Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Democratic National Convention. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired August 20, 2020 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): To our kids, our kids' kids, our grandkids, to our legacy. There is so much at stake in this election.
And I just want to close by reminding each and every one of you, the future's not just something to experience. It's something to manifest. It's inside of us, not just in front of us. It's our decision, not our conditions that will determine our fate and future.
So, let us resolve that after this historic night, this incredible, incredible week, this remarkable Convention, that we do everything in our power to get Joe Biden and Kamala Harris into the White House in January 2021.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TEXT: D20 DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: America's an idea, an idea stronger than any army, bigger than any ocean, more powerful than any dictator or tyrant. It gives hope.
BIDEN: In this nation, we believe in honesty, decency, treating everyone with respect, giving everyone a fair shot, leaving nobody behind, giving hate no safe harbor, leading by the power of our example, not by the example of our power.
That's allowed us to stand as a beacon to the world, being part of something bigger than ourselves. It's a code. It's a uniquely American code, the most powerful idea in the history of the world.
The American creed that we're all created equal, I think, beats in the heart of the people of this country.
(CROWD CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
TEXT: THIS TIME NEXT YEAR. JON MEACHAM, AUTHOR & PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: This time, next year, I hope the virus is in check, and the American spirit is unleashed, and that we're not fearing but hoping again.
DOLORES HUERTA, LABOR LEADER AND POLITICAL ORGANIZER: Unity in our country. This is what I hope to see next year.
SEN. DOUG JONES (D-AL): I hope we've chosen community over chaos, we've chosen unity over division, and we've chosen love over hate.
DONNA HYLTON, CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM ADVOCATE: I believe that America will have faced its darkest moment and will have come out better.
KHIZR KHAN, GOLD STAR PARENT: America will be coming together, not splintering apart.
HYLTON: No more, no more pain.
ADY BARKAN, HEALTHCARE ACTIVIST: This time, next year, I hope that we will have a government that is accountable to us, that guarantees healthcare as a human right.
JUDGE LINA HIDALGO, HARRIS COUNTY, TX: The promise of America will be restored for all our communities, all our families, for all of us, and when I say, "All of us" (FOREIGN LANGUAGE).
JIM ROOSEVELT, DNC CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE CO-CHAIR: I am confident that this time, next year, we will have a president, who provides this country with real leadership, not just tweets.
SUSAN MOLINARI, FORMER REPRESENTATIVE OF NEW YORK: This time, next year, I hope we are listening less to the Russians and more to Dr. Fauci.
DANIEL DAE KIM: I hope we all get back to work.
YVANNA CANCELA, STATE SENATOR OF NEVADA: There will be two Americans who I will be happy to say are unemployed, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): This time, next year, I hope that all Americans, whether they are Democrats, or Independents, or Republicans, will be proud of their president, will be proud of their vice president.
ANDREW YANG, FOUNDER, HUMANITY FORWARD: And that our recovery is truly people up, families up, and communities up.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): That people believe they have a government that is working for them, that's out there every day doing its best for them.
DANICA ROEM, STATE DELEGATE OF VIRGINIA: I want to see a President of the United States who can look a Trans woman in the eye and tell her, her rights are worth protecting. ROBYN SENIORS, CO-CHAIR, NATIONAL HBCU STUDENTS FOR BIDEN: I hope America has a president who champions the rights of all young women and girls.
MIYOKO HIKIJI, U.S. ARMY VETERAN: This time, next year, I want a president who understands what military families need.
VILISSA THOMPSON LMSW, FOUNDER, RAMP YOUR VOICE: Who cares about the rights and lives of disabled people.
MARI MANOOGIAN, STATE REPRESENTATIVE (MI): Will care about our environment again.
MAYOR ROBERT GARCIA (D-CA) LONG BEACH: Will have passed comprehensive immigration reform.
PEGGY FLANAGAN, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF MINNESOTA: I hope we have a president who honors treaty rights and tribal sovereignty.
LUZ CHAPARRO HERNANDEZ, TEACHER, NEA: A year from now, I want to see the kids playing on the playground.
BRITTNEY HUBERT, FRONT END MANAGER, UFCW: I take pride in my job and helping our customers. But next year, I want to do it without wearing a mask or gloves.
BETO O'ROURKE, FORMER REPRESENTATIVE OF TEXAS: I hope that we are all celebrating landmark legislation that the Biden/Harris Administration have shepherded through Congress and signed into law.
FRED GUTTENBERG, ANTI-GUN VIOLENCE ACTIVIST: This time, next year, parents will again be able to look forward to the day, where we can send our children to school without fear of gun violence.
KHAN: This time next year.
HIDALGO: This time next year
GARCIA: This time next year.
MANOOGIAN: This time next year.
REP. MARCIA FUDGE (D-OH): I hope that this country realizes that we have, in fact, reclaimed the soul of America.
COLIN POWELL, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: This time, next year, I hope and pray that America will have restored democracy to the world.
JAIME HARRISON (D-SC), SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: We recommit ourselves to come together one nation under God.
MAJOR GEN. FRANK VAVALA (RET.), U.S. ARMY: One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESUMPTIVE VICE-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: This time, next year, I want to see Joe Biden in the Oval Office.
YANG: Hello, America.
I am Andrew Yang. You might know me as the guy who ran for President, talking about math and the future. Unfortunately, for all of us, that future is now. The pandemic has accelerated everything.
If you are like me and my wife, Evelyn, you don't know if your child's school is going to reopen this fall. 72 percent of Americans believe that this is the worst time we have ever experienced. And 42 percent of the jobs that have been lost, millions of jobs will never return.
We are in a deep, dark hole, and we need leaders who will help us dig out. I know, many politicians promise and then fail to deliver.
If you voted for Trump, or didn't vote at all, back in 2016, I get it. Many of us have gotten tired of our leaders seeming far removed from our everyday lives, and we despair that our government will ever rise to the challenges of our time.
But we must give this country, our country, a chance to recover, and recovery is only possible with a change in leadership and new ideas.
Bold and innovative policies that will get help into your hands in the midst of this crisis are now possible. But we need your help to turn the page for our country in 75 days.
We are here tonight to celebrate Joe Biden's nomination as the Democratic candidate for President.
I have gotten to know both Joe and Kamala on the trail over the past year. The way you really get to know a person, when the cameras are off, the crowds are gone, it's just you and them.
They're real people. They understand the problems we face. They are parents and patriots who want the best for us and our country. And if we give them the chance, they will fight for us, and our families, every single day.
Our future is now, and it is daunting. But I ask you tonight to join me to help Joe and Kamala fight for the promise of America, turn the page for our country, and lead us forward to a future we'll actually be proud to leave to our children.
And now, I'd like to turn it over to a great Democrat who'll be with us throughout the evening. Between the two of us, we have 11 Emmys. How's that for math? One of my favorite actresses, Julia Louis- Dreyfus.
JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS, ACTRESS AND CONVENTION MODERATOR: Hi, Andrew. It's so glad to see you. So, what did you think about Kamala Harris' speech last night? YANG: It was tremendous. I was so happy for her.
LOUIS-DREYFUS: I know, me, too. She was fabulous. I cannot wait to see her debate, our current Vice President Micah Pines (ph) or is it Paints (ph)?
YANG: It's pronounced Pawns (ph) I believe.
LOUIS-DREYFUS: Oh, some kind of weird foreign name?
YANG: Yes, not very American sounding.
LOUIS-DREYFUS: Yes. That's what people are saying. Strongly! Well, thank you, Andrew. And please, give my regards to the Gang.
YANG: I will. They're right in the next room. Have a great night, Julia.
LOUIS-DREYFUS: Thank you so much.
Good evening, America. And welcome to the fourth night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention: Uniting America.
OK. These last few nights have been going so well, we've decided to add a fifth night, where we will just play Michelle Obama's speech on a loop.
I first met Joe Biden, when I was doing my show "Veep." I played the Vice President, and he was in fact the Vice President, and we hit it off immediately.
Soon after, I was asked to be on the cover of a magazine. Remember those? And I was so excited. It was like "Oh, what's it going to be? People or Vogue or Rolling Stone?" Well, it turns out it was for "Arrive," the official, onboard magazine of Amtrak, which nobody ever reads, even though it's free.
And the day it came out, my phone rang, and it was the Vice President telling me, he loved the cover, and the whole article, and that it was one of the best issues of "Arrive" he had ever read.
And that is just one of the many reasons that I wanted to be here tonight for Joe, and to remind you that Joe Biden not only knows how to read, but also, he reads everything.
You know, I am no policy expert, and I certainly don't pretend to be one. But I have a gut feeling about fairness, and what's right, and that is why I am so excited that, just in a little while, we are going to hear from Joe Biden about his plans for America.
Plans for a strong economy that helps working people and small businesses, not just billionaires, and plans to raise the wages for the nurses and teachers and grocery workers that are getting us through this crisis, God love them.
So, how can you help Joe? It's super simple. Vote! [21:10:06]
Right now, you can text VOTE to 30330 to learn about all of your voting options and make the best plan for how to vote in your community, wherever you are. An easy way to remember 30330 is that's the year Donald Trump will finally release his tax returns.
If we all vote, there is nothing, Facebook, Fox News, and Vladimir Putin can do to stop us. But first, let's reaffirm the all-American values that our Party and Joe Biden stand for.
REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND (D-LA): This time, this time, do it while you are smiling. OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, ready? And Action!
CEDRIC RICHMOND JR., SON OF REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Awesome!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Awesome!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cut it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was awesome!
("THE CHICKS" PERFORM "THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER")
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: The Democratic National Convention continues after this quick break.
BLITZER: The Convention continues with Senator Chris Coons of Delaware.
SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): Thank you, Sister Simone.
People of faith have long led change, from abolition and women's suffrage to the Labor movement and the struggle for civil rights.
Joe Biden will continue that progressive march towards justice, inspired by respect for the dignity of all people, people Joe believes were made in the image of God. Joe learned that from his parents, the nuns and priests right here in Delaware who taught him and inspired in him a passion for justice.
I'm Senator Chris Coons of Delaware. And I want to tell you about my friend, Joe Biden.
His faith is strong, and it's personal, and private. For Joe, faith isn't a prop or a political tool. I've known Joe about 30 years, and I've seen his faith in action. Joe knows the power of prayer, and I've seen him in moments of joy and triumph, of loss and despair, turn to God for strength.
Joe's comforted me in my toughest moments, as he has so many others. I'll never forget how Joe took the time to offer me words of comfort as my father lay in hospice.
Time and again, I've seen him stop everything and listen, really listen, to someone who needs a shoulder to cry on or a partner in prayer. That compassion, that empathy is part of his character.
More than anything, Joe is a man of faith and conscience. He'll be a president for Americans of all faiths, as well as people of conscience who practice no particular faith.
Joe's faith is really about our future, about a world with less suffering and more justice, where we're better stewards of creation, where we have a more just immigration policy, and where we call out and confront the original sins of this nation, the sins of slavery and racism.
Joe knows these are central issues in this election, and for him, they're rooted in faith.
Joe knows that it's faith that sustains so many ordinary Americans, who do extraordinary things, nurses who brave infection, firefighters who run into burning buildings, teachers working overtime, especially now. They all deserve a servant leader who knows the dignity of work, who sees them, respects them, fights for them.
We need a president who brings people of all faiths together to tackle our challenges, rebuild our country, and restore our humanity, someone who knows we're called to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. Joe Biden will be that president.
Joe has always known this race is a battle for the soul of our country, and he's right. Joe believes. He believes in both the greatness and the goodness of this country. He believes in us, and in what we can do together.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. ANTHONY THOMPSON, PASTOR OF HOLY TRINITY REFORMED EPISCOPAL CHURCH: My question is, what is your faith and how would you use your faith in making decisions for our nation? BIDEN: Reverend, I kind of know what it's like to lose family. And my heart goes out to you. As you may remember, after Barack and Michelle and I were there, and my family, I came back on that Sunday to regular service because I had just lost my son. And I wanted some hope, because what you all did was astounding.
I don't know whether you all know this. All those who died, were killed by this white supremacist, they forgave him. They forgave him. The ultimate act of Christian charity, they forgave him.
And you know, Reverend, I'm not proselytizing, I happen to be a practicing Catholic, but I went back to the church because I found particularly the Black church, in this case, it was an AME, it was not an Episcopal church, I found that there's that famous phrase from Kierkegaard, "Faith sees best in the dark."
I find the one thing it gives me, and I'm not trying to proselytize, I'm not trying to convince you to be - to share my religious views, but for me it's important because it gives me some reason to have hope and purpose.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LOUIS-DREYFUS: Just remember, Joe Biden goes to church so regularly that he doesn't even need teargas and a bunch of federalized troops to help him get there.
No one fought harder for your right to vote than John Lewis. Here to speak about him, and his legacy, we have one of our great mayors, Atlanta's Keisha Lance Bottoms.
Mayor Bottoms, hello. I know that you are - you're recovering from the Coronavirus. How are you feeling?
MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D-GA), ATLANTA: Well, good evening. I feel really good, thank you for asking. My husband, on the other hand, is still having many of the lingering side effects that people talk about. But all in all, our family is doing great.
LOUIS-DREYFUS: Well I'm glad to hear it. But, boy, I think a lot of Americans are going to be dealing with that for a long time.
Hey, Mayor, I wanted to ask you something. Is Atlanta ready for Election Day?
BOTTOMS: We will be ready, and we are going to do everything that we can to make sure that voting goes smoothly. But we are encouraging people, if you can vote early, in your State, to please do so, early vote during the early vote.
LOUIS-DREYFUS: Perfect! Excellent advice! Over 40 states now allow some form of early voting.
OK, Stay safe, Mayor. And I turn it over to you. BOTTOMS: Well, thank you, Julia.
And good evening. I'm Keisha Lance Bottoms, a mother of four, and Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, cradle of the Civil Rights Movement, and like so many other cities, a place where the struggle for human dignity continues.
I'm proud to have grown up in this City, educated in its public schools, and blessed to have known our hometown heroes, like Dr. Joseph Lowery, Dr. C.T. Vivian, and our teacher, our friend, our conscience, our Congressman, John Lewis.
He walked gently amongst us, not as a distant icon, but as a God- fearing man, who did what he could, to fulfill the as-yet unfulfilled promise of America.
People often think that they can't make a difference, like our Civil Rights icons, but every person in the Movement mattered. Those who made the sandwiches, swept the church floors, stuffed the envelopes, they, too, changed America, and so can we.
The baton has now been passed to each of us. We've cried out for justice. We have gathered in our streets to demand change. And now, we must pass on the gift John Lewis sacrificed to give us. We must register and we must vote.
In his parting essay, written to us, Congressman Lewis expressed his pride in the activism that has swept our country, and he reminded us that if we failed to exercise our right to vote, we can lose it.
There are those who are disgracefully using this pandemic to spread misinformation and interfere with voting, forcing many, in 2020, to still risk their lives to exercise their sacred right to vote, a right that has already been paid for with the blood, sweat, tears, and lives of so many.
So, let's stand up for our children, our children's children, and for this great democracy that our ancestors worked to build, and let's vote. And let's organize to get others to vote with us. You can help make this happen by texting VOTE to 30330.
We know how important it is that we elect real leaders like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, people of honor and integrity, who hold justice close to their hearts and believe that the lives of my four Black children matter.
In the words of womanist poet, Audre Lorde, "Your silence will not protect you." Congressman Lewis would not be silenced, and neither can we. We cannot wait for some other time, some other place, some other heroes.
We must be the heroes of our generation because we, too, are America. Our votes can be our voice.
CONGRESSMAN JOHN ROBERT LEWIS, FEBRUARY 21, 1940 - JULY 17, 2020: There was something deep down within me, moving me that I could no longer be satisfied, or go along with an evil system.
AMBASSADOR ANDREW YOUNG: Life was extremely dangerous when we were growing up.
John Lewis had the respect of everybody because he was the one who demonstrated the most courage. He'd been beaten and knocked down and get up and go to find another battle.
John was focused on ending voter suppression, and it wasn't that he was a great orator. It's that he was a great spirit. The power of spirituality and humility, and the willingness to suffer, rather than to inflict suffering.
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, JANUARY 18, 1951 - OCTOBER 17, 2019: One of the things that John has taught us is that yes, you may have to sacrifice. But if you're sacrificing for a cause, something bigger than you, bigger than you, and you really believe in it, then you will have people following you.
LEWIS: If we do not get meaningful legislation out of this Congress, we will march through the South, through the streets of Jackson, through the streets of Danville, through the streets of Cambridge, through the streets of Birmingham.
(CROWD CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
REVEREND JAMES M. LAWSON JR.: I think he is the singular figure that is trying to carry out the work of our non-violent campaigns into the halls of Congress.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): From day one, John Lewis was a role model for the Members of Congress, whether they were freshmen or here a long time, because he brought with him a kind of heft, a weightiness, a purpose
LEWIS: I got arrested a few times during the '60s.
LEWIS: 40 times.
LEWIS: And since I've been in Congress, another five times.
The means by which we struggle must be consistent with the end we seek.
STACEY ABRAMS, FOUNDER, FAIR FIGHT: Someone who has navigated thorny issues of policy, not by castigating alone, but by also encouraging people to be better than they think they can be.
LEWIS: Today, we are considering a fair housing measure, which not only protects our nation's minorities, but it protects the needs of those with disabilities and families with children.
How long do we have to wait before we decide to ban assault weapons?
We have another opportunity to bring more of our citizens into political participation.
I have on my marching shoes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right.
LEWIS: I'm fired up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fired up.
LEWIS: I'm ready to march.
(CROWD SHOUTS "YES, SIR!")
REVEREND RAPHAEL WARNOCK: And all of these decades later, while he and others of his generation achieved much, we're still fighting against police brutality and fighting for our voting rights. And so, we best honor him by continuing to fight the good fights that he fought, by staying in "Good trouble."
LEWIS: We will create a beloved community. We will redeem the soul of America. As a nation and as a people, we will get there.
TEXT: CONGRESSMAN JOHN ROBERT LEWIS FEBRUARY 21, 1940 - JULY 17, 2020.
(JOHN LEGEND & COMMON PERFORM "GLORY")
LOUIS-DREYFUS: Wow. That was so beautiful, John and Common, wow. Joe Biden shares John Lewis' belief that every vote matters. Personally, I plan to follow the example of six current cabinet members, Vice President Pence and President Trump himself and vote by mail.
To find out everything you need to know about mail-in ballots, your polling place, or even just am I registered text vote to 30330. 30330, that would be the president's golf score if he didn't cheat.
OK, look, I'll admit that was a little nasty, but we all know he's a cheater. And I'm proud to be a nasty, nasty woman. When Donald Trump spoke at his inauguration about American carnage, I assumed that was something he was against, not a campaign promise. What we need now is great leadership, someone experienced and hardworking and intelligent, someone who understands the soul of the American people.
JON MEACHAM, HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR: I'm historian Jon Meacham. In his final Sunday sermon, days before his death, Martin Luther King Jr. said, we are tied together in the single garment of destiny.
This is the way God's universe is made. This is the way it is structured, a single garment of destiny.
We the people cannot escape that reality. Nor as Lincoln taught us, can you and I escape history. And we shouldn't want to. For many of us have been given much - liberty, opportunity, a sense of possibility. The task of our time is to make sure those gifts are available not just to folks who look like me but to all of us.
This is a grave moment in America. A deadly virus is ravaging us. Our jobs are evaporating. Our faith in the things that bind us together is fraying, for our democracy is under assault from an incumbent more interested in himself than he is in the rest of us.
Extremism, nativism, isolationism, and a lack of economic opportunity for working people are all preventing us from realizing our nation's promise. And so we must decide whether we will continue to be prisoners of the darkest of American forces or will we free ourselves to write a brighter, better, nobler story?
That's the issue of this election, a choice that goes straight to the nature of the soul of America. Humankind has long viewed the soul as the vital center, the core, the essence of existence. The soul is what makes us, us. In its finest hours, America's soul has been animated by the proposition that we are all created equal and by the imperative to ensure that we are treated equally.
Yet America is a mix of light and shadow. Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall dwell in the American soul. But so do the impulses that have given us slavery, segregation, and systemic discrimination.
Often, we prefer to hear the trumpets rather than face the tragedies. But an honest accounting of who we've been can enable us to see who we should be. A country driven by the best parts of our soul, not by the worst. A country informed by reason and candor, not by ego and lies. A country that's big hearted, not narrow minded.
The struggle to be who we ought to be is difficult, demanding, and ongoing. Justice can be elusive and change in America has been painful and provisional. The civil war led to segregation. The new deal to right wing reaction. Civil rights to white backlash.
Yet history, which will surely be our judge, can also be our guide. From Harriet Tubman to Alice Paul to John Lewis, from the beaches of Normandy to the rending of the Iron Curtain, our story has soared when we've built bridges not walls, when we've lent a hand not when we've pointed fingers, when we've hoped not feared. If we live in hope, we open our souls to the power of love. We've been
taught to love our neighbors as ourselves. As individuals and as a nation, however, we fail at following that commandment more often than we succeed.
But when we fail, we must try again and again and again. For only in trial is progress possible. From Jamestown forward, our story has become fuller and fairer because of people who share a conviction that Dr. King articulated on that Sunday half a century ago.
The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Bending that arc requires all of us. It requires we the people, and it requires a President of the United States with empathy, grace, a big heart, and an open mind. Joe Biden will be such a president. With our voices and our votes, let us now write the next chapter of the American story, one of hope, of love, of justice. If we do so, we might just save our country, and our souls.
REP. DEB HAALAND (D-NM): Good evening. I'm Congresswoman Deb Haaland. I'm grateful to be with you here on indigenous land. The promise of this country is older than our Constitution.
Over 500 years ago, thousands of Indian tribes were vibrant, Democratic societies with rich cultures and traditions and communities that had sustained them for millennia on lands they loved and respected.
My people, the Pueblo Indians, migrated to the Rio Grande Valley in the late 1200s to escape drought. We were led to the great river and its tributaries where we established an agricultural tradition that continues to this day. My people survived centuries of slavery, genocide, and brutal assimilation policies.
But throughout our past, tribal nations have fought for and helped to build this country. There were those like my Laguna grandparents who worked on our country's railroad, and those like my mother, a Navy veteran, who served this country with honor.
I stand here today a proud, 35th generation New Mexican and one of the first Native American women ever elected to Congress. I'm a symbol of our resilience, as the embodiment of America's progress as a nation.
I know we can't take our democracy for granted, especially now as people are dying, as our land is abused, as our constitution is under attack. We must work for it by getting involved, by registering voters, by voting.
Voting is sacred. My people know that. We weren't universally granted the right to vote until 1962, and that fundamental right is more important than ever. Whether your ancestors have been here for hundreds of years or you're a new citizen, know this. Whether we vote and how we vote will determine if our nation's promise of social, racial, and environmental justice will outlast us. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris respect our past and understand our
present. They will see us through this crisis of leadership that is plaguing our country, and they will help us to build a better future. Thank you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARA, FLORIDA: The first year that I voted was 1974.
JAMES, ILLINOIS: I have not missed a general or a primary election in my 51-year voting history.
SEYMOUR, OHIO: No, I don't go to the polls anymore. The U.S. Postal service does it for me.
TERRY: And now we're seeing our current president sabotage our right to vote, sabotaging democracy by trying to undo the postal system.
JAMES: My father worked for the Postal Service for 30 years.
PAT, VIRGINIA: My mother worked for the local post office for ten years. That job enabled her to feed her family.
JAMES: I am appalled at what the Republicans and the president are trying to do to subvert the vote.
JEFFREY, MARYLAND: Nothing or no one will stop me from voting this election.
SARAH, FLORIDA: We need to keep our mail system. We need Joe Biden.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH COOPER, AUTHOR & COMEDIAN: Where are they going? Where are these ballots going? Who's getting them? Who is not getting them? The little section that's Republican. Will they be stolen from mail boxes as they get put in by the mailmen? Will they be taken from the mailmen and the mailwomen? Will they be forged? Who is signing them? Who is signing them? What, are they signed at a kitchen table and sent in? Will they be counterfeited by groups inside our nation? Will they be counterfeited maybe by the millions by foreign powers?
Let me put this in my own words. I heard Donald Trump say some pretty unhinged things. I've heard them over and over and over again. But nothing is more dangerous to our democracy than his attacks on mail-in voting during a pandemic. OK? Here's the truth.
Donald trump doesn't want any of us to vote because he knows he can't win fair and square. So whether you plan to vote by mail or in person, wearing your mask, it is your vote and it's your right. Don't let Donald Trump take that away from you. For accurate, up to date voting information that you can trust, text VOTE to 30330. One more time, text VOTE to 30330.
ALEX PADILLA, SECRETARY OF STATE OF CALIFORNIA: I'm Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State.
JOCELYN BENSON, SECRETARY OF STATE OF MICHIGAN: And I'm Jocelyn Benson, the Secretary of State of Michigan.
PADILLA: Voting is the oxygen of our democracy. It decides elections and elections change lives. That's why we've seen so many attacks on our right to vote, including many that specifically target working families, young people, and communities of color.
BENSON: Secretaries of State are responsible for running fair, accessible, secure elections where every vote is counted and every voice is heard. We serve on the frontlines defending our democracy against any and all attacks, foreign and domestic.
PADILLA: So let's talk about this election. Despite what he says, Donald Trump can't cancel it, but he and Republicans are making it too hard for so many to cast their ballots. And now he's attacking vote by mail to distract and confuse voters.
BENSON: And let's be clear, there is absolutely zero difference between voting by mail and voting absentee. Millions of Americans have been voting absentee for decades. Donald Trump, his family, his staff, they all vote by mail. In fact, in states like Colorado, Utah, and Oregon, voters have been voting by mail for years. Republicans and Democrats agree it is safe.
PADILLA: But now Trump has admitted he is trying to sabotage the Post Office to undermine voting by mail, and we're not going to let him do that. Our job is to make sure everyone can vote safely, whether in person or by mail, and your job is to make sure you vote.
BENSON: And there's more. Once you've done that, talk to your friends and neighbors. Spread the word. Tell everyone you know to text VOTE to 30330 for more voting options. If you are planning to vote from home, request and return your ballot early, and remind everyone you know to make a plan to vote.
PADILLA: Don't let anyone keep you from exercising your most sacred right. Make your plan to vote. Grab your mask and head to the polls the first day they're open, or request your ballot and send it in right away. And know this, election results may take a little longer this year. But Democrats will fight to make sure your ballot is counted.
BENSON: Because at the end of the day, the biggest role in preserving our democracy isn't ours. It's yours.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EVA GUTOWSKI, @MYLIFEASEVA: Our family has a crazy history with America and it all starts with it being a beacon for immigrants. It's really cool being like part Polish and part Puerto Rican and also part Black, because I get - for me, personally, I get to be this like melting pot of America.
JACK GUTOWSKI, EVA'S GRANDFATHER: If you were an immigrant back then or came from an immigrant family, the Democrats brought you in. We are in danger of losing the meaning of this country.
E. GUTOWSKI: Every generation before us has had to fight for what they believe in, and it's just our turn now.
J. GUTOWSKI: I was so proud when I saw the demonstrations that were going on across the country.
E. GUTOWSKI: This year's election means a lot to me, because I feel like our generation is so motivated right now to make a difference. There's a lot of changes that we have to make, and I'm counting on Joe Biden and I believe in him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): I'm here because a union job lifted my family out of poverty and into the middle class. My grandfather left the Jim Crow south for Detroit, joined the UAW, and got a job on the assembly lines during World War II.
That union job enabled him to support his family, raise my mom, and send her to Fisk University. That's the American Dream. Together we work. Together we rise.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris know the dignity of all working Americans. They believe the urgency and the demand of our dream. But working people are under attack. The wealth gap grows, our middle class shrinks, and poverty persists.
Last week, Donald Trump said, and I quote, "Our economy is doing good." While 40 million Americans are at risk of losing their homes, 30 million aren't getting enough to eat, and 5.4 million people have lost their health care because of this crisis.
He has failed us. But still, I believe in the dream of our ancestors. Together, with Joe and Kamala in the White House, we'll raise the minimum wage so no one who works a full-time job in America lives in poverty.
Together, we'll fight for those who keep us healthy, who keep us safe, who teach our children. We'll stand for those who cook and serve and clean, who plant and harvest, who pack and always those who deliver. Whose hands are thick with calluses, like my granddad's were, who lifted me high, who held mine, when I was a boy.
If he was alive, Joe and Kamala, he would be so proud of you and he'd tell us, take another by the hand, and another, and let's get to work. This dream ain't free. You got to work for it. So like his generation, up and out of the depression, let's now work together and stand together. And America, together we will rise.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: This is my team. You guys build America, not Wall Street, you guys build America.
GERALD LAND, LAKE ORION, MICHIGAN, GENERAL MOTORS AUTOWORKER, UAW: That's right. Yes, Americans just want to live meekly comfortable. I've got a wife that works as well. We got a 17 and a 7-year-old at home and we're still working, thanks to our International Executive Board for getting with General Motors and making sure that it's safe for us to return back to work after eight weeks of being laid off. I mean, it's a hoax at one point and now here we are full blown.
BIDEN: Yes, well I tell you what, the future of auto workers in America - and I really believe this - can be as bright as it was back in the late '40s and '50s.
BIDEN: Simple reason, it's an iconic industry. It's an American industry. We made it. We made it.
LAND: Yes. Thank you.
ROBERT LOPEZ, MISSION, TEXAS, FIREFIGHTER, IAFF: It's been a very interesting 2020. I've been in the fire service 16 years and never experienced anything like COVID. We had to change our whole tactics, the way we did our day to day, and now had a hurricane that just came in two weeks ago, and we were almost right on the eye. We were doing things we never thought we would be doing. Water rescues with masks on, worrying about COVID. It was interesting.
BIDEN: How is your family doing?
LOPEZ: I'm a single dad. I have an almost 5-year-old who is my world. And I'm very lucky that my parents are retired. My mom actually retired right after my daughter was born to help us with her, and she was so looking forward to pre-K, going to the big school, like she says.
And then unfortunately, all this COVID came in and now it's all going to be online schooling, which I'm fortunate to have my parents. But I have a lot of guys that are double-income families and they're just trying to figure out how they're going to do it with their kids, what arrangements they're going to have to make since they're not going to be going to school. It's going to be online.
NATASHA TAYLOR, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, BUS DRIVER, ATU: It's two people in my household. I have a family of two and we have grown-up kids that are no longer in the household. But it takes two people to build. We have an ongoing goal of -- a five-year goal of buying a house in the next five years. Hopefully we'll save, save, save.
BIDEN: Look, everybody, you talked about the middle class. The fact is that the way middle class speak of generating wealth overwhelmingly is building up equity in their home, and that so it gets passed on from one generation to the next, the equity in a home.
ROB BAIR, HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, JOURNEYMAN, WIREMAN, IBEW: The middle class has continuously taken hits and one of the reasons why we're on this call is we realize how important it is to have you in the White House. We need a comprehensive energy policy for renewable resources, which I know you have one, and if we're going to build the middle class, it's about the jobs.
BIDEN: The future really rests on investment. We're going to be investing $2 trillion in infrastructure, ports, bridges, highways, making sure that we have access to do things that really make a difference like what you're doing at that solar facility outside of Harrisburg. I'm a Scranton boy, central Pennsylvania is OK, but northeast--
Keep the faith, guys.
LOPEZ: Thank you, sir.
BIDEN: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
TAYLOR: Thank you so much. We appreciate you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DR. VIVEK MURTHY, FORMER U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: I know it's not typical for a former Surgeon General to speak at a convention. Surgeons General are appointed by presidents, but our work isn't about politics. Our highest duty is to the public. Our true guide is science. And our job is to speak the truth about public health, even when it's controversial or perceived as political.
So here's the truth, our nation absolutely has what it takes to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic that's claimed tens of thousands of our loved ones. We have the talent, resources and technology. What we're missing is leadership. We need a leader who works with states to ensure that everyone who needs a test gets one and gets results quickly, a leader who secures a safe, effective vaccine and distributes it quickly and fairly, a leader who inspires us to practice distancing and wear masks. Not as a political statement, but as a patriotic duty, a commitment we make to one another.
That's why I'm here tonight. Not because of politics or for party, but because I know Joe Biden can be that leader. I've worked with Joe Biden. I've seen who he is with no cameras around. How he sits with people in their pain and holds him in his heart. How he pores over COVID briefings asking smart questions, letting science guide his way, just as he did when managing the Ebola crisis.
And six years ago, when Joe Biden met my family, many of them immigrants, awed to be the nation's capital, I saw how he kneeled beside my grandmother's wheelchair, took her hands in his and said, thank you for choosing us, the United States of America, as the place to trust with your family.
Tonight, as a father, son and grandson, as a doctor who swore an oath and as an American who loves my country, I can tell you that Joe Biden is the man I trust to look out for my family and the leader I know will heal this nation.
SEN. TAMMY BALDWIN (D-WI): Hi, I'm Senator Tammy Baldwin. When I was 9 years old, I got sick, really sick. I was hospitalized. But since my grandparents were the ones raising me and our family's health plan didn't cover grandkids, they were forced to pay out of pocket for my three-month hospital stay.
I got better. But the insurance companies didn't. They refused to cover me at any cost because I was marked child with a pre-existing condition. We all have stories like this. Stories about a time when the system was rigged against us, when we were counted out, left out, pushed out.
Just think of what we've heard these past four days. Health care professionals who don't have the protective gear they need. Young people whose asthma will get worse as our air quality does. Workers who are afraid of losing their jobs.
Each story begs this simple, fundamental question, a question that gets to the heart of the choice in this election. What kind of country do we want to be? Do we want to be a country where millionaires get to dodge taxes or one where working families get a break?
Do we want to be a country where medical bills bury people in debt, or one where health care is affordable for all, or where tens of thousands of people die from a virus, or where the American Dream lives?
I think we know the answer to that fundamental question, because most of us want the same things; good schools in our neighborhoods, racial justice, the freedom to love who we want, dignity in our work, and an economy where small businesses and working families thrive.
And over the past month, we've added another to that list, a nation free from COVID. That's why Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the only answer in this election. Trust me, they are.
You see, there's another part of my story, the part where I ran for office, the part where I served in Congress, the part where I worked with Joe Biden and Barack Obama to make sure kids and grandkids, if they're dependents, can stay on their parents' health insurance until they're 26.
We got that done. And yes, it was a big effing deal. That's the America I know, that's the America I love, and that's the America we'll be with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the White House; a nation that plans, a nation that builds, a nation that builds back. Say it with me there at home, a nation that builds back better. Here
in Wisconsin, our state motto is just one word, forward. This November, let's move forward and never look back. Thank you.
BIDEN: No other nation, no other nation can match us if we step up. If we lead by the power of our example, not by the example of our power, the only thing can tear America apart is America itself and we cannot let that happen.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)