Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama will deliver blistering critiques of President Trump’s leadership at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night and warn Democrats too much is on the line of they don’t mobilize for Joe Biden, according to excerpts from their speeches.
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Clinton, who the lost the White House to Trump four years ago after slim margins of defeat in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, will tell Democrats they must turn out this time for their Democratic nominee because “lives and livelihoods are on the line.”
“For four years, people have said to me, ‘I didn’t realize how dangerous he was,'” Clinton said of Trump in prepared remarks. “‘I wish I could go back and do it over.’ Or worst, ‘I should have voted.’ Well, this can’t be another woulda coulda shoulda election.”
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Clinton urged Democrats to request their mail-in ballots now, to vote early and to get involved. “Most of all, no matter what, vote. Vote like our lives and livelihoods are on the line, because they are,” Clinton is expected to say.
Obama, the two-term president, will speak from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia — a location selected to underscore his message that democracy itself is at stake in this election.
Obama said in prepared remarks that Trump can’t do the job of president and “the consequences of that failure are severe,” citing the coronavirus pandemic death toll, economic downturn, America’s reputation “badly diminished” and democratic institutions undermined.
Obama said he hoped that his successor “might show some interest in taking the job seriously; that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care.”
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“But he never did. 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,” Obama said in his speech excerpts. “Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.”
California Sen. Kamala Harris, tapped as Biden’s running mate, is also addressing the convention on Wednesday night. According to excerpts, she will attack Trump by saying, “Right now, we have a president who turns our tragedies into political weapons. Joe will be a president who turns our challenges into purpose.”
Both Clinton and Obama will make the case that Biden is the candidate who can heal and unify the country. Obama will remind Democrats of why he chose the former Delaware senator as his two-time running mate.
“Twelve years ago, when I began my search for a vice president, I didn’t know I’d end up finding a brother,” Obama is expected to say of the friendship he and Biden share.
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As Republicans have sought to cast doubt on whether Biden is up to the rigors of the job of president, Obama is expected to vouch for Biden’s qualifications.
“Over eight years, Joe was the last one in the room whenever I faced a big decision,” Obama said in prepared remarks. “He made me a better president. He’s got the character and the experience to make us a better country.”
Obama and Clinton will follow in the footsteps of their spouses who already delivered compelling critiques of Trump’s presidency.
“He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head,” Michelle Obama said on Monday in the keynote address. “He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is.”
And Tuesday night, former President Bill Clinton blasted Trump for failing to take responsibility for the coronavirus response, calling his presidency “only chaos.”
“At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command center,” Clinton said during his convention address. “Instead, it’s a storm center. There’s only chaos. Just one thing never changes—his determination to deny responsibility and shift the blame. The buck never stops there.”