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Factbox: ‘We the People’ – broad coalition of voices at U.S. Democratic convention

Former rival Bernie Sanders, Republican John Kasich and former first lady Michelle Obama are among a parade of speakers making the case for Joe Biden on the first day of a virtual convention to formally nominate him as the Democratic nominee in the November presidential election. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks by video feed from New York at the start of the virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention as participants from across the country are hosted over video links to the originally planned site of the convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. August 17, 2020. 2020 Democratic National Convention/POOL via REUTERSQuotes from the night are below. The party also issued selected excerpts of prepared remarks in advance. 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.” Bowser introduced 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.” 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.” 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.” 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.” 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.” U.S. 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.” Slideshow (4 Images)“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. “ Former first lady Michelle Obama in video released in advance of speech: “I know Joe. He is a profoundly decent man guided by faith. He was a terrific vice president. He knows what it takes to rescue an economy, beat back a pandemic and lead our country. And he listens. He will tell the truth and trust science. He will make smart plans and manage a good team. And will govern as someone who has lived a life the rest of us can recognize.”

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