This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," July 24, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I’m Chris Wallace reporting from Philadelphia. On the eve of the Democratic convention, we speak with Hillary Clinton’s chief strategist, and Donald Trump's campaign chairman.
HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I just can't think of anybody better to have by my side.
SEN. TIM KAINE, D-PRESUMPTIVE VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Let's go make history and elect Hillary Clinton, the 45th president of the United States.
WALLACE: Clinton chooses Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate. We'll discuss the ticket and where the race stands now with Clinton chief strategist Joel Benenson.
Then, the fallout from Cleveland.
From Ted Cruz's role as spoiler.
SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS: Vote your conscience.
AUDIENCE: We want Trump! We want Trump!
WALLACE: To Melania's speech mishap.
MELANIA TRUMP, WIFE OF DONALD TRUMP: You work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond.
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: You work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond.
WALLACE: The Trump's grim view of an America in crisis.
DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Poverty and violence at home, war and destruction abroad.
WALLACE: We'll ask Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort what bounce they got from their convention.
And our Sunday panel on leaked emails that show the DNC working against Bernie Sanders. How will that play this week.
All, right now, on a special edition of "Fox News Sunday."
WALLACE: You are looking live at the Wells Fargo Center, home of the Philadelphia Flyers and the 76ers, and this week, site of the Democratic convention. Starting tomorrow, this hall will be filled with more than 4,700 delegates as the Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton for president.
And hello again today from the Fox News sky box. From this vantage box, we'll watch Clinton make history as the first woman to top a major party ticket. We'll also hear from a roster of headliners, President and Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Clinton's new running mate, Tim Kaine.
What message do Democrats hope to send voters this week?
Joining me, the chief strategist, Joel Benenson.
And, Joel, welcome to "Fox News Sunday."
JOEL BENENSON, CLINTON CAMPAIGN CHIEF STRATEGIST: Chris, thanks for having me.
WALLACE: Let's start with the big news this weekend. Why Tim Kaine?
BENENSON: Well, I think Hillary Clinton made it clear from the beginning her number one priority was to pick a vice-president who was ready to do all parts of the job of president. Tim Kaine has that experience. He’s been a mayor, a governor, a senator, on the Armed Services Committee. He brings that part of the package.
The other piece that's important, she wants a real partner who can help her produce the real results that are going to make a real difference in people's lives. That’s going to be key to this campaign. American people want action. They want their economic lives uplifted. Tim Kaine brings the same values to the job that she does. And that would be a very powerful combination in trying to get Washington working for working people again.
WALLACE: But there are some real differences on issues between Clinton and Kaine, and I want to go through them.
WALLACE: Kaine praised TPP, the Pacific trade deal, Clinton opposes it. Kaine wants to ease some regulations of banks under Dodd-Frank. He supports the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal Medicaid funds for abortion, and as governor, he backed requiring parental consent for minors seeking abortion. Those are some differences.
BENENSON: Yes. There are some differences, in their conversations, they talked through those differences. And when you talk about Tim Kaine, keep in mind, he raised some issues. He’s got 100 percent rating from Planned Parenthood and NARAL. He is a Catholic, a practicing Catholic and he is personally said he’s opposed to abortion. But he’s also said Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, and it shouldn’t be changed, and he has been 100 percent for protecting a woman’s right to choose and right to her own health care.
On some of these other issues, like TPP, Hillary Clinton is confirmed in her choice that her criteria for trade deals being met that they have to protect American workers, protect jobs, make sure that they don't reduce wages, that they raise wages in America, protect our national security. She is confident that Tim Kaine is in line with her on making sure any trade deal at this administration engages in will meet those criteria.
WALLACE: But let me pick up on that because --
WALLACE: -- this is the kind of thing that I think a lot people don't like about politicians. Just three days ago, here is what Tim Kaine said about TPP, the Pacific trade deal. He said, "I see much in it to like." Yesterday, after Clinton named him, he suddenly announced he’s opposed to TPP.
BENENSON: Look, but Hillary Clinton said they were things she liked about it too along the way. You’ve got to remember, things change in the final provisions, Chris, that were critically negative towards American interests. Notably, one big one, the nation of origins provision, changes who has to own how much of a business to qualify as a Vietnamese company or Malaysian company.
So, I think there’s any inconsistency there. Nobody said this thing is terrible in every I and T that’s been dotted and crossed. There were things in it that were good for a while, and Hillary Clinton thought and talked about them. And then at the end of the deal, it didn't meet her tests.
WALLACE: All right, let's talk about the other big issue as we get into the convention, and I suspect you know what I’m going to talk about. Some Bernie Sanders supporters upset about Kaine because they think he is too centrist, but what they're really upset about was a WikiLeaks release on Friday of thousands of DNC e-mails which seem to show that the DNC was favoring Clinton over Sanders. We want to put some of those e-mails up on the screen.
In early May, the DNC's finance chief for Kentucky and West Virginia, "Can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God, he had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think read he is an atheist."
In late May, a Democratic spokesman suggested pushing a story that Sanders never ever had his act together, that his campaign was a mess.
And responding to Sanders criticism in April, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz wrote, "Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party."
Now, we have talked to some people on the Sanders camp. They’re furious. Trump is tweeting out, maybe there’s going to be a Philly fight. And there is also a report now that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not going to speak at this convention.
First of all, is that true?
BENENSON: Well, I saw the same report you said. I’ve been sitting here with you for the last few minutes, so I can't give a definitive answer on that.
As for the other things, you know, first of all, I believe the gentleman who sent that e-mail has apologized --
WALLACE: The one about Sanders’ religion.
BENENSON: And I want to make very clear, Hillary Clinton has been a woman of faith her whole life. She was raised a Methodist, believes very strongly in the creed of her faith. We don't believe anybody's religion should ever be an issue in any campaign. Absolutely not.
WALLACE: How about the larger issue, Joel, just the idea that all of this seems to show, not just one but all three e-mails, and there were others, that the DNC had its thumb on the scale favoring Clinton over Sanders? Which is what the Sanders folks said all along.
BENENSON: Let's keep in mind what happened here. Most experts on cybersecurity say it is a hack by bad actors in concert with Russia, and working in concert with Russia. We don't know what is in 20,000 e-mails. We know about three e-mails. We don't know anything else that's been said inside the DNC.
What we know about the course of our primary system is close to 30 million people voted. They voted in open primaries. We had independence voting. We had Democrats voting. It was a wide open contest.
Thirty million people voted and Hillary Clinton won, vast majority of delegates, 54 percent of delegates. She won 54 percent of the vote --
WALLACE: I understand she won, but did the DNC have its thumb on the scale.
BENENSON: I think the DNC will conduct a full review of all these emails, all these emails that were being apparently selectively leaked by these actors acting in concert with Russia, that’s a serious problem that we have to be concerned with, if they’re trying to meddle in what we believe was a fair and honest election. I think there’s no question --
WALLACE: You think this is Russia trying --
BENENSON: I think when 30 million people vote through the primary system, a near historic number, the second most in history and the ballots were counted at the ballot box, and Hillary Clinton got 16 million votes, the third highest total in history, second only to herself and Barack Obama.
BENENSON: I think the elections were fair. I think that we should wait for the review, the full review of this, and not jump to any conclusions on any sides based --
WALLACE: Well, the fact that the finance chair has apologized, to indicate that was an accurate e-mail.
BENENSON: Well, if the finance chair apologized, then the finance chair should. But the notion of whether the elections were rigged, I think that that, when 30 million people vote and cast their votes.
WALLACE: Let me make it clear: I don’t think the election was rigged.
BENENSON: OK, let’s agree.
WALLACE: But the question is whether the DNC favored Clinton over Sanders. It’s a different issue.
BENENSON: Look, the issue here is these primaries are largely fought out on the ground with voters. The DNC's impact in these things is minimal, compared to the results. What candidates and campaign spend and do on the ground, talking to voters day in and day out, that's what determines who wins.
WALLACE: Let me just say, incidentally, and we were assured by the DNC that we wouldn't have what happened last week at the RNC, that they wouldn't do sound checks, but every convention we've done, they do sound checks. So, if you hear some extraneous noise.
One last question on this area: Does Hillary Clinton still have full confidence in Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chair, and will she stay in her job? Can you assure us she will stay in her job through her the election?
BENENSON: I honestly have never had a conversation with Hillary Clinton about Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the chair of the Democratic Party. So, that's the honest truth, Chris. I’ve never had that conversation.
So, I can't sit here and assure of you anything. I think that there are reports out today that say she may not speak in the convention. That will be up to her and whoever she’s talking to about her role.
WALLACE: But the Clinton camp hasn't asked for her not to.
BENENSON: I haven't engaged in any of those conversations regarding that.
WALLACE: Are you worried this could disrupt the convention?
BENENSON: No, I don’t. I think we've got a lineup that’s extraordinary.
We’ve got as you said in the topic, I think you're going to see a contrast between the disunity, the divisiveness, the anger, and borderline hate coming out of the Republican here. I think we’ve got a positive, affirmative message about how we create an economy that works for everybody. We’re going to be talking about how the strength of America is in our unity, our diversity, and the fact that we've been at our best when we lift people up, not when -- lift each other up not when we tear each other apart.
WALLACE: I want to ask you about one controversy about your convention. On Thursday night, you're going to feature what is called the Mothers of the Movement, a group of mothers and other victims, relatives of victims of police shootings. Why?
BENENSON: Well, look, I think these women have been suffered a tragic loss. We haven't released our full program yet about the range of things we're talking about, but we've been talking about the need and Hillary Clinton has led the conversation on this, to have both respect for our police, and we've seen tragic shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge, obviously, and respect between communities.
And I think people in the police field, law enforcement, agree with that. Nobody is happy when the communities and the police are not working together to solve crime.
WALLACE: But here is --
BENENSON: Go ahead.
WALLACE: I was going to say, here is why I bring it up. Philadelphia, this city's police union says it is, quote, "insulted by the exclusion of police widows and police family members," and they say that you're talking to the victims of the shootings, but not to the victims of the police who were assassinated. They say when eight cops were assassinated in the last few weeks, why aren't you honoring them?
BENENSON: Well, first of all, I respect the police officers in Philadelphia, who like all of our law enforcement officials have a very tough job. We haven't released our full program yet. As you know, there are many events and speaker, the majority of which have not been released yet. That will happen in the forthcoming future.
But these women have been on a campaign to talk about the relations between police and their communities. The communities that suffer the highest crime in the country, who want to be protected, who know that their law enforcement people are there in their communities to protect them. But they're speaking out because they suffered tragic losses of children, husbands, fathers, who have been shot and that's painful for them.
And what they're trying to do is take their loss and turn it into activism to be part of the conversation to improve these relations with police and community.
WALLACE: We've got a couple of minutes left. I want to change subjects. At his convention last week, Donald Trump, I think you would agree, hammered Hillary Clinton. Here is a taste of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction, terrorism, and weakness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Clinton was trailing by eight points among men and by 15 points among whites. What does your polling show? Honestly, did Donald Trump get any bounce out of his convention?
BENENSON: Well, honestly, we haven't polled during his convention --
BENENSON: -- because it’s not an opportune time to do that. But what I can tell you as an observer and a student not just of conventions and elections, but really of swing voters, that's kind of been my sweet spot as a pollster, Chris.
I think your goal at your convention is you have to speak to people who are accessible to you and not with you yet. You have to persuade them, and convert them. And you have to speak to their values and issues.
I think that was a missed opportunity. Their chaos, their divisiveness, left those people I think feeling very left out of the Republican Party, just like many Republicans felt left out of the party. The governor of the host state not attend. You’ve had the past two nominees of the party not attend that convention.
They had an opportunity to show some unity, and instead, they showed divisiveness within there speaking about the American people and a divided party at its core right now.
WALLACE: Finally, you look at the numbers, I assume, every day, the numbers you get. How close is this race, especially in the swing state?
BENENSON: We don't poll every day, Chris.
WALLACE: Well, no. But --
BENENSON: We will at some point, but, you know, just to be clear. Look, I think the history of presidential elections is that they’re very close. We've only had a handful of presidents who have been elected with 50 percent of the vote on their election and reelection. So, you expect these things to be in a kind of, you know, three to six to seven-point range.
You know, with President Obama, we won by seven. With -- against Senator McCain, against Romney, by about three and a half. I think we're going to stay in that range for a long time. I think we'll know after the two conventions, where this sits and who got a bounce and who really communicated and made the points with the voters they need to reach better.
WALLACE: So, in that 3 to 6 point range, where are you right now?
BENENSON: We’re in that range.
WALLACE: Where, three, five, seven?
BENENSON: Talk to me after the two conventions.
WALLACE: All right. Do me one favor. When you leave here now, will you ask them to stop hammering?
BENENSON: I'll do my best. I’ll do my best. But we've got to get the set finished too.
WALLACE: Joel, thank you.
BENENSON: Thank you.
WALLACE: You can wait until 10:00. Thanks for coming in on this busy week. Have a good convention.
BENENSON: Thank you.
WALLACE: Up next, the chair of the Trump campaign, Paul Manafort, and whether his candidate will see a post-convention bounce, as "Fox News Sunday" reports live from the Democratic Convention inside Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
WALLACE: A look at the iconic Love sculpture outside city hall in the heart of downtown Philadelphia.
Well, after the biggest week of his 13 month political career, Donald Trump will take an unaccustomed place on the sideline this week, as the Democrats get the spotlight. How did Trump do in Cleveland, and where does the race stand now.
Joining me now is Trump's campaign chair, Paul Manafort.
Paul, the Clinton/Kaine ticket had its rollout yesterday and here is what they had to say about the campaign and Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: When he said as he did say, "I alone can fix it", he is not only wrong, he is dangerously wrong.
KAINE: When Donald Trump says he has your back, you better watch out. He leaves a trail of broken promises and wrecked lives wherever he goes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Paul, their basic message, Trump doesn't care about regular folks. All he cares about is Donald Trump.
PAUL MANAFORT, TRUMP CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN: Well, that's the pot calling the kettle black I guess you could say. I mean, look, the establishment is represented by Hillary Clinton, and she chose her perfect partner in Senator Kaine.
Senator Kaine is the ultimate status quo. He’s never had a job in the private sector. He’s been mayor, governor, senator. He has no idea how to create jobs, nor does Hillary Clinton, and the two of them together are the ultimate of the establishment in the year of change.
So, for them to say those things, of course. They don't get it.
Donald Trump does get it. He was nominated because he understands what's going on in America, and doesn't care what's going on in Washington. He is committed to breaking that gridlock. During our convention, that message resonated.
Even CNN's polls, sorry, different networks, showed 75 percent who listened to his speech agreed with him and thought he would bring real change. That's over 35 million people listening.
So, we're very comfortable that the campaign speaks exactly like we want. We're the change candidate. Clinton and Kaine are the failed establishment candidate. Their record is what we're fighting against.
And for them to say they're going bring change, when all the problems were created during the Obama administration, frankly, is ludicrous.
WALLACE: Now, in the strict political sense, Tim Kaine is a white man from a swing state. Doesn't he cut into Trump's advantages in some of those areas?
MANAFORT: Tim Kaine is a failed career politician, who has never had a job in the private sector, and never created jobs. His --
WALLACE: He failed, he has never lost an election, Paul.
MANAFORT: Compare his record to Governor Pence.
During Kaine's term in office, he tried to raise taxes $4 billion as governor. He came in saying he was going to change the transportation system in Virginia. He did change it. It got worst. He -- unemployment went from 3 percent to 7.5 percent.
And those are his highlights. I mean, Governor Pence cut taxes every one of the years he was governor, brought in new jobs, balanced the budget, has a $2 billion reserve fund. And as well as having improved the infrastructure, increase aid for health care and education. Those are records of accomplishment. So, Tim Kaine may be what he is, but as far as we're concerned, he is the perfect candidate.
Bernie Sanders who should be concerned because yes, Tim Kaine doesn't represent the progressive agenda of Sanders, and once again, the progressives in the Democratic Party have been cheated by the establishment. But the WikiLeaks of the Democratic emails over the last week proved that was always the plan. I’m not surprised. We'll see how they take it at their convention.
WALLACE: Are you egging on -- your boss has been talking about a Philly fight. Are you egging on the Bernie Sanders supporters and delegates to cause a fuss here at the convention?
MANAFORT: We don't have to egg them on. They have a lot to complain about. The e-mails have proven the system was rigged from the start. The only reason they’re not the nominee is because of the superdelegates who are the established elected officials in the Democratic Party. The fix was in from the beginning.
But more importantly, as far as we're concerned, the people who voted for Bernie Sanders, right now, you've got polls out showing less than 55 percent are going to support Hillary Clinton. And a number of them, you know, who are against the rigged system, can find support in what Donald Trump has been saying, as far as what he wants to do in breaking up the rigged political system, the rigged economy.
If there’s anybody against Wall Street, it’s Donald Trump. Not Hillary Clinton, who basically lives off the funding from Wall Street.
WALLACE: Let's talk about your convention and your candidate. Democrats are pushing back against Trump's description at the convention of an America in crisis. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This idea that America is somehow on the verge of collapse, this vision of violence and chaos everywhere, doesn't really jive with the experience of most people.
CLINTON: He offered a lot of fear and anger and resentment, but no solutions about anything that he even talked about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Paul, didn't Trump engage in fear-mongering?
MANAFORT: Not at all.
First of all, Barack Obama is out of touch with America. For him to say that people in the country are happy and walking around with sunshine in their face is not a reality. I mean, it shows, you know, that he doesn't even get what he has done with this country.
Secondly, as far as the Donald Trump speech. It was a speech of hope, but the difference between what you're going to hear out of the Democrats in Philadelphia this weekend and what Donald Trump said is he told the truth.
He said, look, I recognize your pain. I understand it. I know things are hard for you. I know you can -- you're working two jobs and still barely paying your bills. I know you don't like the rising health care costs. I know you're afraid to walk the streets, contrary to what President Obama says.
And he said, I’m going to be your voice. I’m going to be your messenger. I’m going to take care of this.
And he’s got a track record to prove it. To say -- he then offered very specific solutions. He talked about his plan to cut taxes. He talked about his plan to bring law and order to the community. He talked about his anti-terrorist program and keeping terrorists out from geographically dangerous areas.
He talked about his energy first plan to make America energy independent. He talked about his healthcare plan, his infrastructure plan. It’s all in the speech. Hillary Clinton needs to just listen to the whole thing.
WALLACE: Well, let's drill down on one area -- here is what Trump said about Clinton's call for a 550 percent increase in the number of Syrian refugees we let into the country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: She proposes this, despite the fact that there is no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are, or where they come from.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: But, Paul, that just simply is not true. It takes 18 months to two years to screen a single Syrian refugee to come into the country. And, in fact, this year, President Obama, so far at least, has only met half of his target of allowing 10,000 Syrian refugees in a year, only about 5,200.
MANAFORT: First of all, Chris, it is more than just Syrian refugees streaming into the country. Donald Trump's point is the following. He said, we have to have a system that that’s -- people coming in from dangerous areas, from terrorist historical areas, we don't have one right now. We have open borders. There’s not -- there is no vetting process, which is why things are dangerous.
WALLACE: But wait. But respectfully, in the case of the Syrians, any Syrian refugee coming into this country is vetted for between 18 months and two years, that's the system.
MANAFORT: Chris, when they get here, people, we don't even know who they are. Not just -- again, not just from Syria. They’re coming from all places, many other places in the Middle East.
Trump's position is very clear. We have to have a system that lets us know who we're letting in. He says, look, he’s got a humanitarian approach. Create sanctuary cities in the region where they're coming from, instead of the sanctuary cities in the United States, have the sanctuary states in their home locations.
You know what? Even people coming here would prefer that so they're closer to their families and their heritage. There is --
WALLACE: Let me pick up quickly -- let me pick up quickly on that. Because Trump in an interview with "Meet the Press" said not only Mideastern countries, we have to have what he calls extreme vetting for countries like France, which have terror cells in them. Is that the way we're going to treat our allies, extreme vetting for anybody coming into this country, from France, from Germany, from Belgium?
MANAFORT: The difference is, France, Germany and Belgium, we have cooperative agreements with and we can work together with. Syria, we don't.
The Syrian government isn't going to work with us to vet their refugees coming to the United States. In France and Belgium and the U.K., it is totally opposite thing. So the practicality of doing the job is very obvious.
WALLACE: He is now calling for extreme vetting for refugees or not refugees, people coming in from France.
MANAFORT: He is calling for cooperative efforts to make sure that wherever people are coming in, that we know who they are and what they stand for.
WALLACE: I’m sure you have seen some polls by now. Did Trump get any bounce out of the Republican convention? And where is this race now?
MANAFORT: Well, we think we're ahead. Especially in the battle ground states, which is we care more about than the national numbers -- I mean, you have to -- when you look at what is the result of the convention, frankly, you have to look at the last month, because Trump has been closing the gap between he and Clinton over the last three weeks.
So, part of the convention bump has occurred before the convention. We're confident that after the conventions, you're going to see continued growth in our direction, but more importantly, in the states that are going to elect Donald Trump, we've seen them move in and I’m sure we're going to see more.
Trump has expanded the map. We're not looking for one way to win, as Romney was confronted with. The one who’s going to have difficulty finding paths to victory is going to be Clinton because we've expanded the map.
Pennsylvania is in play, Wisconsin is in play, Michigan is in play, Iowa is in play, Connecticut is in play. These are states that historically the Democrats lockdown early for the most part and force us to fight on defensive ground with maybe one or two ways to win.
It’s the opposite this year and we're comfortable coming out of our convention, we’re -- again, the CNN polls that over 75 percent who were watching agreed with Donald Trump and thought he could bring about the change. We think -- and that message was geared not at just Republicans, but at Democrats and independents too.
We think that it’s going to be a successful result of our convention. The convention itself communicated what we wanted, and we think that Democrats are going to have problems keeping their coalition together, because the establishment is trying to abuse the progressives and their party, and they're the ones in chaos. Not us.
WALLACE: Paul, thank you. Thanks for joining us, after a very busy week. Always good to talk with you.
MANAFORT: Thanks, Chris. Look forward to seeing you again.
WALLACE: Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss those leaked e-mails. Was the DNC playing favorites in the primary battle between Clinton and Sanders?
WALLACE: Up next, Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine make their debut on the Democratic ticket.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: He is a progressive who likes to get things done.
KAINE: Vice-president was never a job I thought about growing up in Kansas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We’ll ask our Sunday panel how Kaine got the nod and what role he’ll play in the campaign next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I have to say that Senator Tim Kaine is everything Donald Trump and Mike Pence are not. He is qualified to step into this job and lead on day one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Hillary Clinton on why she selected her running mate, Tim Kaine, during their first joint appearance yesterday in Miami. It is time now for our Sunday group, Fox News senior political analyst, Brit Hume, Anne Gearan of the Washington Post, syndicated columnist, George Will, and Amy Walter from The Cook Political Report.
Well, Bret, what do you think of the Clinton/Kaine ticket and what kind of shape is the Clinton camp paying in heading into the convention?
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think the choice was a wise one. It accomplishes a couple of things for her. It begins the pivot toward the center, the inevitable pivot toward center that candidates to always make if they want to win.
It also puts before the public someone whom you can look at and say yes, that person could be president, which is important. The importance of the vice-presidential pick fades going forward, but for these immediate purposes, I think he feels a bit fine.
I think the Clinton campaign certainly thinks he is in pretty good shape, which explains the fact that they didn't really trout out the Kaine announcement in such a way as to try to step on Donald Trump's convention bounce, because it seems to be that he didn't or will not get much of a bounce.
WALLACE: Anne, you covered the Clinton campaign. I would like to know what you've gotten from your sources and your reporting, why did she pick Kaine over Warren or Cory Booker or all the others?
ANNE GEARAN, THE WASHINGTON POST: She picked Kaine ultimately because she is the most comfortable with him, and he checks every box. She didn't feel the need to reach for anything. She didn't feel that she needed to reach for a very, very liberal person who would automatically kind of give her something that liberal things she lacks.
She didn't think she needed to reach for someone with national security credentials that are very different than her own. She didn't feel she needed to reach for anybody who had experiences other than her own, or came from a different part of the party.
And I think that shows her comfort levels, different points, and that she really feels like he could be somebody that anyone could look at, and say yes, I could see that person being president. And then she never has to think about it again.
WALLACE: As we discussed with Joel Benenson, there is another big story on the eve of this convention, and that's the leak of thousands of DNC, Democratic National Committee e-mails that seemed to confirm a lot of people’s suspicions that the DNC was working to help Hillary Clinton, at the expense of Bernie Sanders.
Amy, does this have the potential to disrupt this convention, and what seemed to be a, if not an alliance, a growing comfort between Clinton and Bernie Sanders and their supporters?
AMY WALTER, "THE COOK POLITICAL REPORT": I think, you know, when we came into the RNC, the question was how much disunity is there really, and what started out in Cleveland was some talk about the delegates erupting. That didn't happen. But there was still some dissension on the floor.
The disunity continued to build throughout the event, concluding, of course, with Ted Cruz's decision not to endorse, and to get booed off the stage. I don't think that is what we'll see here at all.
And in fact, if the reports are true that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not going to speak, that's probably a good idea for this convention, for Hillary Clinton. You don't want any -- if you're the Clinton campaign, any attention focused on any sort of disunity.
And I think the other thing, starting tomorrow, you're going to have two people only stage who liberals really do love. Bernie Sanders who is going to speak tomorrow night and Michelle Obama. That's going to be the focus moving forward, I think the DNC thing will fade away.
WALLACE: Before I bring in George, do you think Debbie Wassermann Schultz keeps her job between now and November or do you think that the Clinton campaign could decide because of the anger and the sense that all of their deepest suspicions were confirmed that they would sacrifice her?
WALTER: I don't know. I mean, I think if I've learned anything from this year, it is how little the traditional parties have mattered. Bernie Sanders, he didn't win the nomination, but he succeeded in part because not without the party's support, but he showed us he can go around the party support.
You don't need those big donors and that access that the parties normally give you. You don’t need their voter list. You can do it all throughout whether it is this device, you can connect with donors that way. He proved, really, as did Donald Trump, that the parties have become less significant than ever.
WALLACE: George, we always, I think, assumed that the DNC was working on behalf of Hillary Clinton and to the detriment of Bernie Sanders. Is the leak of these e-mails a big deal, or not?
GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: I don't think it will last for very long, but it does complicate her presentation at this convention. The kind of people who work for the DNC are political operatives. They have political views and they have political careers.
They have an eye for the main chance, and they probably assumed all along it would be nice to be on the side of the person who will win. A person in Hillary Clinton's incarnation who has contacts with all of the apparatus of the Democratic Party. So they had a career reason for doing this.
WALLACE: Also, a practical effect, and the Bernie Sanders supporters will be upset, if you're looking to elect a Democratic president, wasn't Hillary Clinton a more likely choice than Bernie Sanders to win in November?
WILL: Absolutely. And the fact that she won after a protracted struggle probably helped her in that it made her a better candidate. It always does. In the sense, I think on the part of the DNC, which I mean, when do we think about the DNC or the RNC for that matter?
After candidate gets nominated, he often puts or she puts her own person or his own person in there. We shouldn't be surprised it happened this time and we shouldn't think about it very much after.
WALLACE: All right, but for the purposes of today, it is a big story. Anne, your thoughts?
GAERAN: It is confirmatory for the Sanders supporters that there was to their view, there was a finger on the scale all along, and that clearly, there was a selective leak of e-mails that tends to back that up. That is a perception problem.
It is potentially a problem when Sanders speaks tomorrow night. It will -- it gives people who always wanted to have a reason to distrust this process some evidence to back that up.
WALTER: But the good news if you're Hillary Clinton is that the Clinton campaign and the Sanders campaign are in good standing. This is the DNC that is a bigger problem as opposed to it being a fight between the two camps in the way that the Cruz and Trump were about the two individuals.
WALLACE: Chris, this is all kind of a piece with the argument we've had about the super delegates. The super delegates represent the party regulars, and there are many more of them as a percentage of the total delegates here than is the case -- let me quickly say, these are people not elected as part of the primary process. They're the mayors and governors and party officials, and they get to go in unbound and be for whoever they want to be.
HUME: Exactly right. They played an important role in Hillary Clinton's nomination, and they did these super delegates, in that sense, precisely the system was created to do, which is to keep somebody out there where the buses don't run from getting the nomination.
And it is certainly no surprise when you think about that, that the Democratic Party apparatus itself would be tipping in favor of the person they thought was more likely to win, and also, actually a Democrat, which Bernie Sanders except for using the party to advance his presidential aspirations is not.
WALLACE: We should point out, there was a meeting of the Rules Committee yesterday, they met for hours and hours and hours about the question of maybe there should be fewer super delegates, and more small D democratic in the sense that people -- the delegates on the floor have to be actually voted in by real people, by voters. So they decided in their wisdom to appoint a commission.
WALTER: Don't they always.
HUME: But the net result is to reduce the impact of the super delegates, or even the size their presence here. That will tell us the super delegates did exactly what the super delegates were intended to do in this election cycle, and therefore, they're being diminished.
WALTER: I hate these rules battles because it is always fighting the last war. We have no idea what candidates are going to emerge and what issues are going to emerge four years for now. This is fun and everything, but let's wait until we get to the next candidate --
WILL: The Republicans think that perhaps they ought to have more super delegates.
WALLACE: All right, well, we're going to get to the Republicans in a moment. We have to take a break here.
When we come back, it was Donald Trump's time to shine, but from Melania's speech to Ted Cruz's non non-endorsement there were plenty of distractions.
Plus what, would you like to ask the panel about how this affected Trump's ability to get his message out. Just go to Facebook or Twitter @foxnewssunday and we may use your question on the air.
Much more from the Democratic National Convention when "Fox News Sunday" continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: These are the forgotten men and women of our country. I am your voice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Donald Trump, pushing the central theme of his campaign, as he accepted the GOP nomination Thursday night in Cleveland, and we're back now with the panel.
So Brit, asked you about the Clinton campaign, where is the Trump campaign at the end of its convention and the beginning of this one, did they unify the Republican base, and were they at all successful in reaching out to undecided voters?
HUME: Well, I think that the party is about as unified as it will get with Donald Trump as its nominee. And as for outreach to undecided voters and those who may now not be prepared to vote for Trump, I have my doubts, but I think the message, I am your voice, is the right message.
I thought his speech was basically all that we’ve been hearing him say for all these months now, except louder, and that may play well. If I may use an imperfect nightclub analogy, he was not trying to be the friendly greeter, he was trying to be the bouncer.
And it just may turn out that a bouncer is exactly what a lot of people want. That's kind of how he came across.
WALLACE: We ask you for questions for the panel, and we got this on Facebook from Pattie Merz Kenaan. With the pummeling that Hillary Clinton received this week by the speakers at the RNC convention, how does the RNC and Trump campaign plan to deal with the artillery that will surely be hurled by the Clinton campaign at the DNC convention next week?
Amy, how do you answer Pattie because you know that Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama will try to rip Trump's skin off this week.
WALTER: That's right. But I do think they're going to spend much more time trying to build up their candidate than trying to focus almost exclusively on Trump. Part of the challenge at the RNC was that the one unifying factor because there still is some disunity among Republicans was Hillary Clinton. That was an easy way to rally the troops in opposition to her.
WALLACE: I mean, Clinton has engage in --
WALTER: One hundred percent.
WALLACE: -- character assassination of Trump.
WALTER: Absolutely, and that's not going stop.
WALTER: But I think you're going to see a convention, this is at least what I'm hearing, this one is going to be much more focused on while taking out Trump, focusing on a much brighter, sunnier kind of optimistic message, and one that talks more about Hillary Clinton, while also taking on Donald Trump.
WALLACE: And how do they deal directly with the issue of the big weakness on honesty and trustworthy.
WALTER: That's right. I don't know that you'll ever be able to deal with that. In fact, I think the reality for so many voters, come November, that won't go away. She can't fix that. I don’t people won't find her more trustworthy.
The question is whether they find her good enough to be president, or better choice in terms of doing the job of president. They see her as more experienced. Do they want that kind of president over Donald Trump?
WALLACE: George, you are to put it gently, not a Trump enthusiast. Two questions, did you watch the Republican convention?
WILL: I did.
WALLACE: And secondly, what did you think of it?
WILL: I watched between innings. The defining characteristic of the speaker, the nominee himself and the convention itself with the lock her up chance was anger. I don’t think the American people have elected an angry president, someone defined by anger, someone who is a (inaudible) anger since Andrew Jackson.
And that was a 100 years before the invention of television, which brings presidents into our living room more than anyone other than family members. I'm not sure the American people want anger in their living room.
Mrs. Clinton said Kaine is everything that Trump/Pence aren't, he could have said he is cheerful, a happy warrior. A phrase applied to Democratic nominee, Al Smith and later to another Democratic nominee, Hubert Humphrey.
So the question is, how do they deal with this problem with the perception of Mrs. Clinton? I think they're going to fall back on Joe Biden’s wonderful axiom, don't compare me to the all mighty, compare me to the alternative.
And they are going to say the alternative is Donald Trump and do you want an angry man in your living room?
WALLACE: You say he is angry. Trump is pushing back on the idea that his was a grim speech, or that he was angry, they're saying he was strong. He was telling it like it is.
WILL: Well, Donald Trump is the one who was described contemporary America as a "hell hole," that's a quote. When you describe America as a place for people who are afraid to leave their houses, poverty and terrorism, I think most Americans think we have a wonderful country with serious problems. I don't think they think it is a hell hole.
WALLACE: And what do -- what does the Clinton camp, what do they make of the Republican convention? Do they think that he made any gains or got any bounce?
GEARAN: They see a lot in there they think they can capitalize on. The darkness in their view of the Trump message, the ways in which Trump seems to be attacking American institutions, and America’s presence in the world, Democrats think they can turn on its head and say, hey, wait a minute. We're not failing. We're not a failed state. That's one message.
There is concern within Hillary Clinton land that Trump is resonating on a couple of points. The law and order and security issues primarily that he is touching something there that is national security, but also, really gets at a number of other areas of unease, social unease, economic unease, fears about safety.
WALLACE: And what about the idea, every election in a sense is a changed election. Trump very much was arguing, he has change versus Hillary Clinton status quo. He is with the people against the elite.
GEARAN: That's going to be a powerful argument for Trump, just because this would be the third Democratic administration in a row, and it has been Hillary Clinton's bet that it is far better to wrap herself in Barack Obama than to run away from him.
So in a way, that opens -- Democrats think that that's good for them. But it also obviously opens the door for Trump to make the accurate claim that she is basically running for a third term. That she is trying to continue the current status quo, and if you don't like the status quo, then he is the change.
HUME: The last third term election was in 1988, and one remembers Ronald Reagan at the Democratic Convention saying we are the change. Some people, including David Broder of the "Washington Post" said he thought that's when he knew this election was going to the Republicans because it rang true.
Of course, he was also saying in effect that things are going well. They were. Things in the public's mind at this stage are not going so well. As the Democrats seek to portray this as a good idea to elect the Democrats as a third time, they have to be careful not to acknowledge that a lot of people do not think things are going well and they're really not looking for continuity, they're looking for change.
I don’t think it’s an easy task to defend what has been done, and yet say I'm going to make things different and better at the same time. If you're too rosy, people will say these people are out of touch. They don't understand.
WALLACE: Right track/wrong track.
WALTER: That’s exactly right.
WALLACE: What about 2/1?
WALTER: Right, this is not 1988 or 2000. There is a desire for change, but the question in fronts of voters that I think Hillary Clinton is going to give is change at what cost. Is it worth making this change given what it could be? And so the alternative, I may not be the best, but I’m better than the alternative, that's the message that I think you're going to see.
WALLACE: Amy, we got less than a minute left. The polls say this is tell a close race, in fact it has gotten closer since the FBI and James Comey's scolding of Hillary Clinton. Is it still a close race?
WALTER: I think it is a close race and it will continue to be. I'm with Joel. I'm not going to look at numbers until we get out of this convention, and see what actually happens.
WILL: When the Republicans convene in 1988, Dukakis was 17 points ahead of George Herbert Walker Bush. Polls at this point are fluid.
WALLACE: I remember that poll. It was a "Newsweek" poll and it was a bit of an outlier. Bush had the upper hand, and because of the circumstances in the country. Not so good today.
All right, thank you, panel. See you next Sunday.
Up next, a final word as we continue our coverage from the site of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
WALLACE: Another live look here in Philadelphia. Now, for this program note. Stay tuned to this station and Fox News Channel for the latest from the Democratic National Convention. And that's it for today. Have a great week. We'll see you back in Washington next "Fox News Sunday."
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