Obama: 'Basic tenets' of democracy 'at stake'

"Tonight, I'm asking you to believe in Joe and Kamala's ability to lead this country out of these dark times and build it back better," Obama said.

"I'm also asking you to believe in your own ability to embrace your own responsibility as citizens to make sure our basic tenants of our democracy endure, because that's what's at stake right now, our democracy," Obama added.

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday, imploring the country to elect Joe Biden president and accusing Donald Trump of failed leadership that had cost lives and livelihoods.

Video Transcript

BARACK OBAMA: What I know about Joe, what I know about Kamala is that they actually care about every American and that they care deeply about this democracy. They believe that in a democracy, the right to vote is sacred. And we should be making it easier for people to cast their ballots, not harder.

They believe that no one including the president is above the law and that no public official including the president should use their office to enrich themselves or their supporters. They understand that in this democracy, the commander in chief does not use the men and women of our military who are willing to risk everything to protect our nation as political props to deploy against peaceful protesters on our own soil.

They understand that political opponents aren't un-American just because they disagree with you. A free press isn't the enemy but the way we hold officials accountable, that our ability to work together to solve big problems like a pandemic depend on a fidelity to facts and science and logic and not just making stuff up.

None of this should be controversial. These shouldn't be Republican principles or Democratic principles. They are American principles. But at this moment, this president and those who enable him have shown they don't believe in these things.

Tonight, I'm asking you to believe in Joe and Kamala's ability to lead this country out of these dark times and build it back better. But here's the thing. No single American can fix this country alone, not even a president.

Democracy was never meant to be transactional. "You give me your vote. I make everything better" it requires an active and informed citizenry. So I'm also asking you to believe in your own ability to embrace your own responsibility as citizens to make sure that the basic tenets of our democracy endure because that's what's at stake right now-- our democracy.