Former Vice President Joe Biden capped off a two-day trip to Idaho Tuesday with a fundraiser at the home of a prominent Boise family.
Esther and Skip Oppenheimer hosted the private event, entry to which started at $100.
At the sold-out fundraiser in Boise, Biden promised that it would be possible to undo the four years of “disruption and damage” President Trump has caused in the U.S. and across the world if he’s elected.
But he says another four years under Trump will “fundamentally change who we are as a people.”
In the wake of two mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio that left at least 31 people dead, Biden called for a national gun buy-back program for “assault weapons” during an interview with CNN.
He mentioned the attack while speaking to donors in Boise.
“Based on the past events we saw in Dayton, they may be running out of tears, but I pray they're not running out of will. We don't need any more thoughts and prayers out of Washington. We need action. We need strength."
During Tuesday’s event, Biden also mentioned his Idaho connection. He mentioned how former Sen. Frank Church helped him get elected and overcome the death of his first wife and their daughter, who died in a car crash weeks after he was first elected to the Senate from Delaware.
About 90 people paid $2,800 a plate Monday to attend another fundraiser at the home of Melinda and Alan Blinken near Ketchum, who is a former ambassador to Belgium.
During Monday’s event, Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, recounted the events of Charlottesville, Virginia which hosted a deadly white supremacist rally nearly two years ago. One person died and 19 were injured.
“We didn’t really intend on going on this journey,” Jill Biden said of the 2020 run. “But when it came down to it, too many people were saying, ‘Joe has to run. Joe has to run.’ They kept coming up to me on the street, in the airport. And then Charlottesville happened, and the drumbeat got louder, and louder."
“I never thought we’d see in my life I’d ever see what we saw in Charlottesville in 2017,” Joe Biden said Monday.
“People coming out of fields, carrying torches with contorted faces. Singing and chanting the same exact anti-Semitic bile that was chanted all throughout Nuremberg, Berlin, all throughout Germany in the 1930s, accompanied by white supremacists, members of the Klu Klux Klan.”
The trip attracted many of the state’s most high-profile democrats, including two-time gubernatorial candidate, A.J Balukoff, who attended the fundraiser in Boise. Like Biden, Balukoff says most Americans are politically moderate.
“Even though a lot of them may think they’re conservative or liberal, they’re really more moderate, middle-of-the-road and I think that’s what Joe Biden is and I think he’s got the best chance of beating President Trump,” he said.
Trump remains consistently popular in Idaho – a state he won with 59% of the vote in 2016. 57% of Idahoans support him, compared to 40% who disapprove, according to the latest Morning Consult tracking poll.
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