Joe Biden accepted the Democratic Party nomination for president Thursday, not in a crowded auditorium with balloons dropping and crowds cheering, but over the airwaves on the fourth day of the virtual Democratic National Convention.
Thirty-three years after he first ran for president, Biden accepted the nomination in Wilmington, Delaware, as he launched an attack against President Donald Trump on topics ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to racial unrest in America to the economy.
“Because he mishandled the pandemic, Biden said, of Trump “he failed in his most basic duty to the nation” …”He’s failed to protect us. And, my fellow Americans, that is unforgivable.”
The final night of the convention painted a picture of Biden as a compassionate man who had suffered great loss in his life — first when his wife and infant daughter died in a car crash, then when his beloved son, Beau, died of brain cancer.
A video played before his speech traced his life from Pennsylvania to Delaware to nearly five decades in Washington, D.C., and included remembrances from family members and those he served in government with including President Barack Obama.
Biden accepted his party’s nomination at Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, only a few miles from his home, instead of in Milwaulkee where the convention was to be held before it went viral due to the pandemic.
Below are live updates from the last night of the convention.
Biden accepts nomination; slams Trump
10:48 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: Joe Biden formally accepted the Democratic presidential nomination saying, “It is with great honor and humility that I accept this nomination for President of the United States of America.”
In the speech:
- He vowed to be an agent of change: “We can and will overcome this season of darkness,” Biden said. “I will be an ally of the light, not the darkness.”
- He talked about the coronavirus, saying it should not have been so devastating in the United States. He slams Trump for saying it will “go away.” “I have news for him: no miracle is coming,” Biden said.
- The US is “facing four historic crises all at the same time. The pandemic…the economic crisis…racial injustice and the undeniable realities and the accelerating threats of climate change.”
- For older Americans: “We will protect Social Security and Medicare. You have my word.” … “I’m not going to have to do it alone because I’ll have a great vice president at my side,” Biden said.
- Because he mishandled the pandemic, Biden said, Trump “failed in his most basic duty to the nation” through his mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic.” …”He’s failed to protect us,” Biden said. “And, my fellow Americans, that is unforgivable.”
- “I have some idea how it feels to lose someone you love. They’ll always be with you. You’ll always hear them.”
- He said that Trump’s words about the clash in Charlottesville, Virginia, made him decide to run for the office of president.
- “Will we be the generation that finally wipes out the stain of racism from our national character?” Biden asked. “I believe we’re up to it. I believe we’re ready.”
Biden’s children introduce him
10:37 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: Ashley, Biden’s daughter, and Hunter, his son, talk about their father and the traits that make him the perfect person to be president, they say.
They remember their brother Beau and go to a video of Beau introducing him at the 2012 Democratic convention.
A video about Joe Biden’s life is being played now.
A boy who stutters and Biden’s granddaughters
10:30 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: A boy, Brayden Harrington, who met Biden in New Hampshire talks about how he helped him to gain the confidence to speak in public.
Biden gave the boy his home phone number and told him to call him to talk about how he overcame stuttering.
Biden’s four granddaughters are interviewed and they talk about Biden as a grandfather. He likes to eat ice cream. In secret.
10:23 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: Michael Bloomberg says Americans should vote Trump out of office not because he is a bad person, but because he did a bad job.
He says Trump is no master businessman — he ran six business into bankruptcy, Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg ran against Biden for the Democratic nomination.
Those who ran against him
10:30 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: Pete Buttigieg: “Every American must not decide. Can America be a place where faith is about healing and not exclusion? Can we become a country that lives up to the truth that Black lives matter? Will we handle questions of science and medicine by turning to scientists and doctors? What will we do to make America into a land where no one who works full time can live in poverty?
A group of those who ran against Biden for the Democratic nomination – Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke, talk about Biden and his leadership skills and compassion.
Beau Biden tribute
10:10 p.m ET Aug. 20, 2020: The tribute to Beau Biden is being shown.
Backing the military
10:04 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: Jill Biden speaks about the military and her husband’s commitment to military members and their families.
Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, stresses the need to remember military families and how they serve just as military members do.
Duckworth was wounded in the Iraq War. She lost her legs when the helicopter she was piloting was shot down.
Time to go
10:02 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: Ed Good, a World War II and Korean vet, says he voted for Trump, but won’t do it again.
“I’ll be glad to see him go,” Good said.
Health care issues
9:58 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, recalls an illness she suffered as a child. She was hospitalized and the insurance refused to pay for it.
“We all have stories like this. Stories about a time when the system was rigged against us.
“When we were counted out, left out, pushed out. Just think of what we’ve heard there past four days.”
9:50 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: Biden is talking economics with a group of Americans.
He says the way to wealth for the average American is found in the equity people build in their homes.
A firefighter who is a single dad says he worries about school. His 5-year-old daughter was excited about going to “big school.”
A woman in Atlanta is working to save to buy a house.
Postal Service controversy
9:45 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: Comedian Sarah Cooper and several Americans across the country are warning that Republicans and President Donald Trump are trying to dismantle the Postal Service to make it hard for people to vote.
The head of the Postal Service, Louis DeJoy, will be testifying before Congress on Friday about a plan that was first announced in June to make changes to the Postal Service to save money.
The soul of America
9:39 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: Author and historian Jon Meacham: “This is a grave moment in America: A deadly virus is ravaging us; our jobs are evaporating; our faith in the things that bind us together is fraying, for our democracy is under assault from an incumbent more interested in himself than he is in the rest of us.”
9:30 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: Singers John Legend and Common are singing the Academy Award-winning song “Glory” from the movie “Selma.”
Remembering John Lewis
9:24 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: Keisha Lance Bottoms, the mayor of Atlanta, is remembering civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, who died last month. Lewis, in a letter he wrote shortly before his death, urged people to continue to fight for voting rights. A video honoring Lewis is being played.
Coons on Biden’s faith
9:18 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: Delaware Sen. Chris Coons speaks about Biden’s faith and how it has sustained him through his life and many personal losses.
The pledge and anthem
9:10 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: A super cute little boy gave the Pledge of Allegiance, and the newly-renamed Chicks sang the national anthem.
Politicians are people, too
9:05 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: Andrew Yang, who ran against Biden for the Democratic nomination, is speaking now. He talks about the experience of running for president, saying what you should know about politicians are that they are “real” people who are “parents and patriots.”
They want to make your world a better place, Yang said.
A tribute to Beau Biden
9 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: There will be a tribute to Beau Biden this evening, according to the DNC. Beau Biden, Joe Bien’s eldest son, died in 2015 from glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Biden has said he did not have the heart to run for president in 2016 because he had just lost his son at the time campaigning would have had to start.
Biden also lost his wife and 1-year-old daughter in a 1972 car crash that also seriously injured his two sons, Beau and Hunter.
8:45 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: The last night of the convention is starting with a look back at the highlights of the other three days. DNC Chairman Tom Perez is giving opening remarks.
Stephen Curry to endorse Biden
8:30 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: Stephen Curry of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and his wife Ayesha, will Biden tonight in a pre-taped video.
Louis-Dreyfus to host
8:15 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus will be hosting the final evening of the convention. Actresses Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington and Tracee Ellis Ross hosted the first three days of the virtual convention.
Biden to accept nomination tonight
8 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020: Welcome to live updates. Today is the last day of the Democratic National Convention. Former Vice President Joe Biden will be accepting the nomination this evening.