Biden calls for unity at kick-off rally

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 18, 2019 - Duration: 02:04s

Biden calls for unity at kick-off rally

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday held a presidential-style rally intended to make his march toward becoming the Democrat to take on President Donald Trump seem inevitable.

Jonah Green is on the story.

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Biden calls for unity at kick-off rally

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JOE BIDEN: “Let’s stop fighting, and start fixing!” Joe Biden kicked off his presidential campaign in earnest Saturday at a rally in Philadelphia, calling for unity amid partisan rancor.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JOE BIDEN: "They say Democrats are so angry that the angrier a Democrat can be, the better chance he or she has at winning the Democratic nomination.

Well, I don't believe it.” The former Vice President is enjoying a comfortable lead over his democratic rivals, and is honing the broadest message possible to counter President Trump.

Reuters's James Oliphant was at Saturday’s rally.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) JAMES OLIPHANT: "Biden’s bet is that most Democratic voters are not the voters you see on Twitter.

That they are ordinary Americans who don’t pay a lot of attention to Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, or Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders and all these progressive proposals that we see in Washington.

Instead, Biden is betting that his centrist approach, his moderate approach, is going to win the majority of democrats and then once in the general election, maybe swing over some Republicans and Democrats as well." The former VP tried to make the case that consensus was essential for getting anything done.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JOE BIDEN: "Some people are saying Biden doesn't get it…you can't work with Republicans anymore.

That's not the way it works anymore.

Well, folks, I'm going to say something outrageous: I know how to make government work." But Biden’s approach is not all "hopey-changey", and he made sure to let his supporters know that he could match the president's pugilistic nature.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JOE BIDEN: "Our politics today traffics in division.

And our president is the divider-in-chief...President Trump inherited an economy from the Obama/Biden administration, that was given to him, just like he inherited everything in his life." And while Biden has opened up a more than 20-point lead over his nearest rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, Democratic nominating contests begin next February, giving the dynamics of the race plenty of time to shift.

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