Michelle Obama closes out DNC first night with emotional speech


(CBS News) — Democrats pushed a message of unity and competence Monday in the first night of the Democratic National Convention.

Michelle Obama closed out the night with an emotional plea to vote for Joe Biden: “If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it,” she said.

Obama, who wore a necklace that spelled out “V-O-T-E,” gave an emotional plea for a return to “empathy.”

“Right now, kids in this country are seeing what happens when we stop requiring empathy of one another,” Obama said. “They’re looking around wondering if we’ve been lying to them this whole time about who we are and what we truly value.”

Earlier in the night, four Republicans, including former Ohio Governor John Kasich, endorsed Biden. Thirteen of the 2020 Democratic candidates praised Biden in a pre-recorded video, while Bernie Sanders urged his supporters, the most liberal in the party, to vote against President Trump. If he is reelected, “all the progress we have made will be in jeopardy,” Sanders said.

He excoriated Mr. Trump over his reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, saying, “Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Trump golfed.”

Mr. Trump’s reaction to the pandemic was highlighted by other Democrats, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose state was once an epicenter of the outbreak. “COVID is the symptom, not the illness,” Cuomo said in his speech, which was recorded in New York. “Our nation is in crisis, and in many ways, COVID is just a metaphor.”

In a powerful speech from a non-elected official, Kristin Urquiza, whose 65-year-old father died over the summer after a weeks-long battle with coronavirus, slammed Mr. Trump for his response to the virus.

“His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that, he paid with his life,” Urquiza said in a speech recorded for the convention. “The coronavirus has made it clear that there are two Americas: the America that Donald Trump lives in and the America that my father died in.”

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