Sen. Mark Warner weighs in on the DNC, party unity

Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 11:05 AM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- The Democratic National Convention is underway, and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) is one of the party delegates involved in the presidential nominating process.

But while a handful of party officials will be present in Wisconsin, Warner will be participating remotely this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Warner weighs in on how he expects the key event will impact Virginia voters come November.

“I think Virginians are by nature forward-leaning. The face of Virginia continues to change,” said Warner, who will also be on the ballot this November.

As Democrats formally nominate former Vice President Joe Biden and sitting U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) this week to the top of the ticket, Warner says he thinks the party is presenting candidates who promote diversity and offer fresh ideas to guide the nation through tough times.

“I think what people are yearning for in Virginia, and across the country, is to have leadership in the country again that actually is empathetic, that cares about each other,” said Warner.

While Warner predicts big wins for Democrats in Virginia and beyond this year, we asked him if he thinks the party can come together after the bitter battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders during the last election cycle.

“Well so far, I’ve been very pleased that there’s not been any of the kind of divisions that we saw in 2016,” said Warner. “There’s a huge motivating factor in the contrast with Donald Trump.”

RNC spokeswoman Liz Harrington says she thinks the GOP is more united than the Democrats, and she argues the platform from across the aisle is too extreme.

“The American people are going to reject that in November,” said Harrington. “President Trump has delivered on all the promises he made in 2016, and we’re making gains with a lot of voters.”

The DNC runs through Thursday with party stars as the top speakers, while next week, it’s the Republicans’ turn to be in the spotlight at their convention.

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