In their final convention delegate breakfast, New Jersey Democrats focused on two things: unity and defeating President Donald Trump.
Some of the country’s top Democrats, including Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), joined to urge the party’s rank-and-file to put primary fights in the rearview and unify against Trump.
“Unity is a means to get stuff done,” Klobuchar said. “It’s driving for a higher purpose, and what it means in our own party is you saw [U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)] make that impassioned plea in front of that wood pile in Vermont, but I thought that was heartfelt when he asked his supporters to vote for Joe Biden.”
More than just Democrats have turned their spears toward Trump in the past three days of the Democratic National Convention. A handful of Republicans, including former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, have used the platform to urge the country’s voters to vote Trump out of office.
Perez doesn’t think the Republican convention will see a similar level of bipartisanship.
“I asked somebody ‘so who’s going to be in the Democrats for Trump section of next week’s Republican convention, and the only person we could think of was Van Drew,” he said.
Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) was elected as a Democrat in 2018 but defected to the Republican party after losing support among rank-and-file Democrats over his opposition to impeachment proceedings against Trump.
The New Jersey politicians on the call focused less on unity and more on their shared enemy, savaging Trump at every given opportunity.
“We all knew that Trump would be a disaster, but the scale of the chaos, the destruction and the corruption as evidenced by the indictment of Steve Bannon this morning is unlike anything we could have ever imagined,” U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-North Bergen) said. “We are in the worst of a once-in-a-century pandemic and the worst public health and economic crisis of our lifetime, and though every president is tested while in office, no other president has failed the test so miserably and tragically as Donald Trump.”
Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist, and three others were indicted for using hundreds of thousands of dollars from a pro-border wall crowdfunding campaign for personal expenses, including a boat.
Still other Democrats continued to raise alarms about policy changes at the U.S. Postal Service that have seen mail delayed for more than a week in many parts of the country.
“This election is about the future of our democracy, our values as Americans, our national security. President Trump is now hellbent on preventing a fair election, and that’s why he’s attempting to destroy the post office, that’s why he’s trying to stop the vote by mail,” Rep. Frank Pallone said. “There’s no question here that he’s been a terrible president, but he has to be removed from office.”
Democratic County Chairs Amy DeGise, of Hudson, and David Brown, of Monmouth, also spoke at the event, as did Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chairman Ken Martin.
But Democrats message was clear: They believe four more years of Trump would leave the nation permanently scarred.
“Vince Lombardi believed in one thing: The only option we have is to win,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) said. “That’s it.”