Former Vice President Joe Biden kicked off his 2020 presidential campaign in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Monday, at a rally at a local union hall.
Biden began by recalling the recent synagogue shooting in California, looping it together with the riots in Charlottesville and the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh in 2018.
“We are reminded again. We are in a battle. We are in a battle for America’s soul, I really believe that, and I want to restore it,” he said.
Biden tried to project the image of an energetic candidate, as he immediately stripped off his suit jacket after taking the stage. By the end of his speech, Biden was yelling into the microphone as he spoke about President Trump and his campaign.
“Donald Trump is the only president who’s decided not to represent the whole country. The president has his base; we need a president who works for all Americans — we can afford this,” he said.
He encouraged Democrats and Independents to join his campaign because, he argued, it is based on decency and truth.
“The only thing that can tear America apart is America itself,” he said.
Joe Biden angrily denounced the economic “one-way street” that existed in America, noting that major companies like General Motors were cutting benefits and laying off workers despite making record profits.
Biden said that he decided to launch his campaign in Pittsburgh because he needed the state to beat Trump.
“If I’m going to beat Donald Trump in 2020, it’s going to be here,” he said.
Biden specified that it was essential to support and defend unions as a way to make sure economic prosperity was shared.
“Stop the union busting!” he shouted. “Stop!”
Biden also endorsed the concept of a $15 minimum wage.
“It’s time to start rewarding work over wealth,” he shouted.
He also demanded an end to Trump’s tax cuts.
“The stock market is roaring, but you don’t feel it. There was a $2 trillion tax cut last year, did you feel it? Did you get anything from it?” he asked his crowd of supporters.
“Nooo!” they shouted.
“Of course not!” Biden replied.
The former Vice President denounced President Donald Trump for trying to “gut” Obamacare but said that all Americans should be able to choose between a public health care plan or private or employer-based health care.
Harold Schaitberger of the fire fighter’s union spoke at the event, noting that Biden was the only Democrat that could beat Trump in 2020.
“Let me shoot straight with you, and this might not be popular in parts of the Democratic party, but we have to have a nominee and can’t have a nominee that is too far left,” he said. “It’s just that simple. A candidate that has high minded ideals, maybe honorable ideals, but little chance of winning.”