Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden stepped up efforts on Friday to make the November election a referendum on the character of President Donald Trump, while Trump defended himself on Friday against allegations that he mocked American war dead. (September 4th)
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden spoke to union workers about the coronavirus pandemic and the economy on Labor Day.
The Pennsylvania native traveled to Harrisburg to speak to AFL-CIO members. He spoke to workers from across the country during the roughly 45-minute event, which was shared via livestream on the union's Facebook page.
"If there is one thing this pandemic has done, it shows the courage, character and deep love of this country that lies in the heart of the working people of this nation," Biden said. "Let me tell you something, people have found out that it's not Wall Street's financial wizards who made this country work – or made it work – you, America's essential workers."
Biden and President Donald J. Trump, the Republican candidate, have campaigned fiercely in Pennsylvania, a major battlefield state. Both candidates will be at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 11th.
The Republican National Committee responded to Biden's presentation.
"Put simply, Joe Biden would be a total and utter disaster for the working man and woman of Pennsylvania. Biden is unable to deliver for Pennsylvania while President Trump leads us through the great American comeback," said spokesman Michael Joyce in an email.
Here are three things you should know from Biden's talk:
Former Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden traveled to Harrisburg to speak to AFL-CIO members on Labor Day. (Photo: Andrew Harnik, AP)
"A president's words matter"
Biden said he was never afraid to use the word "union" and would use it often when elected to the White House. He vowed to become possibly the strongest labor president union workers have ever had.
"A president's words matter," he said.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the country, and "the sad thing is it didn't have to be that bad," Biden said.
He cited more than 6 million COVID-19 cases in the United States, nearly 200,000 deaths, and nearly 30 million due to unemployment.
The former vice president said he has a plan to rebuild the nation – and to rebuild better – and that he is beginning to get the virus under control. Then the country will make a transformative investment in roads, bridges, broadband, ports, and other large projects.
People will be back to work in a flash and he would make sure the United States is ready to compete with any other country in the future.
"We're going to make sure we're paying people for what they're worth," he said, adding that praising key employees is not enough.
Biden said during his address that he would pass the PRO Act and hold the company's executives accountable for disrupting employees trying to join union organizations.
President Trump keeps talking about how great the economy is, Biden said, "but the only reason he didn't have the courage to take on COVID and raise the white flag was because he was worried when he was about it spoke to save lives. " Stock market can fall. "
"We know it was great for his rich friends, but it wasn't great for the rest of us," he said.
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More: Biden in Pa .: The former Vice President will be in Harrisburg on Labor Day
The president is "downright un-American"
In his remarks on union workers, Biden called Trump "downright un-American" when it comes to his language of veterans. "The Atlantic" has reported that the president has called fallen US soldiers "losers" and "fools".
"I never said that about a president – never, never, never," Biden said.
Those who risked the land and gave their lives are heroes, he said.
Biden spoke about his late son Beau and his military service, and he "wasn't a loser or a sucker".
The President has emphatically rejected the "The Atlantic's" report.
"I would be willing to swear by anything I never said about our fallen heroes," said Trump. "There is no one who respects them more."
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Worker safety at work
While fighting the coronavirus pandemic, Biden said the Republican Senate needed to pass the HEROES bill, which would help families by expanding unemployment benefits, increasing emergency small business grants, and more.
He also talked about sourcing the personal protective equipment, free testing, and contact tracing needed to stop the virus from spreading. The labor protection agency should be required to improve safety standards, and paid sick leave and emergency leave should be provided for everyone, whether they work for a large company or a small nonprofit, he said.
Firms receiving bailouts should be required to keep employees on payroll or they won't get the money, he said.
The focus should be on getting the economy and families going again.
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