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Kelly File

Do allegations of plagiarism stain Melania Trump's speech?

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," July 19, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, it is the moment millions of Americans have been waiting for as Donald Trump sheds the label of "presumptive" and officially becomes the 2016 Republican nominee for president.

Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly.

In moments, Trump will make his first remarks to the Cleveland crowd as the official nominee, and we'll bring those to you live. It was nearly 13 months ago to this day that the New York businessman was descending the Trump Tower escalator and announcing his candidacy for the highest office in the land. Critics at the time dismissed his campaign as a sideshow. Instead, he became the main event, and how. He took the political world and the nation by storm, cultivating a massive following and breaking all the rules in the process.  Tonight it all comes full circle as Trump's own son, Donald Trump, Jr., casts the deciding vote to secure his own father's nomination.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP JR., SON OF DONALD TRUMP: And it is my honor to be able to throw Donald Trump over the top in the delegate count tonight with 89 delegates and another six to John Kasich. Congratulations, dad. We love you!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: What a moment for them. And with New York, New York playing in the background and the Trump clan embracing on the convention floor, the only thing left to do was await some words from the man himself. As we mentioned, we'll bring you Mr. Trump's speech in just moments along with remarks from House Speaker Paul Ryan and Trump confidant, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. We're also going to hear from another member of the Trump clan, his daughter Tiffany Trump.

But first we go live to Cleveland where correspondent Shannon Bream is down on the convention floor with more. Shannon.

SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Megyn. You know, this is where the electricity is. People get fired up. People have scuffles. People argue about political things. You know, most of the conventions that you and I have covered and others out there in the political world, by the time you get to this place, people are pretty unified. This convention has had a very different feel. And today we watched as a couple of delegations cast their votes to see what they would do. We watched Virginia, which is not far from here. The former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli of course was part of the dust up yesterday challenging the rules package vote.

He didn't show up tonight, but Virginia did go ahead with their delegation and pledge those delegates as they had been decided months ago. Just a short ways away from that is the Utah delegation, and when it came to them, they gave their delegates to Ted Cruz. But it wasn't possible under the rules for that to actually happen because under the rules, those delegates could only go to somebody who came with the nomination. And today Donald Trump was the only one. So they made their stand. It didn't make a difference, but they really made their point. And there's still a lot of chatter on the floor about people who aren't exactly feeling just unified just yet -- Megyn.

KELLY: Shannon Bream, thank you.

Well, the Republican Party may be uniting behind its nominee tonight, but some folks in the media were less impressed and spent the better part of the last 24 hours going after what some are calling the, quote, "divisive rhetoric" from some of the speakers yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look at this audience, and as you look at the message even with Mrs. Trump saying what she said, it's a pretty divisive message. There's no attempt to really pull the country together.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it was wrong. I don't care what that woman up there, the mother, has felt. Her emotions are her own. But for the country in choosing a leader, it's wrong to have someone come up there and tell a lie about Hillary Clinton. It's not true.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He needs a little cheap unity here, getting things that get everybody unified using -- and beating up Hillary, using Benghazi to beat up Hillary is an easy way to do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll tell you what. In that hall today, that hall is wired. That hall is wired by loud, unhappy, dissatisfied white people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: NBC News' Matt Lauer weighed in suggesting even before last night's prime time speakers could take to the stage, that Mr. Trump ought to consider making a pledge to tone down the rhetoric.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATT LAUER, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Would you be willing to make a pledge to speak to everyone involved in this convention and say, please tone down the rhetoric?

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Sure, and I think it's going to be toned down. I think it's going to be a great rhetoric, but there's also going to be law and order. We need law and order in the country.  

LAUER: So, can you say to the people that are going to take to that podium this week, no personal attacks, no vitriol, keep it civil?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Brit Hume is our Fox News senior political analyst. David Wohl is a Trump supporter and attorney. Marc Thiessen is a Fox News contributor and former chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush. Great to see you all.

MARC THIESSEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Hi, Megyn.

BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Hi, Megyn.

KELLY: So, Matt Lauer was basically saying, don't engage in personal attacks. What did you make of the mainstream media's reaction to the first day of the coverage?

HUME: Well, they have a real antipathy toward Donald Trump. There's no doubt about that. And a lot of people do. Indeed some Republicans do.  But I've always thought that this was advisable to try to conceal your biases as best you can, and that question basically said to Donald Trump --

KELLY: Oh! Let me stand you by, Brit. Donald Trump.

TRUMP: An unbelievable evening. Today has been a very, very special day watching my children put me over the top earlier. The party seal, I mean, what we did getting the party's nomination, I'll never forget it. It's something I will never, ever forget. A little over one year ago, I announced my candidacy for president, and with your vote today, this stage of the presidential process has come to a close. Together we've achieved historic results with the largest vote total in the history of the Republican Party.

This is a movement, but we have to go all the way. I'm so proud to be your nominee for president of the United States. I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you on Thursday night on how we build a brighter and more hopeful future for all Americans. It's an honor to run on a ticket with Governor Mike Pence, who is an incredible man and who will make a great, great vice president. I'll be with him in Cleveland tomorrow night, and we'll be together again on Thursday night. And by the way, we are going to win the state of Ohio and also, of course, we're going to win the presidency and bring real change and leadership back to Washington.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

This is going to be a leadership, by the way, that puts the American people first. We're going to bring back our jobs. We're going to rebuild our depleted military and take care of our great veterans. We're going to have strong borders. We're going to get rid of ISIS, and we're going to restore law and order. We have to restore and quickly law and order among many, and just so many other things. And I'll be discussing with that Thursday night. We'll be talking all about it. But together, most importantly, we are going to make America great again. Have a fantastic evening. I'll see you tomorrow night. I'll see you on Thursday night. And we will win in November. Thank you.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KELLY: Donald Trump making an appearance at his convention to the delight of the crowd down below and very much on message tonight, hitting the themes of the convention this week from Make America Great Again, talking about how this is a movement. We're going to put America first, and his themes of law and order and restoring it in this country.

Back now with our panel. Brit, your thoughts on what we just heard.

HUME: Well, this is vintage Trump except for one thing. He was brief. He stuck to his message. No ad libs, no insults, and, you know, you almost could say that when Matt Lauer gave him that advice about, could you knock off the insults and tell everybody to be nice at the convention, he was doing so in an effort to help Mr. Trump, to reach out to people that don't already support him. But somehow, you know, Megyn, I don't quite think that was the motive.

KELLY: David?

DAVID WOHL, TRUMP SUPPORTER: So, the mainstream media is asking Trump to tone down the vitriol of the supporters while at the same time Hillary Clinton is calling him the most dangerous president ever to run for office, and the media's response to that. Crickets. So we know what the media's bias is in this matter. We know what's going on. As far as Melania Trump last night, she was elegant, beautiful, brilliant. I looked up some speeches done by Nancy Reagan, by Laura Bush, and by Hillary when she was a first lady, and they all contain very similar language. But they're crickets. Barack Obama allegedly --

KELLY: We're going to get to that in a minute. We're going to get to the Melania Trump -- let's just stick with the candidate himself first. Marc, first of all, is it unusual to see the candidate pop up each night?

THIESSEN: He's been up every night.

KELLY: Yes.

THIESSEN: He was on last night to introduce his wife, which I thought that was a very moving moment, and that could have been a great moment for the campaign last night if it hadn't been for what we're going to discuss in a moment. But, you know, when they go out there in Philadelphia, they're going to take the gloves off for Donald Trump. So this whole theme of the media saying, you know --

KELLY: Be gentle.

THIESSEN: Be nice. Be nice to Hillary. But of course she's going to be hitting him over the head with a two by four come next week.

KELLY: I'm sure that we'll see a similar interview of Hillary the day before the Philadelphia convention, right? So, what are we talking about with Melania Trump? I'm now sure certainly you heard --

THIESSEN: I'm just going to say last night when I heard late that this speech had contained what was like whole passages from --

KELLY: Melania Trump?

THIESSEN: Melania Trump's speech had contained the whole passages from Michelle Obama's speech and then you see them intercut together. It's unmistakable. It's ironic.

KELLY: We have that. Can you hold that thought? Can you hold that thought? So we can show people what we're talking about? So, Melania Trump is being accused of lifting significant portions of her speech from that given by Michelle Obama back in 2008. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values.

MELANIA TRUMP, WIFE OF DONALD TRUMP: From a young age, my parents impressed on me the value.

M. OBAMA: You work hard for what you want in life.

M. TRUMP: That you work hard for what you want in life.

M. OBAMA: That your word is your bond, that you do what you say you're going to do.

M. TRUMP: That your word is your bond, and you do what you say and keep your promise.

M. OBAMA: That you treat people with dignity and respect.

M. TRUMP: That you treat people with respect.

M. OBAMA: Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values and to pass them on to the next generation.

M. TRUMP: And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow.

M. OBAMA: Because we want our children and all children in this nation to know --

M. TRUMP: Because we want all children in this nation to know --

M. OBAMA: That the only limits to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them.

M. TRUMP: That the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Go ahead.  

HUME: It's pretty unmistakable what happened. The writer of that speech lifted those passages. Now, I thought about Marc Thiessen, and he can verify this. Many a White House speechwriter has found it the bane of his or her existence, what you have to go through to get a speech for the president of the United States cleared for use. It's a process called staffing, and a speech draft goes out to agencies all across the government depending on the subjects that are in the speech, and they're gone over by a fine toothed comb by all kinds of people. It drives the writers crazy because nitpicking problems with the factual issues or something might be said to be against policy. That stuff gets knocked out and the battles will go on about this.

But the purpose of it and most of the time the result of it is, the speech is clean of the President contradicting his own policy, for example. Or there's a reason for it. It's very important, and it takes a lot of people to do it. It takes the kind of huge staff that a president has. And may I say this? The same kind of huge and sometimes bloated staff that Hillary Clinton may have. It's a terrible bureaucratic pain in the neck for the people that have to write those speeches but there's a reason for it and a campaign running not on a shoestring but, you know, a real economical small-staff campaign may not simply be equipped to do that kind of vetting.

KELLY: One of the interesting things that we learned just now as ABC News reported just before we came to air that -- this is from Jonathan Carl.  Six weeks ago two respected Republican speechwriters were asked to write this speech. A draft was submitted to the Trump campaign a month ago.  Jared Kushner, Ivanka's husband, who has been advising Mr. Trump's signed off on that draft. It was delivered, but the speech delivered by Melania Trump last night included almost nothing of the draft.

So clearly somebody else stepped in. She told Matt Lauer that she wrote it with as little help as possible. Many people doubt that, you know, she was responsible. But the Trump campaign is denying there was any similarity, that that passage was taken from anything. Marc, I'll ask you your thoughts as a former speechwriter for a president.

THIESSEN: Sure. I know those guys and they would never have cribbed speech from Michelle Obama the way that was done. And look, Melania Trump is a lovely woman. She delivered a wonderful address last night. Much of it was very good. And, you know, she's not someone who seeks the public spotlight like she did it for her husband because she loved him and she was terribly ill served by his campaign. Somebody in that campaign really dropped the ball. And it really does matter for a couple of reasons.

One, it overshadowed the message last night. Nobody was talking today about Keeping America Safe. And she had a special job last night. She had a job to go out and make the case for Donald Trump to women and immigrants, and that was completely overshadowed by this error on the part of the campaign. And second of all, what it says about the campaign, that they didn't catch it. This is -- as Brit said, we have this staffing process in the White House. It's slimmer in a presidential campaign, but it's real.  You have to check these things and you have to go through it. And they don't have that process. They dropped the ball, then they deny it. Paul Manafort said nothing was cribbed. Of course it was.

KELLY: He denied it. He denied it and he blamed it on Hillary Clinton, saying she's trying to destroy another woman. David?

WOHL: Well, I mean, you know, like I said, motivational speeches are derivative by their very nature. I looked at speeches done by Nancy Reagan, Laura Bush. Very similar language contained in those speeches.  There's no question about it. When that speech was over with, and I was up in the suite, the people around me were just star struck. They were just blown away by her elegance, by her brilliance, by the beauty of that woman.  Let's face it.

KELLY: Don't you think it's unfortunate that all of that was taken away?

WOHL: I don't think it was taken away.

KELLY: To some extent?

WOHL: I don't think people gave a flip about it in the end. The media cared. The media has attacked her in order for one more veiled attempt to try and take down Donald Trump. Nobody talked about it until later in the night when I think --

KELLY: When it was discovered. When it was discovered.

WOHL: When it was discovered, but the people didn't discover it.

KELLY: Marc.

THIESSEN: Someone in the campaign did. She didn't write --

WOHL: But the point is who cares? The point is who cares? The media cares.

KELLY: Doesn't authenticity matters? Doesn't attributes matter? Go ahead, Brit.

HUME: Look, it is certainly true that there are people out there who saw the speech and were blown away by it. The way all of us who were sitting here last night were blown away by it. And the people in the hall were.  Many people at home were. But people also follow the coverage the next day and they follow the news media reaction to it. So I don't think it completely nullified the effect.

WOHL: But in the end, did it hurt his campaign?

HUME: Let me finish.

WOHL: Sure.

HUME: I don't think it completely have nullified the effect of the speech, but it put a stain on it and I guess it's ineradicable and diminished the event. That's what it causes. It isn't a total loss.

KELLY: I'll leave it at that. And -- to Brit for using the word ineradicable because you're the only person who say that without even stumbling.

THIESSEN: Steal it. He should not.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

THIESSEN: I said that the last convention.

KELLY: All right, guys. Stand by. Because still ahead, we're waiting to hear from House Speaker Paul Ryan and from Donald Trump's youngest daughter, Tiffany.

Plus, what will happen when Senator Ted Cruz takes the stage tomorrow night? There may be some mischief afoot. We'll take a look at that when we come back. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For our dear friends, a great conservative, our favorite son who we love, Ted Cruz 104 votes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Welcome back, everybody. House Speaker Paul Ryan is now taking the stage. Let's take a listen.

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Fellow citizens, I can't tell you how much I appreciate the privilege of addressing this 41st convention of the party of Lincoln. And as part of my chairman duties, let me thank all of the people of this beautiful city for looking after us this week.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And above all, above all, I want to thank the men and women who are here from law enforcement for your service.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

You know, standing up here again, it all hits kind of a familiar feel.  Students of trivia will recall that last time around, I was your nominee for vice president. It was a great honor. It was a great honor even if things didn't work out quite according to the plan. Hey, I'm a positive guy. I found some other things to keep me busy. And I like to look at it this way. The next time that there's a State of the Union Address, I don't know where Joe Biden or Barack Obama are going to be, but you'll find me right there on the rostrum with Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(CROWD CHANTING TRUMP! TRUMP! TRUMP!)

Democracy is a series of choices. We Republicans have made our choice.  Have we had our arguments this year? Sure, we have. You and I call those signs of life, signs of a party that's not just going through the motions, not just mouthing new words for the same old stuff. Meanwhile, what choice has the other party made in this incredible year filled with so many surprises? Here we are, at a time when men and women in both parties so clearly, so undeniably want a big change in direction for America, a clean break from a failed system. And what does the Democratic Party establishment offer? What is their idea of a clean break? They are offering a third Obama term brought to you by another Clinton.

(CROWD BOOING)

And you're supposed to be excited about that. For a country so ready for change, it feels like we've been cleared for takeoff and then somebody announced we're all going back to the gate. It's like we've been on hold forever, waiting and waiting to finally talk to a real person, and somehow we've been sent back to the main menu. Watch the Democratic Party Convention next week. That four-day infomercial of politically correct moralizing, and let it be a reminder of all that is at stake in this election. You can get through four days of it with a little help from the mute button, but four more years of it? Not a chance.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Not a chance. Not a chance. Look, the Obama years are almost over. The Clinton years are way over. 2016 is the year America moves on.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

From now to November, we will hear how many different ways progressive elitists can find to talk down to the rest of America, to tell the voters that the Obama years have been good for you, that you should be grateful and, well, now it's Hillary's turn. The problem is really simple. The problem here is very simple. There is a reason people in our country are disappointed and restless. If opportunity seems like it's been slipping away, that's because it has. And liberal progressive ideas have done exactly nothing to help.

Wages never seem to go up. The whole economy feels stuck, and millions of Americans, millions of Americans, middle-class security is now just a memory. Progressives like to talk like our president likes to talk forever about poverty in America. And if a talk did any good, we'd have overcome those deep problems long ago. This explains why under the most liberal president we have had so far, poverty in America is worse, especially for our fellow citizens who were promised better and who need it most. The result is a record of discarded promises, empty gestures, phony straw man arguments, reforms put off forever, shady power plays like the one that gave us ObamaCare, constitutional limits brushed off as nothing.

And all the while, dangers in the world downplayed even as the threats grow bolder and come closer. It's the last chapter of an old story.  Progressives deliver everything except progress.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Yet we know better than most. We know better than to think that Republicans can win only on the failures of Democrats. It still comes down to a contest of ideas, which is really good news, ladies and gentlemen, because when it's about ideas, the advantage goes to us. Against their dreary backdrop of arrogant bureaucracies, pointless mandates, reckless borrowing, willful retreat from the world and all that progressives have in store for us, the Republican Party stands as a great enduring alternative party. We believe in making government as Ronald Reagan said. Not the distributor of gifts and privilege but once again the protector of our liberties.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Let the other party go on making its case for more government control over every aspect of our lives. More taxes to pay. More debt to carry. More rules to follow. More judges who just make it up as they go along. We in this party, we are committed to a federal government that acts again as a servant accountable to the people, following the constitution, and venturing not one inch beyond the consent of the governed. We, we in this party, offer a better way for our country based on fundamentals that go back to the founding generation.

We believe in a free society, where aspiration and effort can make the difference in every life. Where your starting point is not your destiny and where your first chance is not your only chance. We offer a better way for America with ideas that actually work, a reformed tax code that rewards free enterprise instead of just enterprising lobbyists. A reformed health care system that operates by free choice instead of by force and doesn't leave you answering to cold, clueless bureaucrats. A commitment to a renewed commitment to building a 21st Century military and giving our veterans the care that they were promised and the care that they earned.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And we offer a better way for dealing with persistent poverty in this country. A way that shows poor Americans the world beyond liberal ware housing and check-writing into the life everyone can find with opportunity and independence. The happiness of using your gifts and the dignity of having a job. And you know what? None of this will happen under Hillary Clinton. Only with Donald Trump and Mike Pence do we have a chance at a better way.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And last, last point, let the other party go on and on with its constant dividing up of people. Always playing one group against the other as if group identity were everything. In America, aren't we all supposed to be and see beyond class? See beyond ethnicity? Are all these other lines drawn to set us apart and lock us into groups? Real social progress is always a widening of the circle of concern and protection. It's respect and empathy overtaking blindness and indifference. It's understanding that by the true measure, we are all neighbors and countrymen, call to each one of us to know what is right and kind and just and to go and do likewise.

Everyone, everyone is equal. Everyone has a place. No one is written off because there is worth and goodness in every life. Straight from the declaration of independence, that is the Republican ideal. And if we won't defend it, who will?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

So much, so much that you and I care about, so many things that we stand for in the balance in this coming election. Whatever we lack going into this campaign, we should not lack for motivation. In the plainest terms I know, it is all on the line. So let's act that way. Let's act that way.  Let's use the edge we have because it is still what earns the trust and the votes. This year of surprises and dramatic turns can end in the finest possible way, when America elects a conservative governing majority. We can do this. We can earn that mandate if we don't hold anything back, if we never lose sight of the stakes, if we never lose sight of what's on the table.

Our candidates will be giving their all. They'll be giving their utmost, and every one of us has got to go and do the same. So what do you say?  What do you say? What do you say that we unify this party? What do you say that we unify this party at this crucial moment when unity is everything?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Let's take our fight to our opponents with better ideas. Let's get on the offensive and let's stay there. Let's compete in every part of America and turn out at the polls like every last vote matters because it will. Fellow Republicans, what we have begun here, let's see this thing through. Let's win this thing. Let's show America our best and nothing less! Thank you. Thank you and God bless.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Join me in welcoming House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

KELLY: House Speaker Paul Ryan delivering an address mostly focused on policy, firing up the crowd at the very end there as you saw. And joining me now to discuss some of what we've seen, Herman Cain, Fox News contributor and former Republican presidential candidate. Mon Elleithee, former Democratic National Committee spokesman and Karl Rove, Fox News political contributor and former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.

Carl, good to see you sir. The last part, let's unify. Unity is everything. Prior to that, technocratic. That's kind of his thing?

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I thought particularly the final -- he had three sections. The first section was framing the primary. This is a sign of life, not a bitter divide. Second part was this is about status quo versus change. And the third one, which was this has got to be about a power of ideas, I thought was particularly powerful. He talked about how we're all in this together.

He talked about the dignity of work. He talked about no one is written off. We stand for the declaration, the promise of the Declaration of Independence. And I thought that was a stirring call to action that naturally led to his closure -- closing remarks about all in this together and unity is everything. We need to see it through. You saw the crowd. They responded to that.

KELLY: They liked that last line a lot. Herman, let me start with you on this. John Pedoris (ph), conservative tweeted out this, "This is a decent policy speech. Nobody here cares." People were milling about -- Paul Ryan is not the most dynamic speaker ever, but the message is perfect for the Republican Party, right?

HERMAN CAIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, and people do care. He said some very important things that he needed to say and that people needed to hear. Number one, he re-affirmed that he is going to be supportive and work with Vice President Pence and President Trump. Secondly, he indicated that democracy is a series of choices.

I think that that was important. They needed to hear that from him. And then thirdly he talked about the whole idea of unity, and one of the most important things that he said relative to the theme of the night, this economy is stuck. These people know that. They get that. They needed to hear that from Paul Ryan.

KELLY: Mo, one of the lines he busted out at the end there was that, he said that there's something dividing us up as people by the Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, as if group identity were everything. This is something we're going to hear more of from the Republicans this week, and we're going to hear the flip side at the Democratic National Convention next week. Is that a fair criticism?

MO ELLEITHEE, GEORGETOWN INSTITUTE OF POLITICS: It's funny. I kind of -- the way I heard it, I felt like he was kind of delivering that message as much to his own party because of how divisive this election has been and some of the rhetoric that has come from Trump, which he has been very critical of throughout this entire campaign. I think he was maybe sending a message to his own party just as much.

I kind of felt bad for Paul Ryan. I felt like he was a guy trying to shove this huge bolder up a very, very steep hill here, trying to project -- his purpose here was very simple. He wanted to send a message to America about what it means to be a Republican at a time that not a lot of people are actually hearing that message. Donald Trump's message has been very focused on himself.

I think Paul Ryan is trying to set an agenda for the Republican Party that will help down-ballot candidates when I think he and a lot of other republicans are worried about what the top of the ticket may be doing.

KELLY: Does this matter, Karl? I mean, you've been to a lot of these conventions? Does this matter? Does the speech by Paul Ryan like that make any difference?

ROVE: Well, it helps informs people's thinking. What happens at a convention is it that it seems -- it awakens partisans to what it is we're trying to do. And Mo I think is right. I think Paul Ryan deliberately attempted to say let's -- here's what I think we ought to be making the campaign about. And that's why I think this speech was so important.

KELLY: Here's what you put on when you put on our...

ROVE: That's right. And realize that's -- that is a part of what the convention is about. It's not merely the process of nominating the candidate, but in the modern era, particularly the second, third, and fourth nights are aimed to develop a crescendo of a message so that when people turn off the final moment on Thursday night, they say, you know what, I know what this team wants to do.

I know what it is they want to achieve about America, and I thought his point about an optimistic and positive agenda that -- I mean Republican Speaker of the House talking about people living in poverty and about the dignity of providing work and independence in life, I thought that was a powerful message.

KELLY: And about how words can't get it done, saying progressives have been talking poverty, but it's worse under the most liberal president so far is how he put it. Herman Cain, what about unity of the GOP right now? The latest polls show that 68 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning folks say the GOP will eventually unite. Is this the event at which that happens? Do you think they emerge out of this thing united behind Trump, I mean in the numbers they need?

CAIN: I believe so. It's interesting that you mentioned 68 percent because I suggested that we are probably at about a 70 percent unity level, and I believe that this convention will move us to 90 percent -- 90 percent unity and we win. But before I go on, I got to correct Mo on one thing. Donald Trump hasn't been about Donald Trump.

Donald Trump has been about we, the people. I just wanted to counter that sound bite because that's part of the problem, bad sound bites. He's been about we the people. If he were just about Donald Trump, you wouldn't have had 14 million people voting for him. Now, agree with you, yes, it's about those things that you talked about.

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