In the centerpiece speech of the night, a searing indictment of her husband Barack Obama’s successor, Obama declared that Trump has mishandled the pandemic and failed to respond to outcries over the deaths of Black Americans. She warned that the nation would suffer more if he is elected to a second term.
“Let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can: Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us,” she said, before quoting a line Trump used about covid-19 deaths in a recent interview: “It is what it is.”
She spoke passionately about protests over police brutality this year — and Trump’s response of declaring those in the streets to be anarchists.
“Here at home as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and a never-ending list of innocent people of color continue to be murdered, stating the simple fact that a Black life matters is still met with derision from the nation’s highest office,” Obama said, wearing a necklace that read “Vote.”
Earlier in the night, the brother of Floyd, who was killed while pleading for air as a Minneapolis police officer knelt on him, appeared to ask for a moment of silence to commemorate those who have died as a result of police misconduct.
“It is up to us to carry on the fight for justice,” Philonise Floyd said, without making an overt call for support of Biden. “Our actions will be their legacies.”
Other testimonials against Trump’s stewardship ranged from democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to Ohio’s Republican former governor John Kasich, both of whom have pleaded with the country to set aside ideological differences to defeat Trump. The daughter of a covid-19 patient angrily blamed her father’s death on Trump during the broadcast, which repeatedly showed victims of the coronavirus.
The unprecedented virtual convention program, without crowds, floor fights or sign waving, reflected the extraordinary limits of current public health guidelines, as the country continues to keep socially distant in the face of a pandemic that has killed more than 167,000 Americans this year. Occasional live shots of Democratic delegates watching at home were cut in throughout the night to replicate some sense of a normal event.
In a truncated two-hour format, organizers sought to showcase a united front in support of presumptive Democratic nominee Biden, who appeared frequently in the program through speaking clips, still photos and prerecorded video. Borrowing heavily from the tropes of live cable television, he hosted a brief roundtable discussion with civil rights activists, including Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who died in police custody in New York in 2014.
Most speeches lasted just a couple of minutes or less, leaving Obama with the longest address to close out the night. She acknowledged that voting might be even more difficult this year for some.
“We have got to grab our comfortable shoes, put on our masks, pack a brown-bag dinner and maybe breakfast, too, because we’ve got to be willing to stand in line all night if we have to,” she said.
Obama repeated and expanded on her 2016 convention plea for Democrats to “go high” when their opponents go low.
“Going high means standing fierce against hatred,” she said. “Going high means unlocking the shackles of lies and mistrust with the only thing that can set us free — cold, hard truth.”
Biden will deliver his acceptance speech from Delaware on Thursday at the close of the final night. The presumptive vice-presidential nominee, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), will speak Wednesday.
The programming mixed live speeches and prerecorded set pieces, including a Zoom-style singing of the national anthem, musical performances and clips from virtual campaign events. There were also interviews or video reflections from a wide variety of people explaining how their lives have been affected by the health and financial crises of the Trump era, as well as cameos by Democratic stars like soccer player Megan Rapinoe, activist Ady Barkin, Virginia lawmaker and transgender rights activist Danica Roem, and Khizr Khan, whose son was killed while serving in the Army in Iraq in 2004 and who was attacked by Trump during the 2016 campaign.
The evening was hosted by actress Eva Longoria Baston, a Texas native best known for her role in the television series “Desperate Housewives.”
He ran through his usual attacks on Biden, calling him “Sleepy Joe Biden” and “Slow Joe,” and criticized Democrats for their support of gun control measures and police reforms, warning that “no one will be safe in a Biden-run America.”
He claimed that his own “approach to the pandemic is based on science,” while Biden is guided by “left-wing ideology.” He mocked the opposing party for prerecording some of its convention programming rather than airing the entire event live, which he said would be more exciting. (Republicans also plan to use video recordings, which are being created by former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale.)
“The only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged, remember that,” Trump said in his campaign speech in Oshkosh, Wis. “That’s the only way we’re going to lose this election.”
Vice President Pence carried the Republican message as well Monday with a tweet celebrating the Nasdaq stock exchange closing at a record high. “The economy is coming back,” Pence wrote on Twitter, “and it will keep growing with #FOURMOREYEARS!”
The first of four rounds of Democratic convention speakers was centered on the theme of “We the People,” with calls for the country to come together to vote against Trump and repair the damage they say he has caused.
There was a heavy focus on the protests that have erupted since Floyd’s death in Minneapolis and the calls to address the nation’s systemic racism. Washington Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) recounted how the Trump administration forcibly removed peaceful protesters from outside the White House so he could stage a “photo op” in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, an incident Obama would later condemn.
“While we were peacefully protesting, Donald Trump was plotting,” Bowser said, standing before Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House. “He stood in front of one of our most treasured houses of worship and held a Bible for a photo op. He sent troops in camouflage into our streets. He sent tear gas into the air — federal helicopters, too.”
Voters from around the country shared how the coronavirus crisis has affected their lives. Kristin Urquiza of California told viewers how her 65-year-old father voted for Trump, believed the president’s guidance on the coronavirus and died after catching covid-19.
“His only preexisting condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that, he paid with his life,” she said, adding that she will cast a ballot for Biden in memory of her father.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) argued that Trump had neglected to stop the coronavirus’s spread and that Biden would make the difficult decisions needed at a moment like this.
“Over the past few months, we learned what’s essential: rising to the challenge, not denying it,” Whitmer 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.”
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, whose state was one of the earliest and hardest hit by the coronavirus, brought the PowerPoint slides he uses in his daily news conferences to argue that Trump had failed to fulfill his leadership role and that Biden would.
“Only a strong body can fight off the virus, and America’s divisions weakened it,” Cuomo said. “Donald Trump didn’t create the initial division. The division created Trump. He only made it worse.”
Several current and former Republicans — former New Jersey governor Christine Whitman, business executive Meg Whitman and former representative Susan Molinari (N.Y.), plus several rank-and-file voters — explained why they will vote for Biden this year. Kasich, who ran against Trump in 2016, acknowledged that “in normal times,” he would never dream of speaking at a Democratic convention, but he argued that these are “not normal times” and that the country needs Biden to beat Trump.
There were repeated mentions of Trump’s attempts to weaken the U.S. Postal Service ahead of the election, when a historic number of people are expected to vote by mail instead of physically going to the polls. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) called out the president for attacking mail-in voting even as he requested absentee ballots from Florida. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) joked that despite Trump’s efforts, he would still have to file a change-of-address form when he leaves the White House.
She said Democrats have the “largest voter protection effort that has ever been conducted on a presidential campaign” as Trump continues to stoke the postal crisis and confuse voters. That will include “litigation . . . political coordination and legislative efforts,” along with pushing voters to return their mail-in ballots as early as possible.
“We expect turnout to be greater than any presidential before us, and we’re going to ensure that that takes place even during a pandemic,” she said during an interview with Washington Post Live on Monday morning.
“In response to the unprecedented set of crises we face, we need an unprecedented response, a movement, like never before,” he said. “The future of our democracy is at stake. . . . The price of failure is just too great to imagine.”
That message of unity amid crisis was echoed by several of Biden’s other onetime primary rivals, who were featured in a video reflecting on the contest and why they’re excited to support Biden. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) recounted how Biden embraced him during a primary debate break and told him how important it was for Booker to be on that stage sharing his policy ideas.
The resistance to Biden’s nomination inside the Democratic Party has been polite in the run-up to this week’s convention, with some delegates voting against the party’s platform but not threatening to withhold a vote in November. The mostly virtual nature of the convention replaced a raucous floor vote with an online vote.
Anti-Biden sentiment was hard to find in Milwaukee, where some delegates for Sanders said they had few illusions about Biden’s politics but would vote for him as a way to remove Trump from office. Tommy Molina, a Sanders delegate from Milwaukee, told a Sunday gathering of activists that they had been asked to wait too long for real change; after his remarks, he said he was committed to supporting Biden.
“At this point, I’d vote for a giraffe,” Molina said.
David Weigel and Robert Costa contributed to this report.
Live updates from Monday follow.
August 17, 2020 at 11:13 PM EDT
Warning of voter suppression, Michelle Obama implores Democrats to make sure they’re counted
By Isaac Stanley-Becker
Michelle Obama sounded the alarm about threats to the integrity of the vote, saying, “folks who know they cannot win fair and square at the ballot box are doing everything they can to stop us from voting.” In particular, she waded into the dispute over mail-in voting — with President Trump spreading unfounded claims that it leads to widespread fraud — and accused Republicans of “lying about the security of our ballots.”
The former first lady said the response by Democrats should be to show up in massive numbers, and to take precautions to ensure that votes are counted.
She cautioned against protest votes, saying, “This is not the time to withhold our votes in protest or play games with candidates who have no chance of winning.”
“We have got to vote like we did in 2008 and 2012,” she said, referring to Democratic turnout, particularly in the African American community, that swept her husband into office.
Obama implored Democrats to vote early, “in person if we can,” or else to request mail-in ballots well in advance, and then to “follow up to make sure they’re received.” For those going to the polls, she said voters should be prepared to “stand in line all night if we have to.”
“We have already sacrificed so much this year,” she said, asking for one more sacrifice in order to elect Joe Biden.
August 17, 2020 at 11:10 PM EDT
Michelle Obama says Trump is ‘in over his head’
By Cleve Wootson
Michelle Obama made an impassioned plea: vote. “In one of the states that determined the outcome, the winning margin averaged out to just two votes per precinct,” she said. “Two votes.”
Obama stressed the high stakes of the upcoming election, saying she had firsthand knowledge that “the job is hard.”
“You simply cannot fake your way through this job,” she said. “Being president doesn’t change who you are. It reveals who you are.”
The 2016 election, she added, had also revealed dark things about a country where people still struggle with wearing masks to curb a pandemic and chastise protesters who say “Black Lives Matter.”
August 17, 2020 at 11:08 PM EDT
Michelle Obama on Trump: ‘He cannot meet this moment'
By Chelsea Janes
In her speech, Michelle Obama said people often ask about her now-famous motto, “when they go low, we go high,” and whether it really works.
“Going high is the only thing that works, because when we go low, when we use those same tactics of degrading and dehumanizing others, we just become part of the ugly noise that’s drowning out everything else. We degrade ourselves. We degrade the very causes for which we fight,” she said.
“But let’s be clear: Going high does not mean putting on a smile and saying nice things when confronted by viciousness and cruelty. Going high means taking the harder path. It means scraping and clawing our way to that mountain top. Going high means standing fierce against hatred while remembering that we are one nation under God, and if we want to survive, we’ve got to find a way to live together and work together across our differences.”
Going high, she continued, requires acknowledging the truth that “Donald Trump is the wrong president for this country.”
“He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head,” she said. “He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is.”
Obama praised Biden as “a profoundly decent man.” She lauded his empathy and his understanding of pain and adversity, honed by tragedies in his own family. “His life is a testament to getting back up, and he is going to channel that same grit and passion to pick us all up, to help us heal and guide us forward,” she said.
After stories about Biden’s pain and the compassion she saw him show others, Obama acknowledged that he “isn’t perfect.”
“But there is no perfect candidate, no perfect president. And his ability to learn and grow — we find in that the kind of humility and maturity that so many of us yearn for right now,” she said. “Because Joe Biden has served this nation his entire life without ever losing sight of who he is; but more than that, he has never lost sight of who we are.”
August 17, 2020 at 11:07 PM EDT
Sanders: ‘Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Trump golfs.’
By Philip Bump
As he advocated for the election of former vice president Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took aim at President Trump’s work ethic.
Describing Trump’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic, Sanders accused Trump of failing to meet the moment.
“By rejecting science, he has put our lives and health in jeopardy,” Sanders said. “Trump has attacked doctors and scientists trying to protect us from the pandemic, while refusing to take strong action to produce the masks, gowns and gloves our health-care workers desperately need.”
“Nero fiddled while Rome burned,” he added, dropping the hammer. “Trump golfs.”
For a while, that wasn’t true. After traveling to Florida in early March, Trump briefly put his golf habit on hold, as he had at the end of 2018 when the federal government shut down. For about two months, he stayed at the White House, his total number of rounds of golf holding steady at 217.
In late May, though, after weeks of calling for businesses to reopen and America to return to normal, that changed. On May 22, a Friday, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, Deborah Birx, pointedly told the country that an array of normal activity could resume.
“I’m going to call your attention to the top three states, the top three states with the largest percent,” she said of the scale of the pandemic — “and this is so you can all make your decisions about going outside, and social distancing, potentially playing golf if you’re very careful and you don’t touch the flags and all of those issues.”
It was one of three times she mentioned that playing golf was once again acceptable. And the next day, Trump hit the links.
At the time, slightly more than 96,000 Americans had died of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, and 1.6 million people had been infected. Since then, the number of confirmed cases has nearly tripled, and more than 71,000 more people have died.
Since then, Trump has added, by our estimate, another 21 rounds of golf.
August 17, 2020 at 11:02 PM EDT
Michelle Obama bemoans lack of ‘empathy’ in the White House and beyond
By Isaac Stanley-Becker
Michelle Obama called it “infuriating” to watch her country underperform “not simply on matters of policy but on matters of character.”
Accusing Trump of “chaos, division and a total and utter lack of empathy,” the former first lady said these values had taken hold in the country, creating a poor lesson for the younger generation.
“Right now, kids in this country are seeing what happens when we stop requiring empathy of one another,” she said. “They’re looking around wondering if we’ve been lying to them this whole time about who we are and what we truly value.”
She cited scenes of brawls over masks in grocery stores and the rush to call the police on fellow citizens, saying the feeling of national unease was emanating from the White House.
“Sadly this is the America that is on display for the next generation,” Obama said.
August 17, 2020 at 10:59 PM EDT
How Eva Longoria came to host the first night of the DNC
By Holly Bailey
Actress Eva Longoria, who is hosting the first night of the Democratic National Convention, is perhaps best known for her role in the ABC dramedy “Desperate Housewives.” But Longoria, the first of four celebrity emcees for this week’s virtual convention, is also a longtime Democratic activist who is hardly a stranger to the campaign trail or the convention stage.
Back in 2012, the Texas-born Mexican American actress was a co-chair of President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, raising money and endorsing his campaign in a convention speech in Charlotte. Two years later, Longoria, who runs a private foundation aimed at expanding opportunities for Latinas, helped found the Latino Victory Project aimed at expanding Hispanic political participation as well as a related political action committee aimed at boosting Hispanic candidates.
Four years ago, Longoria spoke at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, endorsing Hillary Clinton and using her personal story to challenge Donald Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric on Mexican immigrants. “When Donald Trump calls us criminals and rapists, he’s insulting American families. My father is not a criminal or a rapist. In fact, he’s a United States veteran,” she said.
Not unlike 2016, Latinos are emerging as a key voting block ahead of November’s election, particularly in battleground states such as Florida and Arizona. But the Biden campaign has faced criticism that it has been too slow to organize Latino voters. That’s where Longoria has stepped in as a high-profile surrogate and, for tonight, a leading face of a historic party convention.
August 17, 2020 at 10:54 PM EDT
Sanders makes the case for Biden
By Chelsea Janes
On Monday night, Sanders — a leader of the primaries’ progressive wing and Biden’s foil throughout the campaign — made the case for his longtime colleague.
“To everyone who supported other candidates in the primary and to those who may have voted for Donald Trump in the last election. 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 D. Harris as our next president and vise president. My friends, the price of failure is just too great to imagine.”
Sanders, who differed with Biden on his vision for health care, the scale of a plan to combat climate change, the feasibility of free college and more, said Biden will begin working to implement necessary change on Day 1. He noted Biden’s support for raising the minimum wage and for paid family leave. He said Biden will make child care and pre-K learning more affordable for all families. And he said Biden’s plan will move the country to 100 percent clean energy for the next 15 years.
As for health care, an issue on which Sanders has been uncompromising in his support for Medicare-for-all, the senator from Vermont admitted that he and Biden disagree on the path to ensuring all American have access to health insurance. But he said Biden’s plan will nevertheless expand access to health care and lower prescription drug prices, and that his platform will lead to progress in the criminal justice system, too.
“Joe Biden will end the hate and division Trump has created,” Sanders said. “He will stop the demonization of immigrants, the coddling of white nationalists, the racist dog-whistling, the religious bigotry and the ugly attacks on women.”
August 17, 2020 at 10:52 PM EDT
Sanders: ‘Authoritarianism has taken root in our country'
By Isaac Stanley-Becker
Sen. Bernie Sanders hailed the success of his “movement” and said it must serve the cause of warding off authoritarianism in the United States.
“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 bigotry,” the independent from Vermont said. “And we need Joe Biden as our next president.”
Sanders thanked his supporters, in this cycle and four years ago, and said their energy had helped make many of his ideas mainstream. “If Donald Trump is reelected, all of the progress we have made will be in jeopardy,” the senator said.
The stakes were higher still, Sanders said.
“This election is about preserving our democracy,” he warned, citing Trump’s efforts to limit opportunities to vote and his threats not to leave office. “During this president’s term, the unthinkable has become normal.”
He continued, “Under this administration, authoritarianism has take root in our country.”
Sanders, who lost family in the Holocaust, invoked that history in saying, “I and my family and many of yours know the insidious ways authoritarianism destroys democracy, decency and humanity.” He said he would work with progressives — as well as moderates “and yes, with conservatives” — “to preserve this nation from a threat that so many of our heroes fought and died to defeat.”
August 17, 2020 at 10:49 PM EDT
Klobuchar tells voters they ‘have a home’ with Biden
By Cleve Wootson
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) praised Biden — and connected his politics to her own. “If you feel stuck in the middle of the extremes of our politics, if you are tired of them, then you have a home with me and you have a home with Joe Biden,” Klobuchar said.
The statement of support was a variation of a phrase that won Klobuchar accolades during a standout debate performance before the New Hampshire primary.
Klobuchar was one of two dozen Democrats who vied for the party’s nomination. She endorsed Biden after his commanding win in the South Carolina primary, along with former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Tex.) and former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg. Klobuchar encouraged moderate voters in her home state to support Biden.
She was being considered as a vice-presidential pick, before removing herself from contention, saying Biden should pick a woman of color.
August 17, 2020 at 10:47 PM EDT
In a video touting unity, former Democratic primary competitors praise Biden
By Chelsea Janes
In a video, many of the politicians who ran against Biden in the primary explained why they support him, and how the former vice president incorporated their ideas.
The video featured Harris, who lauded Biden for including her Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in his platform. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand praised Biden for including her Family Bill of Rights. Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang, former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, billionaire activist Tom Steyer and Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) also participated. Former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) were among those former candidates who were not featured.
Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) remembered standing next to Biden on the debate stage, arguing when the cameras were on, and then having Biden put his arm around him during a commercial break.
“He starts telling me how good my ideas are, and next thing you know, I feel like he’s giving me a pep talk, telling me how important it is that I’m on that stage,” Booker said.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee remembered seeing how families of four fallen soldiers reacted to Biden’s presence at their funeral.
“I saw those families who were so comforted by Joe Biden when they walked out. They knew someone cared for them. Someone could relate to their own pain. They were happy. We need that in the White House,” Inslee said.
August 17, 2020 at 10:41 PM EDT
Fact Checker: How many people still get Social Security checks?
By Glenn Kessler
“Social Security beneficiaries count on the post office to get their checks.”
Actually, a relatively small percentage of Social Security beneficiaries still get their checks through the mail.
The latest data shows that as of 2019, 99.1 percent of Social Security recipients get direct deposits electronically. It jumped from about 85 percent in 2008 as the Obama administration pushed to eliminate paper Social Security checks. Most recipients get their payments either deposited in their bank accounts or on a debit card that is filled automatically every month.
Doing the math, there are about 555,000 Americans who still get Social Security checks by mail and about 215,000 who get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) checks by mail. That compares with 61.5 million who receive direct deposit either to the bank or a debit card.
Of course, you still need to rely on the mail to get the debit card. Social Security notices also come through the mail, unless a person opts out. But relatively few people still get checks.
August 17, 2020 at 10:38 PM EDT
Kasich says Biden won’t ‘turn sharp left’
By Cleve Wootson
John Kasich, a conservative former governor of Ohio, encouraged Republicans and independents to throw their support behind Biden. He also sought to allay fears that Biden would pull the country too far to the left.
“I’m sure there are Republicans and Independents who couldn’t imagine supporting a Democrat,” Kasich said after talking about his 30-year friendship with presumptive Democratic nominee. “They fear Joe will turn sharp left and leave them behind. … I can’t imagine that happening.”
The bigger worry, Kasich said, was four more years of Trump.
“Many of us have been deeply concerned about the path we have been following for the past four years. Continuing to follow that path will have terrible consequences for America’s soul, because we are being taken down the road by a president who has pitted one against the other” Kasich said.
Kasich ran against Trump in 2016 and has been a frequent critic of the president.
August 17, 2020 at 10:29 PM EDT
As the Democratic convention begins, Fox sticks with Hannity
By Philip Bump
As the Democratic National Convention began Monday evening, the three cable news networks’ strategies for coverage quickly became apparent. CNN and MSNBC coverage picked up as soon as the Democratic program got underway. Viewers at Fox News, however, joined a business-as-usual episode of “Hannity.”
Over the course of the convention’s first hour, host Sean Hannity’s coverage hewed closely to what his regular viewers would expect: wildly exaggerated claims about the threat of voter fraud associated with mail-in ballots; an interview with Donald Trump Jr.; coverage of a violent incident at a protest; and panel discussions including fellow Fox News host Jeanine Pirro and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. In the corner, a small box showing the convention broadcast, under a banner reading “MONITORING THE DNC,” a tacit pledge to share with his viewers only the parts of the convention they needed to see.
Fox did move a few parts of the convention to the forefront, including for comments from the family of George Floyd, the Black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck. A few speeches from politicians were carried live, too — at least in part. A speech from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D-N.Y.) aired for a bit, before Huckabee and conservative commentator Dan Bongino were asked to weigh in. Comments from Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) aired briefly before Hannity switched to on-the-street interviews with people in Delaware opining about Biden, the state’s former senator.
During perhaps the first hour’s most powerful testimonial, that of a young woman whose father died of covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, Hannity was interviewing Ronny L. Jackson, President Trump’s former physician who is now a candidate for Congress. The subject, in part: Biden’s health.
The other networks also cut away at times, as MSNBC went to a panel discussion during the Cuomo introduction and CNN went to ads after Kristin Urquiza spoke about her father’s death from covid-19.
At the end of the hour, Fox went to commercial, too. As convention speakers were criticizing changes at the U.S. Postal Service, Fox was running an ad for MyPillow. A bit later, another ad — promoting its convention coverage.
August 17, 2020 at 10:23 PM EDT
Three Republicans announce support for Biden
By Chelsea Janes
In keeping with the emphasis on unity, the Democratic National Convention rolled out three Republican women, former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman, former Republican nominee for California governor Meg Whitman and former New York congresswoman Susan Molinari, who endorsed Biden.
Christine Todd Whitman served as governor of New Jersey from 1994 to 2001, when she became President George W. Bush’s first director of the Environmental Protection Agency. She has become one of Trump’s most outspoken conservative critics, comparing the president to dictators, saying his is unfit for democracy and regularly blasting him on his favorite social media platform. She supported Hillary Clinton for president in 2016. In the Republican primary, she backed then-Ohio Gov. John Kasich, another prominent Republican scheduled to speak Monday night.
“I am a lifelong Republican. My parents were introduced at a Republican National Convention by their parents. That’s how far back it goes. But this isn’t about a Republican or Democrat,” Whitman said Monday. “It’s about a person, a person decent enough, stable enough, strong enough to get our economy back on track. A person who can work with everyone, Democrats and Republicans, to get things done. Donald Trump isn’t that person. Joe Biden is.”
Meg Whitman was the Republican nominee for governor of California in 2010. She made a name for herself as CEO of eBay and Hewlett-Packard, was named as a potential cabinet member by both John McCain and Mitt Romney during their presidential campaigns, and then served as the finance co-chair of then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s 2016 campaign. When Trump secured the nomination, Whitman threw her support behind Hillary Clinton, saying Trump had “undermined the character of the nation.” On Monday, she said Trump has “no idea how to run a business, let alone an economy.”
“Joe Biden, on the other hand, has a plan that will strengthen our economy for working people and small business owners. For me, the choice is simple. I’m with Joe,” she said.
Molinari, who said she has known Trump for years because of her time in New York politics, called him “disappointing” and “disturbing.”
“I’ve also gotten to know and work with Joe Biden on issues related to women that are so important for all of us. Women in business. Violence against women,” Molinari said. “That’s why I’m so proud to call him my friend. An honor to join in supporting his candidacy for president. He’s a really good man and he’s exactly what this nation needs at this time.”