Top moments from Biden's Morehouse commencement address

President Biden delivered the commencement address at Morehouse College in Atlanta on Sunday, his first appearance on a college campus amid widespread unrest and anti-Israel protests.

Biden’s speech touched on everything from his history serving as vice president under President Obama to the war in Israel and campus protests.

Here are some of the most notable moments from Biden’s appearance.

Speaking at Morehouse, a historically Black college, Biden used the opportunity to address Black voters in particular. He said students there have to “be 10 times better than anybody else just to get a fair shot” and that Republicans are not accepting of Black people.

“They don’t see you in the future of America. But they’re wrong,” Biden said.

Biden’s first newsworthy moment of the day came when one of the graduates was delivering his own address. During the speech, the student called for an “immediate and permanent” cease-fire in Gaza. Behind him, Biden could be seen clapping for the idea.

The moment was the first clue to the contents of Biden’s address, as he would later go on to unequivocally call for Israel to impose an “immediate” cease-fire. He also endorsed a two-state solution as “the only solution.”


Biden took a swipe at Georgia’s election laws at one point in his speech, reviving a misleading claim that voters are banned from receiving food and water while in line at polling places.

“Today in Georgia, they won’t allow water to be available to you while you wait in line to vote in an election. What in the hell is that all about?” Biden said.


The line was in reference to a Georgia law prohibiting poll workers and others from actively distributing water or food to voters within 150 feet of a polling place. The law allows poll workers to provide self-service water from an unattended receptacle within 150 feet of a polling place, however.

The law has been the focus of years of Democrat criticism against a recent Republican-led overhaul of Georgia’s election laws.

A smattering of Morehouse students and faculty protested Biden’s speech by turning their backs on him for the duration of the speech.

The protest was not widespread, however, and those participating did not disrupt his address beyond showing their backs. The small protest was a reminder of the continued unrest at college campuses across the country, however, where anti-Israel protests have forced some universities to cancel their commencement ceremonies altogether.

Prior to Biden’s address, some students had urged the college to rescind his invitation. A group of hundreds of alumni also wrote a letter to the college saying Biden should not be the commencement speaker.

“I think it’s kind of insulting that our star alumnus is Dr. King, but Biden has been on a tirade in the Middle East,” one student, DeAngelo Fletcher, told NPR. “Bringing him here, especially during an election year … to get the young Black vote especially, it’s kind of insulting.”

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