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Government

In Iowa City stop, Joe Biden promises to restore nation's soul

Former vice president opens Iowa City field office

IOWA CITY — In what might have been his shortest campaign speech, former Vice President Joe Biden promised Wednesday that as president, he’d restore the integrity and soul of the country.

Donald Trump’s presidency, Biden told an overflow crowd Wednesday afternoon at his Iowa City field office opening, is “damaging us around the world, and it’s damaging us at home.”

Speaking for under five minutes to a few hundred people dripping with sweat despite fanning themselves with his campaign placards, Biden said the nation can overcome four years of Trump. “But we cannot, we cannot, overcome eight years of this president who is fundamentally changing who we are,” he said.

That commitment to restoring the nation is why Marjorie Tully of Iowa City is working for him again. She got to know Biden while working on his 2008 campaign and believes “quite simply, he’s a good and decent man.”

His depth and breadth of experience as a senator and eight years as President Barack Obama’s vice president make him “uniquely qualified” to lead the country, Tully told the crowd that spilled out into a Gilbert Street strip mall parking lot.

Biden earlier Wednesday delivered a speech in Burlington directly challenging Trump’s capacity to lead the nation.

Biden said he is running for president for the third time to restore not only the soul of the country but its backbone — the middle class.

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“The middle class is getting crushed ... and for the poor, the bottom is falling out for them,” he said. “When the middle class does well, the backbone of the country, everybody does well. The poor have a way up and the wealthy do very well.”

The challenge is to unite the country. The good news, Biden said, is that the public gets it.

“The fact is that the vast majority of the American people are decent and honorable,” he said.

But Democrats have to show up for the poor and the middle class, he said.

“With your help, I think we can win. I really think we can win this state,” he said to cheers. “If I’m your nominee, I’m coming back because I want to win Iowa in the general election. This guy has done such damage to this state we ought to be able to take it back.”

Biden will be on the Iowa State Fair soapbox at 1:30 p.m. Thursday and at the North Iowa Democrats Wing Ding in Clear Lake on Friday evening.

He’ll be back in the Corridor for the 1st District Democrats’ Cedar Corridor Passport to Victory from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Lynn Dunn Memorial Building in Central City.

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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