The Latest: Senate’s top Democrat has harsh take on GOP


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Latest on the Democratic National Convention (all times EDT):

7 p.m.

Harry Reid is speaking at his final Democratic National Convention as a senator, and the Senate’s Democratic leader is blasting Republicans and Donald Trump for wanting to — in his words — “tear down the pillars of middle-class security.”

The retiring Nevada lawmaker has some harsh words for the Senate’s Republican leader, Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell.

Reid says McConnell and the GOP have slandered the country’s first black president, whipped up fear of Muslims and sown hatred of Latinos.

Reid says parents are right to worry about their kids hearing what comes out of Trump’s mouth. He says Trump learned it from watching Republicans.

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6:50 p.m.

Movie director James Cameron is calling Donald Trump “a madman,” and “incredibly reckless, incredibly dangerous” when it comes to global warming.

The director of “Titanic” and “Avatar” has made a short film — airing Wednesday night at the Democratic convention — about how climate change is harming the United States.

The film shows wildfires, heat waves and the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy — and then segues to Trump calling man-made global warming a hoax.

Cameron tells reporters that attacking Trump on his rejection of mainstream climate change science is a winning strategy for Democrats.

He calls Trump’s positions “incredibly reckless, incredibly dangerous” and later refers to Trump as “a madman saying we’re going to tear up” the landmark climate change agreement negotiated in Paris.

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6:35 p.m.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson says Hillary Clinton can be trusted to fight for issues such as a fair Supreme Court, gun control and progressive policies.

The former presidential candidate says Clinton understands the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement and the shooting deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Alton Sterling.

Jackson also is congratulating Bernie Sanders for energizing the campaign with “ideas and hope.”

In Jackson’s words: “The Bern must never grow cold.”

Still, he says, “It’s healing time. It’s hope time. It’s Hillary time.”

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6:30 p.m.

California’s governor is criticizing Donald Trump for failing to mention the words “climate change” or “global warming” during his acceptance speech at the Republican convention.

Jerry Brown says it’ll take “heroic efforts on the part of many people and many nations” to combat climate change. But, the Democratic governor adds, “You wouldn’t know it by listening to Donald Trump.”

Brown is speaking at the Democratic convention later Wednesday, and in his prepared remarks, he notes Trump has called global warming a hoax.

That’s why Brown isn’t holding back: “I say Trump is a fraud.”

Brown’s also disputing Trump’s assertion there’s no drought in California — only water mismanagement.

Brown’s response: “I say Trump lies.” He says Trump and others who reject climate science “are dead wrong — dangerously wrong.”

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6 p.m.

President Barack Obama has a message for fellow Democrats, and all those watching the Democratic convention at home: There’s never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president.

It’s a theme Obama is stressing in his convention speech later Wednesday night.

According to the White House, Obama plans to say “nothing truly prepares you for the demands of the Oval Office.”

He intends to vouch for Clinton as someone who’s been part of his biggest decisions in the Oval Office and a leader who never quits — no matter the odds or “how much people try to knock her down.”

The president is set to describe his 2008 campaign rival as someone who listens to people, keeps her cool and treats everybody with respect.

Obama says, “that’s the Hillary I’ve come to admire.”

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5:50 p.m.

President Barack Obama plans to tell the Democratic convention that the America he knows is “full of courage and optimism and ingenuity.”

The White House released a preview of Obama’s Wednesday speech to the convention a few hours before he’ll address delegates in Philadelphia.

Obama says Americans have “real anxieties,” including paying their bills, protecting their children, frustrations with political gridlock and racial divisions.

But he says during his travels as president, he’s “seen, more than anything, is what is right with America.” That includes people working hard and “a younger generation full of energy and new ideas.”

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5:31 p.m.

Six drafts and a few late nights went into the speech President Barack Obama will give at the Democratic convention.

White House officials say work on the speech started in June and Obama got a first draft on July 18.

Officials say Obama stayed up until 3:30 a.m. this past Monday revising it.

The White House officials who provided reporters with details about Wednesday night’s speech spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to discuss the address publicly before Obama gives it.

Obama rehearsed the speech for the first and final time Tuesday in the White House Map Room. It clocked in at 30 minutes, with no applause.

Set to introduce Obama is Sharon Belkofer, a 73-year-old retired nurse whose son died in Afghanistan.

— Josh Lederman in Washington

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5:30 p.m.

The White House says President Barack Obama’s convention speech will focus on Hillary Clinton.

Obama plans to go into detail about Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state and try to make the case she’s qualified to be commander in chief.

White House officials say Obama doesn’t plan to mention Donald Trump’s name more than a few times.

Obama also plans to praise Clinton’s chief Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, and his supporters — paying tribute to the fervor they ignited in the primary season.

The White House officials who provided reporters with details about Wednesday night’s speech spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to discuss the address publicly before Obama gives it.

— Josh Lederman in Washington

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4:45 p.m.

A warning from Donald Trump to women.

He says if Hillary Clinton’s elected president, “she’ll set you back a long way, women, if that happens.”

The GOP presidential nominee — during a rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania — is warning women to “be careful what you wish for.”

Public opinion surveys have found Trump ahead among male voters, but trailing Clinton among women.

Trump has said he’d “cherish” women if he becomes president. But he hasn’t discussed in detail how he would address such as equal pay and affordable child care.

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4:40 p.m.

The Democrats are back in session in Philadelphia, and they quickly dispatch with the day’s first order of business: nominating Tim Kaine for vice president.

The Virginia senator’s name was the only one offered, and a half-full convention hall at the Wells Fargo Center decided by a voice vote to suspend the rules and nominate Kaine by acclamation.

Some supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had talked about challenging Kaine’s nomination. They were upset that nominee Hillary Clinton didn’t pick a more liberal running mate.

Some delegates from Washington state chanted “roll call.” Some from California made some noise during the voice vote. But most in the arena cheered as Kaine was nominated.

The former Virginia governor is set to address the convention Wednesday night.

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4:25 p.m.

As Hillary Clinton gets set to claim the Democratic presidential nomination, fellow New Yorker Chuck Schumer is preparing for his own next act.

Schumer may end up being Clinton’s top Senate partner — or a chief antagonist to Republican Donald Trump if Clinton loses the election.

Schumer is in line to become the Senate Democratic leader next year with the retirement of the current leader, Harry Reid of Nevada.

If Democrats succeed in retaking control of the Senate, Schumer will assume the job of majority leader and move into the pinnacle of Senate power — and the role of a lifetime.

If Clinton ends up in the White House, Schumer would have the chance to serve as her congressional partner in pushing through an ambitious agenda that focuses on public works and jobs — and promoting a more activist role for government.

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