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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Victims Of Violence Cry For Justice; COVID-19 Tore People's Livelihoods; The Third Night Of The Democratic National Convention Kicks Off. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired August 19, 2020 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: And so we are unleashing the power of women to take our rightful place in our national life by championing a woman's right to choose and defending Roe v. Wade, securing safe and affordable child care, 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 remember in November, when we will elect Joe Biden president, 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 who he is fighting for.
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 our voices will be heard.
Our mission 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 majority in the Senate, we will elect Kamala Harris vice president, and we will elect Joe Biden president of the United States of America.
God bless you. And God bless America.
KERRY WASHINGTON, ACTRESS & CONVENTION MODERATOR: Thank you, Speaker Pelosi.
The House is the people's House. And to ensure it stays that way with need everyone to help fund our work to elect Joe Biden and Democrats up and down the ballot. If you are able, please go to joebiden.com now and chip in whatever you can to support this campaign.
Last year, under Speaker Pelosi's leadership, the House reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act. Joe Biden wrote that landmark law nearly 30 years ago. Since then, he, and other leaders have built on it. But for all of this work, women are still not entirely safe. So, the work must continue.
Joe Biden knows that and he is committed to doing that work. To making sure that women are safe and to making sure our voices are heard. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUTH GLENN, PRESIDENT & CEO, NATIONAL COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: My name is Ruth Glenn. In 1992, my husband shot me and left me for dead. For 13 years my son and I had been abused by him. We finally escaped, but he tracked us down. But then there was limited help available back then. And no national hot line to call. Local shelters were full.
I didn't even know the name for what was happening to me then. Domestic violence. Now working to end domestic violence is my life's work.
MARISKA HARGITAY, ACTRESS & FOUNDER, JOYFUL HEART FOUNDATION: I'm Mariska Hargitay. When I started doing research to play detective Olivia Benson on "Law and Order SVU" over 20 years ago, I was shocked to find out how many people including children experience physical or sexual abuse. The statistics fuels my resolve. And I committed myself to the movement to end this violence.
CARLY DRYDEN, AT-LARGE REGIONAL ADVISER, IT'S ON US: My name is Carly Dryden. in my small hometown I didn't feel like I could speak out about my experience with sexual assault. But at the University of Puget Sound I met an incredible force of people working to end the culture of sexual assault. I went from survivor to advocate.
GLENN: As the president and CEO of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence I've seen Joe Biden's passionate leadership in passing the Violence Against Women Act. Now domestic violence rates are rising due to this pandemic. We need Congress to reauthorize and enhance that law. We need leaders who believe that a woman's life is worth fighting for.
HARGITAY: Joe Biden is that kind of leader. I created the Joyful Heart foundation to help survivors heal and to change the way our society responds to sexual violence. The vice president has worked tirelessly by our side to end the backlog of hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits. And our work will continue. Because testing kits not only makes our country safer, but it sends a vital message to survives that what happened to them matters.
DRYDEN: The most important thing you can say to a survivor is I hear you. That's why I became a leader in It's On Us. It's a program started by Vice President Biden to eliminate sexual assault on college campuses and support a new generation of advocates including men and boys.
Because if you are silent you are complicit. And we're just getting started.
GLENN: I am voting for Joe Biden on behalf of all victims and survivors of domestic violence.
DRYDEN: I'm voting for Joe Biden because it's on my generation to make sure that we never go back.
HARGITAY: I'm voting for Joe Biden for my daughter. For my sons. For all of our children.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: First episode was a slap to the face and he broke my eardrum. Punching, kicking, choking. Threatening with a knife or gun.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He had always threatened me if I had ever called the police on him that he would kill me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You didn't hear voices like these in the halls of the U.S. Capitol.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My husband stabbed me 13 times and broke my neck while the police were on the scene. I nearly died and I am permanently paralyzed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Joe Biden invited them to speak.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Battered women need to be taken seriously. Proper police response can prevent what happened to me from happening to someone else. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
VICTORIA NOURSE, PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW CENTER: At the time, the police considered domestic violence something that was not a crime. In the home it's a private matter. And so, women were responsible for their own injuries.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was about to say I know. Or I don't know. I can only guess how painful that is.
VALERIE BIDEN OWENS, JOE BIDEN'S SISTER: Growing up our father said that the greatest of all sins was the abuse of power. He told us a bully when someone bigger or stronger takes advantage of you, that is a really grave sin. The expectation was for all four of us to be a person of character.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You see something wrong. We were then expected to stand up. And do something about it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When Joe introduced the legislation, few believed it could pass. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our bill is an ambitious under taking. It is a
first attempt to address violent crimes against women.
FMR. SEN. CAROL MOSELEY BRAUN (D-IL): It was hard to get the votes because you had some traditionalists who just didn't believe that there should be laws about this.
JILL BIDEN, JOE BIDEN'S WIFE: But Joe doesn't give up. He's tenacious. Joe persevered and he is very good at persuasion.
BIDEN: They're doing nothing to help them. Nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He brought together law enforcement. Prosecutors. Advocates, and survivors.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to come and speak.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In 1994, the Violence Against Women Act became law and protected millions of American women.
RON KLAIN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE EBOLA RESPONSE COORDINATOR: A lot of the change in the attitudes we have about domestic violence were shaped by his leadership on this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You see something wrong, we were then expected to stand up. And do something about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WASHINGTON: If you're just joining us, welcome.
Coming up, we'll going to hear from President Barack Obama, and Senator Kamala Harris who will talk about the Biden-Harris vision for the future. But in order to get to that more perfect union we have to acknowledge where we are.
Today in America, we are struggling. Unemployment has skyrocketed and families are fighting to keep their jobs. As Joe Biden says we need to build back better. To find out how you can join that effort, please text join to 30330 to get plugged into this campaign and to get more information on how to vote and how to volunteer.
Joe Biden has a plan to help working families and small businesses. Our next speaker, Hilda Solis worked alongside him as secretary of labor to make sure that there were good American jobs and that Americans were safe on the job.
To hear more about the Biden-Harris economic plan, please welcome, Hilda Solis.
HILDA SOLIS, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF LABOR: Hello. I'm Hilda Solis.
The day Vice President Biden swore me in as Secretary of Labor was one of the proudest moments of my life. My parents realize they had achieved their American dream because a daughter of two blue-collar immigrants would make history and give voice to people just like them.
American workers need a fighter now more than ever. And Joe Biden is that person. Because he has done it before and I've seen it firsthand. He and President Obama made it easier for home care workers to organize. They extended overtime pay to more than four million workers. They saved the automobile industry and a whole lot of good union jobs with it.
And when millions of families lost their homes, my friend from California, Senator Kamala Harris, took on the big banks and won. But because of Donald trump's failures, we must once again rescue a sinking economy.
Millions of Americans are out of work and communities of color are the hardest hit. Millions of essential workers are putting their lives at risk with little protections. And millions more are just plain tired.
That's why Joe Biden and Kamala Harris actually have a plan not only to recover what we lost but to improve upon it. To build back better. Creating five million good union jobs bringing back supply chains to America. That's building back better.
Creating millions of jobs by investing in clean energy. That is building back better. And making sure that working families can afford child care. That's how we build back better.
So, let me borrow and slightly edit something Joe Biden said at my swearing in. When it comes to expanding the economy for all people, no one, no one is going to be a stronger voice than our next president, Joe Biden. The conversation you're about to see proves it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Behind every business there's a story.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Small businesses around the country are baring the economic brunt of the coronavirus pandemic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And behind every business there's a family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of people clearly are in pain right now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For every farm there's a fight to stay whole.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's hard work.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And there's heartbreak.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are going to lose 20 to 30 percent of our small businesses.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the story of Kevin and Molly Johnson. Family owned business in Lake County, Ohio. KEVIN JOHNSON, PRESIDENT, FISCHER TOOLING, OHIO: We have 10 to 12
employees. On a given day. When COVID-19 hit, it was a lot of confusion.
MOLLY JOHNSON, OWNER, FISCHER TOOLING, OHIO: I remember being scared and being uncertain.
K. JOHNSON: We're shut down last week because we ran out of work. And we had enough to come in for another week. If we don't get additional orders in, we're going to have to look at another shut down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't make a big purchase equipment. You can't plan for the future
M. JOHNSON: We don't even know if we can cover payroll. When this isn't going well, it's scary.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're forgotten. Right? The president always bragging ability the stock market, sort of leave, leaves a lot of small manufacturing companies behind.
M. JOHNSON: We could use a little help right now. And it just seems like we get one step forward and then two steps back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the story of Gurnee Green who just started a clothing store and then COVID-19 hit.
GURNEE GREEN, SHOP OWNER: Fashion has been a love of mine for since I was a kid. I worked really hard to save money to open this store. I did my ribbon cutting December 14 of 2019. And you know, it was booming. And then bam. Here's COVID. It was scary. No one was buying anything. My employees they're gone.
I reached out to my bank but they stated that they had no more money. It's gone to a lot of the bigger businesses. The million-dollar businesses who get the bail out. And a small business like myself is just left to struggle. Being an African-American female, business owner, under President trump, I feel how can I say, I'm alone. I'm alone.
MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D), LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: This is a story of Lien Ta and her two restaurants. One closed. And one still open.
LIEN TA, RESTAURANT OWNER: It's always really hard for restaurants to begin. It would be crowded in here. It was babies and families and crowds outside waiting to get in. It was pretty exciting. And on the day of the shutdown we were actually reviewed in the Los Angeles Times. On that day, the virus was announced as a global pandemic.
GARCETTI: It's really, really sad to see. And if we don't turn it around soon, I mean, we're going to see this not just be this year. But you're going to see those time for --
TA: I know.
GARCETTI: -- USA. TA: The first decision that I had to make because 100 people are
looking at you. And unfortunately, the call was to furlough everybody. At this point, I don't even see myself in business next month.
GARCETTI: What effect has this pandemic had on your work and your spirit?
JORGE FIGUEROA, BARTENDER: It's more difficult, a lot more work. I'm going to do everything possible to save the restaurant.
GARCETTI: We don't ask for much from government. But catch us when we're falling. And I know that it must feel like you're falling right now without a nut.
TA: Restaurants are among the hardest businesses to succeed at. But I was going to do it in way that was going to provide a successful career for not only myself but 100 employees.
REP. CINDY AXNE (D-IA): This is the story of Dan Ryner. He's a fifth generation farmer struggling to keep his business alive.
I'm not so sure the president understands that when he thinks about business, I don't think he thinks about farmers --
DAN RYNER, OWNER, RYNER FARM: No.
AXNE: -- as a business.
RYNER: No. He has no clue about this stuff.
AXNE: Dan, tell me a little bit about the farm.
RYNER: We've been here since 1864. Trade tariffs with China are just been horrible.
Part of the language in the trade deal said that China does not have to buy unless the price is to their advantage. What kind of trade deal is that? That's no deal.
Then when COVID-19 hit, then everything just plummeted. Getting through now, that's the problem. That's the day-to-day battle.
GREEN: I believe that Joe Biden will be a clear voice for us. Something that we have not had.
TA: Joe Biden has an understanding of what the average American is experiencing. I think he's with me.
BIDEN: Enough is enough. It's time to help small businesses. No class folks manage their way through a pandemic.
RYNER: I have a lot of confidence in Joe Biden. He's a fighter and he's the real deal.
JOHNSON: We've taken a lot of knock downs and we know that at the end of the day we will endure.
TA: We will rise again.
GREEN: Every time I get knocked down, I got to get up and keep running. Keep going. Keep going.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): Tonight, we've heard from the people who make America work -- people who put their lives on the line to keep our country going. And since COVID-19 hit, they've taken one gut punch after another.
And what has the COVID fallout done to our babies? Well, I'm here at the Early Childhood Education Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, which has been closed for months.
Child care was already hard to find before the pandemic. And now, parents are stuck. No idea when schools can safely reopen and even fewer child care options.
The devastation is enormous, and the way I see it, big problems demand big solutions.
Now, I love a good plan. And Joe Biden has some really good plans. Plans to bring back union jobs in manufacturing and create new union jobs in clean energy, plans to increase Social Security benefits, cancel billions in student loan debt and make our bankruptcy laws work for families instead of the creditors who cheat them.
These plans reflect the central truth. Our economic system has been rigged to give bailouts to billionaires and kick dirt in the face of everyone else.
But we can build a thriving economy by investing in families and fixing what's broken.
Joe's plan to Build Back Better includes making the wealthy pay their fair share, holding corporations accountable, repairing racial inequities and fighting corruption in Washington.
Let me tell you about one of Joe's plans that's especially close to my heart -- child care. As a little girl growing up in Oklahoma, what I wanted most in the world was to be a teacher. I loved teaching.
And when I had babies and was juggling my first big teaching job down in Texas, it was hard. But I could do hard. The thing that almost sank me: child care.
One night my Aunt Bee called just to check in, and I thought I was fine. But then, I just broke down and started to cry. I had tried holding it altogether, but without reliable child care, working was nearly impossible. And when I told Aunt Bee I was going to quit my job, I thought my
heart would break.
And then she said the words that changed my life: I can't get there tomorrow, but I'll come on Thursday. And she arrived with seven suitcases and a Pekinese named Buddy and stayed for 16 years.
I get to be here tonight because of my Aunt Bee. I learned a fundamental truth: nobody makes it on your own.
And, yet, here we are, two generations of working parents later, and if you have a baby and don't have an Aunt Bee, you are on your own.
And here's why that is wrong.
We build infrastructure like roads and bridges and communication systems so that people can work. That infrastructure helps us all because it keeps our economy going.
It's time to recognize that child care is part of the basic infrastructure of this nation. It's infrastructure for families.
Joe and Kamala will make high quality child care affordable for every family, make preschool universal and raise the wages of every child care worker.
Now, that's just one plan, but it gives you an idea of how we get this country working for everyone.
Donald Trump's ignorance and incompetence have always been a danger to our country. COVID-19 was Trump's biggest test. He failed miserably.
Today, America has the most COVID deaths in the world and an economic collapse, and both crises are falling hardest on black and brown families -- millions out of work, millions more trapped in cycles of poverty, millions on the brink of losing their homes, millions of restaurants and stores hanging by a thread.
This crisis is bad, and it didn't have to be this way. This crisis is on Donald Trump and the Republicans who enabled him. On November 3rd, we will hold them all accountable.
So, whether you're planning to vote, wearing a mask or vote by mail, please take out your phone right now and text "VOTE" to 30330.
We all need to be in the fight to get Joe and Kamala elected. And after November, we all need to stay in the fight to get big things done.
We stay in this fight so that when our children and our grandchildren ask what we did during this dark chapter in our nation's history, we will be able to look them squarely in the eye and say: We organized. We persisted. And we changed America. WASHINGTON: Former President Barack Obama has said that choosing Joe
Biden to be his vice president was one of the best decisions he ever made and this is a man who has made a lot of good decisions. Making healthcare more affordable and accessible. Rescuing our economy. Protecting American jobs. Marrying Michelle Obama. And through it all, Joe Biden was by his side. Except for maybe marrying Michelle.
You can witness their mutual respect and affection in this clip. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: So, Joe, for your faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country, and for your lifetime of service that will endure through the generations, I'd like to ask the military aide to join us on stage.
For the first and only time in my presidency, I will bestow this medal with an additional level of veneration, an honor my three most recent successors reserved for only three others, Pope John Paul II, President Ronald Reagan, and General Colin Powell. Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom with distinction to my brother, Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. Will the aide please read the citation?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. In a career of public service spending nearly half a century, Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. has left his mark on almost every part of our nation, fighting for a stronger middle class, a fair judicial system, and a smarter foreign policy, providing unyielding support for our troops, combatting crime and violence against women, leading our quest to cure cancer, and safeguarding the land mark, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act from corruption.
With his charm, candor, unabashed optimism, and deep and abiding patriotism, Joe Biden has garnered the respect and esteem of colleagues of both parties and a friendship of people across the nation and around the world.
While summoning the strength, faith and grace to overcome great personal tragedy, this son of Scranton, Claymont, and Wilmington has become one of the most consequential vice presidents in American history, an accolade than nonetheless rest firmly behind his legacy as husband, father, and grandfather.
A grateful nation thanks Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. for his lifetime of service on behalf of the United States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good evening, everybody. As you have seen by now, this isn't a normal convention. It's not a
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, and 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, 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 would end up finding a brother. Joe and I come from different places, different generations.
But what I quickly came to admire about Joe Biden 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 is more than prepared for the job, someone who knows what it's like to overcome barriers and who has 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 will 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 10 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 jump-started 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 that 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, and terrorism, poverty, and disease.
But, more than anything, what I know about Joe, what I know about Kamala is that they actually care about every American, and that they care deeply about this democracy.
They believe that
But more than anything, what I know about Joe, what I know about Kamala is that they actually care about every American, and that 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 ballots, not harder. They believe that no one, including the president, is above the law. And that no public official, including the president, should use the office to enrich themselves or their supporters.
They understand that in this democracy, the commander-in-chief does not 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. 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 depend 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 are American principles. But at this moment, this president, and those who enable him, have shown they don't believe in these things.
Tonight I'm asking you to believe, in Joe and Kamala's ability to lead the 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'm also asking you to believe in your own ability to embrace your responsibility as citizens, to make sure that the basic tenets of our democracy endure. Because that is what's at stake right now. Our democracy.
Look, I understand why a lot of Americans are down on government. The way the rules have been set up and abused in Congress make it easier for special interests to stop progress than to make progress. Believe me, I know it.
I understand why a white factory worker who has seen wages cut or his job shipped overseas might feel like the government no longer looks out for him. And why a black mom 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 conspiracy theories, and think, what is 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 does not matter. That is how they win.
That is how they keep to get 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.
And we cannot let that happen. Do not let them take away your power. Do not let them take away your democracy. Make a plan right now for how you are 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. And some years ago I sat down with John and a few remaining leaders of the early Civil Rights movement. One of them told me he never imagined he would walk into the White House and see a president who looked like his grandson.
And then, he told me that he had 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 generations. Whatever our backgrounds, we are all the children of the Americans who fought the good fight. The great-grandparents who -- working in fire traps and sweatshops without rights or representation. Farmers losing their dreams to dust. Irish and Italians and Asians and Latinos told, go back where you come from. Jews and Catholics, Muslims and Sikhs made to feel suspect for the way they worship.
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 they 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 have 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 no child in the 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, for all of us.
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 for them to win.
So we have to get busy building it up, by pouring all our efforts 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 that we love stands for, today and for all our days to come.
Stay safe. God bless.
WASHINGTON: Thank you, President Obama, for your -- thank you for your brilliant leadership.
Joe Biden has chosen an extraordinary woman to be his running mate. Kamala Harris is a fighter and a trailblazer, using her groundbreaking ideas to protect families and keep them together by reducing recidivism.
I am so thrilled for her to become the vice president of the United States. Now, please welcome our convention chair, Congressman --
REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): -- automatic delegates will nominate the Democratic candidate for vice president. In accordance with our rules, Vice President Biden has nominated Senator Kamala Harris as his vice president candidate.
Our rules further provide that if only one candidate is nominated for vice president, the chair is authorized to declare the nominee the Democratic candidate for vice president.
As such, with only one nomination received and pursuant to our rules, I hereby declare that Kamala Harris is elected as the Democratic candidate for vice president.
I'm pleased to report that vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris has been invited to deliver an acceptance speech.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kamala Harris is my auntie.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My stepmom.
MAYA HARRIS, SISTER OF KAMALA HARRIS: My big sister, which means you'll always be my older sister.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And there are some things we would like to share with you. To my brother and me, you'll always be Mamala, the world's greatest stepmom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're my role model, who told me I could do and be anything I wanted.
HARRIS: My very first friend, my confidant, my partner in mischief and in justice.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're a rock, not just for our dad, but for three generations or our big blended family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You showed me the importance of public service and made sure I grew up surrounded by smart, strong, and ambitious women every day.
HARRIS: Growing up, having helped the poor kid who picked on me, because my big sister would be there in a flash ready to have my back. Well, now, we've got your back as you and Joe fight to protect our democracy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And there's no union more perfect than the one that brings us all to your kitchen table every Sunday night for stir try, chicken, or spaghetti and meatball family dinners.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And now that I'm a mom, you're showing my daughters and so many girls around the world who look like them what's possible and what it's like to move through the world as fierce, formidable, phenomenal women in their own unique way.
HARRIS: I love you. I admire you. I am so proud of you. And even though mom is not here to see her first daughter step into history, the entire nation will see in your strength, your integrity, your intelligence, and your optimism, the values that she raised us with.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love you, Mamala.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're so proud of you, auntie
HARRIS: You mean the world to us, Kamala.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we could not be more excited --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- to share you with the world as the next --
HARRIS: As the next --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vice president.
HARRIS: Vice president of the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Joe Biden has selected Kamala Harris as his running mate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): She is the first black woman, first South Asian woman to be named on the democratic ticket.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): This is a historic --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Someone who looks like us on a presidential ticket. That's crazy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Kamala Harris is us. She was born in Oakland.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): A daughter of immigrants.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The daughter of Shyamala.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Big sister and protector.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is an HBCU grad. [22:50:00]
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): She is a woman of many firsts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNTRANSLATED).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): She's a hard worker, a really hard worker.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's brilliant, she's smart, she's tough, and she's got a big future.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kamala Harris is like a dream to me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Harris cares about people. There's no doubt about it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When she says for the people, it is every ounce of who she is. She's for us. She's for us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She fights for women's rights. She fights to end mass incarceration.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is a fearless advocate for the voiceless.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): The litmus test for America is how we are treating black women.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, I'm talking about someone that can fight for black people, brown people, undocumented people, LGBT people, disabled people, young people, old people, all of America.
HARRIS: It's about all of us knowing our power, each of us, to lift people up, right, and to remind them that we see them and we hear them and that they matter.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're going to be vice president of the United States?
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Greetings, America.
It is truly an honor to be speaking with you tonight. That I am here tonight is a testament to the dedication of generations before me -- women and men who believed so fiercely in the promise of equality, liberty and justice for all.
This week marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, and we celebrate the women who fought for that right. Yet so many of the black women who helped secure that victory were
still prohibited from voting long after its ratification. But they were undeterred. Without fanfare or recognition, they organized and testified and rallied and marched and fought not just for their vote but for a seat at the table.
These women and the generations that followed worked to make democracy and opportunity real in the lives of all of us who followed. They paved the way for the trailblazing leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
And these women inspired us to pick up the torch and fight on. Women like Mary Church Terrell, Mary McLeod Bethune, Fannie Lou Hamer and Diane Nash, Constance Baker Motley and the great Shirley Chisholm. We're not often taught their stories, but as Americans, we all stand on their shoulders.
And there's another one whose name isn't known, whose story isn't shared, another woman whose shoulders I stand on. And that's my mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris.
She came here from India at age 19 to pursue her dream of curing cancer. At the University of California-Berkeley, she met my father, Donald Harris, who had come from Jamaica to study economics. They fell in love in that most American way while marching together for justice and the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
In the streets of Oakland and Berkeley, I got a stroller's eye view of people getting into what the great John Lewis called good trouble.
When I was 5, my parents split and my mother raised us mostly on her own. Like so many mothers, she worked around the clock to make it work -- packing lunches before we woke up and paying bills after we went to bed, helping us with home work at the kitchen table and shuttling us to church for choir practice. She made it look easy though it never was.
My mother instilled in my sister Maya and me the values that would chart the course of our lives.
She raised us to be proud, strong black women and she raised us to know and be proud of our Indian heritage.
She taught us to put family first. The family you're born into and the family you choose.
Family is my husband Doug, who I met on a blind date set up by my best friend. Family is our beautiful children, Cole and Ella, who call me "Mamala".
Family is my sister. Family is my best friend, my nieces and my godchildren. Family is my uncles, my aunts, and my chitis (ph). Family is Mrs. Sheldon (ph), my second mother who lived two doors down and helped raise me. Family is my beloved Alpha Kappa Alpha, our Divine Nine and my HBCU
brothers and sisters. Family is the friends I turn to when my mother, the most important person in my life, passed away from cancer.
And even as she taught us to keep our family at the center of our world, she also pushed us to see a world beyond ourselves. She taught us to be conscious and compassionate about the struggles of all people. To believe public service is a noble cause and the fight for justice is a shared responsibility.
That led me to become a lawyer, a district attorney, attorney general and a United States senator. And at every step of the way, I've been guided by the words I spoke from the first time I stood in a courtroom -- Kamala Harris for the people.
I have fought for children and survivors of sexual assault. I fought against transnational criminal organizations. I took on the biggest banks and helped take down one of the biggest for-profit colleges. I know a predator when I see one.
My mother taught me that service to others gives life purpose and meaning. And, oh, how I wish she were here tonight, but I know she's looking down on me from above.
I keep thinking about that 25-year-old Indian woman, all of 5 feet tall, who gave birth to me at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, California.
On that day, she probably could have never imagined that I would be standing before you now and speaking these words: I accept your nomination for vice president of the United States of America.
I do so committed to the values she taught me, to the word that teaches me to walk by faith and not by sight, and to a vision passed on through generations of Americans, one that Joe Biden shares -- a vision of our nation as a beloved community where all are welcome no matter what we look like, no matter where we come from or who we love. A country where we may not agree on every detail, but we are united by the fundamental belief that every human being is of infinite worth deserving of compassion, dignity and respect. A country where we look out for one another, where we rise and fall as one, where we face our challenges and celebrate our triumphs together.
Today, that country feels distant. Donald Trump's failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods. If you're a parent struggling with your child's remote learning or you're a teacher struggling on the other side of that screen, you know what we're doing right now is not working.
And we are a nation that is grieving -- grieving the loss of life, the loss of jobs, the loss of opportunities, the loss of normalcy, and, yes, the loss of certainty.