WILMINGTON, Del. — The last time that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris shared a stage on March 9, shortly before introducing the presumptive Democratic nominee, the California senator told a crowd in Detroit, Michigan, “We got to get to work.”
On Wednesday, July 12, at her first event as Biden’s newly announced running mate, Harris echoed her sentiment from over five months ago: “I’m ready to get to work.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris spoke to a small crowd gathered in the gymnasium at Alexis I. duPont High School in Wilmington, Delaware, for their first appearance together as the presumptive Democratic presidential ticket.
A small crowd, wearing masks, stood outside of the school, braving a rainy day in Wilmington to catch a glimpse of the newly formed Democratic presidential ticket before their first event together.
While in past years, such announcements have been big-ticket events — former President Obama and Biden appeared for the first time as a ticket at a large rally in Springfield, Illinois, in 2008 — Biden and Harris spoke before a small, socially distanced crowd of reporters, staffers and members of their families.
They both wore face masks as they walked out.
Biden, speaking first, emphasized that the stakes in the 2020 presidential election are high: “The choice we make this November is going to decide the future of America for a very, very long time”
Biden quickly pivoted to praising his new running mate, saying, “I have no doubt that I picked the right person to join me as the next vice president of the United States of America, and that is Sen. Kamala Harris.”
Biden added that his late son Beau’s friendship with Harris influenced his decision to select her as his running mate: “I know how much Beau respected Kamala and her work and that mattered a lot to me, to be honest with you, as I made this decision.”
After the former vice president introduced her, Harris said that she was “proud” to stand with him, adding, “and I do so mindful of all the heroic and ambitious women before me whose sacrifice, determination, and resilience makes my presence here today even possible.”
“In just 83 days we have a chance to choose a better future for our country,” she told the crowd, before talking about her family.
"I've had a lot of titles over my career,” Harris said, “and certainly, vice president will be great. But ‘Momala’ will always be the one that means the most.”
Harris then turned her attention to criticizing Biden’s opponent, President Trump.
"America is crying out for leadership, yet we have a president who cares more about himself than the people who elected him,” Harris said, “a president who is making every challenge we face more difficult to solve.”
“… Let me tell you, as somebody who has presented my fair share of arguments in court,” the former prosecutor continued, “the case against Donald Trump and Mike Pence is open and shut.”
Biden, too, did not shy away from criticizing President Trump, saying he “hasn’t even met with the leadership” to try to negotiate a coronavirus stimulus deal. “Donald Trump is on the golf course.”
Harris also hammered the president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic: “This virus has impacted almost every country, but there’s a reason it has hit America worse than any other advanced nation. It’s because of Trump’s failure to take it seriously from the start.”
"When other countries are following the science, Trump pushed miracle cures he saw on Fox News,” she added.
On the economy, Harris said that President Trump "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,” adding that a Biden-Harris administration will "bring back critical supply chains so the future is made in America.”
Harris concluded her remarks by urging the American people to vote, “because electing Joe Biden is just the start of the work ahead of us, and I couldn’t be prouder to be by his side running to represent you, the people.”
The candidates then posed for socially distanced pictures before being joined by their spouses, Dr. Jill Biden and Douglas Emhoff. The group put on face masks and walked off the stage together.
Biden and Harris will appear at a virtual fundraiser for “grassroots” campaign donors later Wednesday evening.