Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden spoke in Detroit with U.S. Senator Gary Peters, D-Mich., to supporters in their cars Friday night: a little more than two weeks before the general election

Peters, who is also up for re-election this November, said he is excited to have Biden back in Michigan and reminded attendees about Biden’s work for Detroit during the Obama administration, referencing his success in public office.

“We are so happy that he’s right back here in Michigan,” Peters said. “Right here in Detroit, we know that Joe cares about this state and we know because he has been here before, and he’s been here when we need him.”

Peters criticized the national Republican Party leadership in regards to their handling of the pandemic. He told the drive-in crowd that Biden would lead the nation with a more comprehensive pandemic plan.

“President Trump does not know how to lead, and we need a president that leads, not tweets,” Peters said. 

Peters discussed the 2008 financial crisis, which he said Biden played a role in mitigating for everyday Americans, and said Biden would advocate for people instead of corporations.

“There were people that said, let them go bankrupt, let them go away,” Peters said. “Joe Biden said no, I will stand with American workers, (and he) will always stand with them to make sure that they have the opportunity to be successful … He has stood with us in the past, he will stand with us in the future and that’s why we will elect him the next president of the United States.”

American Federation of Teachers member Everett Whitfield, a teacher at Thirkell Elementary School in Detroit, joined Peters. Whitfield said he voted absentee in support of Biden just before taking the stage.

“Joe Biden is the leader we can trust,” Whitfield said. “He has shown compassion and to others in various ways. Regardless of the party line, he shows that he cares, (and reflects) our precise history of working with people of color.”

Biden took the stage after checking out a couple of cars gathered around the stage. Biden told supporters that he loved cars and that he believed in Motor City.

“I’ve always believed in Michigan,” Biden said. “We have the finest auto workers in the world here in Michigan. That’s not hyperbole. That’s a fact.”

Biden emphasized the need for equity in the nation, particularly for communities of color in Detroit. 

“We need America’s leadership to seek deescalate tensions over the lines of communications to bring us back together again, to heal,” Biden said. “As President, that’s precisely what I’ll do.”

Biden said he is running to represent all Americans as president and that he will work together with others in order to enact change. 

“Today, trust is heavy, hope seems elusive, instead of healing, we’re being ripped apart,” Biden said. “I refuse to let that happen. We need to revive a spirit of being able to work together with one another. I’m here to tell you it can happen again, and that it must happen if we’re going to get anything done. I’m running as a proud Democrat, but I will govern as an American president.”

According to Michigan Deputy Communications Director John Grandy, in Michigan, city and township clerks have distributed 2.8 million absentee ballots to voters. More than 1.2 million ballots have already been sent in. Clerks in a record number of cities, including Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Flint, Grand Rapids and Lansing, have added weekend and evening hours. These additional hours will be used to expand access and raise awareness of early voting, which is available to all Michigan voters for the first time in a general election.

On campus, the city set up a satellite clerk’s office in the University of Michigan Museum of Art for students to register to vote, vote early and return absentee ballots. Students on North Campus can return absentee ballots at Fire Station Number 5.

Daily Staff Reporter Sarah Payne can be reached at 

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