Biden Gives Campaign-Style Speech In Ohio, Calls Midterms A Battle for the ‘Character of the Nation’

Former Vice President Joe Biden came to Ohio Saturday to campaign for Ohio Democrats just three days before what he said is the “biggest off-year election you’ll ever vote in.”

Without ever mentioning President Trump by name, the former vice president accused him of running an immoral government based on “abuse of power.”

Biden focused his speech, delivered at Valley Forge High School in Parma Heights, on the middle class. He said the Democratic Party has always been a representative for the values of those in the middle, protecting them from those who seek to abuse and exploit in the interest of “greed.”

He went on to claim that Medicare and Social Security would be cut from the elderly if Republicans are able to keep control of Congress in Tuesday’s midterms.

“If we lose, I promise you, you’re gonna see cuts. Senator [Mitch] McConnell, in a burst of honesty, you have to give him credit, at least he was honest, said in order to deal with this deficit, that they created, there are going to have to be more cuts in Medicare and Social Security. My dad would call that the abuse of power,” Biden suggested, though President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he would not accept cuts to Medicare or Social Security.

Biden urged voters to “examine your conscience” before walking into the voting booth, while those in the audience started a chant of “2020!” in a call for Biden to run against Trump.

“Let’s take care of 2018 first,” Biden responded.

“Here’s the deal guys. Think of the one reason that made you Democrats. It’s because you can’t stand the abuse of power, where the wealthy are taking advantage of everyone else,” Biden said. “We’re not pure, we’re not always right, but one of the things we always stood for is give every American a fighting chance,” he said.

“Just don’t make it so tilted. Ordinary people can do extraordinary things if given a chance. Just given half a chance,” Biden continued.

Watch Biden’s entire speech here.

Biden went on to suggest that a vote for Democrats in the midterms would “reset the moral compass” of the nation.

“We have to reset the moral compass on Tuesday, we can do that on Tuesday,” he said. “I’m an optimist, because I know the history of the journey of the American people, and the truth is I’m more optimistic today than at any other time,” Biden continued.

“America is in a better position to lead the world. We have the largest economy, we’re energy independent, we have the strongest military in the history of the world, and the best research universities in the world. And we have more research universities in America than the rest of the world combined,” the former vice president claimed.

He also addressed Trump’s attacks on China, noting that 30 to 40 percent of China’s waterways are polluted and Chinese people will be diagnosed with more cases of cancer in the next decade “than all the rest of the world combined.”

“So the idea that China is going to eat our lunch? Give me a break. The only things strong enough to tear America apart are in America. And we’ve got to stop it, right now! And that’s what Tuesday is all about,” he said.

‘There’s something big’ about Tuesday

Biden stressed the importance of Democrats getting to the polls on Tuesday if the want to save their country.

“Tuesday is almost here and you all know in your gut there’s something big about this year’s election; it’s the most important off-year election you will have ever voted in,” he said. “The very character of our nation is on the ballot Tuesday. It really is.”

He went on to suggest that the world will be watching, and rooting for Democrats.

“Folks, it’s not just Americans who are looking, the world is looking,” he said. “They really are. I’ve done more foreign policy work, and I’ve met with world leaders and they’re asking me what is going on [in America].”

Biden then slammed President Trump’s concept of “America first” as selfish and wrong, and couldn’t resist comparing Trump to the Nazis.

“The only way they can maintain power is if they convince us that these basic American ideals don’t matter that much,” he said. “You gotta ask yourself, what is it about this nation that made us the greatest in the world? America was built by leaders, Republican and Democrat, who had integrity, were decent human beings that had empathy.

Battle for America’s soul

After the violent uprising in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, Biden penned a popular op-ed in Atlantic magazine in which he said that “we’re in a battle for America’s soul.”

“As we watched neo-Nazis carrying torches and chanting the same anti-Semitic bile that was chanted in Nuremberg, the same exact chants accompanied by David Duke’s klan … And what happened? The president of the United States assigned a moral equivalency between those dark forces and those  opposing them,” Biden wrote.

Mandi Merritt, the Ohio spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, said Biden’s speech was unlikely to change any minds or convince any Republican-leaning Ohioans to vote for Democrats.

“For the second time this week, Richard Cordray and Sherrod Brown are bringing in Joe Biden to try and gin up support from their base,” she said. “This seems curious, as Ohioans soundly rejected the failing policies of the Obama administration in 2016 that led to higher taxes, increased regulations and less jobs for Ohioans. If Joe Biden is the Democrats’ winning strategy this midterm season to counter the surge of Republican enthusiasm, then I like our chances on November 6th.”

– – –

Anthony Accardi is a writer and reporter for The Ohio Star.

Related posts