tv CBS News 2020 America Decides Democratic Convention CBS August 17, 2020 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by cbs >> the country is on the aldance, we must defeat donald trump. there is no choice! >> this is the united states of america. >> stand up, take it back! >> everybody knows that donald trump is, we have to let them know who we are. >> you all know important than any you have been involved in. this job is not about me, it's about you. >> this is a war against this vrus. virus. > >> it is getting worse, not better, it doesn't have to. >> we're going to be dealing with this for a long time.
>> donald trump isn't responsible for the coronavirus but he does bear responsibility for the response. >> we have a health crisis, economic crisis, i won't fan the flames of hate. >> no justice, no peace. >> do you believe there is systemic racism in law enforcement. >> absolutely, but it's not just in law enforcement, it's across-the-board. the answer is yes. >> the answer is absolutely. >> this election isn't just about defeating donald trump. it's about building this country back better. >> don't give up hope. i promise you we're coming back.
>> o'donnell: good evening, we are just 70 days away from election day when america will decide if done all trump or joe biden resfour years. i'm norah 'donnell in washington d.c. and tonight is night one of the democratic national convention. for the first time in history it is a virlt all-- virtual convention, this is one of the most challenging times in our nation's history, the worst% economic crisis since the great depression, racial strife not seen since the 19 '60s, and the most serious public health crisis in a century. fere in the u.s. the number of covid-19 cases is approaching n.ve and a half million. the death toll is over 170,000. congressman benny thompson gafer eled the convention to order not in milwaukee but remotely from jackson, mississippi. normally thousands of people come together to nominate their
candidates. cbs news has been covering political conventions on television since 1948. imagine all those moments. but these next four nights won't resemble any that you have seen before. there won't be anarena packed with delegates, what you will see is politicians and former presidents speaking if socially distant locations from their homes. empty restaurants and convention centers. we are broadcasting from cbs news electionheadquarters here in washington. and we're joined tonight by our cbs news team of political analysts, correspondent and contributors as well as former administration officials. a virtual convention isn't the only history being made this election cycle. this week the first woman of color will accept the nomination for vice president of the united states. and after coming out on top in the most diverse field of candidates, joe biden is said to be formally nominated to take on president trump. tonight we'll hear interest two of biden's former rivals for the
nomination, senator bernie sanders and amy klobuchar as well as former first lady michelle obama. and four republicans who say dhey will back joe biden instead of donald trump, the party's nominee. you're watching cbs news, 20/20 america decides joining me now are john dickerson, cbs news contributor maria elena salinas and jamal simmons, welcome to all, and john let me start with you, joe biden has been to this convention with a substantial lead and yet the stakes for these next four nights are enormous. >> you know, convention, norah, is the one time a candidate gets a clean shot to speak to the voters without a lot of interruption. though this one will be sterile, the to do list is basically the same for joe biden. he needs to energize his voters, that is particularly important because he won't have the pop of the live convention events but he needs it more than ever for them to be energized because they don't just have to vote,
they have to get people to turn out to vote in a covid election bhere that can be difficult, but he can't go overboard and be just a base only convention that he turns off other voters he has to de fine what this election is about. democrats want it about their issues and the issues trump isn't good on, covid-19, character, race rerelation, finally de fine joe bied everyone am you can't have a coming out for party for a politician in the job for 50 years but for some voters biography is a way to connect to a candidate. >> o'donnell: joe biedern has the largest national polling lead that any candidate has had in 24 years. but so much can change. maria elena you have covered nine presidential. >> nine presidential, this will be the 10th. >> o'donnell: and sth unlike. >> don't count the numbers, okay. >> o'donnell: this is unlike we have ever seen tonight including a host for a democratic convention, eva longoria and this incredible line-up from the democratic part, trying to dru in the star
power. >> with eva longoria they cover a lot of ground, they have star sower, they have someone that is a crossover star, the latino community and also mainstream. she is very politically active, the cosurrounder of lit ina platino participation ands motivates them to run for office but also they are trying to offset the fact that maybe they don't have as many latinos as headliners during the convention. and they really do need to get the latino vote, they need to get latinos excited with their election t helps with kamala harris, because kamala har sis well liked in the latino community. she was the favorite before bern ye became the favorite and then she dropped out. also the polls show that she gives biden a 32 point advantage. people get excited about having her on the ticket, latinos do. ghto'donnell: jamal tonight t the democrat scene is we the
people, we have seen that, this inclusive big tent and included in that tent are four republicans we will hear from tonight, one governor john kasich, the former governor of ohio. the point there is what, republicans, you're invited too. >> absolutely, norah. the thing about this convention, it is not just talking to every day democrats who just show up. what we are doing is we are doing this online, on social media. the democrats have got this on nd cablet and cable. this is a convention that has to do a couple of things, it has to convince democrats that stayed home in 2016 that joe bied sen worth going to the polls for even in the midst of covid, or mail-in balance o the-- ballots and convince people to switch back. part of that is to switch to joe biden instead of vetting for donald trump. part of that means don't blame them for the vote they took in 2016. but let them know that things haven't worked out the way they thought they would have. and it is a very delicate political trick to get people to
move from where they were to where you want them to be now. >> o'donnell: the democratic party now doing a tribute to many of those who have lost their lives, more than 170,000 due to covid-19. i want to go now nikole killion is in joe biden's hometown of wilmington, delaware outside the chase center where we will hear from biden and his running made, kamala harris later in the week. but nikole, tonight the big headliner is former first lady of the united states michelle obama. >> that's right, norah. and former vice president joe biden will officially accept the democratic nomination for president here at the chase center on thursday. and we will hear more tonight from his former democratic rival bernie sanders. sanders will speak for about oight minutes giving a nod to
the progressive movement, a t hece tells cbs news that he will also make the case for beating president trump and explain why he now supports joe biden. and as you mentioned former first lady michelle obama will deliver a full-throated endorsement highlighting joe biden's character, competency and empathy according to those familiar with her remarks that were released earlier today. she calls biden a terrific vice president, who has what it takes to lead the country. and of course you may recall four years ago when the dnc was held right up the road in philadelphia when she coined the term, when they go low, we go high, so again tonight expect a very direct and impassioned speech. we're told that she has put a lot of work into this address and really wants to own it tonight. norah? >> o'donnell: all right, nikole killionk thank you. i want to return now to the democratic national convention. you are listening now to sus and
molinari, former republican congresswoman and other republicans who are bucking their party to back joe biden. we are about to hear from governor john kasich of ohio. congressman, governor, also ran for the republican party nomination. and as he is speaking at the democratic convention, the president of the united states, donald trump is calling him a loser. but let's listen in now to john kasich. >> america is at a crossroads, sometimes elections represent a real choice, a choice we make as individuals and as a nation. about which path we want to take when we come to challenging times. america is at that crossroads today. the stakes in this election are greater than any in modern times. many of us have been deeply concerned about the current path we have been following for the past four years. it is a part that has lead to division, disfunction, irresponsibility and growing
vitriol between our citizens. continuing to follow that path will have terrible consequences for america's soul because we're being taken down the wrong road by a president who has pitted one against the other. he's unlike all of our best leaders before him, who worked to unite us, to bridge our differences and lead us to a united america. i am a lifelong republican. but that attachment holds second place to my responsibility to my country. that's why i have chosen to appear at this convention. in normal times something like this would probably never happen. but these are not normal times. i am proud of my republican heritage, the party of lincoln, who reflected its founding principles of unity and a higher purpose. but what i have witnessed these past four years belies those principles. many of us can't imagine four more years going down this path. tod that's why i'm asking you to
join w join with me in choosing a better way forward. i believe the best of america lies ahead. but only when we rediscovered our shared beliefs in the united states of america, for our children's future which can be bright, hopeful and inspired if we choose to make it so. i have known joe biden for 30 years. i know his story of profound grief that is so deeply affected his character. n know joe is a good man, a man of faith, a unifier, someone who understands the hopes and dreams of the common man and the common woman, a man who can help us to see the humanity in each other. he knows that the path to a restored and rejuvenated america lies in respect and unity and a common purpose for everyone. ees, there are areas where joe and i absolutely disagree but that's okay. cuz that's america.
because whatever our differences, we respect one another as human beings. each of us searching for justice and for purpose. we can all see what is going on in our country today. and all the questions that are facing us, and no one person or a party has all the answers. but what we do know is that we can do better than what we have been seeing today for sure. and i know that joe biden with his experience and his wisdom and his de sensee can bring us together to help us find that better way. i'm sure there are republicans and independents who couldn't imagine crossing over to support a democrat. they fear joe may turn sharp left and leave them behind. i done believe that. because i know the measure of the man, reasonable, faithful, respectful. and you know, no one pushes joe around. joe biden is a man for our times. times that call for all of us to take off our partisan hats and
put our nation first for ourselves and of course for our childr children. ight america chooses the right path and path and pulls together like we've done so many times before, that we can dream big dreams, and we can see the top of the mountain as a united states of america, with a soul that is a beacon of freedom for the entire world. >> o'donnell: incredible there to hear the former governor of ohio john kasich giving not only a character but in some ways a policy endorsement of joe biden. want to bring in cbs news political analyst reince preeb us, served ats chair of the republican committee for six years, we were just remarking here, i can remember john kasich when he served in congress, this was a man who was the leader of an idealogical revolution, fiscal conservative, a gingrich backer, that was extraordinary
to hear his endorsement of joe biden overdone ald trump. >> well, not extraordinary if you are me. because i ran the 2016 convention, ran the 2012 convention too. but at the 2016 convention governor kasich wouldn't even after being begged to come out for 20 seconds and tell the delegates welcome to the state of ohio. go i mean him not endorsing trump and endorsing joe biden to me is not a surprise. i don't-- i'm not shocked even 1 percent. i think if the democrats want to try to portray a group of republicans as de fekers to illustrate to the american people, they will probably have to do a little better than jn kasich who has been trashing president trump on another cable network for the past several years. >> o'donnell: let me ask you this. if you look at the economic headwind facing this president,
no u.s. president has won a second term when the unemployment rate was above 7.2 percent. it's currently at 10.2 percent. does that make it extremely difficult for this president to win a second term? >> well, it doesn't make it easier, norah. that's for sure. however i think the bigger question is do the american people as they sit here today believe that the economy isn't doing as well today because of president trump. and i think most people probably blame coronavirus and the question in the campaign, and the campaigns are going to have to play defense and offense on the handling of the coronavirus. how that handling has affected the economy and whether the handling was appropriate or not appropriate. but that's going to be a big question in the campaign. but i think most people sitting here today, reasonable people probably believe that coronavirus is the reason the economy isn't doing as well as it could be am but it was doing
very well before coronavirus. >> o'donnell: reince priebus, thank you. another person who is no stranger to the white house, valerie jarrett, former enior advisor to president obama and valerie, tonight the headliner is going to be michelle obama, the former first lady who you know well. this speech tonight is different for her. it's much more personal t is a character witness, what else can you tell us about it? >> well, first of all norah, she is so excited about having the opportunity to deliver this speech on the opening of the democratic national convention with a group of other speakers who reflected the broad diversity of our country t will feel differently for example than the first speech she gave in 2008. she was the spouse of the nominee but she was also experiencing what it feels like to have racist and sexist tropes directed at her similar to what senator harris is going through right now. after eight years she spoke again, she has worked hard to
earn the respect of the american people, many fell in love with her. and but now after she's been out of the white house, she is now michelle obama in her own right, l global figure, a global lead leader, immensely popular and people respect and trust her. and so to use that platform, to use her voice to be able to full-throatedly endorse and support joe biden, as you said earlier, talking about both his competency, his intellect, his ability to have a deep and abiding-- and empathy in listening, she is excited is all i can say. >> o'donnell: well, valerie jarrett, thank you for joining us tonight. coming up we will hear from senators amy klobuchar and bernie sanders, two former rivals of joe biden. every time we pre-rinse we waste up to 20 gallons.
>> our selective strength is exercise through government, it is in effect our immune system. and our current federal government is disfunctional and incompetent. it couldn't fight off the virus n fact t didn't even see it coming. >> o'donnell: and that was new york governor andrew cuomo from earlier this evening. 13 of joe biden's former rivals for the democratic number nation are expected to appear at this week's convention. we're going to hear shrtly from amy klobuchar, the senator from minnesota and john dickerson,
already, and we'll come to you in just a minute but let's listen senator klobuchar. >> i believe the right to vote is fundamental and the poster office is essential. you know the president may hate the post office but is he still going to have to send them a change of address card come january. donald trump just happens to be in my state today trying to divide people instead of responding to the pandemic and the significant needs of our economy. the democrats, independents and yes many republicans have had enough of his divisiveness. tonight my friends, in contrast we've heard a lot about how we can unite as americans. about our shared values, our shared dreams, how we come together in the face of crisis. but i want to be clear, unity isn't about settling. it's about strifing for something more t isn't the end, it's the means.
it's how we get stuff done. unity is about reaching up toward a higher purpose, a better future for all of us. epluribus unupk out of many, one t is por than a motto it is the north star for our democracy. now more than ever we need a president who will unite this country. we need a president who in george floyd's memory, instead of using the bible as a prop, will heed its words. to act justly. we need a president for the bsrkers who have lost their jobs because this administration is selling american workers out when we need to buy american. for the farmers and manufacturers and the people of rural america who are sick and tired of reaping what he has wn.n. we need a president who will look out for the seniors like my dad whose families now visit them through glass windows, never knowing if it will be the last time they see them.
we need a president for all of america. i come from the middle of this country where we believe in people joining together to solve problems. we seek common ground to reach higher ground. that's been gentlemen biden's life work. kings a man of scrappy, working c class roots, a man whose own hardship have only made him more determined to lift up those who have been lift out. he understands redemption and he knows resilience. joe biden is a man of deep experience. barack obama, better known tonight as michelle's husband, he leaned on joe for his youngth and de sensey and you can too. you know most candidates when they end their campaign that day is a hard one. for me it was a moment filled with great joy because the day i ended my presidential campaign, was also the day i endorsed joe biden.
joe ran for the same reasons i did, when i announced my campaign in the middle of that blizzards on the banks of the mississippi river. to cross the river of our divide, to bring this nation together, to be a president for all of america. as i said the day i endorsed him, if you feel stuck in the middle of the extremes in our politics, if you are tired of the noise and the nonsense, you have a home with me and you have a home with swroa biden. that is why i was so proud to stand with him then and across this great country. that is why we are all now standing united behind joe and my friend kamala. our nation's motto is out of many, one. and as you're about to see, it is also the story of the democratic primary. thank you america. >> o'donnell: and that was senator amy klobuchar from
minnesota are actually president trump was there today in that battleground. i want to bring in anthony sal vonto, our director of elections and surveys leading the largest presidential polling project cbs news ever has undertaken. you see him with the map. give us the status of this race. >> hey, norah. you mentioned that biden lead t is substantial at the moment, anyway. let me show you where it comes from. folks will remember that a presidential election is in fact 50 state races, you win a state you get its electoral votes. we have been talking to voters in all 50. and you look at the map, on the states where you see blue, those are places where joe biden is leading in some form. in states states with red, thats where the president is leading in some form. okay, now along the upper midwest, these are states that every four years we talk about as bat he-- battlegrounds, close states, your pennsylvania, michigan, wisconsin and many
others, those are leanis but wie surprising a lot of people this year is look at the sun belt. i will take you to arizona where there is a toss up right now, georgia which the president won pretty comfortably last time, that is a toss upright now and even texas is just barely leaning towards the president. why is that? majorities of voters in all of these states say they are dissatisfied with the way that ghe administration was handling the the coronavirus outbreak. and that is ---- those folks are voting for joe biden in higher numbers and that is what is shifting the states. the big results which we will watch through the fall is we have got an expanded map with maybe a lot more battleground states than anybody thought going in. >> o'donnell: which makes a very exciting 78 days ahead. anthony sal sant be-- salvanto thank you, we want to bring in ed o'keefe following the biden campaign since day one. ed, we are about to hear from biedern's top opponents senator bernie sanders shortly.
the independent from vermont. this is a prime speaking slot for him, important because of what happened in 2016 and the fissures between him and hillary clinton. >> that's right, a lot of what we have seen so far tonight from this virtual convention, norah, is some cross between big brother, american idol and the jerry lewis telethon, what is yet to come is the bridge building that usually happens nten the van quished opponent spe speaks out on behalf of the winner. democrats need every last vote they can get especially from sander supporters. as you said four years ago he addressed the democratic convention for about 30 minutes an his critics said he did little to rally his supporters behind hillary clinton. ut 8ght he's being given about 8 minute minutes, not a lot of time for this ver bose vermonter to remind viewers of what he sees as the danger of the president and synopsis of why he is supporting biedern. we are told he will say in part quote the price of failure is too great to imagine. ingo expected to mention things that happened this summer that
brought bied enand sanders supportersing to to work on nge,gs like climate change, criminal justice reform and health care, mostly theoretical academic stuff that most voters won't read but to biedern and sanders it was a big dealed. ltden needs his polit kalt machine, sanders needs biden to take his ideas seriously. they met in the middle and dersght we'll see how sanders retu returns the favor. >> o'donnell: ed o'keefe, thank you as some 12% of bernie sander supporters crossed party lines and voted for donald trump in the 2016 election, according to some analysis from the university of massachusetts, that is why this is all significant. ahead we're going to hear from former presidentate-- presidential candidate and senator berny sanders and former first lady michelle bama.
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>> >> o'donnell: welcome back to our coverage of the democratic national convention, fompler presidential can dal bernie sanders is about to deliver his big speech tonight, independent senator from vermont will be live from burlington in just a minute and we will take his remarks live. going to bring back in our panel and talk about this issue of coronavirus. when we were last all here together on super tuesday there were 73 confirmed cases and seven known deaths from coronavirus. today 5.4 million confirmed cases in just over five months. how much, john, is this election about the president's leadership and this pandemic? >> you know, i was talking about it earlier. biden wants the tump to be on
coronavirus, you reared reince priebus say coronavirus happened people may or may not braim the president, when he was a candidate he said george w. bush didn't keep the country safe. in other words he said the president was on the hook for the fact that america was attacked on 9/11, use that same standard donald trump used as a candidate and a plight if to president trump, 170,000 dead, that is the standard voters are using and applying it to the presidentk high 50s or low 60 percent of the country say he has mishandled the coronavirus response. >> o'donnell: and here now the senator from vermont, bernie sanders. >> good evening, our great nation is now living in an unprecedented moment. we're facing the worst public health crisis in a hundred years and the worst economic collapse since the great depression. we are confronting systemic racism, and the enormous threat to our planet of climate change. and in the midst of all of this, we have a president who is not
only incapable of addressing these countries ease but is leading us down the path of authoritarianism. this election is the most important in the modern history of this country. in response to the unprecedenten unprecedented response, a movement like never before of people who are prepared to stand up and fight for democracy and de sensee and against greed, oligarchy and bigotry. and we need joe biden as our next president. let me take this opportunity to say a word to the millions of people who supported my campaign this year and in 2016. my friends, thank you for your erust, your support and the love yo you showed jane, me and our
family. together we have moved this country in a bold new direction, showing that all of us, black and white, latino, native american, asian ame gay and straight, native born and immigrant yearn for a nation based on the principles of justice, love and compassion. our campaign ended several months ago but our movement continues and is getting stronger every day. many of the ideas we fought for that just a few years ago were considered radical are now mainstrea mainstream. but let us be clear, if donald trump is re-elected, all the progress we have made will be in jeopardy. and at its most basic this election is about preserving our democracy. during this president's term the unthinkable has become normal.
he has tried to prevent people from voting, undermined the u.s. postal service, deployed the military and federal agents against peaceful protestors. threatened to delay the election and suggested that he will not leave office if he loses. this is not normal and we must never treat it like it is. under this administration authoritarianism has taken root in our country. i and my family and many of yours know the insidious way authoritarianism destroys democracy, decency and humanity. as long as i am here i will work with progressives, with mod rats and yes, with conservatives to preserve this nation from a threat that so many of our
heroes fought and died to defeat. this president is not just a threat to our democracy. ast by rejecting science he has put our lives and health in jeopardy. trump has attacked doctors and scientists trying to protect us from the pandemic, while refusing to take strong action to produce the masks, gowns and gloves our health care workers desperately need. nero fiddled while rome burned. fed.p golfed. his his actions fanned this pandemic resulting in over 170,000 deaths, and a nation still unprepared to protect its people. furthermore, trump's nedges has exacerbated the economic crisis we are now experiencing. since this pandemic began, over
30 million people have lost their jobs and many have lost their health insurance. millions of working families are wondering how they will feed their kids and they are worried that they will be evicted from their homesment and how has trump responded? instead of maintaining the 600 a week unemployment supplement that workers were receiving and the 1200 emergency check that many of you received, instead of helping small businesses, trump concocted fraudulent executive orders that do virtually nothing to address the crisis while threatening the very future of social security and medicare. but the truth is that even before trump's nej response to this pandemic, too many hardworking families have been caught on an economic treadmill
with no hope of ever getting ahead. together we must build a nation that is more equitable, more compassionate and more inclusive. i know that joe biden will begin that fight on day one. let me offer you just a few examples of how joe will move us forward. joe supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. this will give 40 million herkers a pay raise and push the wage scale up for everyone else. joe will also make it easier for workers to join unions, create 12 weeks of paid family leave, fund universal pre-k for three and four year olds and make child care affordable for millions of families. joe will rebuild our crumbling infra strum ture and fight the threat of climate change by
transitioning us to 100% clean electricity over the next 15 years. these initiatives will create millions of good paying jobs all across our country. as you know, we are the only industrialized nation not to guarantee health care for all people. while joe and i disagree on the best path to get universal toverage, he has a plan that will greatly expand health care and cut the cost of prescription drugs. further, he will lower the eligibility age of medicare from 65 down to 60. to help reform our broken criminal justice system, joe will end private prisons and detention systems, cash bail and the school to prison pipeline. and to heal the soul of our
nation joe biden will end the hate and division trump has created. he will stop the demonization of immigrants, the coddling of white nationalists, the racist dog whistling, the relige ot bigotry and ugly attacks on men.n. my friends, i say to you to everyone who supported other candidates in the primary, and to those who may have voted for donald trump in the last election, the future of our democracy is at take. the future of our economy is at stake. the future of our planet is at stake. we must come together to de fet-- defeat donald trump and elect joe biden and kamala harris as our next president and vice president. my friends, the price of failure is just too great to imagine. thank you.
>> o'donnell: a scorching indict indictment by bernie sanders in that line, nero fiddled while rome burned, trump golfed. ll hng up shortly we'll hear from the former first mush el obama. we'll bring in major garrett, 76 percent of american this year eligible to receive a ballot in the mail and yet the postal service now warning those ballots may not make it in time. >> right, the postal service issues but norah the president today said something very important. he said the only way he can lose is if this election is rigged. how to evaluate that kind of statement from the president of the united states. let me give you two voices, both republicans, one the department of homeland security overseas-- oversees all cybersecurity for every election official. he said this election has never been safer and he said secretaries of state, republican and democrats are the most trusted authoritative voices on how this election will be run. another one of them is kim wyman
from washington said you know what the most important thing for an election official to do is, make sure the losers believe the election was legitimate. president trump today tried to undermine exactly what that secretary of state and secretaries of state across the country are trying to accomplish. >> and why do you think the president is trying to do that, major? >> to sow confusion and doubt in the ultimate outcome and for whatever political purpose he believes he will gain from that, people at the local level, the state level, the republicans and democrats are working overtime norah to make sure this election works, is verifiable and most importantly accurate. >> o'donnell: major garrett at the white house tonight. and former first lady michelle obama taped her virtual address ahead of tonight's event. e eva longoria is introducing her now. let's leg enin. >> to to introduce the former first lady michelle obama. >> good evening, everyone. it's a hard time. and everyone's feeling it in
ent ways. ways. and i know a lot of folks are reluctant to tune in to a political convention right now or to politics in general. believe me, i get that. but i am here tonight because i love this country with all my heart. and it pains me to see so many people hurting. i have met so many of you. i have heard your stories. and through you i have seen this country promise, and thanks thao so many without came before me, thanks to their toil and sweat and blood i have been able to live that promise myself. that is the story of america. all those folks who sacrificed and overcame so much in their own time because they wanted something more, something better for their kids. there's a lot of beauty in that story. there's a lot of pain in it too.
a lot of struggle and injustice and work left to do. and who we choose as our president in this election will determine whether or not we ponor that struggle and chip pway at that injustice, and keep alive the very possibility of work.ing that work. i am one of a handful of people living today who have seen first hand the immense weight and awesome power of the presidency. and let me once again tell you this. the job is hard. it requires clear-headed judgment, a mastery of complex and competing issues, a devotion to facts and history. a moral come pass and an ability to listen. and an abiding belief that each
of the 330 million lives in this country have meaning and worth. a president's words have the power to move markets. they can start wars or broker peace. they can summon our better angels or awaken our worst instincts. you simply cannot fake your way through this job. as i have said before, being president doesn't change who you are, it reveals who you are. well, a presidential election can reveal who we are too. and four years ago too many people chose to believe that their votes didn't matter. maybe they were fed up. maybe they thought the outcome wouldn't be close. maybe the barrier felt too steep. ,hatever the reason, in the end, tho those choices sent someone to
the oval office who lost the national popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. in one of the states that erm didded the outcome, the winning margin averaged out to just 2 votes per precinct. two votes. and we've all been living with the consequences. when my husband left office with joe biden at his side, we had a record-breaking stretch of job creation. we secured the right to health care for 20 million people. we were respected around the world, rallying our allies to confront climate change, and our leaders had worked hand-in-hand tith scientists to help prevent an ebola outbreak from becoming a global pandemic. four years later the state of this nation is very different. more than 150,000 people have
died. and our economy is in shambles because of a virus that this president downplayed for too long. plehas left millions of people job its. too many have lost their health care. too many are struggling to take care of basic necessities like food and rent. too many communities have been left in the lurch to grapple with whether and how to open our schools safely. internationally we turned our back not just on agreements forged by my husband, but on alliances championed by presidents like reagan and eisenhower. and here at home as george floyd, breonna taylor and a never-ending list of innocent people of color continue to be murdered, stating the simple fact that a black life matters is still met with di
riggs-- derision from the nation's highest office. because whenever we look to this white house for some leadership or consolation or any semblance of stediness, what we get instead of chaos, division, and a total and utter lack of empathy. empathy, that's something i have been thinking a lot about lately. the ability to walk in someone else's shoes. the recognition that someone else's experiences have value too. most of us practice this without a second thought. if we see someone suffering or struggling, we don't stand in judgment, we reach out because there but for the grace of god go i. it is not a hard concept to grasp. it is what we teach our children. oflike so many-- like so many of
you, barack and i have tried our best to instill in our girls a strong moral foundation to carry forward the values that our parents and grandparents poured into us. but right now kids in this country are seeing what happens when we stop requiring empathy of one another. they're looking around wondering if we have been lying to them this whole time about who we are and what we truly value. they see people shouting in grocery stores, unwilling to wear a mask to keep us all safe. they see people calling the police on folks minding their own business just because of the col color of their skin. they see an entitlement that says only certain people belong here. ngat greed is good and winning is everything, because as long as you come out on top, it doesn't matter what happens to
everyone else. and they see what happens when edat lack of empathy is ginned up into outright des dain. they see our leaders labeling fellow citizens enemies of the state while emboldening torch carrying white supremacists they retch in horror as children are torn from their families an perown into cages and pepper spray and rubber bullets are used on peaceful protestors for a photo op. sadly this is the america that is on display for the next n.neration. a nation that is underperforming not simply on matters of policy, but on matters of character. and that's not just disappointing, it's down right infuriating. ndcause i know the goodness and the grace that is out there in households and neighborhoods all
across this nation. and i know that regardless of our race, age, religion or politics, when we close out the lyise and the fear and truly tpen our hearts we know that what is going on in this country is just not right. this is not who we want to be. so what do we do now? what is our strategy? over the past four years a lot ofpeople have asked me when others are going solo, does going high still really work? my answer, going high is the only thing that works. because when we go low, when we use those same tactics of de grading and de humanizing others, we just become part of the ugly noise that is drowning
out everything else. we de grade ourselves. we de grade the very causes for which we fight. but let's be clear. tting high does not mean putting on a smile and saying nice things when confronted by viciousness and cruel tee. going high means taking the harder path, it means scraping and clawing our way to that mountain top. going high means standing fierce against hatred while remembering that we are one nation under god. and if we want to survive we've got to find a way to live together and work together across our differences. and going high means unblocking the shackles of lies and mistrust with the only thing that can truly set us free. the cold hard truth. so let me be as honest and clear
as i possibly can. donald trump is the wrong president for our country. he has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job. but he is clearly in over his head. he cannot meet this moment. he simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. it is what it is. now i understand that my message won't be heard by some people. we live in a nation that is deeply divided and i am a black woman speaking at the democratic convention. but enough of you know me by now. you know that i tell you exactly what i am feeling. you know i hate politics. but you also know that i care about this nation. you know how much i care about all of our children. so if you take one thing from my
words tonight, it is this. if you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can and they will if we don't make a change in this election. if we have any hope of ending this chaos we have got to vote for joe biden like our lives depend on it. oe.now joe. he is a profoundly descent man guided by faith. he was a terrific vice president, he knows what it takes to rescue an economy, beat back a pandemic and lead our country. and elise ins. he will tell the truth. and trust science. he will make smart plans and manage a good team. and he will govern as someone who with has lived a life that the rest of us can recognize. when he was a kid joe's father
lost his job. when he was a young senator joe lost his wife and his baby daughter and when he was vice president, he lost his beloved son. so joe knows the anguish of sitting at a table with an empty chair. ehich is why he gives his time so freely to grieving parents. joe knows what it is like to struggle, which is why he gives his personal phone number to kids overcoming a stutter of their own. his life is a testament to getting back up. and he is going to channel that same grit and passion to pick us all up, to help us heal and guide us forward. now joe is not perfect. and he would be the first to tell you that. but there is no perfect candidate. no perfect president. and his ability to learn and grow, we find in that the kind
of humility and maturity that so many of us yearn for right now. because joe biden has served this nation his entire life without ever losing sight of who he is. but more than that, he has never lost sight of who we are. all of us. joe biden wants all of our kids to go to a good school, see a doctor when they are sick, live on a healthy planet. all he has got plans to make all .f that happen. joe joe bieden wants all of our kids no matter what they look like to be able to weak out the door without worrying about being harassed, arrested or killed. he wants all of our kids to be able to go to a movie or a math class without being afraid of getting shot. he wants all our kids to grow up wit with leaders who won't just
serve themselves and their waley peers, but will provide a safety net for people facing hard times. and if we want a chance to pursue any of these goals, any of these most basic requirements for a functioning society, 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. they're closing down polling places in minority neighborhoods. they're purging voter roles. they're sending people out to intimidate voters. and they're lying about the security of our ballots. these tactics are not new. but this is not the time to withhold our votes in protest or play games with candidates who have no chance of winning.