Former Vice President Joe Biden formally accepted the Democratic nomination for president of the United States on Thursday, assuming the mantle of party standard-bearer more than 30 years after his first presidential run and vowing to deny President Trump a second term while uniting the country.
"I am a proud Democrat and I will be proud to carry the banner of our party into the general election. So, it is with great honor and humility that I accept this nomination for President of the United States of America," said Biden, who first ran for the White House in 1988. "But while I will be a Democratic candidate, I will be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn't support me as I will for those who did."
Biden, who was introduced by his two surviving children and a recording of his late son Beau, said November's election will "determine what America is going to look like for a long, long time."
"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 of the darkness," he said. "It's time for us, for we the people, to come together."
Biden's speech in Delaware came on the fourth and last day of a Democratic National Convention that was unlike any party gathering in history. Forced to scrap in-person events amid the coronavirus pandemic, the convention was carried out virtually, with a slew of speeches and performances over the course of four nights, including memorable remarks by former President Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama and her potential successor Jill Biden.
After his remarks, Biden emerged on a stage outside the Delaware arena where he delivered the speech, joined by his wife Jill and Senator Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff. A socially distanced crowd had gathered in the parking lot, and dozens of cars honked their horns and flashed their lights as fireworks illuminated the night sky behind the prospective occupants of the White House.
Biden promises to "draw on the best of us" in speech accepting nomination
In his speech accepting the Democratic nomination for president, Biden contrasted his vision for the future to that of President Trump, reiterating the promise he made when he launched his campaign to "restore the soul of America." He cast the election as a battle against darkness, with his candidacy representing a return to the light.
"The current president has cloaked America in darkness for much too long," Biden said, speaking in front of a row of American flags. "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."
Biden said that his presidency would emphasize "hope over fear, facts over fiction, fairness over privilege." He also presented himself as the unifying choice, saying that while he was a proud Democrat, who would work to serve every American as president.
"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," Biden said. He framed the upcoming election as especially consequential, particularly given Mr. Trump's inadequate response to the coronavirus pandemic and other challenges facing the country.
"No generation ever knows what history will ask of it. All we can ever know is whether we're ready when that moment arrives," Biden said. He also praised former President Obama, saying that Mr. Obama would be remembered well by history. He contrasted Mr. Obama with Mr. Trump, whom Biden said "takes no responsibility, refuses to lead, blames others."
"He'll wake up every day believing the job is all about him, never about you. Is that the America you want? For you, your family, your children? I see a different America," Biden said.
Biden promised to begin the work to address the pandemic on day one of his presidency. He said he would "take the muzzle off our experts" and implement a mandate to wear masks as "a patriotic duty to protect one another." Biden blamed Mr. Trump for failing "to protect America," calling it "unforgivable."
"As president I'll make you a promise: I'll protect America. I'll defend us from every attack, seen and unseen, without exception, every time," Biden said.
Biden also drew on one of his strengths as a candidate, empathizing with Americans who have lost loved ones to the virus, given his own history of personal tragedy. "I found the best way through pain and loss and grief is to find purpose," Biden said.
Biden also promised to "protect Social Security and Medicare," and echoed the message of progressives like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, saying "it's long past time the wealthiest people and the biggest corporations in this country pay their fair share."
He emphasized his foreign policy bona fides, saying he would not tolerate foreign election interference. "The days of cozying up to dictators are over,"
Biden also praised his running mate, saying Senator Kamala Harris has "overcome every obstacle she's ever faced."
"Her story is America's story," Biden said about Harris, who is the daughter of immigrants.
Biden referenced the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, which he has previously cited as one of his motivations for running for president. He again condemned the president for saying at the time there were "very fine people on both sides."
"That was a wake-up call for our country, and for me, a call for action. At that moment I knew I had to run," Biden said. He also took the time to briefly address issues of racial justice, raising the recent death of George Floyd while in police custody, which inspired nationwide protests.
"In this dark moment, I believe we're poised to make great progress again. That we can find the light once more," Biden said. "This is a battle we will win, and we'll do it together."
Read the full text of the speechor watch it in the player below:
Hunter and Ashley Biden introduce their father
Hunter and Ashley Biden, Biden's two surviving children, gave a taped introduction to their father. Biden's eldest son, Beau, died of cancer in 2015. Biden, whose life has been marked by tragedy, lost his first wife and daughter in a car crash in 1972.
Biden's two children made the case that their father is strong, caring and a best friend.
"He's been a great father," Hunter Biden said.
"And we think he'll be a great president," Ashley Biden said.
Hunter Biden, who has struggled with substance abuse, has been a target of the president and his allies due to the money he earned as a board member on Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma.
Hunter and Ashley Biden spoke fondly of their late brother, who like his father lived a life spent in public service.
Watch Hunter and Ashley Biden's introduction in the player below:
Bloomberg: "Why the hell would we ever rehire Donald Trump for another 4 years?"
Former presidential candidate and billionaire Michael Bloomberg painted the contrast between Mr. Trump and Biden.
"The two people running for president couldn't be more different. One believes in facts. The other does not," Bloomberg said, claiming Mr. Trump doesn't listen to medical experts.
"He has failed the American people, catastrophically," Bloomberg said.
The virus didn't have to claim so many lives, he said.
"It didn't have to be this way," Bloomberg said.
The former New York mayor said voters need to judge Mr. Trump on his job performance.
"Why the hell would we ever rehire Donald Trump for another 4 years?" he said.
It's time to bring an end to this "sorry" chapter in American history, he said.
Buttigieg lauds Biden for early support of gay marriage
In his speech for the convention, Mayor Pete Buttigieg praised his former rival for the Democratic nomination for being one of the first prominent officials to support marriage equality.
"Love makes my marriage real, but political courage made it possible — including that of Joe Biden, who stepped out ahead of even this party when he said that marriage equality should be the law of the land," Buttigieg said. He noted that 10 years ago, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was still in place.
"If so much can change between 2010 and 2020, imagine what 2030 could look like," Buttigieg said. "Imagine what we could achieve — the coalition we are building this very season, gathering progressives and moderates, independents and even former Republicans, to help build a future where everyone belongs."
Buttigieg said that he had seen Biden and Harris' empathy up close on the campaign trail, and how he trusted them to usher in a better future.
"I trust the capacity of America to grow more inclusive, because I have lived it," Buttigieg said.
Watch Buttigieg's full speech in the player below:
Senator Tammy Duckworth, a veteran, calls Trump the "coward in chief"
Senator Tammy Duckworth, a veteran whose legs were blown off in Iraq, said a commander knows to put their troops first. A commander must be worth of those who serve under them, she said, and military spouses hold those families together.
"Joe Biden understands these sacrifices because he's made them himself," Duckworth said.
Biden's late son, Beau, served in the National Guard and was deployed to Iraq.
"He understands their bravery because he has had to muster that same strength every hour of every day Beau was overseas," Duckworth said.
But Mr. Trump, she said, is a "coward in chief" who won't stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Joe Biden would stand up for what's right, stand tall for our troops, and stand strong against our enemies," she said.
Duckworth insisted now is the time to vote Mr. Trump out of the commander's chair.
"Donald Trump doesn't deserve to call himself commander in chief for another four minutes, let alone another four years," she said.
Convention pays tribute to John Lewis
Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says Biden will help country overcome the pandemic
In an unusual appearance by a health official, former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy endorsed Biden in a speech at the convention. Murthy said that Biden was the best leader to guide the nation during the ongoing pandemic.
"Our nation absolutely has what it takes to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic," said Murthy, who served as surgeon general from 2014 to 2017. "What we're missing is leadership."
Murthy said that Biden would work with states, oversee the development of a vaccine and encourage social distancing and proper hygiene.
"That's why I'm here tonight. Not because of politics or party, but because I know Joe Biden can be that leader," Murthy said.
"Together, we will rise," Cory Booker says
Former presidential candidate Senator Cory Booker said it's only together that the nation will rise from our current struggles.
But American workers are under attack, Booker said. The New Jersey senator blasted the president for saying the economy is doing well, while millions are out of work.
Booker said Biden and Harris know the dignity of every job. They will fight to raise the minimum wage, and stand alongside those who work with their hands, Booker said.
"Together, we will rise," the senator said.
Most of the former 2020 presidential candidates have appeared in some form during the convention.
Chris Coons emphasizes Biden's faith in convention address
Senator Chris Coons, who inherited Biden's Delaware Senate seat, spoke extensively about Biden's faith and how it informs his politics.
"More than anything, Joe is a man of faith and conscience. He'll be a president for Americans of all faiths, as well as people of conscience who practice no particular faith," Coons said. "Joe's faith is really about our future, about a world with less suffering and more justice, where we're better stewards of creation, where we have a more just immigration policy, and where we call out and confront the original sins of this nation, the sins of slavery and racism."
Coons talked about how Biden, who is Catholic, knows "that it's faith that sustains so many ordinary Americans who do extraordinary things." He said Americans deserved a "servant leader" who will work for them.
"We need a president who brings people of all faiths together to tackle our challenges, rebuild our country and restore our humanity. Someone who knows we're called to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. Joe Biden will be that president," Coons said.
Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang: "Our future is now, and it is daunting"
Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who ran a campaign advocating a universal basic income, pointed to how dark the times are.
Students are struggling to learn from home, and 72% of Americans believe this is the worst time they have ever experienced, he said.
"We are in a deep dark hole and we need leaders who will help us dig out," Yang said.
Yang made an appeal to those who voted for Mr. Trump in 2016, saying, "I get it."
"But we must give this country, our country, a chance to recover," he added.
Yang described Biden and Harris as parents and patriots who want what is best for the nation.
"Our future is now, and it is daunting," Yang said, adding that Americans can fight for the promise of America by voting.
Watch Yang's full speech in the player below:
Obama implores young people to vote in Twitch stream appearance
Former President Barack Obama delivered a brief address for a convention pre-show on the streaming platform Twitch, appealing to young people to vote in November. Mr. Obama's speech came after appearances from Snoop Dogg, T.I., Rapsody and other popular artists.
"If you can, vote early, in person or by mail," Mr. Obama said. "Now is the time to safeguard our democracy."
The convention has been marked by efforts to reach out to young voters, and the event itself has featured performances from popular artists such as Billie Eilish and John Legend.
California Governor Gavin Newsom: "There is so much at stake in this election"
California Governor Gavin Newsom, appearing from a forest in California while wildfires ravage the state, insisted that climate change is indeed real. The Golden State has experienced 11,000 dry lightning strikes over a 24-hour period.
"Climate change is real. If you are in denial about climate change, come to California," he said.
Mother nature has "joined this conversation around climate change," he said.
Mr. Trump has attributed California's fires to the state's failure to rake enough leaves. That, Newsom said, can't be made up. But it's more than climate change that matters in this election, Newsom said. There is "so much at stake," and voters have a choice to make change, he suggested.
"The future isn't something to experience, it's something to manifest," Newsom said.
Watch Newsom's full speech in the player below:
Sarah Cooper, popular Trump impersonator, to appear at convention
Sarah Cooper, whose lip-synced impressions of the president have gained popularity on Twitter, is set to appear at the convention Thursday evening. She will share an impression tonight, along with a serious message urging people not to believe the president's disinformation about voting this fall, the Biden campaign confirmed to CBS News.
The Democratic National Convention Committee released a preview clip of Cooper's impersonation that will air tonight.
11-year-old girl whose mom was deported under the Trump administration slammed the president in her DNC speech
An 11-year-old Florida girl whose mother was deported under President Trump read a blistering letter directed at him during the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night. It's been two years since Estela Juarez's mother, Alejandra, had to leave the United States, where she'd lived for over 20 years.
In a two-minute video that aired during the DNC, Estela told her family's story: Her mom arrived in the U.S. as a teen, worked hard and paid taxes, and married her father, Temo Juarez, a naturalized citizen who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Estela said her dad voted for Mr. Trump in 2016 because he thought he would protect military families. Now, he won't vote for him again, said Estela.
"Instead of protecting us, you tore our world apart," she said.
Read more here.
Biden still "reviewing" speech before the convention
CBS News confirms that Biden this week has been rehearsing his address before the Democratic convention, and still "reviewing" it today, ahead of the speech tonight.
Senior advisers say he will deliver a speech framed around his campaign message that this election is the "battle for the soul of America."
Biden's main focus will not be on refuting Mr. Trump, but he will speak to what he sees as faults of Trump's leadership, as he has throughout his 483-day campaign.
A senior adviser said Biden will call upon more specifics of his "Build Back Better" plans to boost manufacturing, spark a "green energy" economy and kick start his "21st century caregiving" agenda if he wins.
He will also speak to the racial justice crisis as he sees this moment as evidence for the fight for the country's soul.
His daughter, Ashley, and his son, Hunter, will also be addressing the convention.
Elizabeth Warren included a Black Lives Matter tribute in her DNC speech that you might have missed
Elizabeth Warren had several hidden messages in the background during her Democratic National Convention speech Wednesday night, including a nod to Black Lives Matter. Warren, a former public school teacher, delivered her address from an elementary school in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The classroom where she gave her remarks was decorated with plenty of "Easter eggs." As she spoke, some viewers caught sight of the children's letter blocks on shelves spelling out BLM — shorthand for Black Lives Matter. The Democratic senator and former presidential candidate has focused on issues of racial inequality and injustice in the past.
Read more here.
Kamala Harris: "We have a chance to change the course of history"
In herthe Democratic vice presidential nomination, Harris emphasized family values and party unity in her speech before the convention. She used her speech to introduce herself to the country, while also showing how she may balance Biden on the presidential ticket.
Harris, the first Black vice presidential candidate and South Asian vice presidential candidate and only the third woman vice presidential candidate, praised women activists of the past as founders of the country.
"The paved the way for the trail-blazing leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton," Harris said, mentioning women such as Mary Church Terrell and Shirley Chisholm. "We're not often taught their stories, but as Americans, we all stand on their shoulders."
Harris also spoke about the influence of her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, who was active in the civil rights movement in the San Francisco area in the 1960s.
"She raised us to be proud, strong Black women, and she raised us to know and be proud of our Indian heritage," Harris said about her mother. "My mother taught me that service to others gives life purpose and meaning."
"I accept your nomination for vice president of the United States of America. I do so committed to the values she taught me. To the word that teaches me to walk by faith and not by sight. And to a vision cast by generations of Americans — one that Joe Biden shares," Harris continued.
Harris also used her speech to contrast Biden's governing style with Mr. Trump's "failure of leadership," signaling that she may adopt the role of attack dog on the campaign trail.
Harris portrayed Biden's vision for the nation and for the future as one of hope and one which embraces all, rather than the more divisive approach taken by Mr. Trump.
Biden's is "a vision of our nation as a beloved community — where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love," Harris said. "Today, that country feels distant. Donald Trump's failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods."
Mr. Trump's "incompetence" and "callousness" in his response to the issues facing the country falls short of what is needed to face this moment, Harris argued. She said structural racism was at the root of inequities in income, health care, and criminal justice.
"Let's be clear: there is no vaccine for racism. We have got to do the work. For George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor, for the lives of too many others to name," Harris said, referencing Black Americans recently killed by police officers.
"We can do better and deserve so much more. We must elect a president who will bring something different, something better, and do the important work," Harris said. "A president who will bring all of us together — Black, White, Latino, Asian, Indigenous — to achieve the future we collectively want."
Like others before her, she also reminded voters of Biden's ability to empathize with the struggles of Americans, compared to Mr. Trump.
"Right now, we have a president who turns our tragedies into political weapons. Joe will be a president who turns our challenges into purpose," Harris said. "Joe and I believe that we can build that beloved community, one that is strong and decent, just and kind. One in which we all can see ourselves."
She encouraged voters to turn out for Biden, saying that "when we vote, we expand access to health care, expand access to the ballot box, and ensure that more working families can make a decent living."
"In this election, we have a chance to change the course of history. We're all in this fight. You, me, and Joe — together," Harris said. "So, let's fight with conviction. Let's fight with hope. Let's fight with confidence in ourselves, and a commitment to each other. To the America we know is possible, the America we love."
Watch Harris' full speech in the player below:
Trump tweets about Obama in all caps during former president's convention speech
President Trump appeared to be watching the DNC programming Wednesday night, tweeting about his predecessor as he spoke without mentioning him by name.
"HE SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN, AND GOT CAUGHT!" Mr. Trump exclaimed in all caps.
"WHY DID HE REFUSED TO ENDORSE SLOW JOE UNTIL IT WAS ALL OVER, AND EVEN THEN WAS VERY LATE?" he tweeted a few minutes later. "WHY DID HE TRY TO GET HIM NOT TO RUN?"
In his speech, Mr. Obama said of the sitting president. "Donald Trump hasn't grown into the job, because he can't," he said. "The consequences of that failure are severe."
Obama says Trump "hasn't grown into the job because he can't"
Former President Barack Obama slammed his successor in his speech for the Democratic convention, saying that President Trump "hasn't grown into the job" of being president "because he can't."
Mr. Obama delivered his strongest rebuke of Mr. Trump yet from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. Mr. Obama, who rarely critiques the current president by name, did not hesitate Wednesday night.
"For close to four years now, he's shown no interest in putting in the work; no interest in finding common ground; no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends; no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves," Mr. Obama said.
But Mr. Obama also made the case for Biden, a man he worked alongside over two terms in the White House.
"For eight years, Joe was the last one in the room whenever I faced a big decision. He made me a better president – and he's got the character and the experience to make us a better country," Mr. Obama said. "And in my friend Kamala Harris, he's chosen an ideal partner who's more than prepared for the job; someone who knows what it's like to overcome barriers and who's made a career fighting to help others live out their own American dream."
The former president urged Americans to make a plan, today, tonight, to vote.
"You can give our democracy new meaning. You can take it to a better place," he said. "You're the missing ingredient – the ones who will decide whether or not America becomes the country that fully lives up to its creed. That work will continue long after this election. But any chance of success depends entirely on the outcome of this election."
Read the full speech here or watch it in the player below: