Incumbent U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, on Monday addressed the Democratic National Convention and told the Democratic delegates and TV viewers watching at home that former Vice President Joe Biden “is who we need as our next president.”
“Growing up in the South meant growing up in the midst of stark divisions,” Jones said. “But it was here in Alabama where Rosa Parks helped ignite a movement by refusing to give up her seat on a bus. Where Freedom Riders of different races came together in pursuit of equality. And it was here, in Alabama, where John Lewis marched across a bridge toward freedom.”
“From a young age, I knew the hope that comes from seeing good people work to heal our divisions,” Jones continued. “It’s what led me to become the United States attorney, where I convicted two Klansmen who murdered four young Black girls in a 1963 Birmingham church bombing — and delivered long-overdue justice.”
Alabama has shown that even the deepest divisions can be overcome, Jones continued.
“Because each of us want the same thing: To be treated fairly and given the same opportunities — and the freedom to live with dignity and respect,” he said.
Some politicians are trying to pit us against each other, Jones said.
“But I believe that Americans have more in common than what divides us,” he said. “And in November, we have a chance to elect a president who believes that, too. I’ve known Vice President Biden for more than 40 years. I met him as a wide-eyed law student, and he’s been my friend and champion ever since. The Joe I know is exactly the leader our country needs right now. He can bring people together to find common ground while standing up for what he believes is right. After years of bitter partisanship, he can unite our country and get things done for working families—and everyone looking for a better future. Because it’s not about what side of the aisle we’re on. It’s about whether or not we’re on the side of the people.”
“But he will need our help,” Jones concluded. “The great John Lewis would often quote the old African proverb – ‘When you pray, move your feet’ and then challenge us to do just that. ‘As a nation,” he said, ‘if we care for the Beloved Community, we must move our feet, our hands, our resources to build and not tear down, to reconcile and not to divide, to love and not to hate, to heal and not to kill. In the final analysis, we are one people, one family, one house – the American house, the American family.’ Vice President Biden understands that. And he is who we need as our next president.”
Jones himself is in a tight election fight with the Republican nominee, retired Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville. Tuberville criticized Jones’ speech. Jones has been a longtime friend and ally of Biden, and was one of his earliest endorsers.
Polling shows Jones trailing Tuberville. The general election for both president of the United States and the U.S. Senate will be on Nov. 3. There is wide speculation that if Jones loses his Senate race, but Biden defeats Trump, that he could be offered a position in the incoming Biden administration.
Jones was an aide to former U.S. Sen. Howell Heflin, D-Alabama, who held this seat until his retirement in 1997. Jones worked with then-Sen. Biden as both Biden and Heflin were in the Democratic Caucus in the Senate.