Vice President Joe Biden delivered an informal and impassioned immigration speech to a group of Latino leaders in Washington D.C. Tuesday night.
“Make no damn apology for anything. Just go out and make the case [for immigration reform] straight up. We will win simply on the decency of what we’re fighting for,” Biden said at an event hosted by the Latino Victory Project, a bipartisan group working to build political power and representation for the Latino community.
Biden gave the surprise comments backstage, according to a video posted on Facebook by Alida Garcia.
Biden told the group of Latino leaders to straighten their shoulders after sharing a line from Dr. Martin Luther King’s last sermon, referencing the quote “a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent.”
Biden went on to say comments made by Republican presidential candidates have left Latinos depressed.
“The message I have for you is these guys don’t remotely speak for America,” said Biden.
“This nativism never succeeds. It will not succeed now,” he said.
The event was organized to raise funds for the Secretary of State of California, Alex Padilla, according to BuzzFeed’s Adrian Carasquillo. The Latino Victory Project was co-founded by actress Eva Longoria and Democratic National Committee’s national finance chairman Henry Muñoz.
After serving two terms in the California state senate, Padilla became the state’s first Latino Secretary of State, and only the second Latino to be elected to statewide office. His family immigrated to Los Angeles from Mexico. His father worked as a short order cook, and his mother cleaned houses.
Biden is expected to make an official announcement about running for president in the coming days, according to CBS News, who cited three people familiar with his deliberations.
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Monday found Biden would be the most popular Democratic candidate if he entered the race.