Barack Obama unleashed on President Donald Trump in his speech to the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night, saying the administration would do anything to win even if it meant tearing down America’s democracy.
He made a clear, concise argument on why Trump was unqualified to serve in the Oval Office, sounding presidential as he made his case – but also painted a dark vision of the consequences of a second Trump term.
‘This administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win,’ he charged in his nearly 20 minute speech, a condemnation of a president by a previous one without historical precedent.
He told Americans the only way to restore the country was to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in November.
‘We have to get busy building it up – by pouring all our effort into these 76 days, and by voting like never before – for Joe and Kamala, and candidates up and down the ticket, so that we leave no doubt about what this country we love stands for – today and for all our days to come,’ said Obama, his hair gray and demeanor serious.
He put aside post-presidential precedent to deliver an indictment of the man who succeeded him in the Oval Office, calling him 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.
And he tried to address Trump voters directly saying he understood why they felt government didn’t work – but decried conspiracy theories, incompetence and the deaths of 170,000, saying: ‘He hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t’ and turning the presidency into ‘a reality show for the attention he craves.’
Obama had swapped places with Kamala Harris to let her end the night – allowing his prosecution of Trump to be followed by her upbeat speech focused on her own story and a message of hope.
Harris introduced herself to voters and told them her story, an American story: her immigrant parents, her birth in California – a likely dig a Trump trying to once again promote ‘birther’ conspiracy claims – meeting her husband Doug on a blind date, her sorority sisters from a historically black sisterhood and her stepchildren, and most of all her late mother, an Indian immigrant.
Democrats made clear they were vying for female votes, filling Wednesday’s program with women: actresses including Kerry Washington and Mariska Hargitay, who gave Joe Biden an endorsement, and Gabby Giffords, the shooting survivor who said: ‘I struggle to speak, but I have not lost my voice.’
Both Hillary Clinton – the first female presidential nominee – and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – the nation’s first female speaker – spoke, but Pelosi got a higher billing.
And the night was capped off with Harris’ nomination to the vice presidential slot. In her remarks, she also played the traditional role a running mate plays – she attacked the rival party’s presidential nominee.
She didn’t mention Trump by name but she made it clear who she was referring to.
She targeted Trump for his ”chaos, incompetence and lost lives’ and joked, as she talked about her backstory as a prosecutor, ‘I know a predator when I see one.’
But Obama led the attack on Trump. He spoke before Harris, a switch in the speaking order made at the request of the former president so he could hand off from his time as party leader to the next generation.
Barack Obama unleashed his most direct, harshest to date on the man who followed him into the Oval Office in his speech to the Democratic National Convention
Kamala Harris closed out Wednesday night’s program and officially became the Democrats’ vice presidential nominee
Joe Biden joined Kamala Harris on stage after she wrapped up her remarks; the two are now officially the Democratic ticket with Biden giving his speech Thursday night
The spouses also joined: Doug Emhoff and Kamala Harris with Joe and Jill Biden
President Trump responded to Obama’s speech in a string of tweets written in all caps
Former President Barack Obama spoke from the Museum of the American Revolution Wednesday night as part of the virtual Democratic National Convention
TRUMP LIVE-TWEETS HIS RAGE AT OBAMA
‘HE SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN, AND GOT CAUGHT!’ Trump fumed on Twitter shortly after Obama stood in front of a stone engraving of Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution and cast.
It was a reference to what Trump terms ‘Obamagate’ in near-daily attacks on the FBI and investigators who probed his campaign for Russia ties in 2016.
Trump’s online outburst came on a night when Obama delivered a critical speech where he went far beyond where any recent president has gone in repudiating his successor. Speaking from Philadelphia, Obama said Trump had ‘no interest in putting in the work’ and lacked sufficient reverence for the office he holds.
A follow-on tweet sought to sow divisions on a night when Demoratic nominee Joe Biden is trying to unify a broad coalition behind him.
‘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?’ he wrote.
The ‘SLOW JOE’ attack was just the latest insult Trump has hurled at Biden’s intellect, after unveiling a campaign ad that portrays him as falling apart.
Obama remained neutral for most of the Democratic primary. In the run-up to 2016, he took steps that in many ways set the table for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to emerge as her party’s front-runner. Biden ultimately begged off on running after the death of his son, Beau.
Biden said during the campaign that he had asked Obama to stay out, but ended up outlasting rivals and ultimately defeating Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Obama’s criticism was his most direct, harshest to date on the man who followed him into the Oval Office. Obama, on previous occasions, to the frustration of his fellow Democrats, had followed the unspoken rule that former presidents don’t question or criticize the current office holder.
That rule went to the sidelines on Wednesday night.
Obama charged Trump hasn’t grown into the job of president of the United States ‘because he can’t’ and he’s shown ‘no interest in putting in the work’ to be an effective leader.
‘I have sat in the Oval Office with both of the men who are running for president,’ Obama said, making a personal connection to the two candidates running for his old job.
‘I did hope, for the sake of our country, that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously; that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care,’ he said.
‘Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t,’ Obama said.
The former president said he understood why there was cynicism and despair in the United States under Trump’s presidency, saying he understood ‘why a Black mother might feel like it never looked out for her at all.;
He went on to mention some of the more disenfranchised groups, blocs that tend to vote Democrat when they vote.
‘I understand why a new immigrant might look around this country and wonder whether there’s still a place for him here; why a young person might look at politics right now, the circus of it all, the meanness and the lies and crazy conspiracy theories and think, what’s the point?’ he said.
But he warned that attitude was being fostered by President Trump to keep Americans from voting.
‘This president and those in power – those who benefit from keeping things the way they are – they are counting on your cynicism. They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter. That’s how they win,’ he argued.
Barack Obama, like his wife Michelle, urged Americans to make a plan to vote
Michelle Obama told people: ‘We have to vote for Joe Biden in numbers that cannot be ignored’
In her remarks opening the Wednesday session of the convention, Kamala Harris also emphasized the importance of voting
He urged Americans – like his wife Michelle Obama did in her speech on Monday night – to have a plan to vote.
‘Do not let them take away your power. Don’t let them take away your democracy. Make a plan right now for how you’re going to get involved and vote. Do it as early as you can and tell your family and friends how they can vote too,’ he said.
In her speech Monday night, where she too attack Trump in direct, harsh terms, Michelle Obama touched on Democratic fears that President Trump would try to delegitimize the election should Biden win.
‘We have to vote for Joe Biden in numbers that cannot be ignored. Because right now, folks who know they cannot win fair and square at the ballot box are doing everything they can to stop us from voting,’ she said.
Democrats fear voter disenfranchisement amid Trump’s attacks on mail-in ballots as fraudulent – despite numerous studies that show that is not the case – and amid concerns about delays in the U.S. Postal Service could mean ballots do not arrive in time to be counted.
Kamala Harris, in a break with tradition, made short remarks at the beginning of Wednesday’s session to plead with people to have a voting plan.
‘So I think we need to ask oursvlves why don’t they want us to vote? Why is there so much effort to silence our voices?’ she asked. ‘And the answer is because when we vote things change. When we vote things get better, when we vote we address the need for all people to be treated with dignity and respect in our country.’
Barack Obama, in his speech, also charged President Trump, the former star of NBC’s ‘The Apprentice,’ with running a ‘reality show’ out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue merely for the sake of his ego.
‘For close to four years now, he’s shown no interest in putting in the work; no interest in finding common ground; no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends; no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves,’ Obama said.
Trump issued his response via Twitter – sending out messages in all caps as Obama spoke.
‘HE SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN, AND GOT CAUGHT!,’ Trump roared, referring to an FBI counter investigation into his 2016 presidential campaign to see if Russia was trying to influence the election.
‘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 added.
Traditionally, the nominee of the other party stays quiet during their rival’s convention week. Trump threw that rule out the window this week with his trips to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Arizona to criticize Biden. The president will give an interview to Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday night – the night Biden accepts the Democrats’ presidential nomination – and he’ll visit Pennsylvania that day too, making a stop near Biden’s hometown of Scranton.
President Obama gave a cool, calm, structured argument that outlined why he believed President Trump was not qualified to serve in the Oval Office
Obama charged President Trump, the former star of NBC’s ‘The Apprentice,’ with running a ‘reality show’ out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue merely for the sake of his ego; above Donald Trump is seen with contestants from Season 13 of the show in October 2012
Barack Obama spoke from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, in front of an exhibit entitled ‘Writing the Constitution,’ in one of the few live speeches in the virtual convention
Obama spoke from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, in front of an exhibit entitled ‘Writing the Constitution,’ in one of the few live speeches in the virtual convention.
He gave a cool, calm, structured argument that outlined why he believed President Trump was not qualified to serve in the Oval Office.
‘The one Constitutional office elected by all of the people is the presidency. So at minimum, we should expect a president to feel a sense of responsibility for the safety and welfare of all 330 million of us – regardless of what we look like, how we worship, who we love, how much money we have – or who we voted for,’ he said.
‘We should also expect a president to be the custodian of this democracy. We should expect that regardless of ego, ambition, or political beliefs, the president will preserve, protect, and defend the freedoms and ideals that so many Americans marched for and went to jail for; fought for and died for,’ he noted.
Obama, a former law professor, began his remarks with a legal argument but transition to an endorsement of Biden’s character and qualifications to be president.
He called his former vice president his ‘brother’ and spoke of his empathy.
‘Twelve years ago, when I began my search for a vice president, I didn’t know I’d end up finding a brother,’ Obama said. ‘Joe and I came from different places and different generations. But what I quickly came to admire about him is his resilience, born of too much struggle; his empathy, born of too much grief.’
He made his support the Biden/Harris ticket clear.
‘For eight years, Joe was the last one in the room whenever I faced a big decision. He made me a better president – and he’s got the character and the experience to make us a better country. And in my friend Kamala Harris, he’s chosen an ideal partner who’s more than prepared for the job; someone who knows what it’s like to overcome barriers and who’s made a career fighting to help others live out their own American dream,’ he said.
Obama targeted Trump’s most controversial moments as president when he noted a ‘Commander-in-Chief doesn’t use the men and women of our military, who are willing to risk everything to protect our nation, as political props to deploy against peaceful protesters on our own soil.’
Not only did he target Trump’s response to the Black Lives Matter protesters, he slammed the president for targeting the media and for questioning the patriotism of anyone who opposed him politically.
And he said Trump simply makes stuff up.
‘They understand that political opponents aren’t ‘un-American’ just because they disagree with you; that a free press isn’t the ‘enemy’ but the way we hold officials accountable; that our ability to work together to solve big problems like a pandemic depends on a fidelity to facts and science and logic and not just making stuff up,’ he said.
He ended his speech with words of compassion.
‘Stay safe. God bless,’ he said.
Ahead of his remarks, convention organizers showed a video from the January 13, 2017 White House ceremony when then-President Obama honoured Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civil honor – in a move to highlight the close bond the two shared during their time in office together.
Obama, who spent most of his professional career in Chicago, has strong ties to Philadelphia. It was where he gave one of his most important speeches: when he talked about race when he ran for president in 2008.
President Obama gave one of his most consequential speeches of his Democratic primary fight against Hillary Clinton in 2008 in Philadelphia, where he spoke about race in America
President Obama will say in his speech he sat with both men in the Oval Office – he met with President-elect Trump on November 10, 2016
Then-President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office in January 2015
Hillary Clinton is seen waving to supporters on the last night of her 2016 campaign in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
President Obama (left) appeared with 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (right) on the last night of the 2016 campaign at an outdoor rally in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, just blocks away from where he’ll address the 2020 DNC
Joe Biden (left) and Jill Biden (right), a Philadelphia native, greet throngs of supporters in Philadelphia in May 2019 as the former vice president kicked off his presidential campaign
Philadelphia was also the site of the Democrats’ convention four years ago.
And Obama appeared alongside Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and his wife Michelle, on the eve of election night in 2016, at a packed, outdoor rally on the campus of Independence Hall.
But that last minute stop didn’t help her campaign.
Pennsylvania was the state that helped hand Trump the Oval Office – he was the first Republican to win it in more than 20 years. Biden, a native of Scranton, will try to put it back in Democrats’ corner in November.
BARACK OBAMA’S SPEECH TO THE 2020 DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION
Good evening, everybody. As you’ve seen by now, this isn’t a normal convention. It’s not a normal time. So tonight, I want to talk as plainly as I can about the stakes in this election. Because what we do these next 76 days will echo through generations to come.
I’m in Philadelphia, where our Constitution was drafted and signed. It wasn’t a perfect document. It allowed for the inhumanity of slavery and failed to guarantee women – and even men who didn’t own property – the right to participate in the political process. But embedded in this document was a North Star that would guide future generations; a system of representative government – a democracy – through which we could better realize our highest ideals. Through civil war and bitter struggles, we improved this Constitution to include the voices of those who’d once been left out. And gradually, we made this country more just, more equal, and more free.
The one Constitutional office elected by all of the people is the presidency. So at minimum, we should expect a president to feel a sense of responsibility for the safety and welfare of all 330 million of us – regardless of what we look like, how we worship, who we love, how much money we have – or who we voted for.
But we should also expect a president to be the custodian of this democracy. We should expect that regardless of ego, ambition, or political beliefs, the president will preserve, protect, and defend the freedoms and ideals that so many Americans marched for and went to jail for; fought for and died for.
I have sat in the Oval Office with both of the men who are running for president. I never expected that my successor would embrace my vision or continue my policies. I did hope, for the sake of our country, that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously; that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care.
But he never did. For close to four years now, he’s shown no interest in putting in the work; no interest in finding common ground; no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends; no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.
Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t. And the consequences of that failure are severe. 170,000 Americans dead. Millions of jobs gone while those at the top take in more than ever. Our worst impulses unleashed, our proud reputation around the world badly diminished, and our democratic institutions threatened like never before.
Now, I know that in times as polarized as these, most of you have already made up your mind. But maybe you’re still not sure which candidate you’ll vote for – or whether you’ll vote at all. Maybe you’re tired of the direction we’re headed, but you can’t see a better path yet, or you just don’t know enough about the person who wants to lead us there.
So let me tell you about my friend Joe Biden.
Twelve years ago, when I began my search for a vice president, I didn’t know I’d end up finding a brother. Joe and I came from different places and different generations. But what I quickly came to admire about him is his resilience, born of too much struggle; his empathy, born of too much grief. Joe’s a man who learned – early on – to treat every person he meets with respect and dignity, living by the words his parents taught him: “No one’s better than you, Joe, but you’re better than nobody.”
That empathy, that decency, the belief that everybody counts – that’s who Joe is.
When he talks with someone who’s lost her job, Joe remembers the night his father sat him down to say that he’d lost his.
When Joe listens to a parent who’s trying to hold it all together right now, he does it as the single dad who took the train back to Wilmington each and every night so he could tuck his kids into bed.
When he meets with military families who’ve lost their hero, he does it as a kindred spirit; the parent of an American soldier; somebody whose faith has endured the hardest loss there is.
For eight years, Joe was the last one in the room whenever I faced a big decision. He made me a better president – and he’s got the character and the experience to make us a better country.
And in my friend Kamala Harris, he’s chosen an ideal partner who’s more than prepared for the job; someone who knows what it’s like to overcome barriers and who’s made a career fighting to help others live out their own American dream.
Along with the experience needed to get things done, Joe and Kamala have concrete policies that will turn their vision of a better, fairer, stronger country into reality.
They’ll get this pandemic under control, like Joe did when he helped me manage H1N1 and prevent an Ebola outbreak from reaching our shores.
They’ll expand health care to more Americans, like Joe and I did ten years ago when he helped craft the Affordable Care Act and nail down the votes to make it the law.
They’ll rescue the economy, like Joe helped me do after the Great Recession. I asked him to manage the Recovery Act, which jumpstarted the longest stretch of job growth in history. And he sees this moment now not as a chance to get back to where we were, but to make long-overdue changes so that our economy actually makes life a little easier for everybody – whether it’s the waitress trying to raise a kid on her own, or the shift worker always on the edge of getting laid off, or the student figuring out how to pay for next semester’s classes.
Joe and Kamala will restore our standing in the world – and as we’ve learned from this pandemic, that matters. Joe knows the world, and the world knows him. He knows that our true strength comes from setting an example the world wants to follow. A nation that stands with democracy, not dictators. A nation that can inspire and mobilize others to overcome threats like climate change, terrorism, poverty, and disease.
But more than anything, what I know about Joe and Kamala is that they actually care about every American. And they care deeply about this democracy.
They believe that in a democracy, the right to vote is sacred, and we should be making it easier for people to cast their ballot, not harder.
They believe that no one – including the president – is above the law, and that no public official – including the president – should use their office to enrich themselves or their supporters.
They understand that in this democracy, the Commander-in-Chief doesn’t use the men and women of our military, who are willing to risk everything to protect our nation, as political props to deploy against peaceful protesters on our own soil. They understand that political opponents aren’t “un-American” just because they disagree with you; that a free press isn’t the “enemy” but the way we hold officials accountable; that our ability to work together to solve big problems like a pandemic depends on a fidelity to facts and science and logic and not just making stuff up.
None of this should be controversial. These shouldn’t be Republican principles or Democratic principles. They’re American principles. But at this moment, this president and those who enable him, have shown they don’t believe in these things.
Tonight, I am asking you to believe in Joe and Kamala’s ability to lead this country out of these dark times and build it back better. But here’s the thing: no single American can fix this country alone. Not even a president. Democracy was never meant to be transactional – you give me your vote; I make everything better. It requires an active and informed citizenry. So I am also asking you to believe in your own ability – to embrace your own responsibility as citizens – to make sure that the basic tenets of our democracy endure.
Because that’s what at stake right now. Our democracy.
Look, I understand why many Americans are down on government. The way the rules have been set up and abused in Congress make it easy for special interests to stop progress. Believe me, I know. I understand why a white factory worker who’s seen his wages cut or his job shipped overseas might feel like the government no longer looks out for him, and why a Black mother might feel like it never looked out for her at all. I understand why a new immigrant might look around this country and wonder whether there’s still a place for him here; why a young person might look at politics right now, the circus of it all, the meanness and the lies and crazy conspiracy theories and think, what’s the point?
Well, here’s the point: this president and those in power – those who benefit from keeping things the way they are – they are counting on your cynicism. They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter. That’s how they win. That’s how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.
We can’t let that happen. Do not let them take away your power. Don’t let them take away your democracy. Make a plan right now for how you’re going to get involved and vote. Do it as early as you can and tell your family and friends how they can vote too. Do what Americans have done for over two centuries when faced with even tougher times than this – all those quiet heroes who found the courage to keep marching, keep pushing in the face of hardship and injustice.
Last month, we lost a giant of American democracy in John Lewis. Some years ago, I sat down with John and the few remaining leaders of the early Civil Rights Movement. One of them told me he never imagined he’d walk into the White House and see a president who looked like his grandson. Then he told me that he’d looked it up, and it turned out that on the very day that I was born, he was marching into a jail cell, trying to end Jim Crow segregation in the South.
What we do echoes through the generations.
Whatever our backgrounds, we’re all the children of Americans who fought the good fight. Great grandparents working in firetraps and sweatshops without rights or representation. Farmers losing their dreams to dust. Irish and Italians and Asians and Latinos told to go back where they came from. Jews and Catholics, Muslims and Sikhs, made to feel suspect for the way they worshipped. Black Americans chained and whipped and hanged. Spit on for trying to sit at lunch counters. Beaten for trying to vote.
If anyone had a right to believe that this democracy did not work, and could not work, it was those Americans. Our ancestors. They were on the receiving end of a democracy that had fallen short all their lives. They knew how far the daily reality of America strayed from the myth. And yet, instead of giving up, they joined together and said somehow, some way, we are going to make this work. We are going to bring those words, in our founding documents, to life.
I’ve seen that same spirit rising these past few years. Folks of every age and background who packed city centers and airports and rural roads so that families wouldn’t be separated. So that another classroom wouldn’t get shot up. So that our kids won’t grow up on an uninhabitable planet. Americans of all races joining together to declare, in the face of injustice and brutality at the hands of the state, that Black Lives Matter, no more, but no less, so that no child in this country feels the continuing sting of racism.
To the young people who led us this summer, telling us we need to be better – in so many ways, you are this country’s dreams fulfilled. Earlier generations had to be persuaded that everyone has equal worth. For you, it’s a given – a conviction. And what I want you to know is that for all its messiness and frustrations, your system of self-government can be harnessed to help you realize those convictions.
You can give our democracy new meaning. You can take it to a better place. You’re the missing ingredient – the ones who will decide whether or not America becomes the country that fully lives up to its creed.
That work will continue long after this election. But any chance of success depends entirely on the outcome of this election. This administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win. So we have to get busy building it up – by pouring all our effort into these 76 days, and by voting like never before – for Joe and Kamala, and candidates up and down the ticket, so that we leave no doubt about what this country we love stands for – today and for all our days to come.
Stay safe. God bless.
‘I wish Donald Trump knew how to be president.’ Hillary Clinton pleads with voters to back Joe Biden – accusing 2016 victor of ‘stealing’ 2020 election and boasting she got more votes – as Democrats make Nancy Pelosi the bigger star
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton touted Joe Biden’s candidacy at the Democratic convention as she replayed parts of her own 2016 loss – and urged people to get out and vote so President Donald Trump doesn’t ‘steal’ the election.
Speaking from her home in Chappaqua, New York, the former first lady and Democratic presidential nominee spoke admiringly about Biden and his policy agenda, and repeatedly mentioned his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris.
‘And don’t forget Joe and Kamala can win by 3 million votes and still lose – take it from me,’ she said with a chuckle – pointing to her popular vote win that still didn’t get her to the White House due to the electoral college system.
‘So we need numbers overwhelming, so Trump can’t sneak or steal his way to victory,’ Clinton warned.
She was echoing concerns raised by Biden, on a day the White House refused to say definitively Trump would accept the election results.
But her placement on the night saw her speech run before the 10pm start of network television coverage, and before a min-documentary praising Nancy Pelosi, who gave the next speech, making the Speaker – not the 2016 runner-up – the bigger star of the house.
In her speech Clinton hammered Trump, who called to ‘lock her up’ during his campaign and continues to bring her up repeatedly.
‘As Michelle Obama and Bernie Sanders warned us, if Trump is reelected things will get even worse. That’s why we need unity now more than ever,’ she said, wearing white as the convention marked the centennial of women’s suffrage.
‘Remember back in 2016 when Trump asked: ‘What do you have to lose?’ Well, now we know. Our health care, our jobs our loved ones. Our leadership in the world and even our post office,’ said Clinton.
‘But let’s set our sights higher than getting one man out of the White House,’ she said, breezing through Biden’s policy agenda in her brief remarks.
Condemnation: Hillary Clinton launched an attack on Donald Trump and also rehashed her 2016 campaign
She said there was ‘so much to vote for,’ mentioning climate change, ‘caregiving living wages,’ emergency relief, and confronting an economy that allowed billionaires to get ‘$400 billion richer’ during the pandemic.
She spoke for less than 7 minutes – longer than the time her husband Bill Clinton got.
The former first lady’s remarks were followed by a video tribute leading into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s remarks. It showed the future congresswoman and pathbreaker as a child, with images of her family and her first run for Congress.
Pelosi, who has become the primary opposition to Trump, was quoted making her own ‘marble ceiling’ line upon assuming the speakership in 2007, predating Clinton’s ‘glass ceiling’ line in 2016, with images of her first congressional win.
The Pelosi video also featured some of her battles with President Donald Trump that have made her an icon among the Democratic faithful. First was when she fought with the president during a December 2018 Oval Office meeting about a government shutdown. Afterward Pelosi walked out of the White House, wearing an orange coat and donning her sunglasses – an image that went viral.
The video also showed a photo from an October 2019 meeting in the White House that saw Democrats walk out over, charging Trump with having a meltdown. The White House released a photo showing Pelosi standing up, finger pointed at Trump. She made it her Twitter profile picture.
‘As Speaker, I’ve seen firsthand Donald Trump’s disrespect for facts, for working families, and for women in particular,’ Pelosi said. ‘But we know what he doesn’t: that when women succeed, America succeeds.’
She also touted Biden’s support for women.
Bigger star: Nancy Pelosi was given a documentary film treatment immediately after Hillary Clinton presenting her as a bigger star – a recognition that she is the most powerful woman in American history
Address: Nancy Pelosi delivered her speech from San Francisco, dressed like Hillary Clinton in white in recognition of 100 years of the 19th Amendment, the end of the long struggle for women’s suffrage
‘Joe Biden is the President we need right now: battle-tested, forward-looking, honest and authentic. He has never forgotten where he comes from and who he fights for,’ she said.
‘Our nation faces the worst health and economic catastrophe in our history: more than 5 million Americans are infected by the coronavirus,’ Pelosi said. ‘And who is standing in the way? [Sen.] Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump. Instead of crushing the virus, they’re trying to crush the Affordable Care Act—and its protections for preexisting conditions.’
Clinton told convention viewers people come to her to justify their votes for Trump or express that they didn’t cast a ballot.
‘For four years, people have said to me, ‘I didn’t realize how dangerous he was.’ ‘I wish I could go back and do it over.’ Or worst, ‘I should have voted,’ Clinton said.
Hillary Clinton, with Joe Biden in the background, campaigning in Scranton. She will speak Wednesday about the 2016 election, saying people still approach her to say the didn’t know ‘how dangerous’ Donald Trump was when they voted for him
‘Well, this can’t be another woulda coulda shoulda election. If you vote by mail, request your ballot now, and send it back as soon as you can,’ she continues. ‘If you vote in person, do it early. Bring a friend and wear a mask. Become a poll worker. Most of all, no matter what, vote. Vote like our lives and livelihoods are on the line, because they are.’
Clinton, speaking a night after her husband Bill Clinton gave a 5-minute video address, echoed a theme of the convention: Trump ‘is who he is.’ She is resurrecting a withering line by former first lady Michelle Obama, who also included a similar line in her well-received speech, after Trump used the phrase while explaining the thousands of coronavirus deaths in the country during the pandemic.
‘I wish Donald Trump had been a better president. But, sadly, he is who he is. America needs a president who shows the same compassion, determination, and leadership in the White House that we see in our communities,’ Clinton said.
‘For four years, people have said to me, ‘I didn’t realize how dangerous he was.’ ‘I wish I could go back and do it over,’ Clinton will say
Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attend a portrait unveiling ceremony for retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in Russell Building’s Kennedy Caucus Room, December 08, 2016
‘Throughout this crisis, Americans have kept going – checking on neighbors, showing up to jobs as first responders and in hospitals, grocery stores, and nursing homes. Because it still takes a village,’ she said, quoting her own book.
The ex-candidate who spoke of the highest ‘glass ceiling’ throughout her 2016 campaign also invoked the historic fight for the vote by women – at a time when Biden holds a big edge over Trump with women but trails among men.
Hillary Clinton accepts the Democratic Party nomination as their candidate for president on the final night of the Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 28, 2016
In this image from video, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden smiles after the roll call vote during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020
‘100 years ago yesterday, the 19th Amendment was ratified. It took seven decades of suffragists marching, picketing, and going to jail to push us closer to a more perfect union. 55 years ago, John Lewis marched and bled in Selma because that work was unfinished,’ she said.
Now it is Biden running mate California Sen. Kamala Harris who is positioned as the female politician with the perhaps the best chance of reaching Clinton’s unfulfilled White House dream.
‘There’s a lot of heartbreak in America right now – and the truth is, many things were broken before the pandemic. But, as the saying goes, the world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places. Joe Biden knows how to heal, unify, and lead, because he’s done all of that for his family and his country.’
READ HILLARY CLINTON’S FULL CONVENTION SPEECH
After the last election, I said, ‘We owe Donald Trump an open mind and the chance to lead.’ I really meant it. Every president deserves that. And Trump walked into the Oval Office with so much set up for him: A strong economy. Plans for managing crises—like a pandemic.
Yes, we Democrats would have disagreed with him on many, many things. But if he had put his own interests and ego aside—if he could have seen the humanity in a child ripped from her parents at the border or a protester calling for justice or a family whose home was destroyed by a wildfire who happened to live in a blue state—if he had even tried to govern well and lead us all—he might have proved us wrong. And that would have been a good thing, for America and the world.
I wish Donald Trump had been a better president. Because America needs a better president than this.
America needs a president who shows the same compassion, determination, and leadership in the White House that we see in our communities. Throughout this crisis, Americans have kept going—checking on neighbors, showing up to jobs at grocery stores and nursing homes. Because it still takes a village.
We need leaders equal to this moment. We need Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Everyone has a story about Joe’s thoughtfulness and empathy. I remember him calling after my mother, Dorothy, died. We talked about being raised by strong, no-nonsense women. When I walked with him through the house where he grew up in Scranton, he remembered every detail—about the house, the neighborhood, the people who lived there, and the values they shared. There is no better testament to Joe’s character than his family—including his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, who has said she will keep her teaching job as First Lady. That’s outstanding.
And boy, did Joe, pick the right partner in Kamala Harris—another daughter of an extraordinary mother. Kamala is relentless in the pursuit of justice, and uncommonly kind. When her press secretary Tyrone Gayle, a remarkable young man who had also worked on my campaign, was dying of cancer, she dropped everything to be with him in his final moments. Because that’s who she is.
I know a thing or two about the slings and arrows coming her way. Kamala can handle them all.
This is the team to pull our nation back from the brink and build back better. But they can’t do it
without all of us.
For four years, people have said to me, ‘I didn’t realize how dangerous he was.’ ‘I wish I could go back and do it over.’ ‘I should have voted.’ This can’t be another woulda-coulda-shoulda election. If you’re voting by mail, request your ballot now, and send it back as soon as you can. If you vote in person, do it early. Bring a friend and wear a mask. Become a poll worker.
Most of all, no matter what, vote. And convince everyone you know to vote.
Remember in 2016 when Trump asked: ‘What do you have to lose?’ Well, now we know: our health, our jobs, even our lives. Our leadership in the world and, yes, our post office. As Michelle Obama and Bernie Sanders warned us on Monday: If Trump is re-elected, it will get even worse. My friends, we need unity now more than ever.
But let’s set our sights higher than getting one man out of the White House. Let’s vote for the jobs Joe will create, and for emergency relief that lifts small businesses and hardworking people. Because it’s wrong that the wealthiest Americans got $400 billion richer during the pandemic while 40 million people lost their jobs.
Vote for parents struggling to balance their child’s education and their safety. And for health care workers fighting COVID-19 with no help from the White House. Vote for paid family leave and health care for everyone. Vote to protect Social Security, Medicare, reproductive rights, and our planet.
Vote for DREAMers and their families. For law enforcement that serves and respects communities of color. Vote for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, because Black Lives Matter.
Vote to make sure we—not a foreign adversary—choose our president.
Vote for the America we saw in the roll call last night: diverse, compassionate, full of energy and hope. Vote like our lives and livelihoods are on the line, because they are.
Remember: Joe and Kamala can win 3 million more votes and still lose. Take. It. From. Me. We need numbers so overwhelming Trump can’t sneak or steal his way to victory. So text VOTE to 30330 and let’s go win.
One hundred years ago yesterday, the 19th Amendment was ratified. It took seven decades of suffragists marching, picketing, and going to jail to push us closer to that more perfect union. Fifty-five years ago, John Lewis marched and bled in Selma because that work was unfinished.
Tonight I am thinking of the girls and boys who see themselves in America’s future because of Kamala Harris—a Black woman, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, and our nominee for Vice President of the United States. This is our country’s story: breaking down barriers and expanding the circle of possibility.
So to all the young people: Don’t give up on America. Despite our flaws and problems, we have come so far. And we can still be a more just and equal country, full of opportunities previous generations could never have imagined.
There’s a lot of heartbreak in America right now—and the truth is, many things were broken before the pandemic. But, as the saying goes, the world breaks everyone at one point or another, and afterward, many are stronger in the broken places. Joe Biden knows how to heal, because he’s done it himself.
So come November, we will be strong together. We will heal together. We will redeem the soul and promise of this country together. We will elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris—together.
READ NANCY PELOSI’S FULL SPEECH TO THE DNC
Good evening. As Speaker of the House, it is my honor to bring you the greetings of the Democrats of the House—the most diverse majority in history: more than 60 percent women, people of color, and LGBTQ.
This month, as America marks the centennial of women finally winning the right to vote, we do so with 105 women in the House of Representatives. Proudly, 90 are Democrats.
To win the vote, for three quarters of a century, women marched and fought and never gave in. We stand on their shoulders—charged with carrying forward the unfinished work of our nation advanced by heroes from Seneca Falls, to Selma, to Stonewall.
Four years ago, when we came together, President Obama and Vice President Biden were in the White House. They made us proud—and their leadership made our country great. In that spirit, we come together again, not to decry the darkness, but to light a way forward for our country.
That is the guiding purpose of House Democrats. We are fighting for the people. We have sent the GOP Senate landmark bills for:
● Lower health costs by lowering prescription drug prices
● Bigger paychecks by rebuilding America’s infrastructure
● Cleaner government by saving voting rights in the name of John Lewis—and saving lives by enacting the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
We have sent the Senate bills to protect our dreamers, to advance LGBTQ equality, to prevent gun violence, to preserve our planet for future generations, and even more.
All of this is possible for America. Who is standing in the way? Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump.
Our nation faces the worst health and economic catastrophe in our history: more than 5 million Americans are infected by the coronavirus. Over 170,000 have died. The serious, science based action in the Heroes Act we sent the Senate three months ago is essential to safeguard lives, livelihoods and the life of our democracy.
And who is standing in the way? Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump. Instead of crushing the virus, they’re trying to crush the Affordable Care Act—and its protections for preexisting conditions!
As Speaker, I’ve seen firsthand Donald Trump’s disrespect for facts, for working families, and for women in particular—disrespect written into his policies toward our health and our rights, not just his conduct. But we know what he doesn’t: that when women succeed, America succeeds. And so we are unleashing the full power of women to take their rightful place in every part of our national life by:
• Championing a woman’s right to choose and defending Roe v. Wade
• Securing an historic guarantee for child care that is safe and affordable
• Preserving Social Security and passing equal pay for equal work!
Who is standing in the way? Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump.
So here is our answer: we will see them in November.
We will elect President Biden—whose heart is full of love for America—and rid the country of Trump’s heartless disregard for America’s goodness. Joe Biden’s faith in God gives him the courage to lead. Jill Biden’s love gives him the strength to persevere.
Joe Biden is the President we need right now: battle-tested, forward-looking, honest and authentic. He has never forgotten where he comes from and who he fights for. Joe Biden will build a fairer America that works for all, not just the few—and a stronger America respected around the world.
And Kamala Harris is the Vice President we need right now—committed to our Constitution, brilliant in defending it, and a witness to the women of this nation that their voices will be heard.
Our mission and our pledge is to fight for a future equal to the ideals of our founders, our hopes for our children, and the sacrifices of our veterans, our brave men and women in uniform—and their families.
We will increase our majority in the House;
We will win a Democratic Senate;
We will elect Kamala Harris vice president and Joe Biden president of the United States of America.
God bless each of you and God bless America.