The event was not open to the general public. Attendance was limited to 125 to ensure social distancing guidelines amid the pandemic, with seating on folding chairs set six feet apart with masks required. About another two-dozen visitors holding Biden-Harris signs lined up against a rail bordering the rally.
The event was organized by Students for Biden GOTV Mobilization Event and free tickets “sold out” within 10 minutes of a school email being sent out announcing the rally.
During her speech Sunday, Warren repeatedly emphasized that there were only 16 days left until the election, saying students not only needed to vote, but they needed to encourage others to vote.
“Sixteen days. I’m asking you to dig deep. Volunteer. Offer an hour,” she said. “If you’re already offering an hour, offer another hour — to make calls, texts, do whatever is being done here. But please … spend some extra time because it’s going to be tough. I know it looks good right now in Minnesota but boy, I thought it looked good four years ago right now.”
Earlier in the day, Warren had visited Brooklyn Park and Northfield for similar rallies.
Along with pointing out the differences between Republican incumbent Donald Trump and Biden, Warren told Macalester students Sunday afternoon that not only did the Democrats want to win in November but that they wanted to “win big.”
“We’ve got to be in this one all the way,” she said. “We’ve got to put everything we’ve got to it… we want to put the wind in the sails for the kinds of changes we want to make. If you put in an extra hour, think about doing it for child care, think about doing it for racial justice, think about doing it for getting rid of student loan debt.”
Trump and members of his campaign and family have made numerous trips to Minnesota and the president has vowed to win the state, which he narrowly lost to Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.
The president’s campaign has made larger advertising reservations starting next week in states like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio and Iowa, although it has frequently adjusted or canceled bookings as their start dates have approached.
Warren last visited Macalester College in 2019 when she was making a bid for the presidential nomination. About 12,000 people showed up for that event, which was pre-coronavirus. The location and other specifics about Warren’s stops in Minnesota were not revealed until a few hours before the events.
At Sunday’s event, she repeated that the campaign going forward “is going to be tough.”
“But here’s what I truly believe. If we stand together, if we fight together, if we persist together, then we will build the America of our best values.”
Warren said the college president told her that Macalester College had 100 percent voter registration.
“Give yourself a round of applause,” she said. “I’ve never been any place where someone has told me they hit 100 percent on registration. Woo hoo.”
However, she said, registering to vote was only the first step. After asking who had not yet voted, a half dozen students raised their hands.
“Here’s my ask,” she said. “The last few of you vote and vote soon, but here’s the other part—volunteer. We not only have to vote ourselves, we have to get our friends to vote, our families to vote, the people we go to school with to vote, the people we work with to vote, because democracy is truly on the line.”
“We can longer be an America in which elections are won by voter suppression, by keeping people away from the polls – we’ve got to be an America where every voice gets heard. Because here is what I believe—if every voice gets heard, if everyone votes, democracy wins and I believe that’s how we’re going to get rid of Donald Trump.”Trump is trying to run for re-election by turning people against other people, she said.
Warren says this makes her think about what Joe Biden says: “That this is a fight for the soul of our nation.
“I think about the kind of America he’s going to fight for: An America in which we make a real commitment to criminal justice reform, an America where we make a real commitment to ending racial inequalities, to health care, in housing, in education. An America where every child—whether that child is Black, or Latinx or Asian or Native American or white… raised as a Christian, or a Muslim or a Jew or an atheist… born into a family that is rich or poor, whether that child is straight tor LGBTQ—where every child in America will feel loved, will feel safe, and will have a real opportunity to build a future, That’s why I’m in this fight.”
This report contains information from the New York Times.