CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Former Vice President Joe Biden addressed education, gun control and healthcare to a packed crowd at the International Longshoremen’s association hall in Charleston Sunday afternoon.
The presidential hopeful spent a large portion of his time calling for education reform and even challenged Charleston area schools.
“Your standard for schools is minimally, minimally adequate,” Biden said.
Charleston County schools make up nearly 20 percent of the lowest performing schools in the state, according to a list released by the South Carolina Department of Education.
Biden says he plans to increase education spending by nearly $30 billion dollars a year.
It’s something President Trump has criticized saying “Ridiculously all Democrats want to raise taxes,” in a tweet Sunday morning.
More than 770 people attended the free town hall moderated by Senator Marlon Kimpson.
One of those in the audience was Felicia Sanders, a survivor of the Mother Emanuel shooting. She personally asked Biden about raising awareness for mental health amongst the conversation of gun control.
“Well, since four years ago me and my granddaughter have been having such a hard time getting help for post-traumatic stress disorder,” Felica Sanders said. “My house turned into almost like a zoo.”
Among the crowd was also Damon Fordham, an adjunct professor at the Citadel and Charleston Southern University. With more than two dozen democratic presidential candidates, Fordham says he is an independent who just wants to flush out the candidates.
“I have not committed myself to any candidate yet but I wanted to hear what he had to say,” Fordham said. “For me it’s just that I know who I don’t want in office so I’m definitely going to vote for the opposite person and I’ll leave it at that.”
Biden’s Lowcountry visit was his last stop in South Carolina. He spoke to voters in Sumter and Orangeburg on Saturday.
The Republican National Committee released a statement regarding Biden’s trip to South Carolina saying:
“Last week, Americans watched as Joe Biden bumbled his way through the Democrat debates in his attempt to keep up with today’s extreme Democrat Party. Disastrous performance aside, Biden proudly advocated for giving illegal immigrants taxpayer-funded healthcare. As Biden returns to South Carolina this weekend, he should remember that voters don’t want another do-nothing politician – they want a leader like President Trump, who will always put South Carolinians first.” - RNC Spokesperson Joe Jackson.