Clinton, Kerry, and Schumer Attack Trump in Convention Speeches

August 19, 2020 Updated: August 19, 2020

Former president Bill Clinton, former secretary of state John Kerry, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) focused their speeches at the second day of the Democratic National Convention on attacking President Donald Trump.

Clinton blamed Trump’s leadership for the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and pointed to statistics which suggest the United States has been hit harder than other nations.

“Donald Trump says we’re leading the world. Well, we are the only major industrial economy to have its unemployment rate triple. At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command center. Instead, it’s a storm center. There’s only chaos,” Clinton said.

Clinton, Kerry and Schumer were among a group of speakers who delivered pre-recorded remarks at the second day of the convention, which is being held virtually amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Former deputy attorney general Sally Yates and former secretary of state Colin Powell likewise took swipes at Trump.

Democrats formally nominated Biden as their presidential candidate on Tuesday, months after all of the other candidates in the race endorsed the former vice president. Biden is scheduled to accept the nomination on Thursday.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden embrace as they speak from Brandywine High School, where she taught English from 1991 to 1993, during the virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention as participants from across the country are hosted over video links from the originally planned site of the convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Aug. 18, 2020. (2020 Democratic National Convention/Pool via Reuters)

Biden’s supporters consistently report that they’re motivated more by opposition to Trump than excitement about Biden, a lifelong politician who would be the oldest president ever elected.

The Trump campaign responded to the second day of the convention by highlighting Biden’s agenda.

“When they were counting the delegates tonight, somebody should have been totaling the $4 trillion in new taxes that Joe Biden would heap on Americans if elected,” Tim Murtaugh, Trump 2020 communications director said in a statement.

“Another informative exercise would have been for each state delegation to announce how many jobs Biden’s failed policies have killed in their communities, through high taxes and regulations, disastrous trade deals, and coddling of economic rivals like China.”

Election 2020 DNC
In this image from video, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., speaks during the second night of the Democratic National Convention, on Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)

Schumer used the pandemic to criticize the president and accused Trump of dividing the nation.

“America: Donald Trump has quit on you. He has quit on you,” Schumer said. “We need a president with dignity, integrity, and the experience to lead us out of this crisis, a man with a steady hand and a big heart who will never—ever—quit on America. That man is my friend Joe Biden.”

Kerry focused his criticism of Trump on the president’s foreign policy, claiming that Trump’s agenda “has made our nation more isolated than ever before.”

“When this president goes overseas, it isn’t a goodwill mission, it’s a blooper reel. He breaks up with our allies and writes love letters to dictators. America deserves a president who is looked up to, not laughed at,” Kerry said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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