Democrats have largely praised Joe Biden’s speech formally accepting the party nomination as a resounding success, while Republicans have begrudgingly conceded it went well.
Biden’s speech on Thursday capped off the Democratic national convention and was largely optimistic, laying out his vision for tackling several crises facing the country.
“History has delivered us to one of the most difficult moments America has ever faced,” he said. “The worst pandemic in over 100 years. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The most compelling call for racial justice since the 60s. And the undeniable realities and accelerating threats of climate change.
“So, the question for us is simple: are we ready? I believe we are.”
He also shared his own experience of loss, saying to those who had lost loved ones during the pandemic: “I know that deep black hole that opens up in your chest … I know how mean and cruel and unfair life can be sometimes.
“I found the best way through pain and loss and grief is to find purpose.”
Robert Gibbs, the former White House press secretary for Barack Obama, said on MSNBC that the former vice-president’s speech “met the moment”.
“I think Democrats and Vice-President Biden are ecstatic about how this convention has gone on,” Gibbs said.
David Plouffe, a former Obama campaign manager, also said Biden’s speech had broad appeal.
“Joe Biden gave a speech that I think 75% of Americans would largely agree with,” Plouffe said. “I think he has taken one large leap toward the Oval Office.”
Hillary Clinton, the last candidate to accept the Democratic party’s nomination for president, also praised the speech.
Conservative commentators also offered praise. On Fox News, the anchor Chris Wallace said Biden’s was an “enormously effective” speech, adding that Biden “blew a hole” in Donald Trump’s repeated characterization of him as a candidate in decline.
“It seems to me that after tonight Donald Trump is going to have to run against a candidate, not a caricature,” Wallace said. “The Democrats have had a good convention, now it’s the Republicans’ turn.”
The conservative host Laura Ingraham, speaking on Fox News, said Biden “beat expectations” but the speech was “devoid of any policy other than universal masking. But he delivered a good speech for what he was doing, it was very emotional stuff … It was very well delivered.”
The Republican strategist Karl Rove called the speech “excellent”.
Notably, the Trump campaign’s statement on the speech did not respond to any specific lines but instead attacked the candidate.
“By accepting his party’s nomination tonight, Joe Biden has formally become a pawn of the radical leftists,” the Trump campaign communications director, Tim Murtaugh, said. “His name is on the campaign logo, but the ideas come from the socialist extremists.”
Trump’s allies pegged the speech as weak and out of touch.
Trump, characteristically, bashed the speech.