In her speech formally accepting the Democratic vice presidential nomination, Harris emphasized family values and party unity in her speech before the convention. She used her speech to introduce herself to the country, while also showing how she may balance Biden on the presidential ticket.
Harris, the first Black vice presidential candidate and South Asian vice presidential candidate and only the third woman vice presidential candidate, praised women activists of the past as founders of the country.
“The paved the way for the trail-blazing leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton,” Harris said, mentioning women such as Mary Church Terrell and Shirley Chisholm. “We’re not often taught their stories, but as Americans, we all stand on their shoulders.”
Harris also spoke about the influence of her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, who was active in the civil rights movement in the San Francisco area in the 1960s.
“She raised us to be proud, strong Black women, and she raised us to know and be proud of our Indian heritage,” Harris said about her mother. “My mother taught me that service to others gives life purpose and meaning.”
“I accept your nomination for vice president of the United States of America. I do so committed to the values she taught me. To the word that teaches me to walk by faith and not by sight. And to a vision cast by generations of Americans — one that Joe Biden shares,” Harris continued.
Harris also used her speech to contrast Biden’s governing style with Mr. Trump’s “failure of leadership,” signaling that she may adopt the role of attack dog on the campaign trail.
Harris portrayed Biden’s vision for the nation and for the future as one of hope and one which embraces all, rather than the more divisive approach taken by Mr. Trump.
Biden’s is “a vision of our nation as a beloved community — where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love,” Harris said. “Today, that country feels distant. Donald Trump’s failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods.”
Mr. Trump’s “incompetence” and “callousness” in his response to the issues facing the country falls short of what is needed to face this moment, Harris argued. She said structural racism was at the root of inequities in income, health care, and criminal justice.
“Let’s be clear: there is no vaccine for racism. We have got to do the work. For George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor, for the lives of too many others to name,” Harris said, referencing Black Americans recently killed by police officers.
“We can do better and deserve so much more. We must elect a president who will bring something different, something better, and do the important work,” Harris said. “A president who will bring all of us together — Black, White, Latino, Asian, Indigenous — to achieve the future we collectively want.”
Like others before her, she also reminded voters of Biden’s ability to empathize with the struggles of Americans, compared to Mr. Trump.
“Right now, we have a president who turns our tragedies into political weapons. Joe will be a president who turns our challenges into purpose,” Harris said. “Joe and I believe that we can build that beloved community, one that is strong and decent, just and kind. One in which we all can see ourselves.”
She encouraged voters to turn out for Biden, saying that “when we vote, we expand access to health care, expand access to the ballot box, and ensure that more working families can make a decent living.”
“In this election, we have a chance to change the course of history. We’re all in this fight. You, me, and Joe — together,” Harris said. “So, let’s fight with conviction. Let’s fight with hope. Let’s fight with confidence in ourselves, and a commitment to each other. To the America we know is possible, the America we love.”
Watch the full speech in the player below.