DNC 2020 Live: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bill Clinton, Jill Biden to speak

Under a theme of leadership, emerging and longtime party leaders speak Tuesday.

Following a first night of programming focused on unity -- featuring a handful of Republican speakers and former first lady Michelle Obama -- Democrats continue their mostly virtual convention in Milwaukee Tuesday under the theme of "Leadership Matters" with primetime speeches from both the party's more established leaders and its younger stars.

"We'll hear from the leaders and the experts, the veterans and the activists, all those who seek to unite and not divide, and who step up -- not back down -- from a fight over what's right," the Democratic National Convention Committee said in a news release.

ABC News Live will kick off primetime coverage each day at 7 p.m. ET on the network's steaming news channel and primetime coverage will air from 10-11 p.m. ET each night of the convention on the ABC Television Network.

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7:56 p.m. Trump: 'Not the best television I've ever watched'

President Trump was asked earlier Tuesday how he'd make his convention more lively than the DNC and he pointed to the Democrats' taped elements -- and noted the relatively poor broadcast ratings reported for the first night.

"Their ratings were very bad," he said at an event in Yuma, Arizona, with border officials. "They just announced their rating and I thought it was not the best television I've ever watched. It was brutal actually. No, their ratings were very bad."

The Hollywood Reporter noted that the ratings were down "considerably" since the 2016 conventions, but that it wasn't a surprise "given that much of the convention isn't taking place live and the general decline of linear TV viewing in the past four years."

Trump continued, "I think we're going to do great. Thursday night I'm doing it live, unlike Michelle Obama. I'm doing it live. And it'll be Thursday night, it'll be at the White House on the South Lawn and hopefully you'll enjoy it."

-- ABC News' Ben Gittleson

7:36 p.m. Colin Powell to speak at the DNC

Under the header of the Biden plan for national security, Colin Powell, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state in President George W. Bush's administration, will join national security leaders who have served Democratic and Republican presidents to make their case for Joe Biden's steady, experienced leadership, according to the DNC.

"I support Joe Biden for the presidency of the United States," Powell says in a clip released by the DNC.

He goes on to reference Biden's son Beau, who served as an officer in the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

"Our country needs a commander in chief who takes care of troops, in the same way he would his own family," Powell says. "For Joe Biden, that doesn't need teaching. It comes from the experience he shares with millions of military families, sending his beloved son off to war and praying to God he would come home safe."

7:31 p.m. Cindy McCain to talk about the late-Sen. John McCain's friendship with Biden

Cindy McCain is set to appear at the DNC in a video segment - but only via audio - that details the "unlikely" friendship between former Vice President Joe Biden and her late husband, Sen. John McCain.

Convention officials released a clip of the segment, in which McCain says about the two, "They would just sit and joke. It was like a comedy show sometimes to watch the two of them."

The rest of the clip shares some personal details about the friendship between the two, from their younger days when they were on a different path to when those paths ultimately crossed.

"It was a friendship that shouldn't have worked. John, a former Navy pilot just released from a North Vietnamese prison. Joe, a young senator from Delaware," the narrator says in the preview clip. "But in the 1970s, Joe was assigned a military aide for a trip overseas."

"I was a Navy Senate liaison and used to carry your bags on overseas trips," John McCain says in the video, which is pulled from a 2016 clip from the Senate floor.

"The son of a gun never carried my bags. He was supposed to carry my bags there but he never carried my bags," Biden says, a clip from his 2017 speech at the Liberty Medal ceremony.

"John and Joe traveled thousands of miles together," the narrator says. "The families got to know each other, gathering for picnics in the Biden's backyard."

Cindy McCain wrote on Twitter that she was "honored" to accept an invite from the Biden team to be part of the video.

"My husband and Vice President Biden enjoyed a 30+ year friendship dating back to before their years serving together in the Senate, so I was honored to accept the invitation from the Biden campaign to participate in a video celebrating their relationship," McCain tweeted.

In 2019, about a year after McCain's death, Cindy McCain spoke with ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl about the legacy of her late husband.

At that time, she said the current Republican Party is "not the party of Abraham Lincoln ... nor the party of Ronald Reagan."

"That was a tough torch to carry and, as John said, there were many lonely days because he always said what was on his mind," she told Karl.

McCain added that her husband "never did anything deliberately to be hurtful or anything. … I don't see anybody carrying that mantle at all, I don't see anyone carrying the voice -- the voice of reason."

-- ABC News' Kendall Karson

7:25 p.m. DNC to hear from the 'next generation of party leaders'

A group of 17 "rising stars" within the party -- including former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb and Texas Rep. Colin Allred -- are slated to deliver the night's keynote address meant to capture the party's "diversity of ideas and perspectives," according to the DNC.

"The changing face of the Democratic Party is going to be on full display tonight, another new wave of fresh faces is expected early next year," Senior Washington Reporter Devin Dwyer said on ABC News Live.

7:20 p.m. Michelle Obama posts encouragement to her 'partner-in-crime' Jill Biden

Ahead of her remarks Tuesday, former first lady Michelle Obama penned a lengthy message of encouragement to her "partner-in-crime" Jill Biden on Instagram.

Along with photos of the two throughout their time in the White House, Obama praised Biden as "one of the most grounded people you'll ever meet, inside or outside of politics," and added "There's not a doubt in my mind that Jill will make a wonderful First Lady."

-- ABC News' Molly Nagle

7:16 p.m. ABC to conduct 1st joint sit-down interview with Biden-Harris

EXCLUSIVE: David Muir will conduct the first joint sit-down with former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris and Robin Roberts will interview Biden and Harris on their history-making ticket.

The one-hour primetime special airs next Sunday at 8|7c on ABC News.

7:12 p.m. Sanders joins Vermont activists to cast roll call votes

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted that he, along with his wife Jane and a number of other Vermont activists, will cast their roll call votes together during the DNC.

Gubernatorial candidate and current Vermont Lt. Gov Dave Zuckerman will deliver the "Vermont message for justice," according to a tweet by Jane this afternoon.

The group will include Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, a candidate for the Vermont state House, Burlington City Councilor Ali Dieng, Buff Lindau and Huck Gutman, according to Sanders' tweet, which included a photo of the delegates.

-- ABC News' Meg Cunningham

7:06 p.m. Roll call to begin in Alabama

"Roll Call Across America" will kick off in Alabama, with Rep. Terri Sewell delivering the delegation's votes from the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, the site where Alabama state troopers attacked the late-Rep. John Lewis and other civil rights demonstrators in 1965 in an incident that became known as "Bloody Sunday," the Alabama congresswoman's office confirmed to ABC News.

Biden will be formally nominated as the party's presidential nominee during a 30-minute roll call featuring representatives for all 57 states and territories -- a usually long-winded process that can take hours.

This year, the roll call will include delegates, parents, teachers, small business owners, essential workers, activists and elected leaders inside businesses, living rooms and in front of iconic landmarks.

Two of the other locations where state delegations will cast votes to formally nominate Biden are the Frederick Douglass statue in Baltimore, Maryland and the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign in Nevada.

ABC News' Kendall Karson and John Verhovek

7 p.m. Overview of Tuesday's primetime program:

'Leadership Matters'

Call to Order - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mayor Tom Barrett

Credentials Committee Report - James Roosevelt Jr. and Lorraine Miller, Co-Chairs of the Credentials Committee

Rules Committee Report - The Honorable Barney Frank and Maria Cardona, Co-Chairs of the Credentials Committee

Platform Committee Report - Julie Chavez Rodriguez and Dennis McDonough, Co-Chairs of the Credentials Committee

'The Leaders We Are'

Keynote Address: "We Step Up to Lead" - A group of 17 "rising stars" within the party -- including former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Tennessee State Sen. Raumesh Akbari, U.S. Rep. Colin Allred of Texas, U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania, Nevada State Sen. Yvanna Cancela, former Ohio State Rep. Kathleen Clyde, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, Long Beach, California, Mayor Robert Garcia, Pennsylvania State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, South Carolina State Sen. Marlon Kimpson, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Michigan State Rep. Mari Manoogian, Texas State Rep. Victoria Neave, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Georgia State Rep. Sam Park, New Hampshire State Rep. Denny Ruprecht, and Birmingham, Alabama, Mayor Randall Woodfin -- speak to Biden's leadership and the party's ideals

Introduction - Tracee Ellis Ross, American actress

'We Respect the Constitution'

Remarks - Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

Remarks - Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

'We Lead from the Oval Office'

Remarks - Caroline Kennedy, former U.S. Ambassador and daughter of President John F. Kennedy, and Jack Schlossberg, grandson of President John F. Kennedy

Remarks - Former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter

Remarks - Former President Bill Clinton

'The Leader We Need'

Introduction - Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Tom Perez

Nominating Speeches for The Honorable Bernie Sanders - Former president of the United Auto Workers Bob King and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

Nominating Speeches for The Honorable Joe Biden - Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., and U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del.

Roll Call Across America

'The Leaders We Are'

'We Take On the Toughest Challenges'

The Biden Plan: Healthcare - Democrats outline Biden's plan to strengthen the Affordable Care Act

A More Perfect Union: A Conversation on Healthcare - Biden in conversation with everyday Americans on what the Affordable Care Act

Remarks - Ady Barkan, progressive activist

'The Leader Joe Biden Is'

Remarks - Former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, 2004 Democratic nominee for president John Kerry

'A True Commander-In-Chief'

The Biden Plan: National Security - National Security leaders speak to Biden's experience

'Family, Faith, and Country First'

"Teacher" - The story of Dr. Biden's life, her career, and her relationship with Biden, family and staff

Remarks - Former second lady Dr. Jill Biden

Performance - John Legend, American singer-songwriter

7 p.m. An overview of the evening's program

Tuesday evening's program includes speeches from former President Bill Clinton, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was allotted just one minute. Some progressives view her speaking time as a slight by the establishment and a reflection of the broader disconnect between the national party and younger, more diverse voters -- a gap party leaders are hoping to close heading into November.

A group of 17 "rising stars" within the party -- including former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb and Texas Rep. Colin Allred -- are slated to deliver the night's keynote address meant to capture the party's "diversity of ideas and perspectives."

Former Vice President Joe Biden's formal nomination by a pre-recorded roll call vote from all 57 states and territories is also set for Tuesday.

Tuesday's lineup of speakers:

  • Former Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
  • Former Secretary of State John Kerry
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.
  • Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Pa.
  • Former President Bill Clinton
  • Former second lady Dr. Jill Biden
  • Keynote address from former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Tennessee State Sen. Raumesh Akbari, U.S. Rep. Colin Allred of Texas, U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania, Nevada State Sen. Yvanna Cancela, former Ohio State Rep. Kathleen Clyde, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, Long Beach, California, Mayor Robert Garcia, Pennsylvania State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, South Carolina State Sen. Marlon Kimpson, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Michigan State Rep. Mari Manoogian, Texas State Rep. Victoria Neave, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Georgia State Rep. Sam Park, New Hampshire State Rep. Denny Ruprecht, and Birmingham, Alabama, Mayor Randall Woodfin
  • ABC News' Kendall Karson contributed to this report.