“We’re at an inflection point,” Harris said. “The constant chaos leaves us adrift. The incompetence makes us feel afraid. The callousness makes us feel alone. It’s a lot. And here’s the thing: We can do better and deserve so much more.”
Harris stepped into her place in history on the third night of the Democratic Party’s mostly virtual convention — joined not by the sort of raucous partisan crowd that would have erupted for such a moment in ordinary times, but instead standing on a small stage in Wilmington, accompanied only by aides and a smattering of reporters who had been tested for the novel coronavirus before being granted entry.
The man who tapped her for the ticket, presidential nominee Joe Biden, who lives a few miles away, will speak from the same stage Thursday night.
The comments came in what was intended as an uplifting and emotional paean to female leadership, liberal crusades and the character of the former vice president.
“Right now, we have a president who turns our tragedies into political weapons,” Harris said. “Joe will be a president who turns our challenges into purpose.”
Outlining her own optimistic view of the country, Harris said she is “committed” to “a vision of our nation as a beloved community — where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love.”
“In the streets of Oakland and Berkeley. I got a stroller’s-eye view of people getting into what the great John Lewis called ‘good trouble,’ ” Harris said of her upbringing, citing the recently deceased civil rights leader and Georgia congressman. She also spoke of her career as a prosecutor. “I know a predator when I see one,” she said, a line that she had used in her presidential campaign against Trump, though she did not connect it to him Wednesday.
Harris leaned heavily into her life story — citing her pride in her mixed-race background. She spoke of her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who she said had emigrated to the U.S. with a dream of curing cancer but died in 2009. Harris also spoke of her own family, her husband, whom she married in 2014, and his two children who she said call her “Momala.”
Harris said her mother raised her and her sister “to be proud, strong Black women. And she raised us to know and be proud of our Indian heritage. She taught us to put family first— the family you’re born into and the family you choose.” In a reference to her Indian heritage seized on by many Indian-Americans online, Harris used a Tamil expression in speaking of “my uncles, my aunts — my chitthis.”
“For close to four years now, he has 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,” Obama said from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.
“Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t,” Obama continued. “And the consequences of that failure are severe.”
Convention organizers packed the evening’s speaking roster with the Democratic Party’s history-making leaders. In addition to Obama, the nation’s first Black president, the lineup included New Mexico’s Michelle Lujan Grisham, the first Democratic Hispanic woman elected as a governor; Hillary Clinton, the first woman to top the ticket of a major party and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the first woman to lead the House of Representatives.
Only one non-Hispanic White man, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), was given a prominent slot Wednesday in the main two-hour convention broadcast. He co-hosted a segment interviewing struggling small-business owners.
Clinton, who won nearly 3 million more votes than Trump but lost in the electoral college when he flipped three traditionally Democratic states, sought to channel any remorse among 2016 voters.
“For four years, people have told me, ‘I didn’t realize how dangerous he was. I wish I could go back and do it over.’ Or worst, ‘I should have voted,’ ” Clinton said. “Look, this can’t be another ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’ election.”
“Vote, for honest elections, so we, not a foreign adversary, choose our president,” Clinton said, in an allusion to Russia’s efforts to benefit Trump.
“Vote like our lives and livelihoods are on the line, because they are,” she added.
Trump, who tweeted all-caps rejoinders at Obama during the convention, also lambasted his predecessor at a White House news conference Wednesday, crediting both him and Biden for his election as president four years ago.
“Look at how bad he was, how ineffective a president he was,” Trump said of Obama. “The reason I’m here is because of President Obama and Joe Biden, because if they did a good job, I wouldn’t be here.”
Trump also tweeted at Obama and Clinton: “Welcome back, Barack and Crooked Hillary. See you on the field of battle!”
Vice President Pence, meanwhile, traveled to Wisconsin, which was to host the Democratic convention before the pandemic forced it to be held virtually. There, he mocked Democrats for declining to campaign on the ground.
“Joe Biden and the Democratic Party have been overtaken by the radical left, and their agenda would take this country in a dramatically different direction, on an inexorable path toward socialism and decline,” Pence said in Darien, Wis.
Earlier in the day, Biden, speaking to a virtual meeting of the Wisconsin delegation on Wednesday, questioned Trump’s ability to do the job, throwing back at Trump his constant assertions that Biden is not up to the rigors of the presidency.
“When it comes to the pandemic, after months of failure, he just gave up,” Biden said of Trump. “You know, I used to think it was because of his personality, but I just don’t think he can intellectually handle it. I don’t think he’s competent enough to know what to do. He just waved the white flag.”
Biden also released a statement Wednesday condemning Trump’s calls for a boycott of Goodyear Tires, after an image circulated online suggesting the company banned employees from wearing Trump campaign hats but not from promoting the Black Lives Matter movement. A company statement said that all employees were asked “not to engage in political campaigning of any kind in the workplace — for any candidate, party or political organization.”
“Goodyear employs thousands of American workers, including in Ohio where it is headquartered,” Biden responded in a statement. “To President Trump, those workers and their jobs aren’t a source of pride, just collateral damage in yet another one of his political attacks.”
The evening’s speaking format also focused on policy areas that animate Democrats and are particularly popular among women, including curtailing climate change, increasing gun regulations, making the economy fairer and combating domestic abuse. Tuesday’s program included segments on health care and national security.
Former Arizona congresswoman and activist Gabrielle Giffords, who was critically injured during a 2011 mass shooting, lauded the gun-control movement.
“I struggled to speak,” she said of her recovery. “But I have not lost my voice.
Emma González, a survivor of the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and one of the organizers of the 2018 March for Our Lives protests, also spoke in a prerecorded address.
“Gun violence isn’t just going to stop until there is a force fighting harder against it,” she said in a video voice-over of memorials at mass shooting sites.
During the portion of the night that dealt with immigration, an 11-year-old, Estela Juarez, an American citizen, read a letter to President Trump describing the pain of her mother’s deportation back to Mexico, leaving her and her father in the United States.
“We need a president who will bring people together, not tear them apart,” she said.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the last viable female candidate to drop out of the 2020 presidential primary contest and a competitor for the vice-presidential slot, also spoke Wednesday from an early childhood center in Springfield, Mass., where she offered her wonky approval of Biden.
“I love a good plan,” Warren said. “And Joe Biden has some really good plans.”
Biden, whose nomination for president was officially secured Tuesday night, announced during a debate in March that he would select a woman to be his running mate, a declaration that almost immediately prompted allies, including a group of powerful Black women to start pushing for a spot for one of their own on the Democratic ticket. Several Black women were finalists for the job, to which Harris, also a former presidential contestant, was named last week.
Harris is the fourth woman to win a place on a major-party ticket, after then-Democratic Rep. Geraldine Ferraro (D-N.Y.) in 1984, then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a Republican, in 2008 — both as vice-presidential running mates — and Clinton. Harris’s ascension comes a century after women were extended the right to vote and 55 years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, which removed many balloting hurdles for Black Americans.
“This is the first time in months that I’ve felt this good,” said Donna Brazile, a former interim DNC chair who was among the Black leaders who spearheaded the push for a Black woman, and who also backed Harris.
Of the four candidates on the two major party tickets this fall, Harris has the highest positive rating among Americans: 52 percent favorable and 38 percent unfavorable, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted after her selection last week. Biden is closest to her, with a slightly positive favorability rating, 50 percent favorable and 46 percent unfavorable.
Civil rights leaders and others active in the Black and Asian American communities said they were electrified by Biden’s pick and hoped it would spur greater turnout in November.
“We’re all glued to the TV,” said Glenda Baskin Glover, head of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, of which Harris is a member. She said the country’s main Black sororities and fraternities, known as the “divine nine,” have begun jointly strategizing in an effort to motivate their members to vote.
Glover, who is also the president of Tennessee State University, a historically Black school, said her students are already inspired. “They see themselves as being able to rise higher and higher,” Glover said.
Three family members officially nominated Harris to the role by giving brief remarks Wednesday before her speech. They included her sister and longtime adviser, Maya Harris, who also worked as a top aide on Clinton’s 2016 bid, Maya’s daughter, Meena, and Harris’s stepdaughter Ella Emhoff.
The trio highlighted the blended nature of Harris’s family, which makes her background unusual for a vice president but, organizers hope, relatable to the many Americans whose own families are nontraditional. If Harris is elected, her husband, Doug Emhoff, would be the nation’s first “Second Gentleman.”
Emhoff, a lawyer in the Los Angeles office of DLA Piper, is taking a leave of absence from his firm, where he has worked for an array of powerful clients. During Harris’s address to cap off the night, Emhoff stood in the wings, one of the few people allowed near her.
Harris spoke extensively about the harm of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly its disproportionate impact on people of color.
“This virus it has no eyes, and yet it knows exactly how we see each other and how we treat each other. And let’s be clear, there is no vaccine for racism,” she said.
She segued to mention Black victims of violence. “We’ve got to do the work for George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor, for the lives of too many others to name for our children and for all of us,” she said. “We’ve got to do the work to fulfill that promise of equal justice under law. Because here’s the thing: None of us are free until all of us are free.”
When her speech ended, she turned and waved to a large screen that displayed feeds of supporters applauding from 30 homes. Biden came on stage to congratulate her, but they maintained a distance and did not embrace.
Chelsea Janes, Emily Guskin and Matt Viser contributed to this report.
Harris accepts historic vice-presidential nomination, promising ‘we will speak truths’
By Colby Itkowitz
Harris reintroduced herself to American voters in an acceptance speech that embraced her multicultural background, focused heavily on her family story and envisioned an America without Trump.
Making history as the first Black woman and the first Asian American to run on a major-party ticket, she spoke of the women who fought for equal and civil rights before her and of her immigrant mother, who instilled in her a passion for public service.
“I keep thinking about that 25-year-old Indian woman, all of five feet tall, who gave birth to me … On that day, she probably could have never imagined that I would be standing before you now and speaking these words: I accept your nomination for vice president of the United States of America.”
She offered a vision of America “where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, no matter where we come from or who we love, a country where we may not agree on every detail, but we are united by the fundamental belief that every human being is of infinite worth, deserving of compassion, dignity and respect.”
“A country where we look out for one another, where we rise and fall as one, where we face our challenges and celebrate our triumphs together,” she said.
“Today that country feels distant. Donald Trump’s failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods,” she continued.
Harris took only a few swings like that at Trump but mostly focused on her past and the country’s future.
Speaking about racism, Harris said, “It has no eyes, and yet it knows exactly how we see each other. And how we treat each other. And let’s be clear — there is no vaccine for racism.”
She pledged that she and Biden would always be honest with the American people about the challenges the nation faced, a seeming dig at Trump’s downplaying of the coronavirus.
“We will speak truths,” she said, “and we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.”
With a single phrase, Kamala Harris illustrates the historic nature of her nomination: ‘My chitthis’
By Matt Viser
It was a single word tucked into a 2,033-word speech, as easily missed by a casual listener as it was a ringing signal of the historic nature of Harris’s vice-presidential nomination.
A Tamil word illustrating her mother’s Indian heritage, Harris tucked it into a reference about her diverse background and the all-encompassing way in which she defines family.
“Family is my husband Doug, who I met on a blind date set up by my best friend,” she said. “Family is our beautiful children, Cole and Ella, who as you just heard, call me Momala. Family is my sister. Family is my best friend, my nieces and my godchildren.”
“Family is my uncles, my aunts,” she said. “My chitthis.”
The word, which refers to her mother’s sisters, resonated and marked a subtle reference to the history of her nomination as the first Black woman and first Asian American woman to run for vice president on a major-party ticket. It was quickly noted around the world by South Asians, on social media and elsewhere, as a new moment in political recognition.
Obama appears to choke up, talking about oppressed Americans fighting the good fight
By Rachael Bade and Colby Itkowitz
Obama, famous for his stoicism in the White House, appeared to choke up during his convention speech Wednesday night while discussing minorities overcoming and fighting for the promise of American democracy.
Obama told a story about meeting Black civil rights leaders at the White House, including one who told him he never dreamed he would see a president who looks like his own grandson. The man did the math and realized that on the exact day Obama was born, “he was marching into a jail cell trying to end Jim Crow segregation in the South.”
“Whatever our backgrounds,” Obama said, “we are all the children of Americans who fought the good fight. ... Great grandparents working in … sweatshops without rights or representation; farmers losing their dreams to dust; Irish and Italians and Asians and Latinos told, ‘Go back where you come from’; Jews and Catholics, Muslims and Sikhs, made to feel suspect for the way they worshiped; Black Americans, chained and whipped and hanged, spit on for trying to sit at lunch counters, beaten for trying to vote.”
His eyes appeared to grow red and water as his voice paused. “If anyone had a right to believe that this democracy did not work and could not work, it was those Americans, our ancestors,” he said — and yet they kept fighting, he said, using their efforts as an appeal to voters to show up and vote to oust President Trump.
“You can give our democracy new meaning. You can take it to a better place,” he said. “Any chance of success depends entirely on the outcome of this election.”
Fact Checker: A misfire on extended overtime pay under Obama
By Salvador Rizzo
“American workers need a fighter more than ever and Joe Biden is that person because he has done it before and I’ve seen it firsthand. He and President Obama made it easier for home care workers to organize. They extended overtime pay to more than 4 million workers.”
— Former labor secretary Hilda Solis
Overtime regulations written by the Labor Department during the Obama administration would have extended overtime pay to an estimated 4 million workers in 2016. The overtime rule would have required employers to pay time-and-a-half to employees who clocked more than 40 hours a week and earned less than $47,476 a year.
But the new regulations never kicked in, so the 4 million figure only ever existed on paper. A federal judge in Texas who was nominated by Obama ruled in late 2016 to block the overtime rule, days before it was set to take effect. “We strongly disagree with the decision by the court,” the Labor Department said at the time.
Trump tweets all-caps rebuke to Obama
By Philip Rucker
As former president Barack Obama delivered a stinging indictment of the Trump presidency and warned that America’s democracy was withering, President Trump tweeted an all-caps rebuke that included a baseless charge.
“HE SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN, AND GOT CAUGHT!” Trump wrote on Twitter, an apparent reference to his repeated claim that the FBI under Obama wiretapped the phones at Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign. There is no evidence of that. Trump previously has accused Obama of “treason,” again with no evidence to support his claim.
In a second tweet posted as Obama was speaking live, Trump sought to undermine his predecessor’s endorsement of former vice president Joe Biden. Trump wrote, “WHY DID HE REFUSE TO ENDORSE SLOW JOE UNTIL IT WAS ALL OVER, AND EVEN THEN WAS VERY LATE? WHY DID HE TRY TO GET HIM NOT TO RUN?”
Obama, as the Democratic Party’s most recent president, stayed neutral throughout the contested 2016 primary campaign, but endorsed Biden once he had secured the party’s nomination.
Obama on Trump: ‘Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t’
By Rachael Bade
Obama painted Trump as an immature and cold politico who cares more about himself than American democracy — juxtaposing the man in the White House with his former vice president Biden.
“For four years now, he has 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 of Trump at the convention Wednesday evening.
“Donald Trump hasn't grown into the job because he can't,” he added.
Obama then listed a series of “consequences” he said stem from those values: one hundred seventy thousand Americans dead from the coronavirus, millions on unemployment. “Our worst impulses unleashed,” he continued. “Our proud reputation around the world, badly diminished, and our democratic institutions threatened like never before.”
Biden, by contrast, he said, “made me a better president.".
“Joe is a man who learned early on to treat every person he meets with respect and dignity, living by the words his parents taught him,” he said, later adding: “He knows that our true strength comes from setting an example that the world wants to follow, a nation that stands with democracy, not dictators. … But more than anything, what I know about Joe, what I know about Kamala [Harris], is that they actually care about every American and that they care deeply about this democracy."
Trump to appear on Hannity on Biden speech night
By Philip Rucker
President Trump plans to appear on Fox News on Thursday night, the evening of Biden’s speech at the Democratic National Convention accepting his party’s nomination for president.
Fox announced Wednesday night that Sean Hannity is scheduled to interview the president on his 9 p.m. Fox show on Thursday. The Democratic convention’s prime-time programming runs from 9 to 11 p.m., though Biden is likely to deliver his address in the 10 p.m. hour, when the television broadcast networks air the proceedings. Hannity is an informal adviser to Trump.
Still, Trump’s appearance on Hannity’s show is a bold move to counterprogram the Democrats and breaks with tradition holding that a presidential candidate avoids the spotlight during the opposing party’s convention.
In a statement announcing the interview, Fox wrote by way of a preview, “Trump will discuss this week’s Democratic National Convention, the upcoming Republican National Convention and other news of the day.”
Elizabeth Warren gives her highest praise to Biden, complimenting his plans
By Matt Viser
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who was known as the policy pacesetter during the Democratic presidential primary, gave Joe Biden her form of the highest praise during an address on Wednesday night.
“I love a good plan,” she said. “And Joe Biden has some really good plans."
She pitched his plans on promoting union jobs in manufacturing and clean energy, on increasing Social Security benefits, canceling billions in student loan debt and reshaping bankruptcy laws.
“These plans reflect a central truth: Our economic system has been rigged to give bailouts to billionaires and kick dirt in the face of everyone else,” she said. “But we can build a thriving economy by investing in families and fixing what’s broken.”
Warren was speaking in Springfield, Mass., from the Early Education Center — where the letters BLM were visible in the background tucked inside a cubby — which she noted had been closed for months.
“Child care was already hard to find before the pandemic. And now, parents are stuck. No idea when schools can safely reopen and even fewer child-care options,” she said. “The devastation is enormous. And the way I see it: big problems demand big solutions.”
Warren also hit the themes familiar to her supporters, including her roots in Oklahoma, her Aunt Bee, and some of her signature lines.
“We stay in this fight so that when our children and our grandchildren ask what we did during this dark chapter in our nation’s history, we will be able to look them squarely in the eye and say: we organized, we persisted, and we changed America,” she said.
Hillary Clinton pushes Democrats to avoid another ‘woulda, coulda’ election
By Philip Bump
Speaking from her couch at home in Chappaqua, N.Y., the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nominee offered words of caution as the 2020 contest approaches.
“For four years,” Hillary Clinton said, “people have told me, I didn’t realize how dangerous he was. I wish I could do it all over. Or worse: I should have voted. Look. This can’t be another woulda, coulda, shoulda election.”
Clinton’s narrow loss four years ago could be — and has been — ascribed to any number of factors. But it’s certainly the case that had an additional 78,000 Clinton voters turned out in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, she might have triumphed in both the popular and electoral votes. That’s 0.6 percent of the votes cast in those states.
Research released in 2018 detailed who those voters were. About 4.4 million voters who’d backed Barack Obama in 2012 didn’t vote four years later. Eighty-two percent of that group were Democrats and about a quarter were under 30. More than half of them were non-White; a third were Black. This was part of the motivation behind Michelle Obama’s insistence Monday night that turnout needed to look like 2008 and 2012, years when Black turnout was significantly higher than in 2004 or 2016.
Another study indicated that some of those voters failed to cast a ballot simply because they assumed Clinton would win. That is probably even more frustrating for Clinton, knowing that those supporters existed — but that they didn’t think their vote was needed.
The Democratic convention has put a concerted focus on getting Democrats to vote and to vote early. In those three words — “woulda, coulda, shoulda” — Clinton articulated the sentiment that the party desperately hopes to avoid for the second election in a row.
Pelosi takes aim at McConnell — not just Trump
By Rachael Bade
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rattled off a long list of stalled Democratic priorities during her convention address Wednesday night: police reform, protections for LGBTQ Americans, a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants known as Dreamers, lower health-care costs, expansive voting rights.
And instead of just blaming the man in the White House for the lack of progress on those promises, she cast blame across the Rotunda to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
“All of this is possible for America,” the California Democrat said of those promises. “Who is standing in the way? Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump.”
The order — Pelosi twice mentioned McConnell as a hindrance to the Democratic agenda before Trump — suggests the speaker is feeling more confident about the prospects of ousting the man in the White House and wants to ensure voters remember the upper chamber.
McConnell’s moderate Republicans, from Maine to North Carolina to Arizona, are facing difficult reelection bids at a time when Trump’s poll numbers are dragging down GOP lawmakers. Should Democrats pick up three seats, they will take control of the upper chamber.
Should Democrats take the Senate and the White House, they will be able to actually enact — not just pass — House Democratic proposals that have been stalled in what Pelosi often calls “Mitch’s graveyard.”
Fact Checker: Clinton’s claim on billionaire wealth
By Glenn Kessler
“It’s wrong that billionaires got $400 billion richer during the pandemic, while millions lost their $600 a week in extra unemployment.”
— Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton
For the billionaire statistic, Clinton appears to be citing a report by a liberal-leaning group, Americans for Tax Fairness, that estimated that between March 18 — the rough start date of the pandemic shutdown — and May 19, the total net worth of the 600-plus U.S. billionaires jumped by $434 billion. The report used net worth calculations from Forbes magazine, which tracks net worth of billionaires.
But selecting March 18 was a bit of cherry-picking. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index had reached its peak on Feb. 19, and the market had fallen quite a bit by March 18. So many of these billionaires were underwater on May 19. MarketWatch recalculated the numbers from Feb. 19 and came up with a much different picture.
“Cumulatively, the top 50 billionaires lost $232 billion between the market’s peak and [May 19],” MarketWatch reported. “If the remaining billionaires on the Forbes list lost wealth at the same roughly 12.5% rate that the top 50 experienced, that’s another $200 billion-plus wiped out.”
Of course, the S&P 500 index recovered all of its losses earlier this week, so it’s safe to say many billionaires have likely regained their earlier losses. Some, such as Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, have done extremely well. Forbes says Bezos’s net worth as of Wednesday was $195 billion, a gain of more than 50 percent in six months.
The gain in billionaire wealth during the pandemic is certainly a fair target. But Clinton is using a dubious number.
Hillary Clinton: Vote 'so Trump can’t sneak or steal his way to victory’
By Colby Itkowitz
Clinton said Biden needs to win overwhelmingly, warning that he could win the popular vote but still lose the White House.
“Joe and Kamala can win by 3 million votes and still lose.” Clinton said. “Take it from me. So we need numbers overwhelming so Trump can’t sneak or steal his way to victory."
Four years ago, Clinton won the popular vote but not the electoral college. She has said she believes Trump didn’t win the 2016 election fairly. Still, Clinton said she wanted Trump to succeed, but he didn’t.
“I wish Donald Trump knew how to be a president,” she said, “because America needs a president right now.”
Kerry Washington: ‘The Black community in this country is hugely diverse’
By Matt Viser
Kerry Washington, the host of the tonight’s Democratic convention, began the transition to a discussion about immigration policy by making a point: “The Black community in this country is hugely diverse.”
She did not directly reference Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s comments earlier this month, which triggered widespread commentary when he appeared to downplay the diversity of the Black community.
“Unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things,” Biden told a group of Black and Hispanic journalists.
After the Trump campaign criticized him, Biden’s campaign sought to clarify. On Twitter, Biden wrote that, “In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith — not by identity, not on issues, not at all.”
On a night that will feature Harris, whose mother immigrated from India, her father from Jamaica, Washington noted the diversity of her own family.
“On my father’s side. I am descended from African Americans who came from slave ships that landed in South Carolina and who were part of the Great Migration north that has played such a defining role in who we are as a nation,” she said. “On my mother’s side, my grandparents came here as immigrants, part of a rich history that has also defined America.”
She said she often thinks of how her grandmother felt when she first saw the Statue of Liberty.
“My family’s story is not unique,” Washington said. “Unless you’re Native American, your family likely came here from somewhere else, whether it was five years ago or 200 years ago, whether it was by choice or by bondage.”
“Etched into the DNA of who we are as a nation is the very idea that though you may be from somewhere else, you can find your home here,” she added. “But that idea is in danger now more than ever before.”
Democrats make emotional appeal to voters on policies from guns to immigration
By Rachael Bade
A young farmer worrying about his crops not growing because of climate change. An 11-year-old American girl having her mother — an undocumented immigrant — torn from arms when she was deported. A mom whose 13-year-old son was shot in the head while dancing at a birthday party, disabled and unable or walk or speak for the rest of his life.
Democrats on Wednesday night made an emotional appeal to voters, touting policies and beliefs on climate, immigration and guns — and distinctively separating themselves from the man in the White House: President Trump.
During one video, the 11-year-old girl, Estella, read a letter to Trump about what happened to her family when her mom was deported. Her father was a U.S. Marine, but her mom, who immigrated to the United States as a youngster, was removed.
“Now my mom is gone, and she’s been taken from us for no reason at all,” she said, reading her letter. “We need a president who will bring people together, not tear them apart.”
Between pauses, the video showed clips of Trump vowing to remove immigrants at his rallies.
Likewise, in the video focused on De’Andre, the boy whose skull was shattered by a bullet, the mother blasted Trump for turning a blind eye to gun violence: “He doesn’t care. He didn’t care about the victims.”
The policy clips align with legislative proposals House Democrats ran on in the midterms, flipping the House. They’ve passed bills expanding background checks, ensuring deferred deportation status for young immigrants known as Dreamers and curbing climate change. They have stalled in the Republican-led Senate, however.
Should Democrats take the White House and the Senate, they argue, they’ll be able to enact those proposals.