Factbox: 'We the People' - Array of voices at U.S. Democratic convention slam Trump, praise Biden

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  • Tuesday, 18 Aug 2020

FILE PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about his plans to combat racial inequality at a campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., July 28, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

(Reuters) - The Democratic Party presented a parade of passionate speakers on Monday making the case for electing Joe Biden president of the United States, the first day of a virtual convention to formally nominate him as the party's nominee to face President Donald Trump in November.

Quotes from the night are below.

Former first lady Michelle Obama:

"Let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can. Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is."

"So if you take one thing from my words tonight, it is this: If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can; and they will if we don’t make a change in this election. If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it."

Senator Bernie Sanders, who was Biden's leading rival for the party's nomination:

"This election is the most important in the modern history of this country. In response to the unprecedented set of crises we face, we need an unprecedented response - a movement, like never before, of people who are prepared to stand up and fight for democracy and decency — and against greed, oligarchy and bigotry."

"If Donald Trump is re-elected, all the progress we have made will be in jeopardy. At its most basic, this election is about preserving our democracy. During this president's term, the unthinkable has become normal. "

Kristin Urquiza, who lost her father to COVID-19 and wrote a scathing obituary blaming failed leadership for his death:

“My dad was a healthy 65-year-old. His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that, he paid with his life.”

"One of the last things that my father said to me was that he felt betrayed by the likes of Donald Trump. And so when I cast my vote for Joe Biden, I will do it for my Dad."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose state was the early U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak:

"Now we need a leader as good as our people. A leader who appeals to the best within us, not the worst. A leader who can unify, not divide. A leader who can bring us up, not tear us down. I know that man. I've worked with that man. I've seen his talent. I've seen the strength. I've seen his pain, and I've seen his heart. That man is Joe Biden."

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer:

"Over the past few months, we've learned what's essential, rising to the challenge, not denying it. We've learned who is essential, too, not just the wealthiest among us, not a president who fights his fellow Americans, rather than fight the virus that's killing us and our economy. It's the people who put their own health at risk to care for the rest of us. They are the MVPs."

Meg Whitman, chief executive of Quibi:

"I'm a longtime Republican and a longtime CEO. And let me tell you, Donald Trump has no clue how to run a business, let alone an economy. Joe Biden, on the other hand, has a plan that will strengthen our economy for working people and small- business owners. For me, the choice is simple. I'm with Joe."

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser:

"We have to undo the laws and systems that have codified racism for far too long. But we have to do something too. Each and every one of us. Challenge our own biases. If we see something, do something. Together, we can turn this reckoning into a reimagining of a nation where ‘We The People’ means all the people.”

Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, whose death in Minneapolis police custody in May sparked waves of anti-racism protests across the country:

"Please join me in a moment of silence to honor George and the many other souls we lost to hate and injustice. And when this moment ends, let’s make sure we never stop saying their names."

Former Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican:

“Yes, there are areas where Joe and I absolutely disagree. But that’s OK because that’s America. Because whatever our differences, we respect one another as human beings, each of us searching for justice and for purpose.”

“We can all see what’s going on in our country today and all the questions that are facing us, and no one person or party has all the answers. But what we do know is that we can do better than what we’ve been seeing today, for sure. And I know that Joe Biden, with his experience and his wisdom and his decency, can bring us together to help us find that better way.”

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who competed with Biden for the Democratic nomination:

“Now more than ever, we need a president who will unite this country. We need a president who in George Floyd’s memory, instead of using the Bible as a prop, will heed its words – to act justly. We need a president for the workers who have lost their jobs, because this administration is selling American workers out when we need to buy American.”

"The president may hate the Post Office, but he's still going to have to send them a change of address card come January."

(Compiling by Sonya Hepinstall; Editing by Howard Goller and Peter Cooney)

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