Kamala Harris Accepts Democratic Nomination for Vice President

August 19, 2020 Updated: August 20, 2020

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday, saying the country is at an “inflection point” and “can do better” than four more years of the current administration, as she urged voters to support Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

The 55-year-old California senator is the first black woman and Indian-American on a major U.S. presidential ticket. She is the third woman to seek the vice presidency.

“We’re at an inflection point. The constant chaos leaves us adrift. The incompetence makes us feel afraid. The callousness makes us feel alone. It’s a lot. And here’s the thing: We can do better and deserve so much more,” she said during an acceptance speech delivered for the largely virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday.

Senator Kamala Harris
Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) accepts the Democratic vice presidential nomination during an acceptance speech delivered for the largely virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del., on Aug. 19, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

“We must elect a president who will bring something different, something better, and do the important work. A president who will bring all of us together—Black, White, Latino, Asian, Indigenous—to achieve the future we collectively want. We must elect Joe Biden,” she added.

She alleged a “failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods” due to COVID-19 under President Donald Trump, and accused Trump of being someone who “turns our tragedies into political weapons,” while saying that Joe Biden “will be a president who turns our challenges into purpose.”

“[I am] committed to the values [my mother] taught me, to the word that teaches me to walk by faith, and not by sight, and to a vision passed on through generations of Americans—one that Joe Biden shares,” she said. “A vision of our nation as a beloved community–where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love. A country where we may not agree on every detail, but we are united by the fundamental belief that every human being is of infinite worth, deserving of compassion, dignity, and respect.

“A country where we look out for one another, where we rise and fall as one, where we face our challenges, and celebrate our triumphs—together. Today, that country feels distant.”

After the speech, Harris waved and clapped as she was applauded by a screen of viewers. A smiling Joe Biden walked on stage to join her while observing social distancing. The two were joined by their spouses.

Vice Presidential Nominee Kamala Harris Addresses Virtual DNC From Delaware
Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and her husband Douglas Emhoff and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden appear on stage after Harris delivered her acceptance speech on the third night of the Democratic National Convention from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del., on Aug. 19, 2020. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Other featured speakers on the third night of the Democratic National Convention included former President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

Harris had run unsuccessfully in the Democratic presidential primary, having dropped out months before the first votes were cast. She is a former state attorney general who became close to Biden’s son Beau while he was attorney general of Delaware. Beau Biden died of brain cancer in 2015, and Harris was elected to the Senate the following year.

Late Wednesday, the Trump campaign wrote on Twitter that Harris supports a slew of liberal policies, including Bernie Sanders’s socialist healthcare scheme, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s socialist Green New Deal, benefits for illegal immigrants, and a ban on fracking.

The campaign also alleged that Harris is “further to the left than Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren,” and said that she is “WEAK on crime,” accusing the vice presidential nominee of having “encouraged donations to a far-left group that bails people out of jail.”

“Now violent criminals like a serial rapist and a rioter who tried to kill cops are back on the streets,” the campaign wrote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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