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Former Vice President Biden kicks off Heitkamp's statewide bus tour

D. Webster

Senator Heidi Heitkamp began her final push to election day with a rally at the Fargo Air Museum Thursday - with former Vice President Joe Biden joining her on stage. 

Heitkamp will be traveling by bus to more than 20 different towns across North Dakota. She says one of the biggest challenges in America today is bringing people together - and that's something she hopes to accomplish during the end of her campaign against her opponent Kevin Cramer.

"Kevin and I didn't grow up very far apart - he's from Kindred, and I'm from Mantador, North Dakota. But we grew up with different ideas of what responsibilities we have for the future. And the responsibility I was taught by my parents was a responsibility towards each other, responsibility toward our neighbor, that we're all stronger when we work together, when we believe in community. That we can in fact accomplish great, great things in this country if we unite and work together."

Heitkamp says she isn't concerned about recent polls claiming she trails Cramer.

"I find myself kind of in the same spot I was six years ago - remember that? Remember that newspaper ad? We all remember that newspaper ad. People don't really understand North Dakota. And they don't understand how tough we are, and they don't understand that when North Dakota makes up its mind it goes out and votes, and it votes for North Dakota values. A lot of pundits - they've written us off. They don't think we can do it. What do you think?"

Heitkamp kicked off the last leg of her campaign with former Vice President Joe Biden as her guest. He says he's been campaigning for so many Democrats this election season he's developed a little laryngitis, but he thought coming to support Heitkamp's race was important. He spoke about health care, Social Security and Medicare, and agriculture - but overall, Biden says most people are looking for candidates of character. He says Heitkamp is one of those candidates.

"I told Heidi a year ago, I'd campaign for her or against her - whatever would help the most. Some places it might be better against her! But the reason is, she has a backbone like a ramrod. She has empathy that is real, she understands. And what are we looking for in our leaders now? We're looking for people that can acknowledge, which we're not getting from Washington, just acknowledge the pain. There aren't many folks in Washington who you can always count on to put their own convictions over their own partisan interests or their own self interests - but Heidi does just that. If she thinks it's right, then consequences be damned."

Biden says there's something different about this year's election that is bigger than politics - he says the very character of America is on the ballot this year. But he says America is a unique country compared to all others - and he believes America always does the right thing no matter what.

"The only thing strong enough to tear America apart is America itself - and we've seen it start. We have to make it start. That's what Tuesday's all about. We have to make clear that we choose as Democrats, hope over fear. We choose unity over division. We choose allies over our enemies. We choose truth over lies. And we choose a brighter future of a desperate grip of the darkest elements of our past have hanging on our ankles. Folks, this country has to come together. We have to come together now. We can't wait. It's time to get up. Remember who the hell we are. It's time to take it all back, now!"

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