Former Vice President Joe Biden rallied support for the Florida Democratic candidates for governor and U.S. Senate at a campaign event in Tampa today.
Andrew Gillum and Sen. Bill Nelson joined Biden at the rally, held at the University of South Florida recreation center.
A vote for Nelson is the only way to protect health care and the environment, Biden told the crowd of about 500.
“The governor, who is now trying to win Senate, doesn’t even believe in climate change,” Biden said.
He said it took a lot of courage for Nelson to vote for the Affordable Care Act and called Gillum one of the most exciting candidates in the nation.
“Don’t tell me things can’t change. Don’t tell me this man can’t get elected,” Biden said, referring to Gillum.
He said he fears that the values that hold America together are being shredded by government officials who are putting personal interests above the country.
“After Charlottesville, I couldn’t remain silent anymore,” Biden said, adding that he never thought he would see the day when Nazis felt comfortable and were supported.
Biden called the upcoming midterm elections a fight for "the soul of America" and said voters have a chance to reset "the moral compass of this country."
Biden said President Trump's actions at home and abroad didn't reflect basic American values of decency.
He said the GOP candidate for governor, former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, is a Trump acolyte.
A handful of protesters gathered outside the recreation center holding signs that read “Save ICE” and “Do Nothing Nelson.”
Protester Joe Jackson said he believes Nelson and Gillum have a terrible record in Florida.
Biden was in Nevada over the weekend to rally union members in Las Vegas to support U.S. Senate Jacky Rosen and other Democrats.
Biden, who has said he won't decide until at least 2019 whether he'll seek the presidency in 2020, has been keeping a presence in early voting states like Nevada.
Early voting began on Monday in several counties across Florida, including Hillsborough, Pinellas and Duval Counties.
Biden was scheduled to visit Jacksonville later Monday for a similar rally and was to join Nelson and other Democrats at a rally in Orlando on Tuesday. All events are open to the public.