COUNCIL BLUFFS — Some 200 people arrived at The Grass Wagon in Council Bluffs on Wednesday to listen to presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Connie Gronstal, a family friend of Joe Biden and a cancer survivor, introduced Biden shortly after 11 a.m.

“Good afternoon, Council Bluffs,” he said to a cheering crowd. “It’s great to be back.”

In his almost half-hour speech, Biden focused on rebuilding the middle class, health care and his vision for America.

He described middle-class values as knowing that your kid is safe going outside to play, having access to good public education and ensuring opportunities for all children to afford to go past high school.

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Biden pointed to health care as an issue for the middle class, saying some workers are unable to pay for their sick children.

He said that for the first time in the lifetime of those in the room, most middle-class people don’t think that the same benefits and lifestyle will be available for their children.

Biden spoke about his plan for health care reform, including using a Medicare plan to make drug costs more affordable, and said he didn’t want anyone to be charged more than 8.5% of their income for medical insurance.

He said that as he travels, he asks each crowd if anyone has suffered from cancer or lost a loved one to that disease to show that he plans to put an emphasis on researching cancer if elected president.

The idea of family and being connected was prominent throughout Biden’s speech.

“Our children are listening,” he said. “The president is the face of our country, a role model for future generations of Americans.”

Biden said he thinks that America can come back from four years of President Donald Trump in the White House but that eight years would change the character of the nation.

“Whether or not I’m the nominee, I promise you, I’m going to work like the devil to make sure a Democrat is elected president of the United States,” Biden said.

The room cheered “Joe” as Biden walked to ground level to pose for photos and to shake hands with attendees.

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