Biden talks unity and defeating Trump in St. Louis rally

2020+presidential+candidate+Joe+Biden+speaks+to+the+crowd+of+spectators+waving+campaign+signs.+

Olivia Silvey

2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to the crowd of spectators waving campaign signs.

By Olivia Silvey, Kirkwood High School

Vibrant blue signs reading “Missouri for Biden” dominated the former Vice President’s campaign rally at Kiener Plaza held Saturday, March 7.  Presidential candidate Joe Biden addressed the crowd in front of the Old Courthouse around 12:30. 

He took the stage after introductions by a number of people, including field organizer Ben May; Darlene Green, Comptroller of St. Louis; Lewis Reed, president of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen; and Kevin O’Malley, former U.S. ambassador to Ireland.

Biden began the 10-minute speech discussing his Super Tuesday triumphs and emphasizing the high voter turnout. After weeks of losing momentum, he came back to win a larger number of delegates than expected, surpassing Vermont Senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. 

“What a difference a week makes,” Biden said. 

He then emphasized the importance of unity in the 2020 election, and that negative attacks will “only re-elect [President Donald] Trump.” He expressed that he is the candidate to bring the Democrats together and continue former president Barack Obama’s work. 

Biden hit on other main points of interest, including healthcare legislation and his hopes to improve Obamacare. He talked about beating the National Rifle Association (NRA), rejoining the Paris Agreement “on day one” and the importance of free community college and public education.

“The quality of your public education should not depend on your zip code,” Biden said. 

He touched on foreign policy by criticizing Trump’s friendships with leaders like Kim Jong-un and promising to heal important alliances he said were damaged by Trump. 

Biden then returned to the topic of defeating President Donald Trump in the general election, and stressed the importance of maintaining dignity. 

“Presidents have to fight, but they also have to forgive and they have to join people together,” he said.

A protester shouting “let dairy die” interrupted his speech at this point. They belong to a group of animal rights protesters called Direct Action Everywhere and have interjected at many Democratic candidate rallies. Biden acknowledged them with a small smile. He told the crowd to ignore them, as they were “doing exactly what Trump does” in terms of divisiveness. 

Along with the dairy protesters, an audience member repeatedly shouted “no to crime bill, Biden” from the back of the crowd, referencing his leadership in the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. This act has been a controversial topic of discussion in Biden’s campaign. She held a sign with the same phrase, eventually making her way to Biden’s left in camera view. 

Biden wrapped up the speech with a quote from the Declaration of Independence and an exuberant call to unite against Trump. 

“We are better than this moment, and better than this president, so get out and take back your country.” 

From there, Biden headed to his next rally in Kansas City, Mo.

This story was originally published on The Kirkwood Call on March 8, 2020.