'America Never Gives In': Biden Gives Speech at Harvard - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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'America Never Gives In': Biden Gives Speech at Harvard

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    Former Vice President Joe Biden delivered the Class Day address at Harvard University on Wednesday.

    (Published Wednesday, May 24, 2017)

    Former Vice President Joe Biden delivered the Class Day address at Harvard University on Wednesday. He didn't address President Donald Trump by name, but did assure the graduating class that the current political climate won't last.

    "I assure you, this condition is temporary," Biden said. "It's a temporary state of affairs. The American people will not sustain this attitude."

    He urged the graduates to get involved in politics, and make a difference.

    The Democrat served six terms as a U.S. senator for Delaware before becoming vice president under Barack Obama in 2009. He left office this year and is leading policy institutes at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Delaware.

    Biden previously said he was honored to be invited to Harvard, calling today's students the "most engaged, the most tolerant and the best educated" in America's history.

    Biden avoided some hot topics, but reflected on others including the presidential election.

    "And so we saw, not for the first time in our history, we saw how when you play on the fears, appeal to the baser instincts... you can still reap some temporary but powerful success," he said.

    Biden urged seniors to stay engaged, that they have the power to change the trajectory of the country if they’re not happy.

    He reminded them of the power of Boston, meeting the grim challenges faced in the wake of the marathon bombings, just as these students were beginning their college careers.

    "You saw how this great city responded, how the people of Boston showed that America never gives, never gives in, never bends, never bows and we own the finish line," Biden said.

    Harvard seniors have invited speakers for its Class Day since 1968.

    Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to give the university's commencement address on Thursday.

    "I understand Mark and I have a lot in common," Biden joked Wednesday. "Neither one of us have a Harvard degree."