By Parker Gavigan
Squeezed into a small room on the top floor was a who’s who of Democratic lawmakers, warming up the crowd for the headliner, former Vice President Joe Biden.
“I’m from that other small state. The second smallest state. You guys have a bigger population than we do,” joked Biden about his home state of Delaware.
“We love Joe Biden. Hopefully, Joe will run for president in 2020,” said Norbet Oliveira, a union representative.
“Go for it,” said Debbie Marandola of Warwick.
Biden last stumped for local politicians in 2016, when he referred to some of Rhode Island’s largest bridges being held up by “damn Lincoln logs.”
This time, he reaffirmed his commitment to Rhode Island leaders.
“The thing that your delegation has, more than almost any, is people with great character, with backbone,” said Biden.
Gov. Gina Raimondo spoke for about 10 minutes, as did the state’s entire congressional delegation.
Reps. Jim Langevin and David Cicilline and Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, coming off a busy week in Washington with the Judge Brett Kavanaugh hearings, also rallied their troops.
Biden didn’t mention 2020, but said he believed Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was credible and deserved an FBI investigation after her accusations against Kavanaugh.
The former vice president also verbally attacked President Donald Trump and assaults on the free press, the Justice Department and other institutions.
He urged Democrats to turn out at the polls for the midterm elections.
“Folks, this election is bigger than politics. That’s not hyperbole. It’s bigger than politics. The core values that built this nation are at risk,” said Biden.