Michelle Obama's 'Unfiltered' Words for DNC

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This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," August 25, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BILL HEMMER, HOST: Stephanie Cutter is now with me. She's the chief of staff and a senior advisor to Michelle Obama, who will make the headline speech tonight, on night one of this convention. Good evening to you. (AUDIO BREAK) message this evening?

STEPHANIE CUTTER, MICHELLE OBAMA'S CHIEF OF STAFF: Well, she's very excited to give this speech. She's going to be talking about the Barack Obama she knows and the entire Obama family. She's going to tell their story. For the first time to millions of American people.

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HEMMER: There are some who have questioned her patriotism over time, they talked about different speeches she's gave in the campaign events, talking about Americans guided by fear, talking about just downright mean as a country, talking about broken souls — will she address any of that tonight? Will that be a part of it?

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CUTTER: Well, Bill, the one thing about tonight is that nothing is going to be taken out of context. You're going to get that speech; American people are going to get that speech unfiltered. They're going to hear directly from Michelle Obama, and it's going to be the real Michelle Obama — not subject to the other sides of the spin or the high jinx. This is the real Michelle Obama.

This is the first time the American people, you know, millions of American people have come out and voted for Barack Obama and following up (ph) with the Obama family. Now, the entire country will have a chance to do that.

HEMMER: Just to be clear, I wasn't spinning that. Those were her words.

CUTTER: Well, they are taken out of context. I'm not suggesting you are spinning but, you know, this is a campaign. We have opponents in the campaign. And you know, just as any campaign does, they will put words out of context. And that's what happened with her.

HEMMER: It's my understanding the speech was finished two weeks ago.


HEMMER: That's a pretty good head start. That's not true?

CUTTER: No. In fact, you know, she was working on it today.

HEMMER: Really?

CUTTER: This is a very personal speech for her. She's been working on it for a long time. You know, only Michelle Obama can say these words about Barack Obama.

HEMMER: The reason I say this because just two hours ago, I was told that this thing was done and wrapped two weeks ago. And now, you are saying it's different.

CUTTER: Unless, you know, you were talking to me, then it's not correct.

HEMMER: OK. Now, Senator Kennedy will at least be here in Denver tonight?


HEMMER: And you were working with him during his brain tumor in the northeast, but he has flown to the American West. Now, he's in Colorado.

CUTTER: That's right.

HEMMER: Will we see him in the arena tonight?

CUTTER: Yes, we will. At some point during the tribute, he will be here. He is enormously humbled by this tribute tonight. And, you know, he wanted to be here more than anything else in the world.

HEMMER: Will he speak here?

CUTTER: It's unlikely. But, you know, I'm not surprised by anything these days. But, most importantly, he just wants to be here.

HEMMER: How is he doing?

CUTTER: He's doing great. You know, he's out sailing every day. His doctors are pleased with his progress. He's looking forward to getting back to work. And, you know, Ted Kennedy is one of the strongest people I know. So.

HEMMER: He is a strong man. I know his doctors told him not to make this trip but he said, "The heck with that, I'm going."

CUTTER: Exactly. Yes, they tell him no.

HEMMER: OK. Stephanie, good luck tonight. And thank you for time
— Stephanie Cutter.

CUTTER: Thank you, Bill.

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