VOTE 20

Obama Poignantly Advocates For "Brother" & Friend Joe Biden

The former two-term president also encouraged young voters to not let Trump and the powers that be “take away their power and democracy.”

Barack Obama | 2020 Democratic National Convention
Barack Obama | 2020 Democratic National Convention

During his address for the Democratic National Convention’s third night, former President Barack Obama advocated for friend and former Vice President Joe Biden while speaking directly to young voters, commending their civil rights activism, and encouraging them to not let the Trump administration take away their power and democracy.

Speaking live from Philadelphia, Obama criticized President Trump for not caring about or viewing seriously his role as commander-in-chief. 

“I have sat in the Oval Office with both of the men who are running for president,” he began, continuing that he initially hoped Trump “might show some interest in taking the job seriously” — which Obama said he “never did.”

“For close to four years now, 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.

Obama then offered loving words about Biden, a man he considers a friend — and a man worthy of the Presidential Medal Of Freedom, which Obama awarded him during their time in office. 

“For eight years, Joe was the last one in the room whenever I faced a big decision. He made me a better president – and he’s got the character and the experience to make us a better country,” he said.

He also praised the now-official vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris, saying that she and Biden will help control the pandemic, expand healthcare, and rescue the economy. 

“Joe and Kamala will restore our standing in the world — and as we’ve learned from this pandemic, that matters,” he said. 

Obama also said he understood why many Americans may be distrusting of the government, but said that Trump and others currently in charge are counting on that cynicism.

“We can’t let that happen. Do not let them take away your power. Don’t let them take away your democracy” he said. 

He also mentioned late civil rights advocate Rep. John Lewis, reminding voters that the actions they take today will reverberate into future generations — including those who have been leading civil rights demonstrations around the country this year. 

“You are this country’s dreams fulfilled.” he said. “Earlier generations had to be persuaded that everyone has equal worth. For you, it’s a given – a conviction. And what I want you to know is that for all its messiness and frustrations, your system of self-government can be harnessed to help you realize those convictions.”

Obama concluded the address by reminding voters that the work doesn’t stop after the election — but that the days leading up to it are especially crucial.

“This administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win,” Obama said. “So we have to get busy building it up — by pouring all our effort into these 76 days, and by voting like never before – for Joe and Kamala, and candidates up and down the ticket, so that we leave no doubt about what this country we love stands for, today and for all our days to come.”