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Obama, Biden release video of chat as part of digital campaign

Former US President Barack Obama and former US Vice President Joe Biden. File

Former US President Barack Obama and former US Vice President Joe Biden. File   | Photo Credit: AP

“Twenty-three million people have health insurance that didn’t have it because of what we did,” the former president says.

Having released teasers and trailers of it during the week, the campaign of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden launched a video on Thursday of a discussion between Mr Biden and his former boss, Barack Obama. The two men discussed the pandemic, race in America and U.S. President Donald Trump’s response to these issues.

The video, which is over 15 minutes long, was released on several social media platforms, is part of a campaign that is expected to be mostly virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, currently still raging in the U.S.

 

“I have so much confidence that you're going to be able to deal with COVID in the way that other countries with our kinds of resources are dealing with it right now -which is smartly,” Mr Obama tells Mr Biden in the video. “I have confidence that you're going to actually listen to the experts and you're going to pay attention to the science,”  he says.

Mr Obama’s remarks were a veiled reference to Mr Trump, who has been criticized for his handling of the virus response, including his reluctant and late promotion of mask use, a sidelining  of White House pandemic advisor Antony Fauci, and  pressuring states and schools to open up.

 

Sixty per cent of registered voters disapproved of Mr Trump’s handling of the pandemic as per a Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted July 12-15.

At one point in the Biden-Obama video, Mr Biden says his son Beau, who died of a brain tumour in 2015, could have lost health insurance in the final stages of his disease if not for Obamacare, the colloquial name for an Obama-era healthcare law that the Trump administration had asked a court to overturn in June.

Mr Biden outlines his goals for recovery from the pandemic to Mr Obama, including helping small business, investing in childcare and infrastructure.

“But this guy [ Mr Trump] is in court in the middle of a pandemic, trying to take away the protection for a hundred million people have preexisting conditions. I don't think he has any sense of empathy or any, I don't think he can associate at all,”  Mr Biden says.

 

The discussion moves on to race and policing as well economic disadvantages faced by blacks and Mr Biden remarks that Mr Trump is trying to divide people against each other.

“This guy [ Mr Trump]  has generated a sense out there that people are waking up to that he ran by deliberately dividing people from the moment he came down that escalator. And I think people are now going, ‘ I don't want my kid growing up that way.’”

Mr Obama also endorsed Mr Biden’s character in the video -- a frequent theme that supporters of the Biden campaign return to.

“I’ve seen you with families that have gone through tragedies and, and the thing I've got confidence in Joe is, is your heart and your character. And, and the fact that you are going to be able to reassemble the kind of government that cares about people and brings people together,” he said.

Among registered voters, Mr Biden led Mr Trump 55 to 40 per cent as per the Washington Post-ABC News poll.  The same poll sees Mr Biden more likely (by 24 points) than Mr Trump to unite the country (24 point lead), and more likely (by 17 points) to  better understand the problems of “people like you.”

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 10:33:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/biden-obama-pair-in-socially-distanced-video-to-decry-trump/article32172801.ece

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