Joe goes on the attack: Biden electrifies DNC with fierce takedown of Trump

"The times are too uncertain to elect Donald Trump as President of the United States," Biden said

By Scott Eric Kaufman
July 28, 2016 6:59AM (UTC)
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(AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

In perhaps the most stirring speech of the Democratic National Convention thus far, Vice President Joe Biden, animated and emphatic, tore into Donald Trump, calling the GOP nominee.

"The times are too uncertain to elect Donald Trump as President of the United States," Biden said. "No major party nominee in the history of this nation has ever known less or has been less prepared to deal with our national security.


He compared his and Hillary Clinton's middle-class origins to Trump's, and reminded the audience that Trump became famous for the phrase "You're fired!" Biden implored the audience to "think about that," i.e. the fact that he enjoyed saying that phrase so much.

"We cannot elect a man who exploits our fears of ISIS and other terrorists, but has no plan to make us safer -- a man who embraces the tactics of our enemies, torture and religious intolerance," he added.

He further claimed that even Republicans know this, "and we simply cannot let [him be elected], period."


"We lead not only by the example of our power," he said, "but by the power of our example!"

He began by noting that eight years earlier, he accepted the nomination to be vice president. "Every single day since then," he said, "we've been grateful to Barack and Michelle for asking to join them in that journey."

Biden noted that the president is "a man of character, and he has become a brother to Jill and me — and Michelle, I don't know where you are, kid, but you're incredible. As they say in Delaware, Barack and I 'married way up.'"


He spoke to those who survive without the robust support system that he and his family are fortunate enough to have, before praising teachers, who teach "not because that's what they do, it's who they are."

When Biden finally turned to Hillary Clinton, he noted that once a week, she had breakfast with Biden and his family. "I know what Hillary is passionate about," he said. "She understands that the college loan is about more than getting a qualified student an education -- it's about saving a mom and a dad the indignity of having to look at their talented child and say, 'Sorry, the bank wouldn't lend me the money you need to get to school.'"


Clinton, he argued, has "known for years that people go to bed staring at the ceiling and thinking, 'What will we do if I get breast cancer or you get a heart attack?'" He declared that everyone in the room "knows what it will be like for their daughters and granddaughters when Hillary Clinton walks into the Oval Office -- it will change their lives."


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at

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Barack Obama Beau Biden Dnc 16 Elections 2016 Hillary Clinton Jill Biden Joe Biden Michelle Obama