PHILADELPHIA — Even Republicans know that their presidential nominee "betrays" American values, Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday night.
Biden offered a blistering takedown of the GOP's 2016 choice, businessman Donald Trump, on the third night of the Democratic National Convention.
Once considered a potential Democratic presidential contender, Biden silenced and enraptured convention-goers as he praised the "American values" that middle-class voters identify with and used them as an argument against Trump.
“No major party nominee in the history of this nation has ever known less or has been less prepared to deal with our national security,” Biden said from Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Arena. “We cannot elect a man who exploits our fears of ISIS and other terrorists, who has no plan to make us safer."
Trump "embraces the tactics of our enemies," Biden said, like torture and religious intolerance.
“You know, all the Republicans know, that’s not who we are,” he continued. “It betrays our values and alienates those who we need in the fight against ISIS. Donald Trump, with all his rhetoric, would literally make us less safe.”
The Delaware native, who went off-script several times during his speech, instructed the crowd not to boo or cheer as he slammed Trump for his "unbounded" cynicism.
“His lack of empathy and compassion can be summed up in the phrase I suspect he’s proud of having made famous — ‘you’re fired,’” Biden said. “Think about everything you’ve learned as a child no matter where you were raised. How can there be pleasure in saying, ‘you’re fired?’”
[sharequote="center"]“You know, all the Republicans know, that’s not who we are. It betrays our values and alienates those who we need in the fight against ISIS."[/sharequote]
Convention attendees broke out into chants of “USA” and echoed statement like “not a clue” throughout Biden’s address, especially when he excoriated Trump for not understanding enough about the middle class.
“When the middle class does well, the rich does really well, and the poor has hope, a way up,” Biden said. “[Trump] has no clue about what makes America great. He has no clue, period.”
But aside from his takedown of the Republican presidential nominee, Biden praised the Democrat’s own candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who he said had breakfast at his house once a week during her tenure in the State Department.
“Everybody knows she’s smart. Everybody knows she’s tough, but I know what she’s passionate about. I know Hillary Clinton,” he said.
“Let me say it as clearly as I can,” Biden continued. “If you live in the neighborhoods like the one Jill and I grew up in, if you worry about your job and decent pay, if you worry about your children’s education, if you’re taking care of an elderly parent, then there’s only one person in this election who can help you. There’s only one person in this race who is there, has always been there for you, and that’s Hillary Clinton’s life story.”
He added, “It’s not just who she is. It’s her life story. She’s always there, she’s always been there.”
In his final speech to a Democratic convention as vice president, Biden detailed about the pain of losing late son Beau Biden to brain cancer in 2015. He also praised other Americans for enduring hardships in their own lives.
“We think about the countless thousands of other people who have suffered so much more than we have, who have so much less support, so much less reason to go on,” Biden said. “But they get up every morning, every day. They put one foot in front of the other. They keep going. That’s the unbreakable spirit of the people of America; that’s who we are.”
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