As Joe Biden accepted the Democratic Party nomination for the White House on Thursday, he praised his running mate Kamala Harris during his acceptance speech, describing the senator from California as a “powerful voice” in the US as he pointed out to her “American story.”
Harris is the first Indian-American and Black woman to get a major party’s vice presidential nomination. The 55-year-old former California attorney general got the nomination on the third day of the virtual Democratic National Convention on Wednesday.
“It will be the work of the next president to restore the promise of America to everyone. And I am not going to have to do it alone. I will have a great vice president at my side,” Biden said in his acceptance speech on Thursday.
The 77-year-old Biden talked about Harris’ diverse family, her parents are Jamaican and Indian, heritage and her perseverance to “overcome every obstacle she has ever faced.” “Her story is the American story. She knows about all of the obstacles thrown in the way of so many in our country. Women, Black women, Black Americans, South Asian Americans, immigrants. The left out and the left behind. She has overcome every obstacle she has ever faced,” he said on the last day of the four-day Democratic National Convention.
“No one has been tougher on big banks and the gun lobby. No one has been tougher on calling out the current administration for its extremism, its failure to follow the law, it’s failure to simply tell the truth. Kamala and I both draw from our families. That is where we get our strength. For Kamala, it is Doug, and their families. For me, it is Jill, and ours,” Biden said.
Introducing herself as the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants at the virtual convention on Wednesday, Harris fondly remembered her Chennai-born mother who she said taught her two daughters to “be conscious and compassionate about the struggles of all people” and to believe that “the fight for justice is a shared responsibility.”
“One of the most powerful voices we hear in the country today is from our young people. They’re speaking to the inequity and injustice that has grown up in America. Economic injustice. Racial injustice. Environmental injustice,” Biden said.
“I hear their voices and if you listen, you can hear them too. And whether it’s the existential threat posed by climate change, the daily fear of being gunned down in school, or the inability to get started in their first job — it will be the work of the next president to restore the promise of America to everyone,” he said.
Later, Harris said in a tweet that Biden will be an incredible president. “Tonight, Joe Biden spoke to the moment. Just like he’ll do as president for our country,” she tweeted.
“You’re going to make an incredible president. America, we need your help to make that happen. As Joe Biden reminds us, character, compassion, decency—they’re all on the ballot in November. Who we are and who we want to be are on the line,” she also said in a fund-raising email and tweet.
Soon after Biden concluded his speech, Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff joined him and his wife Jill Biden. The couples stepped onto an outside stage and embraced as they watched the fireworks light up the sky.
Biden delivered his speech inside a largely empty arena in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, at the conclusion of a Democratic convention held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 170,000 Americans.
Before Biden stepped off, reporters shouted: “How do you feel?”. he pulled down his face mask and yelled: “Welcome to Wilmington!”
(With agency inputs)