Biden joins Harris on stage following her acceptance speech
Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, joined Kamala Harris tonight on stage after she became the first Black and South Asian woman to be nominated to a major party's ticket.
In her acceptance speech, Harris paid tribute to the Black women that came before her, she urged Americans to fight and she vowed to fight for the nation.
"Let’s fight with conviction. Let’s fight with hope. Let’s fight with confidence in ourselves, and a commitment to each other. To the America we know is possible. The America, we love," she said.
11:21 p.m. ET, August 19, 2020
Harris talks about relationship with Biden’s late son Beau
From CNN's Gregory Krieg
Before she was Joe Biden’s primary rival in 2020, Kamala Harris struck up a friendship with Biden’s late son, Beau.
Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in 2015, overlapped with Harris during their times as fellow attorneys general – Harris representing California; Biden with the same job in Delaware – in the years after the financial crisis.
They worked together as part of a larger group that secured a settlement with major banks and lenders who were accused of predatory lending practices in the run-up to the crash.
But their political alliance, Harris said, ultimately took a backseat to a personal friendship that gave her an insight into Beau’s father.
“Beau and I,” Harris said, would talk about “Joe (spending) four hours every day riding the train back and forth from Wilmington to Washington” to see him and his brother, Hunter, who had lost their mother and sister in a 1972 car accident.
“Beau and Hunter got to have breakfast every morning with their dad,” Harris said. “They went to sleep every night with the sound of his voice reading bedtime stories. And while they endured an unspeakable loss, those two little boys always knew that they were deeply, unconditionally loved.”
12:32 a.m. ET, August 20, 2020
Harris emphasizes this moment in history: "We will tell them not just how we felt, we will tell them what we did"
From CNN's Jasmine Wright
In a mock convention hall, Kamala Harris became the first Black and South Asian American woman to accept the nomination vice president from a major political party.
In her remarks, Harris acknowledged that the "road ahead is not easy," but said, "we believe our country, all of us, will stand together for a better future." She urged Americans to go out and vote, and act for future generations.
“Years from now, this moment will have passed, and our children and our grandchildren will look in our eyes and they're going to ask us, ‘Where were you when the stakes were so high?’ … We will tell them not just how we felt, we will tell them what we did," Harris said.
Harris also used her speech to explain with detail her personal life and the vision that she and Joe Biden share for the country if they are elected.
"Joe will bring us together to end this pandemic and make sure that we are prepared for the next one. Joe will bring us together to squarely face and dismantle racial injustice, furthering the work of generations,” she said.
Watch the moment of her speech:
11:53 p.m. ET, August 19, 2020
Harris: "Oh, how I wish" my mother was here
From CNN's Dan Merica
Kamala Harris opened her vice presidential acceptance speech on Wednesday by remembering her late mother, lamenting the fact that she could not be there to see her daughter's achievement of becoming the first Black and South Asian woman nominated to a major party’s presidential ticket.
“My mother taught me that service to others gives life purpose and meaning. And oh, how I wish she were here tonight but I know she’s looking down on me from above,” Harris said.
She added that she often thinks about what her mother must have thought when she first gave birth at 25-years old at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, California.
“On that day, she probably could have never imagined that I would be standing before you now speaking these words: I accept your nomination for Vice President of the United States of America,” Harris said.
Earlier in the speech, Harris said she was there standing on her mother’s shoulders, a woman who “came here from India at age 19 to pursue her dream of curing cancer. At the University of California, Berkeley, she met my father, Donald Harris — who had come from Jamaica to study economics.”
“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.
Harris’ mother died of cancer in 2009.
11:56 p.m. ET, August 19, 2020
Wolf Blitzer: Obama speech "most powerful" of his career
From CNN's Josiah Ryan
CNN's Wolf Blitzer reacted to President Obama's address to the Democratic National Convention this evening, saying that in the many years he's covered the former President, he doesn't remember a speech that was more powerful.
“We also saw a truly unprecedented moment: the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, delivering a scathing, a scathing, attack against the current President," said the CNN anchor, moments after the Democrat's virtual convention concluded for the night.
"…I have been watching President Obama for example delivering speeches since 2004 deliver speeches," he continued. "This may have been the most powerful address he ever gave, a presidential address to the nation... going after the sitting President... you don't see that very often."
In his speech, earlier in the evening Obama laid into his successor, excoriating Trump as incapable of handling the responsibilities of the presidency and uninterested in “taking the job seriously.”
Speaking before Sen. Kamala Harris, Obama said that while he never expected Trump to “embrace my vision or continue my policies,” he also never believed he would treat the presidency as “anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves."
“I did hope, for the sake of our country, that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously; that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care,” Obama said. “But he never did."
11:18 p.m. ET, August 19, 2020
Harris: "There is no vaccine for racism"
Following her formal nomination tonight, Sen. Kamala Harris invoked the names of Black Americans killed in the US in her acceptance speech.
"There is no vaccine for racism. We have got to do the work," Harris said tonight during the Democratic National Convention.
She continued: "For George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor, for the lives of too many others to name, for our children and for all of us. 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."
11:52 p.m. ET, August 19, 2020
Kamala Harris pays tribute to Black women who came before her
From CNN's Eric Bradner
Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris began her speech Wednesday night saying that her presence -- as the first Black woman and first person of Indian descent nominated for a major political party's ticket -- is "a testament to the dedication of generations before me."
Harris noted that women had earned the right to vote 100 years ago -- but that Black women faced a longer battle for voting rights.
"Without fanfare or recognition, they organized, testified, rallied, marched, and fought -- not just for their vote, but for a seat at the table. These women and the generations that followed worked to make democracy and opportunity real in the lives of all of us who followed," she said. "They paved the way for the trailblazing leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton."
She named several female civil rights and political leaders -- "Mary Church Terrell and Mary Mcleod Bethune. Fannie Lou Hamer and Diane Nash. Constance Baker Motley and Shirley Chisholm."
"We’re not often taught their stories," she said. "But as Americans, we all stand on their shoulders."
11:53 p.m. ET, August 19, 2020
Harris becomes the first Black and South Asian woman nominated to major party's presidential ticket
Kamala Harris became the first Black and South Asian woman nominated to a major party's presidential ticket tonight.
She is set to deliver her acceptance speech as the first woman of color on a major party ticket this evening.
Harris, a daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, has often spoken about both their experience in America and her own as a biracial woman.
Harris was officially nominated by her sister Maya, niece Meena, and stepdaughter, Ella Emhoff.
"I love you, I admire you, I am so proud of you. Even though mommy is not here to see her first daughter step into history, the entire nation will see in your strength, your integrity, your intelligence, and your optimism the values that she raised us with," Maya said.
"We love you, mamala. We are so proud of you, auntie. You mean the world to us, Kamala. And we could not be more excited to share you with the world. As the next vice president of the United States," the women said together.
Watch the moment:
11:00 p.m. ET, August 19, 2020
Obama: "Do not let them take away your democracy"
From CNN's Gregory Krieg
Hammering away at a message that has become a theme of the night, President Barack Obama lamented the precarious state of democracy in America, then urged voters to go to the polls in November on a mission to save it.
“I'm…asking you to believe in your own ability, to embrace your own responsibility as citizens,” he said. “To make sure that the basic tenets of our democracy endure. Because that is what is at stake right now. Our democracy.”
In an implicit rebuke of President Trump’s famous convention line from 2016, when the future president pledged that “I alone can fix it,” Obama on Wednesday said he believed Biden and Harris could “lead this country of dark times,” but that their election wouldn’t be enough.
“No single American can fix this country alone, not even a president,” Obama said. “Democracy was never meant to be transactional, you give me your vote, I make everything better. It requires an active an informed citizenry.”
Obama also addressed the millions of frustrated Americans who could sit out the election, put off by a political and economic system that regularly ignores their needs while profiting off their work. Trump and Republicans, he said, benefited from that malaise and, now, was trying to use it to further empower himself.
“They know they can't win you over with their policies so they're hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote and to convince you that your vote does not matter. That is how they win,” Obama said. “That's how our democracy withers. Until it's no democracy at all and we cannot let that happen. Do not let them take away your power. Do not let them take away your democracy.”