Biden attends Democratic rally, voices concern with divide

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Former Vice President Joe Biden says the nation has to come together, voicing concern with the partisan division and hatred he sees in the U.S.

Biden made an appearance at the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Friday in support for Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Ned Lamont and Democratic congressional candidate for the state’s 5th District, Jahana Hayes.

A target of the mail-bomb scare, Biden took a moment during a Democratic political rally in Hartford to speak about “all the pipe bombs, the sense of hate and terror that seems to be gripping us.”

Biden was scheduled to appear at around 3:45, but did not take the stage until 5:30. 

Related Content: Former V.P. Joe Biden speaks to capacity crowd at Southern Conn. State

Law enforcement agencies are investigating a series of packages with suspected explosive devices that were addressed to several high-profile critics of President Donald Trump. Two were addressed to Biden.

Related Content: Biden to rally with Connecticut Democratic candidates Friday in Hartford

The former vice president quoted passages from the W.B. Yeats poem “The Second Coming,” including a line that reads: “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.”

Biden says we “have to remember who we are and what we stand for as a nation.”

Biden urged the packed magnet school gymnasium to support the full Democratic slate of candidates in Connecticut, especially gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont, who the polls show is in a close race with Republican businessman Bob Stefanowski. Petitioning independent candidate Oz Griebel is also on the November ballot. A recent Quinnipiac University Poll gave Lamont a 9 percentage point advantage over Stefanowski, a political newcomer who has run a campaign focused on the need to cut taxes in order to jumpstart Connecticut’s economy.

Biden likened Lamont to a line of federal politicians from Connecticut who he described as real, authentic and don’t belittle others, something he said voters want. He said this election is “about a lot more than politics” and it’s up to the Democrats to “reset the moral compass of this nation.”

“If there’s anything I’ve seen, it’s that there is an overwhelming yearning on the part of the American people to have women and men of character,” Biden said.

Besides Lamont, Friday’s rally was an opportunity for Democrats to build support for U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy and 5th Congressional District candidate Jahana Hayes, an educator and political newcomer who drew huge cheers from the crowd.

Related Content: Heavy security for Biden’s Hartford visit Friday amid recent bomb scares

Hayes described the election as a choice about what kind of state and nation people want to live in.

“I never imagined myself standing here as a Democratic nominee for anything,” she said. “But what I know for sure is that our values are being tested, our morals are being compromised, our credibility on the global stage is being redefined. What I know for sure is that it is not who we are.”

Hayes is running against former one-term Meriden Mayor Manny Santos, a Republican.

Speakers touched on the laundry list of issues they hope will spark Democratic turnout on Election Day, including Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the claims of sexual assault made against him, as well as gun control, women’s rights, LGBT rights, climate change and immigration policy.

“We have to stay angry,” advised U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who is not up for re-election this year but said it felt like he was. “The future of America is at stake.”

Republicans, including Stefanowski, have accused Democrats of trying to make the election more about Trump and national issues because they don’t want to talk about the state’s fiscal challenges.

WEB EXTRA: Watch as former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy

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