After a four-day meeting, where many of the participants remained separate, Joe Biden formally accepted the nomination of the Democratic Party as its candidate for President of the United States and in doing so, he focused less on any shortcomings of the current administration and more on inspiring voters and what his administration would do.
“This campaign isn’t just about winning votes. It’s about winning the heart – and yes, the soul of America,” Biden said from the Chase Center in his hometown of Wilmington, Del. The Democratic National Convention has been based in Milwaukee, but, which has operated under a virtual format due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden, 77, would be the oldest person to assume the presidency, even older than Donald Trump who took office at age 70. This is his third attempt at the office, having run in 1988 and in 2008.
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In his acceptance speech, the former vice president said that he would prioritize handling coronavirus, which has killed more than 170,000 Americans, making it the global epicenter of the pandemic. In fact, he said coronavirus would become a “day one” priority.
“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,” Biden said. “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.”
Biden also promised implementing a national strategy that he says he has been developing for months which includes rapid testing with immediate results, medical supplies and protective equipment. He said he would also equip schools with safety resources and “take the muzzle” off the scientific community so that sound science could govern pandemic decision making.
Biden also spoke about his economic plan which he says will emphasize strengthening the nation’s infrastructure including roads, bridges, highways, broadband, ports and airports and promised five million new technology and manufacturing jobs.
Along with making improvements to the education and child and elder care systems, Biden also addressed climate change but did not speak at length on how he would improve those in the speech.
He did, however, say that he would halt a $1.3 trillion tax break that benefits the wealthy. “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,” Biden said.
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Speaking on racial strife and the unrest caused by the police killing of George Floyd, which he called a “murder,” he alao did not outline a specific plan. He did not address issues of police brutality and abuse, nor did he mention the current protests still erupting around the country, many of which resulted in violence. The most he said on the issue is that the moment is a “breaking point.”
“However it has come to be, America is ready to in John [Lewis’] words, to lay down ‘the heavy burdens of hate at last’ and to do the hard work of rooting out our systemic racism,” Biden said.
“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.”
Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris must now prepare for a lengthy haul toward the November election. Fundraising will be key for their campaign. The Biden campaign has raised $278 million, while Trump has raised $342 million thus far, according to figures reported to the Federal Election Commission.
Trump and the GOP will have the opportunity next week to answer Biden and the entire Democratic party next week when the Republican National Convention begins on Monday. That convention, will also be virtual and based in Charlotte, N.C. Trump is expected to give his speech on the evening of Thursday, August 27 from the White House lawn in Washington D.C.