Biden calls Trump a 'charlatan,' invokes FDR in speech promising to unite the nation

Biden calls Trump a 'charlatan,' invokes FDR in speech promising to unite the nation
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Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe Biden28 Senate Democrats sign statement urging Israel-Hamas ceasefire Franklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Schools face new pressures to reopen for in-person learning MORE on Tuesday vowed to unite the country and tied himself to former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a speech in rural Georgia meant to draw a contrast between himself and what he described as the divisive leadership of President TrumpDonald TrumpFranklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Man suspected in wife's disappearance accused of casting her ballot for Trump Stefanik: Cheney is 'looking backwards' MORE.

Speaking in the small town of Warm Springs, with a backdrop of rolling hills of green trees, Biden cast the president as a charlatan who had preyed on the nation’s worst instincts to tear people apart.

“Time and again throughout our history we’ve seen charlatans, con men and phony populists who sought to play on our fears and appeal to our worst appetites and pick at our oldest scabs for their own political gain,” Biden said. “They appear when the nation has been hit the hardest and when we’re at our most vulnerable.”


Biden said he was running to help the nation heal from this difficult moment in history that has been defined by the deadly coronavirus pandemic, political polarization and racial unrest.

“Our nation needs a president who is not in it for himself but for others, who unites us, not divides us,” Biden said. “A president who appeals not to the worst of us, but to the best. A president who cares less about his TV ratings and more about the American people. A president who looks not to settle scores, but to find solutions. A president guided not by wishful thinking but by science, reason and fact.”

“That’s the kind of president I hope to be,” Biden added. “I’m running as a proud Democrat but I’ll govern as an American president. I’ll work with Democrats and Republicans. I’ll work as hard for those who don’t support me, as for those who do.” 

Biden chose the location in Warm Springs, which is about an hour southwest of Atlanta and not far from the Alabama border, to recall Roosevelt, who retreated to the idyllic town for treatment of his polio.

Biden said he would mold his presidency after Roosevelt, who steered the nation through the Great Depression and World War II.


“This place represented a way forward … for healing,” Biden said. “The years that followed, FDR would come back often to think about how to heal the nation and the world. And that’s exactly what he did.”

Biden was also in Georgia because it’s a state that suddenly appears to be in reach for him.

Georgia has not gone for the Democratic presidential nominee since 1992, but polls show Trump and Biden running neck and neck. There are also two competitive Senate races in Georgia, making it an important state in the battle for control of the upper chamber.

Later on Tuesday, Biden will visit Atlanta for a drive-in rally to encourage people to vote.