From the New York Times:
Ady Barkan, the prominent liberal activist and advocate for “Medicare for all,” is endorsing Joseph R. Biden Jr. for president, in a sign that some progressives who opposed Mr. Biden in the Democratic primary race are increasingly willing to actively support him against President Trump.
In the primary campaign, Mr. Barkan endorsed Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and then Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. His endorsement now of Mr. Biden comes as the former vice president, keenly aware of the need to energize and turn out younger and more liberal voters who are unenthusiastic about his candidacy, works to improve his standing with them.
“Even though he wasn’t our first choice, I don’t think that progressives and democratic socialists should sit out the election, or vote third party, and I wanted to make that clear,” Mr. Barkan, who has A.L.S. and can now speak only through a computerized voice using eye gaze technology, said in an email. He released a video endorsement on Wednesday.Mr. Biden, who opposes Medicare for all and was one of the more centrist candidates in the primary contest, declined to sit down with Mr. Barkan then, the activist said publicly at the time. But the two recently engaged in a wide-ranging and sometimes deeply personal discussion over Zoom about issues including health care, police reform and Mr. Biden’s own extensive experience with illness and grief.
The conversation was the latest and final installment in Mr. Barkan’s series of interviews with candidates created through Be a Hero, the political action committee associated with Mr. Barkan.
“I think that the vice president and his staff understand the need to unify the party, and I think that is why they agreed to the conversation,” Mr. Barkan emailed. “The conversation reinforced my pre-existing understanding of Joe Biden. He is an intelligent, compassionate man who will be a vast improvement over Donald Trump.”
In a statement announcing his endorsement, he directly appeals to those who may have felt as he did when his preferred candidates dropped out: “devastated.”
“He and I have meaningfully different perspectives on the world; not only on what ails it, but on what we must do to address those maladies,” the statement reads. “And yet despite the literal and figurative distances between us, I know that the vice president heard what I was saying. He listened, he understood, and he promised to continue doing both after he is elected.”
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden condemned attacks on Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s patriotism at a fundraiser Tuesday night as the Illinois Democrat comes under harsh criticism from Fox News host Tucker Carlson and President Trump's 2020 campaign.
The former vice president cited Duckworth's service in the Iraq War, where she lost both her legs in a 2004 attack on her helicopter. Duckworth, one of several women Biden is considering as a possible running mate, was later awarded the Purple Heart.
Biden said he found the attacks “disgusting, sickening” and a “reflection of the depravity of what's going on in the White House right now.”
“I can't tell you how I felt today when I heard the president of the United States, Donald Trump, questioning your patriotism,” he said at the fundraiser.
“I know you can handle yourself. I said, I'm glad I wasn't standing next to him. You said you can handle yourself. You already have. You’ve done that,” Biden added, responding to a written statement from the Trump campaign accusing Duckworth of trying to direct attention away from other issues by citing her military experience.
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