We need honest, trusted, truthful, reassuring leadership: Joe Biden

Bloomberg Detroit | Updated on March 10, 2020

Joe Biden   -  REUTERS

The generation of leaders are the future of this country, he adds

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said on Monday that he would be a bridge to a new generation, restoring the country’s values following Donald Trump’s presidency and then leaving the country to younger leaders.

“Look, I view myself as a bridge, not as anything else,” the former vice president said at a rally in Detroit where he was joined by three younger politicians who are all seen as contenders to be his running mate. California Senator Kamala Harris, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, as well as Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, have all endorsed Biden since his big wins on Super Tuesday.

“There’s an entire generation of leaders you saw stand behind me. They are the future of this country,” he said. Biden, 77, has generally been reluctant to discuss his age, insisting that he is in good health and able to handle the rigours of the campaign trail and the presidency. He is the younger of the two major candidates for the Democratic nomination. Bernie Sanders is 78. But with three politicians in their 40s and 50s joining him on stage, Biden insisted that he wasn’t trying to eclipse them, but to force out Trump and stabilize the country, setting the stage for a new generation.

“At this moment, when there’s much fear in this country, where we have a circumstance where, in fact, American leadership is called into question, we need honest, trusted, truthful, reassuring leadership,” he said. “And that’s what, if I’m given the honour of being the president, I promise you I will give to the nation and the world.”

Biden’s appeal was especially striking coming minutes after his speech was interrupted by two sets of young protesters. One group chastised him for supporting the North American Free Trade Agreement, which, in their words “killed jobs”. The other, from climate advocacy group Sunrise Movement, held signs calling for a Green New Deal. “We need you. We need you. Join us,” he told them at one point. But at another, he lamented, “We’ve got a lot of crazy folks around.”

Biden spoke on the eve of primaries in six states — Michigan, Idaho Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota and Washington — where he seeks to expand the lead he accrued a week ago on Super Tuesday.

Biden leads in Michigan

Michigan is the most delegate-rich state voting on Tuesday, with 125 contested. Biden has led recent Michigan polls by wide margins, but his campaign is wary of low turnout especially among black voters.

Polls just before the states 2016 primary showed Hillary Clinton with a big lead over Sanders, but low turnout among African American voters ended up giving Sanders a narrow win.

Harris, who was appearing with Biden for the first time since endorsing him, echoed the idea that Michigan would be key. “When I look at this great state, its the bellwether, its the measure of how America is doing and what’s it capable of doing,” she said. Her appearance on Monday was her first for Biden since her weekend endorsement of him.

Washington is the next biggest state, with 89 delegates at stake. Sanders had been expected to do well there, but Biden has gained ground following the consolidation of the Democratic field.

Earlier in the night, Biden spoke to 350 people at the Detroit Athletic Club for a $1,000-to-$2,800-a-head fundraiser. “I will not let you down,” he promised his audience.

Published on March 10, 2020

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