INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– The spotlight is shining on Indianapolis this week as nine presidential candidates take the stage at the National Urban League Conference downtown. Five of them spoke Thursday and four more are expected to address the league on Friday.
The day started with a speech from U.S. Sen. Cory Booker from New Jersey, a candidate National Urban League President Marc Morial said some NULC attendees might know.
"It’s a bit of a homecoming because he grew up in the Urban League Movement,” said Morial.
Booker noted his connections during his speech
"My Grandma, Adaline Jordan, was the National President of the Urban League Guild,” he told the crowd.
Former Vice President Joe Biden brought a sense of familiarity as well.
“I’ve been an Urban Leaguer for a long time," said Biden. "And that’s why I was honored to receive the lifetime achievement award the last time this organization asked me to come and speak.”
Morial was tasked with asking the tough questions.
“We wanted to challenge each candidate,” he said.
That included his question to Joe Biden about how wealth and income inequality grew during President Barack Obama’s term. He asked how Biden would fix that as president.
“I will immediately move to eliminate the Trump tax cut from the super wealthy, number one,” said Biden.
Morial said Amy Klobuchar brought some humor and substance.
The crowd laughed when she thanked the "five people" for clapping at one of her answers to Morial's questions. She focused a lot on voter issues.
“We must reauthorize the Voting Rights Act and as your president, I will make sure that it happens,” said Klobuchar
Former Congressman John Delaney and current Rep. Tim Ryan focused on economic issues.
“In my mind, it’s new and better," said Ryan. "And it’s not reform, it’s transform.”
“I truly believe no one, no matter the condition of your birth, should have different opportunities than anyone else,” said Delaney.
Indiana Republican Party Spokesman Pete Seat released the following statement regarding the candidates coming to Indianapolis:
"We're delighted to welcome another long line of Democrat presidential hopefuls to Indiana, as they provide the perfect contrast to the results Republicans are delivering in Indiana.
"While these Democrats promote radical socialist ideas like the Green New Deal that would balloon the size of government and cost good-paying Hoosier jobs, the Indiana Way is centered on results. Under Republican leadership, Indiana shines with a balanced budget, record investments in education, record infrastructure work currently underway and more Hoosiers working than ever before.
"We'll let the Democrats keep talking, while Republicans focus on results."