Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday vowed to “unite and heal” the United States as he called for an end to political divisiveness during a campaign visit to Warm Springs, Georgia.
Speaking in the rural town about an hour southwest of Atlanta, the former vice president sought to deliver a message of unity in his first visit to the Republican-leaning state, saying that he will “restore our soul and save this country.”
Georgia hasn’t voted for a Democrat presidential candidate since 1992.
With Election Day just one week away, Biden attempted to paint a stark picture of his rival President Donald Trump, though without mentioning his name, likening him to men of an earlier time.
“Time and again throughout our history, we have seen charlatans, the con men, the phony populists, who have sought to play on our fears, appeal to our worst appetites, and pick at the oldest scabs we have for their own political gain,” he said. “They appear when the nation has been hit the hardest and when we’re at our most vulnerable.”
“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. 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 added.
Biden promised to be a president for all Americans regardless of party, even as he said that “anger and suspicion is growing and our wounds are getting deeper.”
“Has the heart of this nation turned to stone? I don’t think so,” Biden said. “I refuse to believe it.”
Biden’s location choice, Warm Springs, is where President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought treatment while governing a nation weathering the Great Depression and World War II. Biden said in his address that it acts as a reminder that “though broken, each of us can be healed.”
“That as a people and a country, we can overcome a devastating virus. That we can heal a suffering world. That, yes, we can restore our soul and save our country,” Biden said. “If you give me the honor of serving as your president, clear the decks for action. For we will act.”
Biden will, in the coming days, also make campaign trips to Wisconsin, Michigan, and Florida.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.