Biden urges Americans to come together to face the crises of the moment as he accepts the Democratic presidential nomination

REUTERS/Kevin LamarqueThe 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden.
  • Joe Biden officially accepted the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday night with the most significant speech of his career.
  • The former vice president used his speech to lay out his broad policy agenda in areas such as healthcare and climate change while framing himself as a bipartisan leader for a fractured country.
  • “America’s entered an inflection point: a time of real peril, but also extraordinary possibilities,” he said. “This is a life-changing election. This will determine what America will look like for a long, long time.”
  • He accused President Donald Trump of failing to address four concurrent crises: the pandemic, the economic collapse, racial inequity, and climate change.
  • “Our president has failed in his most basic duty to the nation: He’s failed to protect us,” Biden said. “And that is unforgivable.”
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Joe Biden officially accepted the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday night with the most significant speech of his half a century in politics.

The former vice president used his speech to lay out his broad policy agenda in areas such as healthcare and climate change while framing himself as a bipartisan leader for a fractured country.

“While I’ll be a Democratic candidate, I’ll be an American president,” he said. “I’ll work hard for those who didn’t support me. This is not a partisan moment – it’s a moment that calls for hope and light and love.”

Biden focused on his oft-repeated campaign promise to “restore the soul of this nation.”

“America’s entered an inflection point: a time of real peril, but also extraordinary possibilities,” he said, delivering the Democratic National Convention keynote from an event centre near his home in Delaware. “This is a life-changing election. This will determine what America will look like for a long, long time.”

With the country reeling from the dual crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic disaster, Biden made the case that national leadership was sorely missing. He accused President Donald Trump of failing to address four concurrent crises: the pandemic, the economic collapse, racial inequity, and climate change.

“Our president has failed in his most basic duty to the nation: He’s failed to protect us,” he said. “And that is unforgivable.”

He ended on a hopeful note, arguing that the country was ready to take on historic challenges.

“In this dark moment I believe we’re poised to make great progress again, that we can find the light once more,” he said.

The president aggressively attacked Biden during a campaign rally near Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, on Thursday afternoon. Trump called the Democratic presidential candidate “a puppet of the radical-left movement that seeks to destroy the American way of life.”

The president argued that the “survival of our nation” is at stake in November, turning around a stark warning former President Barack Obama delivered earlier this week about Trump’s attacks on democracy.

Recent national opinion polling has Biden ahead of Trump by an average of 7 percentage points.

Biden’s speech ended the four-day Democratic convention, which featured speeches from a slew of Democratic heavy-hitters, programming focused on Biden’s plans and the consequences of Trump’s policies, and a series of musical performances.

During Wednesday night’s schedule, Obama delivered a searing, emotional indictment of Trump and urgently called on Americans to take action to save American democracy.

“This president and those in power – those who benefit from keeping things the way they are – they are counting on your cynicism,” Obama said. “They know they can’t win you over with their policies, so they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.”

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