Joe Biden’s Philly Kickoff Rally Shows His Campaign Has The Momentum To Win Back The Midwest

If the energy on the ground in Philadelphia on Saturday was any indication of what’s to come, Donald Trump is right to fear the candidacy of former vice president Joe Biden.

As Biden took the stage in the city of brotherly love to officially kick off his candidacy, a raucous crowd of 6,000 supporters greeted him and showed that the momentum behind his campaign is anything but “sleepy.”

Some images from on the ground in Philly:

Biden took direct aim at Trumpism

In his speech, Biden touched on the themes he has been hammering since last month when he announced his campaign – restoring America’s soul, rebuilding the middle class and repairing the divisions that Trump has intentionally deepened since taking office.

But he also offered a path forward for all Americans – one that transcends party politics and could play well to voters not only in the midwest but all across the country who are sick of how toxic the political environment has become in the Trump era.

“If the American people want a president to add to our division, to lead with a clenched fist, closed hand and a hard heart, to demonize the opponents and spew hatred, they don’t need me,” the former vice president said, taking direct aim at Trumpism. “They already have a president who does just that.”

Biden added, “I am running to offer our country – Democrats, Republicans and Independents – a different path.”

The former VP also touted his experience actually getting things done for the country, instead of throwing temper tantrums on social media.

“I know how to make government work,” Biden said. “Not because I’ve talked or tweeted about it, but because I’ve done it.”

Biden destroyed Trump for taking credit for the economy

The Democratic frontrunner also went directly at Trump for taking credit for economic growth that started well before he took office – under the leadership of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

“Trump inherited a healthy economy from Obama, just like he inherited everything else,” Biden said, likely to set off another early-morning tweet meltdown from Trump.

While the economic gains of the Obama-Biden era have continued under Trump, the president’s petty and reckless trade war with China could hurt the economy and hit consumers with higher prices.

Biden is betting on unity

While there are some liberal purists who criticize Biden for a message of bringing the country back together, instead of tapping into the anger felt by many in the party, the former VP  made it clear on Saturday that he is betting on unity.

“Some say Democrats don’t want to hear about unity – that they are angry, and the angrier you are, the better,” Biden said. “Well, I don’t believe it. I believe Democrats want to unify this nation. That’s what we’ve always been about: Unity.”

“Let’s stop fighting and start fixing,” Biden said. “We can only do it together.”

It’s unclear how this message will ultimately play out in what will be a heated Democratic primary campaign, but it appears to be resonating at least in the early going as the former VP has become the clear frontrunner in this race.

According to the RealClearPolitics average, Biden leads his closest primary opponent by nearly 23 percentage points.

If that lead holds and Biden moves onto the general election as the Democratic nominee, the message he delivered on Saturday in Philadelphia will appeal nationally, particularly in some of the midwestern purple states he needs to defeat Trump.

The Midwest is ready to dump Trump – and Biden speaks their language

In 2016, Donald Trump managed to fool just enough voters – particularly in the Midwest – into giving him an Electoral College victory. Many of these voters knew he wasn’t qualified to be president, but Trump convinced enough of them that he would shake up the system to their benefit.

The bad news for the president is that, unlike during his first campaign, he has a record now. He can’t just bluster his way – with the help of the Russians – into another four years in the Oval Office. That record, of course, has been dismal for the same people he promised to fight for if elected.

Since taking office, some of Trump’s key so-called accomplishments include a massive tax cut for the wealthy and a trade war that hurts middle and low-income consumers.

Contrast this record with Joe Biden, who doesn’t just speak to the struggles of voters in the midwest – as he again demonstrated on Saturday in Philadelphia – but he has a record of standing alongside workers, whether it’s helping stop an economic collapse, saving the U.S. auto industry or passing a law – the Affordable Care Act – that gave health insurance to millions of Americans.

On Saturday, he sent the message loud and clear that he will be a president who fights for workers, not a conman who exploits minority resentment to win struggling workers in the midwest.

This message is why both nationally and statewide in Pennsylvania, Biden is leading Trump by double digits right now. His message has quickly resonated, despite the many media predictions that his candidacy would instantly flop, or the 2016 comparisons being made by progressive purists.

In front of a big crowd in Philadelphia on Saturday, Joe Biden showed not only that he is the Democratic frontrunner, but also why he may be the candidate best suited to win back the rust belt next year.

And unlike Donald Trump in 2016, Biden will win them for the right reasons.

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