Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigned Thursday morning at Clinton College in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Biden said voters need to stand up to what he said are the "cruel" policies of the Trump administration.
The 600 or so people who filled the gymnasium at Clinton College were enthusiastic – giving Biden a jolt of energy that pundits say is missing from his campaign.
Biden talked about a recent Trump administration decision to eliminate protections that allow immigrants to stay in the country and avoid deportation to receive life-saving medical treatments.
"He’s seeking to deport sick kids seeking life-saving medical treatments in the United States," Biden said. "Like every bully, he’s trying to make himself seem stronger by picking on the most vulnerable among us. And folks, I’ve never said this, but it’s sinful what’s happened. It’s not who we are. This is not who we are."
Biden cited an article from The Atlantic magazine about Trump and his supporters titled “Cruelty is the point.”
"It’s all they have to run on: Fear. Anger. Division. Cruelty. So, this just can’t be a campaign about Donald Trump," he said. "It has to become a movement – it’s not just about me winning the nomination or the presidency. It’s so much bigger."
Many of his Democratic opponents – including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders – want to create a national health plan that would eliminate private health insurance.
Biden said he would “build on Obamacare” and create a new public option – though it wouldn’t be for everyone.
"So, what I would do is that everyone who qualifies for Medicaid, everyone would automatically be enrolled in the public option in my plan, with no cost," Biden said. "They’d all be covered."
The crowd at Clinton College, a historically black college, was about white and half black.
Barbara Kurz says she’s voting for Biden mainly because she thinks he has the best chance of beating Trump.
"My main reason for voting for him is I want someone who can win," she said. "We cannot have four more years of what we’ve had."
But Biden still has to earn the vote of Cedrick Singletary. He works at Clinton College in admissions.
"I’m a college-educated young man — and student loans, I’m hearing different candidates talk about the option of having some loan forgiveness," he said. "So, we’re just listening to see what would be the best option for America."
South Carolina’s primary is Feb. 29. North Carolina votes on March 3.