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Australia Joe Biden and his VP pick Kamala Harris explain their plan for beating Donald Trump in 2020

04:25  13 august  2020
04:25  13 august  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his vice - president pick , Kamala Harris , have made their first public appearance as running mates. Biden announced the Senator from California would serve as his vice -presidential pick yesterday, following a months-long vetting process marked by

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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his vice-president pick, Kamala Harris, have made their first public appearance as running mates.

Biden announced the Senator from California would serve as his vice-presidential pick yesterday, following a months-long vetting process marked by intense public speculation.

Today, both Biden and Harris spoke from Biden's hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. They mapped out their path to victory in November, focussing heavily on coronavirus, the economy, race issues and, of course, Donald Trump.

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Here's what you need to know.

We learned why Biden picked Harris

As speculation dragged on in July, Biden said he wanted to be "simpatico" with his running mate. That is, he wanted someone he could get along with.

Thousands of column inches were burned on which candidate best met that definition, picking apart everything from policy to upbringing to work history.

Today, Biden said it was a much more personal connection that drove the final decision — his late son Beau.

Beau Biden died of brain cancer in 2015, an event that has defined much of the former vice-president's late career.

Before his death, Beau and Harris worked closely together as Attorneys General of their states.

"Beau was the kind of guy who inspired people to be a better version of themselves," Harris said.

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Kamala Harris as his vice presidential running mate. If elected, she would be the first female, first Joe Biden has chosen Kamala Harris , the prominent senator from California whose political career I’ve decided that Kamala Harris is the best person to help me take this fight to Donald Trump and

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"And when I asked him 'where'd you get that?' He'd always talk about his dad."

In this speech, Biden was clear about how much Beau's friendship with Harris, and Beau's respect for her work had helped influence his final decision.

Prior to this event, the Biden/Harris relationship has been defined by a fiery clash on the debate stage in 2019.

Today, they tried to reset the clock by making the central point of their relationship something much more personal than politics.

We'll see how it holds up under inevitable questioning from journalists — and in Trump attack ads.

Rhetoric outweighed policy

In what was essentially a showy introduction, the pair focused on connecting with viewers through emotion, rather than digging into specific policy.

But the stances they did share were telling.

As a presidential primary challenger, Harris fielded criticism from voters for being tricky to pin down on the Democratic spectrum.

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The Trump campaign released a statement and video attacking the Biden - Harris team within minutes of the announcement by presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden that he Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his vice presidential running mate Tuesday afternoon.

Though young voters seem lukewarm about Joe Biden , polls show their support for the Democrat is greater than for Donald Trump . At 77 years-old, Biden would be the oldest president in history if he manages to defeat President Trump in November.

A political pragmatist, Harris has a moderate voting record but hasn't shied away from adopting more progressive stances in response to public views, and she has publicly disagreed with Biden on the finer points of policy.

It's clear from this announcement that she's willing to take a few steps back into Biden's moderate territory.

On the top issue of healthcare, Harris pledged to "build on the Affordable Care Act" rather than dismantling it, a position she toyed with in her failed primary campaign.

She also ticked off broad Biden platform points like a investing in clean energy, rebuilding the supply chain, protecting abortion rights and addressing systemic racism.

Race and gender were mentioned

With so much of the vetting speculation revolving around identity — specifically, the need to balance the ticket with a non-white, non-male candidate — plenty were watching to see how much the pair would lean on Harris's race and gender as qualifications for the job.

While both referenced Harris's identity, neither dwelled on it for long.

Biden mentioned Harris's immigrant parents in describing her as "the story of America".

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"This morning all across the nation little girls woke up, especially little black and brown girls, who so often feel overlooked in their communities," he said.

"But today, just maybe, they're seeing themselves in a new way."

Harris, who generally spoke more about Biden than herself, used her identity to paint the former vice-president as progressive.

She spoke extensively about how the two share a love of family, ending by saying that of all the titles she's held — California attorney-general, senator, vice-presidential candidate — "Mamma-la will always be the one that means the most".

In describing Biden's track record on race, Harris said he was the only leader "who has served beside the first black president and selected the first black woman as his VP".

Choosing to subject a woman of colour to misogynistic, racist rhetoric was something the Biden campaign faced criticism for throughout the vetting process.

On the stage today, Biden addressed some of that directly by saying he would stand up for his running mate.

"You all knew it was coming. You could've set your watch to it. He's already started his attacks," Biden said of President Donald Trump.

"Whining is what he does best. Is anyone surprised Trump has a problem with a strong woman?"

"All of us will stand up for her."

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Both went hard after Trump

The President wasted no time responding to Biden's announcement yesterday, tweeting out a campaign ad labelling Harris "phony" and a supporter of the "radical left". He followed up by calling her "nasty" during a press conference.

Biden and Harris returned the favour.

The former vice-president asked Americans to recall the violent scenes at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017, where white supremacists and neo-Nazis gathered to protest the removal of Confederate monuments.

Counter-protester Heather Heyer was killed when one of the white supremacists rammed his car into a crowd.

"Remember what it felt like to see those neo-Nazis and Klansmen and white supremacists coming out of the fields with their lighted torches, faces contorted, veins bulging, and pour into the streets of a historic American city, spewing the same anti-Semitic bile we heard in Hitler's Germany the 1930s?" Biden said.

"At that moment, I knew I couldn't stand by and let Donald Trump — a man who saw 'very fine people on both sides' — continue to attack everything that makes America, America."

Harris didn't let up, arguing that Trump was "the reason" the coronavirus pandemic has spiralled out of control in the US.

"He inherited the longest economic expansion in history from Barack Obama and Joe Biden — and then, like everything else he inherited, he ran it straight into the ground," she said.

"As someone who has presented my fair share of arguments in court, the case against Donald Trump and Mike Pence is open and shut."

Biden will be looking for Harris to prosecute that case to the American public over the next 83 days. Today was a sharp opening salvo.

We know what this campaign will look like

Masks on. Candidates standing 1.5 metres apart, never sharing a podium. No stadiums, no spectacle and no crowds.

The speeches still had moments where you could imagine the candidates pausing for rousing applause from a crowd of thousands of supporters.

But the candidates spent more time staring straight down the barrel of the camera, knowing the audience isn't in the room and probably won't be for the rest of the campaign.

Even Trump has acknowledged that his rallies are increasingly unlikely to make another appearance.

There are only 83 days until an election where one candidate wants to "Make America Great Again" and the other's key campaign message is "we can forget about the past four years".

But today's event was just more evidence that America probably isn't ever going back to what was "normal" before coronavirus.

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usr: 1
This is interesting!