WILMINGTON, Del. — Joe Biden officially accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for president Thursday night, speaking not from a boisterous arena but from a quiet stage near his hometown in Delaware.
“Too much anger, too much fear, too much division,” Biden said. “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’ll be an ally of the light, not the darkness. It’s time for us -- for we the people -- to come together.”
Biden, 77, the oldest candidate to accept a presidential nomination from a major U.S. political party, made his acceptance speech at Chase Center in Wilmington. Biden and his running mate, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, will attempt to unseat incumbent President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in November’s general election.
“Character is on the ballot,” Biden said. “Compassion is on the ballot. Decency, science, democracy. They’re all on the ballot.”
Biden’s children, Ashley Biden and Hunter Biden, spoke just before their father accepted the nomination.
“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 him. He’ll tell you the truth even when you don’t want to hear it. He’ll never let you down,” they said together. “He’s been a great father, and we think he will be a great president.”
Biden took a shot at Trump during his speech, noting that, “The current president’s cloaked American darkness for much too long.”
Biden added that if Trump was re-elected, he would “wake up every day believing the job is all about him, never about you.”
“Is that the America you want for you, for your family, your children?” Biden said. “I see it differently -- one that’s generous and strong, selfless and humble. It’s an America we can rebuild together.”
Biden also paid tribute to Harris, his running mate who became the first Black woman and South Asian to be nominated by a major U.S. political party.
“Her story is the American story. She knows about all of the obstacles thrown in the way of so many in our country,” Biden said. “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.”
The night featured tributes to civil rights activist and congressman John Lewis, who died in July. In an emotional segment, there also was a tribute to Beau Biden, Joe Biden’s son who died in 2015. Beau Biden served as Delaware’s attorney general.
NBA star Stephen Curry and his family also contributed a video supporting Biden.
Earlier Thursday, the Biden campaign released a clip of the video that introduced the former vice president before his speech.
The video clip was produced by Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim, CNN reported.
Biden has run for president three times, in 1988, 2008 and this year. His 1988 campaign was derailed by a plagiarism scandal, and 20 years later he was stopped by then-Sen. Barack Obama, CNN reported.
Trump told Fox News commentator Sean Hannity that he planned to watch Biden’s speech.
“I will. I’ll watch,” Trump said. “I might not be able to watch all of it, but I’m going to be watching.”
Speakers who preceded Biden were Andrew Yang, Sen. Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg and Mike Bloomberg, along with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Tammy Baldwin.
Thursday’s theme was “America’s Promise,” and the evening featured remarks from Hunter Biden and Ashley Biden, and musical performances from John Legend and Common.
In another video, 13-year-old Brayden Harrington, of Concord, New Hampshire, spoke about the bond he shared with Biden over stuttering.
“He told me about a book of poems by (William Butler) Yeats he would read out loud to practice,” Harrington said in the video. “He showed me how he marks his addresses to make them easier to say out loud, so I did the same thing today.”
Biden closed his speech by urging citizens to get “united in our love for each other.”
“Let us begin, you and I together, one nation under God, united in our love for America, united in our love for each other,” Biden said. “For love is more powerful than hate. Hope is more powerful than fear, and light is more powerful than dark. This is our moment. This is our mission.”
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