'My loyal and dedicated friend': Jimmy Carter addresses virtual convention to endorse Biden

Former president says 2020 candidate has 'experience, character, and decency to bring us together and restore America's greatness'

Alex Woodward
New York
Tuesday 18 August 2020 22:38 BST
Jimmy Carter speaks at first convention in eight years to endorse Biden

Former president Jimmy Carter delivered off-camera remarks at Tuesday's Democratic National Convention to endorse Joe Biden, remembered fondly by the former president as his "first and most effective supporter in the Senate" and still his "loyal and dedicated friend".

"Joe has the experience, character, and decency to bring us together and restore America's greatness," said Mr Carter, who was in office from 1977 to 1981. "We deserve a person with integrity and judgment, someone who is honest and fair, someone who is committed to what is best for the American people."

The 95-year-old former president, who recorded remarks for 2012's convention, was joined by his wife Rosalynn Carter, who pointed to their work "tackling the demands faced by the more than 53 million unpaid caregivers in our country who are juggling work and other family responsibilities and putting their own physical and mental health and well-being at risk".

"Joe knows well, too well, the sorrows and struggles of being a family caregiver," she said. Mr Biden cared for his two young sons Beau and Hunter following the death of his wife Neilia and infant daughter Naomi in a car accident shortly before he entered his first term as a US senator from Delaware.

"Jill and I also know the challenges of caregiving for those who served in the military and returned with visible and invisible wounds," Rosalynn Carter said. "We know those caregivers need a leader in the White House. Jimmy and I are voting for Joe because he recognises the challenges facing our families and has the heart and the talent to make life better for all Americans."

Mr Biden "is the right person for this moment in our nation's history," Mr Carter added, addressing the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 170,000 American lives.

"He understands that honesty and dignity are essential traits that determine not only our vision but our actions. ... During these uncertain times, Joe Biden realises that many American lives can be saved each day with the use of masks and testing, as recommended by our medical experts."

His remarks were followed by an on-camera appearance from Bill Clinton on the second night of the week-long nominating convention to formally establish the former vice president as Donald Trump's challenger in November.

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