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Campaigning in Dover, Biden Calls For Democratic Unity

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Under a tent next to Castaway’s restaurant in Dover, former Vice President Joe Biden delivered a stump speech that never strayed far from his central campaign theme--what he calls restoring the soul of America. 

“I think it’s time to lift our heads up,” Biden told the crowd alongside the Cochecho River. 

“Remember who in god’s name we are: this is the United States of America, and we have never, never, never, never failed to do what we set our mind to, if we do it together.”

Biden accused President Trump of harming America’s status in the world, but said that the country could recover, as long as he doesn’t win a second term. 

On health care, the 2020 candidate called for protecting and expanding the Affordable Care Act, including adding a public option. He is rejecting a "Medicare For All" policy backed by several of his Democratic opponents, arguing those who like their private coverage should be able to stay on those plans.

Biden also talked up a proposal to provide free community college and technical school training to qualified students. The plan would be financed by raising the corporate tax rate and closing other capital gains loopholes. 

He also appeared to lament his status as perceived frontrunner, half-joking with his supporters that “the bad news about being a frontrunner is everyone is behind you, and looking.”

While pledging to support no matter who wins the Democratic nomination, Biden said his competitors would be better off focusing on the future, implying that digging into past records would hurt the entire party. 

“The last thing we need to use, to use Barack’s phrase, is form a circular firing squad here.”

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