Civil rights leader John Lewis endorses Biden for president

John Lewis endorses Biden and calls on him to choose a woman of colour as VP

‘We are in a fight to redeem the soul of America’

James Crump@thejamescrump
Wednesday 08 April 2020 16:14

Congressman John Lewis has endorsed Joe Biden for president and called on him to pick a woman of colour as his running mate.

Mr Lewis is a representative for Georgia and is well known for his civil rights activism in the 1960s, where he was one of six leaders who organised the 1963 March on Washington.

Ahead of his endorsement announcement on Tuesday, Mr Lewis told reporters that “we need his voice,” while referring to the former vice president.

He said that Mr Biden is “a man of courage, a man of great conscience, a man of faith,” and said he will “help us regain our way as a nation.”

The 80-year-old, who revealed in December 2019 that he is receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer, endorsed Mr Biden in the video on Twitter, saying that “Joe Biden has no delusion about this nation’s past, but he knows who we can be at our best.”

Mr Lewis narrates the video, depicting his civil rights activism, and says “I know hatred when I see it. I have felt it. I have stared down the deepest and darkest forces in this nation.”

As clips of far right protests are played, he claims that “over the past four years I have seen the same kind of evil rear its head again. You judge the character of a man by how he chooses to respond to that moral obligation.”

Mr Lewis adds that “Vice president Joe Biden has never stopped speaking up for his fellow man. Joe Biden and I both believe that we are in a fight to redeem the soul of America.”

Mr Lewis also told reporters before the announcement that “it would be good to have a woman of colour” as the US vice president.

In a live TV debate with Bernie Sanders in March, Mr Biden pledged to pick a woman as his running mate if he is chosen to be the Democratic candidate for president.

“If I’m elected president, my cabinet, my administration, will look like the country, and I commit that I will in fact appoint and pick a woman as vice president,” he said.

“There are a number of women who are qualified to be president tomorrow,” he added.

The endorsement comes ahead of the Democratic Georgia primary, which has been rescheduled from 24 March to 19 May, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, upwards of 383,256 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached at least 12,021.

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