Joe Biden on Tuesday made his first visit of the 2020 election cycle to the battleground state of Georgia, delivering a closing argument centered around his criticism of President Donald Trump and his goal of seeking to "heal our nation."
Speaking in Warm Springs, Georgia, Biden took aim at Trump's responses to the dual public health and economic crises caused by Covid-19, as well as the protests for racial justice seen across the nation this year.
“These are all historic, painful crises. The insidious virus. Economic anguish. Systemic discrimination. Any one of them could have rocked a nation,” Biden said.
When it came to addressing systemic racism, he referred to the protests as a "cry for justice from communities that have long had the knee of injustice on their neck" and vowed "a new wave of justice in America."
Biden’s events marked his first visit of the 2020 election cycle to Georgia, a state no Democratic presidential candidate has carried since 1992 but where Democrats have been making inroads.
Just a week ahead of Election Day, polls in the key Southern battleground show a tight race. The latest Real Clear Politics polling average in the state shows Biden trailing Trump by just 0.4 percentage points, while they have each led three of the last six polls in the state tracked by NBC News.
To win the state, Biden will need to carry large numbers of the state’s Black voters and large numbers of white suburbanites and white women, political strategists said.
In his address, Biden attempted to draw stark contrasts with Trump on how he’d govern if elected, saying he will be "a president who’s in it not for himself, but for others. A president who doesn’t divide us — but unites us. A president who appeals not to the worst in us — but to the best."
"A president who cares less about his TV ratings — and more about the American people. A president who looks not to settle scores — but to find solutions. A president guided not by wishful thinking — but by science, reason and fact,” he added.
He also drew heavily upon the symbolism of the location of his speech, making frequent reference to the fact that Franklin D. Roosevelt had a retreat in Warm Springs where he sought treatments for polio.
"Warm Springs is a good place to talk about hope and healing. This is where Franklin Roosevelt came to use the therapeutic waters to rebuild himself," Biden noted.
Later in the day, Biden held a large drive-in rally in Atlanta, where he sounded an optimistic note about his campaign's chances there.
"I think we’re going to surprise the living devil out of everybody this year," he said, urging attendees to vote for Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, Democrats who are running highly competitive Senate races in the state.
"I can't tell you how important it is we flip the United States Senate," Biden told the roughly 770 people gathered in over 350 cars.
His running mate, Kamala Harris, visited the state Friday.