DNC Day 3: Obama brings full support to Clinton

President brings star power to Trump takedown

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA - President Barack Obama on Wednesday dismissed Donald Trump in withering terms and offered his complete support for Hillary Clinton.

Obama offered an empowering vision of the nation at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, saying America doesn't need a "self declared savior" like Trump to fix it.

"The America I know is full of courage, and optimism, and ingenuity," Obama said. "The America I know is decent and generous. Sure, we have real anxieties -- about paying the bills, protecting our kids, caring for a sick parent. We get frustrated with political gridlock, worry about racial divisions; are shocked and saddened by the madness of Orlando or Nice."

He went on: "But as I've traveled this country, through all fifty states; as I've rejoiced with you and mourned with you, what I've also seen, more than anything, is what is right with America."

Obama then placed his presidential legacy in Clinton's hands, saying no man or woman had ever been as prepared to be president..

Clinton joined Obama on stage after his speech and the pair joined in an affectionate hug.

Gun violence victims, families speak out

Victims and families of gun violence delivered emotional pleas Wednesday night in support of Clinton as a president who would act to curb mass shootings and press for new gun laws.

Speeches from former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was shot in the head, and a mother whose son was slain in the Orlando nightclub shooting had audience members in tears.

Christine Leinonen, the mother of one of the 49 people killed at the Pulse Nightclub shootings, was supported by two of her son's friends while she asked for "common sense" gun laws. "It takes seven minutes and 48 seconds for a church bell to ring 49 times," she said.

Erica Smegielski, the daughter of the Sandy Hook Elementary School principal who was killed in the 2012 massacre, teared up as she said that she was angry and demanded action.

Biden: Trump doesn't have 'a clue'

Vice President Joe Biden offered powerful criticism of Donald Trump Wednesday, painting the Republican nominee as completely unqualified for the presidency.

"He is trying to tell us he cares about the middle class. Give me a break. That's a bunch of malarky," Biden said. "This guy doesn't have a clue about the Middle Class. Not a clue."

The crowd roared with approval, chanting "not a clue."

Biden slammed Trump as unable to handle the complexities of a dangerous world.

"No major party nominee in the history of this nation has ever known less or has been less prepared to deal with our national security," he said.

Biden used his address on the third night of the Democratic National Convention to appeal to middle-class voters and convince them Hillary Clinton understands their concerns. Leveraging his blue-collar bona fides, Biden argued Clinton is intimately familiar with the economic disenfranchisement that helped power Trump's rise.

"Everybody knows she is smart," Biden said. "Everybody knows she is tough. But I know what she is passionate about. I know Hillary. Hillary understands. Hillary gets it."

Bloomberg: 'I know a con when I see one'

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, meanwhile, said he was not a Democrat or a Republican but appeared at the convention to demolish his fellow billionaire's reputation in business.

"I believe we need a president who is a problem-solver, not a bomb-thrower," said Bloomberg.

He quipped that unlike Trump, he didn't start his business empire with a "million-dollar check from my father."

"Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off," Bloomberg said. "Trump says he wants to run the nation like he's run his business. God help us!"

"I am a New Yorker, and I know a con when I see one."

The night of the DNC also offered a big opportunity for Tim Kaine, Clinton's vice presidential pick, who introduced himself to an audience unfamiliar with his years as a governor and senator in Virginia.

Noting that his son, Nat, deployed with the US Marines this week, Kaine quickly slammed Trump for raising the possibility that his administration wouldn't always defend NATO allies.

Kaine said his son would "protect and defend the very NATO allies that Donald Trump now says he wants to abandon."

He also noted the presence at the convention of his father-in-law, former Virginia Gov. Linwood Holton, a Republican who helped desegregate the state's schools.

Security theme

The night's underlying theme is security --- national security, economic security and safety from gun crime.

Leon Panetta, the former CIA director and secretary of defense, said that Clinton is uniquely qualified to be president and lashed out at Trump over his apparent call for Russian intelligence agencies to help find emails that Hillary Clinton deleted from her private server.

"Today, Donald Trump today once again took Russia's side. He asked the Russians to interfere in American politics. Think about that for a moment. Donald Trump, who wants to be president of the United States, is asking one of our adversaries to engage in hacking or intelligence efforts against the United States of America to affect an election," Panetta said.

"As someone who was responsible for protecting our nation from cyberattacks, it's inconceivable to me that any presidential candidate would be that irresponsible," he said. "Donald Trump cannot become our commander-in-chief."

Seven protesters arrested

Seven protesters who breached the DNC outer perimeter fence were arrested Wednesday night, according to the Secret Service. The seven were dressed in all black and had their faces covered.

The protesters got into the Secret Service designated zone, but did not enter the Wells Fargo Center, where the convention is being held, according to the security agency. They were arrested and have been taken to the Philadelphia Federal Detention Center, where they're expected to be charged with entering a restricted area.

What to expect on Thursday

Clinton will accept the Democratic nomination and deliver one of the biggest speeches of her political life -- on par with her 2008 concession speech in which she declared she'd placed "18 million cracks" in the glass ceiling.

She'll take a page from Trump's book in doing so.

Trump was introduced by his daughter, Ivanka. And Clinton will be introduced by her daughter, Chelsea.

Retired Gen. John Allen, who led the war in Afghanistan, will also be among the night's marquee speakers.

 

Biden: Trump doesn't have 'a clue'

Vice President Joe Biden offered powerful criticism of Donald Trump Wednesday, painting the Republican nominee as completely unqualified for the presidency.

"He is trying to tell us he cares about the middle class. Give me a break. That's a bunch of malarky," Biden said. "This guy doesn't have a clue about the Middle Class. Not a clue."

The crowd roared with approval, chanting "not a clue."

Biden slammed Trump as unable to handle the complexities of a dangerous world.

"No major party nominee in the history of this nation has ever known less or has been less prepared to deal with our national security," he said.

Biden used his address on the third night of the Democratic National Convention to appeal to middle-class voters and convince them Hillary Clinton understands their concerns. Leveraging his blue-collar bona fides, Biden argued Clinton is intimately familiar with the economic disenfranchisement that helped power Trump's rise.

"Everybody knows she is smart," Biden said. "Everybody knows she is tough. But I know what she is passionate about. I know Hillary. Hillary understands. Hillary gets it."

Bloomberg: 'I know a con when I see one'

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, meanwhile, said he was not a Democrat or a Republican but appeared at the convention to demolish his fellow billionaire's reputation in business.

"I believe we need a president who is a problem-solver, not a bomb-thrower," said Bloomberg.

He quipped that unlike Trump, he didn't start his business empire with a "million dollar check from my father."

"Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off," Bloomberg said. "Trump says he wants to run the nation like he's run his business. God help us!"

"I am a New Yorker, and I know a con when I see one."

He went on: "The bottom line is: Trump is a risky, reckless, and radical choice. And we can't afford to make that choice!"

The night of the DNC also offered a big opportunity for Tim Kaine, Clinton's vice presidential pick, who introduced himself to an audience unfamiliar with his years as a governor and senator in Virginia.

Noting that his son, Nat, deployed with the US Marines this week, Kaine quickly slammed Trump for raising the possibility that his administration wouldn't always defend NATO allies.

Kaine said his son would "protect and defend the very NATO allies that Donald Trump now says he wants to abandon."

He also noted the presence at the convention of his father-in-law, former Virginia Gov. Linwood Holton, a Republican who helped desegregate the state's schools.

President Barack Obama will speak later in the evening, reinforcing the message that no one has ever been more qualified to be in the Oval Office than Clinton, placing his legacy in the hands of his one-time bitter rival. Obama's keynote speech could be the final chance of his presidency to address a crowd of millions of people before a prime-time television audience.

Security theme

The night's underlying theme is security --- national security, economic security and safety from gun crime.

Leon Panetta, the former CIA director and secretary of defense, said that Clinton is uniquely qualified to be President and lashed out at Trump over his apparent call on Russian intelligence agencies to help find emails that Hillary Clinton deleted from her private server.

"Today, Donald Trump today once again took Russia's side. He asked the Russians to interfere in American politics. Think about that for a moment. Donald Trump, who wants to be president of the United States, is asking one of our adversaries to engage in hacking or intelligence efforts against the United States of America to affect an election," Panetta said.

"As someone who was responsible for protecting our nation from cyberattacks, it's inconceivable to me that any presidential candidate would be that irresponsible," he said. "Donald Trump cannot become our commander-in-chief."

During his remarks, some Bernie Sanders supporters began to chant "No More War!" but were drowned out by counter chants of "USA, USA."

Soon after Panetta spoke, the Trump campaign released a statement criticizing the former defense secretary's stance.

"It is alarming that Leon Panetta would, through his silence, excuse Hillary Clinton's enablement of foreign espionage with her illegal email scheme and her corrupt decision to then destroy those emails and dissemble her 'private' server to hide her crimes from the public and authorities," Trump senior policy advisor Stephen Miller said. He also argued that it was Clinton who was endangering national security with her policies in the Middle East and North Africa.

The FBI recommended not to bring criminal charges against Clinton earlier this month related to her private email server.

What to expect on Thursday

Clinton will accept the Democratic nomination and deliver one of the biggest speeches of her political life -- on par with declaring in China that "women's rights are human rights" and more important than her 2008 concession speech in which she declared she'd placed "18 million cracks" in the glass ceiling.

She'll take a page from Trump's book in doing so.

Trump was introduced by his daughter, Ivanka. And Clinton will be introduced by her daughter, Chelsea.

What the two daughters have in common: Both have the capacity to humanize their parents, who are among the least-liked major party nominees in history.

Retired Gen. John Allen, who led the war in Afghanistan, will also be among the night's marquee speakers.