No more hate: Former VP Joe Biden calls for unity at Democratic candidate rally

Published on Friday, 26 October 2018 21:13


HARTFORD - Former Vice President Joe Biden gave a rousing speech Friday afternoon denouncing “the sense of hate and terror” in the air, especially after a Florida man was arrested earlier in the day for allegedly sending pipe bombs through the mail.

The recipients of the bombs were a number of prominent Democrats, including Biden, and critics of President Donald Trump.

Biden made his appearance at the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy as part of a campaign rally for gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont and his fellow Democratic nominees. The standing room only crowd filled the school’s gymnasium.

He was preceded by several student musical performances, and speeches by a number of Democrats campaigning for office this year: Congressman John Larson, the incumbent representative for Connecticut First Congressional District; Sen. Chris Murphy, who is seeking his second term; Jahana Hayes, who is running to represent the Fifth District in the House of Representatives; as well as Lamont. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who is not currently running for office, also spoke.

“The sense of sense of hate and terror seems to be gripping us,” Biden said, while acknowledging that we don’t yet know all the facts behind the pipe bomb case.

“But you know, this country has to come together,” he continued. “This division that exists, this hatred, this ugliness, it really has to come to an end. And what I hope my friends on the other side, as well as Democrats, understand is that words matter.”

He quoted the Irish poet William Butler Yates from a century ago: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

“Our political opponents are not our enemies, the press is not the enemy of the people,” he went on, in a speech that lasted more than half an hour.

He had many harsh words for President Trump for praising “thugs and murderers,” referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korean Leader Kim Jung-un and the Saudi Arabians allegedly behind the recent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Biden also spoke idealistically about the traditional vision of America as “a shining city upon a hill,” while condemning the current Republican majority in Congress as “choosing party over country.”

He concluded by urging the enthusiastic crowd to get out to the polls, saying “Ladies and gentlemen, get up, get up and take it back! This is America!”

Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, General News, on Friday, 26 October 2018 21:13. Updated: Friday, 26 October 2018 21:16.