcast ratings reported for the first night.
“Their ratings were very bad,” he said at an event in Yuma, Arizona, with border officials. “They just announced their rating and I thought it was not the best television I’ve ever watched. It was brutal actually. No, their ratings were very bad.”
The Hollywood Reporter noted that the ratings were down “considerably” since the 2016 conventions, but that it wasn’t a surprise “given that much of the convention isn’t taking place live and the general decline of linear TV viewing in the past four years.”
Trump continued, “I think we’re going to do great. Thursday night I’m doing it live, unlike Michelle Obama. I’m doing it live. And it’ll be Thursday night, it’ll be at the White House on the South Lawn and hopefully you’ll enjoy it.”
— ABC News’ Ben Gittleson
7:36 p.m. Colin Powell to speak at the DNC
Under the header of the Biden plan for national security, Colin Powell, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state in President George W. Bush’s administration, will join national security leaders who have served Democratic and Republican presidents to make their case for Joe Biden’s steady, experienced leadership, according to the DNC.
“I support Joe Biden for the presidency of the United States,” Powell says in a clip released by the DNC.
He goes on to reference Biden’s son Beau, who served as an officer in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
“Our country needs a commander in chief who takes care of troops, in the same way he would his own family,” Powell says. “For Joe Biden, that doesn’t need teaching. It comes from the experience he shares with millions of military families, sending his beloved son off to war and praying to God he would come home safe.”
7:31 p.m. Cindy McCain to talk about the late-Sen. John McCain’s friendship with Biden
Cindy McCain is set to appear at the DNC in a video segment – but only via audio – that details the “unlikely” friendship between former Vice President Joe Biden and her late husband, Sen. John McCain.
Convention officials released a clip of the segment, in which McCain says about the two, “They would just sit and joke. It was like a comedy show sometimes to watch the two of them.”
The rest of the clip shares some personal details about the friendship between the two, from their younger days when they were on a different path to when those paths ultimately crossed.
“It was a friendship that shouldn’t have worked. John, a former Navy pilot just released from a North Vietnamese prison. Joe, a young senator from Delaware,” the narrator says in the preview clip. “But in the 1970s, Joe was assigned a military aide for a trip overseas.”
“I was a Navy Senate liaison and used to carry your bags on overseas trips,” John McCain says in the video, which is pulled from a 2016 clip from the Senate floor.
“The son of a gun never carried my bags. He was supposed to carry my bags there but he never carried my bags,” Biden says, a clip from his 2017 speech at the Liberty Medal ceremony.
“John and Joe traveled thousands of miles together,” the narrator says. “The families got to know each other, gathering for picnics in the Biden’s backyard.”
Cindy McCain wrote on Twitter that she was “honored” to accept an invite from the Biden team to be part of the video.
“My husband and Vice President Biden enjoyed a 30+ year friendship dating back to before their years serving together in the Senate, so I was honored to accept the invitation from the Biden campaign to participate in a video celebrating their relationship,” McCain tweeted.
In 2019, about a year after McCain’s death, Cindy McCain spoke with ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl about the legacy of her late husband.
At that time, she said the current Republican Party is “not the party of Abraham Lincoln … nor the party of Ronald Reagan.”
“That was a tough torch to carry and, as John said, there were many lonely days because he always said what was on his mind,” she told Karl.
McCain added that her husband “never did anything deliberately to be hurtful or anything. … I don’t see anybody carrying that mantle at all, I don’t see anyone carrying the voice — the voice of reason.”
— ABC News’ Kendall Karson
7:25 p.m. DNC to hear from the ‘next generation of party leaders’
A group of 17 “rising stars” within the party — including former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb and Texas Rep. Colin Allred — are slated to deliver the night’s keynote address meant to capture the party’s “diversity of ideas and perspectives,” according to the DNC.
“The changing face of the Democratic Party is going to be on full display tonight, another new wave of fresh faces is expected early next year,” Senior Washington Reporter Devin Dwyer said on ABC News Live.
7:20 p.m. Michelle Obama posts encouragement to her ‘partner-in-crime’ Jill Biden
Ahead of her remarks Tuesday, former first lady Michelle Obama penned a lengthy message of encouragement to her “partner-in-crime” Jill Biden on Instagram.
Along with photos of the two throughout their time in the White House, Obama praised Biden as “one of the most grounded people you’ll ever meet, inside or outside of politics,” and added “There’s not a doubt in my mind that Jill will make a wonderful First Lady.”
— ABC News’ Molly Nagle
7:16 p.m. ABC to conduct 1st joint sit-down interview with Biden-Harris
The one-hour primetime special airs next Sunday at 8|7c on ABC News.
7:12 p.m. Sanders joins Vermont activists to cast roll call votes
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted that he, along with his wife Jane and a number of other Vermont activists, will cast their roll call votes together during the DNC.
Gubernatorial candidate and current Vermont Lt. Gov Dave Zuckerman will deliver the “Vermont message for justice,” according to a tweet by Jane this afternoon.
The group will include Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, a candidate for the Vermont state House, Burlington City Councilor Ali Dieng, Buff Lindau and Huck Gutman, according to Sanders’ tweet, which included a photo of the delegates.
— ABC News’ Meg Cunningham
7:06 p.m. Roll call to begin in Alabama
“Roll Call Across America” will kick off in Alabama, with Rep. Terri Sewell delivering the delegation’s votes from the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, the site where Alabama state troopers attacked the late-Rep. John Lewis and other civil rights demonstrators in 1965 in an incident that became known as “Bloody Sunday,” the Alabama congresswoman’s office confirmed to ABC News.
Biden will be formally nominated as the party’s presidential nominee during a 30-minute roll call featuring representatives for all 57 states and territories — a usually long-winded process that can take hours.
This year, the roll call will include delegates, parents, teachers, small business owners, essential workers, activists and elected leaders inside businesses, living rooms and in front of iconic landmarks.
Two of the other locations where state delegations will cast votes to formally nominate Biden are the Frederick Douglass statue in Baltimore, Maryland and the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign in Nevada.
ABC News’ Kendall Karson and John Verhovek
7 p.m. Overview of Tuesday’s primetime program:
Call to Order – Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mayor Tom Barrett
Credentials Committee Report – James Roosevelt Jr. and Lorraine Miller, Co-Chairs of the Credentials Committee
Rules Committee Report – The Honorable Barney Frank and Maria Cardona, Co-Chairs of the Credentials Committee
Platform Committee Report – Julie Chavez Rodriguez and Dennis McDonough, Co-Chairs of the Credentials Committee
‘The Leaders We Are’
Keynote Address: “We Step Up to Lead” – A group of 17 “rising stars” within the party — including former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Tennessee State Sen. Raumesh Akbari, U.S. Rep. Colin Allred of Texas, U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania, Nevada State Sen. Yvanna Cancela, former Ohio State Rep. Kathleen Clyde, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, Long Beach, California, Mayor Robert Garcia, Pennsylvania State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, South Carolina State Sen. Marlon Kimpson, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Michigan State Rep. Mari Manoogian, Texas State Rep. Victoria Neave, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Georgia State Rep. Sam Park, New Hampshire State Rep. Denny Ruprecht, and Birmingham, Alabama, Mayor Randall Woodfin — speak to Biden’s leadership and the party’s ideals
Introduction – Tracee Ellis Ross, American actress
‘We Respect the Constitution’
Remarks – Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates
Remarks – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
‘We Lead from the Oval Office’
Remarks – Caroline Kennedy, former U.S. Ambassador and daughter of President John F. Kennedy, and Jack Schlossberg, grandson of President John F. Kennedy
Remarks – Former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter
Remarks – Former President Bill Clinton
‘The Leader We Need’
Introduction – Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Tom Perez
Nominating Speeches for The Honorable Bernie Sanders – Former president of the United Auto Workers Bob King and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.
Nominating Speeches for The Honorable Joe Biden – Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., and U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del.
Roll Call Across America
‘The Leaders We Are’
‘We Take On the Toughest Challenges’
The Biden Plan: Healthcare – Democrats outline Biden’s plan to strengthen the Affordable Care Act
A More Perfect Union: A Conversation on Healthcare – Biden in conversation with everyday Americans on what the Affordable Care Act
Remarks – Ady Barkan, progressive activist
‘The Leader Joe Biden Is’
Remarks – Former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, 2004 Democratic nominee for president John Kerry
‘A True Commander-In-Chief’
The Biden Plan: National Security – National Security leaders speak to Biden’s experience
‘Family, Faith, and Country First’
“Teacher” – The story of Dr. Biden’s life, her career, and her relationship with Biden, family and staff
Remarks – Former second lady Dr. Jill Biden
Performance – John Legend, American singer-songwriter
Here is Tuesday’s lineup of speakers:
- Former Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates
- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
- Former Secretary of State John Kerry
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.
- Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Pa.
- Former President Bill Clinton
- Former second lady Dr. Jill Biden
- Keynote address from former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Tennessee State Sen. Raumesh Akbari, U.S. Rep. Colin Allred of Texas, U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania, Nevada State Sen. Yvanna Cancela, former Ohio State Rep. Kathleen Clyde, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, Long Beach, California, Mayor Robert Garcia, Pennsylvania State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, South Carolina State Sen. Marlon Kimpson, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Michigan State Rep. Mari Manoogian, Texas State Rep. Victoria Neave, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Georgia State Rep. Sam Park, New Hampshire State Rep. Denny Ruprecht, and Birmingham, Alabama, Mayor Randall Woodfin
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