Thank you all very much for being here. Let me begin by acknowledging that last night’s results were disappointing. We lost in the largest state up for grabs yesterday, the state of Michigan. We lost in Mississippi, Missouri, and Idaho.
On the other hand, we won in North Dakota and we lead the vote count in the state of Washington, the second-largest state contested yesterday. With 67 percent of the votes having been counted in Washington, we are a few thousand votes on top.
Poll after poll, including exit polls, show that a strong majority of the American people support our progressive agenda. The American people are deeply concerned about the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in this country. The American people want the wealthy and large, profitable corporations to start paying their fair share of taxes. And the American people want a single-payer national health care system that eliminates copays, deductibles, and premiums, guaranteeing health care to everyone in America as a human right.
Joe Biden is opposed to guaranteeing health care as a human right – on television just the other day, he said he might veto a single-payer health care bill if he is elected President and Congress sends it to his desk. This position is unacceptable, especially in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic we are currently facing. But many Democrats are voting for Joe Biden anyway. Why, you ask? Because they believe he is the safe choice to take on Donald Trump in November.
We need to correct this misconception now, before it is too late. If you want to beat Donald Trump in November, you should vote for me.
I want you to think back to 2016. The same people who are telling you that Joe Biden is the safe choice to take on Donald Trump today were telling you that Hillary Clinton was the safe choice to take on Donald Trump four years ago. We all know how that turned out. Let us not make the same mistake again.
I am the most electable Democrat for two main reasons. First, our campaign continues to win the vast majority of the votes of younger people. Young people’s votes and enthusiasm were a major reason why Barack Obama won in 2008 and 2012. Hillary Clinton’s inability to inspire young voters in 2016 was a major reason why she lost that election, and young people also do not trust Joe Biden. You may be committed to voting for either Joe Biden or me in November, but whether we ask them to or not, young progressives – a key constituency we need to beat Trump – can only be expected to knock on doors and vote if I am the nominee.
Why are young progressives uninspired by Joe Biden? It’s because he has been on the wrong side of important fights for decades. I have a 100% pro-choice voting record; Joe Biden has voted over and over again to restrict access to abortion and contraception. When I was in college, I organized to desegregate housing and schools; years later, in the Senate, Joe Biden stood with southern racists and opposed desegregating schools. I’ve fought for free college; Joe Biden helped create the student debt crisis. I opposed the Iraq War; Joe Biden cheered it on. On issue after issue, I’ve been on the right side and Joe Biden has been on the wrong side.
That brings me to the second reason I am the most electable Democrat: I am the polar opposite of Donald Trump. Trump is a pathological liar who is running a corrupt administration. I am recognized even by Republican voters who disagree with my policies for my honesty and integrity.
The contrast will not be so stark with Joe Biden. When Biden points out that Trump has spent his time as President enriching himself and his friends, Trump will point out that Biden’s Wall Street donors got the policies they paid for during Biden’s Senate career. When Biden points out that Trump lies repeatedly, Trump will point out that Biden has plagiarized speeches, fabricated stories, and lied about his record of supporting Social Security cuts. When Biden points out that Trump is a racist and sexist, Trump will point out that Biden was an architect of mass incarceration, advanced racist stereotypes about single mothers, and frequently makes women feel uncomfortable. Even when Biden criticizes Trump for putting kids in cages, Trump will point out that the cages were built and kids first put in them when Biden was Vice President.
Let us be clear: Donald Trump is worse than Joe Biden. But let us also be clear: being better than Donald Trump is not enough. It is not enough for the millions of people who need health care and it is not enough to win an election. Democrats tried it already, in 2016, and we lost. We should not try it again.
So if you live in one of the 26 states that hasn’t voted yet, please tune in to the first one-on-one debate of this campaign on Sunday night. You will see then what you already know now if you’ve seen Joe Biden speak recently or watched my Fox News town hall: in addition to being the only candidate who has fought for you for decades, I am also the candidate best-positioned to defeat Donald Trump.
Donald Trump must be defeated, and I will do everything in my power to make that happen. I hope you will, too, by casting your vote for me in your upcoming primary. Thank you all very much.