Former Vice President Joe Biden said he will be the president to bring America out of darkness and into the light.
As he shared his plan for bringing the country together amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and calls for racial justice, he opened his speech without even naming President Donald Trump.
As he accepted the nomination his for top office on the final night of the virtual Democratic National Convention, Biden merely called Trump “the current president.”
He said the “current president” has caused America darkness for far too long.
“I will be an ally of the light not the darkness,” Biden said. “It’s time for we the people to come together. United, we can will overcome this season of darkness in America.”
Biden accepted his bid for top office Thursday night in a mostly empty convention center in Wilmington, Delaware. Cars filled the parking lot of the Chase Center to watch Biden deliver his acceptance speech on large screens, drive-in movie style. He appeared after his children Hunter and Ashley introduced him and a video highlighting his life aired.
It is the first time Biden delivered a presidential bid acceptance speech. It is a speech he has been waiting for decades to give. His acceptance comes 33 years after he made his first bid for the White House.
Hours before Biden took the stage, President Donald Trump hit the campaign trail to rip his opponent. In a speech near Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pa., Trump blasted Biden’s stance on a swath of topics including trade, energy, jobs and immigration.
Biden didn’t focus on calling out Trump by name, but he did rip the president for his coronavirus response.
Prior DNC speakers took a harsher stance against Trump like former President Barack Obama, who said, “Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t. And the consequences of that failure are severe.” And former first lady Michelle Obama who said, “Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country.” Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, and 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton warned that Americans’ lives and livelihoods are at risk if Trump is reelected.
Biden promised to get the coronavirus under control. He also highlighted his plan for the economy, healthcare and taxes.
He called the upcoming election “life changing.”
“This will determine what America’s going to look like for a long, long time,” he said. “Character is on the ballot, compassion is on the ballot, decency, science, democracy. They’re 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 more clear. No rhetoric is needed. Just judge this president on the facts.”
Biden then spent time discussing the importance of family and how painful it is for Americans who lost loved ones due to coronavirus. His acceptance speech marked his first political speech he gave without his son Beau Biden by his side. His son died in 2015 of brain cancer. The death of his son isn’t the only tragic event that Biden has overcome. He also lost his wife and 1-year-old daughter in a car crash.
He used his personal losses to empathize with Americans who have lost loved ones to coronavirus.
Biden spent his time on the stage reintroducing himself to Americans. He focused on his values and how they will tie into his agenda for the country.
Ahead of Trump delivering his own acceptance speech when the RNC takes place next week, Trump hasn’t shied away from attacking his opponent. The president has questioned the former vice president’s mental fitness. He has touted his own cognition while asking Americans “What happened to Joe?” If elected, Biden would become the oldest president to take office. Biden is 77 years old and Trump is 74.
The president has also accused Biden’s family as being corrupt. He has slammed Hunter Biden for his involvement in a Chinese private equity firm. He has also attacked Hunter Biden for his involvement as a paid board member of Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings in April 2014.
Biden highlighted his past political experience and success of working with politicians on both sides of the aisle to pass meaningful legislation.
But Biden’s attempt to show his embrace of all sides has caused some controversy, even at the convention. Some progressives, including onetime rival Bernie Sanders, voiced concern that the Dems had given more speaking time and attention to Republicans supporting Biden than to those representing the more progressive wing of the party.
The final night of the convention was no exception. The program featured several spots on Americans who said they voted for Trump in 2016, but are backing Biden in 2020. One was a 95-year-old WWII and Korean War veteran, who said he was a Republican and NRA member that plans to vote for Biden.
Biden pushed the message of uniting the country and bringing it out of darkness and into the light throughout his speech. “In times as challenging as these, I believe there is only one way forward, a united America,” he said. “United in our dreams of a better future.”
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