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Joe Biden has been formally nominated as the Democratic candidate for the US presidency on the second night of the party’s national convention.
The 77-year-old former vice-president became his party’s nominee in a virtual roll call vote from delegates in all 50 states and seven territories.
“Thank you very, very much from the bottom of my heart,” said Biden in a live video link. “It means the world to me and my family.”
His candidacy received endorsements from prominent political figures who warned Donald Trump was an “existential threat” to America who had failed to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Former president Bill Clinton said in a video: “You know what Donald Trump will do with four more years. Blame, bully and belittle. And you know what Joe Biden will do. Build back better.
“It’s Trump’s ‘us versus them’ America, against Joe Biden’s America. Where we all live and work together.
“It’s a clear choice. The future of our country is riding on it.”
Biden also received the backing of George W Bush’s secretary of state, General Colin Powell, who said: “Today, we are a country divided, and we have a president doing everything in his power to make it stays that way and keep us that way.
“What a difference it will make to have a president who unites us, who restores our strength and our soul.”
Throughout the evening, Democratic leaders contrasted Biden’s experience with what they described as Trump’s deadly mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak.
The second night of the Democratic National Convention opened with actor and convention moderator Tracee Ellis Ross, who gave a nod to the Biden’s vice-presidential running mate Kamala Harris.
The keynote address was given by Biden’s wife, Dr Jill Biden, who described meeting him after he had lost his wife and daughter in a car crash in 1972.
“I never imagined, at the age of 26, I would be asking myself: how do you make a broken family whole?” she said.
“We have shown that the heart of this nation still beats with kindness and courage. That’s the soul of America Joe Biden is fighting for now.”
Barack Obama is due to speak on Wednesday along with 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and senator Harris.
This is Biden’s third White House bid – he has previously run in 1988 and 2008. He will formally deliver an acceptance speech on Thursday at the conclusion of the four-day convention.
The Republication National Convention will take place next week.