Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his newly-minted running mate Kamala Harris made their first joint campaign appearance Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware in an event delayed by just over an hour, reportedly because of a power outage in the area.
Harris' selection as Biden's VP is historic in many ways, cementing a career built on breaking barriers that started in the Bay Area.
Harris is the first Black woman and Asian American to receive the nod.
Biden and Harris addressed several issues Wednesday afternoon that will likely be central to their campaign: support for working families, President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy and what Harris referred to as a “moral reckoning” over racial equality across the country.
Watch the entire event below.
"Kamala is smart, she’s tough, she’s experienced, she’s a proven fighter for the backbone of this country: the middle class. She knows how to govern, she knows how to make the hard calls. She’s ready to do the work on day one," said Biden, introducing his running mate.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, only staff, media and U.S. Secret Service were allowed inside of the building, creating an at time surreal effect with none of the usual cheers and applause that are expected at campaign events. But Biden said the positive response to Tuesday's announcement was overwhelming, doubling the campaign’s previous record for grassroots funding.
Addressing the historic nature of the announcement, Biden said he hoped it brought hope to young girls, and especially Black and brown girls across the country.
"Today, just maybe they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way, as the stuff of Presidents and Vice Presidents," Biden added.
"The choice we make this November is going to decide the future of America for a long, long time." said Biden, laying out an argument that the possibility of President Trump serving a second term reflects a serious threat. Biden referred to the upcoming election as "battle for the soul of America."
The former vice president noted Wednesday also marks the third anniversary of a violent white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, labeling it a wake-up call for the country. Both Biden and Harris spoke of President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, with Biden critiquing Trump for golfing regularly in recent weeks.
"The case against Donald Trump and Mike Pence is open and shut. Just look where they’ve got us," said Harris, in a nod to her prosecutorial experience. Speaking of President Trump in particular, she said his administration has been disastrous for the country. "Like everything else he inherited, he ran it straight into the ground."
While Senator Harris previously garnered headlines during her campaign for the Democratic nomination by critiquing Biden’s record on racial issues, she credited him at the event for working side-by-side with President Barack Obama and nominating her, the first Black woman to appear on a national ticket.
Just as Biden and Obama were known for their close working relationship, Biden and Harris addressed a connection they shared through Biden’s late son Beau, who served as Attorney General of Delaware when Harris was serving in the same role in California.
The pair will reportedly participate in a virtual fundraiser late Wednesday.