Democratic presidential Joe Biden delivered his closing pitch to Americans one week out to Election Day in Warm Springs, Georgia, the location of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Little White House,” promising to deliver unity and healing to a nation faced with multiple historic crises.
“Anger and suspicion are growing, and our wounds are getting deeper,” Biden warned.
“Many wonder, has it gone too far? Have we passed the point of no return? Has the heart of this nation turned to stone?” he asked. “I don’t think so. I refuse to believe it. I know this country. I know our people. And I know we can unite and heal this nation.”
Biden has frequently cited Roosevelt as an inspiration, and he shared recently in an interview on Pod Save America that he’s reading “The Defining Moment,” a book by Jonathan Alter about Roosevelt’s first 100 days.
Biden said that Warm Springs is a “good place” to talk about healing, as Roosevelt was reported to visit to use the therapeutic waters after suffering paralysis following a polio diagnosis.
The Democratic nominee also laid out the current state of affairs in his speech.
“These are historic painful crises: the insidious virus, the economic anguish, the systematic discrimination. Any one of them could have rocked the nation, yet we’ve been hit by all three all at once,” Biden said.
He sharply criticized President Trump for his handling of the pandemic but did not mention him by name.
He once again condemned White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’ comments to CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union, who said “we’re not going to control the pandemic,” by saying, “It’s capitulation, it’s a waving of a white flag. It’s a window into the shocking truth about this White House that they’ve never really tried.”
The Democratic nominee struck an optimistic tone as he delivered a message of hope.
“I tell you this from my heart. I believe in America and an America of hope, not fear. Unity, not division. Love, not hate,” he said.
Biden added that people often ask him how he is so confident about the future of the nation, and responded to his rhetorical question by citing a line he often uses to close his speeches: “We are the United States of America. There’s nothing, nothing the American people can’t do and have been unable to do when we put our minds to it.”
At the end of his remarks, Biden leaned into a heavily religious message, citing a recent encyclical by Pope Francis that warns against “phony populism” and arguing that “God and history” have called the country to this moment.