DETROIT – Former vice president and presidential candidate Joe Biden spoke at Renaissance High School in Detroit Monday night for his "Get Out the Vote" event joined by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).
Biden, who is significantly leading in recent Michigan polls, said he is counting on the state to solidify his path to the nomination. Biden also made an appearance for an invite-only event at the Berston Field House in Flint earlier Monday.
Before Super Tuesday, Sanders led in delegates. Now, Biden is in the lead for the democratic nomination with 670 delegates, while Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, has 574, according to the Associated Press’s delegate tracker. In order to secure the Democratic nomination with a majority of delegates, a candidate must acquire 1,991.
Michigan has 125 delegates allocated based on results, the most up for grabs by any state voting on Tuesday.
Sanders held four events in Michigan over the past week including Detroit on Friday and Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids on Sunday.
Before the primary speakers took the stage, Detroit mayor Mike Duggan, U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI-14) and Gilchrist all gave speeches on their support for Biden.
Duggan said he knew Biden, as vice president, kept up to date with Detroit, even to the point where, Duggan said, President Barack Obama would say Biden thought we was "vice president of Detroit."
Gilchrist highlighted that he feels Biden is a nominee for his people. He said he voted for Sanders in the 2016 primary, to which the crowd reacted negatively.
Whitmer, who endorsed Biden on Thursday, then took the stage to introduce the speakers.
She said health care is personal to her because of her battle with insurance companies while her mother died of a brain tumor, the same type of tumor that killed Biden's son Beau in 2015.
Whitmer said Obama and Biden's support was critical for Michigan during the 2008 recession that hurt the auto industry.
"Who had our backs?" Whitmer asked the crowd. "That's right. Barack Obama and Joe Biden. They came to the rescue when people counted us out."
Booker, who announced his endorsement Monday morning, said he came to speak to the people of Detroit because it's where his mother is from.
"This party is not the party of me, it's the party of we," Booker said. "This is the party of civil rights, of voting rights, of women's rights, of workers' rights and unions."
Booker then introduced Harris, who ended her own presidential campaign in December, and announced her endorsement for Biden Sunday.
"Michigan, I do believe you are going to make the difference in terms of the outcome of this election," Harris said. "When you put the kind of fight and work that you have always put into investing in the future of America, we will elect Joe Biden as the next president of the United States."
Harris said she supported Biden's message about the fight for the "soul of America."
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Greeted by the Renaissance Marching Band, Biden took the stage to adress his Michigan supporters and those in attendence.
He expressed how his campaign had been referred to as dead a few weeks ago, but after the outcome of Super Tuesday, he now has more support than ever from a number of states, and he is expecting Michigan to follow.
In the midst of Biden's speech, a protester interrupted him and was escorted out by security until Biden asked them to stop, and said "this is not a Trump rally."
This was followed by a large group of protesters from the Sunrise Movement holding up signs and arguing with Biden supporters. They were escorted out by security.
Taking a few moments to come back from the incident, Biden continued his speech, addressing the need for the country to come together.
He also referred back to his time as vice president and how this would help him as president.
"In the years to come (future generations) will look back on this moment, and they're gonna say 'When it mattered most, what did they do? Did they save our democracy or were they part of the problem?'" Biden said. "And now at this moment when there's so much fear in this country. ... We need honest, trusted, truthful, reassuring leadership. And look, that's what, if I am given the honor of being president, I promise you I will provide for the nation."
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