Former Vice President Joe Biden, speaking to only the press and his staffers at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia once again declared his campaign was “very much alive” following big primary victories in Michigan, Missouri and Mississippi.
“Just over a week ago, many declared that this candidacy was dead. Now we’re very much alive,” Biden said, adding that his comeback is “more than a comeback” but “a comeback for the soul of this nation.”
Biden’s decisive primary victories in Michigan, Missouri, and Mississippi on Tuesday were powered by a broad coalition of supporters, including women, African Americans, those with and without college degrees, older voters, union members and all but the very liberal, according to exit polls by Edison Research.
The former vice president’s win in Michigan marked a massive blow to Sanders, who unexpectedly won the state’s primary in 2016. With 91% of the precincts reporting, Biden had 53% of the vote in Michigan, well ahead of Sanders’ 37%. He also won Missouri and Mississippi with 60% and 81% of the vote, respectively.
Biden also spoke directly to Sanders and his supporters, indicating that he will be the Democratic nominee and will be looking for their support come the general election.
“I want to thank Bernie Sanders and his supporters for their tireless energy and their passion,” Biden said. “We share a common goal. Together, we will defeat Donald Trump. We will defeat him together.”
Biden expressed optimism in his campaign’s path forward, focusing the rest of his remarks on unifying the Democrat party to defeat President Trump.
“Although there’s a way to go, it looks like we’re going to have another good night,” Biden said as results from Washington state, North Dakota and Idaho were starting coming in. “This campaign is taking off and I believe we’re going to do well from this point on. I take nothing for granted. I want to earn every vote in every state.”
“We’re going to bring this nation together,” Biden added. “We’re regenerating a Democratic base, the Democratic Party.”
The former Vice President took aim at President Trump, slamming his leadership during the coronavirus crisis while he portrayed himself as the candidate who will restore presidential leadership at a time of fear and uncertainty.
“Together, together we’re bringing this party together. That’s what we have to do. Tonight we are a step closer to restoring decency, dignity and honor to the White House,” Biden continued. “At this moment, there’s so much fear in the country. There’s so much fear across the world. We need presidential leadership that’s honest, trustworthy, truthful and steady.”
He added, “If I am given the honor of becoming your president, I promise you, I’ll strive to give the nation that very leadership every day, every day, I have the privilege to hold office.”
Biden and Sanders are scheduled to take part in a head-to-head debate on Sunday in Arizona as the next primary contests will move to a handful of states that are likely to be tougher for the Vermont Senator to win. Sanders did not win Florida, Arizona, Illinois and Ohio in 2016, and recent polls shows Biden in a double digit lead.