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tv   CBS News 2020 America Decides Democratic Convention  CBS  August 20, 2020 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by cbs >> we can't wait for some other time, some other place, some other heroes. >> we're in a deep, dark hole, and we need leaders who will help us dig out. >> let us resolve that after this historic night, that we do gerything in our power to get joe biden and kamala harris into the white house. >> do not let them take away your democracy. make a plan right now for how you are going to get involved and vote. >> we have a chance to change the course of history. we're all in this, you, me, and joe, together.
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so let's fight with conviction. > o'donnell: welcome to cbs news coverage of the fourth and final night of the virtual democratic national convention. good evening. i'm norah o'donnell in the nation's capital, and tonight, joe biden looks to deliver the speech of his life as he seeks to fulfill a lifelong dream. soon he will accept his party's nomination for president in his home town of wilmington, delaware. biden has been a major figure in the democratic party for nearly 50 years. this will be the seventh time he's addressed a convention. he's only missed one convention, and that was in 1988 when he was recovering from a brain
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aneurysm. it's his third run for the nomination, and we can expect the former vice president tonight to mount a full-throated attack on president trump's record while laying out his own goals. tonight's official theme: america's promise. you're watching cbs news 2020, america decides. and joining me tonight for analysis throughout the evening our senior political analyst and "60 minutes" correspondent, john dickerson. margaret brennan, "face the nation" moderator and senior foreign affairs correspondent and democratic strategist, jamal simmons. it's a big night ahead as joe biden will deliver this important speech in a hall that's mostly empty because of the covid-19 pandemic. political correspondent ed o'keefe is outside the chase center which tonight looks a bit look a drive-in theater. ed, what can we hear from the vice president tonight? >> reporter: it sure does, s,rah. b you hear car horns blarg behind us, they're not in traffic. they're in agreement with something being said up on
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screen. that's because there are 150 car loads here invited the by biden s mpaign and democrats to witness this from a social distance. the vice president and his family will be out here later tonight to watch the fireworks. as for what mr. biden would say tonight, his team wouldn't share too many specifics but said he will share plans to build back better after the pandemic and n aneconomic downtown and make an argument that this country can, indeed, unite once again. they the other interesting thing they told us today, norah, is he will make an affirmative case for why he should be elected president. that's interesting because in part, while he's been leading in the polls throughout the summer, by wide margins in some cases, a majority of those supporting him have shown that they are supporting him not because he's joe biden but because he simply not president trump. i asked him about that a few weeks ago at a press conference here in delaware. he acknowledged that dynamic. it sounds like tonight he's actually eager to give people a reason to vote for him. as you said, he's been dreaming
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of this night for more than 50 years, but certainly didn't expect it to be like this. >> o'donnell: we certainly didn't expect the convention to look more like a tailgate party where ed is tonight, there in wilmington. and about that, here, joe biden was expecting to be before a big crowd in milwaukee, a battleground state. but instead, he's there in his home town of wilmington, where the train station is named after him and where he's been for almost the last five, six months. >> reporter: that's right. he's on his way right here now. we're about 15 minutes from where he lives. yes, all of us were supposed to be in the home of the n.b.a.'s milwaukee bucs tonight in the ndttleground state of wisconsin, but the democrats realized they had to scale back, hold this virtual event and just in the last two weeks decided it had to come here. thankfully, this facility, which has three hotels and a minor league ballpark and event center and is able to sustain what has become a modest secret service-protected facility and allowed the democrats to build
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out this tv studio. they are kind of watching, interestingly, to see what republicans do next week. because, remember, the republicans scrambled just in the last few weeks to go virtual, whereas democrats have been planning to do this since at least april. so they believe they've been able to put on a much better prepared production and it caps off tonight with what the vice sasident will have to say. >> o'donnell: ed o'keefe, thank you. and it will be quite an hour ahead as we're about to hear from illinois senator tammy duckworth. she was in the running to join biden on the ticket. an incredible story that tammy duckworth has. she was a black hawk helicopter pilot. she lost her legs in an attack in 2004. "the new york times" had described her as a death-cheating double amputee iraq war veteran, whose life story and her wheelchair whooshing through the capitol afines the decency and service that the president's opponents have found lacking in the white house. here now, senator tammy
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duckworth. good evening. i'm senator tammy duckworth. when i first enlisted in the army i was eager to serve my country, yut anxious whether i would be able to earn my way into the wings. i commanded my own unit learning that serving and leading in the military is both a privilege and a sacrifice. to be a commander you must always put your troops first because one day you may order them to sacrifice everything for our great nation. to do that, leaders must command their troops' respect and be worthy of their pledge to protect and defend our constitution, no matter the cost. but military service doesn't just take sacrifice from those in uniform. it's required from their families, too. my husband, bryan, was one who rushed to walter reed after i was wounded in iraq. he was the one holding my hand, waiting for me to wake up. and when i finally did, he was my rock, getting me through those hours, weeks, months of
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unspeakable pain and unending surgeries. he was my anchor as i relearned to walk helping me through every step and every stumble. our military spouses hold their families together, prayer for their loved one's safety wherever they're deployed and serving as care givers to our disabled service members and then picking up the pieces and starting again whenever the next tour or the next war arises. joe biden understands these sacrifices because he's made them himself. when his son beau deployed to iraq, his burden was also shouldered by his family. joe knows the fear military families live because he's felt that dread of never knowing if your deployed loved one is safe. he understands their bravery because he has had to muster that same strength every hour of every day beau was overseas. that's the kind of leader our service members deserve. one who understands the risks they face and who would actually
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protect them by doing his job as commander in chief. instead, they have a coward in chief who won't stand up to vladimir putin, read his daily intelligence briefings, or even publicly admonish adversaries for reportedly putting boyanties on our troops' heads. as president, joe biden would never let tyrants manipulate him like a puppet. he would never pervert our military to stroke his own ego. he would never turn his back on our troops or threaten them against americans peacefully exercising their constitutional rights. joe biden would stand up for what's right, stand tall for our troops, and stand strong against our enemies. because unlike trump, joe biden has common decency. he has common sense. he can command, both from experience and from strength. donald trump doesn't deserve to chll himself commander in chof for another four minutes, let rsone another four years. our troops deserve better.
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our country deserves better. if you agree, text "more" to 30330 to elect joe biden, a leader who actually cares enough about america to lead. >> o'donnell: and senator tammy duckworth who is among the first women to fly combat missions as part of "operation iraqi freedom." i want to bring in our panel. margaret brennan, we're going to hear from a number of veterans. that's the start of this hour tonight. and you hear that message, calling the commander in chief the "coward in chief" tonight, that he's not fit to lead our armed services. >> and she joins a group of 70 republican national security officials, high-ranking. a former secretary of state, a former head of u.s. intelligence who released a scathing letter today endorsing joe biden, but really just savaging the president calling him unfit to lead during a crisis, saying he has gravely damaged america's role as a world leader, that he
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dishonored the presidency. and that's not even including the 27 officials who work directly for the trump administration, including his ndrmer secretaries of states and defense who have also been harshly critical of the president and his lack of oreparedness they int to. the bottom line is joe biden walks in with that in his back pocket as he makes the argumentlet u.s. demonstrated to the world we're a lot more vulnerable than we like to say, and he is the person, he will argue, who can restore america's moral leadership, and that he can rally international alliances to defeat a common enemy. he's had his mistakes. he vote forward the iraq war, but he will try to put that under the rug and point to the argument that republicans have made for his own election. >> o'donnell: the argument about competence, certainly, as we've heard throughout the last three nights, an argument about character. john, this is night four. are we going to hear, and have we heard from the democrats really what biden and harris stand for in terms of policy,
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prescription of-- where they plan to take america? >> we have heard policy you know throughout the nights. elizabeth warren made the case last night about putting protections in place for working families, particularly women, so they can keep working or in fact go out into the orchplace if they have children. one of the things we need to remember is how surprises interrupt the plans of presidents. joe biden had a list of policy proposals and then covid-19 came along. that slogan, "build back better," that's new. what he's going to face when he comes in, he has policy ideas on immigration, climate change. he will first have to take care of covid-19 and then a stimulus package. he may be able to wrap up his other ideas, infrastructure, making college less costly, increasing the minimum wage. but he's going to also have to build the economy back up so he's going to have to find a way to get a big stimulus package out early in his presidency. >> we are about to hear from pete buttigeig. he, of course, gained national attention when he joined more
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than two dozen others who pursued the democratic nomination. buttigieg was the youngest vying for the presidential nomination at just 38 years old. also a veteran. let's listen in now to the man known as "mayor pete." >> he volunteered and was deployed to afghanistan then returned home to indiana to become a highly effective public servant. say hi to mayor pete. >> good evening. beau biden lived a life of service, in office and in uniform. when you put your life on the line for your country, you do it not because it's the country you live in, but because it's a country you believe in. i believe in this country, because america, uniquely, holds the promise of a place where everyone can belong. we know that for too many and
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for too long, that promise has been denied. but we also know america is at its best when we make that circle of belonging wider. just over 10 years ago, i joined a military where firing me because of who i am wasn't just possible. it was. inw, in 2020, it is unlawfull in america to fire someone because of who they are or who they love. the very ring on my finger, a wedding we celebrated right where i'm standing, reflects how this country can change. love makes my marriage real, but political courage made it possible, including that of joe biden who stepped out ahead even of this party when he said that marriage equality should be the law of the land. there is a long way to go, but if this much can change between
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2010 and 2020, imagine what could change between now and 2030. imagine what we could achieve, this coalition we are building this very season, gathering progressives and moderates, independents and even what i like to call future former republicans, standing for an america where everyone belongs. joe bidens contest for the soule nation. and to me, that contest is not between good americans and evil americans. it's the struggle to call out what is good in every american. it's up to us. will america be a place where faith is about healing and not exclusion? can we become a country that lives up to the truth that black lives matter. will we handle questions of science and medicine by turning to scientists and doctors? will we see to it that no one
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who works full time can live in poverty? kamust joe biden and kamala harris to guide us toward that better future because i've seen up close their empathy and their capacity. just as i've seen my fellow americans' capacity to support and include one another in new ways and do better by the promise of america. the day i was born, the idea of an "out" candidate seek anything federal office at all was laughable. yet, earlier this year, i campaigned for the presidency, often with my husband chaftenned at my side, winning delegates to this very convention. now i come to this convention proudly supporting joe biden and kamalademocrats who were squarif in competition just a few months ago. a number of us recently got together to talk about the joe we know.
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>> o'donnell: and that was mayor pete buttigeig. still to come, we'll hear from billionaire michael bloomberg and joobd makes his acceptance speech. you're watching cbs news coverage of the democratic national convention. my psoriatic arthritis pain? i had enough! it's not getting in my way. joint pain, swelling, tenderness much better.
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cares about doing his proper taty for the united states. and if he's elected, that's what he will do. >> o'donnell: that was 95-year-old world war ii veteran and lifelong republican ed good. now endorsing joe biden. and continuing one of the themes from the democrats tonight, the idea that biden would be a better commander in chief than president trump. i want to talk more about what voters want to hear tonight from anthony salvanto. he is our director of elections and surveys. what have you learned? >> when we asked vorts what they were looking for in a alesidential candidate, two things came up to the top of the list: someone who was honest and someone who was knowledgeable, among other important things. to he certainly wants to hit those themes. but let me show you something else because it raises the question of do you motivate the base with a speech like this, or do you try to persuade other voters to come into your camp? take a look at this. i went back and looked at the history of the cbs news poll for what kind of convention bounces
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or bumps in the polls new candidates got after a convention? back in the 90s and even up into 2000s, we saw democrats get double-digit bumps. but more recently, single-digit bumps. and there's a reason for that. it's because the country is so polarized now that it's much earder to move the need. consider even now, many voters -- in fact most voters-- say they've already decided and probably won't change their mind. it may be more about moat vath the base with this speech, norah. >> o'donnell: anthony salvanto, thank you. and we've been hearing from some of the people biden shared the debate stage with, and no candidate has ever spent more of his own money on the campaign trail than mayor michael bloomberg. remember that candidacy? he spent more than $500 million in ads to win just 31 delegates in just four months, and then he dropped out. now, he has pledged to spend even more to defeat president trump, and so tonight, mayor
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bloomberg gets a prime-time spot in the middle of this democratic convention to explain why he supports joe biden and also why he does not believe-- here's mayor bloomberg. >> i've never been much for partisan politics. i've supported democrats, republicans, and independents. hell, i've actually been a democrat, republican, and independent. it's all about people and the two people running for president couldn't be more different. one believes in facts. one does not. one listens to experts. the other thinks he knows everything. one looks forward and sees strength in america's diversity. the other looks backwards and sees immigrants as enemies and white supremacists as allies. here's another difference: one has proven he knows how to handle a crisis by helping to lead the economic turnaround after the 2008 recession.
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while the other has not only failed to lead. he has made the current crisis much worse. when confronted with the biggest calamity any president has faced in the modern era, donald trump spent the year downplaying the threat, ignoring science, and recommending quack cures, which let covid-19 spread much faster than it should have, leaving hundreds of thousands needlessly sick or dead. he has failed the american people catastrophically. four years ago, i came before this very convention and said, "new yorkers know a con when we see one." but tonight, i'm not asking you to vote against donald trump because he's a bad guy. i'm urging you to vote against him because he's done a bad job. today, unemployment is at historic highs, and small businesses are struggling just to survive. it didn't have to be this way. before i ran for mayor, i spent 20 years running a business i
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started from scratch, so i want inessk small-business owners and their employees one question, and it's a question for everyone: would you rehire or work for someone who ran your business into the ground? and who always does what's best for him or her, even when it hurts the company? and whose reckless decisions put you in danger and spends more time tweeting than working? if the answer is no, why the hell would we ever rehire donald trump for another four years? trump says we should vote for him because he's a great business man. really? he drove his companies into bankruptcy six times, always leaving behind customers and contractors who órwere cheated d swindled and stopped doing business with him. well, this time, all of us are paying the price, and we can't let him get away with it again. donald says we should vote for him because the economy was
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great before the virus. huh? bideeben and obama created more jobs over their last three years than the trump administration did over their first three. and economic growth was higher under biden and obama than under trump. in fact, while biden helped save one million auto industry jobs, trump has lost 250,000 manufacturing jobs. so when trump says he wants to make america great again, he's making a pretty good case for joe biden. look, our goal shouldn't be to bring back the pandemic economy. it should be, as joe says, to build it back better. joe's economic plan will create clean energy jobs that help fight another crisis that trump is ignoring-- climate change. and joe will rebuild our crumbling roads and bridges, something trump has incessantly talked about doing but in the last three and a half years, he hasn't done anything. what a joke.
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and let me tell you a little secret. donald trump's economic plan was to give a huge tax cut to guys like me who didn't need it. and then lie about it to everyone else. well, joe will roll back that tax cut that i got so we can fund things our whole country needs, like training for adults who have lost jobs and making college more affordable, and investing in american research and development so that the products of tomorrow are made today by american workers. you know, growing up, i was taught to believe that america is the greatest country in the world, not because we won the second world war, but because of why we fought it-- for freedom, democracy, and equality. my favorite childhood book was called "johnny tremain," about a boston boy who joins the sons of liberty at the dawn of the american revolution. at the end of the book, johnny stands on lexington commons and
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sees a nation that is "green with spring, dreaming of the future." that's the america i know and love. and that's the america we are in danger of losing under this president. so let's put an end to this whole sorry chapter in american history and elect leaders who will bring integrity and stability, sanity and competence back to the white house. joe and kamala, go get them, for all of us. >> o'donnell: and tough message there from mayor bloomberg, jamal. who does that invite into the democratic party, that message? >> i think he must be-- there ere a lot of democrats out there iho really are aspirational. and there's a history in the f pecratic party of people who want this. you know, this virus has been horrible for african american business owners. i mean, there's one study i think that's been in even cbs news. one million people-- a million african americans had business in february. 440,000 of those businesses have
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closed and probably for good. it's a major problem. in the last recession, at the end of the financial crisis, we had 50% of black homeowners lost what they had. so a lot of african american are thinking about not just the politics but the economics of moving forward. >> o'donnell: i just want to introduce now-- we are going to hear from brayden harrington. he struggled as a child with a stutter. and then he met joe biden, and joe biden has stayed in touch with him. let's listen. >> it was really amazing to hear that someone like me became vice president. he told me about a book of poems by yates, he would read out loud to practice. he showed me how he marked his addresses to make them easier to say out loud, so i did the same thing today.
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and now i'm here talking to you today about the future. about our future. my family often says when the world feels better, before talking about something normal, like going to the movies. we all want the world to feel better. we need the world to feel better. i'm just a regular kid, and in the short amount of time, joe biden made moving forward comfort. joe biden cared. imagine what he could do for all of us. kids like me are counting on you to elect someone we can all look up to, someone who cares, someone who will make our country and the world feel
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better. we're counting on you to elect joe biden. >> o'donnell: and that's brayden harrington, who is now being tutored by joe biden, who has stuttered with-- who struggled with a stutter, i should say, when he was growing up. there's that famous story, joe biden's mother, katherine uginnia finnegan, who told joe biden, she said, "joey, it's because you're so bright you can't get the thoughts out quickly enough." and when joe came home from school one day beaten up by bigger kids, his mother said to him, "you go right back out there. you bloody their nose so you can walk down the street the next day." and that's one of the stories, if you followed joe biden the past 50 years he tells that story about his mother. but it's always a reminder about a struggle, part of the struggle joe biden has overcome as they try to put together his biography overcoming and healing that they are trying to translate into what he would do as president of the united
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states. and we are just minutes away from joe biden's acceptance speech. you're watching cbs news live coverage of the democratic national convention. when we started carvana, they told us
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figure that has tried to carry out the work of our nonviolent campaigns into the halls of congress. >> 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 of purpose. >> i got arrested a few times during the 60s. 40 times. and since i've been in congress, another five times. the means by which we struggle must be consistent with the end we seek. >> 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. >> 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
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and families with children. how long do we have to wait before we decide to ban ass2uaut weapons? we have another opportunity to bring more of our citizens into political participation. i have on my marching shoes. >> that's right! >> i'm fired up! >> fired up! >> i'm ready to march! >> 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 ght thuing to fight the good fights that he fought by staying in good trouble. ♪ ♪
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♪ together together ♪ through the thunder and the rain together ♪ all the struggle and the pain together ♪ can't you see we are the same our freedom can't wait another day so together let's fight fight ♪ fight for what's right fight for what's right ♪ no matter how long r how dark the night ♪ >> we will create the beloved community. we will redeem the soul of america, as a nation and as a people. we will get there. >> o'donnell: and the memory pf john lewis is inspiring democratic leaders, includinh ly president barack obama that the struggle that they face today is not as difficult as the one that
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john lewis and many of those that fought during the civil toghts era for the right to vote. john lewis arrested 40 times, another five times while he was a member of congress. and that phrase that is used, phraphrasing martin luther king, the arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice and it takes time in order to do that. we're going to be hearing pshortly from joe biden, but first he's going to be introduced by his two children, ashley and hunter. his other son, beau, passed away from brain cancer in 2015. beau served as delaware attorney general, and that is when he worked alongside kamala harris, when she was california's attorney general. let's listen in. >> beau is our brother. >> we want to tell you what kind of president our dad will be. >> he will be tough. >> and honest. >> caring and principled. >> he'll listen. he'll be there when you need
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him. >> he'll tell you the truth, even when you don't want to hear it. >> he'll never let you down. >> he'll be rock steady. >> the strongest shoulder you can ever lean on. >> he'll beam with pride every time you succeed. >> he'll make your grand kids toel what what they've got to say matters. >> he'll treat everyone with respect, no matter who you are. >> he'll get up, no matter how many times he's been knocked down. >> he'll be the worst enemy any bully ever saw. >> he'll be the best friend ever had.r had. >> he'll love you with all of his heart. >> and if you give him your cell phone number... >> he's going to call it. >> how do we know? >> because he's been that way our whole lives. >> he's been a great father. >> and we think he'll be a great president. >> beau isn't with us any longer. >> but he's still very much alive in our hearts. and we can still hear his strong voice. y just like it was yesterday. >> just like it was yesterday.
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>> in 2008 and 2012, he introduced our dad at those conventions. >> and if he was here, we're pretty sure we'd know what he'd say. >> so before we show you a film about our dad's journey, we wanted to give beau the last word. beau. >> beau, take it away. ( applause ) >> in moments both public and private, he's the father i've always known, the grandfather my children love and adore, my father, my hero, joe biden. ( applause ) ♪ ♪ >> o'donnell: and that is part of the struggle that joe biden faced, the loss of an adult child, beau biden, to glioblastoma, a death that in part led to the biden family deciding he would not run for 201ident in 2016.
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joe biden has been on the national stage for nearly half a century. you might recall he was just 29 rears old when he was first elected to the senate, and now 77, biden would be the oldest man to become president, if elected. cbs' major garrett looks at a career that has spannedded the decades. >> joseph robinet boyden jr. was born in 1942. when the economy collapsed in scranton, pennsylvania, and his father lost his job, the bidens and nine-year-old joey moved to delaware. >> my dad had an expression. he said, "joey, it's not a question of succeeding when you get knocked down. it's how you get up." >> he attended law school at syracuse university. by 1972 he was elected to the united states senate as a long shot, tell it like it is, 29-year-old. >> i think one of the reasons i won is they have more confidence in me than with other people
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that i will say what i think. >> reporter: weeks later, his wife, nelia, and their daughter were killed in a traffic accident that also injured sons beau and hunter. >> i felt like a piece of me died. >> reporter: biden took the oath of office in a hospita a single-father senator, biden commuted from wilmington to washington aboard amtrak to be home with his kids at night. he met jill jacobs, a teacher, on a blind date in 1975. they married two years later. >> everyone knows i love her and she loves me my name is joe biden. i want to be the democratic sidenee for president of the united states. >states. forreporter: he ran for president in 1987 but dropped out after being accused of plagiarism. a year later he suffered two brain aneurysms but would later write he had no fear of dying. >> judge thomas. >> reporter: biden chaired the clarence thomas supreme court nomination hearings in 1991. last year, he apologized to
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anita hill, who accused thomas of sexual harassment but faced scrutiny and hostility. >> to this day, i regret i couldn't come up with a way to get her the kind of hearing she deserved. >> reporter: he drafted the 1994 crime bill. it pushed crime down but incarceration rates up. >> hi, i'm joe biden, running for president. >> reporter: his 2008 white house campaign went nowhere. >> the vast majority of people in line haven't made up their minds yet. th reporter: when they did, barack obama named biden his running mate. in the white house, biden oversaw stimulus spending and jumped ahead of the president by endorsing gay marriage. >> what this is all about is a simple proposition: who do you love. >> reporter: biden told president obama to wait for better confirmation before launching the raid that killed osama bin laden. memorably he said this about the passage of obama: >> this is a big ( bleep ) deal. ommreporter: biden commits
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verbal gaffes. some innocent... >> we choose truth over facts. s reporter: others less so. >> they're going to put you all back in chains. >> reporter: biden passed on another run for the presidency in 2016 after his son beau died of brain cancer. in 2020, he finished fourth in iowa, fifth in new hampshire, but bounced back to win south carolina. >> and we are very much alive! >> reporter: that propelled him through super tuesday and a pandemic to tonight's acceptance of the democratic nomination. >> so all those who have been knocked down, counted out, left behind, let me say to you, this ur cour campaign! ( cheering ) >> o'donnell: and that's probably many of the themes that we will hear from joe biden tonight as he makes his acceptance speech. let's check in one more time with political correspondent ed o'keefe, who is there in wilmington, delaware. is it a packed parking lot? >> reporter: about as packed as is acceptable these days, with social distancing, yes. as we said earlier, about 150
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car loads of mostly delaware democrats. this is probably the biggest night in delaware political y siory since they were the first state to sign the constitution. so kind of a big deal around here. eut this is what the biden campaign put together very quickly when they realized they could not get to milwaukee for the convention. we're told that biden is now here. will be taking the stage shortly. and watching that great recap from major, i can't help but think back to his 2008 presidential campaign. i was a slightly younger reporter and was one of the few who went to see him at one point in iowa. he was driving around the state in an aerostar van with hunter and two other aides. and was it the morning after ben swrer bhutto was killed in pakistan. we talked about that at length. he went and talked to about 20 people. a few weeks later he was out of the race. four years later he didn't win iowa again, and here he is tonight, again, fulfilling a dream he's had for several decades. >> o'donnell: an important point to make out in his third iny finally winning the democratic nomination.
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ed o'keefe in wilmington, thank you. i want to bring our panel back in. and john dickerson, sort of-- you are becoming now our resident presidential historian and author. >> reporter: that's what i've asked everyone to call me. ( laughter ). >> o'donnell: but you know, because you've-- you know so much about presidents. you've read all these speeches. what makes a good convention speech? >> they're different for each jorson who runs, so joe biden will have a different one. mostly, though, it's-- it's a garment has been stitched for him over the last several nights. he's got all these qualities. well, he has to put that on. the first thing he has to do is walk into the garment that's been prepared for him and fill out some of those things so people know it's not just spin. but this comes from this guy. especially somebody who has been sold over the last several nights as having this kind of core to him that has been with him all his life. but the other thing that's important is he stood at a lot of podiums. he stands at the podium tonight as one of the two people who might be leader of the free world at the end of january next year. people will be looking at him in
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y very different way. and he has to give a sense of command. and finally, hope. this has been a pretty vinegary convention over the last several days, and it's continued into tonight. he has to be able to say that the future will be bright for reasons "x," "y," and "z." and people need to feel that, not just in their head but in their heart. >> o'donnell: i want to bring in marie elena salinas. what about that? how much of this speech really has to be inspirational? i mean, is that what joe biden is good at? >> of course he's good at, that but i think it's going to require a lot more than just being inspirational. we know how empathetic he is. we've been hearing it all week. but, you know, we have heard a lot of attacks from president trump, and he needs to make it very clear that he's not all those things that mr. trump says, that he's not-- he doesn't hate america, that he's not against god, that he is not trying to defund the police, that he will not take your guns away. it's not enough to say he's lying and denying it. i think he needs to spell it out
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and say exactly what he represents and what he has to offer concretely to the american people. >> o'donnell: marie elena salinas, thank you. and margaret brennan, you know, so much of joe biden's appeal is his likeability, that empathy that many people say, when you're sick or if someone in your family dies, he's the first person to reach out. but on the issue of competence and his record. he was chawrm of the senate foreign relations committee. he frequently points out he's met more world leaders than just about anybody else out there. his foreign policy experience is also part of his competency. >> tand he'll make that argument that he's been in the situation room, in addition to all those years in congress. but, look, someone who was in the situation room with him, the former defense secretary, bob says says joe biden has been wrong on foreign policy for 40 years. that said, as we laid out at the beginning of all of this, there are about 100 national security officials who say he will be better than the alternative, no matter what that is. but joe biden will try to paint
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a picture of restoration, restoration of american moral leadership, of global leadership, of being able to rebuild alliances. some of that may be nostalgia, given that the world has mayged, and president trump may be the symptom not a cause of that. but it's argument he needs to make to the american people in the affirmative as to what he will actually do. we haven't heard a lot of that. >> o'donnell: and, jamal, one of i think the tasks for joe biden tonight, when i use the word "inspirational," he also has to be motivational. we have seen donald trump's supporters are much more enthusiastic for him. hillary clinton lost the toectoral college vote because of 70,000 votes in three states, even though she won the popular amer across america. what can he do to do that, excite those demographic groups that need to turn out? >> the are a couple of different populations here. people over the age of 35 or 40, they're motivated. donald trump is their motivation. they're going to show up and get out. people who are in the 18-29,
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18-33-year-old range, they're the ones who are a little dodgier right now on the democratic side. donald trump is going-- i'm sorry, joe biden is going to have to really speak to them about the future agenda, maybe capture as much as he did from that bernie sanders commission they had together. and then to figure out how they move forward in the democratic party around these progressive goals. >> o'donnell: i just wonder how much you can do of that online and on tv and not in person. barnstorming the states, isn't that a way you turn out the vote? rrii forgot, kamala harris. he imported excitement. kamala harris is his excitement. >> and he's pitching to an audience of also of-- he's about to pitch right now. >> o'donnell: and now let's go to wilmington, delaware, to hear from the democrat's choice to be president of the united states, joe biden. >> good evening. ella baker, a giant of the civil rights movement, left us with this wisdom: give people light,
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and they will find the way. give people light. those are words for our time. the current president has cloaked american darkness for much too long. too much anger. too much fear. too much division. here and now, i give you my word, if you entrust me with the presidency, i will draw on the best of us, not the worst. i will be an ally of the light, not the darkness. it's time for us, for we, the people, to come together. and make no mistake-- united we can and will overcome this season of darkness in america. we'll choose hope over fear, facts over fiction, fairness over privilege. i'm a proud democrat. and i'll be proud to carry the banner of our party into the general election.
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so it's with great honor and humility i accept this nomination for president of the united states of america. but while i'll be a democratic candidate, i will be an american president. i'll work hard for those who didn't support me, as hard for them as i did for those who did vote for me. that's the job of a president, to represent all of us, not just our base or our party. this is not a partisan moment. this must be an american moment. it's a moment that calls for hope and light and love, hope for our futures, light to see our way forward, and love for one another. america isn't just a collection of clashing interests, of red states or blue states. we're so much bigger than that. we're so much better than that. nearly a century ago, franklin roosevelt pledged a new deal in
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a time of massive unemployment, uncertainty, and fear. stricken by a disease, stricken by a virus, f.d.r. insisted he would recover and prevail, and he believed america could as well. and he did and we can as well. this campaign isn't just about winning votes. it's about winning the heart and, yes, the soul of america. winning it for the generous among us, not the selfish. winning it for workers who keep this country going, not just the privileged few at the top. winning it for those communities who have known these injustice e a knee on the neck. for all the young people who have known only america being rising inequity and shrinking opportunity. they deserve the experience of america's promise. they deserve to experience it in full. you know, no generation ever
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knows what history will ask of it. all we can ever know is whether we're ready when that moment arrives. and now history has delivered us to one of the most difficult moments america's ever faced. aur, four historic crises, all at the same time, a perfect storm, the worst pandemic in over 100 years. the worst economic crisis since the great depression. the most compelling call for racial justice since the 60s. and the undeniably moralities and just accelerating threats of climate change. so the question for us is simple: are we ready? i believe we are. we must be. you know, all elections are important. we know in our bones this one is more consequential. as many have said, america's at an inflection point, a time of real peril but also of
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extraordinary possibilities. we can choose a path of becomingang rier, less hopeful, more divide. a path of shadow and suspicion, or, or we can choose a different path, and together take this chance to heal, to reform, to unite, a path of hope and light. this is a life-changing election. this will determine what america is going to look like for a long, long time. character is on the ballot. compassion is on the ballot. decency, science, democracy. they're all on the ballot. who we are as a nation, what we stand for, and most importantly, who we want to be. that's all on the ballot. and the choice could not be more clear. no rhetoric is needed. just judge this president on the facts. five million americans infected by covid-19.
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more than 170,000 americans have died. by far, the worst performance of any nation on earth. more than 50 million people have filed for unemployment this year. more than 10 million people are going to lose their health insurance this year. nearly one in six small businesses have closed this year. and this president, if he's reelected, you know what will happen. cases and deaths will remain far too high. more mom and pop businesses will close their doors, and this time for good. working families will struggle to get by. and yet, the wealthiest 1% will get tens of billions of dollars in new tax breaks. and the assault on the affordable care act will continue until it's destroyed, taking insurance away from more than 20 million people, including more than 15 million people on medicaid.
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and getting rid of the protections that president obama worked so hard to get passed for people who have-- 100 million more people who have preexisting conditions. and speaking of president obama, a man i was honored to seb arongside for eight years as vice president, let me take this moment to say something we don't say nearly enough. thank you, mr. president. you were a great president, a president our children could and did look up to. no one's going to say that about the current occupant of the white house. what we know about this president is if he's given four here years, he'll be what he's been for the last four years, a president who takes no responsibility, refuses to lead, blames others, cozies up to dictators and fans the flames of hate and division. he'll wake up every day believing the job is all about him, never about you.
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is that the america you want for you, your family, your children? i see a different america, one that's generous and strong, selfless and humble. it's an america we can rebuild together. as president, the first step i will take will be to get control of the virus that has ruined so many lives. because understand something this president hasn't from the beginning-- we will never get our economy back on track. we will never get our kids safely back in schools. we'll never have our lives back until we deal with this virus. the tragedy of where we are today is it didn't have to be this bad. just look around. it's not this bad in canada or europe or japan, or almost anywhere else in the world. and the president keeps telling us, "the virus is going to disappear." he keeps waiting for a miracle. well, i have news for him-- no
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miracle is coming. we lead the world in confirmed cases. we lead the world in deaths. our economy is in tatters. with black, latino, asian ve amean, native american communities bearing the brunt of it. and after all this time, the president still does not have a plan. well, i do. if i'm your president, on day one, we'll implement the national strategy i've been laying out since march. we'll develop and deploy rapid tests with results available immediately. we'll make the medical supplies and protective equipment that our country needs. we'll make them here in america, so we will never again be at the mercy of china or other foreign countries in order to protect own own people. we'll make sure our schools have the resources they need to be open, safe, and effective.
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wohl put politics aside. we'll take the muzzle off our experts so the public gets the information they need and deserve-- honest, unvarnished truth. they can handle it. we'll have a national mandate to wear a mask, not as a burden but as a patriotic duty to protect one another. in short, we'll do what we should have done from the very beginning. our current president has failed, in his most basic duty to the nation. he's failed to protect us. he's failed to protect america. and my fellow americans, that is unforgivable. as president, i'll make you a promise. i'll protect america. i will defend us from every attack, seen and unseen, always, without exception, every time. look, i understand, i understand
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how hard it is to have any hope right now. on this summer night, let me talk a moment to speak to those of you who have lost the most. i have some idea how it feels to lose someone you love. i know that deep, black hole that opens up in the middle of your chest and you feel like you're being sucked into it. i know how mean and cruel and unfair life can be sometimes. but i've learned two things. first, your loved one may have left this earth, but they'll never leave your heart. they'll always be with you. you'll always hear them. and, second, i found the best way through pain and loss and grief is to find purpose. as god's children, each of us have a purpose in our lives. we have a great purpose as a nation to open the doors of
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opportunity to all americans, to save our democracy, to be a light to the world once again and finally, to live up to and make real the words written in the sacred document that founded this nation, that all men and women are created equal, endowed by their creator, with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. you know, my dad was an honorable, decent man. he got knocked down a few times pretty hard. but he always got back up. d worked hard. and he built a great middle-class life for our family. he used to say, "joey, i don't expect the government to solve my problems, but i sure as hell expect them to understand them." and then he'd say, "joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. it's about your dignity. it's about respect. it's ab


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