Former Vice President Joe Biden showed up at Iron Workers Local 392 in East St. Louis, Illinois, to endorse congressional candidate Brendan Kelly at a get out the vote rally which hundreds attended.
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos welcomed the crowd with an Abraham Lincoln quote, attributing it to Brendan Kelly’s current campaign, saying people should not be fooled by what they’ve heard about the candidate for congress.
“‘You can fool some of the people, all of the time. You can fool all of the people, sometimes. But you can not fool all of the people all of the time.’ Don’t be fooled by what is being said about Brendan Kelly.” Bustos said. “We need you to fight as hard as you can possibly fight.”
The importance of affordable healthcare was discussed by each speaker. Brendan Kelly discussed what he is striving to change if he is elected from wages to the tax bill he called “corrupt” that was passed in September.
“There’s a faith that combines all of us, and that faith right now is being tested. You can hear it in people’s voices, you can see it in their eyes here in Southern Illinois,” Kelly said.
“They see the stock market is going up, but they also see the cost of healthcare going up, they see the cost of prescriptions are going up, they see the cost of education is going up, the cost of gas is going up, the cost of your cable bill is going up,” Kelly said. “You know what’s not going up in Southern Illinois?”
The crowd answered the question by shouting “wages” with Kelly.
Kelly told to the crowd the change will come from the power voters hold in the upcoming election and the courage it will take to keep fighting.
“We literally have to rebuild Southern Illinois, but we also have to rebuild our faith in democracy itself,” Kelly said.
Biden endorsed Kelly by giving reasons Southern Illinois needs him in Congress. He brought up the amount of hate he has witnessed in the country recently, and touched on the explosives that were mailed to many people, including him.
“Words matter,” Biden said. “ Our political opponents are not our enemies. They’re our opponents.”
According to Biden, it’s up to the elected leaders to change the tone and the way Americans treat each other.
“Before with Democrats or Republicans or Independents I never thought I’d have to say this, but before we’re democrats, republicans or independents, we’re Americans,” Biden said. “We as Americans are so much better than this.”
Biden spoke highly of Kelly, explaining how people need to ask “is this a decent, honorable person?” when choosing who to vote for.
“You have one of these folks, which is the reason why I’m here. The guy that has more character in his little finger than most people have in their whole body,” Biden said. “The big guy sitting behind me.”
As a prosecutor Kelly fought for children who were victims of abuse. Biden praised him for what he stands for.
“He went after one of the most heinous crimes imaginable: abuse of children,” Biden said.
Biden got the crowd worked up by telling them the democratic party will not allow the abuse of power to take place in the government.
“That’s why we have to win back the house,” Biden said. “The one thing the democratic party stands for is we cannot stand the poor abuse of power such as a man raising his hand to a woman or a government taking advantage of its citizens or the wealthy taking advantage of the working class.”
Other candidates at the rally were J.B. Pritzker, who’s running for governor, Juliana Stratton, who’s running for Lieutenant Governor, Kwame Raoul, who’s running for Attorney General and State Treasurer Mike Frerichs.
Today is the last day to vote.