‘I know Joe:’ Democrats make personal pitch for Biden ticket

Donna Deegan
Calls set the table for the Democratic nominee's Tuesday Florida swing.

Democrats, in a series of press events Monday afternoon, made the affirmative case that they “know” Joe Biden, and he’s a better bet than Donald Trump.

The speakers, a day before Biden is slated for visits to Kissimmee and Tampa, made the personal case for the nominee in often reverential tones, painting the nominee as a calming figure in both their lives and the national tempest.

Jackie Lee, a Delaware native who serves as Biden for President state director, said the campaign would “continue this narrative of how we know Joe” ahead of the election.

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, the national campaign co-chair, also hails from Delaware, and serves as Biden’s Congresswoman.

“We know Joe. And we know Florida knows Joe as well,” the Congresswoman said.

“We are a small state, and everybody knows Joe Biden,” she added.

Rochester shared a personal story of losing her husband, and Biden reassuring her, saying the memory would sometime bring a smile to her face before a tear to her eye.

She also explained “why this time was so important” to Biden, referring to his candidacy

“It was about restoring the soul of our country,” she said. “He knew this was a battle for the soul of our nation.”

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in Parkland in 2018, noted that “because of Joe Biden,” he has “mission and purpose.”

“When my family was facing the worst, he reached out. He spent 45 minutes on the phone with me. He wanted to get to know my family,” Guttenberg said.

They had a similar extended conversation at a fundraiser event, Guttenberg noted, in which the two discussed the grieving process both men experienced.

“Joe Biden cares about America,” Guttenberg said. “We know Joe. Joe knows us. What I’ve learned is Joe really wants to know us.”

In remarks tailored to North Florida markets, a second press call featured coronavirus concerns, making the case that Biden would traverse the health crisis competently.

State Rep. Loranne Ausley, running for Senate, said the current “unprecedented times” are taking a toll on everyone.

“Frankly, it didn’t have to be this way … if we’d acted on the information that we know they had, we could have done a shutdown like other countries and gotten the virus under control,” the Tallahassee Democrat said.

Donna Deegan, running against Republican Rep. John Rutherford in Congressional District 4, decried President Donald Trump for having known how bad the virus was but “decided to, in his words, downplay it to avoid panic.”

“He could have given us the respect of saying you can know this,” Deegan, a former broadcaster in the Jacksonville market, said. “But instead he decided to ignore it.”

Deegan described her “community” as “desperate for the leadership” that a Biden/Kamala Harris administration would provide.

“I look forward to having a President who cares about this country,” Deegan said.

Other panelists on the call, including a teacher, a nurse, and a small business owner, similarly issued stinging indictments of the President and Gov. Ron DeSantis for their handling of their virus.

“There’s been a lot of teachers who have retired, a lot who walked away,” said instructor Michelle Pletch.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski

One comment

  • Sonja Fitch

    September 15, 2020 at 4:02 am

    Vote Blue! The Democratic Candidates ,Deegan, Hicks and Biden/Harris are tough as nails, bright as tacks and will absolutely be for the Common Good! The goptrump cult sociopath do not give a dam about the common good! Only care about themselves and the “antichrist” like trump!

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