Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called out anger and division in the nation as he accepted his party’s nomination Thursday – vowing to unite the country and represent even those who do not support him – not just his political ‘base.’
‘Too much anger, too much fear, too much division,’ Biden said early in his remarks, which he framed around an epic battle of light versus darkness.
He said President Donald Trump had ‘cloaked America in darkness,’ and blasted Trump’s handling of the coronavirus – ticking off the number of dead and faulting Trump for allowing the deadly virus to proliferate – but said the nation would overcome what he called ‘this season of darkness in America.’
‘Our current president has failed in his most basic duty to this nation,’ Biden said. ‘He failed to protect us. He failed to protect America. And, my fellow Americans, that is unforgivable.’
Speaking in the Chase Center in Wilmington a night after running mate Sen. Kamala Harris introduced herself to the nation after a history-making nomination, Biden intoned: ‘I give you my word. If you entrust me with the presidency, I’ll draw on the best of us, not the worst.’
He laced his speech, delivered forcefully and with just few stumbles by a candidate who featured a video about overcoming a childhood stutter, with condemnations of Trump and a harsh critique of his governing style. But Biden did not mention his rival by name.
‘It’s time for us – for we the people – to come together,’ said Biden, calling November’s contest a ‘life-changing election.
Former Vice President Joe Biden called out anger, fear, and division in remarks as he accepted his party’s nomination where he described the 2020 race as a battle between light and darkness
No conventional convention: Joe Biden was alone on stage, with 30 reporters – including DailyMail.com – watching him in the hall as he delivered his address
Virtual audience: Organizers projected supporters applauding from around the nation on to screens as Joe Biden’s speech ended
Trump tweeted, ‘In 47 years, Joe did none of the things of which he now speaks. He will never change, just words!’
He quoted civil rights organizer Ella Baker, who said ‘Give light and people will find a way,’ a remark that framed his speech.
‘Give people light and they will find the way. These are words for our time,’ Biden said. ‘The current president has cloaked American in darkness for far too long,’ he said, in one of many denunciations of Trump.
He pointed to the coronavirus pandemic, economic troubles, calls for social justice, and climate change as the four key issues, calling it ‘one of the most difficult moments’ the nation has faced. And he promised if elected: ‘I will draw on the best of us, not the worst.’ He said the moment called for ‘hope and light and love.’
A GRIM PICTURE OF THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY – BUT NEVER USING HIS NAME
But he repeatedly spoke in grave tones about the struggles engulfing the country.
‘Just judge this president on the fact. Five million Americans affected by COVID-19,’ he said. ‘More than 170,000 Americans have died. By far the worst performance of any nation on earth. More than 50 million people have filed for unemployment this year.’
‘Just look around,’ Biden said. ‘It’s not this bad in Canada, or Europe, or Japan, or almost anywhere else in the world. And the president keeps telling us the virus is going to disappear.
‘And after all this time, the president still does not a plan. Well I do,’ Biden said.
‘This president, if he’s reelected, you know what will happen. Cases and deaths will remain far too high,’ Biden said. ‘More mom and pop businesses will close their doors and this time for good. Working families will struggle to get by. And yet the wealthiest 1 per cent will get tens of billions of dollars in new tax breaks. And the assault on the Affordable Care Act will continue until it’s destroyed.’
Biden said Trump had failed in his most sacred duty.
‘He’s failed to protect us,’ Biden said.
Embrace: Jill Biden went on stage to hug her husband after his speech – the most important of his political life
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden embraces his wife Dr. Jill Biden after delivering his acceptance speech on the fourth night of the Democratic National Convention from the Chase Center on August 20, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware
Hand-in-hand: Kamala Harris and Joe Biden joined hands in the air as they saluted supporters gathered around their cars in the lot outside the Chase Center where he delivered his speech
‘I will defend us from every attack, seen and unseen – always,’ he vowed.
He called on America ‘to be a light to the world once again.’
CHARACTER IS ON THE BALLOT: BIDEN INVOKES OBAMA AND A BRIGHTER FUTURE
Biden twice name-checked Barack Obama, calling him ‘a president our children could and did look up to. No one’s going to say that about the current occupant of the White House,’ he tagged on.’
‘Character is on the ballot. Compassion is on the ballot. Decency, science, democracy – they’re all on the ballot,’ Biden said.
‘The president takes no responsibility, refuses to lead, blames others, cozies up to dictators and fans the flames of hate and division,’ Biden said.
He referenced the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis, saying he would work for communities who have known ‘the injustice of a knee on the neck.’
Biden, who even while fending off left-wing challengers in the Democratic primaries vowed to work with Republicans, made repeated calls for unity.
‘This is not a partisan moment. This must be an American moment,’ he said.
He pointed to ‘hope for our future, light to see our way forward, and love for one and other.’
The former chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee kept in check his inclination to dwell on foreign policy. But he asserted: ‘I will be a president who will stand with our allies and friends. I will make it clear to our adversaries the days of cozying up to dictators are over.’
And he called out the issue that has provoked deep national divisions: Russia’s interference in U.S. elections.
‘Under President Biden, America will not turn a blind eye to Russian bounties on the heads of American soldiers. Nor will I put up with foreign interference in our most sacred democratic exercise – voting,’ Biden warned.
KAMALA HARRIS AND MY FAMILY – CANDIDATE MAKES CONTRAST TO ‘I ALONE’ TRUMP
He hailed running mate Sen. Kamala Harris of California, a former prosecutor he credited with calling out the administration’s ‘extremism, its failure to follow the law, its failure to simply tell the truth.’
He sprinkled remarks with calls for economic justice, holding up ‘fairness over privilege’ and calling to back workers over a ‘privileged few,’ as well as ‘rising inequity and ‘shrinking opportunity.’
As is a tradition in convention speeches, Biden gushed about his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, who would go from former second lady to become first lady should he win. ‘She loves this country so much,’ said Biden.
He pointed to family, who have been a source of strength for Biden throughout his life, but also in the case of son Hunter a political headache and vulnerability amid scorching attacks by Trump.
He acknowledged ‘Hunter, Ashley, all our grandchildren,’ on a night when Hunter Biden appeared in a convention video. Biden has seven grandchildren – Beau’s two daughters, and Hunters three children from his first marriage – all of whom appeared in a video before their grandfather spoke – his toddler daughter love child with a former stripper, and his baby daughter with his second wife.
‘While he’s no longer with us, Beau inspires me every day,’ Biden said, pointing to his late son.
GEORGE FLOYD AND JOHN LEWIS: BIDEN INVOKES TWO LEGACIES TO PLEDGE TO FIGHT RACISM
Biden, who prevailed over a diverse field and took hits from Haris in the primary over school bussing issues, also spoke about confronting racism as a ‘call to action.’
He spoke of the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, an event – along with Trump’s statements about good people on ‘both sides’ – that served as a foundation of Biden’s campaign launch, as a turning point.
‘At that moment I knew I’d have to run,’ he said.
He said the murder of George Floyd, who died at the hands of police in Seattle, might be a ‘breaking point’ on the road to rooting out ‘systemic racism.’
Biden ended with an impassioned plea to overcome ‘hate’ and darkness, after quoting Irish poet Seamus Heaney.
‘This is our moment to make hope and history rhyme,’ said Biden, raising his voice.
‘With passion and purpose. Let us begin, you and I together. One nation, under God. United in our love for America. United in our love for each other. For love is more powerful than hate,’ he intoned.
‘Hope is more powerful than fear and light is more powerful than dark. This is our moment. This is our mission.’
‘History will be able to say that the end of this chapter in American darkness began here, tonight,’ Biden said.
When Biden finished his speech with a flourish about dark and light, Jill Biden came from backstage and hugged him. Convention viewers, kept away for social distancing, applauded on large screens off to the side.
Kamala Harris and her husband Douglass Emhoff then came out.
It was an effort by party organizers to provide a hint of the celebration that accompanies a traditional convention speech.
Then, the nominee and his wife walked outside the venue, where supporters were gathered in distanced cars, Drive-In style. They flashed lights and honked horns, while the longtime politician stood in front of a large American flag.
Then, it was a fireworks show for supporters, standing in for the balloon drops that have filled arenas in conventions of the past.
The final night of the Democratic National Convention kicked off Thursday night with a positive message about ‘this time next year’ as The Chicks performed the National Anthem.
Close the book on the Trump era: Joe Biden left his notes on the stage as his wife Jill embraced him at the end of his speech
Team: Joe Biden praised Kamala Harris in his speech, saying he would not do his ‘work alone’ because he would have her at his side – a pointed contrast to Donald Trump claiming four years ago: ‘I alone can fix it.’
Running mate: Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff went on stage as Joe Biden’s speech ended and saluted supporters
Light in the darkness: Joe Biden made ending ‘this season of American darkness’ the theme of his speech – and walked out with wife Jill and running mate Kamala Harris to watch fireworks
On show: Joe Biden and his wife Jill on the big screen outside the Chase Center in Wilmington, where supporters watched from their cars and stayed for fireworks
Odd way to watch a convention: Democrats put on drive-ins with Biden around the country, including in Houston, Texas
Mask off moment: Joe Biden let his mask fall to shout to a supporter from the stage where he and Kamala Harris and their spouses headed after his speech
Patriotic display: Joe and Jill Biden and Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff came outside after the speech to watch the fireworks and wave to distanced supporters
Drive-in with Biden: Joe Biden was watched from outside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, by supporters in cars and came outside to watch a fireworks display – instead of the traditional balloon drop
The star-studded line up culminated in Biden officially accepting the Democratic nomination to take on President Donald Trump in November as his remarks will close out the evening.
Day four commenced with repeated testaments to Biden’s faith from those who know him and his religious tradition well in a deliberate contrast to Trump, who infuriated opponents with his photo-op in front of St. John’s church across from the White House amid protests over the death of George Floyd.
‘Joe Biden goes to church so regularly that he doesn’t even need tear gas and a bunch of federal troops to get there,’ quipped event host Julia Louis-Dreyfus in a stinging joke that fell flat.
Sen. Chris Coons, a friend of Biden’s who now holds his Delaware Senate seat, repeatedly used religious phrases to describe Biden as the convention sought to reintroduce the longtime politician to the nation.
Biden is a practicing Catholic who has made family loss a major part of his political narrative.
Democrats kicked of the fourth night of their convention with a message of hope for the future and former 2020 Democratic candidate Andrew Yang (right) and actress and comedian Julia Louis-Dreyfus (left) opened the final night of the event
The Chicks, who dropped ‘Dixie’ from their name in the midst of nationwide Black Lives Matter protests, performed the National Anthem
Cedric Richmond Jr. (left) led the Pledge of Allegiance Thursday. His father, Rep. Cedric Richmond Sr. (right) is one of Biden’s top supporters
Coons said Biden would continue the ‘progressive march towards justice’ of civil rights leaders, and try to make people ‘better stewards of creation.’
He also mentioned the ‘Original Sins of this nation – slavery and racism,’ and said Biden knew they must be addressed.
FAITH ON THE BALLOT AS DEMOCRATS INVOKE BIDEN’S DEEP RELIGIOUS CONVICTIONS
The Democratic senator said of Biden’s positions in politics: ‘For him, they’re rooted in faith,’ a faith ‘that’s sustained so many ordinary Americans.’
The convention also played a clip of Biden taking a question at a town hall from the pastor of Charleston’s Mother Emanuel AME church.
‘Reverend, I kind of know what it’s like to lose a family and my heart goes out to you,’ Biden said before speaking of how church members forgave the shooter who massacred parishioners attending Sunday bible study.
Then he spoke of how church members forgave the shooter who massacred parishioners attending Sunday bible study.
‘They forgave him. They forgave him – the ultimate act of Christian charity,’ Biden said.
The Rev. Anthony Thompson lost his wife, Myra, during the shooting by a white supremacist at the church in 2015.
The evening began with an invocation by Sister Simone Campbell, a Catholic religious sister. ‘Oh Spirit, breath in us and our leaders a new resolve,’ she said. Her invocation tied faith to ending ‘structural racism, bigotry and sexism.’
The expressions of faith were an obvious effort to draw contrast with Trump, an Episcopalian who rarely goes to church, has made frequent appeals to Evangelicals and has had some clumsy public events holding bibles and trying to quote scripture.
Outside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, 100 cars of Biden supporters were parked ready to take in the final night of the convention drive-in movie style.
Oldies music blasted and people had signs and American flags.
Some supporters will be on-site and take in Democratic National Convention like a drive-in movie. A stage is also set up for Biden-Harris appearance
NO BALLOONS AND DRIVE-INS WITH BIDEN AS CONVENTION MEETS CORONAVIRUS
A stage was set up for Biden, and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, to greet the crowd after he concluded his acceptance speech.
Meanwhile in downtown Wilmington, trucks were driving around in protest with signs and banners reading, ‘I’m Joe Biden and I forget this message,’ and ‘If you can’t complete a sentence, you shouldn’t be president.’
Another had a picture of the ‘2020 presidential debate,’ that showed Biden sniffing Trump’s hair and rubbing his shoulders.
Others played up Biden’s propensity to be touchy-feely, blasting the messages ‘Joe Biden – Just. Plain. Creepy,’ and ‘Creepy Joe sniffs women.’
A number of Trump supporters also showed up outside the security perimeter to troll Democrats.
HOW PARTY BIG NAMES REACTED -AND SOME WHO AREN’T DEMOCRATS’ FAVORITES
DEMOCRATS TURN TO FICTIONAL VICE PRESIDENT AS MC TO TROLL THE REAL PRESIDENT
The night kicked off with former 2020 Democratic candidate and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang and actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus speaking ahead of the Pledge of Allegiance and Star Spangled Banner.
Despite the ‘go high’ attitude of the night with a hopeful message for the future, Yang expressed worry over the state of the country currently.
‘We are in a deep, dark hole, and we need leaders who will help dig us out,’ he said.
At the conclusion of his brief remarks, Yang had a rather awkward handover to Louis-Dreyfus, the night’s emcee, as the two made reference to people mispronouncing Harris’ first name by poking fun at Mike Pence.
‘I cannot wait to see her debate our current Vice President, ‘Meeka Pints.’ Or is it ‘Paints’?’ the comedian said, purposely messing up the Vice President’s name.
‘It’s pronounced ‘Pahnce,’ I believe,’ Yang said back in a prepared back-and-forth from their separate video screens.
‘It’s some kind of weird foreign name,’ the Seinfeld and Veep actress dismissed.
‘Yeah, not very American sounding,’ Yang said.
Harris is the first ever black woman to run on a major party’s presidential ticket – some have also said the half-Jamaican, half-Indian senator’s first name, Kamala, is hard to pronounce.
Instead, Biden’s team is letting the past speakers’ statements about the president stand as an argument he should not be reelected – including former President Barack Obama’s Wednesday remarks where he claimed Trump ‘will tear our democracy down’
Shortly into the program, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms delivered remarks.
She was once considered one of those on the short list to become Biden’s running mate.
Perhaps one of the most anticipated appearances from Republicans, however, was from the former vice president’s son.
Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and China have been political fodder for Republicans throughout Joe Biden’s run for the White House, with Trump’s impeachment based on the president’s quest to have the Ukrainian president announce an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden.
He hasn’t been spotted alongside his family during the DNC festivities so far, so it’s unclear if he actually made the trek to Wilmington, Delaware, where Biden and Harris are making their virtual speeches.
THURSDAY’S DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION LINE UP
Cory Booker, New Jersey Senator
Pete Buttigieg, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor
The Chicks, musical group
Gavin Newsom, California governor
Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta mayor
Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin senator
Tammy Duckworth, Illinois senator
Chris Coons, Delaware senator
John Legend and Common, singer and rapper
Andrew Yang, tech entrepreneur
Michael Bloomberg, former New York City mayor
Joe Biden, former vice president and 2020 Democratic nominee
Harris also accepted the Democrats’ vice presidential nomination at the Chase Center as she closed out the third night of the convention on Wednesday.
His campaign has not responded to DailyMail.com’s request for comment on whether Biden will make his address outside, or come out to greet supporters in their cars afterward.
Biden was spotted by TV networks doing a walk-through of the stage earlier Thursday.
The fourth night of the DNC featured a video dedicated to the late Beau Biden, the former vice president’s eldest son – who was Delaware’s attorney general – who passed away from cancer in 2015. The late Rep. John Lewis, who died last month, will also be honored.
The Biden grandchildren will also be featured in a video.
They were on hand in Delaware Tuesday night when Jill Biden gave her virtual address to the DNC, from the school in Wilmington where she used to teach.
The Bidens’ grandkids and daughter Ashley threw confetti at Joe Biden when the Democratic nomination was made official.
Hunter Biden was not in the shot.
Hunter’s personal life has also given the family unwanted attention as he dated Beau’s widow Hallie after his brother’s death, had a child out-of-wedlock with a former D.C.-based stripper and then quickly wed his latest wife, Melissa Cohen, who gave birth to a baby boy in April.
Joe Biden’s speech will be hopeful and forward-looking, as opposed to the dark warning that President Barack Obama offered Wednesday night about re-electing Trump for four more years.
‘This administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win,’ Obama said from his speech location in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In his harshest indictment yet of the man who succeeded him in the Oval Office, Obama called Trump lazy, dangerous, and corrupt, accusing him of abusing the military as props, of gassing peaceful protesters and of being willing to do anything for a second term.
Trump lashed out at his predecessor on Twitter, claiming Obama only endorsed his vice president at the last minute.
‘WHY DID HE REFUSE TO ENDORSE SLOW JOE UNTIL IT WAS ALL OVER, AND EVEN THEN WAS VERY LATE? WHY DID HE TRY TO GET HIM NOT TO RUN?’ the president tweeted in all capital letters.
Biden is expected to take the night off from his public sparring with the president, who has dubbed the Democratic candidate as ‘Sleepy’ and ‘Slow Joe.’
The night will kick off with remarks from previous Biden competitors Cory Booker, who represents New Jersey in the U.S. Senate, and former South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang and former Mayor of New York City Mike Bloomberg will speak before Biden takes the stage.
Steph (left) and Ayesha Curry (center left) and their daughters Ryan (center right) and Riley (right) discuss how the basketball star and his best-selling author wife will be voting for Joe Biden in November
READ THE FULL TEXT OF JOE BIDEN’S CONVENTION SPEECH ACCEPTING DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION
Ella Baker, a giant of the civil rights movement, left us with this wisdom: Give people light and they will find a way.
Give people light. Those are words for our time. The current president has cloaked America in darkness for much too long. Too much anger. Too much fear. Too much division.
Here and now, I give you my word: If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us not the worst. I will be an ally of the light not of the darkness. It’s time for us, for We the People, to come together.
For make no mistake. United we can, and will, overcome this season of darkness in America. We will choose hope over fear, facts over fiction, fairness over privilege.
I am a proud Democrat and I will be proud to carry the banner of our party into the general election. So, it is with great honor and humility that I accept this nomination for President of the United States of America.
But while I will be a Democratic candidate, I will be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn’t support me as I will for those who did.
That’s the job of a president. To represent all of us, not just our base or our party. This is not a partisan moment. This must be an American moment.
It’s a moment that calls for hope and light and love. Hope for our futures, light to see our way forward, and love for one another.
America isn’t just a collection of clashing interests of Red States or Blue States. We’re so much bigger than that. We’re so much better than that.
Nearly a century ago, Franklin Roosevelt pledged a New Deal in a time of massive unemployment, uncertainty, and fear. Stricken by disease, stricken by a virus, FDR insisted that he would recover and prevail and he believed America could as well. And he did. And so can we.
This campaign isn’t just about winning votes. It’s about winning the heart, and yes, the soul of America.
Winning it for the generous among us, not the selfish. Winning it for the workers who keep this country going, not just the privileged few at the top. Winning it for those communities who have known the injustice of the ‘knee on the neck.’ For all the young people who have known only an America of rising inequity and shrinking opportunity. They deserve to experience America’s promise in full.
No generation ever knows what history will ask of it. All we can ever know is whether we’ll be ready when that moment arrives.
And now history has delivered us to one of the most difficult moments America has ever faced. Four historic crises. All at the same time. A perfect storm. The worst pandemic in over 100 years. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The most compelling call for racial justice since the 60’s. And the undeniable realities and accelerating threats of climate change.
So, the question for us is simple: Are we ready? I believe we are. We must be.
All elections are important. But we know in our bones this one is more consequential. America is at an inflection point. A time of real peril, but of extraordinary possibilities. We can choose the path of becoming angrier, less hopeful, and more divided. A path of shadow and suspicion.
Or we can choose a different path, and together, take this chance to heal, to be reborn, to unite. A path of hope and light.
This is a life-changing election that will determine America’s future for a very long time. Character is on the ballot. Compassion is on the ballot. Decency, science, democracy. They are all on the ballot. Who we are as a nation. What we stand for. And, most importantly, who we want to be. That’s all on the ballot.
And the choice could not be clearer. No rhetoric is needed. Just judge this president on the facts. 5 million Americans infected with COVID-19. More than 170,000 Americans have died. By far the worst performance of any nation on Earth. More than 50 million people have filed for unemployment this year. More than 10 million people are going to lose their health insurance this year. Nearly one in 6 small businesses have closed this year.
If this president is re-elected we know what will happen. Cases and deaths will remain far too high. More mom and pop businesses will close their doors for good.
Working families will struggle to get by, and yet, the wealthiest one percent will get tens of billions of dollars in new tax breaks. And the assault on the Affordable Care Act will continue until its destroyed, taking insurance away from more than 20 million people – including more than 15 million people on Medicaid – and getting rid of the protections that President Obama and I passed for people who suffer from a pre-existing condition.
And speaking of President Obama, a man I was honored to serve alongside for 8 years as Vice President. Let me take this moment to say something we don’t say nearly enough. Thank you, Mr. President. You were a great president. A president our children could – and did – look up to.
No one will say that about the current occupant of the office.
What we know about this president is if he’s given four more years he will be what he’s been the last four years. A president who takes no responsibility, refuses to lead, blames others, cozies up to dictators, and fans the flames of hate and division. He will wake up every day believing the job is all about him. Never about you.
Is that the America you want for you, your family, your children?
I see a different America. One that is generous and strong. Selfless and humble. It’s an America we can rebuild together. As president, the first step I will take will be to get control of the virus that’s ruined so many lives.
Because I understand something this president doesn’t.
We will never get our economy back on track, we will never get our kids safely back to school, we will never have our lives back, until we deal with this virus. The tragedy of where we are today is it didn’t have to be this bad. Just look around. It’s not this bad in Canada. Or Europe. Or Japan. Or almost anywhere else in the world.
The President keeps telling us the virus is going to disappear. He keeps waiting for a miracle. Well, I have news for him, no miracle is coming. We lead the world in confirmed cases. We lead the world in deaths. Our economy is in tatters, with Black, Latino, Asian American, and Native American communities bearing the brunt of it. And after all this time, the president still does not have a plan. Well, I do.
If I’m president on day one we’ll implement the national strategy I’ve been laying out since March. We’ll develop and deploy rapid tests with results available immediately. We’ll make the medical supplies and protective equipment our country needs. And we’ll make them here in America. So we will never again be at the mercy of China and other foreign countries in order to protect our own people. We’ll make sure our schools have the resources they need to be open, safe, and effective.
We’ll put the politics aside and take the muzzle off our experts so the public gets the information they need and deserve. The honest, unvarnished truth. They can deal with that. How did this story make you feel?
We’ll have a national mandate to wear a mask-not as a burden, but to protect each other. It’s a patriotic duty. In short, I will do what we should have done from the very beginning. Our current president has failed in his most basic duty to this nation. He failed to protect us. He failed to protect America.
And, my fellow Americans, that is unforgivable.
As president, I will make you this promise: I will protect America. I will defend us from every attack. Seen. And unseen. Always. Without exception. Every time. Look, I understand it’s hard to have hope right now.
On this summer night, let me take a moment to speak to those of you who have lost the most. I know how it feels to lose someone you love. I know that deep black hole that opens up in your chest. That you feel your whole being is sucked into it. I know how mean and cruel and unfair life can be sometimes.
But I’ve learned two things. First, your loved ones may have left this Earth but they never leave your heart. They will always be with you. And second, I found the best way through pain and loss and grief is to find purpose.
As God’s children each of us have a purpose in our lives. And we have a great purpose as a nation: To open the doors of opportunity to all Americans. To save our democracy. To be a light to the world once again. To finally live up to and make real the words written in the sacred documents that founded this nation that all men and women are created equal. Endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You know, my Dad was an honorable, decent man. He got knocked down a few times pretty hard, but always got up. He worked hard and built a great middle-class life for our family. He used to say, ‘Joey, I don’t expect the government to solve my problems, but I expect it to understand them.’
And then he would say: ‘Joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about your place in your community. It’s about looking your kids in the eye and say, honey, it’s going to be okay.’ I’ve never forgotten those lessons.
That’s why my economic plan is all about jobs, dignity, respect, and community. Together, we can, and we will, rebuild our economy. And when we do, we’ll not only build it back, we’ll build it back better. With modern roads, bridges, highways, broadband, ports and airports as a new foundation for economic growth. With pipes that transport clean water to every community. With 5 million new manufacturing and technology jobs so the future is made in America.
With a health care system that lowers premiums, deductibles, and drug prices by building on the Affordable Care Act he’s trying to rip away. With an education system that trains our people for the best jobs of the 21st century, where cost doesn’t prevent young people from going to college, and student debt doesn’t crush them when they get out.
With child care and elder care that make it possible for parents to go to work and for the elderly to stay in their homes with dignity. With an immigration system that powers our economy and reflects our values. With newly empowered labor unions. With equal pay for women. With rising wages you can raise a family on. Yes, we’re going to do more than praise our essential workers. We’re finally going to pay them.
We can, and we will, deal with climate change. It’s not only a crisis, it’s an enormous opportunity. An opportunity for America to lead the world in clean energy and create millions of new good-paying jobs in the process.
And we can pay for these investments by ending loopholes and the president’s $1.3 trillion tax giveaway to the wealthiest 1 percent and the biggest, most profitable corporations, some of which pay no tax at all.
Because we don’t need a tax code that rewards wealth more than it rewards work. I’m not looking to punish anyone. Far from it. But it’s long past time the wealthiest people and the biggest corporations in this country paid their fair share.
For our seniors, Social Security is a sacred obligation, a sacred promise made. The current president is threatening to break that promise. He’s proposing to eliminate the tax that pays for almost half of Social Security without any way of making up for that lost revenue.
I will not let it happen. If I’m your president, we’re going to protect Social Security and Medicare. You have my word.
One of the most powerful voices we hear in the country today is from our young people. They’re speaking to the inequity and injustice that has grown up in America. Economic injustice. Racial injustice. Environmental injustice.
I hear their voices and if you listen, you can hear them too. And whether it’s the existential threat posed by climate change, the daily fear of being gunned down in school, or the inability to get started in their first job — it will be the work of the next president to restore the promise of America to everyone.
I won’t have to do it alone. Because I will have a great Vice President at my side. Senator Kamala Harris. She is a powerful voice for this nation. Her story is the American story. She knows about all the obstacles thrown in the way of so many in our country. Women, Black women, Black Americans, South Asian Americans, immigrants, the left-out and left-behind.
But she’s overcome every obstacle she’s ever faced. No one’s been tougher on the big banks or the gun lobby. No one’s been tougher in calling out this current administration for its extremism, its failure to follow the law, and its failure to simply tell the truth.
Kamala and I both draw strength from our families. For Kamala, it’s Doug and their families.
For me, it’s Jill and ours.
No man deserves one great love in his life. But I’ve known two. After losing my first wife in a car accident, Jill came into my life and put our family back together.
She’s an educator. A mom. A military Mom. And an unstoppable force. If she puts her mind to it, just get out of the way. Because she’s going to get it done. She was a great Second Lady and she will make a great First Lady for this nation, she loves this country so much.
And I will have the strength that can only come from family. Hunter, Ashley and all our grandchildren, my brothers, my sister. They give me courage and lift me up. And while he is no longer with us, Beau inspires me every day. Beau served our nation in uniform. A decorated Iraq war veteran.
So I take very personally the profound responsibility of serving as Commander in Chief. I will be a president who will stand with our allies and friends. I will make it clear to our adversaries the days of cozying up to dictators are over.
Under President Biden, America will not turn a blind eye to Russian bounties on the heads of American soldiers. Nor will I put up with foreign interference in our most sacred democratic exercise – voting.
I will stand always for our values of human rights and dignity. And I will work in common purpose for a more secure, peaceful, and prosperous world.
History has thrust one more urgent task on us. Will we be the generation that finally wipes the stain of racism from our national character? I believe we’re up to it. I believe we’re ready.
Just a week ago yesterday was the third anniversary of the events in Charlottesville. Remember seeing those neo-Nazis and Klansmen and white supremacists coming out of the fields with lighted torches? Veins bulging? Spewing the same anti-Semitic bile heard across Europe in the ’30s? Remember the violent clash that ensued between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it? Remember what the president said? There were quote, ‘very fine people on both sides.’
It was a wake-up call for us as a country. And for me, a call to action. At that moment, I knew I’d have to run. My father taught us that silence was complicity. And I could not remain silent or complicit. At the time, I said we were in a battle for the soul of this nation. And we are.
One of the most important conversations I’ve had this entire campaign is with someone who is too young to vote. I met with six-year old Gianna Floyd, a day before her Daddy George Floyd was laid to rest.
She is incredibly brave. I’ll never forget. When I leaned down to speak with her, she looked into my eyes and said ‘Daddy, changed the world.’ Her words burrowed deep into my heart. Maybe George Floyd’s murder was the breaking point. Maybe John Lewis’ passing the inspiration.
However it has come to be, America is ready to in John’s words, to lay down ‘the heavy burdens of hate at last’ and to do the hard work of rooting out our systemic racism. America’s history tells us that it has been in our darkest moments that we’ve made our greatest progress. That we’ve found the light. And in this dark moment, I believe we are poised to make great progress again. That we can find the light once more.
I have always believed you can define America in one word: Possibilities. That in America, everyone, and I mean everyone, should be given the opportunity to go as far as their dreams and God-given ability will take them.
We can never lose that. In times as challenging as these, I believe there is only one way forward. As a united America. United in our pursuit of a more perfect Union. United in our dreams of a better future for us and for our children. United in our determination to make the coming years bright.
Are we ready? I believe we are. This is a great nation. And we are a good and decent people.
This is the United States of America.
And there has never been anything we’ve been unable to accomplish when we’ve done it together.
The Irish poet Seamus Heaney once wrote:
Don’t hope on this side of the grave,
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up, and hope and history rhyme’
This is our moment to make hope and history rhyme. With passion and purpose, let us begin – you and I together, one nation, under God – united in our love for America and united in our love for each other.
For love is more powerful than hate. Hope is more powerful than fear. Light is more powerful than dark. This is our moment. This is our mission.
May history be able to say that the end of this chapter of American darkness began here tonight as love and hope and light joined in the battle for the soul of the nation.
And this is a battle that we, together, will win.
I promise you.
Thank you. And may God bless you. And may God protect our troops.
Donald Trump calls Joe Biden’s speech ‘just words’ as he abandons months of attacks on his rival’s cognitive ability to question his record in government after Democrat flames his record and says ‘character is on the ballot’
‘In 47 years, Joe did none of the things of which he now speaks. He will never change, just words!’ Trump tweeted as the Democratic nominee closed out his speech.
Biden concluded the four-day Democratic convention by flaming Trump’s record, telling Americans that ‘character is on the ballot.’
President Donald Trump abandoned his usual attacks on Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s mental fitness to say that his nomination acceptance speech was ‘just words’
Trump tweeted, ‘In 47 years, Joe did none of the things of which he now speaks. He will never change, just words!’
Biden had just given a speech to the livestreamed convention audience in which he proclaimed ‘character is on the ballot’
‘Compassion is on the ballot. Decency, science, democracy. They are all on the ballot,’ Biden said.
Biden positioned himself as the candidate who was the side of goodness, empathy, and inclusivity, as he reminded viewers of the livestreamed convention about Trump’s words following the racial unrest in Charlottesville in 2017 and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Here and now, I give you my word: If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us not the worst,’ Biden pledged. ‘I will be an ally of the light not of the darkness.’
He concluded his remarks by saying, ‘love is more powerful than hate.’
‘Hope is more powerful than fear. Light is more powerful than dark,’ Biden said.
‘May history be able to say that the end of this chapter of American darkness began here tonight as love and hope and light joined in the battle for the soul of the nation,’ he stated.
And while much of what Biden said during the address, where he properly accepted the Democratic nomination, he had said in his stump speeches, he put a new polish on it.
He addressed a darkened room, filled only with reporters and some staff, using a teleprompter, with lines under some words – likely the trick Biden taught a young stutter-er who appeared earlier in the convention to talk about how the ex-vice president had become his mentor.
Jill Biden, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff finished the DNC with the kind of fanfare Trump loves, with fireworkers and cheers from supporters
One night earlier, Trump was blasting former Democratic President Barack Obama, who had delivered a more blistering indictment of the president’s record.
‘HE SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN, AND GOT CAUGHT!’ Trump roared.
‘WHY DID HE REFUSE TO ENDORSE SLOW JOE UNTIL IT WAS ALL OVER, AND EVEN THEN WAS VERY LATE? WHY DID HE TRY TO GET HIM NOT TO RUN?’ Trump wrote.
Biden also concluded the DNC in a Trump-ian fashion – with supporters and a made-for-TV moment.
He walked to the parking lot outside to greet supporters who had parked cars to view the night’s programming like they were at a drive-in movie theater.
They honked, yelled and held up signs and American flags as Biden and his wife Jill and his running mate Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff watched fireworks overhead.
‘Welcome to Wilmington,’ Biden said, grinning, as he had pulled down his mask.
Hunter Biden hints at his personal troubles as he and sister Ashley introduce their father at Democratic convention saying: ‘He will be there when you need him. He will be the strongest shoulder you can ever lean on.’
Hunter Biden appeared on behalf of his father at Thursday night’s Democratic National Convention in a video with his sister Ashley.
The Bidens’ two adult children said every other line of the video, with Hunter Biden describing his dad as ‘honest’ and ‘the strongest shoulder you can lean on.’
‘He’ll listen. He’ll be there when you need him. He’ll never let you down,’ Hunter Biden said, a subtle hint to his personal troubles.
Hunter Biden hinted as his personal troubles when he talked about how his father was ‘the strongest shouder you can lean on’
Hunter Biden appeared alongside his sister Ashley in a video that served as one of the introductions to Joe Biden’s nomination acceptance speech
He said his dad would ‘make your grandkids feel that what they’ve got to say matters.’
‘He’ll get up no matter how many times he’s been knocked down,’ Hunter Biden continued. ‘He’ll be the best friend you’ve ever had.’
At the end of the quick video tribute, which was seemingly not filmed in Delaware where Ashley, the grandchildren and Joe and Jill Biden have been this week, but with no sign of Hunter, the two siblings poked fun at some of their dad’s more goofy tendencies.
‘And if you give him your cell phone number,’ Hunter Biden said.
‘He’s going to call it,’ Ashley Biden said.
‘How do we know?’ Hunter Biden said.
‘Because he’s been that way our whole lives,’ Ashley Biden said.
Hunter’s appearance at the DNC was announced earlier Thursday when the Democrats put out the schedule.
His business dealings in Ukraine and China have been political fodder for Republicans throughout Joe Biden’s run for the White House, with Trump’s impeachment based on the president’s quest to have the Ukrainian president announce an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden.
Hunter Biden’s personal life has also given the family unwanted attention as he dated Beau’s widow Hallie after his brother’s death, had a child out-of-wedlock with a former D.C.-based stripper and then quickly wed his latest wife, Melissa Cohen, who gave birth to a baby boy in April.
He’s most recently been living in California.
Presidential historian Jon Meacham who delivered George H.W. Bush’s eulogy calls election ‘a choice on the soul of America’ and says that by voting for Joe Biden ‘we might just save our country and our souls’
Presidential historian Jon Meacham, whose book gave Joe Biden‘s campaign its ‘soul of the nation’ theme, declared the country ‘under assault’ Thursday cast a potential Biden victory into the sweep of social movements, saying it might just ‘save our country.’
Meacham, who delivered the eulogy at George H.W. Bush’s funeral after writing a book about him, endorsed the former Vice President and Thursday night’s Democratic convention, in a speech where he warned about dark strains in America’s past.
‘Our democracy is under assault from an incumbent more interested in himself than he is in all of us,’ said Meacham, casting aside the distance he ordinarily keeps from his subjects.
Presidential historian Jon Meacham endorsed Joe Biden and warned of dark strains in the nation’s past Thursday night at the Democratic convention
‘Extremism, nativism, isolationism and a lack of economic opportunity for working people are all preventing us from realizing our nation’s promise,’ Meacham said, ‘and so we must decide whether we will continue to be prisoners of the darkest of American forces or will we free ourselves to write a brighter better nobler story
The Tennessee-based author spoke from his office, backed by images of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and a campaign poster from the Lyndon Johnson Hubert Humphrey ticket, putting the 2020 election in the context of social change movements.
He said the nation must decide ‘whether we will continue to be prisoners of the darkest of American forces.’
‘Or, will we free ourselves to write a brighter, nobler story?’ he asked.
”It’s now write the next chapter of the American story – one of hope of love a justice. If we do so, we might just save our country. And our souls,’ he said.
Meacham spoke of key moments on the march toward justice, from Seneca Falls to Selma, Alabama and Stonewall.
But the nation has also contended with ‘slavery, segregation and systemic discrimination,’ he noted.
‘Our story has soared when we have built bridges, not walls,’ he said, in a dig at Trump that he made while a video showed an image of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.
He said the nation succeeds when it is ‘informed by reason and candor not by ego and lies.’
Meacham, a former journalist and prolific author, compared President Trump to reactionaries from the past and those who stood in the way of social reforms or otherwise appealed to demagoguery or made overtly racist appeals.
His remarks come a day after former President Barack Obama called Trump a threat to democracy, warning: ”This administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win.’
Previewing his remarks to Axios, Meacham said: ‘It’s not a partisan issue. Presidents from Truman to Reagan to Bush 41 [George H.W. Bush] prevailed in the Cold War, which was about freedom versus tyranny. And at home, do you want to be Bull Connor, or John Lewis? Joe McCarthy, or Margaret Chase Smith? Do you want to tear down, or do you want to build?’ he said.
He was referencing the infamous Sheriff Bull Connor, who relied on violent use of police and dogs as head of security in Birmingham, Alabama to put down civil rights protests, the late Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who marched at Selma; Wisconsin Sen. Joe McCarthy, who used his perch to stoke the red scare; and Smith, the longest serving female senator who confronted McCarthy.
Biden took one of his signature campaign themes, the fight for ‘the soul of America,’ from Meacham’s book.
He brought the prolific author (he also has taught history and political science but is not a Ph.D), to lend some historical scope and perspective to his convention, which is also pushing such themes as diversity and inclusion and showcasing the first black female running mate in Sen. Kamala Harris.
Commissioner Bull Connor directs the arrest of approximately 25 African American demonstrators in Birmingham, Ala. on April 10, 1963
Meacham has written a book on the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.)
FILE – In this March 7, 1965, file photo, a state trooper swings a billy club at John Lewis, right foreground, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, to break up a civil rights voting march in Selma, Ala. Lewis sustained a fractured skull. Lewis, who carried the struggle against racial discrimination from Southern battlegrounds of the 1960s to the halls of Congress, died Friday, July 17, 2020
Meacham’s book quotes F.D.R. saying the presidency is not an engineering job but is primarily ‘a place of moral leadership’
FILE – In this March 17, 1965, file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., fourth from left, foreground, locks arms with his aides as he leads a march of several thousands to the courthouse in Montgomery, Ala. From left are: an unidentified woman, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, James Foreman, King, Jesse Douglas Sr., and John Lewis. Lewis, who carried the struggle against racial discrimination from Southern battlegrounds of the 1960s to the halls of Congress, died Friday, July 17, 2020
Meacham with former Sen. Bob Dole and the late President George W. Bush. He spoke at Bush’s funeral
Meacham also has written a book on Lewis, a stalwart of the Democratic Party who died this year.
His Thursday speech came a day after former President Barack Obama delivered a blistering speech where he warned President Trump was a threat to democracy itself.
Democrats unveil World War II combat veteran, 95, who says despite being Republican NRA member who voted Trump but says ‘he’s the worst president we have had, I will be glad to see him gone’ and backs Joe Biden
A 95-year-old World War II veteran and lifelong Republican who voted for Donald Trump denounced the president as the ‘worst’ America has ever had on Thursday night, urging the country to vote for Joe Biden this fall.
Edward Good, who also served in the Korea War, was a surprise speaker on the final night of the Democratic National Convention, which featured several Republicans endorsing Biden’s candidacy throughout the week.
‘I think Trump has been the worst president we’ve ever had,’ he said. ‘So I’ll be glad to see him go.’
Edward Good, a 95-year-old WWII and Korean War veteran, who is a lifelong Republican and NRA member denounced President Trump and endorsed Joe Biden
Edward Good shows his military patches and honors; he was a surprise speaker on the final night of the Democratic National Convention and was part of a tribute to Biden’s support for the military
Good made a jump over the Rhine River during World War II, jumping out of his plane when it was on fire during a German attack
Good had volunteered for parachute training and was sent to France early in 1945
Edward Good, a native of Farmington, Michigan, served in the 17th Airborne Division and took part in Operation Varsity, when 16,000 paratroopers landed on the east bank of the Rhine, the biggest airborne operation in history
Good also spoke on the night there was a video tribute to Beau Biden, Biden’s son who served in the military and died of brain cancer in 2015. The fourth night was all about the Bidens and their support of the military was a large part of the program.
Good, noting his background in the military and declaring his membership in the National Rifle Association, expressed his regret voting for Trump in 2016 and endorsed Biden.
‘I am 95 years old. I’m a veteran of World War Two, and the Korean War, they were uniform,’ he said in his introduction.
‘I have been a Republican, since the 1960s. I’m a member of the NRA and voted for Trump,’ he noted. ‘I think Trump has been the worst president we’ve ever had. So I’ll be glad to see him go.’
Good, who spoke with the American flag behind him, said he was voting for Biden in November.
‘I think Joe Biden cares about doing a proper duty towards the United States and if he’s elected that’s what he will do,’ he said.
As Good spoke, photos from his military service appeared on screen. At one point he held up his military shirt with its patches and honors. The Farmington, Michigan, native served in the 17th Airborne Division and took part in Operation Varsity, when 16,000 paratroopers landed on the east bank of the Rhine, the biggest airborne operation in history.
‘I did make one combat jump over the Rhine in Germany, and I’m proud of that,’ Good said in his convention speech.
He didn’t offer details in his speech but that jump was done when his plane was hit and on fire.
Good had volunteered for parachute training and was sent to France early in 1945. Operation Varsity was a troubled mission; as he got ready to jump the plane was hit, and was on fire when he jumped. Good said he does not know if the crew made it out and believed they did not. Good landed under fire but survived, and spent the next few weeks advancing into Germany before Hitler’s death and the Nazi surrender ended the war.
He was followed by Senator Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois who was on the short list to be Biden’s running mate.
Her own story of service and sacrifice echos that of Good’s and, in her remarks, given with the Dome of the U.S. Capitol in the background, she attacked President Trump as unfit to lead the military.
‘Donald Trump doesn’t deserve to call himself commander in chief for another four minutes – let alone another four years,’ she said.
Duckworth, a double amputee after her service in Iraq, spoke about how Joe Biden understands the sacrifice military families face because his son Beau served. She spoke holding onto a table for balance, with her wheelchair visible behind her.
‘That’s the kind of leader our service members deserve: a leader who would actually honor their sacrifices. But they don’t have that in our current commander in chief, who’s either unwilling or incapable of doing so,’ she said.
Senator Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois who was on the short list to be Biden’s running mate and whose military service echos Good’s, also spoke for Biden
Sen. Tammy Duckworth was the first American female double amputee from the Iraq War and received the Purple Heart for her service
Tammy Duckworth at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in December 2004 when she was awarded her Purple Heart
She criticized President Trump for not speaking out about allegations that Russia was paying bounties to the Taliban to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan.
‘I can’t stop thinking about the Gold Star parents I spoke with recently who were desperate to know whether their child was killed because Vladimir Putin placed a bounty on their life. It tore me up that, even after I asked for an investigation, I still couldn’t reassure them that Donald Trump cared enough to try to get them an answer—that 55 days after Putin’s reported bounty scheme became public, Trump still hasn’t publicly condemned Russia—or explained how he’s protecting our servicemembers,’ she said.
She said Trump ‘doesn’t deserve’ the commander-in-chief title.
‘As president, Joe Biden would never let tyrants manipulate him like a puppet on a string. Joe Biden would never threaten to use our military against peaceful Americans. Because unlike Trump, Joe Biden has common sense and common decency,’ she said.
Duckworth was a member of Illinois National Guard when she was deployed to Iraq in 2004.
On November 12, 2004, she lost her right leg near the hip and her left leg below the knee from injuries sustained when the Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade fired by Iraqi insurgents.
She was the first American female double amputee from the Iraq War and received the Purple Heart for her service.