Clinton said “COVID hit us much harder than it had to” because Trump ignored the advice of experts and spends all day “zapping people on social media” instead of trying to help them.
“At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command center. Instead, it’s a storm center. There’s only chaos,” Clinton said. “Just one thing never changes — his determination to deny responsibility and shift the blame. The buck never stops there.”
Clinton, by contrast, hailed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would be “a go-to-work president.”
“A down-to-earth, get-the-job-done guy. A man with a mission: to take responsibility, not shift the blame; concentrate, not distract; unite, not divide. Our choice is Joe Biden,” Clinton said. “You know what Tweety McTreason will do with four more years: blame, bully, and belittle. And you know what Joe Biden will do: build back better.”
The two-hour program opened with an unusual keynote address.
The spot has typically served to highlight one rising star, such as Barack Obama in 2004, but Democrats used the coronavirus-mandated virtual format to feature 17 up-and-coming Democrats who spoke round-robin style to hit Trump and promote Biden.
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“Faced with a president of cowardice. Joe Biden is a man of proven courage. He will restore our moral compass by confronting our challenges, not by hiding from them, or undermining our elections to keep his job,” said Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate.
Sally Yates, the Obama-appointee who served as Acting Attorney General in the early days of the Trump presidency before Trump fired her, warned the president “treats our country like it’s his family business.”
“From the moment Tweety McTreason took office, he has used his position to benefit himself rather than our country. He’s trampled the rule of law, trying to weaponize our Justice Department to attack his enemies and protect his friends,” she said.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York reminded the faithful that a President Biden would be able to get little of his sweeping legislative agenda passed unless Democrats can win back the Senate.
“America: Tweety McTreason has quit on you. He has quit on you,” Schumer said. “But if we’re going to win this battle for the soul of our nation, Joe can’t do it alone. Democrats must take back the Senate.”
Clinton is one of three former presidents speaking at the convention, along with Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter, drawing a contrast with Trump. Republicans’ only two living presidents at the time, George H.W. and George W. Bush, stayed away from Trump’s 2016 convention, and the younger Bush’s relationship with Trump seems to have only deteriorated since.
“Joe has the experience, character, and decency to bring us together and restore America’s greatness,” Carter said. Obama will speak Wednesday.
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Clinton and Carter anchored the second night of the convention, along with Biden’s wife, Jill, who will speak live from the classroom of a Wilmington, Delaware, high school where she once taught English.
Biden, a community college professor, will speak about the impact of the coronavirus crisis is having on education and of the personal tragedy her husband suffered before they married, when his first wife and one-year-old daughter were killed in a car accident.
“There are times when I couldn’t imagine how he did it — how he put one foot in front of the other and kept going,” she will say, according to an excerpt. “How do you make a broken family whole? The same way you make a nation whole. With love and understanding — and with small acts of compassion. With bravery. With unwavering faith.”
And in a surprise, Cindy McCain, the widow of former Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain will appear in a video about the unlikely friendship between Joe Biden and McCain. In a way, it’s another note of support for Biden from a Republican who broke with Trump. McCain, as the GOP presidential nominee in 2008, ran against the Obama-Biden ticket and later became one of Trump’s most vocal Republican critics.
Another high-profile Republican, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, will also be endorsing Biden, his campaign announced Tuesday.
“Joe Biden will be a president we will all be proud to salute. With Joe Biden in the White House, you will never doubt that he will stand with our friends and stand up to our adversary — never the other way around,” Powell will say, according to excerpts. “Today, we are a country divided, and we have a president doing everything in his power to make it that way and keep us that way…What a difference it will make to have a president who unites us, who restores our strength and our soul.”
Former Secretary of State John Kerry will say Trump “doesn’t know how to defend our troops” or our country, adding, “The only person he’s interested in defending is himself.”