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Harris accepts VP nomination after Obama delivers scathing Trump rebuke

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Recapping day three of the DNC
Recapping day three of the DNC 28:13

Senator Kamala Harris formally accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday following a scathing speech by former President Barack Obama, who said the fate of the nation "depends entirely on the outcome of this election." On the third night of the Democratic National Convention, both Mr. Obama and Harris stressed the importance of voting, with Harris saying "we're all in this fight together." 

Harris sounded an optimistic note by highlighting her personal history and the promise of America, saying she was "so inspired by a new generation."

"Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy," she said. "We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us."

She called Mr. Trump a "predator" in a speech that came after Mr. Obama issued his most forceful rebuke of his successor to date, saying Mr. Trump "hasn't grown into the job because he can't."

"This president and those in power — those who benefit from keeping things the way they are — they are counting on your cynicism," Mr. Obama said. "They know they can't win you over with their policies. So they're hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn't matter. That's how they win. That's how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That's how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That's how a democracy withers, until it's no democracy at all."

Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, speaking earlier in the night, both said they had hoped Mr. Trump would rise to the occasion. But they both stressed what they called his failures while in office, with Mr. Obama saying Mr. Trump has shown "no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves."

"He is who he is," Clinton said. 

Despite the blistering criticism of Mr. Trump, Democrats on Wednesday tried to push the message about the historic nature of Harris' candidacy and the future of the party. In addition to Clinton, powerhouse Democratic women such House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke.

On Thursday, the final night of the Democratic convention, Joe Biden will formally accept the Democratic nomination for president.

Latest updates:


How to watch the Democratic National Convention

  • What: Democratic National Convention
  • Date: Monday, August 17 through Thursday, August 20, 2020
  • Convention coverage on CBSN: 5 p.m. ET, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Convention speakers live on CBSN: 9-11 p.m. ET
  • Convention coverage on CBS television stations: 10-11 p.m. ET
  • Post-convention coverage on CBSN: 11 p.m. ET
  • Live blog updates: Follow along on CBSNews.com
  • Online stream: Live on CBSN — in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device.

 

What to expect Thursday

Joe Biden will formally accept the Democratic nomination for president on Thursday. He is expected to deliver his acceptance speech at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware.

Also set to speak on Thursday are Pete Buttigieg, Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, California Governor Gavin Newsom and Senator Cory Booker.

By Caroline Linton
 

Trump tweets about Obama in all caps during convention speech

President Trump appeared to be watching the DNC programming Wednesday night, tweeting about his predecessor as he spoke without mentioning him by name. 

"HE SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN, AND GOT CAUGHT!" Mr. Trump exclaimed in all caps.

"WHY DID HE REFUSED TO ENDORSE SLOW JOE UNTIL IT WAS ALL OVER, AND EVEN THEN WAS VERY LATE?" he tweeted a few minutes later. "WHY DID HE TRY TO GET HIM NOT TO RUN?" 

In his speech, Mr. Obama said of the sitting president. "Donald Trump hasn't grown into the job, because he can't," he said. "The consequences of that failure are severe."  

By Kathryn Watson
 

Kamala Harris: "We have a chance to change the course of history"

In her speech formally accepting the Democratic vice presidential nomination, Harris emphasized family values and party unity in her speech before the convention. She used her speech to introduce herself to the country, while also showing how she may balance Biden on the presidential ticket.

Harris, the first Black vice presidential candidate and South Asian vice presidential candidate and only the third woman in that role, praised women activists of the past as founders of the country.

"They paved the way for the trailblazing leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton," Harris said, mentioning women such as Mary Church Terrell and Shirley Chisholm. "We're not often taught their stories, but as Americans, we all stand on their shoulders."

Election 2020 DNC
Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, Augyst 19, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware. Carolyn Kaster / AP

Harris also spoke about the influence of her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, who was active in the civil rights movement in the San Francisco area in the 1960s.

"She raised us to be proud, strong Black women, and she raised us to know and be proud of our Indian heritage," Harris said about her mother. "My mother taught me that service to others gives life purpose and meaning."

"I accept your nomination for vice president of the United States of America. I do so committed to the values she taught me. To the word that teaches me to walk by faith and not by sight. And to a vision cast by generations of Americans — one that Joe Biden shares," Harris continued.

Harris also used her speech to contrast Biden's governing style with Mr. Trump's "failure of leadership," signaling that she may adopt the role of attack dog on the campaign trail.

Harris portrayed Biden's vision for the nation and for the future as one of hope and one which embraces all, rather than the more divisive approach taken by Mr. Trump.

Biden's is "a vision of our nation as a beloved community — where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love," Harris said. "Today, that country feels distant. Donald Trump's failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods."

Mr. Trump's "incompetence" and "callousness" in his response to the issues facing the country falls short of what is needed to face this moment, Harris argued. She said structural racism was at the root of inequities in income, health care, and criminal justice.

"Let's be clear: there is no vaccine for racism. We have got to do the work. For George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor, for the lives of too many others to name," Harris said, referencing Black Americans recently killed by police officers.

"We can do better and deserve so much more. We must elect a president who will bring something different, something better, and do the important work," Harris said. "A president who will bring all of us together — Black, White, Latino, Asian, Indigenous — to achieve the future we collectively want."

Like others before her, she also reminded voters of Biden's ability to empathize with the struggles of Americans, compared to Mr. Trump.

"Right now, we have a president who turns our tragedies into political weapons. Joe will be a president who turns our challenges into purpose," Harris said. "Joe and I believe that we can build that beloved community, one that is strong and decent, just and kind. One in which we all can see ourselves."

She encouraged voters to turn out for Biden, saying that "when we vote, we expand access to health care, expand access to the ballot box, and ensure that more working families can make a decent living."

"In this election, we have a chance to change the course of history. We're all in this fight. You, me, and Joe — together," Harris said. "So, let's fight with conviction. Let's fight with hope. Let's fight with confidence in ourselves, and a commitment to each other. To the America we know is possible, the America we love."

Watch the full speech in the player below. 

Kamala Harris' DNC speech 21:02
By Grace Segers
 

Obama says Trump "hasn't grown into the job because he can't"

Former President Barack Obama slammed his successor in his speech for the Democratic convention, saying that President Trump "hasn't grown into the job" of being president "because he can't."

Mr. Obama delivered his strongest rebuke of Mr. Trump yet from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. Mr. Obama, who rarely critiques the current president by name, did not hesitate Wednesday night. 

"For close to four years now, he's shown no interest in putting in the work; no interest in finding common ground; no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends; no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves," Mr. Obama said.

Election 2020 DNC
In this image from video, former President Barack Obama speaks during the third night of the Democratic National Convention. Democratic National Convention via AP

But Mr. Obama also made the case for Biden, a man he worked alongside over two terms in the White House.

"For eight years, Joe was the last one in the room whenever I faced a big decision. He made me a better president – and he's got the character and the experience to make us a better country," Mr. Obama said. "And in my friend Kamala Harris, he's chosen an ideal partner who's more than prepared for the job; someone who knows what it's like to overcome barriers and who's made a career fighting to help others live out their own American dream."

The former president urged Americans to make a plan, today, tonight, to vote.

"You can give our democracy new meaning. You can take it to a better place," he said. "You're the missing ingredient – the ones who will decide whether or not America becomes the country that fully lives up to its creed. That work will continue long after this election. But any chance of success depends entirely on the outcome of this election."

Read the full speech here or watch it in the player below:

Obama's DNC speech 19:18


By Kathryn Watson
 

Warren praises Biden's campaign plans, including child care proposals

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a former public school teacher, delivered her speech for the Democratic convention from an elementary school in Massachusetts. Warren praised Biden's campaign proposals to ease economic inequality.

"I love a good plan, and Joe Biden has some really good plans—plans to bring back union jobs in manufacturing and create new union jobs in clean energy," said Warren, who was known for producing a series of policy plans in her own presidential campaign. She added that Biden had "plans to increase Social Security benefits, cancel billions in student loan debt, and make our bankruptcy laws work for families instead of the creditors who cheat them."

Election 2020 DNC
In this image from video, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, August 19, 2020. Democratic National Convention via AP

Warren praised Biden's plan to provide affordable childcare, implement universal preschool and raise wages for childcare workers. "That's just one plan, but it gives you an idea of how we get this country working for everyone," she said.

"We all need to be in the fight to get Joe and Kamala elected. And after November, we all need to stay in the fight to get big things done," Warren continued, implying that she would continue to press for progressive policies even if Biden is elected. "We stay in this fight so that when our children and our grandchildren ask what we did during this dark chapter in our nation's history, we will be able to look them squarely in the eye and say: we organized, we persisted, and we changed America."

By Grace Segers
 

Pelosi says voters will "remember in November" what McConnell and Trump have done

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi emphasized the power of women, both throughout history and in the U.S. House of Representatives. She noted 105 members of the House are women, and 90 of those women are Democrats. 

"To win the vote, women marched and fought and never gave in. We stand on their shoulders," she said.

Pelosi made the case that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Mr. Trump are standing in the way of progress, particularly when it comes to access to health care.

Election 2020 DNC
In this image from video, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during the third night of the Democratic National Convention. Democratic National Convention via AP

"We will remember in November, when we will elect Joe Biden president," the speaker said. 

Pelosi said Biden has the faith and the courage to lead the country, and he "has never forgotten who he is fighting for." 

"Our mission is to fight for a future equal to the ideals of our founders," she said.  

Watch Pelosi's full speech below. 

Pelosi speech at DNC 04:17
By Kathryn Watson
 

Hillary Clinton on Trump: "He is who he is"

The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee had this to say about the rival who bested her: "He is who he is." 

In her convention speech, Hillary Clinton took up the party's refrain on President Trump, albeit with a twist on his original remark, "it is what it is," in response to a question about the COVID-19 death toll.

"I wish Donald Trump had been a better president. But, sadly, he is who he is," Clinton said. "America needs a president who shows the same compassion, determination, and leadership in the White House that we see in our communities."

Clinton also talked about what people who did not support her in 2016 have said to her since then.

Election 2020 DNC
In this image from video, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the third night of the Democratic National Convention. Democratic National Convention via AP

"For four years, people have said to me, 'I didn't realize how dangerous he was.' 'I wish I could go back and do it over.' Or worst, 'I should have voted.' Well, this can't be another woulda coulda shoulda election," Clinton said. "Remember in 2016 when Trump asked: 'What do you have to lose?' Well, now we know: our health, our jobs, even our lives. Our leadership in the world and, yes, even our post office."

However, Clinton said that it wasn't just important to get Mr. Trump out of the Oval Office, but to get Biden and Harris into it. It's Biden, she said, who can "heal the country."

"There's a lot of heartbreak in America right now — and the truth is, many things were broken before the pandemic," Clinton said. "Joe Biden knows how to heal, unify, and lead, because he's done all of that for his family and his country."

Clinton also praised Harris, and wryly noted that she was familiar with the kinds of sexist attacks Harris may face from opponents.

"Joe picked the right partner in Kamala. She's relentless in the pursuit of justice and equity," Clinton said. "I know something about the slings and arrows she'll face, and believe me, this former district attorney and attorney general can handle them all."

Watch Clinton's full speech below. 

Hillary Clinton's DNC speech 06:44
By Grace Segers
 

Gabrielle Giffords: "We can let the shooting continue, or we can act"

Former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head and nearly killed in January 2011, said the nation has a choice when it comes to gun violence — but it takes determination. 

"I put one foot in front of the other," said Giffords, who suffered paralysis and aphasia from the shooting. "I found one word and then I found another. My recovery is a daily fight but fighting makes me stronger." 

While speaking remains a struggle, Giffords said "I have not lost my voice." 

"We are at a crossroads. We can let the shooting continue, or we can act," she said, urging viewers to step up and vote for Biden.

By Kathryn Watson
 

Harris urges Americans to vote ahead of convention speech

The third night of the Democratic convention kicked off with brief remarks from Harris, who is set to speak later in the evening. Harris urged Americans to cast a ballot, implying that Republicans wish to suppress the vote. Democrats have argued that recent changes to the Postal Service were deliberately implemented to make mail-in voting more difficult.

"We need to ask ourselves, why don't they want us to vote? Why is there so much effort to silence our voices?" Harris asked, addressing the camera from backstage at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware. "And the answer is because, when we vote, things change. When we vote, things get better."

Harris urged viewers to learn more about their voting rights by texting the campaign.

By Grace Segers
 

Barack Obama: Highly rated and in high demand

The vast majority of Democrats are looking forward to hearing from former President Barack Obama will speak at the convention tonight, according to the most recent CBS News polling

Heading into the convention, far more Democrats wanted to hear from Mr. Obama than another recent Democratic president, Bill Clinton, who spoke last night. Across demographic groups within Democratic voters, roughly 90% want to hear from Mr. Obama.

Nine in 10 Democrats rate the Obama presidency positively, including 59% who say it was "excellent."

By Jennifer De Pinto
 

Kamala Harris inspires women of color as first on major party ticket

Campaign aides say Senator Kamala Harris' speech on Wednesday will deliver a vision for a more inclusive nation based on her own experiences. Nikole Killion reports.

Kamala Harris inspires women of color as firs... 01:44
 

"Shameful": DNC chair accuses Trump of trying to "sabotage" voting access with Postal Service changes

As Democrats gear up for the finale of the Democratic National Convention, party leaders are accusing President Trump and his handpicked postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, of making changes to the U.S. Postal Service to hinder voting access. 

DeJoy is expected to testify before Congress on Friday about these changes, and he has now agreed to halt the overhaul until after the election. Recent delays in mail delivery, a management shakeup and reports that mail-sorting equipment is being dismantled sparked widespread concerns about whether the U.S. Postal Service would be able to handle the expected flood of absentee ballots this fall.

Mr. Trump has denied involvement in the overhaul — a claim Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez found hard to believe. 

"We have lost faith in the Postal Service because of the sabotage of the president," Perez told CBSN anchor Vladimir Duthiers Wednesday. "We are not going to tolerate it."

Read more from Duthiers' interview here and watch the full interview below. 

DNC chairman weighs in on Biden-Harris ticket... 13:35


By Elizabeth Elkind
 

Harris to emphasize unity in convention speech

Kamala Harris, who is accepting the Democratic vice presidential nomination Wednesday, will call for party unity in her speech before the convention and contrast Joe Biden's governing style with Mr. Trump's "failure of leadership."

She will portray Biden's vision for the nation and for the future as one of hope and one which embraces all, rather than the more divisive approach taken by Mr. Trump.

Biden's is "a vision of our nation as a beloved community–where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love," Harris will say, according to excerpts of the speech released by the Democratic National Convention Committee. "Today, that country feels distant. Donald Trump's failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods."

Mr. Trump's "incompetence" and "callousness" in his response to the issues facing the country falls short of what is needed to face this moment, Harris will argue in the final address of the evening tonight.

"We can do better and deserve so much more. We must elect a president who will bring something different, something better, and do the important work," Harris will say. "A president who will bring all of us together—Black, White, Latino, Asian, Indigenous—to achieve the future we collectively want."

As others before her, she will also remind voters of Biden's ability to empathize with the struggles of Americans, compared to Mr. Trump.

"Right now, we have a president who turns our tragedies into political weapons. Joe will be a president who turns our challenges into purpose," Harris will say.

By Grace Segers
 

Hillary Clinton on Trump: "He is who he is"

The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee has this to say about the rival who bested her: "He is who he is." In her convention speech, Hillary Clinton is taking up the party's refrain on President Trump, albeit with a twist on his original remark, "it is what it is," in response to a question about the COVID-19 death toll.

"I wish Donald Trump had been a better president. But, sadly, he is who he is," Clinton will say. "America needs a president who shows the same compassion, determination, and leadership in the White House that we see in our communities."

Clinton will also talk about what people who did not support her in 2016 have said to her since then.

Hillary Clinton to speak at DNC 05:03

"For four years, people have said to me, 'I didn't realize how dangerous he was.' 'I wish I could go back and do it over.' Or worst, 'I should have voted.' Well, this can't be another woulda coulda shoulda election," Clinton will say. It's Biden, she'll say, who can "hethe country.

"There's a lot of heartbreak in America right now – and the truth is, many things were broken before the pandemic...Joe Biden knows how to heal, unify, and lead, because he's done all of that for his family and his country," Clinton will say.

The DNCC also released an excerpt from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's speech. She will reference her combative relationship with the president and imply that Mr. Trump has difficulty dealing with powerful women.

"As speaker, I've seen firsthand Donald Trump's disrespect for facts, for working families, and for women in particular – disrespect written into his policies toward our health and our rights, not just his conduct.  But we know what he doesn't: that when women succeed, America succeeds," Pelosi will say.

By Grace Segers
 

Jill Biden says Joe Biden "has the character to lead us forward" after DNC nomination

Jill Biden, the wife of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, talks to "CBS This Morning" about why she thinks her husband has what it takes to lead the U.S. She also reflects on school safety amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Jill Biden on DNC speeches, school reopenings... 06:23
 

What Obama plans to say in his Democratic National Convention speech

When former President Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night from Philadelphia, he not only plans to describe working alongside his former partner, Joe Biden, but also intends to use a major national address to encourage Americans to vote. 
Mr. Obama will be delivering his speech from the Museum of the American Revolution, a spokeswoman confirmed. He'll appear on the same night as some of the party's biggest female stars — Hillary Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Kamala Harris, the party's vice presidential nominee.  
 
A spokeswoman says the former president plans to "talk about watching Joe's success firsthand in helping to lead America out of a dire recession and jump-start our economy, expand health care for tens of millions of Americans, and restore our standing in the world."
 
In urging Americans to vote, Mr. Obama will "highlight the cynical moves by the current administration and the Republican Party to discourage Americans from voting," the spokeswoman said.

Read more here

By Ed O'Keefe
 

Making room for Republicans at Democratic National Convention

Quite a few Republicans are appearing at the virtual Democratic National Convention this year. As Democrats make their case for a Joe Biden presidency, a handful of the GOP are also voicing support for someone who is decidedly not the leader of their party and the sitting president.

On Tuesday, Cindy McCain, the widow of Senator John McCain, narrated a video portraying the close and decades-long friendship her husband and Biden shared, one that weathered the race they ran against each other in 2008, when McCain was the Republican nominee and Biden was Barack Obama's running mate. While it was not exactly an endorsement, the video lent credence to the notion that Biden can be trusted by Republicans.

General Colin Powell, who was secretary of state in George W. Bush's administration, went further and explicitly endorsed the former vice president. 

Powell also endorsed Mr. Obama in 2008 and 2012. CBS News political correspondent Ed O'Keefe pointed out that there are some this week who are baffled by the decision to give highly sought speaking slots to Republicans rather than rising stars in the party. "The campaign defends it," O'Keefe told CBSN, "and says, 'Look, the Biden coalition includes Democrats, independents and yes, Republicans.' For years, Biden had a reputation as a bipartisan bridge-builder, both on Capitol Hill and then as vice president, and they want to highlight and remind people of that." 

Read more here about the GOP at the DNC

Cindy McCain speaks in video at DNC 03:02
By Kathryn Watson
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