The Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Monday all spotlighted Hillary Clinton's speech to the NAACP's annual convention in Cincinnati. ABC's Cecilia Vega touted the Democrat's "political trolling" of Donald Trump, and played up how "Clinton's supporters waging a counter-convention of their own — a pro-Clinton super PAC...linking Trump to former KKK leader David Duke." CBS's Nancy Cordes contrasted Clinton's NAACP appearance with a detail about the racial makeup of the Republican National Convention: "Only about 20 of the 2,500 delegates are black, which is on par with the party's percentage at its convention back in 1964." [video below]
ABC's David Muir led into Vega's report on World News Tonight by noting that "there is also someone else here in Ohio tonight: Hillary Clinton, desperate to hold onto her slim lead in the national polls, with Trump getting a week of national attention now." The correspondent featured six soundbites from Mrs. Clinton's remarks to the liberal organization — including a mash-up where the former secretary of state unleashed against Trump: "Donald Trump plays coy with white supremacists. Donald Trump demeans women. Donald Trump wants to ban an entire religion from entering our country."
Vega later emphasized Clinton's "white supremacists" attack by highlighting the "counter convention" of ads by Priorities USA, which feature Duke, Russian leader Vladimir Putin, and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. Anchor David Muir also pointed out that "Hillary Clinton...knew exactly what she was doing by paying Ohio a visit today as well." The ABC journalist replied, "She sure did, David — some modern-day political trolling going on. She had two events here in Ohio today. This was definitely her attempt to steal some of that spotlight away from those Republicans."
Cordes did a similar clip show of Clinton's NAACP speech on CBS Evening News, and concluded the segment with her statistic about the RNC: "Trump is doing so poorly with black voters here in Ohio that in a recent poll, he got zero percent of them. And here at the convention, Scott, only about 20 of the 2,500 delegates are black, which is on par with the party's percentage at its convention back in 1964."
It should be pointed out that the 1964 Republican Party platform called on the "full implementation and faithful execution of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and all other civil rights statutes, to assure equal rights and opportunities guaranteed by the Constitution to every citizen." The Democratic National Convention that year inserted a similar line in their party platform, but faced a controversy after a coalition of civil rights activists challenged the state party in Mississippi over their pro-segregation tactics.
The same evening, NBC Nightly News aired only a brief on Mrs. Clinton's NAACP speech:
LESTER HOLT: Meantime, Trump's rival, Hillary Clinton, is throwing counter-punches — speaking at the NAACP's annual convention. She said Donald Trump will worsen the divides in this country. She also criticized him for declining to speak at that same event. And Clinton addressed the recent attacks on police and the shootings by police, saying — quote, 'This madness has to stop.'
Univision's Maria Elena Salinas gave a similar news brief on Noticiero Univision:
MARIA ELENA SALINAS: Well, Donald Trump's Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, is also here in Ohio, where she today condemned the killing of three police officers in Louisiana. Speaking in Cincinnati before the NAACP, the largest African-American organization in the country, Clinton said that 'this madness needs to stop' — referring to the violence against peace officers — and she warned that attacks like that threaten to stop the progress of the nation.
The full transcripts of Nancy Cordes's report from CBS Evening News and Cecilia Vega's report from ABC's World News Tonight, which both aired on July 18, 2016:
06:42 pm EDT
ABC — World News Tonight
DAVID MUIR: There is also someone else here in Ohio tonight: Hillary Clinton, desperate to hold onto her slim lead in the national polls, with Trump getting a week of national attention now. She spoke today before the NAACP, just hours from here — an event Donald Trump turned down — and Clinton reminded everyone of that.
ABC's Cecilia Vega is there tonight.
[ABC News Graphic: "Race For 2016: Breaking Tradition: Clinton Blasts Trump On Race"]
CECILIA VEGA: Usually, the opposing team sits out the convention week — not this year.
HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (from speech at NAACP convention): Donald Trump cannot become President of the United States. (audience cheers)
VEGA: With Republicans in Cleveland, Hillary Clinton today just a few hours away in Cincinnati.
CLINTON: Donald Trump plays coy with white supremacists. Donald Trump demeans women. Donald Trump wants to ban an entire religion from entering our country.
VEGA: Clinton at the NAACP convention — slamming Donald Trump for skipping the annual gathering, which past Republican nominees have attended.
CLINTON: My opponent in this race may have a different view; but there's nowhere I'd rather be than right here with all of you.
VEGA: Clinton also separating herself from her rival's law-and-order message.
CLINTON: We cannot rest until we root out implicit bias and stop the killings of African Americans.
VEGA : And Clinton's supporters waging a counter-convention of their own — a pro-Clinton super PAC targeting Cleveland with these ads — linking Trump to former KKK leader David Duke.
[ABC News Graphic: "Political Ads: Vladmir Putin: He's With Trump; Are You? David Duke: Former KKK Grand Wizard: He's With Trump; Are You? Kim Jong-Un: Donald Trump Praised Him. Would You? He's With Trump; Sources: Priorities USA"]
MUIR (live): And Cecilia Vega with us live tonight. Hillary Clinton, Cecilia, knew exactly what she was doing by paying Ohio a visit today as well.
VEGA: She sure did, David — some modern-day political trolling going on. She had two events here in Ohio today. This was definitely her attempt to steal some of that spotlight away from those Republicans, David.
MUIR: Cecilia, great to have you with us tonight.
06:51 pm EDT
CBS Evening News
SCOTT PELLEY: Traditionally, a presidential nominee — presumptive or proclaimed — lies low during the other party's convention. But there's nothing traditional about this campaign.
And here's Nancy Cordes.
[CBS News Graphic: "Clinton Speaks"]
HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (from speech at NAACP convention): My team in Ohio wanted me to make sure you all know we are hiring.
NANCY CORDES (voice-over): Hillary Clinton set up camp on the other end of Ohio today — enlisting volunteers in Cincinnati after addressing the NACCP's national convention there.
CLINTON: We actually have a recruiter here today. He's got a table set up in the hall.
CORDES: Making sure to note Trump's absence.
CLINTON: But, of course, he declined your invitation.
CORDES: He's the first Republican nominee to turn the group down since 1996.
CLINTON: Let us not forget: the first time Donald Trump was quoted in the New York Times was in 1973, when the Justice Department went after his company for refusing to rent apartments to African Americans.
CORDES (on-camera): Trump is doing so poorly with black voters here in Ohio that in a recent poll, he got zero percent of them. And here at the convention, Scott, only about 20 of the 2,500 delegates are black, which is on par with the party's percentage at its convention back in 1964.
PELLEY: Nancy Cordes reporting from the floor for us tonight — Nancy, thank you.