Some of the biggest names in the Democratic Party are expected on Monday evening to paint a stark contrast between President Trump and the candidate they plan to nominate to take him on in this November’s presidential election, according to excerpts released by the party ahead of the remarks.
On the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, former first lady Michelle Obama, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and other Democratic luminaries are set to make the case for their presumptive nominee, Joe Biden.
“I know Joe,” Michelle Obama said in selected remarks released before the convention kicks off. “He is a profound, decent man guided by faith.”
Many of the speeches during this week’s DNC have been prerecorded as the coronavirus pandemic has upended the traditional pomp and circumstance of the major parties’ nominating convention and forced the parties to go digital amid strict social distancing guidelines.
“[Biden] knows what it takes to rescue our economy, beat back a pandemic and lead our country,” the former first lady said. “And he listens. He will tell the truth and trusts science. He will make smart plans and manage a good team, and he will govern as someone who has lived the life the rest of us can recognize.”
At least in the excerpts from her speech, Obama stuck to her “they go low, we go high” motto and didn’t attack Trump outright. Other speakers to be featured on Monday, however, aren’t planning on holding back their disdain for the current Oval Office occupant.
"This election is the most important in the modern history of this country,” Sanders said. “In response to the unprecedented set of crises we face, we need an unprecedented response — a movement, like never before – of people who are prepared to stand up and fight for democracy and decency, and against greed, oligarchy and authoritarianism."
Sanders, a Vermont independent who caucuses with the Democrats, was Biden’s biggest rival for the nomination during the primary elections. The two, however, have since made amends and even released a joint plan on how to tackle issues such as climate change, criminal justice reform and health care.
“The future of our democracy is at stake. The future of our economy is at stake. The future of our planet is at stake. Sanders said. “We must come together, defeat Donald Trump and elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as our next president and vice president. My friends, the price of failure is just too great to imagine."
Another fierce critic of Trump, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, also lambasted the president in her recorded address. Whitmer, who was once in the running to be Biden’s running mate, has come to blows Trump over the handling of the coronavirus pandemic in a state that is seen as a crucial to winning the presidency this November.
“Over the past few months, we learned what’s essential: rising to the challenge, not denying it,” she said. “We’ve learned who is essential, too. Not just the wealthiest among us. Not a president who fights his fellow Americans rather than fight the virus that’s killing us and our economy. It’s the people who put their own health at risk to care for the rest of us.”
Monday night will also feature one of Trump’s biggest critics from the Republican Party: former Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Kasich, who launched a failed White House bid in 2016, has been one of the most ardent critics of Trump from within the GOP and he has thrown his influence behind Biden in the hopes of ousting Trump for the White House come November.
“I’m a lifelong Republican, but that attachment holds second place to my responsibility to my country,” Kasich said. “That’s why I’ve chosen to appear at this convention. In normal times, something like this would probably never happen, but these are not normal times.”
Kasich thinks there is a better way for American politics, he said.
“We can all see what’s going on in our country today and all the questions that are facing us, and no one person or party has all the answers," Kasich said. "But what we do know is that we can do better than what we’ve been seeing today, for sure. And I know that Joe Biden, with his experience and his wisdom and his decency, can bring us together to help us find that better way.