Biden calls Iowa ‘critical battleground state’ for November election in address to Iowa Democrats

Published: Jul. 26, 2020 at 9:56 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - With 100 days until the Nov. 3 general election, former Vice President Joe Biden called Iowa a “critical battleground state” for his campaign.

Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, served as the keynote speaker at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Hall of Fame event on Sunday night.

The 2019 Hall of Fame event was held in Cedar Rapids, a three-hour-long event featuring five-minute stump speeches from 19 of the Democrats who were vying for the party’s nomination at the time. Biden did not attend last year’s Hall of Fame because of a family event.

This year’s Hall of Fame, one of the Iowa Democratic Party’s annual fundraisers, moved to a virtual and prerecorded setting because of the COVID-19 pandemic and lasted about an hour.

Biden kept his remarks brief, speaking for just over three minutes and calling for “real leadership” to address issues currently facing the country, including systemic racism, unemployment, and the pandemic.

“We need leadership that recognizes the real threat of this pandemic and doesn’t just wave a white flag of surrender like the President has,” Biden said. “We need leadership that brings everyone to the table to rebuild an economy that works for working families, creates millions of good-paying jobs for the future. We need leadership that strives to finally deliver on our founding principles, to ensure that all men are not only equal at creation but treated equally throughout their lives.”

The former vice president marked Sunday as the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, noting former Iowa Senator Tom Harkin’s role in crafting the landmark legislation, and recognized the work of the Iowa Legislative Black Caucus to pass a police reform bill in June.

Biden also called for Iowans to support Democrats in the state’s U.S. Senate, House, and down-ballot races in November as well.

“The stakes have never been higher, so we have to work harder than ever. We need to stand up as a nation, to stand with workers, to stand with every person that has ever been knocked down, counted out, or left behind,” he said.

Meanwhile, Republicans said they believe Iowans will throw their support behind President Donald Trump in November. Trump won Iowa with more than 51% of the state’s votes in the 2016 presidential election.

In a statement sent to KCRG-TV9, Republican National Committee Spokesperson Preya Samsundar said, “With policies that will kill hundreds of thousands of jobs, raise taxes on middle-class families, and destroy Iowa’s expansive agriculture industry, no amount of hiding in his basement will spare Joe Biden from the ire of Iowa voters.”

The Republican Party of Iowa echoed a similar message in its statement, criticizing both the fundraiser and its keynote speaker. Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said that “the only way for Iowans to see [Biden] is to pay for access,” and that “Biden’s out-of-touch agenda would leave those of us in America’s heartland behind.”

The most recent Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll, conducted in early June, shows a close race between the two presidential candidates in Iowa, with Trump holding a 44%-to-43% advantage over Biden, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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