Medium

California Is First State To Offer Health Insurance To All Eligible Undocumented Adults

doctor wearing a white coat and holding a stethoscope Online Marketing on Unsplash

doctor wearing a white coat and holding a stethoscope by Online Marketing on Unsplash

Beginning Jan 1, for the first time, undocumented immigrants of all ages will qualify for Medi-Cal, the state’s health insurance program for extremely low-income people. It makes California the only state to fund comprehensive health care for undocumented immigrants… (CalMatters)

…”This is the culmination of literally decades of work, and it’s huge,” said Sarah Darr, policy director for the California Immigrant Policy Center. “It’s huge because of all the work and effort and advocacy that went into making this possible, and it’s also because of the impact that it’s going to have.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state’s Democratic-led Legislature have committed more than $4 billion to the Medi-Cal expansion annually. Newsom’s 2022 budget made the expansion possible, and through the state is now headed into a $68 billion deficit, advocates say the positive impact Medi-Cal will have an individual health is priceless…

…The California Immigrant Policy Center along with consumer advocacy group Health Access California have been the leading force in the campaign to eliminate citizenship requirements for Medi-Cal. The work was not easy even in left-leaning California. Many moderate Democrats voted against the legislation or refrained from weighing in on the debate in the early days, but slowly, public opinion and political will shifted.

California will welcome the new year by becoming the first state to offer health insurance for all undocumented immigrants. (ABC News)

Starting January 1, all undocumented immigrants, regardless of age, will qualify for Medi-Cal, California’s version of the federal Medicaid program for people with low incomes.

Previously, undocumented immigrants were not qualified to receive comprehensive health insurance but were allowed to receive emergency and pregnancy-related services under Medi-Cal as long as they met eligibility requirements, including income limits and California residency in 2014.

The 2015, undocumented children were able to join Medi-Cal under a bill signed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown. In 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law an expansion of full-scope Medi-Cal access for young adults ages 19 through 25, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. Access was then further expanded to allow older adults aged 50 and older to receive benefits, also regardless of immigration status.

The final expansion going into effect Jan. 1 will make approximately 700,000 undocumented residents between 26 and 49 eligible for full coverage, according to California State Sen. María Elena Durazo.

As a Californian, I think this program to enable undocumented immigrants access to Medi-Cal is an excellent idea. Everyone needs access to health care, no matter who they are or where they come from. One of the best things about California is the government really makes an effort to provide care to the people who live here.

2024 Presidential Campaign

President Biden (Democrat)

Photo of a donkey with white fur that is standing on green grass by Eshgin Mammadov on Pexels

November 22, 2021: The White House has said that Joe Biden intends to run for re-election in 2024, a statement that comes amid speculation over his future as the president sees a dip in his approval rating. (The Guardian)

Biden, 79, has suffered a drop in his polling numbers in recent months, leading some Democrats to speculate he might not seek another four-year term.

“He is. That’s his intention,” said the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, as Biden flew onboard Air Force One for a Thanksgiving event with US troops in Fort Bragg, North Carolina…

…The statement from the White House follows reports that Biden has been reassuring allies of his intentions to run again, and that he is keen to quash rumors of a one-term presidency.

A recent Washington Post/ABC survey found just over 40% of voters approved of Biden, continuing a steady downturn trend in the president’s ratings amid inflation and supply chain issues and intra-party fighting over key aspects of the president’s agenda…

…Biden underwent his first physical examination on Friday since taking office in January and doctors found he had a stiffened gait and attributed frequent bouts of coughing due to acid reflex. Doctors said he was fit to serve.

Biden’s physical prospects appeared to have been buoyed last week by congressional passage of a $1.2tn infrastructure plan. Still being debated is another $1.76tn spending on a social safety net package…


APRIL 2023:

April 14, 2023: President Biden on Friday told reporters he’s already made a decision about whether to run for reelection and will make an announcement “relatively soon.” (The Hill)…

…Biden has for month said he intends to run for a second term, but the official timeline for an official announcement has repeatedly slipped. Advisers first indicted the president may announce his plans around February’s State of the Union address, but when that didn’t happen, reports suggested Biden would announce in the spring.

Biden would be 82 at the start of a second term. He and the Democratic National Committee earlier this week announced the party’s 2024 convention will be held in Chicago.

The latest reports are that Biden will wait until the summer to announce. White House allies and Democratic strategists have argued there is no real rush for Biden to officially declare his candidacy, noting there are no real calls from Democrats for him to step aside and suggesting a delayed announcement would allow him to focus on the job of being president and promoting his agenda to the public…

April 25, 2023: US President Joe Biden has announced he will run for re-election in 2024, setting the stage for a potential rematch with Donald Trump (BBC)

The Democrat has been expected to seek a second four-year term and launched his campaign in a video on Tuesday.

He said it was a pivotal moment with freedoms and rights under threat. “This is not a time to be complacent,” he said. “That’s why I’m running.”

Vice-President Kamala Harris 58, will once again be his running mate.

Mr. Biden, 80, is already the oldest president in US history and is likely to face questions about his age throughout the campaign. He would be 86 after finishing a second full term in 2029.

“It’s legitimate for people to raise issues about my age,” he said earlier this year. “And the only thing I can say is, watch me.”

Within hours of announcing his candidacy, President Biden addressed Union workers in Washington, DC where he was greeted with cheers of “Let’s go, Joe” and “four more years!”

Throughout the speech the president underscored what appears to be his slogan for the 2024 campaign: “It’s time to finish the job.”

He touted his efforts to restore the American economy after the pandemic as well as the bipartisan infrastructure bill, before teasing what he would do with a second term in office.

“We’ve got a lot more to do,” Mr Biden said.

Mr Biden faced off against Mr Trump in 2020, defeating the Republican after promising to “restore the soul of the United States.”…

…Mr Trump has already launched his presidency, raising the prospect that both men will face each other again on 5 November 2024. They are considered favourites to win their nominations although Mr Trump faces competition from the likes of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

April 25, 2023: …Joe Biden has announced his campaign for a second term as president with a video released this morning. It’s a big decision by the 80-year-old, who has been dogged by low approval ratings throughout most of his term thus far, but managed to get several major pieces of legislation passed by Congress and help Democrats defend a surprising number of seats in last November’s midterm elections. (The Guardian)

To press the message home, vice-president Kamala Harris will this evening speak at Washington DC’s Howard University during “a political event with reproductive rights organizations and advocates” according to her office. Expect to hear plenty about how a second term White House would allow Biden to continue protecting abortion access where he can – and how a GOP president would do the opposite.

April 25, 2023: In addition to making his campaign official, Joe Biden announced key members of his staff. (The Guardian)

As co-chairs, he named Democratic house representatives Lisa Blunt-Rochester, Jim Clyburn, Veronica Escobar, and Jeffery Katzenberg, senators Chris Coons and Tammy Duckworth as well as Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan’s up-and-coming governor.

His campaign manager is Julie Chávez Rodríguez, currently one of his senior advisors and the direct of intergovernmental affairs at the White House. She was previously deputy manager of his 2020 campaign, and worked on Kamala Harris’s presidential bid.

April 25, 2023: Joe Biden has made it official: He’s running for a second term in office. (The Hollywood Reporter)

What was already widely known for months was confirmed Thursday when he formerly launched his re-election campaign, announcing the news on the fourth anniversary on his return to politics in 2019. The president made the announcement in a video.

“Every generation has a moment where they have had to stand up for democracy. To stand up for their fundamental freedoms. I believe this is ours,” was posted on Biden’s Twitter account. “That’s why I’m running for re-election as President of the United States. Join us. Let’s finish the job.”

Vice president Kamala Harris, who is the highest-ranking woman and person of color in American politics, also announced that she will, once again, be Biden’s running mate…

April 25, 2023: …Democrats have been on a streak of wins at the ballot box ever since the conservative-dominated Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year and allowed states to ban it entirely. Biden clearly hopes that enthusiasm continues when they go to the polls in 2024. (The Guardian)

April 25, 2023: President Joe Biden posted on X/Twitter an announcement that said: “Every generation has a moment where they have to stand up for democracy. To stand up for their fundamental freedoms. I believe this is ours.”

“That’s why I’m running for reelection as President of the United States. Join is. Let’s finish the job. joebiden.com

The post includes a video that features Joe Biden speaking. It shows images of people who stormed the U.S. Capitol and highlights the “MAGA Extremists”. It also shows plenty of people whom President Joe Biden spoke with. Overall, it’s a very well done video that emphasizes the President’s desire for people to have freedom, access to health care, and the ability to vote.

April 25, 2023: Former President Barack Obama wrote on X/Twitter “Proud of all that @JoeBiden and his administration have accomplished these last few years. He’s delivered for the American people – and he’ll continue to do so once he’s re-elected. Let’s get to work!” joebiden.com

In the same tweet, former President Barack Obama wrote about that above the video from the Joe Biden campaign.

April 25, 2023: California Governor Gavin Newsom wrote on X/Twitter “Our democracy is under attack. Our freedom is being stripped away. It’s time to step-up-and there’s no one better to lead that fight than President Biden.

Looking forward to another 4 years of his leadership.

Let’s show up big today. Every dollar counts https://secure.actblue.com/donate/biden-newsom


MAY 2023:

May 5, 2023: The White House is framing the 2024 campaign this way: stability versus chaos. (The Hill)

And they want outside groups to help spread that message.

As President Biden launches his reelection campaign, top White House aids and Democratic officials have met with allies and outside groups in closed-door sessions in recent days to discuss the president’s agenda and how he plans to win a second term, sources tell The Hill.

Allies who have attended the meeting with top officials have said a major part of Biden’s strategy is to “act presidential” to contrast with the infighting and chaos on the Republican side…

…The strategy is a similar approach to the one Biden took in 2020 when he opposed former President Trump. After four years of controversy surrounding Trump, Biden campaigned one returning Washington to normal and having a president who kept his head down and intentionally remained out of the spotlight…

…This year, after Biden launched his reelection bid, Democrats – who had appeared splintered in the last two cycles – quickly rallied behind Biden.

May 19, 2023: Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) thinks President Biden is “avoiding embarrassment” with his push for South Carolina to be the first state in the 2024 Democratic primary, he said in an interview this week. (The Hill)

South Carolina is currently slated to open the race Feb. 3, followed by Nevada and New Hampshire three days later, the Georgia, then Michigan, according to a schedule approved by the Democratic National Committee in February. It is unclear, however, if that line up will hold.

But the current schedule sets Biden up to face voters first in South Carolina – a primary he won in 2020 by double digits, amping up his then-lagging campaign – and not Iowa, the traditionally first-in-the-nation state, where Biden came in forth last cycle…

…Clyburn – the assistant Democratic leader in the House – endorsed Biden ahead of the 2020 primary in South Carolina, a move that was widely seen and helping Biden win the state and ultimately secure the nomination…

…Biden officially launched his 2024 reelection campaign last month, setting up a potential rematch between him and Trump. The president jumped into the race despite some polls showing that a contingent of voters do not think he has the mental sharpness to serve effectively and others expressing support for the party nominating someone else…


JUNE 2023:

June 1, 2023: President Biden was uninjured after falling on stage congratulating the last of the Air Force Academy graduates at a commencement ceremony Thursday. (The Hill)

Biden, who delivered the commencement address and stayed on stage for a couple of hours as diplomas were awarded, could be seen in a video stumbling and falling. He was helped up by Air Force officials and pointed at a sandbag that appeared to be the cause of his tumble…

…at 80, Biden is the oldest individual to serve as president, and his age an fitness of office is likely to be a key factor as he runs for reelection in 2024.

Biden has previously acknowledged that it’s fair for voters to wonder about his age. But he as responded by saying that he remains up for the job, and those who are unsure should simply watch him and the rigorous schedule he keeps…

…at 80, Biden is the oldest individual to serve as president, and his age and fitness for office is likely to be a key factor as he runs for reelection in 2024.

Biden has previously acknowledged that it’s fair for voters to wonder about his age. But he has responded by saying he remains up for the job, and those who are unsure should simply watch him and the rigorous schedule he keeps…

July 7, 2023: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has endorsed President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign, sending a strong sign of Democratic unity from one of the party’s most liberal members (Associated Press)

“I think he’s done quite well, given the limitations that we have, “Ocasio-Cortez said on the “Pod Save America” podcast Thursday. “I do think that there are ebbs and flows.”

Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described democratic socialist from New York, has sometimes bucked Biden and the party’s leaders, including voting against the deal the president negotiated with Republicans in May to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and casting the lone Democratic vote against a spending bill to keep the government in operation and avoid a partial government shutdown…

…Biden is facing nominal primary challenges for next year’s election in self-help author Marianne Williamson and anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Ocasio, when asked about whether she’d support Biden, said: “I believe, given that field, yes.”

June 13, 2023: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Monday said President Biden is mentally strong enough to serve in the White House, as Biden faces regular questions about his age amid his 2024 reelection bid. (The Hill)

“Do you think he’s cognitively strong enough to be president?” Fox News host Sean Hannity asked Newsom in an interview the aired Monday.

“I have conversations with him all the time, yes. And I’ll tell you what. I’m dead serious about that. I’ve talked to him when he’s been overseas. I’ve been in Air Force One, Marine One. I’ve been in the limo with him. I’ve spent time with him privately and publicly,” Newsom said…

…Under any circumstances would you get in this primary?” Hannity asked.

“No. No.” Newsom responded, adding that he’s “proud” of the president…

…At another point in the interview, Newsom said of Biden, “I don’t think he’s capable. I know he’s capable. I see results. I’ve seen a master class of results last year.”…

June 14, 2023: President Biden’s reelection campaign raised more than $72 million in the second quarter of fundraising, the campaign announced Friday. (The Hill)

The team reported that the campaign has $77 million in cash on hand, which is “the highest total amassed by a Democrat at any comparable point in history.”

These are the first numbers out of the campaign since Biden and Vice President Harris launched their reelection in April.

Biden more than doubted former President Trump’s second quarter fundraising.

“The Biden-Harris team dramatically outraged the announced totals from every GOP candidate running for president, including Donald Trump by more than 2:1 and Ron DeSantis by more than 3:1,” Biden campaign said in a statement.

Trump, the Republican front-runner, hauled in more than $35 million in the second quarter. That’s roughly double what he brought in the first quarter of the year; the former president raised more than $18 million in the first three months of 2023…

June 15, 2023: The Biden-Harris reelection campaign has announced that Michael Tyler, the former national press secretary at the Democratic National Committee (DNC), will be its communications director. (The Hill)

Tyler was the deputy director of communications for Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-N.J.) 2020 presidential bid and, along with being DNC national press secretary, was chief of staff for then-Chairman Tom Perez during the 2018 midterm cycle.

Tyler most recently was group director for public affairs at SS&K, a political firm that was involved in the 2020 Biden campaign and former President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns.

He is slated to start on the campaign full time at the beginning of next month…

…Clyburn – the assistant Democratic leader in the House – endorsed Biden ahead of the 2020 primary in South Carolina, a move that was widely seen as helping Biden win the state and ultimately secure the nomination…

…Biden officially launched his 2024 reelection campaign last month, setting up a potential rematch between him and Trump. The president jumped into the race despite some polls showing that a contingent of voters do not think he has the mental sharpness to serve effectively and others expressing support for the party nominating someone else…

June 22, 2023: Three top reproductive rights groups are endorsing President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for reelection in 2024. (The Independent)

Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Emily’s List are throwing their early support behind the reelection effort in part to highlight the importance of the issue for Democrats heading into the election year, leaders told the Associated Press on Thursday.

“I think that President Biden has been an incredibly valuable partner, along with Vice President Harris, in fighting back agains the onslaught of attacks the we’ve seen,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, president and executive of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chávez Rodríguez, said the president and vice president were proud to have earned the support of groups. Since the decision last year by the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, “we have seen the horrifying impact that the extreme MAGA agenda has on women’s health,” she said, referring to Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

“MAGA Republicans’ promising a national abortion ban makes reelecting President Biden and Vice President Harris all the more important,” she said in a statement. The organizing power of the three groups was essential to Democrats’ strong performance in the 2022 midterms, and it will be again, she said.

Biden has said he’ll work to protect reproductive health care, including codifying abortion rights in federal law…

…For Emily’s List, an advocacy group for Democratic female candidates, Harris is a powerful symbol, said president Laphonza Butler.

“She is the highest serving woman who has broken the hard glass ceiling of representing women in the White House,” Butler said. “This is the administration using every bully pulpit it can to advance reproductive health and freedom across the country.

June 23, 2023: FACT SHEET: President Biden Issues Executive Order on Strengthening Access to Contraception

Today, President Biden will issue an Executive Order on Strengthening Access to Affordable, High-Quality Contraception and Family Planning Services. This will be the third Executive Order on reproductive health care access to contraception. Contraception is an essential component of reproductive health care that has only become more important in the wake of Dobbs and the ensuing crisis in women’s access to health care.

Through today’s Executive Order, the President will announce actions to:

  • Improve Contraception Access and Affordability for Women with Private Health Insurance

The Executive Order directs the Secretaries of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (HHS) to consider new guidance to ensure that private health insurance under the Affordable Care Act covers all Food and Drug Administration-approved, – granted, or -cleared contraceptives without cost sharing and to streamline the process for obtaining care women need and want. This action will build on the progress already made under the Affordable Care Act by further reducing barriers that women face in accessing contraception prescribed by their provider.

  • Promote Increased Access to Over-the-Counter Contraception

The Executive Order directs the Secretaries of the Treasury, Labor, and HHS to consider new actions to improve access to affordable over-the-counter contraception, including access to affordable over-the-counter contraception, including emergency contraception. These actions could include convening pharmacies, employers, and insurers to discuss opportunities to expand access to affordable over-the-counter-contraception; identifying promising practices regarding the coverage of over-the-counter contraception at no cost to patients; and providing guidance to support seamless coverage of over-the-counter contraception.

  • Support Family Planning Services and Supplies through the Medicaid Program.

The Executive Order directs the Secretary of HHS to consider new action that expand access to affordable family planning services and supplies across the Medicaid program – such as sharing best practices for State Medicaid programs on providing high-quality family planning services and supplies, including through Medicaid managed care.

  • Support Access to Contraception for Service Members, Veterans, and Federal Employees.

The Executive Order directs the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management to consider new actions to ensure robust coverage of contraception for Service members, veterans, and Federal employees and ensure that they and their families understand how to access these benefits. These actions will build on the steps that these agencies have already taken to bolster access to contraception for those they serve.

  • Bolster Contraception Access Across Federally-Supported Health Care Programs.

The Executive Order directs the Secretary of HHS to consider encouraging Federally-supported health care and human services entities – such as Title X family planning clinics, community health centers, and the Indian Health Service – to expand the availability and quantity of contraception access for those they serve. Action could include issuing new guidance, technical assistance, and training resources so that providers in these programs understand their obligations under Federal law, including to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate family planning services.

  • Support Access to Affordable Contraception for Employees and College Students.

The Executive Order directs the Secretary of Labor to identify and share best practices for employers and insurers in making affordable, high-quality contraception available to employees. To help bolster access for college and university students, the Executive Order directs the Secretary of Education to convene institutions of higher education to share best practices and ways to make sure that students understand their options for accessing contraception.

  • Promote Research and Data Analysis on Contraception Access.

To document the gaps and disparities in contraception access as well as the benefits of comprehensive coverage, the Executive Order directs the Secretary of HHS to support research, data collection, and data analysis on contraception access and family planning services.

Today’s announcements build on action that the Biden-Harris Administration has already taken to protect access to contraception, including in response to two prior Executive Orders directing actions to safeguard access to reproductive health care services. The Administration has taken action to:

  • Clarify Protections for Women with Private Health Insurance.

Under the Affordable Care Act, most private health plans must provide contraception and family planning counseling with no out-of-pocket costs. The Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and HHS convened a meeting with health insurers and employee benefit plans. These agencies called on the industry to meet their obligations to cover contraception as required under law. Following this conversation, these agencies issued guidance to clarify protections for contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

  • Expand Access Under the Affordable Care Act.

The Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and HHS proposed a rule to strengthen access to contraception under the Affordable Care Act so all women who need and want contraception can obtain it. Millions of women have already benefited from this coverage, which has helped them save billions of dollars on contraception.

  • Support Title X Clinics.

HHS provided resources to bolster quality family planning services through the Title X Family Planning Program. HHS provided funds to help clinics deliver equitable, affordable, client-centered, and high-quality family planning services and provide training and technical assistance for Title X clinics through the Reproductive Health National Training Center and the Clinical Training Center for Sexual and Reproductive Health. In addition, recognizing the important role that Title X clinics play in supporting access to contraception, the President’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request includes $512 million for the Title X Family Planning Program, a 76 percent increase above the 2023 enacted level.

  • Enhance Access Through a New Public-Private Partnership.

HHS announced a new public-private partnership to expand access to contraception with Upstream, a national nonprofit organization that provides health centers with free patient-centered, evidence-based training and technical assistance to eliminate provider-level barriers to offering the full range of contraceptive options. This partnership will leverage Upstream’s $90 million in resources and build on Upstream’s $90 million in resources and build on Upstream’s work with over 100 health care organizations across 18 states and accelerate their national expansion to transform contraceptive care in more than 700 health center by 2030, reaching 5 million women of reproductive age every year.

  • Promote Access to Contraception for Service Members and Their Families and Certain Dependents of Veterans.

To improve access at military hospitals and clinics, the Department of Defense expanded walk-in contraceptive care services for active-duty Service members and other Military Health System beneficiaries. And the Department of Veterans Affairs proposed a rule to eliminate out-of-pocket costs for certain types of contraception through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • Ensure Access to Family Planning Services at Health Centers.

The Health Resources and Services Administration provided updated guidance to community heath centers on their obligation to offer community health centers on their obligation to offer family planning service to their patients. The guidance included evidence-based recommendations and resources to support health centers in providing high-quality family planning services.

  • Include Family Planning Provides in Health Plan Networks.

HHS strengthened the standard for inclusion of family planning providers in Marketplace plans’ provider networks under the Affordable Care Act. This policy, which goes into effect for plan year 2024, will help increase consumers’ choice of high-quality providers and improve access to care for low-income and medically underserved consumers.

June 23, 2023: NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mimi Timmaraju released the following statement:

“Access to contraception is essential to our health and well-being. It’s vital to ensure that we all have the freedom to plan our loves and our futures. The reality is that anti-abortion extremists have decimated access to abortion care in our country and they want to do the same for birth control. I has never been more important to protect and expand access, and we commend the Biden-Harris administration for acting to do just that.”

June 28, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception | Chicago, IL

The President: Woah. Thank you, thank you , thank you. (Applause.) Please – please have a seat.

Am I interrupting your lunch? (Laughter.) By the way, I will not be offended if you keep eating.

Look, folks, I want to thank Governor Pritzker for that introduction. But more than that – I’d probably ruin his reputation now, but he did more in 2020 to help me get elected President of the United States than just about anybody in the country, and that’s a fact. You are part – (applause) – and he’s doing one hell of a job as your governor. I appreciate his support.

And, you know, I also want to thank the other elected officials that are here: Mayor Brandon Johnson, thanks for the key to the city, man. (Applause.)

And congratulations to you and Stacie on your wedding anniversary. What a hell of a way to spend your – you owe her big, man, if this is the wedding anniversary. (Laughter.)

Dick Durbin, Tammy Duckworth, Representative Laura Underwood: You’ve been such important partners in everything we’ve gotten done. And that’s not hyperbole. I really am grateful to have you all here today and give me your support.

And I think our national chairman is here. Jaime, stand up, man. (Applause.)

Now, I don’t want to ruin Jamie’s reputation, but he’s from South Carolina and he supported my decision to come to Chicago. (Laughter.)

Anyway, look. – (laughter) – you’ve been such an important part.

And before I begin, I want to say a world about a good man who was a dear friend and a great America: Jim Crown. You know, I know many of you knew Jim well, and you’re heartbroken to learn of his – of a shocking death.

You know, Jim and Paula joined us at the White House just last week at the state dinner for India, and he was – he was thoughtful and warm as ever. He represented America’s best. And he was industrious, big hearted. And his commitment to this city was bone deep. It was bone deep. And we’re sending our love to Paula and their – and their kids and grandkids and Jim’s parents and siblings. He’ll be missed.

It’s just shocking. Like I said, I just saw him about 10 days ago.

Now, to all of you here today, I want to thank you for being here. Thank you for your support. And you’ve helped us get so much done over the past tow and a half years.

(Clears throat.) Excuse me.

Folks, I’m actually looking forward to this campaign. And you know why? Because we got a story to tell. We’ve got a real story to tell. We’ve got a record to run on. And most importantly, we’re not only changing the country, we’re transforming the country.

You know, I just left the Old Post Office, where I talked about my economic vision for the country. And we’re – what everyone in the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times have been calling “Bidenomics.” So I said, “Okay, Bidenomics. I’ll take it.” (Laughter.)

But, look, just think about what it was like when I came to office – when you got me there. It was – we inherited a mess.

Governor Pritzker remembers it all too well. The pandemic was raging. The economy – the economy was reeling. Around the world, our allies in Europe and Asia, the Middle East – they were saying they didn’t know what we – this new President meant by – by this idea of “America First.”

I got to tell you – and Jeffery, you know this – I got to tell you that I was stunned at how – I’ve been doing foreign policy my whole life. I was chairman of Foreign Relations Committee. I was – when I was with Barack, I’d handle a lot of the foreign policy, travel the world, and know most heads of state. And I was stunned. I was stunned by the damage that had been done to our reputation internationally. And that’s not hyperbole. I give my world to that.

For the first time since World War Two, our friends began to wonder whether we could be relied on.

You know, one of the things I said when Putin invaded – and I predicted he was going to invade Ukraine with 185,000 troops; who ever thought that would happen in the post-war in Europe? I predicted that he was counting on NATO breaking, not holding – not being held together – but we united NATO. We’re one again viewed as a world leader.

We created 13 million new jobs – more jobs than in two years than any president has ever created in a four-year term.

Unemployment rate is down to a 50-year low. Went down to 3.7 percent.

You know, we’ve seen record lows in Black and Hispanic unemployment as well. Inflation is less than half it was – less than half it was a year ago. Still too high, but it’s way down.

And folks, this didn’t happen. We made it happen.

I came to office with a theory and a plan – and one that I’ve been fighting for my whole career, but I had a chance to actually implement it as president.

The theory was: it was time to end the trickle-down economics, traditional economics. 40 years of handing out excessive tax cuts, the big corporations had been a bust. We had gone – well, all – when it was done, we hollowed out the middle class in America. We blew up the deficit significantly. We shipped jobs overseas because of cheaper labor. We stripped the dignity and pride and hope of one community after another all across America, particularly from Western Pennsylvania and going through the Middle East – I mean, through the middle of the country and down south.

So, we’re changing that. We’re replacing their trickle-down theory with what the economists are calling Bidenomics. It’s working. Bidenomics is about building an economy from the middle out and the bottom up. When that occurs, the middle class does well, the poor have a chance, and the wealthy still do very, very well – do very well.

I’m a capitalist. If you can go out and make a million or a billion dollars, it’s good by me, as long as you just pay your fair share in taxes – not exorbitant, not like the old days, but the top tax rate in the 30 percent range.

Look, we started with the American Rescue Plan, a plan to vaccinate the nation and get our economy going. And that’s what we did. Not a single Republican in Congress voted for that plan. Not one single, solitary Republican. But we got it done.

Next, we passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, because you can’t have the strongest economy in the world with a second-rate infrastructure. Can you believe we used to have the best infrastructure in the world but now we’re ranked 13th in the world in infrastructure?

Under the predecessor, Infrastructure Week became a punchline. Remember it was going to be – no, I’m not joking. Remember is was going to be – no, I’m not joking. It became a punchline. On my watch, making infrastructure was a dec- — a decade headline. We’re going to do it. We’re going t get it done. (Applause.)

Now we’re investing in America, and it’s just coming – everybody says: Why am I only talking about this now? We got all these big pieces of legislation passed, and we were told we couldn’t get it passed, because – it took time, without any Republican help in most cases. And now it’s there, and we got to let people know what we’ve done and how we’ve done it and why we did it.

You know, our roads, our bridges, our ports, our airports, clean water, high-speed Internet, and so much more. Already we started 35,000 projects all across America.

Earlier this year, Kamala was here in Chicago, at the 95th Street Bridge, to talk about improvements we’re making there, and three other bridges nearby. They haven’t had major repairs in decades. It’s causing traffic detours. I don’t have to tell you Chicagoans this. Supply chain delays, from Lake Michigan to the Gulf of Mexico. And that’s a fact. That law is going to change all that.

For example – and for everybody – I said I’d be president for everybody, not just those who voted for me, not just in – not just in blue districts. Everybody.

And here’s what happened. You know, we’ve – we found that all these guys voted against all this, they think it’s great now, man. Noo – (laughter) – well, I won’t get into all that. (Laughter.) I just get excited.

Third, we passed the CHIPS and Science Act. America got a wake-up call during the pandemic. We didn’t think much about supply chains before. Well, we do now. I know we can never be as vulnerable as we were. I’ve determined that will never happen again.

One key component, for example: semiconductors – those little chips – the computer chips, smaller than the end of my little finger. These small little – little computer chips. Without them, your cellphones don’t work; you automobiles cannot be made – 300 parts – 3,000 chips in there; and the most sophisticated weapons systems the United States has can’t be functional. We invented those chips. The United States made the first chip. We invented it. We made it much more sophisticated.

But over time, we went from producing 40 percent of the world’s chips down to 10 percent. And you saw what happened when they got cut off because of the pandemic and – in Asia. What happened? We stopped being able to make automobiles because we needed 33,000 of these chips to run. It’s – I mean, everything began to shut down.

But we’re turning this around. Now, the private sector has announced they’re investing $490 billion in advanced manufacturing, as well as clean energy, in America. $490 billion. (Applause.)

The forth thing we did: We passed the Inflation Reduction Act. And we get – that gave – we gave Medicare the power to lower prescription drugs prices, like the VA has been able to do. Dick – Dick Durbin and I have been fighting for this for a long time.

Well, you know, I don’t – I want to be clear – everybody thinks it’s an exaggeration, but hold up here a second – is that a drug company that makes a product, a drug, here in the United States, if it’s sold in Chicago, you can buy it cheaper in Florence, Italy; you can buy it cheaper in Toronto. Why? Why?

We allow the VA to negotiate prices for drugs for veterans. But guess what? Every time Big Pharma – when Dick and I would try to do this, every time we’d – it stopped us every time. But not this time. (Laughter and applause.) Not this time.

We took on Big Pharma and won this time. Now seniors on Medicare are paying – instead of as much as $400 a month for insulin last year, they’re paying $35 a month. (Applause.) It costs only $12 dollars to make and package it. This is life changing.

In the first round of negotiations of drug prices, we’re going to save the taxpayers $160 billion. That means – and, by the way, it reduces the deficit by $160 billion, and it gives people breathing room to be able to help with their inflation.

My dad used to say, “You know, if – inflation is – is a problem, but at the end of the month the question is” When you pay all your bills, do you have anything – do you have any breathing room? Do you have any – anything left?”

We not only cut inflation, we’re going to continue to cut inflation. But this gives people more breathing room, these bills.

And this bill includes the biggest investment, not only in America, but without anywhere in the world in climate change. $369 billion, without a single Republican vote.

And that’s not all we’ve done. We passed the most significant legislation to reduce gun violence in 30 years, strengthening ba- –background checks, red flag laws. (Applause.) We banned ghost guns. We have a lot more – we have a lot more to do though.

With Dick’s leadership, we kept our promise to put the first Black woman on the Supreme Court. (Applause.) And, by the way, I think she may be the intellectually brightest person on the Court. (Laughter.) She’s incredible. Ketan- Ketanji Brown Jackson, she is incredible.

We appointed more Black women to the federal circuit courts than all previous presidents combined. Combined. (Applause.)

And, folks, I’m not going into much detail, but we’ve also reestablished our leadership in the world. We’ve united and strengthened NATO in defense of Ukraine.

You know, as I said, the one thing – the one thing that Putin was counting on was he would split NATO; we wouldn’t stay together – we wouldn’t be together. Seriously, not a joke. Think about it.

Well, we strengthened the alliance in the Indo-Pacific with a thing called a Quad. I brought together Japan, Australia, India, and the United States. The Indian Ocean is a different place now.

Japan’s military budget, they haven’t increased that budget since the war, but they’ve significantly increased the budget to help us in that region of the world to work with us. They made an agreement with South Korea to end their – their – their significant disagreement that lasted since World War Two. And guess what? They’re providing support for Ukraine. They’re engaged. They said they understand. (Applause.) No, but think about it.

I spent a lot of time with the prime minister. He said, “I understand. When you have 185,000 troops invade another country, why won’t Taiwan be next? Why won’t something else happen out here?

So we – we united 40 nations of the world that are engaged. In short, restored America standing on the world stage.

We’re doing all this while still cutting the deficit. You know, all the talk about big spenders and what we – guess what? A budget agreement I just negotiated with the Republicans, we cut another – nearly a trillion dollars without giving up any of the main requirements that I was for.

On top of that, I cut in just my budget, in two years, $1.7 trillion off the federal debt. No president has ever done that. We did all this, and we cut $1.7 trillion from the federal debt in two years. (Applause.)

And, folks, look, you remember – you know, when I talk about corporate taxes – I – I – I’m a capitalist. You can go out and make millions and billions of dollars. Have at it. It helps. But guess what? You got to pay a little bit.

Remember when the Fortune 500, the top four- — 55 companies made $400 billion and didn’t pay – $50 billion and didn’t pay a penny in taxes? Well, guess what? They had to pay 15 percent, and that paid for all of this we needed. (Laughter.) No, I’m not joking. Think about it. Think about it.

That’s just some of what we’ve been able to accomplish with your help in the first two and a half years. Imagine what we can do now. We’re here today – I’m here today to ask you to help me finish the job.

For example, we’ll cut the deficit more once we make tax code fair, closing loopholes. For example I – I come from the corporate state of America. More corporations are – many of you have corporations that are invested – are incorporated in Delaware than every other state in the union. And I represented that state for 36 years as a progressive Democrat.

But closing loopholes, for example, on crypto traders, hedge fund managers. There’s a lot of loopholes in the tax code that don’t make any sense.

Get billi- –look, there used to be 750 billionaires in America four years ago. Now there are 1,000. You know what the average – the average tax rate they pay? Eight percent. Come on. That’s less than a school teachers, a cop, a firefighter. Just begin to pay a little bit. It’s time for the wealthy to start paying their fair share in the country.

I made a promise and I’ll keep it, and I’ve kept it so far: No one in America making less than $400,000 will see one single, solitary penny in their federal taxes raised. $400,000. (Applause.) And I’ve kept that promise, and I will keep it. (Applause.)

But there’s so much to do – so much to do on the social agenda as well. That’s all they want to talk about is – you know we – I made a speech when I ran for the first time at – at the Independence Hall. And I said our democracy was at stake. And the press said, “What the hell is he talking about democracy for?”

Well, it turned out 66 percent of the American people agreed with me. Democracy is at stake, and part of it is still at stake.

Let’s protect a woman’s right to choose and codify Roe v. Wade. (Applause.) No, I really mean it.

Folks, I love the arrogant of the Supreme Court decision. After they said there’s no right to privacy in the Constitution, I said a lot else is at stake: contraception, gay marriage, et cetera, because they’re based on the right to privacy. And the famous judge, who I will not mention his name, said there are no longer – since there’s no longer the idea of privacy in the Constitution, they’re not protected. They’re going to come after it.

Well, guess what? We’re in a situation where they said – I – one of the best lines in the Dobbs decision to me was – they said: This is a state matter. It is not a federal matter. And now – and I’m paraphrasing – and now, let’s see what women can actually do.

They ain’t seen nothing yet. (Applause.) No, I’m serious – state by state.

But look, – and let’s keep fighting the existential threat that – the only existential threat to humanity is climate change. I mean, for real. If we go above 1.5 degrees Celsius by the year 2050, we’re in trouble. There’s no turning it around.

Let’s protect our children from gun violence and finally, once again, banning assault weapons and high-magazines. (Applause.) We did it once. And when we did, mass murders came down significantly – significantly.

Who the hell needs a magazine that can hold 100 rounds? I mean, seriously, like what happened – anyway –

Let’s keep lowering prescription drug costs, not just for those Medicare but for all Americans.

Let’s continue to restore the soul – I ran for three reasons, I said, when I ran – when I announced. Even my staff: “What are you talking about?”

The first one was I said we had to restore a sense of honor, a sense of who we are as American people.

Secondly, I said we had to rebuild the economy through the middle class, from the bottom up and the middle out. We had to do that to make things work.

And I said, thirdly, we had to unite America. And I was told – and understandably, the press said, “Biden is from another generation.” I’m going to say something that maybe Dick or other members of the Senate can confirm: I was known as the guy that got a lot of things done in the Senate – a lot of things done. I had relationships across the aisle, and it worked. And we had friendships. But they said, “That was another day. You can’t do that anymore.”

We got enough people to step up and come across – enough Republicans – to pass most of this stuff.

Let me close with this. Here’s the bottom line; it’s very simple: We need you. That’s not hyperbole. We need you. Our democracy needs you, because this is about our freedoms.

MAGA Republicans are trying to take us backwards. But together, we’re not going to let them.

I truly believe this country – and I know I don’t look it, but I’ve been around a long time. (Laughter.) I truly believe that this country is about to take off. The investments we’ve made in the past two and a half years have the power to transform this country for the next 50 years. We’re doing something right now that no one thought possible.

But the Republicans – Republicans don’t like any of it.

(A toddler screeches in the audience.)

I don’t blame you, kiddo. (Laughter.) He agrees.

Most of them have opposed everything I’ve done. Most of them want to get rid of it all, but they don’t hesitate to take credit for it.

I tell you what, there’s that senator – he’s a hell of a football coach in Alabama – who is now the senator from Alabama – Tuberville – who strongly opposed the legislation that now he’s hailing its passage. He voted against the legislation. He says, “Great to see Alabama receive critical funds to boost ongoing broadband efforts.” End of quote. I told him I’l see him at the groundbreaking. (Laughter.)

We’ve got a fight on our hands. Let me ask you: Are you with me in this fight? (Applause.)

It’s been a long time, but I can honestly say I’ve never been more optimistic. I know a lot of people (inaudible), but they don’t b- — I believe it, because I know the people of this country.

We’ve got to remember who we are. We’re the United States of America, and there’s nothing – and I mean this from the bottom of my heart. Think about it: No — we’ve never come out of a problem without being stronger than when we went in.

We have never, never, never failed to accomplish what we set our minds to. There’s nothing beyond our capacity if we do it together.

So, God bless you all. And may God protect our troops.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. (Applause.)


July 2023:

July 14, 2023: President Biden’s reelection campaign raised more than $72 million in the second quarter of fundraising, the campaign announced Friday. (The Hill)

The team also reported that the campaign has $77 million in cash on hand, which is “the highest total amassed by a Democrat at any comparable point in history.”

These are the first numbers out of the campaign since Biden and Vice President Harris launched their reelection in April.

Biden more than doubled former President Trump’s second quarter fundraising.

“The Biden-Harris team dramatically outraged the announced totals from every GOP candidate running for president, including Donald Trump by more than 2:1 and Ron DeSantis by more than 3:1,” the Biden campaign said in a statement.

Trump, the Republican front-runner, hauled in more than $35 million in the second quarter. That’s roughly double what he bought in the first quarter of the year; the former president raised more than $18 million in the first three months of 2023.

The former president saw a boost in his contributions after he was hit with criminal charges. His campaign said he raised $4 million in just 24 hours after he was indicted by a New York grand jury at the end of March…

…The Biden-Harris campaign said the more then 394,000 donors made more than 670,000 contributions across all entities, which also includes the Democratic National Committee and joint fundraising committees. The average grassroots donation was $39, and 97 percent of all donations were less than $200…

July 24, 2033: Remarks by Vice President Harris at a Campaign Reception (WhiteHouse.gov)

Private Residence, Chicago, Illinois

The Vice President: Oh, it is so good to be back. Let me just say, it’s always warm, because Desirée always packs the apartment – (laughter) – every time I have been here.

Desirée is a dear, dear friend of mine, and I know, so many here. And I just want to thank you in front of everyone, because, truly, I actually cannot count the number of times I have stood either here or it was over at that window or it was in that room – (laughter) – in various parts of your apartment where you have brought in your friends and colleagues to support the work that I have done over the years.

And so I want to thank you in front of everyone, Desirée, because it’s so wonderful – I think we all know that in our personal lives and careers – when people are on the journey with you through all of the cycles. And – and you have been that friend. Can we hear it for Desirée? (Applause.) Thank you.

And I want to thank John. Where are you? (Laughter.) John, who is always and has equally been supportive over all these years, and including hosting me at the office. I want to thank John.

I want to thank Les Coney. And then he is also here with his son and daughter and their friend. And I want to thank him.

Elzie Higginbottom, where are you? Thank you for – thank you. Elzie came over to my house for dinner recently. We had a wonderful discussion with a number of business leaders. And I really do appreciate your friendship.

Trish Rooney, where are you? (Applause.) Okay, we’ll applaud Trish. And Jane Saks. Thank you again – (applause – and for your longstanding support. There you are. Okay.

I also want to recognize – I think he has been recognized – but Jamie Harrison, the chair of the DNC. There you are, Jamie. (Applause.) I saw him in the back room. And I just – I wanted to thank him, also, for the incredible first quarter that the President and I were able to announce, of fundraising. That takes a lot of work behind the scenes. That’s a lot of traveling around the country. And, Jamie, I think that you deserve an extraordinary amount of credit for what you do behind the scenes every day to lift up the Democratic Party and all we stand for. (Applause.) Thank you for that.

And then, Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, I want to thank you. (Applause.) And he has not only his son, but his parents are – who are here. Auntie, Uncle, it’s good to see you as well. (Applause.) (Laughs.)

So with that, I really am here for a couple of reasons, but first and foremost, to thank everyone.

You know, when we think about where we are right now – and we are looking, of course, at the ’24 election, in terms of what’s ahead of us – I think it’s very important to also reflect on what we have accomplished to get us to this point. And so I want to start by thanking everyone here for what you did in 2020.

You know, I just left giving a speech at – Unidos is having its annual conference. And there were, I don’t know, almost 2,000 people there where we talked about building the coalition and what we can do to support each other. And when I think about what the people in this room did in 2020, it was extraordinary, and it bears reflection for a moment.

During the height of the pandemic, when people were upended in terms of the personal loss they suffered, the loss of life, loss of normality, loss of jobs; when people were overwhelmed by what it required in terms of just figuring out how to educate their own children at home – with all of that happening, you all kept pushing and doing the work of encouraging your neighbors and your colleagues and your friends and family to stay involved and be involved to understand what was at stake and that they could actually do something about it and it would matter.

And it is because of your belief in our country and your optimism and, dare I say, your grit that we were then able to accomplish what we did in 2020, which was record turnout in terms of voters, and in particular, young voters.

And because of that work, we can stand here today, two and a half years later, and talk about transformational accomplishment. We can talk about, for example, an infrastructure bill. You know, that previous guy talked about “Infrastructure Week,” “Infrastructure Week”. (Laughter.) Kept marking it on my calendar; it never came.

And what we have done to transform our country and upgrade our infrastructure- infrastructure that, in many cases, is over 150 years old. And I want to stress what that means. It’s not only about the jobs that it created – extraordinary jobs for our building trades brothers and sisters – for what we need to do in terms of the small businesses. Seventy percent of small manufacturers have 20 or fewer employees. Right? So, small businesses who we are bringing manufacturing back to the United States to help build up our infrastructure.

All of that – and then let’s not forget what that means to the individual. Understand that across our country, how many people cannot afford to live and work and they have to commute to work, sometimes hours at a time, driving over bridges and roads that are falling apart – what that might mean in terms of a flat tire, what that means in terms of coming out of pocket because your car insurance doesn’t cover it. And the average American is $400 unexpected expense away from bankruptcy.

Understand from the macro to the, arguably, macro to the, arguably, micro how this work has been transformational. Think about it on the – on the context of climate crisis.

You know, Doug and I have two 20-somethings. And when we talk about our young leaders – I have been convening college students and college-age young people around the country. They are scared to death about the climate crisis. They have shred with me a term I hadn’t heard before. I said, “Tell me how you are all talking with each other about it.” They use the term “climate anxiety,” their fear to even think about having a family or buying a home because they don’t know what the world will be like in the next 10, 15, 20 years.

Because of your work, our administration, by my calculation, is dropping over $1 trillion over the course of the next 10 years in building a clean energy economy, which is about – it’s about resilience, it’s about adaptation, it’s about jobs, and it is about investment in a new economy where America and the United States will be a leader in the context of the globe.

Think about the work that we have done as it relates to continuing our focus on healthcare. Well, many of the people here are the reason and we were part of the reason that there was a President Barack Obama. (Applause.) You are – and your work there then led to what people thought could never be achieved, which is reform of America’s healthcare system through the Affordable Care Act.

Well, Joe Biden and I came in and said, “We’re going to pick up the baton where we left off and continue on that path of reforming America’s healthcare system.” So, we addressed issues like medical debt and how many of our seniors in particular have to make a decision about whether they will put food on the table or fill the prescription a doctor has said will save their life.

The issue of diabetes. Who here knows or has a family member who has diabetes? Everybody, right? A Latino is 70 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes. Black folks, 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes. Yet, our seniors have been on the verge of bankruptcy just trying to figure out how to afford their insulin.

Because of your work in 2020, we have now capped the cost of insulin at $35 a month for our seniors. (Applause.) This is transformational.

We have now said, finally – we’ve been fighting it – for it for years – and finally, because of Joe Biden, me, and our administration, we are now allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, and we will cap the cost of prescription medication for our seniors at $2,000 a year.

Transformational – transformational what we have done.

Highlighted during the pandemic about saying everyone should have access to high-speed Internet and it should be affordable. We are in the process of laying the wire, doing the work. Like there was a plan years ago around electrification of America, that is our plan for high-speed Internet. (Applause.)

We are doing the work of responding because of the work you did in 2022, to grandmothers and grandfathers that forever have been saying, “There is lead in those pipes. It is toxic and it is hurting not only the heath of our children, but their learning ability.” Because of your work in 2020, we are not on the path in the next eight years to get rid of all of the lead pipes in America. (Applause.)

And then just today, on the economy, well, you’ve been hu- hearing us talk about Bidenomics. You’ve been hearing, you know, The Wall Street Journal, “Well, there’s talk about Bidenomics.” Well, Bidenomics is working. And what you are now hearing today even: “Morgan Stanley credits” – I’m quoting – “the Biden-Harris economic policies with an unexpected surge in the economy.” How about that? (Applause.)

Because of the work you did in 2020, we came in during the height of the pandemic and nonetheless have created over 13 million jobs we have been in office. We have been in office. We have created 800,000 new manufacturing jobs. We have created more small businesses in any two-year period in the history of our country because of the work you did.

And so, we are back at it again. (Applause.) Because our job is not done, and we have more to do. And you get all that, and you know it. You know how you are making a difference. And we know we have more work to do.

We have more work to do when we know and witnessed last year the highest court in our land – the land of the court of Thurgood and RBG – take a constitutional right, that had been recognized, from the people of American, from the women of America.

And by the way, on that subject, I think we’re all clear: One does not have to abandon their faith or deeply held beliefs to understand the government should not be telling her what to do with her body. (Applause.)

The Court took that constitutional right. Congress has the ability to put it back in place. And Joe Biden has been clear: When that piece of legislation is proposed and passed, putting back the law the protections of Roe v. Wade, Joe Biden will sign it.

What do we need to do? We need to win. And we need to win the House and the Senate. And then we can restore those protections, which, right now, as a result of what has been taken away, is causing countless people to suffer across our country.

The work that we have to do is about continuing to say that we are going to stand up against these extremist so-called leaders, who would do the kind of thing that I had to travel to Florida on Friday to deal with –

Audience Member: Thank you.

The Vice President: – where they present – they present policy in a way that is about denying America’s full history, and understanding – I see Arne Duncan here – understanding what we must do to teach the children of America truth and fact.

We are looking at extremism, where they are attacking voting. One of the byproducts of your hard work in 2020 is that we had higher turnout than anybody had seen a long time. Well, that scared some people.

And almost immediately thereafter, they started passing laws: banning drop boxes, trying to restrict restrict early voting, passing laws that make it a crime to give people food and water while they are standing in line to exercise their civic responsibility to vote. These are just some examples of what we are up against.

And the work we have yet to do is to have a Congress and a Senate in place so we can pass the John Lewis Voting Right Advancement Act, and Joe Biden will sign it. (Applause.)

The mayor is here. Mayor Johnson, I want to thank you for your leadership and your friendship. He came to visit with me in Washington D.C., in my West Wing office. We had an extensive conversation. And he has the full support of our administration around what he is trying to do here, around building up the city and understanding the connections between – between issues like economic health and wellbeing and reducing violent crime.

The work the we have to do that also is about saying that we’ve got to get to a point where we reject a false choice on gun crime that says you’re either in favor of the Second Amendment or you want to take away everyone’s guns. Let’s have reasonable gun safety laws, which means passing an assault weapons ban, background checks that are universal. (Applause.) This is still the work that we have to do.

So all of that is to say: Elections matter. Al that to say that what we’re doing right now is about continuing on the path that we started together many, many, years ago, but most recently in 2020, which is about investing in our country, attempting to unify our country in the midst of those who would try to divide us; and doing the work of strengthening our country, knowing that we all have so much more in common than what separates us.

So I want to thank everyone here. There is so much at stake in this upcoming election.

And I’ll close with this point. As your Vice President, I have now met with over 100 world leaders – presidents, prime ministers, chancellors and kings. The thing about it all is this: When we walk in those rooms representing the United States of America, we walk in those rooms chin up, shoulders back, with the earned and self-appointed authority to talk about the importance of democracy, rule of law, human rights.

But here’s the thing about being a role model: People watch what you do to see if it matches what you say. And one of my greatest concerns amidst all that is obvious is that the impact of those who would fight against our democracy is not only distinctly focused on the people our country, but, by extension, people around the world – people around the world who are fighting against a dictator and autocrat, to say: human rights, women’s rights; freedoms. And those autocrats and dictators look at them and say, “Well, you want to hold out the United States as your model? Look what they’re doing. You shut up.”

The fight that we have in front of us now is not only about the people of Illinois and the people of America. By extension the impact of our work will be global in its expanse. So we know the responsibility we have – dare I say, our collective duty – born out of love of our country and a true and sincere belief in its promise. And that is what is before us this time.

I thank you all so very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

END

July 25, 2023: Vice President Harris will head to Iowa on Friday to highlight the effects of the state’s recently signed abortion ban, setting up a split-screen as top GOP presidential candidates are set to speak in Iowa the same night. (The Hill)

Harris will travel to Des Moines to host a conversation with health care providers, patients, local leaders and reproductive rights advocates on efforts to protect abortion access across the country, the White House said.

The Vice President is expected to discuss Iowa’s efforts to effectively enact a blanket ban on abortions in the state and highlight the impacts of attempts to curtail access to reproductive care, the White House said.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) earlier this month signed legislation that would ban almost all abortions after the detection of fetal cardiac activity, which is usually six weeks into a pregnancy and before many women know they are pregnant. There are some exceptions for rape, incest, and fetal abnormalities.

Prior to the law, abortion was legal in the state up to 22 weeks of pregnancy.

A state court temporarily blocked the law from going into affect days after Reynolds signed it…

July 29, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception | Freeport, ME (WhiteHouse.gov)

Private Residence, Freeport Maine

The President: Thank you very much. Let me begin with three comments. One, this is a busman’s holiday for my colleagues I serve with. Thank you for being here. The worst thing to have to do is come in here another – pick your see party you agree with – your own party and hear somebody. Thank you very much. It’s above and beyond the call.

And secondly, to all the kids here, I want to make clear: If nothing hap- – after this is over, if you all come up, I’m going to give you some money to make your mom and dad to take you to Dairy Queen. (Laughter.) Okay? All right? Okay. You all think I’m kidding: I’m not. Can you imagine when you were 10 years old – “We’re going to go spend the afternoon – we’re going to get dressed to – come on, honey.” Anyway, thank you, thank you, thank you. Only thing that could be worse: You could – your mom or dad could be a president, the you would have to show up at all this stuff. (Laughter.)

And the third thing I’d like to say is that – you know, one of the reasons I’m still – it may – it may hurt his reputation, but all kidding aside, one of the reasons why I am still in politics was because of a Maine guy named Ed Muskie. Not a joke. (Applause.)

Ed Muskie and Teddy Kennedy and the guy from South Carolina who was the United States senator – because I had just been elected to the Senate. I was 29 years old. I wasn’t old enough to be sworn in. I had to wait until I could be sworn in. But I had to start to hire staff.

So, I was down in Washington using Teddy Kennedy’s Whip office so I could interview people. And I got a phone call saying my wife and daughter had just been killed. And – and so, I decided – my – my brother, who’s five years younger, was my finance chair. And, by the way, I was listed, for 36 years, as the poorest man in Congress. So, he needed a lot of help. (Laughter.)

But all kidding aside, we were – I wanted him to talk to the Democratic governor who had just been elected so he would appoint someone – because I’m the first moderate-to-liberal member from the Democratic Party.

Our state is – was a border state. We – we were – we were segregated by law. We were a slave state. And all the vestiges left over are still there. And so, I was the first “progressive” – quote, unquote – today we would say. But back in those days, I was considered, compared to the Democratic Party –

The Democratic governor had an opportunity, Gov, to decide whether he or she wanted to be member of the Northeast Democratic Coalition – Governors’ Conference or the Southern Governors’. And most governors picked to be part of the Southern Governors’ Conference.

And so, two thirds of the state, as Angus knows, in the Delmarva Pennsylvania talk at ‘cha like this – a lot of good ‘ol boys. (Laughter.) No, I’m serious.

And, – and also, I asked my brother if he would talk to the governor and pick someone in my place. And my sister is my best friend and managed all my campaigns. She’s three years younger. We are two years apart in school. She graduated; I graduated from the same university, two years apart. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa; I graduated. (Laughter.) She – no, I’m not joking. She managed all the – my campaigns.

My point is this: that these men probably saved my sanity by convincing me to stay. What the argument was: Just come and stay – just come and say for six months. Help us organize. We had 58 Democratic senators. They didn’t need anybody to organize. We had whoever – it could be a Democratic senator (inaudible) at my place.

But Ed Muskie went out of his way for me – all the little things. One of the most important men in the Congress who should have been president – one of the most important men in the Congress. He would just spend time with me.

He would come by my office, an I – for example, I wouldn’t go to – I didn’t go over and meet and eat with the senators in the dining room. I would just stay – I didn’t want to – I just wanted to get – just not get engaged. And he just went out of his way.

And I look back on it. And you probably help people like that, like I was, many times yourselves, but it mattered. It mattered. My two boys survived. My family – I had great help with my family, my extended family.

But Ed Muskie was a man of enormous, enormous, enormous character. And he had a guy named Hathaway with him that I came along – we came along together and became close friends.

I always thought of Maine as – it’s going to sound bizarre to say this, but as a virtuous place. I’m not joking. It was a place that everybody seemed to have sort of just basic – they disagree. Like a young woman – I was just – did an event – a speaking event in Maine. And I was talking about the economy. And afterwards, I’m going out, shaking hands with people. And a lovely young woman – looked to be – she was in her early 30s – was a state rep. She had her pin on. And I said, “Well , you guys passed the legislation for” – yes, for –

Audience Member: Family leave.

The President: Family leave, thank you. For Family leave.And she said, “Oh, I voted against it.” (Laughter.) And she said, “I’m a Republican, but I like you.” (Laughter.)

But my point is this: We used to talk to one another. We used to get along with one another. There used to be a civility – what we – and in the last – the last 10 years, things have begun to change.

You may remember, I made a speech – because it got a lot of publicity, not all positive. I made a speech at Independence Hall before the 2022 elections – six days out – where I said our democracy is at stake. Literally, not figuratively. And they thought it was an exaggeration. But guess what? Sixty-six percent of the American people thought that was the case: Democracy is at stake.

And so, my – the reason I’m so happy to be here with your representatives: They’re all decent, honorable people. We can argue like hell. We disagree, although I don’t want to get them in trouble. We don’t disagree very often. (Laughter.) But, anyway –

So, at any rate, I want to thank you for allowing me to come – come back to Maine, which I’ve been here many times, but not since I’ve been president. Number one.

Number two, I think we’re at a place where we’re at a genuine inflection point in history. I had a physics professor who said that an inflection point is the time you’re going down the highway 60 miles an hour and you make an abrupt 45 degree or 30 degree turn to the right. You can never get back on the path you were on before. It occurs every five, six, seven generations in world history.

But the world is changing – changing not because Joe Biden is President or Putin is leading Russia. It’s because everything’s changing from global warming. I last was with Putin two Christmases ago and I pointed out: He has eight time zones, and the entire tundra is melting. Methane is leaking. It’s never going to freeze again.

We got a fundamental change we got to deal with. We’re seeing changes not just to the climate, but across the world in fundamental ways. And so, we better get going on what we’re going to do about it, both in foreign policy and domestic policy.

But before I decide to announce for the Senate, and I wasn’t going t run – I mean for the presidency, the last time out. And, I think Angus knows: I wasn’t going to run again. I had just lost my son. He – he died because of being – sleeping next to a burn pit for a year – in – in Baghdad. And he was a decorated soldier. He – Conspicuous Service medal, the Bronze Star, attorney general of the state of Delaware. Presumptuous of me to say this: He should be the one talking to you today, not m. He was quite – he was attorney general of the state.

My point is that, you know, there’s a lot going on. Name me a part of the world that you think is going to look like it did 10 years ago and 10 years form now – not a joke. But it presents enormous opportunities – enormous opportunities. I’m just going to go through a few for you, if you would be willing to stick with me on this.

First of all, you know, on the economic front, we have made some real progress in the first two years. We’ve – we’ve – over 13.2 million new jobs, beyond when we went into the pandemic. We’ve – inflation is down from 9 percent to 3 percent. We’re in a situation where we have a circumstance that we’ve created 810,000 manufacturing jobs. And how many of you were told manufacturing is dead? You watched it happen here in Maine in the small towns, like in Delaware, in the Midwest, and Nevada – I mean Nebraska, all – all red, blue states.

A factory that mom and dad worked at for 30 years and made a decent salary – all of a sudden, one day, it up and goes abroad. Because why? We started a process that we had – we took the – the whole notion of trickle-down economics to an extreme. We shipped our – we found the cheapest labor in the world we could find and we shi- — shipped the factories over here. And then we brought the product back here and we sold it here. And America found itself in trouble.

Well, I decide that the way to change – to deal with a changed world here was not that we couldn’t compete anymore, it’s because we had the wrong philosophy about how to compete. I – I insisted that – and I – and I’ve been doing this – I know I don’t look it, but I’ve been doing this a long time. (Laughter.)

And one of the things that we – I decided we should build – and I’ve thought – had this view for a long time: that we should build the economy from the middle out and the bottom up. When that occurs everybody does well. The wealthy do very well.

I’m a capitalist. I come from the co- –corporate state of the world. More businesses – and some of you know because you may be incorporated – they’re incorporated in Delaware – then every other state in the Union combined. Every state. And I represented, as senator, for 36 years, so I’m not antibusiness. But everybody has got to pay their fair share. Everybody has got to pay their fair share.

We went from having 746 billionaires in America before the pandemic to a thousand. And guess what their average federal tax is: 8 – -8.3 percent. How can that be right? How can that be fair? And so, I started to focus on: What do we do to bring this back?

We used to be – have the number one infrastructure in the world. We’re ranked number 14. The United States of America, by – the international folks say that we – we’re the 14th best infrastructure: roads, bridges, and the like.

China used to be, I think, 17 or 16. Now number two. What’s the matter? Something is wrong.

How can we lead the world being 14th in the word on our infrastructure? I’m not joking. Think about it in practical terms, just pure practical terms.

Secondly, manufacturing. You saw what’s happened here in Maine. The same thing has happened in Nebraska. You don’t have to be in the Northeast. It’s the same thing all across the country. How many times have you heard people say they’ve had their – their some or daughter has graduated from high school here and then went to collage and came back to say, “Mom, I can’t stay. There’s no jobs for me here. There’s nothing here for me.”

You lost employment like a lot of places lost it. And it’s not just manufacturing. How do we get – and, by the way, we invented the computer chip. We – we – it’s timer than the little, tiny end of my finger here. And guess what? We used to have 40 percent of the market. We got 5 percent.

And you all saw what happened when we got in real trouble in inflation, when you couldn’t build automobiles and shutting down plants. It takes so many computer chips to be able to do it.

So, I got my colleagues and leadership of this man sitting in the front here of the – dealing with the – the legislation that had to do with providing for in- investment in technology. And it was called the CHIPS Act. And guess what? It’s attracted off the sidelines almost a trillion dollars in private equity investment – almost a trillion. (Applause.)

No, I’m – this is not rocket science. For example, we used to not be able to produce the chips. Well, guess what? We have over $300 billion of commitments to build new chip factories in the United States of America.

And guess what it does? Not only is all the – the construction work and providing union labor to people to get a decent wage, changing their abil- my dad used to say, “Joey, at the end of the” – no, I’m not joking – my dad was a very refined guy who was very well-read, never had a chance for a college education.

And we – he’d come home and close the business he was running – he didn’t own it; he was a manager – he’d come home for dinner and then go back and close it. My dad used to say, “Joey, the measure is whether at the end of the month you’re able to pay all your bills and you have a little breathing room – just a little breathing room.” So many Americans have no breathing room. No breathing room.

And so, what do we do? When I went to South Korea and convinced the chip factory to invest in America, and they’re investing $100 billion. I said, “Why are you doing it?” They said, “Simple: You’re the safest place in the world to invest, number one. And number two, you have the best workers in the world.” Not a joke. I’m not making this up. This is real.

Look what’s happening: everything from Poughkeepsie, New York, to just outside of Columbus, Ohio, where Intel has just investing $20 billion building two – what they call “fabs” – factories. You know what happens when those fabs – they employ thousands of people. And guess what? The average salary is going to be $131,000, and you don’t need a college degree to do it. (Applause.)

I was making the case to the Business Roundtable, you know, the – the biggest corporations in America. They’re good people, decent people. And they were asking me why was investing so much money organized labor and convincing – and di – – in labor? I said, “Because you need them.” And they said, “Well, what we need…” – and I said, “We did a survey when I was vice president. And we – we met with 342 of the Fortune 500 companies, either on – on Zoom or in person. I said, ‘What do you need the most?” They said, “We need a better-educated public.” I said, “What the heck are you doing about it? Why you oppose my dealing with investing more money in preschool?”

Not – on third grade thr- three years ago going to school – not daycare, school. All the studies show – the Harvard, Stanford studies shows it increased 57 percent, no matter what the background the child comes from, their ability to get through 12 years of school or not. (Applause.) What’s the problem?

And by the way, they’re beginning to help. It’s self-interest.

But my generic point is simple: that there’s so much available to us as a country – so much available to us. We just got to remember who in the Lord’s name we are.

We’re in a situation where if you take a look at what we’ve done around the world – you know, you take a look at – does anybody think that the post-war eras still exist, the rules of the rode from the end of World War Two?

I’m – I’m – I’m being deadly earnest. It’s not hyperbole, just direct statement. It doesn’t.

I spent my whole life – the reason I turned down being able to run for governor, which is a very important job when I was a young man, is I wanted to be involved in a foreign policy. I spent most of my life as the Chairman of Foreign Relations Committee or doing foreign policy for Barack or now. It’s kind of fascinating to take a look at what’s going on.

We look at – does anybody think that Europe was likely to hold together if we hadn’t pulled it together? Not a joke, not a joke.

I spent over 180 hours with heads of state from the G7 and the European Union, just holding it together. NATO is stronger today than it’s ever been in its existence – (applause) – not just because of me, but it’s stronger today.

And look what’s happening with regard to China in the – in the Indian Ocean and in the – you know, I got asked by Xi why I call myself a Pacific nation. I said, “Because we are. We have a longer border on the Pacific than you do. We are a Pacific nation.” And I said, “And you wouldn’t have been able to move at all unless we were providing you the stability you needed.” Give you my word he looked at me and said, “You’re right. You’re right.”

Look what’s happening. Does anybody ever think Japan would increase its military budget over its domestic budget and help a European war on the side of the West? That’s what it’s doing. It’s changing the dynamic significantly.

I’m hostile little (inaudible) at Camp David next week. I’m bringing along the leaders of Japan and South Korea. They make a rapprochement from World War Two: fundamental change.

Look what’s happening in – in Southeast Asia, where now I put together the Quad – meaning India, Japan, Australia, and the United States. Xi said, “Why are you doing that? You’re trying to surround me.” I said, “No, that’s not the reason. I just want to make sure the rules of the road aren’t changing.”

International airspace is international airspace. International water space is water space. You can’t tell us we can’t. Well, where we’re going to put up an air identification zone, meaning you can’t fly through certain areas, even though it’s international airspace. And guess what we did? We flew a B-1 bomber though. Not a joke. Not a joke. Because we can’t let this change that’s taking place.

I’ve gotten a call from the head of Vietnam, desperately wants to meet me when I go to G20. He wants to elevate us to a major partner, along with Russia and China. What do you thin that’s about? No, I’m not joking.

I’m not going to take you around the world, but the point is: The world is changing.

The world is changing in a big way. And we want to promote democracies – democracies.

Watch what’s happened in the Middle East. I got criticized from going to Saudi Arabia, remember? Well, guess what? I got them to prevent overflights for – for – for Israel. So, they- there’s a rapprochement may be underway.

My generic point is there is so much going on that we can make the world for his young man who’s going to be president someday, we can make it a lot safer and better and more secure. We know who’s on first, who’s on second, and so on.

So, if you think about what’s happening – and I was going to make a more detailed speech, but it’s – I’m keeping you too long already – the – if you think about what’s happening, there is a confluence, if we get this right of both domestic and economic policy and foreign policy. I can make a safer and more secure than we’ve been a long, long time.

And that’s what I’m about. That’s what I want to do. I want to get to the point where we’re in a situation where we know – look, I said earlier today that I’ve never been more optimistic about America’s future than I am today. I mean it. That’s not hyperbole. I’ve been saying it for a year.

The reason is: Think of anything America’s ever set it’s mind to that we haven’t been able to do. Name me – they asked me, “If you could do one thing, what would you do?” I said, “I’d cure cancer.” They said, “Ca- – why?” It’s because it’s the one thing people think we can’t do.

To demonstrate: This is the United States of America, damn it. When we’ve worked together, there is no major problem we’ve been unable to solve. None. And today, we are splintered in a way we have never been.

I’ll concede by telling you a little story. You know, I didn’t – even though I sat for eight years in the vice president’s chair, every morning at nine o’clock with Barack starting the day off for eight years, I didn’t realize that there was a circumstance where on Inauguration Day, the outgoing president has to be out of the office by 10 o’clock. The incoming president can’t come in until three o’clock.

So, I asked my – because they set aside the furniture, what desk, what rugs, what – whatever you want – and so I asked my brother Jimmy to take care of it for me. And he called the Presidential historian named Jon Meacham, a well-known guy, in to help him because there are certain things that matter: What bust did I want here?

Sit at my desk, and there is only two political leaders I ever had: One was Dr. King and the other was Bobby Kennedy. I had great respect for John Kennedy, but I could never picture him at my kitchen table. I can theoretically think of Bobby Kennedy there. And Ce- – Cesar Chavez – whose granddaughter is running in my campaign, by the way – who almost cost me an election in 1972. (Applause.)

By the way, because I was sympathetic to the farmworkers, and Southern Delaware, where you got a $4 billion industry on chickens, they ain’t happy about that. (Laughter.)

And so, all kidding aside, that – and then, you know, there is a woman who wouldn’t move to the back of the bus and changed the world. And Harry Truman. I also have Ben Franklin, because I was a Ben Franklin professor of law – international law at Penn for four years, and it was a requirement.

But here’s the deal: I think I walked into that office and, for years – and I was in there a lot because of – I was chairman of judiciary or vice president for a lo- – I mean – or excuse me – or the chairman of foreign relations for a long time. And I walked in, and the only portrait above the fireplace was one of George Washington. Only one all the time I’ve been there, and I’ve been there 600 years. (Laughter.)

And I walk in – they had the rug that I wanted. we changed the rug and the desk, the Resolute Desk, and my – so- – my brother picked out the furniture, the couches, and the like. And obviously, Trump wasn’t there. He’s the first president in the history of the United States of America that didn’t show up on Inauguration Day. Classy guy. (Laughter.) I was just as happy he didn’t.

But my point was that I looked up and I saw this – there is this big portrait four times – three times as big as the – as the Washington portrait – of Franklin Roosevelt. And I said, “I’m an admirer, but why Franklin Roosevelt?”

And Mecham spoke up, and he said, “Because no president has taken on the job of the president with a world at greater financial disarray than he was.” I said. “Oh, that’s good. I’m really happy about that.” (Laughter.) I’m serious.

And then I said, “Why…” – and then there were – there were four smaller portraits. One of Washington – the original one was up on the right-hand corner. I mean, if you’re looking from my desk, on the left-hand corner. And below it was Abraham Lincoln. I said, “Why Lincoln?” He said, “The nation has never been as divided since the Civil War.”

Well, folks, you know, I’m not sure how far off they are. But I am sure – I am sure we cannot succeed as a country unless we change it. No, no think about it.

I – you may remember when I ran the first time, I said I’m running for three reasons. I think my campaign disagreed with my saying it, but I meant it.

One, I wanted to restore the soul of America. We start to teach each other with decency and honor and de- deal with people in a way that that is more like who we are. Not a joke.

The second thing was I said I want to build up the economy from the middle out and the bottom up.

And I said the third thing is you got to unite America. Well, your great senator, George Mitchell, is close friend of mine I just spoke to. He was the guy, when I left, said Biden did more to be able to bring Republicans and Democrats together than anybody when he was here. An exaggeration on his part, but it was very nice of him to say.

But guess what? Who do you deal with now? How do you get certain things done? Ask Angus what it’s like getting things done in the Senate or House.

But we have to do that. How can you be a participatory democracy without their being the ability to bring people together? How does that happen?

And the last generic point I’ll make to you is that, you know, having spent most of my time as vice president doing foreign policy for Barack and having spent my career focusing mostly on foreign policy for the 36 years I was a senator, I thought I – I thought I knew the consequence an America president. But it’s amazing.

Madeline Albright wrote a book. And she referred to America as “the essential nation.” We literally are. Ask yourself a rhetorical question: Who could possibly bring the world together? Not a joke. Not me. But the President of the United States of America. Who could do it unless the President of the United States does it? Who? What nation could do it?

And so, folks, there’s a lot at stake – a whole lot at stake. And I think we have an opportunity. And one of the ways we make life better for us is make life better for the rest of the world. That’s why I pushed so hard for the Build Back Better initiative to build infrastructure in Africa and in – and in Latin America and South America.

We’re the ones who polluted the world. We clear cut everything. We made a lot of money. Lula from Brazil wants to meet with me shortly because, you know, there’s more carbon being absorbed from the air in the Amazon than all the carbon emitted in the – from the United States of America on a yearly basis.

But guess what? They – they’re having trouble. They want their farmers to be able to go out and clear the land and make money and so on.

So, there’s a lot that we have a chance to do. And again, there’s nothing you can name for me that if America set its mind to do it, we have not been able to do it over time. Nothing. Nothing.

And the whole world is changing. But if we grab hold, we apply the ingenuity and our – you know, our greatest strength – I said when I got elected I was going to have an administration that looked like America. Well, guess what it is? I have a higher percentage of women on my Cabinet than any president ever had – more than the number of men. (Applause.)

In the military, for the first time ever, we’re having the Chief of Naval Operations is a woman. Two other four-stars (inaudible). So, it’s changing.

I’ve appointed more appellate court judges to the federal courts than – who are African American than every other president in America combined. (Applause.)

And, by the way, not for political reasons. For a simple reason: Our strength is in our diversity. Our strengths is in our diversity. It’s about time we begin to use it and understand it, deal with it.

So, folks, look, imagine – and, by the way, all the stuff we did in the economy, all these programs that we’ve put forward – in the process, I cut the federal debt by $1.7 trillion in two years. (Applause.) More than any other president of the United States has come close. The last president increased it by $4 trillion.

Folks, there’s nothing we can’t do if we remember who in God’s name are – this is the United States of America. There’s nothing beyond our capacity.

And if you think all – you think I was exaggerating about we’re at an inflection point? Just take a look at AI. Artificial intelligence. Hang on, baby. It has enormous promise but enormous possibilities to go wrong. We got to know what we’re doing.

And so, folks, look, the – you know, imagine what we can do if we finish the job. Like I said, I don’t think – I think that ordinary people should have an opportunity together a good education, ordinary people should be able to afford to go to college. I love it when I get criticized for forgiving debt for people whose income is not above $60,000 for college. (Applause.)

Well, guess what? We had the PPP program. If you ran a diner, you had five employees, and, during the pandemic, you got in trouble, guess what? You get – by the way, the woman who criticized me most? She got $220,000 back from that program. I’m not opposed to the program, but give me a break. Give me a break.

So, look, you know, I believe this country is about to take off. And you’re saying, “When the hell is he going to take off?” (Laughter.) But the investments we’ve made in the past two and a half – two and a half years have powered the transformation of this country in the next 50 years and, you know, doing something right now no one thought possible.

But most of them opposed everything that we did, everything we supported. But if you notice, all of a sudden, it’s all – they’re – there’s an inside joke. I say I’m – I’m showing up at the spade turning.

Guess what? You have the gentlewoman – talk about an oxymoron – from North Georgia, who is about to get one of the biggest environmental investments of billions of dollars in her district. And she’s against it. Guess what? But she’s – she’s talking about the clarion call.

You’re going to get billions of dollars for making sure that everyone in this state has a connection to the Internet and affordable. (Applause.)

Well – and the senator from Alabama, he knew how to coach Alabama, I think. Well, he sure as hell doesn’t know what he’s talking about now.

He just did a big press conference. “Alabama is receiving $1.3 trillion to make sure we have – we have all of Alabama – all of Alabama wired for the Internet. It’s going to be cheaper.” He voted against it, campaigned against it. I’m going dow when he makes his announcement. We’re going to be with him.

Now, look, I just think that the – you know, it’s been a long time. But as I said, I think that – I don’t think there’s a thing we can’t do if we set our mind to it. We can’t kid each other, though. This democracy is at stake. Not a joke. Not a joke.

One of the reasons why I did the Emmett Till thing was I wanted to make it clear that history is history. And that his mother, making sure there was an open coffin so people knew exactly what happened – knew exactly what happened – took an enormous amount of courage. And it was the Black press that exposed it and made people look at it.

Did you ever think you’d be in a country right now at your age and your circumstance where we’re banning books? I just read – my wife wrote a book, not about politics at all – and they took it out of libraries in Georgia. As we say in my religion, “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.” I mean, come on. I don’t think that’s who America is. I don’t think that’s the majority of Americans.

And with your help, we’re going to make sure that it doesn’t happen. That it does not – we don’t get in a situation where we have a man who – if you just take what he said, on the record, I’m inclined – just a snippet – the stuff he said with him and run those ads, some would say it’s just flat seditious. Not who we are.

And you’re all successful people. You traveled abroad. Ask any of your compatriots – whether they’re left, right, or center – what they think about – not me, but about if the other guy comes back.

We got a lot to do, but we got a lot of hope. A lot of hope.

As – every time I’d walk out of my Grandpop Finnegan’s house up in Scranton, he was a – he want to Santa Clara and he was a newspaper guy and an All-American football player, by the way, in the days when they used to throw people over the line. (Laughter.)

But he’d yell, “Joey, keep the faith.” And my grandmother would yell, “No, Joey, spread it.”

Let’s go spread the faith. (Applause.)


AUGUST 2023:

August 3, 2023: Remarks by Vice President Harris at a Campaign Reception (WhiteHouse.gov)

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Vice President: Hi everyone. (Applause.) Hi, hi, hi, (Laughs.) Hi.

Audience: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

The Vice President: And six for Tammy! And six years! (Applause.) Six more years.

Audience: Six more years! Six more years! Six more years!

The Vice President: Aww.

Audience member: We love you, MVP! We love you.

The Vice President: (Laughs.) Aww. It’s so good to see everyone and back here. Thank you all so very much.

First of all, let me just say, I – I just – you all know – I’ve met so many who are here over the years and – and a lot of it was hanging out with Tammy, traveling the state, talking about who we are as a country and what we know we can accomplish when we work together. And today was an example of that, because I was so honored to be with Senator Baldwin, with Senator Mark Kelly, always.

But – but with Tammy – we were in Kenosha today to talk about the work that we have done as an administration because we have the partners in the United States Senate to put resources and, in fact, billions of dollars into investing in the people of America, investing in manufacturing in America. And I said at that event what I will say now: The backstory on it is that so much of what we talked about today and have been doing around the county in terms of growing jobs – we’ve grown now 13 million new jobs as an administration. (Applause.)

So much of the work on the backstory, though, has been about your senator, Tammy Baldwin, in rooms when there are no cameras, rooms where their are cameras, talking about the importance of making it in America, investing in the workers of America. And so, I just want to say in front of all the friends: She’s an extraordinary leader and she has had a huge influence on our administration. Thank you. (Applause.) Truly, truly, truly, truly.

So with that, I – I just want to say thank you to all of the folks who are here. You guys are doing it. You are handling it. What you did with your supreme court – (applause) – it’s extraordinary. And people around the country were watching and hoping and praying and believing –

Audience Member: We did it.

The Vice President: – that it could turn out well.

You did it. (Applause.) You did it. You did it.

And so, I’m here to thank you. I’m here to thank you for what you always do in standing up and believing in who we are as a country. This is a fight born out of love of a country and a belief in the foundational principles of who we are.

Ours is a fight that has always been about equality. It has always been about doing the right thing. It has always been about freedom and liberty and the ability of all people to just be and to be respected and to be treated with dignity. Our fight has always been about understanding that the true measure of strength is not based on who you beat down, but who you lift up. (Applause.) That’s who we are.

And so, I’ll start by thanking you for the work you did in 2020. (Applause.) It was and – and I know you’ll do it again. But let’s reflect for a moment what you did in 2020. Remember, it was the height of the pandemic, in the midst of extraordinary loss. You all, the leaders who are here, didn’t give up. You talked with your friends, your neighbors, your family members, and said, “You have got to be optimistic and I know that you can make a difference when you vote.”

And because of the work that you all did in 2020 in believing in the importance of civic participation as part of the measure of strength of a democracy, we accomplished so much – because of what you all did in 2020.

Think about it: Before, we were selling jobs to countries all over the world and outsourcing jobs and sending jobs away from America. Because of what you all did in 2020, our administration – with your support, with the help of these senators – have created 13 million new jobs. (Applause.) Jobs were going overseas. We have now created 800,000 new manufacturing jobs. (Applause.)

You know, over 70 percent of the firms – the companies that actually do manufacturing in our country, do you know they employ 20 or fewer folks? They’re small businesses. We have grown – our administration, because of your work, has grown more small businesses in any two-year period of time than any administration ever. (Applause.) Before and after – big difference.

Think about the work that we did because of what you did in 2020. Before, we had seniors around our country who were making decisions – horrible decisions about either being able to fill their prescription or putting food on the table.

Think about diabetes. African Americans: 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes. Latinos: 70 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes.

The cost of insulin for many was in the hundreds of dollars a month. Because of what you did, we have now capped the cost of insulin for seniors at $35 a month. (Applause.)

The Vice President: That’s right. Because of what you did.

We’ve been talking about for years: Let Medicare negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. We’re now doing that. We’re going cap the l- the annual cost of prescription medication for seniors at $2,000 – $2,000 a year. It’s going to make a huge difference in what we will do to erase medical debt, which is a big issue for so many people.

Before, we were talking about – well, some people were talking about “Infrastructure Week.” Remember that? (Laughter.) Now we are investing in billions of dollars – the Harris-Biden [Biden-Harris] administration, with your support and our senators, inventing billion of dollars in repairing and upgrading America’s roads and bridges.

Part of what Senator Baldwin and I announced today was about what we are doing, because we are on track to now laying fiber-optic cable to ensure that every person in our country has access to high-speed Internet, to broadband. It is long overdue, but because of what you all did, we were able to make it possible. It’s going to impact millions of people.

Audience: Children!

The Vice President: Talk about children. So, before – before we have been dealing, for generations, with grandparents and parents saying, “You have to get rid of those lead pipes – how our babies are drinking water that is toxic and having an impact on their health and their ability to learn.”

Because of what you all did, we have made an investment in getting rid of all lead pipes in America. (Applause.) Because of what you did.

It’s what Democrats do. We get to work. We get to work.

And we also know, because we are clear-eyed, that when we are looking at – as we are now – a full-on attack against fundamental rights and freedoms and liberty, that we must organize and we must stand strong and stand united in the face of these attacks, to stand for what is right and the foundational principles of who we are as a country.

And by that, of course, I am referring, as an example, to what Senator Baldwin talked about in terms of the Dobbs decision.

Just think: Last year, the highest court in our land, the court of Thurgood and RBG, took a constitutional right that had been recognized from the people of America, from the women of America. And thereafter, in state after state – here, invoking a law that was written before the elevator was invented – (Laughter) – state after state putting in place laws to restrict the ability of women to make decisions about their own body.

And here’s the thing on that subject. It is very important to acknowledge: One does not have to abandon their faith or deeply held beliefs to agree the government should not be telling her what to do. (Applause.)

And so, this is a moment where we have to stand strong and understand that the Court took a right; Congress has the power to put it back in place. Our president, Joe Biden, has been very clear: You put back in place, through Congress, the protections of Roe v. Wade, Joe Biden will sign it. (Applause.) Elections matter.

When we are looking at the scourge of gun violence, do you know that it is now the leading cause of death of our children? More than a health issue. Gun violence is the leading cause of death of the children of America.

Right now, in our country, one in five Americans has a family member that was killed by gun violence. Yet we have these feckless, so-called leaders who don’t have the courage to agree that it’s a false choice to say you’re ether in favor of the Second Amendment or you want to take everyone’s guns away.

I’m in favor of the Second Amendment, and we need to pass reasonable gun safety laws. (Applause.)

We need an assault weapons ban, universal background checks. (Applause.) Elections matter. Elections matter.

So, these are but two of many examples right now of what we are seeing. I’m traveling our country. And I’ll tell you, there is a – there is a national agenda afoot. There is a national agenda afoot. And every issue that we have just mentioned – from choice to the need for reasonable gun safety laws, not to mention the attacks on the LGBTQ+ community, not what we – not to mention what we are saying in terms of the vilification of whole communities of people. There is a national agenda afoot.

And it is incumbent on us, in these moments in time, to stand strong and clear-eyed and, born out of our love for our country, fight for what is right.

And so, in this moment we’re in. We’re about, I think, 17 months away from the election. And I’m – and I’m here in Wisconsin today because we can’t start a moment too soon.

We’ve got work to do. We’ve got work to do in registering our young voters to vote. We’ve got work to do to remind people that they are not alone, in spite of these – this bully culture that exists coming out of some people.

We’ve got work to do to stand together unified, knowing what we represent and believing in it.

We’ve got work to do, in terms of being that role model that we have been for the world and what it means to be a democracy.

On that point, I’ll share with you guys: As Vice President United States, I have now met over 100 world leaders – presidents, prime ministers, chancellors, and kings. (Applause.)

So, here’s the thing. When we walk in those rooms representing the United States of America, we walk in those rooms chin up, shoulders back, with the self-appointed and earned authority to talk about the importance of democracy, rule of law, human rights.

Well, here’s the thing. When you’re a role model, people watch what you do to see if it matches what you say. So, understand, then, how what is happening in our country and the future of our country not only directly impacts the people of our country but, by extension, people around the world.

So, my final point is this: The nature of democracy is such that it’s – there’s a kind of a duality. On the one hand, it’s very strong when it’s intact. It is strong in terms of the strength it invests in its people, the protection and the preservation of individual rights and freedoms and liberty. There’s such strength in our democracy. And it is very fragile. It is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it.

And so, fight we will. (Applause.) And when we fight, we win. Thank you. (Applause.)

END

August 13, 2023: Remarks by Vice President Harris at a Campaign Reception (WhiteHouse.gov)

Edgartown, Massachusetts

The Vice President: Good afternoon, everyone.

Audience: Good afternoon.

The Vice President: Oh, it’s good to see everyone. It is good to – Debra is front and center. (Laughter.)

Let me just start by thanking Maria. So, Jeff is not here – (laughs) – and was planning on being here, and – first of all, Maria and Jeff has hosted me at their home in LA, here, and so many places over the years. And – and usually it is Jeff that stands up and speaks. And – but he’s not here, and so Maria is doing it. And this is – you do so much as an extraordinary businesswoman. Let’s all no- – recognize her business on the Vineyard – (applause) – Soul Gems by Maria.

And she’s an extraordinary friend. She’s an extraordinary mother. And – and I just can’t thank you enough for doing what you have done to still pull this event together and to host me and to give me that extraordinary invitation and then introduction. So, can we please hear it for Maria? (Applause.)

I also want to thank Mitch and Freada Kapor for all that you do. (Applause.) They have been friends and on my journey since I started as the DA of San Francisco.

And to everyone here, thank you. Areva Martin is here, and we were just talking about Charles Ogletree. And I just can’t be on the Vineyard – I just arrived – without speaking his name and thanking him, as I know we all do, for his extraordinary leadership and his voice and his mentorship of so many of us.

So, if we can all just take a moment to really think about the great Tree.

I also want to thank Governor Wes Morrow who is here – (applause) from the great state of Maryland. I am so – it just – I – I love our friendship and, more than anything, I love your role of leadership. You have been so extraordinary. You have already accomplished so much, with so much more that I know you have the ambition and ability to achieve. So, thank you for that. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you.

So, I want to just start by saying thank you to everybody – for, so many of you, being supportive of me and my career over the years, and for the work that all of you did in 2020 to elect Joe Biden President of the United States and me Vice President of the United States. And I want to reflect for a moment on – on what they required of each of you.

In the height of the pandemic, when there was so much loss- loss of life, people lost their jobs, loss of normalcy, people losing hope – you, as leaders, did not give up and, in so many ways, encouraged people to remember that they were not alone and could make a difference, and that when we as individuals band together as the collective in the community, we have great power in our ability to continue to work on developing out the promise of America.

And you all didn’t give up. And you pushed. And because of the work you did in 2020, we had record turnout in the midst of a pandemic, record turn- – historic turnout of young voters. I look at the young leaders who are here. (Laughter.) And because of that, think about what that meant.

Before the election, we were looking, for example, at – few years, at least, of jobs being shipped overseas. And now, because of what you did and our leadership as an administration, we have created 13 million new jobs, over 800,000 manufacturing jobs, right here in the United States. (Applause.) Elections matter.

Before, we were looking at seniors around our country having the awful choice of deciding for so many, whether they could afford to either fill their prescription for insulin or put food in their refrigerator. And let us remember that Black folks are 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes; Latinos, 70 percent more likely.

And because you work so hard, we, as an administration, have now capped the cost of insulin for our seniors at $35 a month. This is historic and a game changer. (Applause.)

We have now capped the cost of prescription medication on an annual basis for our seniors at $2,000 – $2,000 a year – whereas before they were looking at extraordinary medical debt.

For years, grandparents and parents in places around our country have been talking about the harm and the danger of lead pipes, how the children in our country were drinking toxic water out of those lead pipes, which was leading to health harm and impact on their ability to learn.

And because of the work you did and because we are now in office, we are on track to remove all lead pipes in the United States, saying that this should not be an issue – (applause) – that these families have to fight against alone.

Because of the work that you did, we were able to pass the first significant legislation around gun safety in 30 years – historic work that has been about expanding what we need to do background checks, closing what was called the “boyfriend loophole,” and addressing one of the biggest issues that is challenging our country.

And when you think about the fact that gun violence right now in America is the number one cause of death for our children – not a health issue. Gun violence, the number one cause of death for the children of America. One in five people in America have a family member who was killed because of gun violence.

There are some of the things that we have been able to take on because of your activism and your optimism – that when we get involved, we can actually produce the outcomes that we know are right and in the best interest of our country.

You all know, and it is why you are here this afternoon, elections matter. Elections matter to real people every day in our country.

And so, when I look at where we are, I know also that being clear-eyed about this moment – and Maria talked about it – we got a whole lot of challenges that we must meet, understanding the significance of this election coming up in ’24.

Think about it. We have extremist so-called leaders in our country who are engaged in an intentional, full-on attack against hard-won freedoms and rights.

Take, for example, an agenda that has been in place for decades now, that results in the highest court in our land – the court of Thurgood and RBG – taking a constitutional right that had been recognized, from the women of America. And thereafter, these extremist so-called leaders passing laws around our country that would criminalize healthcare providers, punish women, and make no exception for some of the worst crimes of violation to a person’s body. And then say to that person, after they have survived that violation to their body, they don’t have the right to make a decision about what happens to their body next. Full-on attack. Hard-won freedoms and right – the right to vote.

So, we will congratulate and be thankful for the works that happened in 2020 to have historic turnout. But that scared a lot of people. And so what you saw is, almost immediately thereafter, these extremists passing laws restricting ballot boxes, drop boxes; shortening the time people could vote early; passing a law that makes it illegal to give people food and water while they stand in line to vote.

What happened to “love thy neighbor?” The hypocrisy abounds.

Passing laws. “Don’t Say Gay.” Now, you all know, I, as District Attorney of San Francisco, was proud to perform some of the first same-sex marriages in 2004. So, that was almost 20 years ago, next year.

Now you look at these laws in Florida, “Don’t Say Gay,” where these teachers, many of the young ones are in their 20s – okay, think about this in terms of the trajectory of history – in their 20s, and if they are in a same-sex relationship, are afraid to put up a photograph of their family for fear they may lose their job.

Extremist so-called leaders banning books in this year of our Lord 2023.

I just was – as – as I was leaving D.C. this morning – I was working out, and I was watching and they were talking about how they’re even starting to restrict Shakespeare. (Laughter.)

Audience Member: Don’t think.

The Vice President: What – don’t think. (Inaudible) remember – who read “1984”? In 2023, full-on attack on fundamental freedoms and rights.

And there is a national agenda afoot. And so, I say al that to say, I do believe – I know we say this every election cycle – and I do believe this is one of the most significant elections in our collective lifetime and probably the lifetime of our children.

Full-on attacks against our democracy and foundational principles, such as freedom and liberty, not to mention equality and justice.

And I will tell you, as Vice President of the United States, I have now met with over 100 world leaders – presidents, prime ministers, chancellor, and kings. When we walk in those rooms, representing the United States of America, we walk in chin up, shoulders back, with the earned and self-appointed authority to talk about the importance of democracy, rule of law, human rights – a role model.

Well, here’s the thing – this is a room full of role models – here’s the thing about being a role model: People watch what you do to see if it matches what you say.

One of my great fears is that not only is the about the harm that is being done to our own country, that there may be women who are fighting – and they are – in some country that is being ruled by a dictator or autocrat, and they are fighting for fundamental rights, and that autocrat, dictator is looking at them and saying, “You want to hold out the United States as your example? Look what they’re doing. You sit down.”

Understand what this means, not only for the people of our country but people around the world. This is what is at stake.

And we have good reason to be optimistic. Did you see what just happened in Ohio? (Applause.) Think about that. Think about that.

As I like to call it – so, these extremists though thy were going to pull the wool over people’s eyes by putting an election on one issue on the ballot on some random Tuesday in August and thought that people weren’t going to notice and turn out. And they did –

Audience Member: We did.

The Vice President: – in record numbers. You did. And said, “We’re not having that.” “We’re not having that.”

Look at what happened – look what happened in the midterms. Remember, they said there was going to be this red wave, and the did not happen.

Look what happened in the midterms. When the issue of the right for reproductive freedom was on the ballot, everywhere from Kansas to California, the voters said, “We’re not having that.”

I was just yesterday in Chicago in a room of over 2,000 mostly young people who are fighting to say that our lives are at stake on this issue of reasonable gun safety laws, and we expect you get something done. And they are active. And they are organizing.

Look at what happened on the issue of the climate crisis and these young leaders who are saying, “You know what? We’ve come up with a term, because we’ve self-diagnosed, even if you aren’t paying attention. We know we have this thing called “climate anxiety,’ worried about whether we can ever have children or have a family, because what’s going to be in this world in the next 10 years?” And they’re organizing around it.

I went down to Tennessee to visit with two Justins and Gloria (applause) – elected leaders in their 20s who, when they were in a legislative body as elected leaders during regular – official session trying to talk about the importance ordeal with gun saf- and – and gun violence, and these extremists dared to turn off their microphones. This is not even a metaphor. I’m not saying symbolically. They literally turned off the microphones.

But here’s what I loved about that. The Justins were like, “All right, anybody got a bullhorn.” (Laughter and applause.)

People are ready. People are organizing. And when I think about it fundamentally, I do think of it this way. There’s so much about our movement right now to – to protect our democracy that is founded in a very basic feeling: We love our country. We know our country is worth fighting for. We believe in the foundational principles and the ideals, the ideals upon which our country was founded.

We are also very clear-eyed we’ve not reached them yet. But ours has always been the fight to get closer to reaching and achieving those ideals. And in that way, we have never given up on our country, because we know what we are capable of.

And so, that’s how I think about this moment. Because I know there are these various things that happen that make us wonder what is going on. Some people looking at their passport and. trying to figure out if it’s updated. (Laughter.) Don’t give up. Don’t give up. Because you know what? We’re – we’re good. We’re all in this together.

And I’ll just close with something, and I paraphrase it all the time; you’ve heard me paraphrase it 1,000 times.

Coretta Scott King famously said the fight for civil rights, which of course is the fight for justice and equality and freedom – she said the fight for civil rights must be fought and won with each generation.

And what does that mean? Inherent in that point is: Understand, the gains we make, by the very nature of it all, will not be permanent unless we are vigilant.

And so, the second point, I think, is the admonition, therefore, understanding that’s the nature of it all, do not despair. Do not be overwhelmed. Do not throw up our hands when it is time to roll up our sleeves.

And in that way, we are in this together. And I thank you, everyone, for the support. (Applause)

END

August 13, 2023: Remarks by Vice President Harris at a Campaign Reception (WhiteHouse.gov)

Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts

The Vice President: Can we hear it for Jamie Harrison – (applause) – and my husband – (laughs) – Doug Emhoff? (Laughs.) (Applause.)

Hello, Martha’s Vineyard. Please have a seat. Hello, everyone.

Oh, it’s good to be on the island. It’s good to see all the friends – so many longstanding friends. And thank you all, everyone, for taking time out of your vacation, your holiday your – your restful moments to be here. And I think that the fact that you are really here does speak volumes about who we are as a country.

This is an incredible group of folks who understand what’s at stake in our country and understand, most importantly, that one of the biggest measures of our strength is based on our sense of responsibility to each other, understanding that the vast majority of us have so much more in common than what separates us, and we must stand unified as a community.

And so, I thank you all for taking the time to be with us today. (Applause.) Thank you.

I want to recognize Jamie Harrison, because, Doug and I, we’ve been traveling around the country, and almost everywhere we go, Jamie Harrison is there, leading the Democratic Party and the work that we need to do to remind folks that their vote matters.

Jaime, you are doing such an extraordinary job. Thank you for your work. (Applause.)

And I want to thank my husband, the first Second Gentleman of the United States – (applause) – for all that he has been doing on so many issues and, most recently, and very importantly, the work he is doing to fight against hate, antisemitism, and hate in all of its forms. Doug, thank you for that. (Applause.)

And, Carol Fulp, Bernie, where are you? Thank you for all of the – just the longstanding support. And – and I also just have to thank everyone who is here for understanding that – like Robin Leeds – that we really cannot do this work if we don’t do it together. And so, I thank you for that.

Before I get started, I do want to take a moment to speak the name “Charles Ogletree” – (applause) – because he is so present. I know that for so many of us. And Tree, as many of us knew him and know him, was an extraordinary American. He always spoke truth to power.

You know, one of the reasons that – many of you know – I became a lawyer because I was raised as a child of parents who were active in the Civil Rights Movenment. And many of the heroes of that movement for me were folks like Thurgood Marshall and – and Charles Hamilton Houston and Constance Baker Motley. And they were the ones, like Charles Ogletree, who understood the power of the law to translate the passion form the streets to the courtrooms of our country.

Tree understood the importance of fighting for the promise of America based on all that we articulated in our founding documents and principles.

And I must say, also, there are many who are on this island today who were mentored and – and were friends of his, and for whom he gave his friendship, and I among them. And so, I know we all miss him, and we thank him. And his presence on this island in particular will always be there.

So, thank you all for – let’s – let’s remember Charles Ogletree. (Applause.) Thank you.

So, with that, I thank you all for what you did in 2020, on – in the days before then and the days since. But I first of all just want to thank you for what you did in 2020. Because if we reflect on that, in the height of he pandemic of historic proportion – countless loss of life, people lost their jobs, the loss of normalcy – it was the leaders in this room, and leaders like you, who remained optimistic about the importance of activism and participation, who held firm in a knowledge and understanding that if we are to uphold our democracy we must uphold the importance of the voice of the people and reminding folks that – in the midst of a moment where we literally told people to isolate, you reminded folks that they are not alone.

And because of your courage, activism, and love of country, in 2020, we had an historic turnout of young voters. And it is because of that work – (applause) – that Joe Biden was elected President of the United States and I was elected Vice President of the United States. (Applause.) Because of your work.

And think about what we’ve been able to accomplish since then. We have been able –

(A protester disruption can be heard.)

– to accomplish so much in terms of thinking of –

(A protester disruption can be heard.)

Let’s – I’m speaking. I’m speaking. (Laughs.) (Applause.)

And think about – we live in a democracy; everyone’s voice matters. But when –

(A protester disruption can be heard.)

Let’s not interrupt.

So, let’s think about where we were before the election in 2020. Where we were is that there were jobs being shipped overseas. We were looking at a time where we were losing American manufacturing.

Because of what you did and because of the turnout and because Joe Biden was elected President and I was elected Vice President, we now have created 13 million new jobs in America – (applause) – over 800,000 manufacturing jobs in America – (applause) and historic unemployment.

Before that election, we were looking at small businesses – I know we have many small business leaders here – small business leaders who were saying, “We need greater access to capital. We need more investment. Don’t overlooks the importance of investing in community, understanding our small business leaders are also civic leaders, community leaders. They hire locally. They mentor.”

And because you elected Joe Biden and me to come into office, seeing and understanding part of the backbone of America’s economy being our small businesses, we have created more new small businesses in any two-year period in history because of an investment in capital. (Applause.)

Before the election, in particular, our young people were saying, “Please address this climate crisis, understand what it means.” Young people were telling us that they self-diagnosed and came up with at term that they have shared with me, and it’s called “climate anxiety,” where our young people are literally wondering whether they can be able to start a family, whether it is worthwhile for them to think about even dreaming about buying a home for fear of what will be happening in this world in the next 10 years.

And where there seemed to be no hope that there would be a sense of urgency around that, you all activated folks. We had record turnout. And now the President and I are in the process of dropping $1 trillion on the streets of America to invest in a clean energy economy – (applause) – to reinforce what we must do in terms of resilience and adaptation.

I was just reading recently, for example – many of us have been coming to and many of those who live here on the Vineyard full time – Menemsha, the concern that there is about whether the docks in high tide will be overrun because of what’s happening in terms of erosion. This is a real issue. Elections matter.

For years, our seniors have been saying, “Pay attention to the issue of medical debt,” because so many of our seniors were presented with the awful choice about whether they would either be able to fill a prescription a doctor recommended because it will save their life – for insulin, for example – or be able to afford to fill the fridge with food. Seniors, who were making impossible decisions about whether they could simply afford their medication.

And because you did the work of activating in 2020, we have now capped out the cost of insulin at $35 a month for our seniors. (Applause.) This is a game changer.

How many people here – raise your hand – have a family member or know someone that has diabetes? Is it a – you see? Look around the room. This is a very big issue for our country.

And what we did on top of that to deal with the real issue of medical debt is we are now allowing Medicare to negotiate with the pharmaceutical companies for drug prices for the average American consumer – (applause) – and capping the cost of a prescription medication for our seniors at $2,000 a year.

Real people are benefiting because of the work that you have done.

The work that we have done on an issue, that is a very serious issue for so many parts of this country, called “lead pipes.”

For years, families have been talking about the fact that, “Hey we may not be doctors or scientists, but we know the water coming out of those pipes is harming our children and leading to learning difficulties and disabilities. Do something about it, because we can’t, as working people, afford to replace those pipes on our own.”

And because you turned out and did the work you did, we are now in the process and on track of removing every lead pipe in America. (Applause.)

Because of your work, we are in the process of acknowledging for the first time in too long the having access to high-speed Internet in the 21st century should not be a luxury, it is a necessity, and we are on the path – (applause) – to ensuring that every family in our country has access to affordable high-speed Internet.

So, I’ve gone through this list mostly just to remind us all: Elections matter. And we, as a community of people, I think, understand that it can’t just be about fancy speeches, it has to be about getting stuff done. And when we organize, we get things done. (Applause.)

And we have more work to do, especially as we are clear-eyed about the moment we are in, where I believe there is a national agenda afoot to purposely attack hard-won freedoms and rights in America. (Applause.) And we must be clear-eyed about what is afoot.

And, you know, I think of this just based on my background, as a child of parents who met when they were active in the Civil Rights Movement, when I think about the generations of folk that understood the promise of America, and then fought, marched, organized to make it real.

I think of it, then, through that lens, seeing what is happening by these extremist so-called leaders. Clear-eyed.

A national agenda that was afoot for decades, that led to the highest court in our land – the court of Thurgood and RBG – to take a constitutional right, that had been recognized, from the people of America, from the women of America.

And then, after that decision – the Dobbs decision – came down, in states across our country, these extremists so-called leaders passing laws that would criminalize healthcare providers, punish women – laws that would make no exception for rape or incest.

Now, many of you know I started my career as a prosecutor. And for a variety of reasons, I chose to specialize in crimes, in particular, against women and children.

The idea that someone who touts themselves as a leader would say, to a survivor of a crime that violated their body, that thereafter, you don’t have the right to choose what happens to your body is next to immoral – is immoral. (Applause). Immoral.

And on this subject, let us agree: One does not have to abandon their faith or deeply held beliefs to agree with the government should not be telling her what to do with her body. (Applause.) Attacks hard-won freedoms and rights.

So, in 2020, again, we applaud each other for historic turnout. But here’s the thing that also happened: There were a lot of people that that scared – a lot of folks got scared about that, and then started passing laws to restrict drop boxes, to shorten voting time.

There were supposed leaders who passed laws that actually made it against the law to give people food and water as they stand in line.

By the way, what happened to “love thy neighbor”? (Laughter and applause.)

These hypocrites – (applause) – hypocrites making it intentionally more difficult for people to exercise their civic duty to use their voice to determine the future of their country. Attacks on fundamental freedoms and rights.

We’re seeing laws like the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

Now, here’s the thing, when I was District Attorney of San Francisco, I was proud, in 2004, to perform some of the first same-sex marriages. Next year, that’s going to be 20 years ago. (Applause.)

But here’s how I look at that – and then you’ve got what’s happening with this “Don’t Say Gay” laws, and think about it. So, there are teachers – many of the young ones in their 20s – who, if they are in a same-sex relationship, are afraid to put up a photograph of their family for fear they might lose their job.

Book bans in this year of our Lord 2023? Book bans?

I was working out this morning in D.C. before I – before I flew down, and – and I saw on TV that they’re even starting to ban Shakespeare. (Laughter.) I mean, talk about “Much Ado About Nothing.” (Laughter and applause.)

If it weren’t so terrifying, it would be a comedy.

This is what’s happening in our country. And we must be clear-eyed about this.

As your Vice President, I have now met over 100 world leaders, presidents, ministers, chancellors, and kings. And here’s the thing about that: When we walk in those rooms representing the United States of America, we walk in those rooms with the self appointed and earned authority to talk about the importance of democracies, rule of law, human rights.

But here’s the thing, as we all know, about being a role model: People watch what you do to see if it matches what you say. (Applause.) And one of my deep concerns is that in places around the world where, for example, women are fighting for basic rights and freedoms, where there may be a dictator or autocrat, they – those autocrats and dictators – will look at those women and say, “Well, you want to hold out the United States as your example? Look at what they’re doing now. You sit down and be quiet.”

Understand the implication, not only to the people of our country but people around the world, because of what is happening right now.

And so, to all the leaders here, I say, let us not be distracted by an undebatable point, such as whether the enslaved people benefited from slavery, because they’re trying to distract us. They are intentionally trying to divide us as Americans.

There is another agenda afoot to make us think it is one against the other. So, in fighting for our democracy, we must do it with a sense of duty and responsibility to understand we are strongest when we are unified around the common principles and values that were the basis for the founding of our country – the importance of freedom and liberty and justice and equality.

And I say, as we are clear-eyed about these threats to our democracy, let us also be optimistic. And I will offer you empirical examples of why: Ohio this week. (Applause.)

Think about that. Think about that.

So, these extremists so-called leaders thought they were going to pull the wool over somebody else’s eyes, right? And they said, “We’re going to put one thing on the ballot only on some random Tuesday in August, and nobody will notice.” The people will not be fooled. And they turned out. And they said, “We are not having it.”

Think about the midterms. Remember? The pundits, so smart, said “Oh, there’s going to be this red wave.” That didn’t happen.

And on the issue of choice and access to reproductive health and freedom, wherever it was on the ballot during the midterms, from Kansas to California, the voters voted in favor of freedom. (Applause.)

Doug was talking about the fact that we were both in Chicago yesterday. So, I was in Chicago to meet with over 2,000 young activists who were convened by Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action. (Applause.) And these young leaders were there because they are organizing, and they are active, and they are exercising self-determination on the issue of gun violence and the need for smart gun safety laws.

They are rejecting a false choice that says you’re either in favor of the Second Amendment or you want to take everyone’s guns away. And they’re saying, “No, we demand reasonable laws,” like the renewal of the assault weapons ban, universal background checks, red flag laws. (Applause.) And they are organizing.

As an aside – so, Doug mentioned I went down to Tennessee. You know I went down to Tennessee because, as you all probably saw, in Tennessee, in their statehouse, while the – the legislature was convened officially in a room that – if the architects are here, you can – you can talk to this – that certain rooms are designed specifically for the purpose of that place, so it is designed for debate, because that’s what happens in democracies among legislators.

And the two young Justins, in their 20s, and then Gloria, got on the microphone to channel the voices of their constituents – it’s a democracy – about the importance of addressing the issue of gun violence. And the incredible thing is – and I’m not going to offer – it’s not symbolic or a metaphor – literally turned off their mics.

But let met tell you why I have optimism. So, those two in particular, they said, “All right, you want to turn off our mics? Anybody got a bullhorn?” (Laughter.) And they used that bullhorn, and they would not be silenced. They would not be silenced. (Applause.)

So, I’ll close my points with this. We are up for this. We know what is at stake. And we love our country. And we believe in the promise of our country. And we know that it has always been a sign of our strength that we fight for an expansion of rights, that we do not all those to deprive people of their rights.

And we also know that moments like this have occurred in our history and compel us, then, to not sit passively by but to activate. All of the progress of leaders like those here in this gym, who understand we have to step up, speak up, organize, and unify around the best of who we are.

And so, my last point would be to paraphrase, as I often do, Coretta Scott King, who famously said the fight for civil rights, which our course is the fight for freedom and liberty and equality and justice – the fight for civil rights must be fought and won with each generation.

And I think she had two points in mind. One, it is the very nature of all that whatever gains we make, they will not be permanent. It’s the nature of it, and therefore we must be vigilant.

And the second point is this: It’s the nature of it, so do not despair. Do not be overwhelmed. Do not throw up our hands. No, let’s just roll up our sleeves.

Thank you all. Thank you. (Applause.)

August 16, 2023: Remarks by Vice President Harris at a Campaign Reception (WhiteHouse.gov)

Private Residence – Medina, Washington (August 15, 2023)

The Vice President: Hi, everyone! Please have a seat. But do applaud for the first Second Gentleman of the United States of America. (Applause.)

And among the many wonderful things about my husband – and, Brad, you spoke so beautifully about Doug – he is kind, he is strong, he is funny, he is passionate, and – and he, too, is a fighter. In particular, most recently being, I think, a very, very critical and powerful voice to talk about what we must do collectively to fight against hate wherever it pops up. And – and so, I thank you, Doug, for all that you do.

So, it is just so good to be back in Seattle and to be with all the friends who are here – many longstanding friends, some new friends. But I can’t thank you all, again, for being here in the middle of the summer on an afternoon.

Beth and Yahn, I want to thank you for and – for all that you guys are doing to open your beautiful home for all of us and all that requires. So, thank you. You really – the kind of work that – that this is the work that you have done really gives a lot of support in many ways the we can’t measure to what we must do as a community of people who understand the mutual connections, the interdependence, and the interconnection between us all. So, thank you. And if we can please applaud our hosts. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you,

And I just have to say, Brad and I have known each other for so long, before you were president and I was vice president – (laughter) – and for the yers that you have mentioned and – whether it was the work that we did together fighting to protect our children and, in particular, some of the most vulnerable children who needed a voice.

Many of you may know that Brad started an organization called KIND – Kids In Need Of Defense. And we worked together on that. And then fast forward to most recently, the work that we’ll all do together, taking on a responsible role around some of the challenges and the benefits that that innovation has brought about. And I want to thank you, Brad. And Kathy, thank your all the work that you do as well.

So, to everyone, I say thank you. And that’s part of why I’m actually here is to thank you all. Because let’s be very clear as we reflect: In 2020, we were in the midst of an unprecedented moment in the world during the height of the pandemic, when there was an extraordinary loss of life. People lost their jobs, a loss of normalcy. We were literally asking people to isolate. People felt alone and out of control and wondering when would it all end and what would it be. And you all had the optimism and the strength to say to your friends and your neighbors and family members, “Get involved and stay involved.” There’s an election coming up. Elections matter. And let’s not let the circumstances make us feel small. We are all in it together.”

And because of the work that you did in 2020, we had a record turnout of voters in that election in the midst of a pandemic. We had a record and historic number of young voters who voted because the leaders in this room believed in a system that says that the voices of the people matter and that this is in them that the power should rest to determine the future of our country.

That’s the spirit with which you all did that work then and with which you are here today. So I start by saying thank you, because it really matters, and because you knew that an election would have consequences and you did what you did.

Think about it. You elected Joe Biden president of the United States and me vice president of the United States. And in that office, I dare say and I proudly say – and it is not an exaggeration – we have achieved transformational work on a number of levels.

Think about it on the issue of what we did with the issue of healthcare. So many of us fought for the Affordable Care Act. And – but we knew there was more work to be done. We knew, for example, that so many of our seniors around the country were faced with the awful choice of making decisions about whether they could fill a prescription for insulin or afford to buy food to feed themselves or to pay rent.

And because of the work you did and what we believed is right, we have now capped the cost of insulin for seniors at $35 a month. This is a game changer. (Applause.)

We have now capped the cost of prescription medication for seniors at $2,000 a year. One of the issues we were not talking enough about but was prevalent in our country was this issue of medical debt. What we have achieved because of your work to now finally say Medicare can negotiate drug prices to bring the cost down so it is affordable for the people who need it.

This is transformational, the work that we have done. When, together, we all agreed we needed to deal with the economy on a number of levels, including for years how we had been sending jobs overseas and what we must do to understand the importance of building up America’s workforce in a substantial way.

Because of your work, we have created 13 million new jobs and 800,000 manufacturing jobs right here in the United States (Applause.) Because of your work. Because of your work.

And those jobs include the jobs that I was just talking with folks about at McKinstry where it’s about building up the private sector capacity to deal with issues – again, highlighted during the pandemic – issues like supply chain and create resilience in our supply chain and, at the same time, build up America’s workforce and the skills of America’s workforce. Because of the work you all did.

For years, there was an issue that grandparents in particular were – were crying out about, which is the issue of lead pipes. You know, when we talk about environmental justice, we should be thinking about that as being included, right? Lead pipes were, in particular, in low-income communities. Children were drinking water that was toxic, that had a direct impact on their health and learning ability. And for years, the families in those communities said, “We may not be doctors and scientists but we know this stuff is toxic.”

Because of your work in 2020, we are on track to remove every lead pipe in America. (Applause).

Small businesses, I – a particular passion of mine, what we need to do to grow up America’s economy, knowing that small businesses employ half of our workforce. Small businesses like the small business that my second mother ran when I was growing up. She lived two doors down, Ms. Shelton. My mother would work long hours, and we’d go and – go after school to Ms. Shelton’s and sometimes on the weekends when my mom was working.

Well, Ms. Shelton ran the nursery school, and we lived in the apartment above the nursery school. She was a small business owner, and she was a matriarch of the community, and she was a civic leader. And she mentored locally, and she hired locally. And as I travel our country meeting with our small business owners, that’s exactly who they are.

And under our administration, we have been increasing access to capital for our small businesses in a very intentional way that we have grown more small businesses in two years than any administration has in any two-year time. (Applause.)

So, these are but a few examples. All of which is to say, elections matter. What all you do by being here and what you have done, so many of you for years, it really makes a difference in he lives of people you may never meet and people who you may never know your name. But because of your investment in our country and, as Doug has said, based on love of country, it makes a real difference. So we have a lot to be thankful for in terms of the work we have done, but we know our work is not over.

So, I grew up the daughter – one of two daughters of parents who met when they were active in the civil rights movement. They were marching and shouting for equality and justice. I grew up in an environment where we were forced to be very clear-eyed about what is possible, but also what is happening and therefore what we must address.

So, when I look at where we are now as a country, we must be clear-eyed in seeing what I believe to be an intentional, full-on attack on many hard-won freedoms and rights.

The highest court in our land last year just took a constitutional right that had been recognized from the people of America, from, the women of America, the court of Thurgood and RBG. And almost immediately thereafter in states across our country, laws are being proposed and passed that would criminalize healthcare providers, punish women.

What we know is that – and Joe Biden has been very clear about it – to fight back against that, one of the most critical things we must do is elect a Congress who agrees that one does not have to abandon their faith or deeply held beliefs to agree the government should not be telling her what to do with her body. (Applause.)

And Joe Biden has been very clear, when Congress passes a law that reinstates the protections of Roe v. Wade, he will sign it. Let’s be – (applause). There you go.

Let’s be clear-eyed about – on this issue. These extremist so-called leaders are willing to risk national security.

Let me tell you, every morning I read what’s called the PDB, the Presidential Daily Brief. Often with the President, in the Oval Office, we meet about that classified briefing, about threats to our national security and hotspots around the world.

The idea that this elected member of Congress and others who are his colleagues are allowing them to hold up nominations for the head of the Army and the Marines, and soon it’s going to be the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Understand what that means, because we are talking about the military. And so, like any organization without a head, that’s going to be a problem. But when you understand how the military works and chain of command, there’s no one at the top who has the authority vested by Congress.

We congratulate ourselves rightly on the extraordinary turnout in 2020. But let’s also recognize, clear-eyed, that scared a lot of people. And almost immediately thereafter, in states across our country, they started passing laws making it more difficult for people to vote: reducing early voting times, eliminating drop boxes, passing a law making it illegal to give people food and water while they stand to vote and exercise their civic responsibility. By the way, what happened to “love thy neighbor”? The hypocrisy is abound. Attacks on freedoms and hard-won rights. A law, “Don’t Say Gay.”

You know, I was proud – I was mentioning it to some of the friends earlier. I was proud, as District Attorney of San Francisco in the Valentine’s weekend of 2004, to perform some of the first same-sex marriages in our country. So next year, that’ll be a 20-year anniversary. Let’s – (applause). Okay?

But here’s how I think about. So, in Florida, “Don’t Say Gay” policy means that some young teachers who are in their 20s are going to be afraid – they are afraid to put up a photograph in their classroom of themselves and their loved one for fear they might lose their job – their job doing some of the most noble work any one human being could do, which is to teach children. And, by the way, we don’t pay them enough as it is.

What’s happening in our country – and Doug mentioned it – the idea that there would be laws that are being passed and rules that are being promulgated saying we’re going to say that enslaved people benefited from slavery. Are you kidding me? Did you see recent, they’re also going to – they’re proposing banning some Shakespeare? Talk about much ado about nothing. (Laughter and applause.)

But it’s – again, it’s kind of – you know, what could otherwise be a comedy is a tragedy, right? This is what’s happening in our country, and we have to be clear-eyed about it. And we have to understand this is a very critical moment.

They’re banning books. All the while, they refuse to pass reasonable gun safety laws.

And I do believe that a part of this is an intent not only to attack hard-won freedoms and rights, but an intent to distract the American people from the fact that they actually don’t have an agenda that is about progress for our country. An attempt to distract. And what is most vicious, an attempt to divide – to divide our country around, in many cases, points that are not debatable.

So, this is the challenge that is before us. And I will tell you, all of that being said, I remain very optimistic. And I will tell you why. Think about the midterms. All the punditry, all the smart people in Washington said, “Oh, there’ll be this red wave.” There was no red wave. We elected governors. In every state in the midterms where the issue of reproductive freedoms was on the ballot, from Kansas to California, the voters voted in favor of rights and freedoms. Just last week in Ohio. Now, think about that.

So, these extremists decided, well, let’s put this one thing on the ballot on a random Tuesday in August. (Laughter.) People will be too busy they won’t pay attention. They thought they were going to pull the wool over the people’s eyes. And they did not get away with it because the people are smarter than they understand.

Speaking of guns, I was just – I was in Chicago at the annual meeting of a convening Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action. Oh, it was fantastic. I’m in this huge conference center and over 2,000 people, mostly young leaders. And these young ladies, these students are organizing and they are excited, and they are energetic, and they are optimistic. So good things are happening.

And so, I say all that we’ve to say we’ve got our work cut out for us. But I remain optimistic. Because we are all here know what’s at stake. And when we kick in, as you have over and over again and are doing right now, good things happen. But truly, this is about our democracy.

You know, I’ll tell you on that point, I have now, as vice president, met with over 100 world leaders: presidents, prime ministers, chancellors and kings.

And here’s the thing about that: When we walk in those rooms representing the United States of America, we walk in those rooms chin up, shoulders back with the self-appointed and earned authority to talk about the importance of democracy, rule of law, human rights.

But here’s the thing about that: When you are a role model in a room full of role models – when you are a role model, people watch what you do to see if it matches what you say.

One of my fears is not only the impact to the people of our own country, but that sound the world where – for example, where women are fighting for their rights, some dictator or autocrat is looking at them and saying, “You want to hold up the United States as your example? Well, look what they’re doing. You be quiet.”

What is at stake right now is our country, and by extension, this election will have global impact. And that is no exaggeration.

So, I’ll end on this: Coretta Scott King – so many of you have heard me paraphrase this all the time. I did it all the time. I’m going to keep doing it. So Coretta Scott King famously said the fight for civil rights – which is the fight for equality and for freedom, for justice – the fight for civil rights must be fought and now with each generation.

Two points there, the first being it’s the very nature of this fight. It’s the very nature of it that whatever gains we make, those gains will not be permanent unless we are vigilant. It’s just the nature of it. So when you understand the nature of something, you get it, right?

And therefore we say, understanding it’s the nature of it all, let us not despair. Let us not be overwhelmed. We will not throw up our hands when it’s time to roll up our sleeves. We’ll just get to work because we love our country, and it’s worth the fight. That’s all I’ve got to say. (Applause.)

END

September 13, 2023: Former Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) warned about the importance of the upcoming presidential election, saying that another four years under a Trump administration would mean disaster for the country. (The Hill)

“I think nothing less is at stake than our democracy in this election,” Pelosi said in a CNN interview Wednesday. “You hear that in the country. You hear that globally. And we have to remove all doubt that our democracy is strong.”

“We have to prove through the night, with the certainty of this election, that our flag is still there, with liberty and justice for all as we pledge every day,” she continued.

The Speaker emerita said that while she doesn’t think former President Trump would win in an election against President Biden, if he did, it would be a “nightmare scenario.”

Pelosi has long warned against another Trump term and been one of his most vocal opponents in Washington. She led Democrats’ efforts to impeach the former president twice and helped strategize for the 2022 election cycle, which saw the party lose only nine House seats – a fraction of the expected amount…

…Pelosi called the impeachment inquiry against Biden baseless and said she believes Trump is influencing House Republicans to push for it, saying that he and the efforts are “connected.”…


September 2023:

September 18, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception | New York, NY (WhiteHouse.gov)

The President: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Listen, I kind of view this more as a – a family get-together. (Laughter.)

You know, Gov, thanks for the introduction, and it was great to be with you in Maryland last week.

What – my whole – whole Biden side of the family has been in “Bawlmer,” as they say down there – not Baltimore, “Bawlmer” – since 1851. And it’s – and it’s a great, great – always been.

When I was a United States senator for 360 years – (laughter) – or 36 years, I always had great, great relationships.

Folks, look, Charles and Tony and your wives, I want to thank you for hosting this event. It’s a big deal. It really is.

And my good friend Cedric Richmond is here. Cedric, where are you?

Mr. Richmond: Right here.

The President: Cedric – (applause) – he’s critical to our success in passing a lot of what you just heard as one of my senior advisors in the White House and – and the co-chair of my campaign. He’s working hard to make sure we finish the job.

And we have more work to do. We have more work to do. We’re really getting started, in my view.

And I want to thank Mayor Steve Benjamin for his work, someone you all know well. And also, to all of you, I want to thank you for joining us.

Jaime Harrison, our state – our national chair – there you go, Jamie – when – when I got a call from a new guy down in South Carolina – what’s his name? (Laughter.)

Yeah, we made it real clear. He said, “I think I know someone who should be chairman.”

I said, “Just send the name.” (Laughter.)

No, but all kidding aside, look, the fact of the matter is, my whole career, I would not have a career were it not for the African American community. And that’s not hyperbole. We have the eight-largest Black population in America in my state as a percent of the population. And I got involved in – in government through the Civil Rights legislation. That’s how I got involved.

Because I remember wondering when we moved from Scranton when jobs dried up and we moved down to Claymont, Delaware, which used to be a steel town right on the Pennsylvania border, my mom would drive ups up to school, and I would see this bus go by all the time. At the time, it was with – only with, quote, “colored” children in it. And I couldn’t understand why because there were very few African Americans in Scranton.

My mom said, “Because it’s not allowed. They’re not allowed to go to school with us down here – not allowed to go to school with us.”

That was when I got involved, and I mean that sincerely.

And, you know, I’m here to thank you for what you’re doing for me, but I also want to thank you for what you’re doing for the communities all across America. I’m looking forward to this campaign because we’ve got a story to tell, a record to run on, and a nation to literally save. And that’s no hyperbole.

Two weeks ago, I got back from a five-day trip around the world – literally around the world – where we made important, historic economic and political progress from India to Vietnam.

And tomorrow, I’m going to address the United States [Nations] General Assembly. And we’re reestablishing America’s leadership on the global stage for the first time in a long time.

Many of you are very sophisticated businesswomen and men who travel the world, and you know they wonder, “What the hell is going on in America?” (Laughter.)

No, I’m not being facetious. I’m being deadly earnest.

You won- – they wonder. And they wonder whether we’re really back.

Well, tomorrow I’m going to address the United States [Nations] General Assembly, where we’re once again establ- reestablishing America’s leadership in the world.

We are – as Madeleine Albright said when she was alive, that we are the essential nation. Not Joe Biden, but America is the essential nation.

And, you know, we’ve done a lot since – in the last – since the last guy was out of office. How can I say that nicely? (Laughter.)

And we’re estab- – reestablishing global leadership on a world stage. We rely – we rallied the world to support Ukraine and united NATO because I was convinced in the beginning that Putin was counting on NATO not being able to stick together, and that would be enough. He’s still trying that. And our allies know once again the United States can be counted on.

At home, our plan to grow the economy – with this phrase that the press picked up, and I’m using now – Bidenomics – we’re building an economy from the middle out and the bottom up, where everybody has a chance. When that occurs, the wealthy do very well, the poor have a shot and the middle class are able to be sustained.

We’ve created 13.5 million jobs since we took office, 800,000 manufacturing jobs and job satisfaction is the highest it’s been in 36 years. Unemployment is under 4 percent for the longest stretch in 50 year. And historically low Black unemployment, historically high Black labor force participation, and Black workers are up from before the pandemic.

But core inflation is trending back down to our prepandemic levels. The last three months, it’s been at 2.4 percent and near the lowest point in the last almost two years. But we have a lot more to do, including lowering gas prices. But we have the lowest inflation rate of any major economy in the world. But still much more to do.

You know, you wouldn’t know it from reading the negative news, but we had the fastest economic recovery from the pandemic of any of the world’s major economies. That’s a fact – of any of the world’s major economies.

But it’s still not good enough for me or for the American people. We’re living through one of the greatest job-creation periods in our history, and it’s because we’re investing in America. We’ve seen over half a trillion dollars in private investment since I took office – one half trillion dollars in private investment. And no one thought that was remotely possible.

We didn’t spend enough time investing in America. It used to be – you know, there’s a law on the books since the 1930s. It says that if the President is given money to spend on behalf of the American people, he should use American workers and American material. That wasn’t hon- that wasn’t honored in the breach, but we’re honoring it now.

And we’re investing – we’re moving in terms of investments in America that are having profound impacts on all communities. We’ve seen over half a trillion dollars in private investment since I took office.

And here’s where – here’s what we’re doing. We passed the American Rescue Plan and vaccinated the nation – and part of the world, I might add – and got the economy moving again. The last two years were the strongest years ever for small-business creation, including Black small businesses.

When you build a business, you’re building a hope. You’re building on hope. And it generates not just a business, but it becomes centers of the community. It generates growth all across the board – up and down the board.

The prior administration promised to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure. But guess what? Infrastructure Week became a joke. Well – (laughter) no, I’m serious in this. The great real estate builder, he didn’t build a damn thing when he was there. (Laughter.) He didn’t. Not a damn thing.

We passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. We’ve already announced over 37,000 projects across America in our roads, our bridges, our ports, our airports, our high-speed Internet, clean water. The list goes on.

And with the leadership of the EPA Administrator Michael Regan – Michael Regan, we removed every single lead pipe – we’re going to remove every single lead pipe in America so kids can turn on the water spigot at school or home and not worry about being poisoned over time. (Applause.)

Folks, we’re launching a $1 billion pilot project to help reconnect communities and highways that have separated predominantly Black communities and economic opportunities. If you ever go through – up 95 through Wilmington, Delaware, that’s exactly what happened to the Black community: cut right through and separated the community by a total of seven lanes. There’s no way to get from A to B. It had a profound negative impact. We’re going to rejuvenate that area with this money.

We’re making Infrastructure Decade, not Infrastructure Week. And we passed the Inflation Reduction Act without a single Republican vote. We finally beat Big Pharma so Medicare can now negotiate lower drug prices. Insulin for seniors with diabetes now is capped at $35, when it was 400 bucks a month or more.

And, by the way, they’re still making three times what it cost them to make it. The guy who came up with that insulin for diabetes, he didn’t want to patent it. He wanted it available for everybody. Now to -to make it and to package it is about $12.50. They’re still making $35. But guess what? We’re saving the – we’re saving the – the government a billion – $180 billion because we’re not paying as much money to purchase them – these drugs for the seniors.

And, you know, the total drug costs for seniors is going to be capped at $2,000 a year, including for expensive drugs. For example, some cancer drugs are 10-,12-, 14,000 bucks, and they’ll never have to pay more than $2,000 a year beginning in 2024 – 2020 – 2025, the end of 2025. (Applause.)

This is life-changing. But I also signed the largest climate investment ever anywhere in the world: 300 – $369 billion. And it reduces pollution, advances environmental justice, and in particular, focuses on investing in fenceline communities.

How many times did we talk about that, Cedric, down in Louisiana? All those communities by the – all the development. Same way in Delaware along Route 9. They’re going to get 40 percent of all this money because they deserve it. (Applause.) They deserve (inaudible.)

It also invests in clean energy future, creating thousands of good-paying jobs – and that’s not hyperbole – thousands of good paying jobs. Look, we’re making sure we’re growing the economy in ways that benefit all Americans.

And that includes delivering $7 billion to HBCUs to invest the next generation of Black – Black community, Black leaders. We – you know, we have to make sure they have the laboratories, the same research capacity that every other university has. They don’t have the endowment they do, but we’re providing that endowment. And so far, it’s $7 billion dollars for HBCUs just since I’ve taken office. (Applause.)

This is what you call preaching to the choir, but for the – the best ways to close the racial wealth gap is to expand access to homeownership. That’s how to do it, which is how the vast majority of middle-class families have built stability and passed it down to their children, by building equity in their homes and passing it on to their children.

That’s why, with the leadership of Marcia Fudge – Secretary Fudge, we’re expanding efforts to build Black generational wealth through homeownership and aggressively – aggressively combating racial discrimination in housing.

You all know the numbers. If a builder builds a three-bedroom house on one side of an interstate and the exact same house on the other side, the one on the other side is 20 percent less if it’s in a Black community. It’s wrong.

Vice President Harris has been leading our work to expand entrepr- the entrepreneurship in underserved communities throughout – throughout all of America, and Black small businesses are starting up now at the fastest rate they’ve ever started up some 25 years. And that’s in large part because of all of you in this room.

I was proud to sign the law that permanently authorized the Minority Small Business Development Agency for the first time in our history. Think about this. For the first time in our history, we have a minority small business development agency just focused on minorities. (Applause.)

Folks, look, it gives expanded authority to help even more Black-owned businesses grow. My administration oversees hundreds of billions of dollars in federal contracts in every form, from refurbishing decks and aircraft carriers, to installing railings in federal buildings.

Black-and brown-owned small businesses and other universal – and under- – underserved communities have historically been underrepresented in gaining – gaining access to these contracts. They have been underrepresented. Well, last year, we awarded a record $70 billion in federal contracts to de- – to disadvantaged businesses. More small Black businesses are starting up now than ever before because we can figure – we have to – we have not paid attention to the law that was required in the past to look at that.

And, look, by the way, we’re doing all this, and at the same time – I love my Republican friends – “Big Spendin’ Democrats.” We reduced the deficit $1 trillion – (laughter and applause) – $1 trillion.

By the way, the last guy left us $400 billion increased – $40 billion increased on the national debt. What are we talking about here? These guys don’t know what they’re talking about. (Laughter.)

Look, folks, by the way, we’re doing all this while reducing the deficit. And the deficits have fallen. They’ve fallen across the board over $1 trillion on my watch. We signed a bill to lower the deficit by another trillion dollars. And we did it by making folks began to pay their fair share.

Does anyone think the tax system is fair? Raise your hand if you do. (Laughter.)

Does anyone think – you know, look, we need to close loopholes. Big Oil made $200 billion in profit and didn’t pay a penny to tax – didn’t pay 20 billion in taxes. You know, we have the crypto lenders paying virtually nothing.

We used to have, when the pandemic started, 750 – 740 billionaires in America. Now we have a thousand billionaires in America. You know what the average tax rate is? Eight percent.

Schoolteachers pay a hell of a lot more than that. The cops pay a hell of a lot more than that. I’m not saying we go back to the days of 90 precent tax rates, but guess what? You should be at least paying 36 percent and a (inaudible.) (Applause.)

But, look, I’ve kept my promise. I won’t raise taxes on anyone making under $400,000, and that gets you way above the middle class. But no one under $400,000 is going to have a penny tax raise.

And also keeping my promise to make sure my administration looks like America. You know, we have the most diverse Cabinet ever in the history of the United States, and more than half the Cabinet is made up of people of color.

And I want to thank this group for your work supporting the nomination of Deputy Treasury – Deputy Secretary of Treasury Wally – Wally Adeyemo. (Laughter.) I know him as “Wally.” (Laughter.)

But all kidding aside, it’s because of you all we’re building a federal bench with judges that reflect what all of American looks like, you know, led by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who’s smarter than the rest of them, by the way. (Laughter and applause.) By the way, she’s incredible. The first African American justice of the Supreme Court.

And I have appointed more Black women to the federal circuit courts than every other president in American history combined. (Applause.) It’s about time we start to look – And as I said on the op-ed I wrote in the Washington Post on the 80th anniversary of the March on Washington, a recent poll form Black Economic – and a recent poll of Black Economic Alliance. And that is, it shows overwhelming support for promoting diversity in the workforce, and we’re determined to lead by example in the federal government.

Black Americans play a critical role in the economy. But disparities exist in every dimension and Black economic life, including representation, participation, and pay.

I’m committed to addressing these disparities. Because you know as well as I do, it matters when a little girl, a little boy, can look up and see a Black senator, a Black president, a Black Supreme Court Justice, a Black – it matters. It matters. It raises expectations. And its important.

My team is committed to addressing all these disparities.

Folks, there’s a lot more to do, but let’s protect a woman’s right to choose and codify protections of Roe v. Wade. (Applause.)

Let’s ban assault weapons. I did it once; we can do it again. (Applause.)

Who the hell needs an assault weapon that can have a capacity of holding in its magazine a hundred rounds?

As I said to one guy when I was campaigning in Delaware to get it done the first time, I said – he said, “I’m a hunter.”

I said, “How many deer were wearing Kevlar vests? You sit be one hell of a lousy shot if you’re …” (Laughter.) No, I’m serious. I’m being deadly earnest.

You know why they’re being sold? It’s the biggest moneymaker in the gun industry – the single biggest moneymaker. And guess what? Guess what? You know, the idea that they’re the only industry in America you can’t sue as an industry. Imagine had that been the case with tobacco companies.

So, folks, there’s a lot more work we have to do.

Let me close with this. In 2020, I ran for office for three reasons: One, as Cedric will remember because it drove a lot of my staff crazy, to restore the soul of America. By that, I meant restore a sense of decency and honor in the way we talk to one another, the way we act, the way we just – just decency.

I mean, think of how far it’s declined. You ride through certain areas, you see these banners with Trump in the middle of it, “F Biden.” You have little kids are 7, 8, 10, 12, 15 years old, standing there giving the middle finger or standing next to their parents. It’s just degrading us. It’s a degrading exercise that’s going on.

So, we hav to restore the soul of America.

The second reason I ran was to rebuild the middle class. Only way to do that is give them a fighting chance, invest in things that matter to them, give them an opportunity. Invest in America. That’s what’s happening all across –

And, by the way, I know virtually every major world leader and know when I – when I go abroad like this last round-the-world trip, “How are you doing it? What are you doing? What – what can we do?” I’m serious – deadly earnest about it.

And, folks, look, in 2020, I also said I was going to – I was running to unite the country. The press who’s in the back of the room justifiably said, “That was the old days, Joe, when you got awards for being able to unite the Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate.”

If we give up on the notion in this democracy of being able to unite the country, we might as well give up on the notion of democracy. How can it function if we can’t unite the country on certain basic things?

And so far, it’s been – hasn’t been easy. But together, we’ve made some real progress. Now, the MAGA Republicans are trying to take us backwards.

You know, there’s a lot at stake in this election. But more than anything, our democracy, I believe, is at stake – literally, not figuratively – our democracy. Our freedoms are at stake.

I believed that was true in 2020. And with your help, we won. I believed and spoke about it in 2022, and we won again – a time we were supposed to get wiped out. And I believe it’s true in 2024 again, and that’s why I’m running for reelection.

You know, we’re faced with tough times in recent years, but America never gives up. They’re ready to count America out.

American people – there’s no quit in America. There’s not a single thing we’ve ever set our mind to we have not been able to do when we worked together. Seriously, not one ever, ever, ever. Not a single goal.

And I must tell you – and I think my staff wonders why I keep saying this because it’s hard to believe – but I truly believe with every fiber of my being, I’m more optimistic about America’s chances in the next 10 years than I have been in my entire career – my entire career, both internationally and nationally.

We are the essential nation. And we are, when we work together, capable of doing anything we set our mind to – anything, anything. The most consequential thing we can do is, once and for all, completely integrate the Black community into the economy of America, providing jobs that are necessary, giving people an even shot, give them a chance.

And, folks, as I’ve said, I’ve never been more optimistic. There is no quit in America. There is no quit in America. All the progress we’ve made – all the progress we’ve made, I give credit to the American people who get up every damn morning, pull on their trousers and put on their skirts, and go off to work and come home.

You know, the expression, a lot of folks take showers before they go to work; most of the guys I grew up with take showers when they come home from work because they’ve been busting their neck building America. Well, it’s the same thing now.

And they’re ready. They’re ready. They believe it. They’re ready to go, but they have to know their government believes in them. And I promise you – I do. And we’re going to be – you’re going to be surprised.

Because what we do in the next two years is going to matter as much as what we’ve done in the last 15 years. And that’s – that’s not hyperbole. It really matters. I think we have a chance. We have a genuine chance to set the course for the next four of five decades in a way that is consequential – I mean, genuinely consequential, not only at home, but also around the world.

So, thank you for all the help. And like I said to many of you when I talked to you outside, it’s not just your financial help and your ideas; you’re among the brightest, most informed, consequential constituents in America sitting in front of me here. And the thing I look at – the hardest thing that’s a hell of a lot harder than writing a check – is putting your name on it in terms of vouching. You’re letting me – putting your name behind me.

I promise you: I will not let you down. I will not let you down. We cannot lose this election, for the sake of our children and our grandchildren.

Thank you all so very much. (Applause.)

September 18, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception | New York, NY (WhiteHouse.gov)

Lunt-Fontanne Theater, New York, New York

The President: Hello, Broadway! (Applause.)

My name is Joe Biden. I’m Jill Biden’s husband. (Applause.) And she’s got to go to Washington. Be safe, kid. Love you.

The First Lady: Love you.

Audience: Awww. (Applause.)

The President: I was doing an event with members of the Black caucus earlier this evening, and I got this email, this note in the middle of the – my speaking. Jill said, “You’re missing the best show I’ve ever seen.” (Laughter.)

Thank you, Jefferey, for that introduction and for organizing this special line-up of performers. (Applause.) Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Jill got here before me, so she was able to enjoy the show.

Folks, looking out at all of you, I have just one thing to say: Broadway is back. (Applause.) Broadway is back.

And I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have your support. I wouldn’t be here today without you all. I really mean that.

When my two boys were young – and Jill loved Broadway – we’d come up at least twice a year from – from Washington to make sure we saw a play. And we were – our boys were young, Beau and Hunter, and – and Jill – we took them to see Bette Midler. (Laughter and applause.) Anyway, in the middle of her show – it’s the God’s truth – Bette Midler looked down, and she said, “Who would bring two kids to a show like this?” (Laughter.)

Well, my boys used that as a badge of courage. “Bette Midler picked us out of the crowd,” they’d tell people.

Well, families from all over the world have memories like that to cherish. They come to New York City, just like you did with your families, because Broadway gives us something irreplaceable. It gives us the truth – the truth.

Normally, at events like this, I talk about the record of my administration, but even today, a lot of Americans don’t know about it. Things I’ve – how we’ve created 13 million jobs, how we rallied the world to confront Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, or how we put the first Black woman on the United States Supreme Court. (Applause.) Or how we passed the biggest investment in the history of the world to combat climate change.

But folks – (applause) – tonight, I want to talk about something else. I want to talk about what’s at stake in this country.

You know, when I was vice president at the end of the Obama-Biden administration, I had no intention of running for office again. We just lost our son Beau, a major in the United States Army, a decorated war veteran, a guy who won the – anyway, he was a – I wish you could have known him.

He was going – and I was going to write a book and set up the institute of foreign pol- – and I set up the institute of foreign policy at the University of Pennsylvania, where I became a professor – (applause) – and domestic policy at the University of Delaware. And that’s what I did.

But then Charlottesville happened in August 2017. Something I never, never, never thought I’d see in America. But you sure remember what happened, along with me.

We saw people crawling out of fields with lighted torches, carrying – carrying swastikas, their veins bulging, and chanting the same anti-Semitic bile and racist bile we heard in Germany in the ’30s, accompanied by the Ku Klux Klan. And in the process, a young woman was murdered.

When the President was asked about – about what was – what comment did he have, he said, and I quote, “There are very fine people on both sides.”

Very find people on both sides?

When I heard that, I knew I could no longer sit on the sidelines – (applause) – because the President of the United States had just drawn a moral equivalency between those who stood for hate and those who stood against it.

You see, I believe silence is complicity. And I would not be silent any more than you were. So, I ran. (Applause)

With the strong support of my remaining children – and God love them – I ran because I thought everything – everything in the country, everything it stood for, everything we believed in, everything that made America “America,” even our very democracy, was at risk. And I had no choice, like many of you.

I think people tonight – I was being hyperbolic at the time, thought that, “Joe, what do you mean our democracy is at risk? What do you mean we’re in a battle for the soul of America?”

Well, people don’t say that anymore. I don’t think anyone today doubts our democracy was at stake in 2020. And thank God, because of people like you, we won. (Applause.)

And I might add – I might add: we won convincingly, clearly, and without question by 7 million votes – (applause) – a victory that not only withstood not more than – not one, but 60 legal court challenges and an insurrection on January the 6th.

So, now I’m running again. (Applause.) And you may have noticed, a lot of people seem focused on my age. (Laughter.)

Well, I get it, believe me. I know better than anyone. (Laughter.)

But there’s something else I know. When I came to office and this nation was flat on its back, I knew what to do to vaccinate the nation, to rebuild the economy. (Applause.) When Russia invaded Ukraine I knew what to do to rebuild NATO and the alliances and rebuild our alliances and rally the world. (Applause.)

And, above all, when democ- – when democracy was at stake, I knew what to do to redeem the soul of this nation.

So, let me answer that as simply as I can.

I’m running because our most important freedoms – the right to choose; the right to vote – (applause); the right to be who you are; love who has love – (applause) – these basic right attacked. They’re being shredded.

In running because our children should have the right to go to school without fear of being gunned down by a weapon of war. (Applause.)

I’m running because there are people banning books in this – did you ever thing we’d be banning books like we do? (Applause.)

I’m running because, all across America, hate groups have been emboldened.

I’m running because far too often it’s still the case that you can get killed or attacked walking the streets in America just because you’re Black or because you’re wearing a symbol of your faith. (Applause.)

Look, folks, I’m running because no, I will not side with dictators like Putin. Maybe Trump and his MAGA friends can bow down and praise him, but I won’t. (Applause.)

I’ve known him for 25 years, and I’m going to stand up to him as I always have and always will.

I’m running because – hear – hear this — I want the entire nation to join me in sending the strongest, clearest, most powerful message possible that political violence in America is never, never, never acceptable. (Applause.)

And I’m running because democracy is at stake and because, 2024, democracy is on the ballot once again.

And let there be no question. Donald Trump and his MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy American democracy. And I will always defend, protect, and fight for our democracy. That’s why I’m running. (Applause.)

In my entire career, I never thought I’d ever have to say anything like that.

You know, this country we live in is so special. We are the only country in the world – we’re the must unique country in the world – we’re the most unique country in the world. We’re not built on our ethnicity or religion or geography. We’re built on an idea. We’re the only country built on an idea that we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal. Endowed by the creator, they deserve to be treated equally throughout our lives.

We’ve never fully lived up to that commitment, but God knows we have never, in 240 years, walked away from it. (Applause.) Never walked away from it. And we’re not going to walk away now. (Applause.)

I don’t believe America is a dark, negative nation – a nation of carnage driven by fear, and revenge. Donald Trump does.

To his supporters, he says, “I am your retribution.” I am your retribution? “We’re a failing nation,” he says. “Either they win or we win. And if they win, we no longer have a country.”

Did you ever hear, you think, a President of the United States speak like that?

Audience members: No!

The President: Well, I believe we are a hopeful and optimistic nation, driven by the simple proposition that everybody deserves a fair shot – just a shot.

You in this theater, in music, in the arts, you understand what freedom means: to tell the truth, to have the courage to hold a mirror up to the nation and say, “Is this who we are? Can we be better?”

Folks, that’s what’s at stake. And I need you – indeed, I need every America who loves democracy to join us in 2024 to make are we make it stronger, not attack it. (Applause.)

And when you do that, we’ll have something few generations can say. We’ll be able to say, “We will have saved American democracy.” (Applause.)

It sounds like hyperbole, but it’s a fact. I’ve never been more optimistic about our country’s future in the 800 years I’ve served. (Laughter.)

We just have to – we have to remember who in the hell we are. (Laughter.)

We are the United States of America. And there is nothing – nothing beyond our capacity if we work together. There’s never been a problem we’ve had where we did not come out stronger than when we went in.

And, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for us to stand up. There’s nothing we can’t do when we work together – nothing.

May God bless you all. And may God protect our troops. I love you. (Applause).

Thank you, thank you, thank you. (Applause.)

September 26, 2023: President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are set for their most direct confrontation to date this week in a battleground state play for working-class voters, further illustrating how both men have increasingly turned their attention a likely rematch ahead of schedule. (NBC News)

The matchup is one both campaigns had seen as inevitable, but sources acknowledge it has kicked off earlier than had been anticipated. Biden’s decision to join striking autoworkers in Michigan on Tuesday – after Trump had already announced plans to meet with voters – comes as Trump is treating his own party’s primary as more of a coronation…

…Biden’s campaign had initially telegraphed, before his April re-election announcement, that it would most likely stick closely to Barack Obama’s re-election strategy of keeping the president out of the campaign fray for as long as possible. Obama didn’t hold his first campaign rally until late spring 2012.

But Biden has taken a different approach as part of an effort to show key Democratic coalition group are behind him. When Biden attended a campaign-style rally major labor unions hosted in June, a senior campaign advisor offered that the campaign was “doing it a little differently” than Obama and that it would hold more political events this year…

At Labor Day rally in Philadelphia, Biden blasted Trump but not by name, instead calling him the “great real estate builder” for having reneged on his plans for a major infrastructure bill. The following week, Biden branded him “Donald Hoover Trump” for Americans working than when he started. And at recent fundraisers in New York, Biden has been test-driving even more pointed criticisms of Trump as a threat to democracy, which will be a theme of another major speech this week in the battleground state of Arizona…

September 26, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception | Atherton CA (WhiteHouse.gov)

The President: Thank you. (Referring to a stepping stool used by the previous speaker.) I’m going to move this thing here.

Ms. Simons: Oh, yes. Of course.

The President: I – no, no, no, no.

Ms. Simons: I think he wants to do it for you. (Laughter.)

The President: I’d like to climb on that. (Laughter.)

Well, folks, first of all, thank you. You know, I was telling some of the folks inside that one of the things that you stop of judge yourself by if you’re in electoral politics is – I know this sounds strange – the caliber of the people who support you. It matters. And I can’t tell you how much it means to me that people of your caliber have stepped up to help me, many of you not for the first time, and I thank you.

And, you know, our host has talked about headwinds and tailwinds, et. cetera.

My dad used to have an expression. My dad was a well-read man who got into college during the – just before World War Two. Well, not just – probably five years before World War II began. And – and – but he didn’t have the means to get there.

And his great regret was that he didn’t go to college, but he was an extremely well-read guy. And my dad use to have an expression. He’d say, “Joey…” – when he’d talk about employment and jobs and opportunities – he said, “A job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about being able to look your kid in the eye and say, ‘Honey, it’s going to be okay,’ and think you have an even shot of doing it.:

And you know, I think that – I think it’s still very, very critical that we understand that so much of what people are looking for is not just an economic opportunity, but just to be treated with some dignity, just to be treated like they mattered. And that’s what you all do. You all have been very successful. You’re a fine group of people. But you – but you treat people with dignity. And it really matters.

You know, Liz and Mark, thank you for welcoming me to your home. I don’t want to go home. (Laughter.) I want to – I want to stay right here. (Laughter.)

You know, normally in events like this, I talk about our administration’s record so far, because even though I – a lot of Americans don’t know it yet, because a lot of it’s just kicking in. But, you know, we’re created over 13.4 million jobs – more jobs in two and a half years than any president has created in a four-year term.

And we’ve – (applause) – we’ve rallied the world to stand up to Putin and his – his vicious assault on the people of Ukraine. (Applause.)

We’ve – I made a commitment that I would put a Black woman on the Court, and I put one of the brightest women I’ve been for- I’ve been chairman of the Judiciary Committee. I’ve worked with the Court for over 40 years. She is – she’s incredible. She’s really, really, really bright.

We passed the biggest investment in the history of the world on climate change. They said we couldn’t get it done with one vote from the opposition, but we – we passed the legislation to provide for, over the next decade, $369 billion in – in working for – to deal with the climate crisis in America. And it’s beginning to take hold.

Well, if you notice, not a whole lot of people are denying there’s climate change these days. (Laughter.) And – and, you know, we – we passed the biggest investment in the history of the world to combat it in that area.

So, there’s a lot of good things we’ve done. I won’t go into them all. And one of the ob- -objects we have to meet is: We have to make sure the American people understand and know them. Because although there’s a lot of – you know, you have more job satisfaction than at any time in 40 years, and so on and so forth, but they still haven’t connected the dots. And it’s going to take a little bit of time.

But I wanted to talk about something else tonight. I wanted to talk about what’s at stake for the country, at least from my perspective.

Can you all hear me clearly in the back?

Audience Member: Yes, sir!

The President: You know, when I left the vice presidency at the end of the Obama-Biden administration, I had not intention of running for office again.

I had just lost my son, Beau, who should be the one standing here talking to you, not me. He was the attorney general of the state of Delaware. He went to the war in Iraq because his unit went and he had to qualify – you’re either state property or you’re federal property. He was in the National Guard, and he thought he should go. And unfortunately, he – I saw him a couple of times over there; I’ve ever been in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan over 20 times. And – but he was bunked near one of those burn pits. And – and he became – he came home as a major and decorated war guy, but he – I was going to –

So, I decided I wasn’t going to run again. And I was going to write another book about – I was going up to foreign policy at – at the University of Pennsylvania, in the Biden school of foreign policy. And then – and in addition to that they – at the University of Delaware, my alma mater, a school on domestic policy at the university. And I was a professor at Penn.

So that’s what I did.

But then along came Charlottesville. Remember Charlottesville when that happened and – in August of 2017? And – and those people – I never thought I’d live to see a time when people would be coming out of the woods, literally, carrying lighted torches, Nazi swastikas – holding them, accompanied by Ku Klux Klan, and – and singing the same anti-Semitic bile that was sung in the early ’30s in Germany.

And the young woman was killed. A young woman was killed who was protesting their – their protest. And I spoke with her mom.

And – and the guy who was holding office at the time came along, and they asked him what he thought of it. And he said, “I thought they were very fine people on both sides.” And that’s when I decided that I couldn’t stay on the sidelines anymore.

The – and, you know, one of the things – you be careful what yo teach your kids; they’re listening. I – we have a tradition in the Biden family – it’s only been invoked in my life about 10, 11 times – where any child in the family can ask for a family meeting, and this has to be taken seriously. If they want a family meeting, the family meets, because they have something important they want to say.

And I have my deceased son’s two children, one is now a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, one is a senior in high school; and my son Hunter has three children – four children, but we’re – they’re very small. Actually, five children – two of them are under the age of four. But they’re in the – and, you know, they’re grown women now.

And they asked to meet, and – and they came to sit with me. Because the only thing holding me back was I knew it was going to be a kind of an ugly campaign. I knew what we were about to face.

And, you know, some of you – either because of the family business and/or being involved in public life – you know your kids can’t escape whatever it is you’re doing. Especially if in their whole lives their grandfather or father had either been a senator of a vice president or a president or – and – and they’re – or a attorney general.

And so, they came to see see and my will – Jill and I. It was – we – they called for a meeting on Thursday. Two were in New York going to school and – at any rate – and they started off and they said. “Pop, you’ve got to run. Daddy would you want to run,” and went through the rationale.

I’ll never forget what my youngest said, little Hunter Biden, who is now the senior in high school. He took out his phone. He said, “Pop, we know it’s going to be mean.” And he took out his phone. There’s a picture on the Internet of me walking out of the church where my son had his burial mass with a flag-draped coffin and my – and a military escort – my hand on the coffin and my hand under my grandson’s chin. I used to always hold my son, Beau – when he was little, I’d hold him by the chin and I’d walk.

And I looked at it, and he said, “Look at the caption, Pop.” And it said, “Biden molests another child.”

And he said, “So, we know it’s going to be mean, Pop, but you’ve got to run.”

And so, we ran. And I ran because I thought everything this country stood for, everything we believed in, everything that made America “America” – our virtual democracy – was at risk. And I don’t think that’s hyperbole. I believed it was at risk. And so, I thought I had no choice.

And I think people thought that I was being hyperbolic when I said that our democracy is at risk or when I made that speech at – at Independence Hall talking about, “We have to restore the soul of America.” But I think it’s turned out, people – most people realized that wasn’t hyperbolic. It’s really what was at stake.

Well, people don’t say that anymore. They think that today – the doubts about our democracy were at stake in 2020. But thank God, because of people like you, we won. We won. And, you know, I might add: We won convincingly by 7 million votes in 2020 – a victory that withstood not only more than 80 legal court challenges, but – all the way up to the Supreme Court – but also an insurrection on January the 6th.

If and when any of you come to visit me in the Oval Office, I’ll take you into that dining room where the other guy sat for hours looking at that television right off the Oval Office.

And so – so, here I am, again. I’m running again. I think we’ve made progress. But I think we have not only the ability to save our democracy, but to increase its effectiveness. I think we’re in a position where we have a chance. I’ve never been more optimistic about America’s prospects, both domestically and in terms of foreign policy, than I am today.

But it’s going to take a whole hell of a lot of work. And so, believe me – I think I know better than anyone of that.

But there’s something else that I also know – that when I came to office, the nation was flat on its back. And, you know, I – people sometimes focus on my age. I don’t know why. I’m only 35. (Laughter.) But believe me – believe me, I get it. (Laughter.) I get it. Believe me, I know better than anyone.

But there’s something else I know: When I took office, the nation was flat on its back. And – but, you know, with age hopefully comes a little bit of wisdom. And I’ve been doing this a long time.

And I knew – knew what to do to vaccine a whole nation. And we got it done. We got it done quickly to rebuild our economy, which is underway.

When Russia invaded Ukraine, I knew what to do to rebuild our alliances. Remember, everybody was talking about NATO splitting up, not sticking together? Well, I’ve spent over – I think it’s now up to 190 hours with the heads of state of NATO, just making sure we’re in constant contact.

You know, and above all, when democracy was at stake, I think I knew what to do as well to redeem the soul of the nation, to talk about it.

When I announced I ran last time, I said I was running for three reasons.

One, to restore the soul of America.

Two, to rebuild the economy from the middle out and the bottom up, because that way, the wealthy do very well and everyone else has a shot.

And to unite the country.

Well, I’m running because the most important freedoms we have now are at stake in our – because of the nature of the court changing and the impact of states versus federal government. You know – and they are important freedoms: the right to choose, to right to vote, the right to be who you are and love who you love. And they’re being attacked and being shredded right now.

And I’m running because our children should have the right to go to school without fear of being gunned down with a weapon of war. And all the data – some of your work very hard for our children and education. You know there’s a great deal of concern at schools. And it’s concern by children.

I spoke with a little girl who said, “I – you know, I – I don’t – I like going to school, but there’s one room I don’t like to go in because there’s no closet. There’s no closet.” Well, you know, I think our children should have a right to go to school without fear of weapons of war.

And I’m running because people are banning books in our nation again. Did you ever think we’d be through that? I mean, seriously. Did you ever think we’d be in that situation, where book banning became – oh, anyway. (Laughter.)

But I’m running because all across America, hate groups are being emboldened. And they are. They are.

And, folks, I’m running because, far too often, we still se a case that you can be killed or attacked walking down the street just because you’re Black or because you wearing a symbol of your faith – you’re wearing a yarmulke.

I’m running because – no, look, I’m not going to side with dictators. You know, you hear this other guy that probably will be the nominee talking about how Putin knows that he was – “bright guy.” He can deal with him. He knows what he’s doing. How China – I mean, I don’t know where he’s been. (Laughter.) No, no, I’m – I’m serious.

Think about it. I’ve sent more time with Putin than any world leader just because I’ve been around a long time. He means what he says.

Look, folks, maybe Trump and his MAGA friends can bow down to Putin and to others, but I won’t. And I’m going to stand up to him because we have to for our own safety’s sake.

And, you know, I’m running because – hear this: I want the entire nation to join me in sending the strongest, clearest, most powerful message possible that political violence in America is never, never, never, never acceptable – never acceptable democracy. (Applause.)

And right now – and I’m running because I think democracy is still at stake because – 2024, democracy is on the ballot. And I know that sounds like hyperbole, but think about it.

And, folks, Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy this democracy. The democracy is based on institutional structures. When you undermine the institutions, it’s awful hard for democracy to function. It’s awful difficult for it to function.

And I’m always going to defend and – and protect and fight for our democracy. That’s why I’m running.

And, you know, this country we live in is so special. But there are those in Congress showing so much division, they’re willing to shut down the government now. You know alls this fight going on about “we’re going to shut down the government and a new budget” and all the rest? Well, you may recall, we had a long, long negotiation, and I negotiated with the Speaker of the House when he wanted to renege on the federal debt. And we worked it out without losing very much of anything in the process, and they made a commitment. We said it on the record, plus we shook hands. And that was it.

But now, because he’s worried about being Speaker still, he’s trying to renegotiate it all.

And by the way, all those things that we mentioned that we – we did, all that money we spent – guess what? I cut the deficit by $1.7 billion [trillion] in two years – (applause) – $1.7 billion [trillion]. So, we can walk and chew gum at the same time. (Laughter.)

But my generic point is this. Look, there is – we’re now in a situation where, just a few months ago, the negotiation between the Speaker and me – we shook hands that we were going to keep the government levels at essential domestic spending for – and national security priorities. And that still called for – that still reduces the deficit over 10 years by another trillion dollars, by another trillion dollars. That was the deal we made – and over the next decade.

Now, a small group of extreme House Republicans – they don’t want to live up to that deal. So, now Americans could be forced to pay a heavy price because they’ve walked away and don’t – and let – shut the government down.

If the government shuts down, it means members of our military – who are going to continue to work but not get paid, and the benefits they get for their children and their spouses are going to go away as well.

A government shutdown are going to impact everything from food safety to cancer research to Head Start to funding for the government.

It is – it’s just a basic responsibility of the Congress and they should be deciding what to do about it. One of the most basic responsibilities. And it’s time for Republicans in the House of Representatives to start doing their job that we elected them to do.

I don’t believe America is a dark or negative place they paid it out to be in the – to hear my likely opponent – the way he talks about it. We’re a nation – I – they talk about us being a nation of – a negative nation, a nation of carnage driven by anger, fear, and revenge. Well, they’re trying to drive it that way.

But the truth of the matter is: To his supporters, my likely opponent says, “I am your retribution. We’re a failing nation.” These are his quotes, not mine. “Either we win or they win. If they win we no longer have a country.” And it goes on to more drastic comments he makes as – as a former sitting president.

Folks, I – I believe we’re in a hopeful and optimistic nation driven by a principle – a basic principle: no matter what your pol- – everybody deserves a fair shot. Just a fair shot. No guarantees. We have significant ideological differences. We’ve always had them.

But they, in fact, now – now, the folks that – we’re in a position where they’re doing everything to prevent that fair shot from be able to be negotiated under the rules: the way the Congress works, the way – what he thinks the power of the presidency is.

And so, there is a lot at stake. But if we get by this election, and I believe we will, I think we’re going to see a significant increase in not only the growth, but the attitude. Think about it.

A lot of you, I’m sure – you’re very successful – travel internationally. Have you ever met a foreign leader or a major person that says, “Boy, I hope the other guy wins.” (Laughter.) No, I’m not being facetious. Not about me. It’s about how he views the world in terms of his America-first attitude.

We’re – but we put it back together, and we’re going to build it more – more clearly than it was before. But we got to fund it, and we can fund it.

And so, I’m optimistic that – you know, that people in America basically know in their gut what’s at stake. They know what – what’s at stake, and they’re going to step up.

We’re always going to have ideological fights. That’s a – that’s – that’s legit, and that’s appropriate. But there is a set of rules we laid out called the Constitution.

We’re the most unique nation in the history of the world, and that’s not hyperbole. Every other nation is based on religion, ethnicity, geography. We’re the only nation based on an idea. Think about it. For real. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [and women] are created equal.” – (inaudible) it goes on.

We’ve never lived up to it, but we’ve never walked away from it. We’ve never walked away from it. It’s who we are. If we lose that, we lose the glue that holds us together.

And so, folks, I think we have enormous opportunity to put our kids and our grandkids in a position where they live in an even better world than we do – and particularly since we’re organizing the rest of the world to deal now with climate change, global warming, and a whole range of other things that we can work together on.

And so, I – I just want you to know how much I appreciate the help. And I’m looking forward to the race. I’m looking forward to getting this underway. Because, like I said, when I made that speech in – before the last election in ’02, you know – I mean, excuse me, in ’22 – and when we were supposed to get a shellacking, and I said we weren’t going to. And I made that speech down in Independence Hall about democracy.

Well, it turns out 65 percent of the American people agreed that it was at stake, that there was a lot more than just the traditional disagreements. And – and so, I – you know, we’re going to do something that few generations are going to get to do: to say we actually saved democracy and reasserted who we are as a nation.

And, folks, we have to remember who in God’s name we are. Think about this, those of you who are students of history as well. Can you name me one thing America has ever set its mind to we have not successfully done? Not a joke. One thing we’ve set a goal for we haven’t been able to accomplish. Not one.

And, folks, there is no reason why – we got to remember who the hell we are. We are the United States of America. Nothing is beyond our capacity when we do it together.

And so, God bless you all. And may God protect our troops.

And I’m going to turn it over to Mark. (Applause.)

September 27, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception | San Francisco, CA (WhiteHouse.gov)

The President: Before you – before you go, I’ve got to tell a little story. (Laughter.) You know, I didn’t realize, even though I’d been vice president and sat in that seat next to the President in front of the fireplace in the Oval Office for eight years, that the outgoing president has to be out of the office by – I think it’s 10 o’clock on Inauguration Day. And the incoming president doesn’t – can’t come in – I believe it isn’t until four o’clock.

And so, I asked my brother, Jim, my best buddy – who has better taste than I do – to pick which desk I would – I knew what desk and rug I wanted in the room, but pick out and lay out the furniture.

And for – I was there for a long time as a U.S. senator and then as vice president. And there was one portrait that hung over – the Secretary of the Interior knows this – one portion that – portrait that hung over the mantelpiece and it was George Washington. And it was a normal size; it was probably about two and a half or three by four, or something like that.

And so, I came in, and there was this gigantic picture of Franklin Delano Roosevelt – portrait, not picture. Portrait. And next to him, there’s four other presidents: Jefferson and Madison on the one side, and Washington and Lincoln.

So, I looked at by brother. I said, “Why Roosevelt?” I admired him, but why? And Jon Meacham, who is a presidential historian – was helping my brother set the office up – figure the office – said, “Well, because no president has ever taken office with the world in more financial disarray then he.” And I said, “Oh, that’s wonderful.” (Laughter.)

And then I said, “Why Lincoln?” He said, “Because the country hasn’t been as divided since Lincoln.”

I said, “I’m out of here.” (Laughter.) (Inaudible.)

But, look, thank you all so very, very much. And as you can tell, I like kids better than people, so (laughter) – I’m nog going to go long because I want to see the kids. She brought everybody – her two sons out, but her beautiful daughter is sitting in the back on a bench back here.

Folks, Gretchen and Andrew, I want to thank you for organizing the event.

And your lieutenant governor, we were talking about – not the Pacific Ocean, but the Bala, Lake Balafon in – when she was the Ambassador to Hungary, which is spent a lot of time in with – putting Hungary together. And thank you.

And Deb – Deb Haaland has not only made history as the first Native American Cabinet Secretary, but has helped me get so much done.

And I was raised politically by Danny Inouye. For real. He was the first guy to urge me to run for president. And Danny used to say, “Joe, it’s Indian Nations – Indian Nations.” And it is.

And Deb, you’re the best. You really are. You’re doing a heck of a job. (Applause.)

And just like you, I owe it all to my sister, sitting to your left. Sis, welcome. Thank you. (Applause.)

Normally at events like this, I would talk about how much Kamala – and Kamala has been an incredible, incredible ally. (Applause.) No, she really has. She is so bright. She is so tough. She is doing a first-rate job making me look better. (Laughs.)

But I want – I ordinarily talk about what Kamala and I have accomplished in the first almost two years of our administration because today, a lot of Americans don’t know it. You know, we’ve created 14 – 13.4 million jobs. More jobs created in – in two – about two years than any president has in four years. (Applause).

And – and we – together, we rallied the world to confront Russia aggression in Ukraine by holding NATO together and keeping cohesion in their – in the G7.

And we put the firs Black woman on the Supreme Court, Ketanji Brown. (Applause.) By the way – and she’s the brightest person on the Court. (Laughter.) Anyway, she’s really first rate. I wish we could – I wish I could bring her along to meet all of you guys.

But – and we passed the biggest investment in history to combat climate change, because I believe climate change is the only existential threat that we have. I mean that in a literal sense. Not a joke. If we don’t get it under control, we will have mortgaged not only the next generation, but mortgaged humanity. I believe that with every fiber of my being.

And I especially want to thank – (applause) and I especially want to thank Kamala for her leadership in so many really important issues. I told her, “Look, when I was vice president, all the tough issues, Barack gave to me.” Well, I gave them all to her. (Laughter.)

But no – but all kidding aside, she’s done a remarkable job in so many issues: protecting women’s freedoms, combatting gun violence, and I could go on all the issues that she’s brought to – she’s fought like hell for.

And we have lunch once a week, and we talk over what more she wants to do. And she’s doing an incredible job.

But, folks, tonight I want to talk about something else. I want to talk about what’s at stake for America. And I mean it sincerely: what is at stake for America.

You know, when I left the vice presidency at the end of the Obama-Biden administration, I had no intention of running for office again.

Do we need all those fans on? Because – can you hear clearly in the back? (Applause.) Oh, okay. All right.

The – and I had no intention of running again because I had lost my son, the attorney general of Delaware and a decorated war hero out of Iraq. He had a Bronze Star, a Conspicuous Service Medal. And unfortunately, he – his – his – where he slept in his tent was about a hundred years from a massive burn put. And he went over one of he healthiest men in his – in his group and he came back with stage four glioblastoma. It wasn’t if he’d make it; it’s just how long he’d have.

I was going to wrote a book. I was going to write a book about foreign policy. I set up an institute at the University of Pennsylvania, where I – I had the foreign policy institute, where they gave me not only professorship but also gave me a budget to hire key staff. And the staff included Tony Blinken, who’s now Secretary of State, and many other really serious foreign policy guys.

And I became a professor there. And then I set up an institute of domestic policy at the University of Delaware, my alma mater.

But – but that’s what I did. That’s what I decided to do.

But then along came Charlottesville in Virginia, in August of 2017. You all may remember what happened. I never thought I’d see it in my lifetime. You had hundreds of people marching out of the woods and fields – not a joke – out of – marching from the fields and carrying torches, their veins in their neck bulging in anger, singing the same anti-Semitic bile that was sung on the streets of Germany in 1932 and -3 and -4, and carrying swastikas – carrying swastikas. If you remember, try to think back at the time. Accompanied by the Ku Klux Klan and one of the leaders of the Klan.

An a young woman was killed – a bystander. And I talked with her mom.

After it was over, the President – the then-President was asked – he said, “What – what do you think about what happened?” And I’ll never forget the comment. He said, “There are very fine people on both sides.” “Very fine people on both sides.”

Those words coming out of the mouth of a president in that year just stunned me. It actually stunned me. And, you know, I – making a moral equivalency between that young woman and those racist SOBs – excuse my language – I- I just knew I couldn’t stand by.

Because, you see, I was raised to believe silence is complicity. I mean the sincerely. And so, I would not be silent, so I ran.

I ran because I thought – I genuinely thought everything this country stood for and believed in, everything that made America “America,” even our democracy, was literally at risk. Again, not hyperbole. I believe that.

And we had no choice. You might remember, I – some thought I was being hyperbolic at the time when I – they said, “Joe, what do you mean democracy is at risk?” or “What do you mean you’re going to restore the soul of America?”

The soul is who we are. It’s who we are. And we are not anything remotely like what was happening.

I come out of the Civil Rights Movement. I thought we could change things when I convinced Strom Thurmond to vote for the Voting Rights Act before he died. I thought we could change things. I was wrong.

You can never defeat hate. Hate just hides under a rock, and when it gets a little oxygen, is breathed under that rock, it comes out – it comes back out. That was happening. It was happening.

And look, the fact of the matter is I don’t think anyone today doubts democracy was at risk that last election and – in 2020. And thank God, because of people like you, Kamala and I won.

And I might add, we won con- – (applause) – and I might add, notwithstanding what’s even being bandied about now, we won convincingly, without question, by a margin of 7 million votes. More votes case for a president than at any time in American history. (Applause.)

The victory – but here’s the thing: A victory that has not only withstood 60 court challenges, all the way to the Supreme Court, but an insurrection on January the 6th – an insurrection.

I walk into that little dining room off my office where the President sat while that was going on, and think to myself, “How could you sit there? How could you sit there and watch what was happening?”

I told someone earlier tonight that, you know, when I made the first visit as chair – as President of the United States over to England, to the G7, to the European leaders, I sat down and I said, “America is back.” And Macron looked at me and he said, “For how long?” And then the Chancellor of Germany said, “What would you think, Mr. President, if you read tomorrow in the morning paper here in London that a group of a thousand people stormed the Parliament…” – think about this in the literal sense – “stormed the Parliament, broke down the doors of the House of Commons, killed two bobbies in the process to over through an election? What would you think about England? What would you think about anyone?”

And you know, I never quite thought about it as profoundly as that. What would we think if we picked up the paper and read that the Chancellor – about Germany or France or England now?

And so, folks, you know, democracy was at stake. And notwithstanding the fact that wet have in this posi- – in the position that we have moved to rebuild this country in a way that we now have the strongest economy in the world.

We have more to do. I’m not suggesting it’s over. We have more to do, but we have the strongest economy in the world.

But guess what? I’m now running again because we made progress but because our democracy, in my view, is still at stake. I mean that sincerely.

We’re running because our most important freedoms – the right to chose, the right to vote, the right to be who you are, to love who you love – is being attacked and shredded. Literally, think about it: It’s a constant attack.

We’re running because our children should have the right to go to school without fear of being gunned down by a weapon of war. More children in America die every year in America from gun violence than any other cause: car accidents, anything. More children die in the United States of America.

Did any of you think as parents that you’d ever see your children having duck-and-cover drills in school?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, you know, I’m running also because it’s still to often that you can be attacked walking down a street just because you’re Black or because of he symbol of your religion you may be wearing.

I’m running because – no, I’m not on the side of dictators like Putin. I know Putin better than anybody who’s held this office. I met with him many, many times over the years.

But maybe Trump and his MAGA friends know how to deal and praise Putin, but I will not. I think it’s outrageous what they say – outrageous and undermines all of our interest. And by – I’m going to stand up to him, and we always will.

Look, Kamala and I are running because we hear this: We want the entire nation to join is in sending the strongest, clearest, most powerful message possible that political violence is never, never, never, never acceptable. Never acceptable (inaudible.) (Applause.)

And we’re running because democracy is still at stake in 2024, and democracy is on the ballot.

And let there be no question: Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy American democracy because they want to break down the institutional structures that allow it to happen.

We are- we are the most unique nation in the world. That sounds like the usual American chauvinism, but we are. We’re the only nation in the world that is not based on ethnicity, religion, or any – we’re the only nation in the world based on a idea – not a joke – an idea: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal, endowed by…” and the list goes on.

We’ve never lived fully up to that, but we’ve never walked away from it. But we’ve been walking away form it of late.

And those of you – you’re all successful business women and men. I lay eight to five, Madam Ambassador, if you went back to Hungary, they’d be asking you, “What’s going on? What’s going on?” Whether they are – no matter who they are, there’s a great concern about: Is America still the beacon of democracy and liberty in the world?

Well, we are.

But here’s the deal, You know, the country we lieve [live] in is – in my view, is – is special. But there are those in Congress who are sowing such division, they’re willing to shut down this government right now.

You know, just a few months after a long negotiation between myself and the Speaker of the House, we agreed to – on spending levels for the government that – to fund essential domestic and national security priorities while still cutting more than $1 trillion over the next decade. We shook hands on it. We agreed.

Well, only a couple of months later, they’re changing the whole deal. They’re rejecting – they’re trying to go back and take away everything that we’ve fought for, including people going without pay in the military.

I could go on. I won’t start. I’ll just get angry a little bit.

But now a small group of these extreme Republicans don’t want that deal anymore, and so now everyone in America could face a significant price to pay.

Funding the government is one of the most basic responsibilities of the Congress. And its’ time for the Republicans in the House of Representatives to stand up and do their job because the Republicans in the Senate, including the Senate leadership from Kentucky, are ready to stand up and work with a bipartisan agreement.

America elected them as well.

You know, Kamala and I don’t believe America is dark or a negative nation, not a – not a nation of carnage driven by anger, fear, as well as the sense of revenge.

You hear the – the former president saying, you know, he will seek revenge for what has happened. The president of the United States will seek revenge for what’s happened.

I mean, I could go on. I won’t – you know all the assertions he’s made.

Ladies and gentlemen, Donald Trump does believe we are a nation driven by anger and fear and playing on it. To his supporters, he says, “I am your retribution.” He says we’re in a failing nation. “Either…” – I’m quoting – “Either they win or we win. And if they win, we no longer have a country.”

Did you ever think you’d ear a president or former president of the United States say those kinds of things? But it’s constant.

And he has some significant support among the – what I call the MAGA Republicans. It’s probably only – it makes up 25 percent of the population. But it’s real, and it’s serious.

I believe we are a hopeful, optimistic nation – I really do – driven by a simple proposition that everyone deserves just a shot – just a free shot. We can disagree on detail of what we should – how we should govern, what we should loo, what before – but everyone deserves a shot.

Folks, that’s what at stake in my view. And Kamala and I, we need you. We genuinely need you. Not a joke.

You know, instead, we need every Americ- indeed, we need every American who loves this country to step up and vote in 2024. If we don’t do that, we’re going to do something few generations will be able to say. We’re going to be able to say we’ve – we’ve saved democracy and we’ve buried this ugly hate again, until someone else tries to come along and breathe hate into it.

Folks, I mean this sincerely. I’ve never been more optimistic about America’s chances in the world than I am today.

And I know I don’t look it. But I’m 180 years old. (Laugher.) I’ve been around a long time. But I mean it. Think about it.

What we’ve done internationally: We’ve put the alliances – we pulled together; the idea we’re going to unite Israel and Saudi Arabia, for God’s sake; the idea that we have the North – South – South Korea and Japan in alliances working with us to defend Ukraine. I mean, just – the list goes on.

Or domestically, we’re really actually moving, making significant progress.

But if we – if we do what we need to do, we’ll be able to say we’ve not only saved democracy, but we’ve generated a new economic growth and political reality in the United States of America.

We have to remember – and that’s the best way to say it. We have to remember who we, for God’s sake. We are the Untied States of American – the Uniteds States of America.

There is nothing we’ve ever set our mind to as a nation that when we joined together to get it done, we failed. Nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing. And that’s not hyperbole.

We’ve come out of ever crisis strong than when we went in. That’s America. That’s who we are. (Applause.)

And, folks, we’ve just got to remember, we are the United States of America. There is nothing, nothing beyond our capacity.

May God bless you all. And may God protect our troops.

Thank you. (Applause.)


OCTOBER 2023:

October 27, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception (WhiteHouse.gov)

Private Residence, Washington, D.C.

The President: Please sit down. Sit down.

My name is Joe Biden. I’m a friend of Esther Coopersmith’s. (Laughter and applause.) Esther has been helping me for a long, long, long time.

Shawn, thank you for that introduction, by the way.

Esther, you’ve been a great friend for so long. I want to say in front of everybody, even though Jill’s not here, I love you, kid. (Laughter and applause.) No, I really do. She’s been helping me for longer than she wants to admit.

But, – and Linda, thank you for your support. And I want to thank Kamala and I are incredibly, incredibly grateful to everyone here. You know, I wanted to acknowledge Virginia – the Virginia House Majority [Minority] Leader who is soon going to be the Speaker of the House.

Where are you, Mr. Speaker – soon to be?

Audience Member: Right here. Right here.

The President: There you are. (Applause.)

I want you to know, you guys are sending me money, and I’m sending it to Virginia. (Laughter.)

You know, many of you in this – this yard are trial lawyers. I aspired to be a trial lawyer. I couldn’t do it, so I decided to be a senator. (Laughter.)

As I like to say, you’re one of the few groups standing between us and the barbarians at the gate. And you- you’re the one standing up to the tobacco industry, gun manufacturers, and other corporate – corporations that need to be held accountable. And I really mean that.

Think of what would happen if we didn’t have a trial bar. I’m not joking about that. Imagine if we hadn’t succeeded with the tobacco industry.

You know, we need your help now to end immunity from liability for gun manufacturers. (Applause.) (Inaudible.)

The only corporate entity in America, by law, exempted. It’s got to stop. It’s got to stop.

You see what’s happened recently up in – anyway, I won’t go into it. But it just – it just is outrageous. You know, who the hell needs an assault weapon that can hold up to – in some cases, up to a hundred rounds? You know, it’s just – there’s no reason for those – those AR-15s other than to kill people. There not designed –

I – when I was able, along with Diane Feinstein, to end [pass] the assault weapons ban back years ago – a (inaudible) where it could only do it for 10 years. Then Bush got elected, and he let it lapse. But, you know, mass murders dropped off considerably. Considerably.

And I remember going through Delaware. In the southern part of the state, there’s an awful lot of – awful lot of duck hunting, a lot of hunters in the state. And I was going through, trying to make the case, because I was running, for banning assault weapons.

And I had a guy – so I was walking through the swamp area – for real – and a guy in there is fishing, and he looked at me. He said, “Biden, you’re going to take my damn guns away from me.”

I said, “I’m not going to take your guns away. I’m just going to take some.” (Laughter.) I said – no, I’m serious. I said, “The Second Amendment doesn’t say you can own a cannon. It doesn’t say you can own a machine gun. It doesn’t say…” – I went down the list.

And he said, “Well, I need it.” And I said, “You a hunter?” And he said, “Yeah” I said, “Well you must be one hell of a lousy shot.” (Laughter.) No, I’m serious. And I said, “Most deer I know in Delaware aren’t wearing Kevlar vests.” (Laughter.)

At any rate, the bottom line is that, you know, it’s – it just is outrageous what’s happening. And we need you. We need you badly. Not a joke.

And I was proud to sign Ending the Forced Arbitration for Sexual Assault and Harassment. We should ban forced arbitration. We’re almost – and other kinds of dispute as well. You know – (Applause.)

You know, I – you know, you share my belief of increasing – increased diversity in the courts. When I got elected, I said a couple of things: Number one, I wanted my administration to look like America. And it does. (Applause.)

By the way, I was raised in – by women and with – women are a hell of a lot smarter than I am. So, we have more women in my Cabinet than men. Not a joke. (Applause.)

And I’ve been focused on diversity backgrounds on the bench than any president in History. Kamala and I have gotten 147 judges confirmed; two thirds are women, and two thirds are people of color. (Applause.)

We put the first Black woman on the Supreme Court. And guess what? She’s smarter than the rest of them too. (Applause.) I made a commitment I – no, she’s incredible.

And I’ve appointed more Black women in the federal circuit courts than every single president combined in American history. (Applause.)

I’ve gotten a heck of a lot done. I especially want to thank Kamala for her leadership on so many important issues.

You know, we’re here tonight because we all believe the country faces a clear choice in November. We’re – we’re the only nation – the only nation in the world founded on an idea. Every other nation is founded on ethnicity, religion, or whatever, but not us. We’re founded on – only one in the world foun- — and it’s – we don’t focus on it enough – on an idea.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal, endowed by…” We never lived up to it completely, but we’ve never walked away from it. We’re the only one founded on an idea.

And, you know, Trump and the MAGA Republicans, they, – they’ve walked away completely from the notion – that notion. You know, we’re not – we’re not going to walk away on my watch, and I need your help.

You know, when I made – you may remember when I ran in 2020 because you’re the guys that got me elected. I’m not joking. (Applause.) Along with a hell of a lot of labor unions. (Laughter.)

But, look, you know, when we ran, we said that – I remember making a speech – and you may remember it; it got a lot of criticism. And they asked me why I was running. I said I was running for three reasons: One, to restore the soul of America, because over the last four – the previous four years, it was basically lost; secondly, to build the country form the middle out and the bottom up, not from the top down, and thirdly, to unite the country.

Well, you know, what happened was – and then – and then I making a speech – I ended up making a couple of speeches, it turned out, on democracy, because I said democracy was at risk.

My entire career, derocracy [democracy] has never been, since the Civil War, at risk. But it’s at risk. And everybody thought that’s an exaggeration. The columnists – they don’t do it anymore – talked about, “Well, that’s an exaggeration.”

Except, you know what? Sixty-seven percent of the American people agreed with me that democracy was at risk.

When I left the vice presidency at the end of the Obama-Biden administration, I had not intention of running for president or office again. I had just lost my son Beau to burn pits in – — in Iraq. He was there a year. And – and Charlottesville – then Charlottesville happened.

And I don’t know of you remember what happened – people coming out of the woods, carrying torches – out of fields literally carrying torches down in Charlottesville. Nazi swastikas accompanied by the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacists, and signing the same vicious, antisemitic bile that was sung in Germany in the 30’s. And a young woman was killed. A young woman was killed. And I met her mom – I spoke to her mom. And she was a bystander.

And they asked my predecessor, the guy who may be my opponent this time, what he thought. Remember what he said? Not joking. He said, “There are very fine people on both sides.” “Very fine people on both sides.”

What president since the time going back to the Civil War has said anything like that? “Very find people on both sides.”

Well, let me tell you something: That’s when I decided I should run. Because I’m the antithesis of this guy who held office. And I really wasn’t going to run, I swear to God, because, as I said, I just lost my son. He’s the one who should be standing here talking to you – the attorney general and decorated war hero – not me.

But I got a call from – we have a tradition in my family that my dad started that any child – an this is literally – I mean, literal – any child can ask for a family meeting, and it’s taken seriously. And if they ask for a family meeting – only 11 times that I can remember since I’ve been born that I remember it happening.

And my granddaughters asked for a family meeting. It was on a Thursday. One was a senior at Columbia Law School; two or three were at Penn. Anyway, they’re all bright kids. And they came down, and we met in my – our house in Delaware.

And they said, “Pop, you’ve go to” – they call me “Pop” – “Pop, you’ve got to run.”

And I said, “It’s going to be ugly, honey. I don’t – I’m not sure…” Because I wasn’t sure I wanted to put them through it. Their whole lives, they had either a father who as an attorney general or a – a grandfather who was a senator or a vice president or a presi – or a vice president.

And they said, “You’ve got to run.” They gave me all the reasons for wanting to – why I should run. And my youngest one, who’s now a senior in high school, named after – he’s my – he’s the son of my deceased son. His name is Hunter Biden. And Hunter said, “Pop, we know it’s going to be ugly.”

And he took out his cell phone – it’s the truth – took out his cell phone, and he opened it up – not opened it. I was open – it wasn’t a flip phone; it was a regular phone. (Laughter.) And he showed me a photograph of me walking out of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Delaware – excuse me, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Delaware with a military funeral with my hand on the casket – dra- –flag-draped coffin with my son about to be buried, because he is – he had won the Citizen – the Bronze Star. Anyway-

And I had my hand on my little son [grandson] Hunter like I used to hold my son Beau in church, and I had my hand under his chin, holding him. Know what the caption read? It said “Biden molests another child.”

And so, he said, “We know it’s going to be mean, Pop, but you got to run.” And that’s when I decided to run.

And as I said, one of the reasons I did – ran was to try to restore the soul of this country. We are not who that last guy was. We were in for the battle for the soul of America. So, I ran because everything this county stood for, everything we believed in, everything that made America “America,” even our very democracy, was at risk.

I think people thought I was being hyperbolic when I said – I’d get, “Joe, what do you mean democracy is at risk? What do you mean we’re in a battle for the soul of American? Have you noticed most presidential historians have now agreed with me?

Well, people don’t say that anymore. I don’t think anyone today doubts democracy was at stake in 2020. But I think it’s still at sake in these upcoming el- — elections.

Listen to what they’ve been saying. Listen to what the MAGA Republicans are talking about. Listen to the language they use. Listen to who they say we are. Listen to say – what they will do if they gain power.

You know, that’s why Kamala and I are running again, because we made progress, but because our democracy is still at stake. Because, folks, the same man that thought there were, quote, “very fine people on both sides” in Charlottesville, who called Hezbollah “very smart” – “Hezbollah is very smart” – who recently on more than one occasion has made jokes about the assault on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband.

Now, there are a lot of reasons why Donald Trump shouldn’t be president, but this one may be the rest [best] reason of all. Folks, Kamala and I are asking the entire nation to join us in sending the strongest, clearest, most-powerful message possible that political violence is never, never, never, never acceptable in America. Never. Never. (Applause.)

And Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy this democracy. And while MAGA Republicans in the House have been fighting among themselves, struggling to elect a Speaker until just now, trying to shut down the government, sowing division at every turn, Kamala and I are always going to defend, protect, and fight for our democracy. That’s why we’re running. It’s that basic.

This country we live in is so special. Kamala and I don’t believe America is a dark, negative nation of carnage, driven by anger, fear, and revenge like the other team does.

And think of what they say. Think of – just listen to what they say.

And, by the way, I’ve been serving in Congress for 270 years. You know, I’ve been around a long time. (Laughter.)

But all kidding aside, you know, there’s a lot of – this is not your father’s Republican Party.

Many of you know me well. I was known in the United States Senate for those 36 years as being able to bring people together and was able to do that. I got an award for doing that by the Congress when I was leaving – by the Senate when I was leaving.

But this is a different breed of cat. These aren’t the same guys. Donald Trump – Donald Trump – think of how he’s been able to intimidate that party.

I’ve had seven senior Republicans who I served with, in the Senate still, who have said to me – and I gave my word I’d never mention who they were, and they don’t even know who they are – I mean, one another – that – they made it real clear, “Joe, I agree with you, but if I – if I join you, I’ll be defeated in a primary that Trump will put together.” Not a – not a lot of cour- profiles in courage, but it’s a reflection of reality. You’ve seen it.

To his supporters, he says things like, “I’m your retribution.” “We’re a failing…” – these are quotes. “We’re a fail- — we’re a failing nation.” “Either they win or we win. If we win – if they wen, we – we no longer have a country.”

Did you ever think you’d hear those words coming out of a sitting president’s mouth or someone seeking that office?

Folks, that’s what’s at stake. Democracy is literally on the ballot. Kamala and I need you. You all – and most of you, I look around here, don’t know any better. You’ve helped me for a long time. (Laughter.)

The first time was your fault. (Laughter.)

No, but all – all kidding aside. I mean, we can’t tha- — I can’t thank you enough. We need every American who loves our democracy to join us again in 2024. And if we do, we’ll have done something few successive generations have been able to do. We will have saved democracy in America.

And, I’ve never been more optimistic about America’s future. I really mean it. Think about the possibilities we have.

You know, when I wasn’t going to run, I was going to write a book – another book on the inflection points in American history. Almost all of them have been affected by fundamental changes in technology.

Imagine had Gutenberg not invented the printing press. What would have happened in terms of the implication to Europe and to be able to community with one another? Go all the way through every single change that’s occurred.

We don’t have – we don’t have the means to communicate like we used to because there’s no editors anymore. You don’t know what’s – you know, you don’t know what to believe when you read it. There’s no editors anymore.

But, folks, we’re in a situation where the world is changing, and what happens in the next four years and the last four, five, six years is going to determine what this country looks like for the next six to eight decades. For real. Just like the post-war period.

We have an opportunity to unite the Middle East in a way that we never thought. Saudi Arabia wants to deal with Israel. I’ve been working – at the G20 in India, I got them to all agree and vote for building a railroad from Delhi all the way up to the – the Mediterranean through the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, all the way to Israel, and then across and pipeline it into Greece and then up.

I mean – because when people share a common economic need and con- — and consistency, they tend to work together.

So, look, you know, we just have to remember who we are. You know, where the only country in the world, in my view – and, I mean – I challenge you who are historians to tell me where I’m gone wrong about this – only country in the world that’s come out of every crisis we’ve ever entered stronger than we went in – stronger than – we’ve had serious crises, but stronger and better organized than we went in. That’s where we are today.

And, you know, I was talking to somebody who came up to me – and I’m not going to mention his name; don’t want to embarrass him – in the photo line, telling me he was talking to the U.N., and there was people saying, “Thank you for the United States.”

Folks, I’ve sent my entire career dealing with American foreign policy, either as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of doing it for Barack in his term or – as – as Vice President – my term as Vice President, eight years, or now.

One of the things I have learned: Madeline Albright was right. We are the essential nation. That is not hyperbole. Not Joe Biden. We – the President of the Untied States is the essent- –leader of the essential nation.

And every single leader I talk to, they – they almost come to – kind of stand at attention. We pull the world together. We’ve kept NATO together. We’ve kept everybody together in terms of taking on Putin. We’re organizing the world relative to the attack on Israel. We’re doing – I mean, we have an opportunity, but we also have enormous obligation.

We’re the United States of America, for God’s sake. And there’s nothing – nothing beyond our capacity – nothing – I mean that – when we do it together.

So, my objective hasn’t changed. I’m still running for the same reason: to continue to build a consensus about what democracy means, continue to try to restore the soul of this country, and to continue to work in a way that we can deal with the fact that a minority – but a powerful minority – on the other team doesn’t try to bring us down, doesn’t try to turn this into some – like a circus.

So, I want to thank you all for giving me another shot. I didn’t plan on doing this, either. (Laughter.) But I’ll tell you what, I’m sure in hell not going to walk over with Trump on the horizon.

Thank you all so very much, (inaudible). (Applause.)

October 28, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception (WhiteHouse.gov)

Private Residence Washington, D.C.

The President: Well, thank you very much. Look, you’re all standing. I’ll try to make this as short and to the point as I can.

Folks, I never quite thought of it the way my hostess just explained what she thinks about why people do what they do. You know, I – I was thinking as you were speaking. I was lucky. I won the gene pool. My – my dad was a really decent, honorable man, very well-read, couldn’t – got into college when he was – before the war, but could never afford to go. One of his great regrets.

But he was a well-read man, and I learned so much from him just by example. He didn’t preach much, but my dad used to say, “Joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck; it’s about your dignity. It’s about whether or not you can show respect. It’s about whether or not your kids are – you’re going to be able to look at your kids and say, ‘Honey, everything is going to be okay.”

I remember – everybody asks why I have the position I have with regard to – to LGBTQ issues. I remember being – I was a young kid. I was a lifeguard when I was in high school and college, and I was working at a country club, a place that was – everybody thought that was a great deal, but I wanted to go – I was deeply involved in the Civil Rights Movement as a kid. Our state was segregated by law.

And I remember my dad dropping me off at the city building on the way to work – his way to work – to get an application to – to be a lifeguard in the – in the projects on the east side. And – and I was the only white employee for years there. (Laughter.)

No, for real. All 100 percent African American. And – And I – I just – it was a real experience.

As we were getting out of the car – many of you know Wilmington, Delaware. If you’re a corporate lawyer, you know it because you know Rodney Square. (Laughter.)

And I was getting out at Rodney Square to go into City Hall, and there were two guys very well dressed. One – and they kissed one another, and one went to the DuPont building; one went to the Hercules building. I looked at my dad. My dad said, “Simp..” It’s the God’s truth. He looked and said, “Joey, it’s simple. They love each other. They love each other.”

It wasn’t complicated. Not a joke.

And probably one of the best things – I never thought about it this way before until you just introduced me, but one of the best things that happened to me, I used to – I was a little kid in terms of stature, and I stuttered badly. T-, t, tal, talked like that.

And if you think about it, the only handicap everybody thinks they can still laugh at is stuttering. If I had said I had a club foot, no one would say, you know – and it was fixed. The point is that it made me realize that everybody has something that they can’t control, that’s not – it’s just who they are. It’s just what happens.

And so, it taught me a lot. It taught me a lot, to have a lot of tolerance for people.

And the third thing – the fourth thing, I think, is that, you know, my mother was a – an Irish-Catholic woman who had a backbone like a ramrod. She was 5-foot-2, and you didn’t screw with Jean Finnegan Biden. (Laughter.)

But my mother was real simple. “Joey, when you get knocked down, just get up.” (Laughter.) No, I’m serious. “Just get up. Just get up.”

I have a picture in my office of her holding Barack’s hand the night we won the presidency and vice presidency. And we were out in Chicago, and my mother was gra- — he shortly was supposed to go out on the stage for a million people, allegedly, there. And she – as we walk off out of the bandstand, my mother wasn’t even suppose to go out. She was 91 years old. She grabbed Barack’s hand; she said, “Come on, honey. This is going to be okay.” (Laughter.)

Come to my office, take a look. There’s a picture of it, and Barack’s going – (Laughter.)

So, I guess what I’m saying is that, you know, I don’t think at least in my case, I didn’t sit down and plan out my life. It was that the events – but my mom also used to say, “Joey, you’ve got to be prepared to lose. You’ve got to be prepared to lose.”

My dad – I’m on back of my – why am I going into all of this for? But anyway. (Laughter.)

My dad, I have a – I have a photograph, a cartoon in the back – on my credenza behind my desk in the White House. And you know the cartoon – I’m not a big cartoon character reader, but Hägar The Horrible? (Laughter.)

Well, my dad was at home in Wilmington. I was about to have a fundraiser at my home when I was running for reelection for the Senate for my 97th term or whatever it was – (laughter) – and –

Audience member: Four more years! (Laughter.)

The President: And – and what happened was we – we – I built a smaller home than I had been living in because my boys were gone, and – and it was on – it’s on a 10-acre pond. It’s called a lake. It’s not a lake; it’s a 10-foot pond. It was manmade.

But – and it’s – and there was about 150 acres of woods behind it owned by the DuPont company – the DuPont family. And it’s a lovely setting. I don’t own the lake or the – or the background, but it’s beautiful.

And my deceased wife, Neilia, who was a wonderful person – no man deserves one great love, let alone two – (laughter) – he – she was raised – if any of you are familiar with Upstate New York, the Finger Lakes, she was – she was raised in Lake Skaneateles on the lake, and she loved the lake and loved the water.

And I was standing with my dad, waiting for the company to come in, and I said, “Dad, I – you know, I wish Neilia could see this.” And she had been deceased for 20-some years at that point. And my dad said, “Son, I’ll be back in a minute.”

He drove up to the local strip shopping center to a Hallmark store. Came back with a framed copy of a cartoon with Hägar The Horrible. Two frames: one his viking ship was knocked down, it’s on the rocks and his horns on his helmet are charred, and he’s looking up at God, and he’s going, “Why me?” And in the next frame, he’s in the same position, and a voice from heaven says, “Why not?” (Laughter.)

My dad was – that’s it. Just deal with what you’re dealt. Deal with what you’re dealt.

And, folks, a lot of people have been dealt tough hands. And lot of people have been deal – dealt tough hands.

And, you know, I – I just got back from Israel not this morning, but yesterday morning. (Applause.) And I don’t want to repeat what you probably all heard – what I talked about – the speech I made last night and other speeches, but here’s the deal.

Audience member: Amazing (Applause.)

The President: I didn’t mean to –

But, you know, I’ve been a really strong, strong supporter of Israel. Again, learned a lot from my dad. My dad was, as I said, a well-read man and a great – he never got to go to college; he got into Johns Hopkins. He’s from Baltimore. But he could never afford to go during – the war came along, and that was it.

And – but my dad used to talk about how important it was that we – our dinner ta – he’d come home from work and then go back after dinner. And he used to – our dinner table was a place where you had conversation and incidentally ate. (Laughter.)

And my dad used to rail against the face that the – that we didn’t – we didn’t let the Jewish ship that came in – we didn’t bomb the railroad tracks on the way to the concentration camps, et. cetera. And – and he really meant it.

What happened was when I decided that – when I got engaged, that I was going to do two things, one of which was I wanted to – my kids to understand that – the idea of silence being complicity.

It’s – no, I mean – I mean this sincerely. So, when they each turned 14 – and we come from very modest means. We lived in a three-bedroom – we weren’t poor, but three-bedroom, split-level home with four kids and a grandpop living with us. And – and so, what happened was we were – you know, my – anyway.

We got to the point where I – at age 14, my decease son, Beau – who was the Attorney General of Delaware and volunteered to go to Iraq for a year, came back with glioblastoma because he was living near a burn pit – and his y- his brother – younger brother, Hunter, who was the wind ben- -wind beneath his wings, and my da- – and I had a little daughter who was then 18 months younger than that, and then ano- and then we had another daughter, Ashley, who is still alive.

And – and one of the things that happened was that it was one of these things where my dad used to say, “Family is the beginning, the middle, and the end.” And what happened was that when – I got a phone call when I – I didn’t play on saying any of this, but when I got a phone call when I was – got elected when I was 29 years old to the Senate – you have to be 30, and I was – Teddy Kennedy was being – the Kennedy family has been wonderful to me.

And I was in his office hiring staff, and I wasn’t old enough to be sworn in yet. (Laughter.) I had to wait until the 17th – no, for real. And – and what happened was I got a phone from my fire department in Delaware, and the poor young woman they put on the phone called and said, “You’ve got to come; there’s been an accident. Your family was Christmas shopping, December 18th. You wife and three kids – there’s been an accident.”

“What’s the matter?”

She said, “A tractor-trailer hit hem.” And I said – well, she said, “Your wife is dead. Your daughter is dead, and your two sons aren’t likely to make it.”

Well, you know, one of the things that – what happened is I watched how much it mattered to me at the time, the people that embraced me that didn’t know me. And there’s nothing like – and you’ve all been through similar things that may be worse than me. But the fact is when you have people who have been through something and they’ve come out and they’ve made it through and they talk to you, you know there’s hope. They give you hope.

So, there’s so many people in my state that gave me hope, and embraced me. And – and so, one of the things that – that I’ve observed is that it matters when people speak up. And I’ll get this very brief amount of substance here.

I became very involved with American foreign policy. One of the reasons why Barack asked me to be vice president, because of my foreign policy background and being chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, as well as my – my desire to be engaged in that.

And so, I ended up spending, for example, the better part of two years in the Ukraine dealing with the oligarchs, the corrupt system that they had. I’m one of the few people who spoke to Rada and told them they had a chance to do something that never happened in the Ukraine; establish a democratic institution and make it work.

And so, I got to know the Ukrainian people in those two years. In those two years, I probably spent a total of three months in Ukraine during this period of time. And so, when Putin made the move he made, some of you may remember, I predicted he was going to do it. I predicted when he was going to do it. And he did.

Over, you know, 180,000 people crossing the border, invading another country because it was part of Mother Russia. It was – never existed.

Ukraine is an example of what tyrants do when no one stands in their way. And so, I was determined we had to respond. We were determined we had to respond. And we did. And we did.

And now, there is a lot of discussion about whether or not it’s worth it. The reason I was – made the speech I made last night was to make the case that it was essentially; If we don’t, no one else will.

I spent over 180 hours – they calculated, my team – talking with the European leaders to get them to stay united. One thing Putin has agreed – was counting on from the beginning was being able to crack NATO, being able to crack the alliance so people would walk away.

And everybody asked me why – why do I think it’s so important the United States continue to be a leader in this. We have contributed as much as all the rest of those nations combined and the GDP about the size of our population in that regard.

And guess what? Well, we’ve been able to slow him up, stop him. He’s already lost in the sense that he cannot – can never occupy that country and successfully do it. But – (applause.)

But what he’s done, I’ve – I’m not going to forget the mass graves and the – using rape as a weapon of war and for so many other terrible things that he’s done and continues to do. And if we walk away – and I met today with the European Union von der Leyen. And the – if we walk away, they – Ukraine – I mean Russia – will win.

Russia has said, within five days, if the United States doesn’t support Ukraine, they’ll go down. We probably will because the rest of the world will not sustain it, will not – we’re the reason why. Not me, the United States of America is the reason why, leading the world.

We are, as Madeleine Albright said, the essential nation. We are the essential nation.

And don’t worry, I’ll get to Israel. (Laughter.) It’s no more or less important than anything else in terms of – those people are dying the same way in Ukraine. Okay?

And the reason why I’m so devoted to – and I have a reputation, as you probably know, of being maybe the most arduous support of Israel in the United States Congress back when the days of Jack Javits and others as well.

But here’s the deal: If you think about it, what’s the reason why it’s so important for Israel to be sustained? Because I’m absolutely convinced – I am convinced with every fiber of my being: If there were no Israel, there’s not a Jew safe in the world – not in the entire world. I really mean it. (Applause.) In the entire world.

(Inaudible), including the United States, it can be counted on. So, that’s why I’m pushing so hard. That’s why I spend so much time. But here’s the other piece of it. The – I had a – I’ve had a long talk with – well, I won’t go into it too much into detail.

But the fact is that I went over for three reasons this last time, and I’ve been over a lot: to meet with the war cabinet; to meet with Bibi, who I’ve known for 40 years. Bibi keeps a picture, he said – on his desk, a picture of he and I when I was a young senator, and I guess I was 33 years old and he worked for the embassy. And I wrote on the picture of the two of us standing side by side, I said, “Bibi, I love you. I don’t agree with a damn thing you say.” (Laughter.)

And he remained me of that. And that’s close to true. (Laughter.) But we’ve been friends for a long time. But here’s the – here’s the story.

Look, why – why is it that things are happening the way they are now? Well, I think the reason they’re happening the way they are now is I used to think when I was the chairman of the Judiciary Committee coming out of the Civil, when I got Strom Thurmond to vote for the Voting Rights Act – no, I really did – (applause) – I though you could defeat hate.

But you can never defeat hate. It just hides under a rock. When it’s given oxygen, it comes back out. You’ve just got to keep at it. It’s relentless. You can not slow up.

And when I got elected, I made a decision, and you heard me say it. I was going to have an administration that looked like America. And I meant it. Not to be – not for political reasons, for practical reasons, to let everybody know. We have more LGBTQ people in significant spots in our administration overall. We have more women than men in the Cabinet. We have Supreme Court justices and others. (Applause.)

Now, by the way, not – not – we’re not doing this, but because we are who we are because of our diversity – because of our diversity. And everybody has to understand they have a place. Everybody has to understand they have a place.

Which leads me – and again, I’m taking too long. I had a lovely speech here. (Laughter.)

But, you know, one of the things that – put it this way: When America remains silent, very few other nations speak up. All kidding aside, think about it. For example, when I go around the world – and I’ve been to 140-some countries – when I go around the world, you know what we talk about? We talk about the rights of LGBTQ communities.

I was in India – was in India with Gandhi’s daughters talking about “Can you do for us what you did in America; can you help us generate da, da, da?” I mean, for real. You know that.

And the fact is that it’s a matter of – let me back up. I wasn’t going to run in 2000 [2020], and – because I had just lost my son Beau, and I – I just didn’t – I just didn’t want to run. The reason I wrote the book I wrote a while ago was – “Promise me, Dad” – with my son Beau on his deathbed, he looked at me and said, “Dad, promise me – I know you love me so much you’l quit. You’ll quit. Promise me, Dad – promise me you won’t disengage.” True story.

And the point is that one of the things I remember that got me – that really made me realize that things were – had to change is – remember Charlottesville? Well, I remember in Charlottesville, watching and reading about those neo-Nazis. And they were carrying swastikas. They were chanting the same antisemitic bile that was chanted in Germany in the 30s. They came out of those woods carrying torches. And a young woman was killed standing – a bystander, killed by the mob.

And when the guy that is probably going to be my opponent was the President, they asked him and said, “So, what do you think?” He said. “There are very fine people on both sides.” (Inaudible) has ever said anything like that – anything like that.

And that’s when I decided that I had to run. I meant it. I’m not being (inaudible). (Applause.)

This young man asked me a profound question in the rope line – in the rope line – (laughter) – in the photo line that would take 20 minutes to answer. I said, “Real quick: Decide what you believe in and act on what you believe in because one person can make a difference if you stand up.”

And, look, we’re at a place now where I see no fundamental difference between the abuse of LGBTQ rights, the abuse of – because you’re Jewish or (inaudible) – they’re all – they’re all the same. They’re generated out of hate and fear. And the government has to speak up. The government has to speak up.

And I am – of all the terrible things that are going on, believe it or not, I’m optimistic. Look, we’re at an inflection point in history – literally an inflection point in history, and that is that decisions we make in the next four or five years are going to determine what the next four or five decades look like. And that’s – that’s a fact.

But if we don’t step up, if we walk away – if we walk away, who is going to – who is going to stay? Who is going to stay? But we also have – I want you to look at the optimistic side. If we do what I know we can do, we can change history.

For example, when I was at the G20 in India, the 20 largest economies in the world, I got a resolution passed, an agreement passed, saying that we’re going to build a railroad from New Delhi all the way up through the Middle East through the – and going into – you know, the Arab countries, from Israel, across the – not a railroad but pipelines across the Mediterranean and then railroads (inaudible) to unite those countries in terms of economic stability – economic, so they all had an interest between them. We got it passed. We got it passed.

I think one of the reasons why they acted like they did, why the folks moved on the – Hamas moved on Israel as they have – is they knew I was about to sit down with the Saudis, who are not my – I wouldn’t call them the greatest democracy in the world. (Laughter.)

But guess what? The Saudis wanted to recognize Israel, and they wanted – I got them to agree to overflights, and they were about to recognize Israel. And that would, in fact, unite the Middle East.

We would have to pay a pretty high price (inaudible) that (inaudible) countries across from that (inaudible) a lot of trouble.

My point is that I think many people fear us being able to do things that unite others. And we’re in a situation where we were able to do a great deal relative to – for example, in the Indo-Pacific.

I remember I was talking – my – my – my (inaudible) and my senior staff is really – they’re very experienced. And I was going to get – I was going to be able to get Korea – South Korea and Japan to unite in helping Europe. They didn’t talk to one another. They’re still fighting over the 50 years of, you know, – anyway.

Well, guess what? I went to see them both. They agreed. And guess what they’re doing? They’re both supporting the fight in Ukraine against Russian oppression. (Applause.) (Inaudible.)

Because they understand if they remain silent, they may be next. They may be next. What happens in Taiwan, what happens in the – what happens in the Taiwan Strait, what happens in the Indian Ocean? Why happens around the world?

So, I think we have an opportunity to do things, if we’re bold enough and have enough confidence in ourselves, to unite the world in ways that it never has been. We were in a post-war period for 50 years where it worked pretty damn well, but that’s sort of run out of steam. Sort of run out of steam. It needs a new – a new world order in a sense, like that was a world order.

So, as down as you all may be, I just think that – I think we have a real opportunity to unite the world in a way it hasn’t been in a long time. And en- – enhance the project of peace, not diminish the prospect of peace.

And, you know, we need every Americ – you know, Donald Trump talks about – he tells his supporters, he says “I am your retribution.” This is what he says. He means it. He said “We’re a failing nation. Either we – either they win …” – meaning me – (laughter) – “… or we win. If they win, we no longer have a country.”

He goes on to talk about how he as great respect for Putin, how he’s a real leader, how Hama – I mean the things he says, the pr- the worst part is he basically means. If you notice all – who are his friends? All the strongmen. All the – you know, you have North Korea. You have – anyway, I won’t go through it. (Laughter.)

But, look, here’s the deal. You know, what’s at stake is literally American democracy, in my view. I know when I made that speech in 2020 in Independence Hall, people thought it was hyperbole. Everybody thought that except the American people. People are worried about – worried about our democracy.

Look what they’re trying to do. All the basic rights we’ve taken for granted for a long time, what do they want to deal with? They want to take it away. They want to take it away, whether it’s to chance the court system, whether it’s to move in a way to deal with LGBTQ legislation, whether it’s about the right to vote, just – whether it’s about the right to choose. Think about all the individual things that are frontal attacks.

But that other piece of good news: This is not your father’s Republican Party. (Laughter.) This is a different deal. These MAGA Republicans make about 30 percent of that party, and now you saw the – the significant gentleman from Ohio, he just got his rear end kicked by – (laughter and applause).

Audience member: Third – third time.

The President: Third – well, beyond that’s the last time, because here’s the deal: We have to understand that violence in American politics is never, never, never, never acceptable. Never acceptable.

But guess what? He lost the third time in the vote, then they had a secret ballot when they got back in the caucus. And I think it was something like 140 people voted against him. Because you know why they didn’t publicly? Intimidated. Intimidated.

And I’ve had serious people talk to me about how they worry about death threats with their positions. I mean, this is – this is the United States of America. We’re so much better than that.

And, I guess, what I was to say to you is, you know, in 2024, not because of me, but because of – if Donald Trump is the nominee, if we win in 2024, we’ll be an extended generation to say we saved democracy, in a way. (Applause.) (Inaudible.)

Look – I got to stop myself here. (Laughter.)

We have to remember on thing: We’re the United States of America, for God’s sake. Think about it. We’re the United States.

There’s never been a thing we’ve set our mind to we haven’t been able to accomplish. Not one single time in American history. (Applause.) No, I mean it. When we’ve done it together – when we’ve done it together.

For examp- – I mean, think about it. They asked me about – when I said that was 8 – 10 months ago, they said, “Well, what would you do – if you could only do one thing, what could you do?” I said I’d cure cancer. They looked at me like “What’s that about?” because nobody thinks that anymore. The American people doesn’t think that anymore.

We can. We can.

But the point is, we used to think we could do anything if we joined together and set our minds to it. Name me one crisis we ever got into where he haven’t come out stronger in America. Name me one. Name me one where we went in and didn’t come out stronger.

Audience member: Before you, climate change. But you fixed that. (Laughter.)

The President: Well, but it’s changing. That’s what I’m saying. We’re a hell of a lot stronger. We’re a hell of a lot stronger, but there’s a lot more to do.

Audience: Thanks for the IRA.

The President: But – so anyway. Please don’t lose faith. Not – not in me. Don’t lose faith (inaudible.)

And the thing that I’ve learned, even though I’ve been – I’ve known every major head of state in the last 40 years in my job. There’s nowhere I go (inaudible) where I don’t walk into the room and every other country (inaudible) stands at attention. Not because they like us, but because it’s the United States of America, and they’re counting on us. They’re counting on us, on our strength and on our diversity.

Thank you for the help. I appreciate it very much. And I’m sorry that I rambled so much. (Applause.)


NOVEMBER 2023:

November 9, 2023: Remarks by Vice President Harris at a Campaign Reception | Boston, MA (White House)

The Ritz-Carlton, Boston, Massachusetts

The Vice President: Thank you, Georgia. (Applause.) Thank you, Georgia, really, truly for all these years and for all you do relentlessly. You are so extraordinary. Thank you.

And it’s good to see everyone. And Quentin, it’s great to be on stage with you.

Mr. Fulks: Thank you.

The Vice President: Good afternoon, everyone. Good afternoon.

Mr. Fulks: Good afternoon. So I – if you’ll all indulge me for just a second, I want to first thank Georgia for her incredible introductions and the entire host committee for putting this together. (Applause.)

I remarked earlier that it never ceases to amaze em that when we come to Boston and New England, you guys continuously show up in. And so, we’re so grateful for that. And so, thank you for the host committee.

I also want to take a minute to acknowledge some of our elected officials in the room. You all heard earlier from the amazing AG Andrea Campbell. (Applause.)

I think that the Honorable Mayor Michelle Wu has stepped out, but she was here. (Applause.)

Mayor Nicole LaChappelle – (applause) – thank you. State Rep Tram Nguyen. (Applause.) And I also want to acknowledge former Congressman Joe Kennedy III. Thank you, sir. (Applause.)

So, we’re excited to be here with you all. And I’m really excited. I’ve done a lot of stuff on campaigns, I have never moderated a conversation with a president or vice president. So this is a first one for me. So, you’ll have to indulge me if I’m a little shaky, but I think I got it. (Laughter.)

But we’re going to talk a lot about some of the issues that Georgia mentioned. So, Madam Vice President, the first question is you’ve spent a lot of time this fall on your “Fight for Our Freedoms Tour” on college campuses, talking with college students across the nation about some of the issues that matter most to them, including reproductive rights, safety from gun violence, climate action, and just the importance of their voice in general.

And I think we saw you on Tuesday, you know, all this talk about young voters not being enthusiastic. We saw that energy.

And so, my question to you is, while the – the cover of the tour was great to watch, what did you hear from students and what did they tell you that they want to see and what’s your key messages to them?

The Vice President: Thank you, Quentin. First of all, I’ll tell you that I really enjoyed that college tour. But before I discuss that, I do want to just discuss what’s happening in the world right now.

First of all, the President and I have been very clear that Israel has a right to defend itself, and it is a right that we support. (Applause.)

We also strongly have urged and believe that it is critical that the people of Gaza receive humanitarian aid. And we are working around the clock in that regard.

When we think about the rules and the laws of war, it is important on the issue of humanitarian aid and on the issue that there being no international targeting of civilians. And so, we have also been very active in making our position very clear, both with our friends and on the international stage.

One of our highest priorities is to bring the American hostages home, and we are working around the clock in that regard as well.

It is also important for us all to agree that we should not conflate the Palestinians with Hamas and to make clear that that is a separate – (applause) – and that that conflation should not happen and that the Palestinians are entitled to self-determination and dignity. (Applause.) And so, that is the position that we have taken as an administration. And that we are working around the clock to prevent any escalation in the region.

So, with all the friends who are here, I know this is top of mind and heavy for many in our hearts what is happening in that region of the world. And so, I wanted to acknowledge that as well.

College tour. So, in the summer, I decided I was going to do a college tour. (Laughs.) And we named it “Fight for Our Freedoms.” And I have to tell you all – and maybe I’ll ask for a show of hands. Who has a person who was Gen Z in your life? (Laughs.) I love Gen Z. (Laughter.) I love Gen Z.

And I’ve now met through the college tour with over 10,000 of these young people. We called it a college tour, and yes, there were colleges and universities, but also community colleges and trade schools because it really is about college-aged young leaders.

And if you think about it – first, it’s going to be very humbling when I share with you what you may know, which is that if someone is 18 right now, they were born in 2005. (Laughter.) So, just for perspective. (Laughs.) And for so many of the issues that are front and center for us right now, in terms of the challenges for our country, in terms of what we stand for, all of us, and will fight for over the next many months, for so many of these issues, it is a lived experience for them, not intellectual or academic.

They’ve only known in their lifetime – they’ve always and only known the climate crisis. They actually have coined a term “climate anxiety” to describe what they know they are feeling about their fear about whether the should even think about having children or aspire to own a home because of what the extreme climate events might mean to all of that.

They have gone through the – some of the critical stags of their educational development with a pandemic of historic proportion – what that meant, not only in terms of the loss of those critical stages and that critical stage of development that is about education and socialization.

They witnessed the murder of George Floyd.

They have seen in their lifetime the highest court of our land take a constitutional right that had been recognized. And remember, for our college-aged young women, they are at the height of their reproductive years.

So, the – all of these issues, including an issue I raised at every college, Quentin, which was to ask the students in the audience to raise their hand if they at any point from when they were in they were in kindergarten through 12th grade did they have to endure an active shooter drill. The hair on the back of your neck would raise when you would see the majority of these hands go up.

And I would say every time – there was always press in the room and – and older adults, and I’d say, “Everyone else, take a look at the hands – the number of hands that are up.” And think about what that means for these young people – that they have been in classrooms where they should be benefiting from all the nurturing of their God-given capacity. And some part o their mind is in fear that there could be an active shooter with a gun busting through the classroom door.

I even had a young person say to me on this subject, “You know, yeah, I don’t like going to fifth period.” “Why, sweetheart?” I asked/ “Well, because in that classroom there’s no closet.” Okay?

So, when I’m talking with and listening to these young people in the college tour, I am talking with people who, for all of these issues – be it he need for smart gun safety laws, the need to reinstate the protections of Roe, the need to take seriously the climate crisis and do something about it with a sense of urgency.

These young leaders – it is a lived experience for them, and they are not going to be patient about us getting something done. And I love that bout them. They are not going to wait around for other people to figure it out, because it has been a part of their life and it has hit their front door.

And so, that’s been part of it. And part of it also is: They all showed up – (laughter) – which was really great for many reasons, of course – one’s ego or whatever.

But, but packed auditoriums, which means that these young people are interested in sitting through a conversation with the vice president of the United States about these serious topics. And that was really so reaffirming.

And I think for all of us – and so, I’m glad that you asked that question – should reaffirm our commitment collectively – and I know who’s in this room; so, its a commitment that so many leaders here have made throughout your life – but to invest in our young leaders and to lift their voices up to remind them that they are part of the leadership in our rooms and that we’re counting on them.

Yeah.

Mr. Fulks: Thank you, Madam Vice President. (Applause.)

You know, from the campaign side of things, I think it’s really important that – you know, that type of understanding of the next generation is exactly how we’re going to engage them over the course of the next year and, under the Vice President’s leadership, to engage young people in our campaign is for – front and center for us and how we engage and not responding with the visceral reaction because they demand action. It’s the Vice President that’s bringing that to us every day.

And so, again, I know you guys are here to hear the Vice President, but I just – I had to say that because I think it’s really important –

The Vice President: Yeah, it is.

Mr. Fulks: – that we are making sure that we’re engaging them.

The Vice President: That’s right.

Mr. Fulks: We cannot win this election without them.

The Vice President: That’s right. (Applause.)

Mr Fulks: So, Madam Vice President, one of the issues you mentioned that you’re hearing about on college campuses is reproductive freedoms. And ahead of the midterms, you were traveling around the country meeting with state legislators, advocates, and impacted individuals –

The Vice President: Yeah.

Mr. Fulks: – who were all fighting for their reproductive freedoms.

The issue turned out to be a key motivating factor Tuesday. And it was also an issue that you’ve continued to speak about, as you said, on the – on the college tour. And we saw voters turnout in Ohio –

The Vice President: Yeah.

Mr. Fulks: – Kentucky –

The Vice President: Yup.

Mr. Fulks: – Virginia.

Deep red states that Trump won by 20-plus points sent a Democrat back to office on this issue.

The Vice President: That’s right.

Mr. Fulks: And so, when you speak about reproductive rights, what resonates you to keep people in this fight and engaged?

The Vice President: On one level, it’s just so fundamental. It’s so fundamental in evoking foundational principles for us as a country and, in particular, that foundational, fundamental commitment that we’ve made to freedom and to freedoms/

And I’ll put the Dogs decision in the context of – of also what I’m seeing around the country, which is: I do believe there is an intentional, full-on attack against so many of our hard-win, hard-fought freedoms and rights. And this is part of that agenda. And we have to be clear.

And the way, in fact, in the college tour that I would talk about is: It’s a fight for our freedoms – freedom – freedom to love who you love openly and with pride, freedom to make decisions about your own body and not have your government tell you want to do, freedom to learn America’s full history, freedom to be safe from gun violence, freedom from hate and bigotry, freedom to just be.

So, when we think about what happened with the Dobbs decision, on one level, it is just so fundamental about the taking of the freedom to make decisions about one’s own body and the antithesis of taking that to what we say we stand for as a country.

Putting the Constitution – but, of course, the Constitution reinforced and was designed and written to reinforce these fundamental principles and ideals upon which we stand as a nation – I think about it in the context of the fact that after the Dobbs decision, where the highest court in our land – the court of Thrugood an RGB – took a constitutional right that had been recognized from the people of America, from the women of America.

And thereafter, in states across our country, these extremist, so-called leaders have proposed and passed laws to criminalize healthcare providers – literally, proposing and passing laws with significant jail time for healthcare providers, proposing and passing laws to punish women.

You know many of you know my background. I started a as a prosecutor. What I haven’t shared with many of you that when I was in hight school, my best friend, I learned, I said to her, “You can come to live with us.” And I called my mother, and my mother said, “Yes, she has to come and say with us.” And she did.

One of the reasons I decided to become a prosecutor is because I wanted to take on crimes of violence against women and children. So, I have that part of my background, that I specialized in those kind of cases.

Proposing and passing laws that include no exception even for rape or incest – understanding what that means. These so-called leaders, who walk around with their flag pins, are suggesting that after an individual has survived a crime of violence to their body, that that person would not have the authority and power to make a decision about what happens to their body next. It is immoral – immoral.

The other point I will make is that since the Dobbs decision came down and these laws are being proposed and passed, understand, there are women who are silently suffering in our country every day.

This is room of adults. I will tell you: I have heard more stories than I care – and these are just the stories I’ve heard and the women I’ve spoken to – who have had miscarriages in toilets because of going to an emergency room or a healthcare provider to need assistance with a miscarriage, and the provider is so worried about being, then, punished for providing the medical care that they’re turned away.

This is happening in our country every day.

And so, on this issue, let us understand: It is about suffering that is happening right now, in addition to all the principles that are at play. And for all of us, it should be – and I know it is for everyone in this room – a strong motivator to say, “We have to step up.”

Because I think we all agree, one does not have to abandon their faith or deeply held beliefs to agree that the government should not be telling her what to do with her body.

If she chooses, she will consult her priest or rabbit or her pastor – but not having the government tell her what to do.

And back to your point, then, Quentin, about this Tuesday that just passed. You know, I – I was campaigning in Virginia, and I think everybody here knows what was at stake in Virginia included that Virginia is the last state in the South that has not criminalized or banned abortion care. That was what is at stake.

And so, when we are and all the pundits are diagnosing what happened, here’s what I would say – and, again, this is affirming, I think, for all of us – the voters said, “Nope.” Nope. There’s a line that just should not be crossed when it comes to what fundamentally is right.

And thank God that they, that those leaders in Virginia and everybody here who supported it not only maintained the Senate and the House of Delegates but – but held on to the House.

It’s going to be critically important to so many people who none of use will ever meet, people who may never know any of our names. But because of your advocacy and your fight and your support of these issues will forever be benefited because of your work.

Mr. Fulks: Thank you. (Applause.) It’s – it’s so – it’s so tough to hear some of that, but it’s –

The Vice President: Yeah.

Mr. Fulks: – it’s really foundational and fundamental. And the Republicans have waged a war on this issue that they cannot win. And that will be at the forefront and center of everything that we continue to do as we move forward as well.

So, a hard pivot here, Madam Vice President. We all heard Georgia say that a new part of your portfolio is AI. And you just got back from the UK where you were representing the United States at the Global Summit on AI Safety.

What was your message? And how are you and the President thinking about this technology that’s emerging and popping up everywhere?

The Vice President: So, many of you know my mother had two goals in her life: to raise her daughters – my sister, Maya, and me – and to end breast cancer. Our mother was a scientist.

And – and so, by the way, in the previous discussion about reproductive healthcare, I grew up in an environment from before I could practically talk or walk where there was a raging fight for women’s dignity in the healthcare system. So, I was kind of born into that.

But I grew up around – you know, my mother, she would bring us to the lab with her af- — after school and weekends. And – and her whole motivation was about knowing what is possible and not being burdened by what has been but knowing what can be about innovation, about a pursuit of using creativity and research and – and ingenuity in a way that we will improve and uplift the human condition. The ambition of people who do that work is just awe-inspiring.

And then, of course, as a native Californian, Silicon Valley was in – in the backyard, and my mother’s lab was at UC Berkeley. And so, I grew up around a lot of this stuff – (laughs) – for – to use an articulate word. (Laughter.)

And – and so, actually, when I was attorney – when I was District Attorney, I actually created a unit that was focused on – on digital crimes. And then, when I became Attorney General of California, running the California Department of Justice – which, by the way, is the second-largest Department of Justice – I created a division that was focused on cybercrimes and the – and the use of technology to harm people. So, this is the work I’ve been doing for quite some time.

And so, on AI – I say all of that as background to say, on AI, I am extremely excited by what it has the potential and possibility to do in terms of the use to help cure diseases that have, for millennia, afflicted us as humans. I am excited about what it can do to inspire creative thought in a way that may be about the development and creation of – of new educational systems and new ways of improving discourse. And I am also acutely aware that there are profound risks that are associated with it.

So, I was just in London last week to give a talk on our vision for the future of AI. And basically, the thesis is – well, in includes that when we talk about the existential threats, which there is a lot of discussion about – right? – just think “Terminator,” right? – so – (laughs) – robots killing humans – I’m just going to cut to the chase. Shorthand, right? (Laughter.) That’s existential, no doubt. but the existential threats should also be defined by asking, “Existential to who?”

For example, if it is a senior who is the subject of scams where AI is used to manipulate voice in a way that she is convinced that it is her grandson who is being held and then she gives up her life savings, doesn’t that feel existential to her?

If we’re thinking of it in terms of, let’s say a survivor of domestic violence whose abuser has engaged in deep fake technology in a way that is meant to publicly embarrass her, is that not – does that not, to her, feel existential?

To the father of young children who is the subject of bad facial recognition technology, and is jailed, does that not feel existential to his family?

So, part of my approach and our approach on the subject of AI and its future is to prompt discussion and priority around not only the existential threat, as it may be, robots taking over the Earth, but – and I don’t mean to suggest that that is not possible, by the way – (laughter) – but no time soon – but also that we need to pay attention to the immediate and current harms of AI and – and give as much thought and put as many resources into that.

And – and ultimately, the approach that we have taken is to – to basically prompt the private sector, civil society, we, as government, to really ask the question: Are we developing the technology out in the best way that it is in the public interest?

And so, that’s what I’ve been inserting into this conversation: AI in service of the public interest. Thinking about it, then, in the context of the role of – of any public entity, which is about: Is it in the best interest of the public health, best interest of public safety, best interest in terms of public education?

So, these are the questions that I’m prompting. And, again, I’m very excited about where it can go but also acutely aware that we, as government, need to get in front of this and not just count on the technology companies to do it.

As I said there – and we had a lot of technological companies there with us – we will partner and we will continue to partner. And we have now, I think, almost 30 technology companies that have signed on to voluntary commitments around things like watermarks so the consumer can have some sense of what is AI-generated.

But I’m also acutely aware, having worked with these companies for years, that at some point if what we believe is in the best interests of the public interest, if that runs up against the – the private sector’s profit and business model, then we’re going to have some resistance. So, let’s get in front of it in a way that we understand it and with a sense of speed and urgency that it doesn’t get away with – from us and cause avoidable harm.

Mr. Fulks: Very interesting. So, Madam Vice President, before we end this conversation – just this week, we marked one year out from the election. We talked a little bit about a couple of issues that are at stake in this upcoming election. But as you think about the next 12 months and the fact that we’re a little – as of today, under a little over a year out, what is your charge to the people in this room, the audience in this room?

The Vice President: Well, I’m going to start by saying thank you to the people in this room, because I know who is in this room. And you continue to fight for our country based on love of our country. And it’s not easy, and each of you sacrifices a lot of what you do. And so, first and foremost, I really, sincerely thank you because the work you are doing is benefiting so many people who are not in this room but counting on you.

You know, in the college tour I – one of the things I said to the young leaders – you know, it doesn’t have to be this way. I think we have to remember that sometimes. It doesn’t have to be this way. And I use an example, one of the best examples, smart gun safety laws – the need for smart gun safety laws. We had an assault weapons ban. It doesn’t have to be this way.

And I think it’s important for use to really internalize that so that we remember what is possible and also what’s been achieved and done before.

I will say that everything is at stake in this election.

You know, as vice president, I have met with over 100 world leaders – presidents, prime ministers, chancellors, and kings. One of the things about who we are is when we walk into those rooms around the world, we walk in with chin up, shoulders back with the earned experience and self-appointed authority to talk about the importance of democracies, rule of law, human rights. And the thing about being a role model is this: People watch what you do to see if it matches what you say. People around the world are watching.

When I was in London last week, a number of world leaders came up to me. And the first point they wanted to discuss is, “You guys going to be okay in that election?” (Laughter.) It was in their self-interest. It was in their self-interest.

And the fear, among the many fears, is that if we don’t get this right, it is not only about who we are as a country and our standing in the world and what it will do in terms of the direct impact to the American people, it will impact people around the world. Just have in mind the young women who are fighting a autocrat, a dictator for the right just to be educated, and that autocrat can look at them and say, “Well, you want to hold out the United States? Look what they’re doing.” The work we are doing now and over the next several months will have global impact. Our standing as a nation is at stake.

The ability that we have had to strengthen alliances around the world is because Joe Biden is President. It is because he understands how to bring people together. They respect his leadership, and the they respect the way we think about America’s role in the world. Everything is at stake.

The – and let’s remember where we were four years ago. It is because of the work that the people in this room did in 2020 that we are now on track to remove all the lead pipes in America. Because of the work of the people in this room, we are now on track to get affordable and accessible Internet to all families, regardless of their income. Because of the work of the people in this room, we are about to drop over a trillion dollars on the streets of America to invest in resiliency and adaptation to deal with the climate crisis that we are experiencing. Because of the work of the people in this room, we finally have capped the cost of insulin at $35 a month for our seniors and are caping the cost of annual prescriptions for seniors at $2,000. (Applause.) Because of this work – it makes a difference.

So, I say all of that to say: There’s a lot at stake, and we know it doesn’t have to be this way. In terms of the fight that we’re in, we know how when we fight, we win. And do the work that actually benefits our country and, by extension, people around the world. So, we know what to do.

And these next many months, it will be about reminding people of what’s at stake, it will be about reminding people of the contrast. You know, there are so many issues right now that so sadly have taken on a character as though they’re binary when they’re anything but. But on this issue of this election, it’s binary. (Laughs.) It’s binary. So, everyone needs to just understand it’s really binary, and we have choices.

And I’m preaching to the choir about the people in this room. But as we leave this room, let us just be reminded and reinvigorated by what we know we are capable of doing. It happened in 2020. It happened in ’22. It happened on a Tuesday. We’ve got the momentum. We’ve got a lot of good material. The wind is at our back.

And so, let’s just do what we know how to do; we know how to do this. We’re going to bring folks together. We’re going to – we’re going to work, understanding that although there are powerful forces trying to divide our country and distract us from what is important, we’re going to stay focused.

We are the folks who understand that the true measure of strength of a leader is not based on who you beat down, but who you lift up. We are the ones who understand that true leadership is about having empathy and some level of concern about the suffering of other people and then doing something about it. We are the ones who understand that love of country means fighting for foundational principles, such as freedom and liberty. And we’re going to see this through.

And we’re going to win. We’re going to win. We’re going to win. (Applause.)
We are going to win.

Mr. Fulks: So, in closing, two things from me. One, it is not hyperbole to say that everything is at stake in this election.

Two, Georgia started by telling you guys a little but about the people that I’ve worked with in the past. And as a point of personal privilege, I’ve gotten to work for some outstanding leaders in my time in politics, but none more dynamic than our Vice President and none more with a record of accomplishments that she and the President have gotten done. (Applause.)

And so, I will start where I finished – is that every time we have called (inaudible) – they probably call you a lot. But every time we have called you, you show up, and that’s exactly what we’re going to need. So, Boston, please give yourselves a hand and please give the Vice President of the United States a hand. (Applause.)

Thank you, guys, so much.

END

November 9, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception | Chicago Illinois

The President: Hello, hello, hello. (Applause.) Please take a seat if you have one. (Laughs.)

Glen, thank you for that introduction. And – and, Ben, thanks for welcoming us into your business. Ben gave me a – a beautiful piece of glass that he had molded in – for my wife, and I’m going home a hero.

Folks – Governor Pritzker, you’re still here, aren’t you pal? My buddy. (Applause.) The governor is as responsible for me being behind this podium as anybody. He’s helped me so much. I didn’t even realize how much he helped until about a year after I got elected. But thank you, Gov. Appreciate it.

And look – (applause) Kamala and I are incredibly grateful to everyone who’s here. And we’re – we’re really looking forward to the convention here in Chicago next year. (Applause.) We really are.

Just a few days ago, despite all the predictions, except ours, Democrats had an incredible night once again, thanks to – (applause) – the help of Governor Pritzker, who inspired a lot of support across the country.

And in Kentucky – in Kentucky, a Democrat governor was reelected after telling me on the phone and running on all the programs that were the Biden initiatives in the White House. And he’s a good friend.

In Ohio, the right to choose became protected in the Ohio State Constitution, as it should. (Applause.)

In Virginia, the Republican governor tried to control the state legislature, and he lost control of both the House and – and the Senate. (Applause.) Well, he got trounced, actually. (Laughter.)

Look, on top of all that, the big wins in Pennsylvania for the – in – with the first Black woman elected mayor of Philadelphia. (Applause.)

By the way, I know the Bears are playing tonight. But I got to tell you, I’m an Eagles’ fan, and for a simple re- (laughter) – no, no – wait, wait – I married a Philly girl. (Laughter.) And they are tough fans. If I didn’t support the Eagles, I’d be sleeping alone. So, I just want you to know. (Laughter.)

But we also had a big win in Pennsylvania in the state Supreme Court. In Rhode Island, a young man, Gabe Amo, who worked in my administration, became the first Black member of Congress from the state of Rhode Island. (Applause.)

And, of course, at the start of the week, everyone was telling me that Governor Andy Beshear lost and the Republicans were going to win in Virginia, and the Constitution – the right to choose was going to go down the drain, and so on.

And, by the way, I put your seats – the – the press have been talking about two polls about what great difficulty I’m in and – right now. If you take a look at that – and on your seats – and there were – at the same time, there are 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, other polls. In every one, we’re winning, except for two we’re tied.

The point is that CNN and New York Times poll is the only thing you heard about. So, your money is not wasted yet. (Laughter.) I can still screw up, but we’re not there yet.(Laughter.)

Look, here’s what’s funny: Beshear won. Republicans in Virginia lost the House and the Senate. Ohio enshrined its constitutional right to choose. This sounds like a pretty good day to me.

But remember, they said the same thing when we said we were going to do well in the off-year election of 2022. Best of any – out – best any president has done in an off-year election. And we did very well.

But you turn on your TV coverage – the coverage is only of two polls. You don’t see that over the same period of time were the eight polls that we’re winning. And that’s not just interesting, but it’s, I. think, accurate.

The truth is what happened on Tuesday is not unusual. It’s a continuation of what we saw, as I said, in 2020 and in 2022. The same pundits and the same thing. And the American people voted to protect our fundamental freedoms like the right to choose. They voted to protect our democracy. They voted against extremism of our opponents. And they voted for progress we’ve been making. They supported it.

And all – even the other two polls that they keep quoting with the bad numbers show that they overwhelmingly support the programs we’ve initiated – overwhelmingly support it.

And if you just listened to Governor Beshear the other night talking about the massive investments we’re making in infrastructure, in the Brent Spence Bridge, the EV battery factories coming to Kentucky and other red states.

Democrats up and down the ticket ran on lower prescription drug costs, which I’ve been fighting for for 30 years, taking on Big Pharma to all Medicaid to negotiate drug prices. And finally, it got done. Seniors on Medicare who paid as much as 400 bucks a month for insulin for diabetes are now paying $35 a month.

And we’re also – (applause) – and we’re also capping total out-of-cost [out-of-pocket] drugs for seniors on Medicare at $2,000 a year, no matter how expensive their drugs are for the – for the year. They can cost – cancer drugs can cost up to $14,000 a year, but the most they’re going to have to pay is $2,000 a year, because you can’t afford anything beyond that.

Semiconductor factories are coming back to American – billions of dollars being invested in making chips in America again.

You know, the – the r- — the record job creation.

We invited the chip, by the way. Remember when you start- everybody started understanding what “supply chain” mean, when, during the pandemic, you had factories closing in the nation, and you couldn’t get the facto- –what we needed? Well, now we don’t have to worry about that.

And, by the way, that over – there’s billions of dollars being int- – in – being invested by private sector in these factories. And they’re building what they call “fabs.” They’re like – look like great big football fields.

Do you know what the average salary of those – those fabs are? $114,000 a year. And you don’t need a college degree to have that job.

There’s historically low unemployment.

Folks, this time – it’s – this time, the Biden Harris agenda has taken hold. And it’s not only popular, people are voting on it. And people are winning elections on it over and over again.

And the press and pundits keep being surprised. They can be surprised as much as they want. But since I came off the sidelines to go toe-to-toe with Donald Trump, we haven’t stopped winning and he hasn’t stopped losing. (Applause.)

You remember hen Trump told us he was going to win so much we’d get tired of winning? (Laughter.) We just got third of him, not willing. (Laughter and applause.) Let me tell you. The truth is, this guy can’t get tired of losing.

Look, folks, the — when a Supreme Court majority that he appointed overturned Roe v. Wade, they – they – he – they practically dared the women in America to be heard. Remember what they said? And the – but – the women, if they want to change this in the states, they can. Well, the majority – a real quote, “Women are not without electoral polit- — or political power.” And I said at the time: They don’t have a clue about the power of women in America. Not a clue. (Applause.)

And I said, “They’re about to find out.” And they did in Kansas midterms, in Ohio, the midterms in Ohio, and all across the country.

The only reason abortion bans in America is because of Donald Trump. He’s the only reason teenagers in Ohio are being forced to travel out of state to get their healthcare because they – because of Donald Trump – where they’ve been raped or – by a family member or by anyone else.

The only person – the only persons out there whose – the reason fundamental right have been stripped away in Amer- — be – –of the American people is – for the first time in history is because of Donald Trump. And, look, just as all his friends have found out about the power of women in America, he’s about to find out, too, in a big way.

Folks, I just finished an auto plan down the road in Belvedere that’s going to stay open and create jobs thanks to the historic agreements between the UAW and the Big Three automakers. And they’re going to be investing several billion dollars, creating thousands of jobs in Belvedere, where there’s a plant that had been closed.

We put the first Black woman on the Supreme Court and appointed more Black women to the Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal than every other president in American history combined. (Applause.)

And, folks, look, it’s about a simple proposition – a simple proposition. I promised my administration was going to look like America – look like America. And that’s exactly what the case is. Because it’s important we are – we are a multicultural country. It’s one of the reasons for our strengths. And we should brag about it, not run away from it.

We passed the biggest investment in the history of the world to combat climate change – you know, in the entire world, over billions of dollars, because it’s the only existential threat to humanity. And it really is one. We need to protect the progress we made. Most important of all, we need to protect our democracy.

Folks, look, in 2020, after – it was not long after my son had died, because of Iraq – being there. You’re sleeping in a hooch that was only about 400 years from the burn pits. I wasn’t going to run. And – but then you remember what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia? There were people coming out of – literally, not figuratively – comic out of fields, carrying torches – torches in their hands with Nazi swastikas and singing the same antisemitic bile and chants that sang in Germany in the ’30s.

And a young woman was killed. I talked to her mom. She was a bystander. And the President was asked at the time, what did he think – what did he think about that? And he looked into the cameras and said, “Well, there’s some very good people on both sides.” That’s when I decided I couldn’t remain silent any longer. That’s for real – for real. Because I really did think our democracy was at stake and everything we stood up for was up for grabs.

And so, what happened was we – I – I but – I thought, “No, it’s going to be too ugly for my kids and grandkids.” I knew what it was going to be like. We went through this before. And so, I wasn’t going to run.

I got a – we have a tradition in the Biden family – not a joke – only invoked, in my recollection, 9 ti- 10 – this was the 10th time. And it was during my dad’s life, we started it. Any kid in the family can ask for a family meeting. I’m – I’m being literal now – a family needing if they wan to talk about something important.

Well, I got a phone call after that invasion by those white supremacists back in Charlottesville and – from my eldest daughter [granddaughter], who is a lawyer with one of – was then a senior at Columbia Law School. And so, she and my daughter – I had two daughters [granddaughters] at the University of Pennsylvania at the time, and – my two – two kids – my deceased son’s children were also then still in high school.

And they said, “We want a family meeting, Pop.” It was on a Thursday. So they came down on a Saturday. We sat in the library in my home with my wife, and they said, “Pop, you’ve got to run,” making the case. And I said, “Well, you know, it’s going to be tough.”

And my youngest, who’s now in high school, about to graduate, his name is Hunter, named after his – his un- –anyway –

And he said to me – he said, “We know it’s going to be bad.” And he took out his cell phone. He showed me a – a picture on the cell phone of me walking out of the Catholic Church were Beau was – the memorial mass for Beau and a military coffin draped with a flag escorted by the military, because he had won the Bronze Star, Conspicuous Service Medal, and the honors.

And I was holding onto little Hunter, his son, and I had him under the chin. I used to hold Beau – when were were in church, I’d put my arm around him, and I’d cup his chin in my hand. And that’s how I had Hunter. And we were walking – I had my hand on the casket, it was being wheeled out, and the little Hunt on my right. And the caption said, “Biden molests another child.”

And he looked at me and said, “Pop, we know it’s going to be ugly, but you got to do it.” You know, that’s why I ran, at the time.

And I got in trouble with my campaign because I said I was running for three reasons – all seemed impossible.

One was to restore the soul of this country, some decency and honor to the White House.

The second one was to begin to build the economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down. When that occurs, everybody does well.

And thirdly, was to unite the country. And although I had a reputation when I was a senator of being a uniter, the press legitimately said – and the press is here – that Biden doesn’t understand the Senate’s changed, the Congress changed; you can’t unite the country.

Well, my notion is if you can’t unite the country, how do you keep a participatory democracy going if you can’t get consensus? How does that work?

Well, you know, I reminded people: Every other nation is founded on some principle, whether it’s ethnicity, whether it’s religion, whatever it is. We’re the only nation in the world founded on an idea – an idea that Trump and the MAGA Republicans walked away from.

We’ve never fully lived up to it, but we never walked away from it. It says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.

That’s the idea we re- –that’s what we ba- –everything in our Constitution is based upon.

Well, guess what? It’s still my goal to make sure people understand that.

I’m running again because we made progress, but our democracy is still at stake.

I’m very proud of our record, all the things that got passed. That’s true. And presidential historians are giving us really high marks for the things we’ve done. But we still haven’t united the country.

If you come into my office in the White House and you’re invited to see the Oval Office, there used to be only one photograph – one – one – not photograph – one painting above the fireplace. It was George Washington.

I sat under that painting for six years – eight years as Vice President, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee before that many, many, times.

So, when I asked my brother, I said – and I found out you have to, when you lose – when you leave, not lose, the presidency, you have to be out of that office on January 20th by 10 o’clock, and the incoming president can’t come in until, I think, it’s 3 or 4 o’clock.

The reason is, it gives you a chance to change everything from the rug to the painting to whatever you wanted to do.

So, I asked my brother Jimmy to do that for me. And he called an acquaintance, Jon Meacham, a presidential historian, to help.

So, I walked in when it was time to take office – by the way, the other guy – first time in American history he never showed up at all. (Laughter.) Seriously. I mean – anyway – (laughter.)

I shouldn’t get started. I’ll get in trouble. (Laughter.)

But- and just as I walked in, there’s this – now there’s this massive painting – portrait of Franklin Roosevelt. And I looked and said, “I admire Franklin Roosevelt, but why Roosevelt?”

And Jon Meacham spoke up and said, “It’s unlikely any president since Roosevelt has inherited a country in such disarray financially.” I said “That’s wonderful.” (Laughter.) And then there’s four other portraits – small ones, the size of the Wa – George Washington. And they had – anyway.

But the one on the bottom left was Abraham Lincoln, a Republican. And I said, “Why re- why Lincoln?” He said, “Because the country has never been so divided since the Civil War.”

Well, you know, there’s some truth to that. But it’s unnecessary, and it’s – and it’s really, really damaging. You know, because – because, folks, the same man who said we should terminate the rules and regulations and articles of the Constitution – these are things he said – is now running on a plan to end democracy as we know it.

He’s not even hiding the ball. In recent weeks, the New York Times and Washington Post ran stories how he intends to use the presidency, quote, for “revenge” and “retribution.” And on more than one occasion in recent weeks, he’s made a joke out of the assaults on Speaker Pelosi’s husband who was smacked in the head with a hammer.

Now, there are a lot of reasons that Donald Trump shouldn’t be president, but that one may demonstrate the best reason of all. If you can make a joke about that, you really have no business being anywhere near the presidency. (Applause.)

And, folks, we’re asking the entire nation to join us in sending the strongest, clearest, most powerful message that political violence in America is never, never, ever justified or acceptable. Never. Never. (Applause.)

And, by the way, this is not your father’s Republican Party. Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy democracy as we know it.

And, by, the way, this is not your father’s Republican Party. Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy democracy as we know it.

Folks, democracy is on the ballot again, and Kamala and I need you. Indeed, we need every American who loves democracy to join together in 2024.

If we do that, we’ll have done something few generations get to do; we’ll have saved democracy.

After I became Vi- –after I was Vice President, we stepped down after we – the eight years was up, what happened was I became a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and taught – they set up a school of foreign policy in my name. And I taught – I taught the Constitution as well.

Think about it. Think about what we mean when we say we are democrats with a ca- small ‘d,’ that we support the Constitution.

Look, I know it sounds like a low bar, but it’s a bar that we have to get over. We got to make sure we put – we finally put away this notion of the extreme MAGA Republican. It’s – again, it’s not your father’s Republican Party.

The vast majority of Republicans are decent, honorable people – people I dealt with and worked with my whole career. People I have strong disagreements with, like Bob Dole and others – Howard Baker – but good, good men and women.

We got to bring that back. Because I’ll tell you one other thing: You know, every time I hear – when I’m being introduced, I hear “Hail to the Chief,” I turn around and wonder where the hell is she? Where is he?” (Laughter.) It’s hard to get used to. For real.

But here’s the deal. You know, we’re in a situation here where the rest of the world looks to us. Madeleine Albright was right; we are the essential nation.

I walk into a room with any head of state and – I’m serious – everything stops. No because of me; because I’m President of the United States of America. The rest of the world – (applause) – no, I mean it.

The rest of the world looks to us. They look to us.

When I – when I first got elected, I went to the first meeting of the G7 I attended – the leading – the heads of state of the European countries in NATO. And I sat down and I said, “America is back.” And Macron looked at me, and he said, “For how long?”. Not a joke.

And Scholz looked and said, “What would you think, Mr. President, if you picked up the paper tomorrow, in the London Times, and it said 1,000 people had marched to the Parliament, walked and broke down the doors of the House of Commons to protest the certification of the speaker. What would you think?”

I started thinking about it. What would we think if we read that? This is the United States of America. And again, we have enormous opportunities at this moment in history. But we cannot – we cannot fail to speak to our principles.

The choice facing us is not to be (inaudible.) When Donald Trump gives his inaugural address, he chose to speak about American carnage. That’s what we remem- –remember the Inaugural Address, talking about “American carnage,” America is weak, in disarray?

He wanted to get out of NATO. He wanted to move “America First.” Et cetera.

When I gave my America – when I gave my Inaugural Address, I spoke about American possibilities.

When Donald Trump looks at America, he sees a failing nation. When I look at America, I see the strongest economy in the world with – leading the world again, with the ability to set the world standards.

When Donald Trump talks about what he will do if he returns to the presidency, he promised to bring revenge and repri- retribution.

If you return me to the presidency, I promise you, we’ll lift everyone in this country. Everyone. (Applause.) Everyone.

Maybe Donald Trump sees an angry, dark, dismal, divided future for America, but I don’t.

Folks, I’m taking too much of your time.

And, folks, look, I’ve never been more optimistic about our country’s future, and I mean that. Never been more optimistic.

We just have to remember who in hell we are. We’re the United States of America. And there’s nothing – nothing beyond our capacity when we set our mind to it.

Unless you think I’m exaggerating, think if any crisis we’ve gone through where we come out the other side, we haven’t been stronger than we went into it. I’m not joking. Think of one.

This is the United States of America. We got to remember who we are. And with your help, I’ll do all my – everything in my power to make you proud of what we’re doing.

And in the meantime, God bless you all. And may God protect our troops. Thank you. (Applause.)

November, 11, 2023: President Joe Biden and Donald Trump took to social media on Saturday to mark Veterans Day with very different messages. (Newsweek via Microsoft Start)

November 11, once known as Armistice Day, is the anniversary of the ceasefire that ended World War I in 1918.

“Today, we honor the story of our veterans – the story of our nation at its best,” Biden wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “On Veterans Day, let’s recommit to fulfilling our one sacred obligation as a nation: to prepare those we send into harm’s way and care for them and their families when they come home.”

Biden also delivered a Veterans Day address at the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery, where he paid tribute to “those who have always, always, always kept the light of liberty shining bright across the world.”

“We come together today to once again honor the generations of Americans who stood on the front lines of freedom,” he said. “To once again bear witness to the great deeds of a noble few who risked everything, everything, to give us a better future.”

Biden added that as commander in chief, “I have no higher honor. As the father of a son who served, I have no greater privilege.”

November 11, 2023: President Biden slammed former President Trump’s recent remarks in which he likened his political opponents to “vermin,” suggesting that Tuesday that Trump’s rhetoric echoes language used in Nazi Germany. (The Hill)

“In just the last few days, Trump has said it returns office he’s going he’s gonna go after all those who oppose him and wipe out what he called the vermin in America – quote, the vermin in America – a specific phrase because it’s just a specific meaning,” Biden said at a fundraiser in San Francisco.

“It that goes language you heard Nazi Germany in the ’30s. That is [not] even the first time,” he continued. “Trump also recently talked about blood of America has been poisoned. The blood in American has been poisoned. Again, echoes the same phrases used in Nazi Germany.”…

…Over the weekend, Trump delivered remarks to supporters in New Hampshire in which he pledged that, if reelected, he would “root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country,” warning of the “threat from within.” He used the same language in a post on Truth Social last Saturday…

November 15, 2023: Remarks by Vice President Harris at Campaign Reception | San Francisco, CA

Merchants Exchange Building, San Francisco, California.

The Vice President: Hi. Good evening. Good evening. Good evening. (Applause.)

Good evening. Hi. Oh, it’s good to be home. (Laughter and applause.) It’s good to be – please have a seat.

Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It is indeed good to be home and to see so many friends. (Applause.) Thank you all.

To our Governor, Gavin Newsom, I want to thank you for your kind words and for your years of friendship. And thank you to Clint and Janet Reilly for your longstanding friendship and for hosting us all again tonight.

Gavin and I were joking that we could probably close our eyes and g- — by feel, know every room in this building – (laughter) – over all the years that Clint and Janet have been hosting us and so many of us.

So, to all of you, and starting with the two of them, I thank you all for all you have done for so many years. All around this room, I look around, I see so many friends. And we’ve been on this journey for a long time together. So, thank you. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you.

And thank you for the support you have given me and the President of the United States, our President, Joe Biden – (applause) – and all you have done for our nation.

So, I’ve been traveling our country a lot. And as I travel our country, it has become abundantly clear that there is a full-on attack on so many of our hard-fought, hard-won freedoms.

Last year, the highest court of our land took a constitutional right, that had been recognized, from the people of America – from the women of America – the court of Thurgood and RBG. And as a result, in states across our nation, extremists have passed laws to criminalize doctors and to punish women, laws tat make it no exception for rape or incest.

And as many of you know, I started my career as a prosecutor specializing in crimes against children and women.

It’s immoral. And let’s be clear, one does not have to abandon their faith or deeply held beliefs to agree the government should not be telling a woman what to do with her body. (Applause.)

In states across our nation, extremists attack the right to vote. They pass laws that ban drop boxes and limit early voting. All the while they deny Americans the freedom to live safe from gun violence.

This fall, I gathered over 10,000 students on a collage tour I named the “Fight for Our Freedoms.” And at each stop, I asked these students – auditorium full of our young leaders – and I’d ask them, “Raise your hand if at any time between kindergarten and 12th grade you had to endure an active shooter drill.”

And every time, almost every hand went up. It’s bone-chilling to know that so many of our children are living with extraordinary fear and trauma.

Meanwhile, so-called leaders refuse to pass reasonable gun safety laws, refuse to pass an assault weapons ban, and, instead, they passed book bans in an attempt to erase America’s full history.

Can you imagine book bans in this year of our Lord, 2023?

So, to the friends here, I say the obvious. This election is a fight for our most fundamental freedoms. And we are here tonight because we have a responsibility – dare I say a duty – to preserve and protect our nation’s most sacred ideals: freedom, liberty, and justice.

As Democrats, that is what sets us apart, borne out of optimism and love for our country. We fight not against but for. And I believe that when you know what you stand for, you know what to fight for.

So, Election Day is less than a year out. And I think we should just pull up the split screen for a moment. (Laughter.)

Think about it on an issue like gun violence. On one side, you’ll see the administration, they wanted to arm teachers with guns. On the other side, President Biden and I came in and passed the first significant gun safety law in nearly 30 years. (Applause.)

On one side of that screen, they gave billions of dollars in tax cuts to large corporations, many of which paid nothing. On the other side, President Biden and I came in and we invested in small-business owners and entrepreneurs with billions of dollars in access to capital.

On one side, they constructed a Supreme Court to take away reproductive freedom from the women and people of America. On the other, when we win back Congress, our President will sign back into law the reproductive freedom that was guaranteed in Roe v. Wade. (Applause.)

So, folks, there are many issues these days that have taken on the character as though they are binary. And there are a lot of issues that are not binary.

But in 2024, in this election, it is binary. It is binary. And the choice is clear.

So, with 11 months left, I will close with this. As Vice President, I have now met with over 100 world leaders – presidents, prime ministers, chancellors, and kings. When we walk into those rooms, representing the United States of America, we walk in those rooms chin up, shoulders back, with the self-appointed and earned authority to talk about the importance of democracy and rule of law.

But here’s the thing about being a role model: When you’re a role model, people watch what you do to see if it matches what you say.

In this very moment, people around the world are watching the United States of America. And there is a duality to the nature of democracy.

On the one hand, when it is intact, it is extremely strong in terms of the strength it gives the people in the protection and preservation of individual rights and freedoms. On the other hand, democracy, – well, it’s very fragile. It’s only as strong as our willingness to fight for it.

And so, fight we will.

The months ahead will not be easy, but I am confident on November 5th, 2024, we will win. (Applause.) We will win. We will win.

We have the record, we have the momentum, and most of all, we have the leadership. We have a leader of courage and compassion, a leader of strength and skill, a leader who is ready to fight and is a fighter.

So, please join me in welcoming the President of the United States, Joe Biden. (Applause).

November 15, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at Campaign Reception | San Francisco, CA

Merchants Exchange Building, San Francisco, California

The President: Thank you. Please, please. (Applause.)

Kamala, thank you for that introduction and for being such a strong partner in the progress we’ve been making.

You know, to the Reilly family, thank you for welcoming us into this beautiful space. (Applause.)

And Governor Gavin Newsom and Jen, thank you for everything you’ve done for the people of California and what you do for Kamala and me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. (Applause.)

And Mayor London Breed, thanks for welcoming us to your city. It kind of sparkles right now. (Laughter and applause.)

Kamala and I are incredibly grateful to everyone here. You know, just one week ago, despite all the predictions except ours, Democrats had an incredible night once again. (Applause.)

In Kentucky, a Democratic governor was reelected. (Applause.)

In Ohio, the right to choose became protected by the Ohio State Constitution. (Applause.)

In Virginia, the Republican governor tried to gain control of the state legislature and use it as a launching pad for the presidency – a plan he has abandoned – (laughter and applause) – in the process of banning abortion – attempting to. But guess what? He got trounced.

And on top of that, we had big wins in Pennsylvania. The first African American woman was elected the mayor of Philadelphia – a big win. (Applause.) And also a big win for the Pennsylvania on – on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Look, in Rhode Island, a young man who worked for me, Gabe – (laughs) – Amo, who worked in my administration, he became the first Black member of Congress from the state of Rhode Island. (Applause.)

And now, of course, at the start of last week, everybody was telling us that Governor Andy – if Governor Andy Beshear lost, the Republicans won the Virginia House and the Senate, the Constitution and the right to choose went down in Ohio, if that occurred, it would have been a very bad day for Joe Biden.

Remember reading all of that?

But here’s the funny part: Beshear won, Republicans in Virginia lost the House and the Senate, Ohio enshrined the Constitution with the right to choose. Sounds like a pretty good day for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. (Applause.)

But the truth is, what happened in those races is not unusual, in the con- — in the continuation of what we saw in 2020, when we were told we weren’t going to win, and again in 2020, when we were supposed to get wiped out. Remember? But some pundits said the same thing.

The American people voted to protect our fundamental freedoms like the right to choose, they voted to protect our democracy, they voted against the extremism of our opponents, and they voted for the progress we’ve been making. They voted again and again.

Just listen to Governor Beshear the other night all about the massive investments we’re making in infrastructure, like the Brent Spence Bridge, the EV battery factories coming to Kentucky and to red states all over the country.

Democrats up and down the ticket ran on lower prescription drug costs. And I’ve been fighting for decades taking on Big Pharma – God, that was a nice win – (applause) – to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. And finally, Kamala and I got it done.

Seniors on Medicare who were paying four hun- — as much as 400 bucks a month for insulin are now paying $35 a month. (Applause.)

And it only costs them 12 bucks to make it and package it, by the way.

We’re also capping total out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors on Medicare at $2,000 a year, even if expensive cancer drugs are needed to that cost – $10 – $12 – , $14,000 a year.

Chip factories are coming home. We invented the chip. We invented it here in the United States; then we stopped doing it. We used to produce 40 percent of the chips in the world. We got down to 10 percent.

But billions of dollars are being invested in making chips in America again, a record job creation – (applause) – historically un- historically low employment.

And, folks, this is the Biden-Harris agenda. And that agenda is not only popular, but people are voting for it. It’s winning elections over and over again.

The press and pundits can keep being surprised as much as they want, but since I came off the sidelines to go toe to toe with Donald Trump, we haven’t stopped winning, and he hasn’t stopped losing. (Applause.)

Remember when Trump told us he was going to win so much we’d get tired of winning? (Laughter.) (Inaudible.) Oh, man. I don’t want – I shouldn’t get started. (Laughter.)

Let me tell you one thing that’s true: We got tired of Trump. The truth is the guy can’t get tired of losing.

Folks, look, the Supreme Court majority Trump proudly appointed overturned Roe v. Wade. They practically appointed the women of America to be heard in court. The majority of the Court wrote, “Women are not without electoral or political power.” At the time, I said, “They ain’t seen nothing yet.” (Laughter.)

Oh, I did. They don’t have a clue about the power women in America. And that, we’re about to find out. They did – (applause) – in Kansas in the midterms in Ohio.

Now, Trump is running for president bragging about how he “killed Roe v. Wade,” quote. But he’s trying to change that now too, if you notice.

So, let’s be absolutely cear- –clear what Trump’s bragging about. The only reason there is an abortion ban in America is because of Donald Trump. The only reason teenagers in Ohio are being forced to travel out of state to get their health care is because of Donald Trump. The only reason a fundamental right has been stripped away from the American people for the first time in American history is because of Donald Trump.

And just as all his Republican friends have found out about the power of women in America, Donald Trump is about to find out the power of women (inaudible.) (Applause.)

And I especially want to thank Kamala for her leadership on this issue and so many others, from voting rights to artificial intelligence.

Folks, Trump was just one of two presidents who lost jobs during his presidency. In all of American history, only two lost jobs during their presidency. That’s why, now and then, we remember him as Donald “Hoover” Trump. (Laughter.)

We had a very different record. We’ve created 14 million jobs since we took office – (applause) – more jobs than any president has created in an entire term – than any president has in a four-year term.

Today, we got new data showing inflation continues to go down in the country. More to do. In fact, we have the strongest growth and lowest inflation of any major economy in the entire world. (Applause.)

And we passed the biggest investment in the history of the world to combat climate change without a single Republican vote. (Applause.)

I’ve kept my commitment: We put the first Black woman on the Supreme Court. (Applause.)

In our visit to San Francisco this week, we’re being – we’re meeting with APEC. President Xi is another example of how we’re reestablishing American leadership in the world. It’s taking hold. They’ve got real problems.

Folks, the lis of what we’ve gotten done goes on. We need to protect the progress we’ve made. Perhaps the most important of all, we need to protect our democracy. It sounds like hyperbole.

When I ran in 2020, I made that speech at Independence Hall saying democracy is at risk. And the press said, “What’s he talking about, democracy at risk?” Until they found out 65 percent of the American public felt the same way – Democrats, independents – and Republicans.

Every other nation is founded on either geography, ethnicity, or religion. But guess what? We’re the only nation in the world – in the history of the country – in the history of the world, I should say – that is founded on and idea – an idea. It’s not hyperbole; it’s a fact. The only one based on an idea.

The idea is: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain…” And it goes on: “…among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

While we’ve never fully lived up to it, we have never, ever walked away from it. Now, Trump and the MAGA Republicans what to walk away from it. It’s not going to happen on my watch, I promise you. (Applause.)

Folks, as we meet here tonight, I know you’ll feel in your bones what I feel in mine: This next election is different. It’s more important. There’s more at stake. And we all know why: because our very democracy is at stake. And I’m not exaggerating.

Our very democracy is at stake because the same man who proclaimed himself to be a “proud election denier;” the same man promising to pardon those who were insurrectionists who were convicted on January 6th; the same man who said it was time, and I quote, for “termination of all rules, regulations and articles, even those found in the Constitution.” That was said by a former president running again. The same man is running on a platform to end democracy as we know it, and he’s not even hiding the ball.

In recent weeks, the New York Times and Washington Post ran – both ran stories on how he intends to use the presidency for “revenge” and “retribution” – his phrases – “revenge” and “retribution.” And on more than one occasion in recent weeks, he’s made a joke about assaults on Nancy Pelosi’s husband.

There’s a lot of reasons to be against Donald Trump. But damn, he shouldn’t be president. He should not be president. (Applause.)

And that attack on – the attack on Nancy’s husband, that demonstrates maybe the best reason of all. To make a joke about that you – you really have no business being anywhere near the presidency.

You know, there’s no place in America for political violence. None. Zero. Ever. None, zero, ever. (Applause.) And it’s never a laughing matter.

We all need to send the clearest message possible that political violence is never a laughing matter.

And in just a few – last few days, Trump has said if he returns to office, he’s going to go after all those who oppose him and wipe out what he called the “vermin” – quote, the “vermin” in America. A specific phase with a sp- – a specific meaning. It echoes language you heard in Nazi Germany in the 30’s. And it isn’t even the first time.

Trump also recently talked about, quote, “the blood of America is being poisoned” – “the blood of America is being poisoned.” Again, echoes the same phrases used in Nazi Germany.

Folks, we can’t fail. We can’t fail to treat the threat that he poses. I mean, we can’t.

Donald Trump and the extreme MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy American democracy. Folks, democracy is on the ballot again. We need you. Indeed, we need every American who loves our democracy – Democrats, independents, Republicans, – to join together in 2024.

If we do that, we’ll have done something few generations get to say they could do. We will literally saved democracy. Together, I know we can do this. The choice facing us cannot be any more stark.

When Donald Trump gave his Inaugural Address when he got elected, he chose to speak about American carnage. When I gave my Inaugural Address, I spoke about American possibility.

When Donald Trump look at America, he sees a failing nation. When I look at America, I see the strongest economy in the world and America leading the world again. (Applause.)

When Donald Trump talks about what he’ll do if he returns to the presidency, he promises to bring “revenge” and “retribution” – his phrase – “revenge” and “retribution.” If you return me to the presidency, my promise would be to lift everyone in this country, leaving no one behind. (Applause.)

Maybe Donald Trump sees an angry, dark, dismal divided future for America, but I don’t.

Folks, I’ve never been more optimistic about our country’s future. We just have to remember who we are. We’re the United States of America.

There’s nothing beyond our capacity when we work together. Think about it. Think of any crisis we’ve ever been in where we haven’t come out stronger than when – before we went in it. Every one. That’s who we are.

Gov knows that. All of you know that/

So, folks, this is more than just an election. This is about preserving our democracy. Because if we move the way I’m confident we can, America is going to be stronger, better, more equal, more than it’s ever been.

May God bless you all. And may God protect our troops.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thank you.

November 16, 2023: Remarks by President Biden in a Press Conference | Woodside, CA

Filoli Historic House & Garden, Woodside, California

The President: I didn’t know there were this many people in town. Please have a seat. As you know, I just concluded several hours of meetings with President Xi, and I believe they were some of the most constructive and productive discussions we’ve had.

I’ve been meeting with President Xi since both of us were vice president over 10 years ago. Our meetings have always been candid and straightforward. We haven’t always agreed, but they’ve been straightforward. And today, built on the groundwork we laid over the past several months of high-level diplomacy between our teams, we’ve made some important progress, I believe.

First, I am pleased to announce that after many years of being on hold, we are restarting cooperation between the United States and the PRC on counternarcotics.

In 2019, you may remember, China took action to greatly reduce the amount of fentanyl shipped directly from China to the United States. But in the years since that time, the challenge has evolved from finished fentanyl to fentanyl chemical ingredients and – and pill presses, which are being shipped without controls. And, by the way, some of these pills are being inserted in other drugs, like cocaine, and a lot of people are dying.

More people in the United States between the ages of 18 and 49 die from fentanyl than from guns, car accidents, or any other cause. Period.

So, today, with this new understanding, we’re taking action to significantly reduce the flow of precursor chemicals and pill presses from China to the Western Hemisphere. It’s going to save lives, and I appreciate President Xi’s commitment on this issue.

President Xi and I tasked our teams to maintain a policy and law enforcement coordination going forward to make sure it works.

I also want to thank the bipartisan congressional delegation to China, led by Leader Schumer, in October for supporting efforts – this effort so strongly.

Secondly, and this is critically important, we are reassuming military-to-military contact – direct contacts. As a lot of you press know who follow this, that’s been cut off, and it’s been worri- worrisome. That’s how accidents happen: misunderstandings. So, we’re back to direct, open, clear, direct communications on a – on a ba- — on a direct basis.

Vital miscalculation on either side can – are – can cause real, real trouble with a – with a country like China or any other major country. And so, I think we made real progress there as well.

And thirdly, we’re going to get our experts together to discuss risk and safety issues associated with artificial intelligence. As many of you who travel with me around the world almost everywhere I go – every major leader wants to talk about the impact of artificial intelligence.

These are tangible steps in the right direction to determine what’s useful and what’s not useful, what’s dangerous and what’s acceptable.

Moreover, there are evidence of cases that – that I’ve made all along: The United States will continue to compete vigorously with the PRC. But we’ll manage that competition responsibly so it doesn’t veer into conflict or accidental conflict.

And where it’s possible, where it is in our interests are – coincide, we’re going to work together, like we did on fentanyl.

That’s what the world expects of us – the rest of the world expects, not just in – people in China and the United States, but the rest of the world expects that of us. And that’s what the United States is going to be doing.

Today, President Xi and I also exchanged views on a range of regional and global issues, including Russia’s refusal and brutal war to stop the war – and brutal war of aggression against Ukraine and – and the conflict in Gaza.

And as I always do, I raised areas where the United States has concerns about the PRC’s actions, including detained and ex- – and exit-banned U.S. citizens, human rights, and corrective – coercive activities in the South China Sea. We discussed all three of those things. I gave them names of individuals that we think are being held, and hopefully we can get them released as well. No agreement on that. No agreement on that.

I also stressed the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits.

It’s clear that we object to Beiji – to Beijing’s non-market economic practices and disadvantage- that disadvantage American businesses and workers and that we’ll continue to address them. And I named what I though were a number of those were.

I welcome the positive steps we’ve taken today, and it’s important for the world to see that we are implementing the approach in the best traditions of American diplomacy. We’re talking to our competitors. And the key el- — and just talking, just being blunt with one another so there’s no misunderstanding is a key element to maintaining global stability and delivering for the American people.

And in the months ahead, we’re going to continue to preserve and pursue high-level diplomacy with the PRC in both directions to keep the lines of communication open, including between President Xi and me. He and I agreed that either one of us could pick up the phone, call directly, and we’d be heard immediately.

And that’s – now I’d like to be able to take some questions, if I may. And I’m told that Demetri of the Financial Times has the first question.

Q: Thank you. And as an Irishman, I apologize for bringing the rain.

The President: Well, holy God, I wouldn’t have called on you if I had known that. (Laughter.) No, I’m teasing. Go ahead. Fire way, Demetri.

Q: President Biden, given that America is playing a key role in two major global crises – Ukraine and in Gaza – does that alter your previous commitment to defend Taiwan from any Chinese military action? And did Xi Jinping outline the conditions under which China would attack Taiwan?

The President: Look, I reiterate what I’ve said since I’ve become president and what every previous president of late has said – that we – we maintain an agreement that there is a One China policy and that – and I’m not going to change that. That’s not going to change.

And so, that’s about the extent to which we discussed it.

Next question, sorry, was Bloomberg.

Q: Good evening, Mr. President. It appears, among other issues, that your agreement with President Xi over fentanyl would require – will require a lot of trust and verification to ensure success in curbing those drug flows. I’m wondering: After today and considering all that you’ve been through in the past year, would you say, Mr. President, that you trust President Xi?

And secondly, if I could, on Taiwan. You’ve – you and your administration official have warned President Xi and Chi- China about interfering in the upcoming election. I’m wondering what would the consequences be if they do, in fact, interfere in the election. Thank you.

The President: Well, I may have had that discussion with him, too. I made it clear: I didn’t expect any interference, any at all. And we had that discussion as – as he was leaving.

Look, do I trust? You know, I – “trust but verify,” as the old saying goes. That’s where I am.

And, you know, we’re in a competitive relationship, China and the United States. But my responsibility is to – to make it – make this rational and manageable so it – so it doesn’t result in conflict.

That’s what I’m all about, and that’s what this is about: to find a place where we can come together and where we find mutual interests that – but most importantly, from my perspective, that are in the interests of the American people. That’s what this is about, and that’s exactly what we’ll do.

You know, we’re in a situation where we agreed that fentanyl and its precur – — its precursors will be curbed substantially and the pill presses. That’s a big – that’s a bit movement. They’re doing –

And, by the way, you know, I won’t – I guess I shouldn’t identify where it occurred. but, John, I know two people near where I live. Their kids, literally, as I said – stra- — they woke up dead. Someone had inserted in – whether the young man did or not – inserted, in a drug he was taking, fentanyl.

Again, I – I don’t – I hope you don’t have any experience with knowing anyone, but this is the largest killer of people in that age category.

And, you know, I guess the other thing I think is most important is that since I – I’ve spent more time with President Xi than any world leader has, just because we were vice presidents. His president was President Hu and – President Obama thought we should get know one another. It wasn’t appropriate for the President of the United States to be walking – dealing with the vice president.

So, we met – if I’m not mistaken, I think it was 68 hours of just face to face – just us and a simultaneous interpreter.

So, I – I think I know the man. I know his modus operandi. He’s been – we have disagreements. He has a different view than I have on a lot of things. But he’s been straight. I don’t mean that he’s good or bad, or indifferent. He’s just been straight.

And so, as you know, we – as I said, the thing that I – I find most assuring is he raised and I fully agreed that if either one of us has any concern, Mr. Ambassador – any concern about anything between our nations or happening in our region, we should pick up the phone and then call one another, and we’ll take the call. That’s an important progress.

I’m embarrassed – I think it’s CBS, but I can’t remember who with CBS. I’m sorry.

Q: Thank you, Mister President. Weigia Jiang with CBS.

The President: Sorry (Laughs.) I apologize.

Q: You continue to stress the need to ensure competition with China does not veer into conflict or confrontation. In the past two years, there have been more than 180 incidents of Chinese aggression against U.S. aircraft in the Indo-Pacific and, of course, the ramped up military activity in the South China Sea. If that does not count as veering into confrontation, then what does? And did you issue any warnings Xi against continuing that behavior?

The President: Well, first of all, none of it did end up in a con- — conflict Number one.

Number two, you may recall: I did a few little things like get the Quad together, allow Australia to have access to new submarines, moving in the direction of working with the Philippines. So, our actions speak louder than our words. He fully understands.

Q: And because of the news of the day, sir, I do have a question about the IDF raid on the Al-Shifa Hospital, as it tries to contain and take out the Hamas operative that is there.

This week, you also said that we must protect hospitals. So, when you weight the target against the number of civilians inside the hospital, is the operation underway justified?

The President: Well, look, we did discuss this, by the way. We can’t let it get out of control.

Here’s the situation: You have a circumstance where the first war crime is being committed by Hamas by having their headquarters, their military hidden under a hospital. And that’s a fact. That’s what happened.

Israel did not go in with a large number of troops, did not raid, did not rush everything down. They’ve gone in a they’ve gone in with their soldiers carrying weapons or guns. They were told – told – let me be precise.

We’ve discussed the need for them to be incredibly careful. You have a circumstance where you know there is a fair number of Hamas terrorists. Hamas has already said publicly that they plan on attacking Israel again like they did before, to where they were cutting babies’ heads off to burn – burning women and children alive.

And so, the idea that they’re just going to stop and not do anything is not realistic. This is not the carpet bombing. This is a different thing. They’re going through these tunnels; they’re going in the hospital.

And if you notice, I – I was mildly preoccupied today. I apologize. I didn’t see everything. But what I did see, whether – I haven’t had it confirmed yet – I have asked my team to answer the question. But what happened is they’re also bringing incubators. They’re bringing in other – other means to help the people in the hospital, and they’ve given the doctors and – I’m told – the doctors and nurses and personnel an opportunity to get out of harm’s way.

So, this is a different story than I believe was occurring before, an indiscriminate bombing.

What do you got? Washington Post. I think that’s right.

Q: Thank you, Mr. President.

The President: Oh, there you are. Sorry. I couldn’t see you in the light.

Q: That’s okay. Mr. President, Israel’s war in Gaza has killed more than 11,000 Palestinians in just over a month and created –

The President: I’m sorry, you’re breaking up. I didn’t – would you –

Q: Israel’s war in Gaza has killed more than 11,000 Palestinians in just over a month and created a humanitarian disaster. Israeli officials have said this war could last months or even years. Have you communicated to Prime Minister Netanyahu any sort of a deadline or timeframe for how long you are willing to support Israel in this operation? Are you comfortable with the operation going on indefinitely? And is there any deal underway to free hostages? Thank you.

The President: Yes, no — working backwards forward. Look, I have been deeply involved in moving on the hostage negotiation, and I don’t want to get ahead of myself here because I don’t know what’s happened in the last four hours.

But they’re – I have – we’ve gotten great cooperation from the Qataris. I’ve spoken with them as well as a number of times. I think the pause and that Israeli – that the Israelis have agreed to is down to – I’m getting too much detail. I know, Mr. Secretary. I’m going to stop.

The – but I am – I am mildly hopeful. I’m mildly hopeful.

With regard to when is this going to stop, I think it’s going to stop when the – when Hamas no longer maintains the capacity to murder and abuse and – and just do horrific things to the Israelis. And they are in – and they still think they – at least of as of this morning, they still thought they could.

I – I guess the best way for me to say it is that I take a look, The IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces, acknowledges they have an obligation to use as much caution as they can in going after their targets. It’s not like they’re rushing in the hospital, knocking down doors, and, you know, pulling people aside and shooting indiscriminately.

But Hamas, as I said, said they plan on attacking the Israelis again. And this is a terrible dilemma. So, what do you do?

I think that Israel itself is also taking risks themselves about their folks being killed one-to-one going through these hospital rooms, hospital halls. But one thing has been established is that Hamas does have headquarters, weapons, material below this hospital and, I suspect, others. But how long it’s going to last, I don’t know.

Look, I made it clear to the Israelis that – and to Bibi and to his War Cabinet that I think the only ultimate answer here is a two-state solution that’s real. We got to get to the point where there is an ability to be able to even talk without worrying about whether or not we’re just dealing with – they’re dealing with Hamas – that’s going to engage in the same activities they did over the pat – on – on the 7th.

So, it’s – but I can’t tell – I’m not a fortuneteller. I can’t tell you how long it’s going to last. But I can tell you I don’t think it ultimately ends until there’s a two-state solution. I made it clear to the Israelis I think it’s a big mistake to – for them to think they’re going to occupy Gaza and maintain Gaza. I don’t think that works.

And so, we’re going to – I think you’re going to see efforts to bring along – well, I shouldn’t go into it anymore, because that’s – that’s things I’ve been negotiating with Arab countries and others about what the next steps are.

But anyway, thank you all very much. Appreciate it very much.

Ms. Jean Pierre: Thank you. This ends the press conference.

(Cross-talk.)

Q: Sir, on the hostages, you said, “We’re coming for you.” What did you mean when you said, “We’re coming for you?”

The President: When – when Hama- – well, Hamas said they plan on doing the same thing again – what – what they did – what they did on the 7th. They’re going to go in – they want to slaughter Israelis. They want to do it again. And they’ve said it out loud. They’re not even kidding about it. They’re not backing off.

And so, I just asked the rhetorical question, “I wonder what we could do if that were the case?”

Q: On the hostages though, you said, “We’re coming for you.” What did you mean to the American hostages when you said –

The President: Oh –

Q: “Hang tight. We’re coming for you.”

The President: What I meant was I’m doing everything in my power to get you out – coming to help you to get you out. I don’t mean sending military in to get them. Is – is that what you thought I might mean?

Q: I – I defer to you.

The President: No, no, no it’s – it – I was not talking about a military. I was talking about we – you’re on our mind every single day. Five to six times a day, I’m working on how I can be helpful in getting these hostages released and have a period of time where there’s a pause long enough to let that happen.

And there is somewhere between 50 and 100 hostages there, we think.

Q: And sir, one is a three-year-old American child.

The President: You’re darn right it is. That’s why I’m not going to stop till we get her.

Thank you. Thank you.

(Cross-talk.)

The President: Who can holler the loudest?

Q: Can you just detail for us what kind of evidence the U.S. has seen that Hamas has a command center under Al-Shifa Hospital?

The President: No, I can’t tell you. I won’t tell you.

Q: Do you feel absolutely confident based on what you know –

The President: Yes.

Q: – that that is the truth?

The President: Yes.

Q: And, Mr. President, after today, would you still refer to President Xi as “dictator”? This is a term that you used earlier this year.

The President: Well, look he is. I mean, he’s a dictator in the sense that he – he is a guy who runs a country that – it’s a communist country that is based on a form of government totally different than ours.

Anyway, we made progress.

November 17, 2023 Remarks by Vice President Harris at a Campaign Reception | San Francisco, CA

Private Residence, San Francisco, California

The Vice President: Hi, everyone. Hi. Hello. (Applause.) Hi, everyone. Please have a seat. Pease have a seat.

Thank you, Dougie. (Laughter.)

I – and – I – please forgive me for being so tardy this evening. You all know and – and Doug said, “I’m going to go over because I want to see – I want to see Quinn and Wayne anyway.” And so, he came over earlier and I know you guys had some time with him.

But I was at the APEC convening and it was running a little late so – so forgive my tardiness. But thank you for waiting. And it is so good to see all of the friends. It is so good to see all of the friends.

And it’s so true: So many of the people in this room have been on this journey with me since the very beginning. I was no- –joking with John Burris, like, from – before the beginning. (Laughter.) Just going way back.

So, let me start with Quinn and Wayne. Dough said it so well. You guys do so much for so many people – people you’ve never met. You guys give of yourself. You love our country. You are clear-eyed about its challenges, but you are always so optimistic about what we are capable of doing and what is possible. And you’ve been dear, dear, dear friends to me and Doug and to our family. And so, I just want to say in front of all the friend: Thank you, thank you, thank you always. (Applause.)

Ms. Delaney: You love you, Madam Vice President.

The Vice President: I love you back, Quinn.

Madam Barbara Lee – Congresswoman Barbara Lee – (applause) – a dear friend and an extraordinary leader and a courageous leader and, in so many ways, for so many years, a conscience of our country. Thank you, Barbara. (Applause.)

Someone said Josh Be- — there you are. Hi. Josh Becker is here. (Applause.) Hi. It’s good to see you.

So, thank you all.

I’m going to keep my comments brief so we can have a discussion, because I think there’s some questions and I want to just have the opportunity to actually have a conversation with folks.

But let me start by saying this. We love our country. And that is why we keep coming back together to rededicate ourselves to the promise that we believe in based on ideals that we believe in – that we know in so many ways, for some of them, we have yet to actually achieve, but we know are possible of doing as a country and as a people.

And this is probably one of the most challenging times in our country and the world. And I do believe that this election – this upcoming November, in 11 short months – is going be fundamentally about who we are as a nation and what we stand for.

You know, I have now met with over 100 world leaders as vice president: presidents, prime ministers, chancellors, and kings. And including- and now repeatedly, I’ve met with many several times, including just in the last couple of days.

And you know, when we walk in those rooms representing the United States of America, we walk in those rooms chin up, shoulders back, with the self-appointed and earned authority to talk about the importance of democracies, rule of law.

And when you’re a role model, people then watch what you do to see if it matches what you say. People around the world are watching what’s happening in our country right now.

In the travels – in my travels in the last year – I’d say year, for sure, but actually starting sine the beginning when we first came in – the President and I talk about this. It was an experience he and I had individually and together where world leaders would say to use when we said America is back – and they’d day, “Well, for how long?”

Now what I’ve started to experience in the last several months – including when I was in the UK, as Doug mentioned, last two – two weeks ago, outlining what I think should be our vision for the future of AI – I ran into a number of world leaders who I’ve now have come to know. And of the many topics for our convening during that trip, the first thing – I’m not kidding you – that each one of them – the first thing they said, “We hope you’re going to win.”

And – but out of self-interest, they raised it. Out of self-interest. Because of what they know the future of our country means and represents for the future of their countries.

When we talk about stability, when we talk about economic stability, when we talk about the ability of nations to try to come together to speak with a collective voice based on the international rules and norms and our commitment to those rules and norms.

So, all of that is to say that everything I believe, everything that is foundational and fundamental to who we are and what we stand for and what we aspire to be, is at stake in this election.

And when I look around the room – and I know who’s here – I know I’m preaching to the choir and we all get it. That’s why you all are here right now and why you continue to be so selfless and generous in the way that you continue to give.

And so, there are a lot of things I can talk about our accomplishments. And I’ll rattle off a few because, you know, for the president that’s in the room and for others who – the punditry – will say, “Well, you guys are going to have a hard road.” Yeah, we are, because it’s an election for president of the United States. (Laughter.) A reelect.

Yeah, it’s going to be hard. Yes. And we’re going to have to make our case. And we’re going to have to earn the reelect, of course. And you know what? We’ve got a lot of good material. We’ve got a lot of good material. (Applause.)

Because the folks in this room, like so many other of our friends around the country, in the height of a pandemic in 2020, where there was extraordinary loss of life – people lost their jobs, lost of normalcy – and yet, the optimism was there to say, “But we must get out there and participate and engage and organize and remind people that they matter even when all the forces were saying “isolate.” But the people here said, “No, but let us remind folks that we’re in it together.”

And because of your work in 2020, we had a record turnout, record turnout. And it was because people knew that it was possible to do those things that had not yet been done.

They knew, you knew it was possible and that we would be able to cap insulin at $35 a month for our seniors – an issue that has been a choice for so many seniors for generations in our country about whether they can afford to fill their prescription or pay their rent or buy the food they need.

Black Americans are 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes. Latinos, 70 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes. Capping insulin at $35 a month is going to be literally life-changing for so many of the people in our country.

We believed that even though there had been those who are in these fancy offices with these fancy titles who are denying the existence of the climate crisis – an existential threat to this beautiful Earth and us as a species – we believed and knew we could do it.

And because you all did what you did, and Joe Biden was elected president and I was elected vice president, we have now committed over a trillion dollars to address the climate crisis in a way that is about investing in American workers to do the work of facilitating and building up our ability around adaptation and resilience – and an investment in a clean energy economy and an investment in the workers, including building the pipeline of workers; including paying attention to gender and race in terms of who takes jobs, who gets these contracts.

Because you all believed it was possible. And so, we got it done, because elections matter.

It’s because the people in this room understood: In the 21st century, having access to being able to afford high-speed Internet is not a luxury. It’s a basic necessity. But too many people – remember the pandemic – did not have access and could not afford it. Which meant if they are a small business, they’re missing out on an opportunity to sustain themselves, much less grow. And we know what it meant for the children of our nation in terms of substantial loss of critical phases in their education.

We are now on track to getting high-speed Internet to every family in America because of the work that you all did.

Because of the work that you all did, we responded, finally, to, in particular, the grandmothers and grandfathers, that had been talking about those lead pipes forever – talking about the fact that, “Well, hey, we may not be doctors and scientists, but we know that that water coming out of those pipes is toxic and having a direct impact on the health of our children, much less their learning ability.”

And because you all did that work and elections matter, we are on track to get rid of every lead pipe in America. (Applause.)

And these are just some of the examples, and I could go on and on. We’ve got a lot of good material.

Our challenge will be to just remind people who brung it to them. (Laughter and applause.) But, you know, when people want to talk about the polls, on and on about the polls, let me tell you: Everything we have accomplished is highly, highly popular with the American people. We just got to remind them who did it. And we all did it.

And so, that’s what we’re going to do over the next 11 months. And we are going to win. (Applause.) We’re going to win.

So, with all of that, I say then: Thank you all. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.

We can talk a little bit more about what it means in terms of these attacks on so many of our fundamental rights, because I do believe there’s a full-on attack and an agenda to attack fundamental, hard-won, hard-fought rights and freedoms.

I started a college tour recently. Well, last – I decided to do it over the summer, and I started as soon as school started back up for – for our students. University, community college, and trade school. College-aged young people. And I named it the – the “Fight for Our Freedoms.”

And, again when I think about what’s at stake, it is about a fight for our freedoms.

And, again I say: Let’s be optimistic about all of this.

So, we can get into more of those topics as anyone would like, and let’s take some questions.

And with that, again, I thank you all very much. (Applause.)

END

November 27, 2023: Remarks by Vice President Harris at a Campaign Reception | Houston, TX

Private Residence, Houston Texas

The Vice President: Hi, everyone. (Applause.) The first Second Gentleman of the United States. (Applause.) (Laughs.) Thank you, Dougie.

Hi, everyone, and good evening. Good evening to everyone. Let me start by thanking Sima and Masoud and Dara for hosting us this evening.

Sima and I went to the same law school. And – and we have been working together most recently on the issue of what we must do to fight for fundamental freedoms, including the right of people – of women to make decisions about their own body and not have their government tell them what to do.

And so, on behalf of so many who you and your family have supported, I think thank you, because you really make it look easy, and I know it’s not. So, can we please applaud our hosts for this evening? (Applause.)

And to the entire host committee and to everyone, to the elected leaders who are here, as Doug said, we were all together at a senior center in the district represented by Sylvia and – and having a wonderful community conversation about the issues, the challenges, and the opportunities of this moment. And, Congresswoman Barragán, I want to thank you for hosting us in Texas for that purpose.

And I also just want to give a shout-out to Judge Hidalgo who – (applause). We can only cover so many important topics tonight in this one conversation, but one of the discussions that we had earlier this afternoon was about the importance of addressing mental health. And increasingly, a big, big issue for your young leaders and our young people – in fact, one out of three young people describe and have reported they’re concerned about their own mental health. And that’s just what – who has reported. And she’s been a national leader on this issue. So, I thank you for that and all you do. Thank you. (Applause.)

So, there’s a lot to talk about, but let’s start with this. And I think it’s part of the theme of the evening. We love our country. We love our country.

And there is so much about this moment and, certainly, the next 11 months that will be about fighting for this country we love and fighting to make real promises that we all hold so dear – a promise that is based on fundamental, foundational ideals, freedoms – the right of individuals to have a government and a nation protect their individual rights and their freedoms in such a foundational way.

The election is going to be a fight for our democracy and all that we hold dear. And so, we all come together with, I think, a collective and a shared spirit of knowing that this is a fight borne out of love for something, not against anything.

And so, that’s with that spirit that we join we join together tonight and understanding that we have to stay vigilant. And none of us – and I’m preaching to the choir here – none of us can afford to passively sit by and watch what we have been witnessing happen without being active and taking a stand to fight for all that we hold dear.

So, that’s how I think about the moment that we are in. And it’s not only about who we are as a nation as it relates to each other. This is also about our standing globally around the world.

Doug mentioned last – was it – it was last week we were in San Francisco at APEC, the Asia-Pacific Economic Council, and – and then a couple of weeks before that in the UK. And at those most recent meetings, just in the last few weeks, I saw global leaders who I’ve now come to know quite well as vice president.

I will tell you that, as vice president, I have now met with over 100 world leaders – presidents, prime ministers, chancellors, and kings. And one of the things I can tell you is that when we walk in those rooms representing the United States of America, we walk in those rooms chin up, shoulders back, with the earned and self-appointed authority to talk about the importance of rule of law, democracies.

But here’s the thing about being a role model: When you’re a role model – it’s a group of role models – people watch what you do to see if it matches what you say. And on so many of the important issues of the moment, then, the outcome of this election will be a statement in so many ways about who we are as a nation and our commitment to fundamental, foundational principles.

Like Doug said, you know, there’s so many issues right now that are seeming as though they’re binary when, in fact, they’re anything but. But on this election, it’s binary. There’s a split screen. And everyone has got to just see it and understand they’ve got to take a stand.

On the state with the two Congress members, we talked just a couple of hours ago about a collage tour that I started this year. So, during the summer, I said, “You know, I really wan to get out and hang out with our Gen Z.” (Laughter.) I love Gen Z. I’m just going to confess. I love Gen Z.

And it’s – it will be a very humbling thing for many to acknowledge that if someone is 18 today, they were born in 2005. (Laughter.) But when you think about who they are – right? – okay, so I told you, it’s kind of – you know, it’s a bit humbling, isn’t it?

But what I love about that generation – this generation, for so many of the foundational, fundamental issues that we’re facing right now, for them it’s a lived experience. They’ve only known the climate crisis. They have witnessed states, including this very state, take away voting rights, take away – they saw the highest court take away a woman’s right to make decisions about their own body. They witnessed the killing of George Floyd. They have endured active-shooter drills.

So, for them – and doing this college tour, what I – where I met over 15,000 young people, it is so clear that these issues are, for them, a lived experience. This is not some conceptual issue. This is not academic issue. And they are prepared to step up in a way that they believe we also will step up.

And so, thinking, then, about these foundational and fundamental principles that are at stake, I will tell you: Traveling our country, I’ve also seen and I do believe there is an intent to – to create a full-on attack against these rights – be it, again, the right of a woman to make decisions about her own body; the freedom to have access to the ballot, unfettered; the freedom to love who you love openly and with pride; the freedom to live free of fear, be it gun violence or bigotry or Islamophobia or antisemitism or xenophobia; the freedom to just be.

These are the things that are at stake right now in our country.

However, I will also say, as I travel our country and meet with the friends like these who are here today, I am so clear that we are prepared to do what is necessary to fight for all that is good and right.

And I just have to reflect on a few things. I reflect on 2020 and I reflect on the midterms.

2020, in the height of a pandemic – where there was extraordinary loss of life, people lost their jobs, a lo- –loss of normality – the people in this house gave up and remained optimistic and were as engaged as you are now and as involved as you are now and talked with friends and neighbors and family members about why they should care and stay active in the midst of an historic pandemic.

And because of the work you did in 2020, born out of optimism and what is possible, we had record voter turnout – record voter turnout.

Because of what you did in 2020, we took on so much, which resulted in transformative policies for the American people.

And, you know, on that point – I know there’s some press folks here – I’ll tell you – so, you know, – (laughter) – I know I – I believe in the freedom of the press. I love the press. (Laughter.) But my point is this – my point is this: that, you know, the punditry, you know on media will – they’ll – they’ll often talk about “Oh, you know, there’s – this is going to be a tough race. This is going to be a tough election.” Well, of course it is. We’re talking about the president of the United States in a reelection.

Of course, it’s going to be tough, but we’ve got a lot of good material. (Applause.) We’ve got a lot of good material.

And I’ll just rattle off a few things.

Think about the transformative nature of what we did with the infrastructure bill. You know, some people talked about “Infrastructure Week” forever; it never happened. We are now investing billions of dollars in upgrading America’s infrastructure.

What we have done with the Inflation Reduction Act is an investment, by my estimate, of a least $1 trillion over the next 10 years in a clean energy economy, which will allow us as the United States of America to be a global leader in what nations can do to address one of the most existential crises we have ever faced.

What we are doing and have done – (applause) – to invest in the CHIPS and Science Act – to invest in our capacity to engage in research and development, engage in the brilliance of someone like Dara, who is working in technology and just moved to San Francisco. (Applause.)

To create – to create and to do – to do the work that is about innovation to heal people and to improve the quality of life of people around the world.

This is the work we have been doing as an administration because you all believed in 2020 in what is possible. And you showed up, in this house and many other places, knowing what can be unburdened by what has been.

Not to mention, what we have accomplished – some people might think it’s not a big deal, but I’ll tell you a whole lot of people do – we capped the cost of insulin for seniors at $35 a month. That’s a big deal. (Applause.)

We are on track to get every American family access to an affordable high-speed Internet, including rural America – I’m saying in Texas. (Applause.)

We are on track to get rid of every lead pipe in America – lead pipes through which toxic water was coming that babies were drinking and having an impact on their health and their ability to learn. (Applause.)

This is the stuff we are doing because you all were so engaged and believed in what was possible.

And so, I say that to say we’ve got a lot of good material. And our challenge is just, then, to remind folks of who brung it to them. (Laughter.) Because people want to talk about the polls – well, let me tell you: On every aspect of every issue that I have just quickly outlined – incredibly popular with American people. These things are incredibly popular, what we have done. We just got to let people know who brung it to them.

And so, I’ll close by saying this. Again, this is about our nation. I mean, Sima you said so beautifully. This is about – we thought 2020 was a fight for the soul of America. Joe Biden talks about that all the time – our extraordinary president, who, by the way, because of his leadership – (applause) – has been able to bring nations together around some of the chal- most challenging issues of our time. This is fundamentally about a fight for our democracy.

And I’ll close with just a simple point. You know, there’s a duality to the nature of democracies. On the one hand, it is very – it is very much strength – the strength that it gives individuals in terms of the protections of their rights and freedoms and liberties. When a democracy is intact, it is very strong in capacity to lift the people up.

It is also very fragile. It is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it.

And so, fight we will; fight we must. And when we fight, we win. (Applause.)

So, thank you, all. Thank you, all. Thank you, all. Thank you, thank you.

END

November 28, 2023: The Biden campaign on Tuesday seized on former President Trump’s assertion that he was “seriously looking at alternatives” to the Affordable Care Act, warning a second Trump presidency could harm millions of American with preexisting conditions (The Hill)

President Biden’s reelection team, in a memo first shared with The Hill, cautioned that repealing ObamaCare would strip protection from up to 135 million Americans with preexisting conditions. The 2010 law barred health insurance companies from denying coverage to patients with such conditions.

“Whether you have cancer or diabetes, or are simply a woman, Trump’s plan means insurance companies would again be able to deny coverage for no reason at all – other than the fact that they can,” Seth Schuster, a Biden campaign spokesperson, said in a statement. “But Donald Trump doesn’t care because like everything in his life, he only cares about himself – and turns out, a billionaire doesn’t have to worry about his health insurance.”…

…The Biden campaign argued ObamaCare has become “widely popular” in the nearly 15 year since it’s passage. A Kff poll published in May found 59 percent of adults held favorable views of the law, compared to 40 percent who viewed it unfavorably…

November 28, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception | Denver CO

The President: Well, hello, hello, hello. Please, everybody have a seat.

My lord, this is a big crowd. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And I want to thank Tamara and Ken for welcoming me into your home. I mean that sincerely. Thank you.

You know, I hope she’s not embarrassed by saying this, but Tamara’s mom has been a big help to me for a long while. She’s from Rockville, Maryland, and I – when I was a senator and beyond that, she did a lot of fundraising for me. Because – and she was a great supporter of mine when I introduced the Armenian Genocide legislation that made a lot of our friends in Turkey very angry, but it was the right thing to do. And your mom does a great job.

And as I said, maybe after this, we can call her. Although, it’s going to be kind of late. Anyway. (Laughter.)

And I want to thank the Governor for that introduction. And the First Gentleman and the kids, it’s been really great to have you all here. And it’s got to be – kids, they all owe – they owe you big. (Laughter.) This is going to be boring, boring, boring for you. (Laughter.) So, we should talk afterwards about what we’re going to ask for.

Folks, look, I want to thank my friend John Hickenlooper as well. John, you’ve been a great friend for a long time. I mean it sincerely. The thing about John is I – there’s one word I would describe him with – and I mean it sincerely – integrity. He’s a man of absolute, total integrity, and that matters today.

Secretary of State Jena Grisworld and Attorney General Phil – where’s Phil? There you are, Phil. I didn’t see you there.

And – and all the state and local officials, I want to thank you all for being here. Big thanks to all of you.

Look, earlier this month, despite all the predictions, except ours, the Democrats had an incredible night once again. The press declared us dead last month. We won every major race. In Kentucky, the Democrat governor won again. In Kentucky, he was reelected. In Ohio, the right to choose was protected in the Ohio constitution.

In Virginia, a Republican governor tried to gain control of the state legislature. Lost both houses and lost his – and he abandoned – he was defeated in his attempt to ban abortion in any circumstance. And guess what? He got trounced.

And on top of all that, we had a big win in Philadelphia. We elected – the first Black woman elected the mayor of Philadelphia. A big win in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. And the list goes on.

And despite all the pundits’ predictions, the truth is what happened in those areas are not unusual. It was a continuation of what happened in 2020 when we were declared dead, as you recall, from the beginning, and the Democrats won and again in 2022.

The American people voted to protect the fundamental freedoms, like the right to choose. They voted to protect democracy. They voted against the extremism of our opponents. And they voted for progress. They voted for progress and progress we’ve been making.

Look, Democrats up and down the ticket ran on our record. They’re proud of that Biden-Harris agenda. Not only is it popular, people actually voted for it. You’ll notice each of the people who won this off-year election cited the record they ran on. And it’s a winning election.

Look, over and over again, the press and the pundits – not because – they’re not trying to be b- –bad at all; I think they’re just misreading what’s going on – keep being surprised. They can be surprised as much as they want.

You know, when I came off the sidelines after my son was killed – or died and I went toe to toe with Donald Trump, we haven’t stopped winning, and he hasn’t stopped losing, which is a good thing. (Laughter.)

And the Supreme Court majority Trump – (applause) – the Supreme Court majority that Trump proudly appointed overturned Roe v. Wade and practically dared the women in America to stand up. The majority of the Court wrote, and I quote, “Women are not without electoral and political power.”

And I said at the time, “They ain’t had no idea how much power…” (Laughter.) No, I’m serious. (Applause.) The power of women in America – that, they’re about to find out, and they did.

Folks, look, now Trump is running for president bragging that he killed Roe v. Wade. So, let’s be absolutely clear what Trump is bragging about. The only person there is – there – the only reason there’s a ban on abortion and the circumstances in many places is because of Donald Trump. The only reason a teenager in Ohio was – I’m in front of the kids; I won’t say the circumstance – but was made pregnant by someone who attacked her had to move out of state – had to move out of state for healthcare is because of Donald Trump.

The only reason the fundamental right has been stripped away from the American people for the first time – a – a fundamental right – is because of Donald Trump. And all of this is just because the Republican friends found out about the power of women in America. Well, Donald Trump is about to find out about the power of women in America in 2024. And that’s no hyp- — (Applause.)

It’s not because of me. And I especially want to thank my running mate, Kamala, for her leadership in this issue and so many other issues.

Folks, look, Trump is one of just two presidents who lost jobs during his four years as president. The other one was Herbert Hoover. That’s why every now and then we call him “Donald ‘Herbert Hoover’ Trump.” (Laughter.)

But we have a very different record. We created 14 million new jobs in less than two years – just about two years, since I took office. We created more jobs than any president has created in four years in all of American history. Inflation has come down, and we have work to do. In fact, we have the strongest growth and lowest inflation rate of any major county in the world right now.

And I’ve been fighting for decades to take on Big Pharma for the exorbitant cost of prescription drugs. You can go into – you can get the same exact drugs made by the same exact company, but it here in Denver, but you can buy it cheaper by a significant amount in Toronto, Canada, or Paris, France, or – or Berlin, in Germany – anywhere in the world. Same exact drug. And I’ve been fighting this for a long time.

Well, seniors on Medicare are now paying – instead of 400 bucks a month, they’re now paying $35 a month. And guess what? The drug company is still making a sizable profit. It costs them $10 to make it, $2 to package it, and they’re making 35 bucks a month. And that’s still a good – a good profit on what they’re doing.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump announced his latest idea to his campaign. I hope you didn’t miss it. He said he – I hope that – because of his plan, he wants together rid of the Affordable Care Act. Most of you are not on the Affordable Care Act. Most of you have better insurance and have your own insurance. But he already spent four years trying to undo that act.

There’s been over 50 votes. The MAGA Republicans have tried to topple it 50 times – 50 votes in Congress.

Let’s be clear about what the Affordable Care Act means. There are 40 million people in America today who get their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. His plan is to throw every one of them off that – that legislation. It would mean then number of uninsured African Americans would go up by 20 percent. Latinos would go up by 15 percent.

There are millions of families in this country that have saved $800 a person per year on their premiums because of the law I recently signed.

If Trump gets his way and that gets – it’s all gone – all gone. And if one of those families in America today has a son or daughter who is on their healthcare plan up to age 26, that goes away too. They’re no longer allowed.

If Trump has his way, that’s gone. There are over 100 million people today who have – who have protections against preexisting conditions only for one reason: because of the Affordable Care Act. Trump want to get rid of it.

And guess what? It’s not going to happen on my watch. It’s not going to happen. (Applause.)

Folks, none of this has to be this way. We don’t have to destroy things in this county that are working. Of course, we didn’t need to get rid of Roe v. Wade, either. With Trump, through his – thought it was a good idea. All – all it’s done is cause chaos.

And folks, with the progress we’ve made, we haven’t gotten a whole lot of help from the other side. Tomorrow, we’re going to be in Congressman – Congressman Lauren Boebert’s district, one of the leaders of the ext- —

Audience: Booo – (laughter.)

The President: — one of the leaders of the extreme right, the MAGA movement. We’re going to a wind energy company that plans to invest an additional $200 million to expand the facility in Colorado, double its production, add 850 new jobs – good paying jobs, the governor will tell you.

But the congresswoman, along with every single one of her Republican colleagues, voted against the law I signed that made these investments possible. And then she vowed to repeal it. And she voted to repeal it, and she called it a massive failure. It’s in her district. She called it a massive failure.

And she went on and voted against the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. She called it garbage. It’s building bridges, roads, Internet, et cetera. And she called it a scam. I find it pretty unbelievable.

And folks, this is not your father’s Republican Party. Look, one of the things I – I said after we passed all these major pieces of legislation that we did in the first two years, almost – almost three years, that the next big battle was whether or not the super wealthy – I come from the corporate state of America. More cooperation are incorporated in my state than every other state in America combined.

And I served there for 36 years. I’m not anti corporate. I just want everybody to pay their fair share – just their fair share. And it’s whether or not people are paying their fair share.

It’s clear that the Speaker and Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans are determined to protect the tax cuts that are ridiculously low for the corporations, as well as billionaires who are paying less – and millionaires who are paying less than school teachers in a percent of wages that they pay. They oppose any investment for working people.

One of the ways the we paid for our investments and did not cause a deficit – actually, cut the debt – cut the debt by $7 billion – is making corporations pay their fair share.

Remember back in 2020, there were 55 corporations in the Fortune 500 corporate world that made $40 billion in profit who didn’t pay a single penny in tax – not a single penny. I’m not talking about 90 percent taxes. I’m just talking about if they pay 35 percent. The highest right now is 36, and they’re trying to 38, -9. But that’s what we’re talking about. They paid zero in taxes.

But by making sure they pay that 15 percent minimum tax, we paid for everything that we’ve proposed. We didn’t increase the debt. We cut the federal deficit. And we have more work to do.

You know, does anyone here think the tax code is fair? We have about a thousand billionaires in America now. We had 750 billionaires before the pandemic. You know what their tax rate is? Eight percent. E-I-G-H-T. Eight percent of a billion-dollar income. That’s less than a firefighter or a teacher pay. That’s wrong.

That’s why I’m imposing a billionaire minimum tax. To get this billionaire minimum tax at just 25 percent, you know how much additional revenue that would generate? Four hundred and forty billion dollars over the next 10 years. Just 25 percent. That’s a hell of a lot less than all of you pay. Just 25 percent.

And imagine if we could do that and have them pay their taxes like everyone else. It will strengthen the Social Security system instead of what Republicans are proposing now – Trump is proposing and the MAGA Republicans of cutting Social Security and Medicare. It will strengthen the Affordable Care Act instead of going into get rid of it, like his predecessor wants to do – my predecessor wants to do.

We could use it to help millions of families with senior care and elder care and child care for their children, which the Treasury Departments points out would generate economic growth. If all those women who are not able to work because they have to stay home and take care of their child while working could afford childcare, we’d generate significant additional income.

And all these idea would be a hell of a lot better than America telling the billionaires who are paying less taxes than the middle-class working people that it’s okay.

There’s going to be a fundamental choice this next election. It’s a choice between Trump and the extreme MAGA wing who are pushing for more tax cuts for the very top who did before – who are trying to cut Social Security and Medicare. And we can continue down this path that we set our country on in the past few years as an alternative.

I’ve believed from the beginning that I’m tired of trickle-down economics. I don’t think anybody should be paying more than 38 percent of their taxes – maybe 39, as they propose. I don’t think we – I really mean it. And I voted that way.

And I’m prepared – I guarantee that no on making less than $400,000 a year would pay a penny more as long – in taxes, federal taxes – as long as I was President of the United States.

But the path we’re on is that we’re now investing in America. Instead of trickle-down economics, I want to build the economy from the middle out and the bottom up. When that occurs, everybody does well.

Recent articles being written by national economists are talking about how when America was really growing, we were investing in America and investing in Americans. You know, there’s a law that was passed back in the ’30s. It said when the President is given money to provide for a proposal that has been passed by the Congress and they sign, that he’s supposed to have American workers and invest it in America.

Well, guess what? It’s been honored in the breach. It’s been honored in the breach by Democrat and Republican presidents. But now, if they give me money to build a new deck of an aircraft carrier, we hire American companies and we hire American workers, and the economy is growing. And the economy is growing because we’re investing in America.

That’s how we’re going to grow the economy. And one of the ways that we’ll do that is by finally asking the biggest corporations and the wealthiest billionaires in the world to actually began to pay their fair share.

Folks, we need to fight the prospect. And we need to protect the progress we’ve made. But most important of all —

(Referring to a handheld microphone.) Is this working? Hello, hello, hello. Can you hear me?

Well, you know we’re – we’re unique among nations. We’re the only nation founded on an idea. That’s not hyperbole. That’s not us beating our chests as Americans. We’re the only nation in the world founded on an idea. Every nation is founded on either geography, ethnicity, religion, but we’re the only one.

And the idea was that we believe we can – “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” It sounds corny, but it’s real. The only one. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all are created equal, endowed by their Creator,” et cetera.

Well, guess what? We’ve never fully lived up to it, but we’ve never walked away from it or tried to walk away from it until this – until Trump came along. Now Trump and the MAGA Republicans want to walk away from it.

Look, folks, — folks, the idea is that he is going to be able to do what he wants to do — you know, I feel it in my bones, what I – what I suspect you feel as well. This next election is going to be different. Not because I’m running; because of the nature of what’s at stake.

We reach certain inflection points in American history – in history, period, not just American history — where the decisions made over a short period or span of time determine the outcome of what the next five, six, seven decades are going to look like. We’re in one of those periods in history. Whether its global warming or societal changes or geographic changes and alliances around the world, things are changing.

But, you know, it’s important we impact – impact how they change. And we all know why they change. Our democracy is at stake. It literally is at stake because of the same man who proclaims himself to be a proud election denier, the same man who is promising pardons for the January 6th insurrectionists, the same man who said, and I quote, he wants to terminate – quote, “termination of all rules, articles and eve [those] found in the Constitution,” end of quote. He means it.

If somebody said that before, you’d think it’s got to be a joke. It’s got to be a joke, This man – that same man is running on a plan to end democracy as we know it. And he’s not even hiding the ball.

In recent weeks, the New York Times and the Washington Post both ran article about how he intends to use the presidency for his – he says, “for revenge and retribution.” It’s a President of the United States saying those things. If he elects, he’s going to invoke revenge and retribution.

And on more than one occasion, he’s made a joke about the assault on Paul Pelosi, Speaker Pelosi’s husband, with a hammer to the head trying to kill him. Well, guess what? If you can joke about that, you really have no business being anywhere near the presidency. There’s no place in American – (applause). No, I mean it.

Those of you who are older – over 40 like I am – (laughter) – you know we’ve never talked tis way before in American politics. Seriously, think about it. We’ve never talked this way before in American politics.

And there’s no place in America for political violence under any circumstances. None, zero, ever. And it is never a laughter matter. We all need to send the clearest message possible that political violence is never acceptable.

But just recently, Trump said if he returned to office, he would go – go after all those who oppose him, root out what he called the “vermin” in America – the “vermin” in America. These are his quotes. I mean, you see it on television; you read it in the paper. That’s a specific phrase with a specific meaning. That goes to the language we heard in Germany in the ’30’s.

And it wasn’t the first time. Trump also recently talked about, quote, “the blood of our country is being poisoned,” end of quote. “The blood of our country is being poisoned.” God Almighty. Look, folks, another phrase that echoes from the same era.

Folks, we can’t – we just can’t fall numb to Trump and the threats he poses. Donald Trump and the MAGA Republican are determined to destroy American democracy as we know it.

So, Kamala and I need you. Indeed, we need every American who loves democracy, whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, or independent, to join is in 2024. And if we do that, we’ll have done something few generations can say. We will have saved American democracy as we know it.

The choice facing us could not be more stark. When Donald Trump gave his Inaugural Address, he chose to speak about American carnage. When I gave my Amer- my Inaugural Address, I spoke about American possibilities.

When Donald Trump looks at America, he sees, quote, “a failing nation.” When I look at America, I see the strongest economy in the world, an America that’s once again leading the world in foreign policy. Donald Trump sees angry, dark, dismal, divided future of America, but I don’t.

Folks, I mean this from the bottom of my heart: I’ve never been more optimistic about America. I’ve never ben more optimistic about our future.

We just have to remember who in God’s name we are. We’re the United States of America. There’s nothing – nothing beyond our capacity if we do it together.

That’s why when I announced for presidency, I was announcing for three reasons: one, to restore the soul of the country; two, to build a country from the middle out and the bottom up; and, three, to unite America. I was roundly criticized by all the pendants. They said, “Biden used to be able to do that. That used to be how he was characterized. He got more done when he was a senator in a bipartisan way, but it’s changed.”

Well, guess what? You have to run a democracy based on consensus. If you can’t deal with those three things, you’re in real trouble.

But I’m absolutely confident we can. I’m absolutely confident we can. Like I said, we just have to remember who we are.

May God bless you all. May God protect our troops.

Thank you so much for your time. (Applause.)


DECEMBER 2023:

December 1, 2023: President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign, the Democratic National Committee and pro-Biden groups have already spent more than $45 million combined in advertisements ahead of the 2024 presidential election, according to ad-tracking data from AdImpact. (NBC News)

That amount is more than for any other recent presidential incumbent in the off-year before the general election.

For the entire year of 2011, according to AdImpact, former President Barack Obama and his allies spent $7.5 million. And in 2019, former President Donald Trump and the groups supporting him had spent $36.5 million.

The pro-Biden ad spend comes mainly from four different groups – the outside organization Future Forward USA Action ($19.8 million), the Biden campaign ($11.2 million) The Biden Victory Funds (4.8 million) and DNC/Biden ($4.8 million)…

December 5, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception | Weston, MA

Private Residence, Weston Massachusetts

The President: Thank you, thank you, thank you. (Applause.) Please – please have a seat.

I want to thank off of you for making this run possible.

There’s two people I particularly want to thank in here, Andre and Roman. Where are you guys? Stand up. (Applause.) These guys – these guys sold – stood on a – on the corn- well, not the corner, on the street near their home for – how many weeks?

Audience member: Ten.

The President: Ten weeks, 30 hours a week, selling – it was a cake, wasn’t it?

Audience Member: Lemon Bars and brownies.

The President: Lemon bars and brownies. They raised $4,000 for my campaign. (Applause.) Fellas, thank you, thank you, thank you. I truly – I really appreciate it.

To Susan and Ambassador AI – Mr. Ambassador, I tell you what, we’ve been hanging out for a while. And I can’t thank you enough for that introduction and for all you’ve done to help me and – and our whole administration,

And a big thank you to all of you.

You know, I was raised in what the Jewish community refers to as a “righteous Christian.” My dad – (laughter). No, I’m serious. My dad was – was a Catholic, like our family is.

And, but he used to come home. He ran an automobile dealership. He didn’t own it; he ran it. He’d come home for dinner every night and then go back and close things up. And our dinner table was the place where we sat down to have conversation and, incidentally, eat as kids. I’m serious about that.

My dad used to rave about – rave about the fact that – why would they not let that ship full of Jewish – American Jews come into America from Germany; why, in fact, we didn’t bond the railroad tracks on the way to the death camp.

My dad was a well-read high school graduate. He never got a chance to go to college. And he talked about obligation all the time, for real. And so, when I – I apologize for telling this story again to a couple of you but –

When my – each of my children and each my grandchildren reach the age of 14, the first thing I did after their birthday was to put them on an (inaudible) and take them to Dachau with me because I wanted them to see the concentration camp. I wanted them to understand what happened. I mean, of real. Every one of them. I have two left to go to take with me.

Because my dad also – this is a phrase that’s not unique to him but known to all of you, and that is: Silence is complicity. Silence is complicity.

And so, I’ve been – I’ve known every prime minister well since Golda Meir. The first time I sat with Golda, there was a guy sitting next to me named Rabin who was her assistant. That’s how far back I go.

And I’ve been a strong, strong supporter of Israel from the time I entered the United States Senate back in 1973.

And, you know, it is – as I – as I said, there’s a story I tell that – my meeting with Golda after the Six-Day War. She was – I was – went to see her. And she was flipping this maps up and down in her office, and she was going on. And all of the sudden, she looked at me and said, “Would you like a photographer? (Laughter.) And many of you have been to her office. If you walk outside the officer, there’s, like, a hallway that is mostly circular, outside.

And we said, “Let’s go have a photograph.” So, I got up, walked there. I’m standing next to her, and we’re both standing silently, looking at the photographers.

And we didn’t – she didn’t turn to me, but she just spoke to me. She said, “Why do you look so sad?” – after she just described the end of Judaism for me. (Laughter.) And I said – and I stated to respond, and I decided I shouldn’t.

And she looked at me and said, “Don’t worry, we have a secret weapon. We have a secret weapon in our fight.” And then I did turn. And I sear to God this is a true story. I – I recorded it at the time.

I said, “What is that?” She said, “We have no place else to go.” And I think that’s the truth.”

Without an Israel that’s free and secure, I don’t think there’s a single Jew in the world that would be fully secure. That’s why I’ve been such an overwhelming supporter.

I got in trouble many times for saying you don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist, and I am a Zionist. I make no apologies for that. That’s a reality.

But, you know, when this last even occurred on the 6th [7th], I spent – I immediately got on the plane and went over to Israel to meet with Bibi and his Cabinet.

And I’ve known Bibi for 50 years. There’s a photograph he keeps on his desk – at least when I’m there, he puts it on his desk. (laughter) – and it’s 8.5 by 11. It’s a picture where he – he was a young member of the Israeli office in Washington and – ambassadorship – and I was a young senator. And I – it was 8.5 by 11, and I wrote in the top. I said, “Bibi, I love you, but I don’t agree with a damn thing you have to say.” (Laughter.)

We share a strong, strong support for Israel, but I think there’s going to be a real – we – we were – we have to figure: What – what after Gaza? What after Gaza?

And one of the things that I think is important – and I’ve spent hours with the Qataris – hours – to broker and sustain and extend the deal of a pause, the fighting to get hostages home. More than 100 hostages got out. More than 100. And we’re not going to stop working until we get everyone out.

But you know what? In the meantime, I was all – able to convince the Israelis that we had to allow significant more aid in Gaza. And we got up to the point where we were about 150 trucks a day.

But when – when Hamas decided they were ending the – ending the release of hostages, not keeping the deal, and everything fell apart. And we have to get it back on track.

And in my view, I know a lot of you have real interest in Israel. We can – I could do the whole speech – my whole talk about Israel, but I’m just going to end by saying: I’ve been working with a number of people in and out of government to figure out what after – what after Gaza. And I think the only ultimate solution is a two-state solution. I’ve been – I’ve had that view for a long, long, time.

I know Bibi doesn’t and I know others don’t. But we’re having constant conversations about it.

And I’ve been very – those of you who know me – and a number of you do know me well – I’ve been very straightforward and blunt with our Israeli friends in private about what I think they need to do and the burden they have and the commitment they have from me and my administration.

So, there’s going to be a lot more we have to figure out. And I – I think that – I just want you to know that I’m not walking away. My administration is not walking away. And – and I know you’re not walking away either.

We could talk a lot more about this, but I just wanted to say that at the outset.

You know, just think about where we were four years ago and where we are today.

When I came into office, the pandemic was raging, the economy was reeling. In four years, Donald Trump lost more jobs than he created. The only other president that that ever occurred to was Herbert Hoover. That’s why I occasionally call him “Herbert Hoover” Trump. (Laughter.)

But all kidding aside, since then, we’ve made incredible progress, some of which was mentioned a moment ago. We’ve created 14 million new jobs. More jobs than any – have ever been created by a president a four-year term, let alone two and a half years.

Record economic growth at 5 percent this last quarter.

Record low unemployment – 21 straight months of unemployment below 4 percent.

And today, the lowest inflation rate of any industrialized nation in the world.

We also confirmed more federal judges at a historic pace, first Black woman on the Supreme Court.

More women – and, by the way, I sa- –committed my administration would look like America. I have more women in my Cabinet than men, more women in my administration than men. That’s because women in my life are all smarter than me. (Laughter.) But, no, all kidding aside, it’s a – and we have a significant number of African Americans, Hispanics. And we just – because it should look like America.

We passed the biggest investment in history to combat climate change and – putting us on course to be 100 percent clean energy electricity by 2035 and meeting the 1.5 degree goal.

The biggest investment of rebuilding America’s infrastructure since his President Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System. And, you know, roads, bridges, clean water, high-speed Internet, all – and cheap for people, available to people.

And by the way, when we were talking about Boebert and her district – I love these guys – (laughter) it’s so much fun to go into their district where they celebrate all that’s been done, all of which they voted against. (Laughter.)

But I promised I’d be a president for all of Americans, whether they voted for me or not. And we’re mov- – we’re moving the country.

We’ve rebuilt our alliances that Trump had so badly damaged around the world. And those of you who travel internationally know I’m not exaggerating. That’s not hyperbole.

Madeleine Albright was correct. America is the essential nation. The rest of the world looks to us. I could go on.

But today, I want to talk about this election and what it’s fundamentally about. The future American democracy, I believe, and I’ve believed for some time is literally at risk. Like I said, I know it don’t look it; I’m only 40 year old but – (laughter) – 40 times two and one. (Laughter.)

But all kidding aside, I first raised the alarm about American democracy back in the first campaign in 2020. I made a speech in Independence Hall. I’ve repeatedly spoken about the risk to moc – democracy than Trump poses.

In fact, I was attacked in 2022 midterms for spending so much time talking about the threats to American democracy. While the pundits didn’t understand, the voters understood it – what I was saying. The election deniers were defeated all over America.

And now, when people look back at 2020, they know I wasn’t exaggerating. And thank God, because of people like you, we won in 2020. And I’m not be – –It’s not hyperbole: because the people like you in this room who gave me the ability to fight the campaign.

I might add, we won more votes than any presidential candidate in American history: 81 million votes. And now I don’t think anyone doubts democracy is more at risk in 2024 than it was in 2020. And I mean that. Because this time we’re running against an election denier-in-chief.

Trump is not even hiding the ball anymore. He’s simply not hiding the ball. He’s telling us what he wants to do. He’s proud to say he killed Roe v. Wade by the court he appointed. He’s running again to get rid of the Affordable Care Act.

I could go on. But let’s be clear about the side – what’s at stake in 2024: Donald Trump and his MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy American democracy. And that, again, is not hyperbole. That’s a fact. Don’t take my word for it. Just listen to what he has to say.

To his supporters, he says, “2024 is the final battle.” He goes on to say, “I am your retribution.” “I am your retribution.” And he talks about being – we’re on a – we’re part of “a failing nation.” “Either they win or we win. If they win we no longer have a country.:

When did you ever hear a President of the United States say any of those things – speak anything like that? Trump proudly proclaimed himself an election denier. He’s the only losing candidate in American history to refuse to accept the will of the people. He didn’t even show up at my inauguration. I can’t say it disappointed me, but he didn’t. (Laughter.) No, I’m serious. Think – think about that. First president in American history wouldn’t show up.

The same man who encouraged supporters to go to the Capitol on Ja- – January 6th, who for hours sat in the dining room next to my Oval Office watching – watching them threaten his own vice president, who refused to break his oath. The Vice President refused to break his oath to the Constitution.

And now, the same man is promising to pardon – pardon for those convicted felons and insurrectionists. The same man who said it was time, and I quote, to – “termination of all rules, regulations and articles, even those found in the Constitution.” He’s not saying this privately. He’s saying it publicly. He’s attracting supporters by this language.

Now, his supporters are saying he should invoke the Insurrection Act to use the military – the U.S. military domestically – domestically to political opponents and in American cities. If he’s returned to office, he said he was going to go after all those who oppose him, root out when he called the “vermin” in America – not a word often used except in Nazi Germany – a specific phrase with a specific meaning. And it echoes the language heard out of Germany in the ’30s.

Did you ever think you’d hear a President of the United States speak like that? Not – not a joke. I – I don’t care if you’re a Democrat, Republican, in – who – whatever your background is.

And then the House once again turned to – to its radical right to a new Speaker, using it as a weapon – using a weapon, the agenda he likes to accomplish.

Now, we’ve already rejected the majority of the American people in the Republican agenda in the House. Can’t even get through the Republicans in the Senate.

Trump’s new Speaker supports a national ban on abortion under any circumstances, just as we’ve seen the radical bans in states across America. And just in the last few days, the Republican legislature in New Hampshire has come forward in proposal of a 15-day ban – a 15-day ban. After 15 days, all abortions are banned for whatever reason – not 15 weeks, 15 days.

Look, Trump has vowed again to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would mean 40 million Americans’ insurance – 40 million immediately. You know that, Doc. Forty million. Parents couldn’t get their kid – keep their kids on their policies if they’re under the age of 26. They’d al be off the policy. One hundred million Americans with preexisting conditions would be denied health insurance – one hundred million.

And folks, that’s what a stake in American democracy.

You know, we need to meet the moment once again. And all of you understand what freedom means: Tell the truth; have a little bit of courage; hold a mirror up to the nation and ask yourself; ask, you know, “Is this who we are? Can we do any better?”

We don’t believe America is dark and negative. We don’t believe in a nation of carnage, driven by anger, fear, and revenge. We don’t believe that.

We believe we’re in a hopeful, optimistic nation, driven by the simple proposition that everybody deserves an even shot. We believe this country – the one we live in – is really special.

We’re the most unique nation in the world. That sounds like hyperbole. You know, you’d expect, as a president, I’d say that, but it’s true. We’re the most unique nation in the world.

We’re the only nation in the world not built on ethnicity, religion, and geography. We’re built on an idea – the only nation built on an idea: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all women and men are created equal, endowed by – you know the rest.

We all deserve to be treated equally throughout our lives. We’ve never met that goal completely, but we’ve never fully walked away from it. You know – but that’s what Trump wants to do. We’re not going to walk away now.

Let me close with this. Every generation of Americans has had to fight to protect our democracy in some way or another. Now, it’s our time, our turn.

We need – indeed, we need every American – Democrat, Republican, independent – who loves democracy to join us in 2024. I really mean it.

When we do that, we’ll have done something few generations have an opportunity to do. That is, we will have saved American democracy.

And those of you who’ve known me for a long time, you know I’m not given to much hyperbole. I may talk too long, but I’m not given to much hyperbole. (Laughter.)

But look, this is a fact. I know we can do this. I’ve never been more optimistic about America than I am today, and I really mean it.

We are at a real inflection point in history. The decision we made in the last few years and the next four years are going to determine what we look like in five or six decades. It’s a whole new era.

We have to remember who in God’s name we are. We’re the United States of America, for God’s sake. And there’s nothing – nothing beyond our capacity when we act together.

And folks, I know that sounds like hyperbole again, to use it for the third time. But the fact is, think about it: We’re the only nation in the world that you can name for me that’s come out of every crisis stronger than they went in – stronger than we went in.

When I was vice president, President Obama asked me to get to know Xi Jinping because he was vice president. So, I traveled, overall, 17,000 miles with him. Just as he and I, each with a simultaneous interpreter. We were on the Tibetan Plateau, and he turned to me and asked me a question.

He said, “Can you define America for me?” I said, “Yes, I can. One word” – and I meant it. “One word: possibilities. Possibilities.”

The reason why when you travel the world, they sometimes talk about the “ugly American” being so self-confident: We’ve never thought anything is beyond our capacity, from curing cancer this time around to everything we’ve ever done.

I really mean it. I don’t think there’s anything beyond our capacity when we do it together.

But I tell you what: If we don’t win this time – not because I’m running, and I know that sounds like a self-serving assertion, but there’s a new article – there’s a new maga – not new magazine. The Atlantic magazine has a new issue out with 20 major articles by 20 different individuals – 20 different commentators or academics – all making the case why American democracy is at risk. Twenty of them – Democrats, Republicans, and independents.

Folks, this is a big deal, this election. We’ve got to get it done – not because of me, and I mean that. If Trump wasn’t running, I’m not sure I’d be running. But we cannot let him win, for the sake of the country.

God bless you all. And may God protect our troops. Thank you. (Applause.)

December 5, 2023: The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Biden campaign seized on Trump’s remarks during the town hall that he wouldn’t be a dictator during a second term “other than day one.” (The Hill)

“I love this guy, he says, ‘you’re not going to be a dictator are you?” I said no, no, no, then day one.” Trump told Hannity in a video shared by the Biden-Harris rapid response team on X.

“We’re closing the border and we’re drilling, drilling, drilling. After that, I’m not a dictator.” Trump added during the event.

The DNC’s rapid response team also shared the video captioned: “And there you have it.”…

December 5, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception | Boston, MA

The Westin Boston Seaport District Hotel, Boston Massachusetts

The President: Hello. (Applause.) Hello, everybody. (Applause.) (Laughs.) Well, thank you, thank you. Please have a seat. Please have a seat. (Laughs.) God, it’s good to see you all.

And Jack, thank you, but I know the real movement in here is Eileen. (Laughter.) But all kidding aside, thank you very, very much for the introduction and for hosting this event.

And a big thanks to all of you.

You know, before I begin, let me say a few words about the – what’s going on in Israel right now – the terror that Hamas is continuing to inflict on the Ira – the Israeli people.

We – we had a report earli- in the earliest days that Hamas used rape as – terrorized women and girls during the attack on October the 7th in Israel.

And over the past few weeks, survivors and witnesses of the attacks have shared the horrific accounts of unimaginable cruelty: reports of women raped – repeatedly raped and their bodies being mutilated while still alive, of women corpses being desecrated, and Hamas terrorists inflicting as much pain and suffering as – on women and girls as possible and then murdering them. And its appalling.

Ending violence against women and sexual assault has been one of the causes of my life. I wrote the Violence Against Women Act as a senator and one of my proudest legislative achievements.

But the world can’t just look away – what’s going on. It’s on all of us – the government – international organizations, civil society, individual citizens – to forcefully condemn the sexual violence of Hamas terrorists without equivocation – without equivocation, without exception.

There are – these are civilian women, mostly between the ages of 20 and 39 whom afa- Hamas has refused to let go under the deal that paused the fighting, which I helped negotiate through the Qataris. I spent hours with the Qataris and others to broker, sustain, and extend that deal. We got more than 100 hostages out.

But let me be crystal clear: Hamas’s refusal to release the remaining young women is what broke this deal and ended the pause in fighting.

These women and everyone still being held hostage by Hamas need to be returned to their families immediately. We’re not going to stop. We’re not going to stop working until we bring every one of them home, and it’s going to be a long process, possibly.

Now, for the reason that I’m here today, specifically, is to thank you all. You know, when I came to office, the pandemic was raging and the economy was reeling.

In the four years Donald Trump was president – and he’s the only president other than Herbert Hoover who actually lost jobs in a four-year period. And that’s why I often re- –think of him as Donald “Herbert Hoover” Trump. (Laughter.)

But all kidding aside, since then, we’ve made incredible progress with your help – record progress. We’ve created 14 million new jobs, more jobs than have ever been created by any president in a four-year term.

Record economic growth – 5 percent quarter alone.

Record low unemployment – 21 straight months of under 4 percent unemployment.

And today, we have the lowest inflation rate of every – any major economy in the world.

And with the help of Marty Walsh (pronounced in Boston accent) – Marty is not here right now. He couldn’t be here, but he set unprecedented movements to empower American workers.

Look what happened with the UAW – where, by the way, I was proud to be the first president to walk the picket line. I make no apologies for that.

Look at other unions like the Teamsters and the writers and actors in Hollywood and more.

After years of seeing all the profits they helped create go to others, workers – workers who are now getting their fair share. I think it’s about time.

We’ve also confirmed federal judges at a historic pace, thanks in large part to Dick – Dick Durbin, the chairman of the committee of the – in – from Illinois – including the first Black woman Supreme Court Justice, as I promised.

We passed the biggest investment in the history of the world to combat climate change, putting us on a path to 100 percent clean energy by 2035.

The biggest investment of rebuilding America’s infrastructure since President Eisenhower’s rebuilding of the roads and highways and bridges and with the – the intern- — the interstate highway system. And we’ve done the same now delivering clean water, high-speed Internet to every American, and cheaply.

We’ve rebuilt our alliances that Trump damaged so badly around the world.

Madeleine Albright was correct; we are the essential nation. It’s a responsibility, but it’s also the truth.

I could go on, but today I want to talk about what this election is fundamentally about. The future of American democracy – it’s not hyperbole – is literally at risk. The future of American democracy is literally at risk.

I first raised the alarm bells about Donald Trump’s threat to democracy back when I ran in 2020. I spoke at Independence Hall and made a speech about why I thought it was at stake. And I’ve spoken about why I thought it was at stake. And I’ve spoken to it repeatedly ever since.

In fact, I was attacked in 2022 in the midterms for spending so much time talking to the threats to American democracy.

But while the pundits – what they didn’t understand – but the voters heard what I was saying. The election deniers were defeated all over America.

And now, when people talk about – look back on 2020, I don’t think they thought I was exaggerating about the threat to democracy.

And thank God, because of the people like you, we won in 2020. And that’s not hyperbole. Because if you in the audience, we won in 2020.

I might add, we won with more votes than any presidential candidate has ever gotten in American history: 81 million votes.

Almost like somebody’s age. I don’t know that (inaudible.) (Laughter.) It’s hell turning 40 twice.

But now, I don’t think anyone doubts our democracy is even more at risk in 2024. And I’m serious. Because this time, we’re running against an election denier-in-chief.

Trump’s not even hiding the ball anymore. He’s tell us exactly what he wants to do. He’s making no bones about it.

He’s proud to say he killed Roe v. Wade. Because of the Court he appointed, he killed Roe v. Wade.

He’s running age to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. I could go on.

But let’s be clear about what’s at stake in 2024. Donald Trump and his MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy American democracy. And again, I say it the second time. I believe that with every fiber in my being. And the former President makes no bones about it.

Don’t take my word for it. Listen to what he’s actually saying these days. He’s saying it out loud. He says, “2024 is the final battle.” He goes on to say, “I am your retribution.” He talks about, quote, “We’re a failing nation.” He goes on to say – and these are all quotes – “Either they win or we win. And if they win, we no longer have a country.”

Trump proudly proclaims himself an election denier. You know, he’s the only losing candidate in American history to – not accept the will of the American people. He didn’t even show up at my inauguration. He never even showed up. I can’t say I was disappointed, but he never showed up.

The same man who encouraged supporters to go to the Capitol on January 6th, who for four hours sat in the private dining room I have off the Oval Office watching him threaten his own vice president who refused to break his oath to the Constitution.

And now the same man promising pardons to those convicted felons and insurrectionists – “if I’m elected” – he’s going to pardon them. That’s what he says.

The same man who said it was time for, and I quote, “termination of all rules, regulation and articles, even those… in the Constitution.” This guy means it, and he’s saying it out loud.

Now his supporters are saying he should invoke the Insurrection Act – you know, the use of the U.S. military on domestic soil – against political opponents to – and in American cities.

One of the great chairs of the – the joint chairman of the – of the United States military just retired. He said he’s a – he’s a “traitor,” should be tried as one.

If – he said – if he’s returned to office, he said he’ll go after those who oppose him and root out what he called the “vermin.” American vermin. A phrase you may recall from history used in the ’30s in another country – a specific phrase with a specific meaning, and it echoes the language you’ve heard in Germany in the 30s.

And it wasn’t the first time he used the language of the 30’s. Trump also said – and he talked about, quote, “the blood of our country is being poisoned.” “The blood of our country is being poisoned.” What in God’s name is going on? Another phrase from the same era.

You don’t even – ever think you’d hear a president of the United States speaking like that, but he’s saying it. And the worst part is he means it. He means it.

You know, at the House, once again, he turned to radical right – they turned to radical right with a new Speaker. Using any weapon they can to get the agenda they’ve already – been rejected. They already committed they would not try to get again, and they already are violating, for the third time, their commitment. The majority of American people and the majority of members of the Congress have rejected it.

Trump’s new Speaker supports a national ban on abortion under any circumstances. And as we’ve just seen, radical bans in states all across America have been supported by them.

Just in the last few days, the Republican legislature in New Hampshire has put forward for approval a 15-day ban on any abortion – 15 days, not 15 weeks. Fifteen days.

And Trump has vowed again to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would mean 40 million Americans would lose their health insurance, parents couldn’t keep their kids on their insurance plans up to – under age 26, and 100 million Americans with pre-existing conditions could be denied health insurance. It’s the 51st time they will have tried it. Not a joke.

Extreme MAGA Republicans in Congress will not support the essential assistance to Ukraine unless we fi- we follow the most draconian action politics possible to keep immigrants out of America, building walls and the like.

On my very first day, I sent a comprehensive immigration bill to Congress asking for a significant increase in the number of – of folks at the border – a significant increase in all the security we needed in terms of ti-tech [high-tech] stuff.

But the Republicans refused to act. They wouldn’t act – they won’t act on it. I don’t think they want to solve it. I think they want to keep it as a problem without the tools to make it any better.

And, folks, to the – the point is I’m no longer the only one making the case that Trump is a threat to democracy. Voters understand. Liz Cheney is a powerful voice raising the alarm.

Atlantic Magazine this month put out a – a magazine – 20 separate individual pieces by 20 leading Americans separately talking about – across the political spectrum – outlining the threats that Donald Trump poses to our democracy.

I’ve been around a while in politics, and I never thought I’d run an election like this. Folks, that’s what’s at stake. American democracy – I give you my word as a Biden – I believe, is at stake. We need the moment. We need to meet it again – once again.

All of you understand what freedom means: tell the truth, have a little courage, hold a mirror up to the nation and ask, “Is this who we are?” Can we do better? Is this who we want to be?”

We don’t believe America is a dark and negative nation, a nation of carnage driven by anger, fear, and hatred, or revenge. We believe we’re a hopeful, optimistic nation. We’ve always been – as much as we disagreed – driven by a simple proposition that everybody deserves a fair shot. No one is guaranteed – just a fair shot.

We believe this country we live in is so special because we are. We are the most unique country in the history of the world, organized on a principle no other nation has been organized on. We’re the only nation not built on ethnicity, religion, geography. We’re the only nation built on an idea. And that’s not hyperbole. Think about it. The only nation in the history of the world built on an idea that we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal, et cetera, et cetera – and deserve an equal opportunity throughout their lives.

We’ve never fully lived up to that by any stretch of the imagination, but we’ve never walked away from it before like Trump wants to do, and we’re not going to walk away now.

So, let me be close – and I’m keeping you too long. I apologize. But every generation of Americans has had to fight to protect our democracy to some degree or another. Now is our time. We need you. We need every American who loves democracy to join us in 2024 to make sure that we make our democracy stronger, not weaker and jeopardized.

When we do that, we’ll have done something few generations have been able to do: We’ll be able to say we saved American democracy. It sounds like hyperbole, but really and truly.

Going back to the nuns when I was growing up and going to school: Examine your conscience. Not a joke. Think about it. For real. What does this guy mean to democracy? He’s the antithesis of what it means.

I know we can do this. And I’ve never been – I – you heard me say this before, and I mean it. I’ve never been more optimistic about America’s prospects than I have now – as a senator, as a vice president, as a professor of Penn, as – as President.

We just have to remember who in God’s name we are. We are the United States of America. There’s nothing – nothing beyond our capacity. Nothing.

I’ve traveled with Xi Jinping more than – and I met with him along more than any other world leader has, because when I was vice president, he was vice president. We knew he was going to be president. And the President of the United States said to me, “You’ve got to get to know him, because we’ve got to have somebody who knows him well.”

I traveled 17,000 miles with him throughout China and the United States. And I asked him – he asked me on the Tibetan Plateau – he asked me a question. And all we had was an individual interpreter, he – each one – one of us – simultaneous interpretation and the – and two of us.

And he looked at me and said, “Can you define America for me?” And I give you my word this is true, I said, “Yes. In one word: possibilities. Possibilities.”

We never thought anything was beyond our capacity, for God’s sake. Think about it. That’s who we are: possibilities. And there’s so many possibilities to make our nation and the world better. And there’s no possibilities to make our nation and the world better. And there’s no better nation to do it. No one else will do it but us.

I’ve known the vast majority of the world’s leaders. I’ve traveled in 144 countries. I’ve know them for a while. That’s because I’ve been around a while. And, folks, the rest of the world looks at us that way too. They look at us that way too. Not a joke.

You’ll be amazed at how many of my fellow world leaders inquire about are we going to be okay. We’re going to be okay because of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. (Applause.)

December 6, 2023: President Biden on Wednesday said he believes there are “probably 50” Democrats who could defeat former President Trump in a general election, but that he will beat him in 2024. (The Hill)

“Do you think there are any Democrats who could beat Donald Trump than you?” Biden was asked after remarks from the White House on the need to pass Ukraine funding.

“Probably 50 of them,” Biden responded. “I’m not the only one who can defeat him, but I will defeat him.

Biden’s comments come one day after he told donors at a fundraiser he may not have run for reelection if Trump weren’t running for the White House in 2024. Biden has repeatedly described Trump as a singular threat to democracy who has voted to take away rights and target his opponents, and he has pointed to the results of the 2020 election as proof he is able to beat Trump at the ballot box.

Asked later if he would still be running if Trump were not, Biden told reporters, “I expect so but look, he is running and I have to run.”

When asked if he would drop out if Trump dropped out, Biden responded: “No, not now.”…

December 6, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception | Boston, MA

Shubert Theater, Boston, Massachusetts

The President: Hello, hello, hello! (Applause.) Thank you all so much.

Gov, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Look, I’m not going to – I’m not going to talk very long because I know the only thing standing between you and James Taylor is me. (Laughter.) And that’s a tough place to be because I know we’d rather hear James Taylor’s voice than mine.

James, thank for – James, thank you for – for – the whole group of you performing tonight. You’re –

Audience member: We love you!

The President: – you’ve been a great – thank you.

You’ve been a great friend. And you have a heart of gold and a voice that has the power to heal a soul and unify a nation. And that’s what I want to talk about tonight, very briefly. (Applause.)

Let me g- –begin by thanking all of you, because you’re the reason I won 2020. You’re the reason we got 81 million votes – more than any presidential candidate has in American history. (Applause.)

It’s not hyperbole to suggest you’re the reason why Donald Trump is not only a former president, but a defeated former president. (Applause.) Which makes him, yes, a loser. (Laughter and applause.)

You’re the reason – you’re the reason we’re going to win in 2024, because, you know, just look at what we’ve been able to get done: 14 million new jobs – more jobs than any president – (applause) – has created in a four-year term; record economic growth – over 5 percent in just the last quarter; unemployment under 4 percent for 20 month in a row, another record – (applause) – the lowest inflation rate of any major economy on Earth; and we have more work to do.

And look, and we’re re- –we’ve rebuilt our alliance around the world, including expanding NATO from the depths of the Trump set – (applause) – from the depths that Trump set us into when we were – when he was in office.

And we’re – we’re proving again what Madeleine Albright said. We are the essential nation. That’s a fact – not because of me. America is the essential nation.

We’ve confirmed federal judges at a historic pace, thanks to a good friend of ours, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee – (applause) – including the first Black woman Justice on the Supreme Court. (Applause.)

And let me say this, I don’t care how many times Trump and his MAGA crowd try to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, it ain’t going to happen. (Applause.) Not on my watch.

We made the biggest investment in the history of the world to combat climate change. (Applause.) And helping us lead the way is your former senator and our Secretary of State, John Kerry. (Applause.) He’s the best in the world. And he’s at the COP pra- he’s there now. He – and he’s the most respected name in the entire climate crisis. I’m serious. Not a joke.

We’ve re- — we’ve — we’ve relieved student debt for 3.6 million people – (applause) — giving them the chance to start their lives, take a job they want, buy a house, start a business, get married – give them a chance.

I signed my – the first gun safety law in nearly 30 years. (Applause.) We got more to do.

We’re making a historic commitment not only to rebuild America but to get rid of every lead pipe in America so not a single kid in America gets sick from lead poisoning. (Applause.) We’re going to get it done – every lead pipe.

And folks, I could go on, but I know we have a lot more to do – from child care to elder care to making sure the wealthy and corporations start paying their fair share. (Applause.)

You know, we have about a thousand billionaires in the country. You know what their average federal tax rate is? Eight percent.

Audience: Booo —

The President: Eight percent. Well, guess what? We’re coming. (Applause.) We’re coming for you.

But tonight, I want to talk about one issue in particular. And I won’t take a lot of time. I want to talk about what’s the most at stake in this next election: The future of American democracy is literally at stake.

Everything this country stands for, everything we believe in, everything that makes America America is at stake. It’s not a joke.

So, let me say this as clearly as I can: Donald Trump poses a lot of threats to our country, from the right to choose to the Affordable Care Act to healthcare overall to America’s standing in the world. But the greatest threat he poses at all is to our very democracy. Because if we lose that, we lose everything. (Applause.)

When I first ran for president, I said democracy was at stake, and I think a lot of people thought I was exaggerating. They don’t think that anymore because, as we meet tonight, we know what happened on January the 6th. We know how Trump sat in the private dining room off my of – of the Oval Office for hours on January the 6th watching — watching it all unfold as a mob attacks the Capitol Police and desecrated the Capitol, as that mob threatened the life of his own vice president because the vice president was unwilling to violate the Constitution. Trump watched as the rioters threatened the Speaker of the House.

We all know Trump became the first losing presidential candidate in history to refuse to accept the will of the people. He didn’t even show up at my inauguration, which I can’t say was a disappointment. (Laughter and applause.) And only two other presidents –

As my brother would say, go figure. (Laughter.)

My guess is he won’t show up at my next inauguration. (Laughter and applause.)

Look, we all know the lies Trump has continued to tell since 2020. Over the course of his term when he was president, the re- –Washington Post reported and documented 30,500 lies and misstatements he made. That’s more than we hear – that – that – more than that. We hear his words today.

He says he’s running not to serve the people of America, but to get revenge and retribution. His worlds: revenge and retribution.

He said, and I quote, “The termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” end of quote. What other president said something like that?

He’s called those who oppose him “vermin.” Language that echoes what was heard in Germany in the ’30s.

He’s threatened to use the American military and – and Insurrection Act to go out into the streets of America and go after his political opponents.

That’s not who we are. That’s not who were are. That’s not who we’ll ever become.

We’re always going to defend and protect and fight for democracy. That’s why I’m running. Period. And all of use here understand. (Applause.)

Nobody better understands it, historically, than the city of Boston. We understand what freedom means. It means telling the truth, have the courage to hold up a mirror to the nation and ask, “Who – who are we? Are we being what we’re supposed to be? Can we be better?”

Unlike Trump, we don’t believe America is dark and negative. We don’t think it’s a nation of carnage, driven by anger, fear, and revenge. These are words he uses.

We believe we’re a hopeful, optimistic nation, driven by a simple proposition: that everybody deserves a fair shot, damn it. Everybody. (Applause.)

And that’s not egotism. But we are Americans -we believe this country we live in is special. We’re the only country in the history of the world that’s based on an idea, not built on race, ethnicity, religion, geography.

We’re the only country built on one idea, the idea that we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created eq- –we’ve never fully lived up to it, but we’ve never abandoned it. We’ve never abandoned it. (Applause.)

Ladies and gentlemen, every generation, we make it better, and we’re not going to walk away from it now. (Applause.)

So, let me close with this. Every generation of Americans has had to fight to protect some aspect of our democracy in one way or another. Now’s our time.

We need you. Indeed, we need every American – Democrat, Republican, and independent – who loves democracy to join us in 2024.

When we do that, we’ll have done something few generations get to say that they’ve done: We’ll be able to say, “We saved democracy.” (Applause.) It sounds like – it sounds like hyperbole, but it’s a fact. And I know we can do it.

I’ve never been more optimistic about our country’s future than I am today, and I mean that. We just have to remember who in God’s name we are. We are the United States of America. We never bend, we never bow, and we never break. We endure and we overcome every single obstacle we face. (Applause.)

As I first said here in Boston after the marathon bombing, we own the finish line in America. We own the finish line. (Applause.) And there’s nothing, nothing beyond our capacity if we work together.

So, God bless you all. And may God protect our troops.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. (Applause.) Thank you, thank you. (Applause.)

Enjoy the show! (Applause.)

December 6, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception | Washington, D.C.

The St. Regis Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C.

The President: Thank you. Please have a – take a seat, if you have one.

I want to thank you. Thank you very much, Annette. And, you know, this means a lot to me. Not a joke. I’m – I’m being deadly earnest.

You know, when I first got here in the United States Senate 370 years ago – (laughter) – but, you know, we owe you so much. We owe the Indian Nations so much. I’m not just saying that. Think of what you preserved for the nation.

You were here. You’re the ones – you’re the ones that did it. You’re the ones that deserve credit for all the things that remain. And I really mean it from the bottom of my heart.

And I want to thank you for your support. I really do. And I sincerely mean it.

You know, the reason we won in 8- — in 2020 with 81 million votes – more than any other presidential candidate has ever gotten in history – is Native American voters played a critical role, especially in states like Arizona and Wisconsin. And I mean it.

You know, and you’re the reason why Donald Trump is not the only former president but he’s – (applause) but he’s a defeated president. (Laughter.)

Forgive me, I’m – (applause) – I – I shouldn’t get started.

But look, you’re the reason we’re going to win again in 2024, and I’m not just saying that.

Earlier today, I spoke at the White House Tribal Nations Summit, which many of you attended. And I was proud to relaunch this annual summit after years of neglect and – and just – it’s even more than neglect, it’s just as if you weren’t there, as if the Indian Nations did not exist – after year of neglect by my predecessor.

And not just one, but there’s just not been enough attention. And it matters to me. You know, it shows – you – shows a commitment and to respect Tribal sovereignty and self-determination.

And at the summit you heard me talk about ushering in a new era in our nation-to-nation relationship, because you heard me say a thousand times, that’s what Danny Inouye taught me 50 years ago; It’s nation to nation. That was the commitment.

And when she’s disappointed she can’t be here today, I’m so fortunate to have Deb Haaland. She’s done a hell of a job. Hasn’t she – (applause) – no, I’m – it is not merely she’s the first Native American in the Cabinet, but she’s done one heck of a job. She’s really good at what she does.

And – you know, and scores of Native Americans in key roles across my administration – she helped make that happen.

And look, we made important progress with record investments in Tribal Nations – investments like the American Rescue Plan, the largest investment in Tribal Nations ever, to help vaccinate Tribal communities and get our economy going again.

Not a single one of my opponents on the other team voted for it. Not one single one.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the biggest investment in roads, bridges, water, high-speed Internet, electricity, irrigation, environmental cleanup, and so much more. And the Indian Nations are going to be – have significant benefit from it.

The Inflation Reduction Act, the biggest investment in fighting climate ever in the history of the world – that’s not hyperbole; that’s a fact.

And helping Tribal communities lead in the transition to clean energy, ease the impact of droughts and wildfires – so many wildfires the Nation’s have put up with in the last, just, 10 years, especially the last 3-4 – rising sea levels that threaten Native lives and precious homelands.

And, you know, there’s so much at stake. But again, not a single one of my opponents voted for it, which I don’t quite get. And I really mean it, because I don’t think they’re anti-Indian Nation; I just don’t think it’s on the radar. I don’t think they just don’t – they just don’t think about it.

And now they’re trying to repeal parts of that. It’s – I – I can understand when there’s a fundamental disagreement on an issue and it’s up in the air as to what the impacts are, but I don’t understand this.

We’re also protecting national treasures and sacred ancestral sites. I was saying to one person when I was out in – out in the valley, in the Grand Canyon, and I put a fair amount of land aside, in addition to being there. And they asked, “Why?” I said, “Why not? What would you do?”

And they talked about sacred lands. I said, “What would you say – how many times have…” and they said – I won’t mention the particular faith that came to me, but asked me to help protect cemeteries – old cemeteries. I said, “What the hell is the difference between that Christian cemetery you want me to protect and what’s been around for a couple thousand years?”

You know, in just my first year in office together, we protected – you and me – we protected more lands and water than any president since John Kennedy – nationwide, across the board. (Applause.)

And we restored protections gutted by predecessor at three national monuments: Bears Ears, the Grand Staircase in Utah – Utah, Northeast Canyons and Seamounts in New England. And we used my authority under the Antiquities Act to designate new national monuments and – as well as including Camp Hale in Colorado, Spirit Mountain in Nevada, Castner Range in Texas, and the Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

What I don’t get is – I mean this sincerely now. I don’t get why everybody doesn’t think that’s a good idea, not just Indian Nations. Why is that not a good idea? I don’t get it.

And after the previous o- –the previous administration undermined the Indian Health Services, my administration, last year, secured the first-ever advanced funding for Indian Health Services 51.1 – (applause) – I mean $5.1- $5.1 billion locked in before the budget negotiations so hospitals could plan ahead, order supplies, hire doctors knowing the money would be there ahead of time.

And we’re going to keep fighting to make sure it’s a mandatory part of the federal budget, so Tribes can – can count on it year to year, so they don’t have to fight this fight every single year.

We’re also keeping our sacred obligation to our veterans in the PACT Act.

What I keep reminding people – you realize; I know you do – but I want to remind you, because you don’t talk enough about it: A higher percentage of Native Americans have signed up for the United States military, volunteered, than any other group of individuals in the entire nation.

Let me say that again: a higher percentage than any other group, any other identifiable group of Americans – Indian Nations.

One of the most significant laws ever signed was to help veterans exposed to toxic materials and compensate their families. My son was one of those exposed to those toxic materials in Iraq. They sit there for a year in a burn pit that’s about couple hundred yards away. And you all fought like hell to make sure we got that.

Three hundred and thirty thousand veterans are Native Americans today – today – 330,000. (Applause.)

And, folks, while there’s more work to do on the economy, healthcare, and so much more, there are transformational investments that help Tribes and all Americans. Because another thing I keep telling people who criticize me of this: When you help a Tribe, you’re helping all of America. How in God’s name is it not helping all of America?

And the executive order I just signed today is going to cut the red tape so you can – so you can better deliver those historic resources to your communities in ways that you – that you should, because you know best what’s needed in your communities.

How can we talk about, “Well, you know, this county or council or this legislative body, this – they know best.” What the – I don’t get it. What – why do you not know what’s best for your communities? You do. You know better than anybody.

But all of it is at stake in this election. And so, it’s something that – something else is at stake: the future of American democracy. Not a joke.

Let me be real clear. I’m going to say it straight up, and I’m – some suggest I shouldn’t say it straight up, but I’m going to: Donald Trump poses many threats to this country, but the greatest threat of all he poses to the country is the remainder and the continuation of our democracy. Because if we lose that, we lose everything.

When I first ran for president, you may recall, I said at the Independence Hall up in Philadelphia that I thought democracy was at stake. And I think a lot of people thought I was exaggerating. But I don’t think anybody thinks that anymore. I really don’t.

We all know what happened on January the 6th. Trump said in the private dining room off the Oval Office for hours, watching it all unfold on television as a mob attacked the Capitol Police and desecrated the Capitol, as the mob threatened the life of his own vice president, because the Vice President refused to violate the constitution and do what he wanted done.

We all know what became of the first losing presidential candidate in history who refused to accept the will of the people. He didn’t even show up for my inauguration. I can’t say it disappointed me. (Laughter.)

But think about it: Only two other presidents in all of American history, in the middle of wars – wars North and South – didn’t show up for the inauguration of the next president. My guess is he’s not going to show up on my next inauguration either. (Laughter and applause.)

And hear his words today. He says he’s running not to serve the people of America but to get “revenge” and “retribution.” God bless me. (Laughter.)

He said it’s time – and I quote, “the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.”

He’s not – I’m not making these words up. You hear it. That’s what he’s saying.

What dod you think that means when it comes to upholding – upholding federal trust and treaty obligations to – to Tribal Nations? I’m serious.

He called those who oppose him “vermin,” language that echoes what we heard in Nazi Germany in the ’30s. It has a sp- — how many times have you heard any political person refer to another opponent as “vermin,” other than when you read your history on the – during the Nazi era?

He threatened to use the American military – the American military on the streets of America to go after his political opponents – the Insurrection Act.

He called, again, to get the Affordable Care Act, which supports Indian Health Services, eliminated. This will be the 51st time they tried it. No, I’m serious. I know it sounds bizarre.

Folks, what kind of respect do you think he’d have for Tribal communities, of what we – what you’ve – you’ve done? You – you’ve given me credit for getting things done. You’ve come to me and told me what you need most in Indian Nations, and I believed you. I’ve seen it. I look.

All of you understand what freedom means. Freedom is basically – you can’t have much freedom if you don’t tell the truth, if you don’t have courage, you never – unwilling to hold up a mirror to yourself and to the country and ask yourself, “Is this who we are? Can we do better?” That’s what freedom is about.

Let me close with this. I’m taking too long, and I apologize. It’s not easy to hear and – what’s been done in the past to heal the wrongs of the past, to change the course and move forward. But the work we’re doing together is carrying us into a new era of Tribal sovereignty and self-determination. And that’s not hyperbole. They’re not words; it’s real.

And we’re now grounded in dignity and respect that recognizes Tribes’ fundamental right to govern and grow on your own terms. That’s what this election is about.

And, by the way, you’re not asking for anything that’s inconsistent with the United States Constitution. You’re not asking for anything that’s inconsistent. That’s why we need you.

We need every Democrat, Republican, and independent who believes in Democracy and our nation-to-nation relationship to join us in 2024 – and I mean this sincerely; I give you my word as a Biden – not because I am running, but this is one of the most important elections in modern history.

You know, you’re always hearing me talk about inflection point, where this – things happen in a short period of time and determine what’s going to happen in the next four or five decades. We’re at one of those points. I – but I’ve never been more optimistic than I am today.

We’re proving that there’s nothing beyond our capacity when we work together. And I mean it. Think about it. When have we, in this country, ever worked together and not been able to solve the problems in front of us? There’s not a single issue that we’ve gone into that’s cause us problems we haven’t come out stronger than we went in.

And I think, with your added strength – and I really mean it – I really mean it – you have a moral force behind what you’ve been doing. And it carries with the American people. It sounds corny, but I – I really mean it. Think about it. Think about it.

Think about if you’re going to sit down and talk to any young person in eight, ninth, tenth grade, and you start talking about the history. Who among them says, “No, no, we’re doing too much for Indian Nations”? It’s just not there. People know it if we talk about it.

That’s why I’m so opposed to the book banning and all this other stuff that, you know, tries to keep the history from being talked about. The way to get rid of the bad history is to talk about it so we get a new history.

Well, I’m going to get off too much on what I really get talking about. (Laughter.)

But all kidding aside, thank you for your support, and it means a lot to me. I mean, really – I – and some of you know me – this means a lot. It really matters that you would do this for me.

And it’s – I don’t want to exaggerate it, but there’s an emotional component to it. You do what you say. You can be counted on.

And by the way, like I said, we’re going to have an all-Indian lacrosse team in the Olympics. (Applause.) You think I’m kidding?

Like I said, you know, I was not a bad athlete. I was a runner-up at state scoring championships in – in – in football in the state of Delaware, a small state, but I still was a pretty – I was proud of it. I was a pretty good baseball player.

But the real athletes in my family are the women. My daughter was a great – she’s – she’s faster than I was, I think; played lacrosse.

And my – my niece played lacrosse all-state, first team All-American in high school, All-Ivy.

I mean, you know, the real power in my family is the women.

But somehow, I suspect it may be in yours as well. (Laughter.) Anyway, thank you all so very much. (Applause.)

Really, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It means a lot.

December 8, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception | Los Angeles, CA

Private Residence, Los Angeles, California

The President: Folks, I don’t know who the hell they’re talking about. (Laughter and applause.) I’m Jill Biden’s husband. (Laughter.)

And thank you, Jilly. Jill is my partner, my political advisor, my confidant. And you’re doing a fantastic job as First Lady. You really are. (Applause.)

And I work for Nancy Pelosi. (Laughter.) Thank you, Nancy. I’ve said this for a long time when I was a senator, and I say it as vice president and as president: Nancy, historically, is the finest Speaker of the House we’ve ever had. (Applause.)

That’s a fact. And the country owes you, Nancy. (Applause.)

And while she’s back in Washington, thank you for another great Californian, who I couldn’t do this job without, Kamala Harris. (Applause.)

My good friend Karen Bass – thank you, Karen. (Applause.) Karen act- I told Karen the worst sentence in the English language is, “I’m at the airport.” (Laughter.) She was there today. Thank you, Karen.

And Gavin Newsom also is a hell of a fighter and a great friend. (Applause.) Where’s Gavin? He’s somewhere around here somewhere. There you are, Gav. Thank you, buddy. You’re always there.

And our hosts, James and Michael – thank you for welcoming us to your home and for your friendship. (Applause.) And also, to tonight’s chairs and co-hosts, to all of you, thank you all for your support. This is an incredibly successful night.

I’m not going to talk long for a couple of reasons: One, I know that I’m the only thing standing between you and Lenny Kravitz. (Laughter.) That’s number one.

Let me begin by thanking all of you,

In 2020, the reason we got 81 million votes – more votes than any presidential candidate has ever gotten – is because of you. You’re the reason why Donald Trump is a former president. (Applause.) Or as he hates to hear me say, a defeated president. (Laughter and applause.)

Look we – you know, he – anyhow, I shouldn’t get into that. (Laughter.)

You’re the reason why we’re going to win, God willing, in 2024.

Because you – because of you, we’ve gotten a lot done. And wh- –from where we started, from the pandemic raging and the economy reeling, look at where we are today.

The pandemic is behind us, thank God. Record job creation, record economic growth, the lowest inflation rate of any major economy on Earth. And we’ve rebuilt our alliances around the world which were in more – tougher shape than I thought they were until I became president.

Because of the great help of Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Chairman of Judiciary Committee, we’ve confirmed federal judges at a historic pace: 160 federal judges. (Applause.) The first Black woman on the Supreme Court and more Black women appointed to the fir- — to the Federal Circuit Courts than every other president combined. (Applause.)

And our watch, we made the Affordable Care Act stronger. We made the biggest investment in history in the – to combat climate. And so many of you have been major, major, major players in helping me in the climate crisis.

Signed the first new gun safety law in 30 years, but we have a hell of a lot more to do on guns. (Applause.)

We’re making a historic commitment to build America with American products and American labor. And today, because of Nancy’s leadership, I’ve announced a historic step forward in high-speed rail in the Central Valley, where you go 220 miles an hour. (Applause.)

Oh, I’m not joking. I’ve been pushing this for over 40 years. Finally, finally, finally.

I was in Las Vegas earlier today to announce the rail project that will get you to Lost Angeles – to Vegas in two hours, instead of a seven-hour car drive. (Applause.)

Look, all we’ve done – what you’ve done – the real – the real story here is there’s an awful lot of American people that just stood up and took a chance.

In thousands of towns, all across America, we see thousands of stories of revival and renewal, hope and optimism and pride – pride in your work, in your family, in your town; pride in the nation.

My dad used to have an expression. He’d say, “You know, Joey, a job is a lot more than a paycheck.” Seriously, this is what he would say. “A lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about pride. It’s about being able to look your kid in the eye and say, “Honey, it’s going to be okay.”

We know there’s a hell of a lot more to do from child care to elder care, to making sure the – that corporations finally start paying their fair share. And we know all this progress is at stake in the next election.

But tonight, I want to talk very briefly what most this at – what’s most at stake in this election, in my view. Literally, I believe, the future of American democracy is at stake. Literally, it all is at stake.

Let me be clear. Donald Trump poses many threats to the country, from the right to choose to civil rights to voting rights to America’s standing in the world. But the greater threat Trump poses is to our democracy, because if we lose that, we lose everything.

When I first ran for president, some of you may remember, I said that democracy was at stake in America. I think a lot of people thought I was exaggerating, but I don’t think they think that anymore.

You remember January 6th, Trump sitting in the private dining room down from the Oval Office, just one hallway will do – — small hallway down, watching it all unfold on TV, as the mob attacked the Capitol, Capitol Police; desecrated the Capitol.

The mob threatened the life of his own – that threatened the life of his own vice president because the Vice President refused to violate his constitutional oath. The same mob looking for Nancy that inspired the same assailant to attack Paul months later.

It’s despicable. Simply despicable.

Trump became the first losing presidential candidate in history who refused to accept the will of the people. He didn’t even show up at my inauguration. I can’t say I was disappointed. (Laughter.)

And my guess is he won’t show up at the next inauguration. (Laughter and applause.)

But, listen – but on a very serious note, listen to the word’s he’s saying. He says he’s running for president not to serve the American people, but, quote, to get “revenge” and “retribution.” A president of the United States of America, they’re words coming out of his mouth.

The other day he said that he’d be a dictator only on the first day. Thank God, only one day. (Laughter.)

He called those who oppose him “vermin,” language that echoes the hatred of Germany in the 30s. He’s threatened to use American military on the streets of America, with the ali- with the Sedition Act, to go after political opponents. He embraces political violence instead of rejecting it. We can’t let this happen. We literally can’t let this happen.

All of you here understand what freedom means. It’s about truth. It’s about courage. It’s about holding a mirror up to ourselves and asking ourselves, “Is this who we are? Who are we, and can we get better?”

Unlike Trump, we don’t believe America is a dark and negative nation, driven by, as he says, anger, fear, and revenge. When Trump at his inauguration spoke of American carnage, I spoke at our inauguration about American possibilities.

I believe we have a hopeful, optimistic nation – (applause) – I really do – driven by a simple proposition that everybody deserves a shot. We’re the only nation in the world not built on race, ethnicity, religion, or geography. We’re the only country in the world built on an idea – literally, an idea – that all people are created equal.

We never fully lived up to it, but we’ve never walked away from it before – never walked away from it before. We’ve never – as I said, we’re not going to walk away from it now.

Folks, let me close with this. You know, in this greatest city of the greatest storytellers in the world, we mourn the losses – and you mentioned Norman Lear.

You know, his cast of characters painted a – a fuller picture of America, of our hopes, and our hardships, our fears, our resilience, and changed the way we look at ourselves.

In explaining his approach to getting the laugh – you get us to laugh and think, Norman Lear said, and I quote, “You stand a better chance if you can get them caring first.” – “If you can get them caring first.”

Folks, at our best, we’re a nation that cares. We care about each other; we care about the nation. And in – and in three years, we’re going to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Three years.

Norman bought an original – bought an original copy of that. And he shared it with schools and museums so people could feel the patriocy that comes from being moved by words.

The 250th anniversary will be a moment not only about our past and celebrating all we’ve done but also about the future and all we can be.

I don’t believe and I will not believe that after this nation, all it’s been through – from independence to the Civil War to the World Wars; being blessed with leaders like Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, King; after having stood as a beacon of freedom and equality for the world more than – for more than two centuries – and, by the way, Madeleine Albright was right. We are the essential nation.

I know every major world leader. I’ve known most of them for the last 20 years. They look to us. They look to us, the United States. And I don’t believe, in our 250th year, this nation is going to turn to Donald Trump.

Folks, imagine that moment and ask, “What do we want to be?” If we do our job in 2024, we show how much we care, how we’ve done something for generations – and generations have not – unable to say up to now, that we will have been one of those generations that say we have saved democracy.

I know we can do this. And I know people think I’m – I’m too optimistic. But I’ve never been more optimistic about our country’s future than I am today. We just have to remember who the hell we are.

We’re the United States of America. There is nothing beyond our capacity, nothing when we act together- literally nothing. (Applause.)

We’re the only nation in the world that’s come out of every crisis stronger than we went in. And that’s my intention, to make sure we do it again.

God bless you all. And thanks for the help. (Applause.)

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

December 9, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception | Pacific Palisades, CA

Private Residence, Pacific Palisades, California

The President: Folks, I don’t know who the hell they’re talking about. (Laughter and applause.) I’m Jill’s husband, Joe. (Laughter.)

You know, like a lot of you, I’m really fortunate. I want to thank Jill because she’s my partner, she is my political advisor, she’s my confidant. And she’s doing a fantastic job as First Lady. (Applause.)

And I want to thank your great friend and friend of mine, Senator Padilla. Alex, you’ve been a st- I don’t know where AI – I can’t see Alex. There you are.

Thank you, Alex, for all you’ve done and your loyalty and your friendship. I appreciate it very much.

And while she’s back in Washington, there’s another Californian that I want to thank: Kamala Harris. Kamala has been a great – (applause) – Vice President.

To our hosts, José and Kwanza, thank you for welcoming me to your incredible home. Woah. (Applause.)

I hope you won’t be offended if we don’t leave. (Laughter.) This is – this is a magnificent home. When I walked in, I saw that Christmas tree, and it looked like walking into the White House. (Laughter.) Oh, y’all think I’m kidding. I’m not. (Laughter.)

Well, thank you for your support, all of you. And I really mean it. And thank a- –other California native in – in our White House, and now my campaign manager, Julie Rodriguez, granddaughter – (applause) – granddaughter of the great Chavar Chaze- – Cesar Chavez. (Applause.)

And by the way, I told her before, I have a bust of him in my office, because Nixon won my state when I ran the first time as a U.S. senator. I was 29 years old running. And he got – I think Nixon got 64, 65 percent of the vote. I won by 3,100 votes. And it’s all Chavez’s par- –problem. You know why? I supported him when he was trying to organize the farmworkers in Delaware. It cost me big, and I was really proud. (Laughter and applause.)

You’ve heard me say this before, kiddo. If my father – he’d say, “Kid, you got good blood.” (Laughter.) “You got good blood.”

Let me begin by thanking all of you.

In 2020, you are the reason why we got 81 million votes – more votes than any – any candidate for president has ever gotten in history. And the reason why Donald Trump is not only a former president but a defeated former president – (laughter) – is the reason – you’re the reason. You’re the reason why we’re going to do it again in 2024, God willing.

Look, when we started with the pandemic raging and the economy reeling, because of you, look at what we’ve achieved. Job creation is at record economic growth, historic low unemployment for Black and Latinos, historic – in all of American history, it’s never been this low.

Latino entrepreneurs are starting new businesses – new – at the fastest rate in over a decade.

(Baby cries.) That’s okay, man. In my house – (laughter). He’s ready to start his own business. (Laughter.) And don’t worry about it, kid – in our house, kids rule. (Laughter.)

Black bu- Black business ownership is growing at the fastest rate it has in 30 years, the lowest inflation rate of any major economy on Earth, and we’ve rebuilt our alliances around the world.

Because – because of the great help of Senator Durbin of Illinois – Dur- excuse me, Durbin of Illinois and – the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, we’ve confirmed federal judges at a historic pace. Two thirds of are people of color – most – most diverse slate ever in American history.

They include the first – (applause) they include the first Black woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court, and she’s smarter than all the rest. (Applause.) More Black women on the federal circuit courts than all previous presidents combined in American history. (Applause.)

And we kept our promise to having an administration that looks like America. We have the most diverse administration in American history.

Trump and the MAGA Republicans want to get rid of the AffordableCare Act, for example. On our watch, the Affordable Care Act is even stronger. Black and Latino Americans have now more access to affordable healthcare then any time in history.

We’ve made the biggest investment – (applause) – we’ve made the biggest investment in the history of the world in climate change. That includes historic investments in frontline and fenceline communities.

I grew up in a place called Claymont, Delaware, after we moved from Scranton. It’s right there on the Pennsylvania border where all the major refineries are.

I grew up in a neighborhood that later became public housing. But at the time, it was – it was – it was private housing and an apartment complex. And it was amazing. I look back on it, and almost all my friends, including me, had asthma. All – all the – everything blew southeast.

And so, folks, look, I promise that all of the – we save, in terms of dealing with the fenceline communities, 80 percent of it’s going back into those communities most affected by it. And they’re minority communities and poor communities. (Applause.)

We’re going to replace – we’re going to replace every single solitary lead pipe in this country so every family can turn on the faucet and drink clean water and not have to worry about any impact on their kids.

I signed the first gun safety law in nearly 30 years. The largest investment in HBCUs and Hispanic-serving institutions. Despite actions from the Supreme Court and the MAGA Republicans, I relieved the debt of 3.6 million students – 3.6 million. (Applause.)

When the Supreme Court turned down my right to forgive all student debt, they – we were still able to find a way to do 3.6 million.

Look, and that – it’s changing people’s lives. They’re able to buy a home, they’re able to invest in a business, they’re able to begin to live their lives. And some of them have been paying these debts until – for 20, 25 years.

We’re making historic commitments to rebuild America. Just yesterday, I announced the first historic step forward: a high-speed rail through the Central Valley.

Guess what? Y’ll are going to be able to move through Central Valley of California at 220 miles an hour. Oh, you – not – not a joke. (Applause.)

We also just announced we’re going to build a high-speed rail averaging 190 miles an hour from L.A. to Las Vegas. Why you want to go to Las Vegas, I’m not sure. (Laughter.) Except maybe to make a lot of money. I don’t know. (Laughter.)

But look, for all we’ve done, the real heroes of the story are the American people. That’s not a joke. Thousands of towns across America, thousands of stories of revival and renewal, hope and optimism.

For the longest time, my friends on the other team talked about finding the cheapest job – the cheapest employers in the – employees in the world, sent jobs overseas, and imported products. Not anymore. We are exporting product made by Americans here in the United States of America.

And It’s creating – we’ve created 800,000 new manufacturing jobs. And pride is returning – pride is returning to communities all over the country.

Nothing like – you know, how many times have you heard, “You know, my dad worked at that factory for 25 years or 30 years. It closed, and now I can’t stay where I want to stay. There’s no place to work.” Well, they’re coming back.

Pride in your work, in your family, in your town. Pride in this nation.

And, you know, there’s no more to – there’s much more to do in terms of child care and elder care, making sure the wealthy and big corporations begin to start paying their fair share.

By the way, we did all what I just said and more and still cut the federal deficit by $7 billion – $7 billion. (Applause.)

And you know why we did that? You may remember my ragging about the fact that there were 50 American corporations – the Fortune 500 companies – 50 pf them who made $40 billion – $40 billion in profit and didn’t pay a single penny in taxes.

Well, I was able to get at least a 15 percent tax on them – and that’s lest than you all pay – 15 percent, and it paid for every – all of these programs.

And we know all that progress is at stake next election. But tonight, I want to talk about what’s most at stake – stake in this next election. I’m not going to keep you a long time.

I truly believe the future of American democracy is at stake. Not a joke.

Let me be clear – let me be clear. Donald Trump poses many threats to this country: from the right to choose, to civil rights, to voting rights, to America’s standing in the world.

I’ve been dealing with world leaders my entire career because of my nature of my job as a foreign relations chairman and as vice president under Barack.

But the greatest threat of all that Trump – that Trump poses is to our democracy. Because if you lose that, we lose everything.

You know, when I first ran for president, I said democracy – democracy was at stake in America, and a lot of people thought it was – I was exaggerating. A lot of people thought it was not accurate. Some of the press thought, “What’s he talking about?”

You may remember, on January the 6th, Trump sitting in his private dining room off the Oval Office, for hours watching it all unfold on TV – of a mob attacking the Capitol police, killing a couple, desecrating the Capitol.

The mob threatened the life of his own vice president because the Vice President refused to violate his oath of office and not certify the election.

That same mob when looking for Nancy Pelosi and – spun up by the same lies that inspired the assault on Paul Pelosi with a hammer to his head.

Ladies and gentlemen, months later – months later, that happened, but it’s despicable.

Trump became the first losing presidential candidate in history to refuse to accept the will of the people. It never happened before in American history.

He didn’t show up for my inauguration. I can’t say I was disappointed. (Laughter.)

My guess is he won’t show up for the next inauguration, either. (Laughter and applause.)

Folks, look – but, you know, this guy means what he’s saying. Listen to his words today. He says he’s running not to serve the American people but, quote to get “revenge” and “retribution.” That’s not me; these are his words. That’s what he’s saying repeatedly.

The other day, he said to a very conservative commentator from Fox News that he was going to be a dictator only on “day one.” Well, thank Got for that. (The President makes the sign of the cross.) Only – (laughter) – just one day.

He called those who oppose him “vermin,” language that echos the – out heard in the fields in Germany in the ’30s. He talks about, quote, the “blood of our country” being poisoned. He’s talking about – you know what he’s talking about. And he’s threatened to use the American military to – on the streets of America go after political opponents, the Insurrection Act.

He embraces political violence instead of rejection [rejecting it]. We can’t let that happen. No president has done that since the Civil War.

All of us have to understand what freedom means. We know what it means to tell the truth. It means to have courage. It means to hold a mirror up to ourselves and our nation a say, “Is this who we are? Can we do better?”

Unlike Trump, we don’t believe America is dark and negative and driven by anger, fear and revenge. Trump spoke at his Inaugural, and guess what he – do you remember what he spoke up about? He spoke about the carnage of America – the carnage in America.

In my Inaugural Address, I spoke about American possibilities – American possibilities.

We believe we’re a hopeful and optimistic people, driven by a simple proposition that everybody – everybody deserves a shot – everyone.

We’re the only nation in the world built on something other than race, ethnicity, religion, or geography. We’re the only country built on an idea – literally, the only country in the world – the idea – the idea that we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal.

We’ve never fully lived up to it, but we’ve never walked away from it. We’ve never walked away from it. But Trump wants us to.

We’re not going to walk away now. Not if I have anything to do with it.

So, let me close with this. In three years, we’re going to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence – in three years.

It’ll be a moment not only about our past but celebrating all we’ve done. It will also be about the future and all we can do.

I do not believe we – will not believe that after all this nation has been through, that we can’t do whatever we need to do – from independence to the Civil War to the World Wars. We’re blessed with leaders like Washington and Lincoln and Roosevelt and Dr. King.

After having stood as a beacon of freedom and equality for the entire world, I don’t believe the 250th anniversary of this nation will turn to Donald Trump.

Folks, imagine that moment and ask, “What do we want to be? What do we want to be as a nation.?”

If we do our job in 2024, we’ll have something few generations can say they’ve done. We’ll be able to say we saved American democracy. Not a – that’s not hyperbole. A fact.

I know we can do this. I’ve never been more optimistic about our country’s fates than I am today. I give you my word to that, as a Biden. I give you my word.

I’m optimistic.

We just have to remember who in the hell we are. We’re the United States of America. There’s nothing – nothing has been beyond our capacity ever in our history.

We’re the only nation in the world that’s come out of every crisis stronger than we went in, if we work together.

So, all we have to do is stand up again – stand up again and make our voices heard, because the American people are ready for a change – a change that makes permanent what we’ve begun. So much to do.

God bless you all. And may God protect our troops.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. (Applause.)

December 11, 2023: President Biden’s reelection campaign announced four key staff hires Monday for its leadership team in Nevada, shoring up the campaign’s presence in the battled Silver State (The Hill)

Shelby Wiltz, the current chair of the Clark County Democratic Party Central Committee, will be the Biden campaign’s Nevada state campaign manager. She worked as part of the staff for Biden’s 2020 bid.

Chelsey Wininger, who was executive director of the Nevada Assembly Democratic Caucus, will be the Nevada deputy state campaign manager.

Sean Hoey, a senior advisor for the Nevada State Democratic Party, while be the campaign’s general election director in the state.

Demi Falcon, who works as deputy chief of staff for Nevada Rep. Dina Titus (D), will become the campaign’s Nevada political and coalitions director…

…The Democratic National Committee (DNC) voted earlier this year to bump Nevada up in the party’s presidential nominating calendar. The Silver State’s Democratic presidential preference primary will be Feb. 6…

December 11, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception | Philadelphia, PA

The President: Hello, hello, hello. (Applause.) We recorded that so I can hear it replayed on the way home. (Laughter.)

Thank you, Gov. You’re the best.

Governor Shapiro: Thank you, Mr. President.

The President: You really are. You’re the best.

Governor Shapiro: Thank you.

The President: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Governor Shapiro, you’re doing a fantastic job. You’re one of the – you’re one of the stars among governors these days. And I think whatever you want to do, you’re going to be able to get done.

I want to thank you all. Look, my friend Tom Wolf, who has been a friend for a long time, and Eddie Rendell – I – I keep calling him Eddie, and maybe – I hope you don’t mind, Ed. I think he’s around here somewhere – Rendell.

And a big thanks to my friend Chris Coons. It’s al – –it’s good to be almost home. (Laughter.)

You know, the truth of the matter is – the truth of the matter is you guys in Philadelphia have been the backbone of every one of my campaigns since I started – not because I was a Scranton boy and not because I lived down the road in Claymont, Delaware, but because you – you just stepped up. You helped.

Back when I first started, you know, Delaware had – there was no television station that Delaware had. It was all Philly from little old Delaware. And it was expensive to get on Philly form little old Delaware. But you all stepped up for me from the very beginning – from the time I was a 29-year-old United States senator.

And to all of the members of Congress – you know, Madeleine Dean has become a really good friend, Chris Deluzio, Dwight Evans has been around with me for a while, Chrissy Houlahan, and Mary Kay [Gay] Scanlon – you know, I want to thank you for their partnerships – and I mean their partnerships. They’ve stepped up in the House when it mattered. They’ve stepped up in the House.

She couldn’t be here today, but congratulations to Mayor-elect Parker, who was the first Black woman elected – (applause) – mayor of Philadelphia. That victory is part of an incredible night for Democrats. It’s a big win in Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court as well.

You know, I’ve been told – we were told in 2020 that Democrats weren’t going to do well. We were told again in 2022 that we were going to go the way of every other incumbent president because you lose off-year elections big time. We were going to lose 30 seats, et. cetera.

We were told in the off-year election of 2023 that we were going to do poorly.

But guess what? Every single, solitary time we did well.

Let me start today by thanking you, because everything we’ve done, you’ve made possible these victories. And that’s not hyperbole. You’re not only contributing your dollars but your thoughts, your minds. You’re some of the best minds in the country dealing with politics these days.

In 2020, you were the reason I got 81 million votes, more votes than any presidential candidate has in American history. You’re the reason why D- — (applause). And, by the way, I’m not joking. This – this is real.

You’re the reason why Donald Trump not only is a former president, he’s a defeated former president. (Applause.) And you’re the reason why we’re going to win again in 2024.

When we started, this pandemic was raging, the economy was reeling, and because of – look – look at what we’ve achieved because of y’all: record job creation, historic economic growth, among the lowest inflation rates of any major economy in the world. We rebuilt our alliances around the world.

Because of a great health with Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois and the Chairman of Judiciary Committee, we’ve confirmed over 60 – I think it’s 62 or 63 – federal judges. We have more – more – more judges who are African Americans in the federal court than every other – we’ve appointed more than any other president in American history combined. Two thirds are people of color. The most diverse state, slate ever.

The first Black woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court – and, by the way, she’s smarter than the rest. She – she is really – she is really good.

So, the point is we’re making progress because of a lot of help from a lot of different people.

Trump and the MAGA Republicans want to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. This will be their 51st attempt. No, seriously, 51 time. They’ve – well – and on my watch, we were able to make it more affordable for hard-working people.

You know, we get rid of the Affordable Care Act, pre-existing conditions are going to deny a – pep – they’re going – millions pf people are going to get kicked out of healthcare. Millions of them.

We made the biggest investment in the history of the world to combat climate change.

I signed the first new gun safety law in 30 years.

Despite actions of the Supreme Court and MAGA Republicans, I was able to relieve the student debt of 3.6 million Americans who are now able to buy homes, get jobs, and move on.

You know, we’re making a historic commitment to rebuild America. Here in Pennsylvania, we’ve already announced over $13 billion, including for 330 specific projects.

There’s no better example of how to rebuild American do big things than right here in Philly, where union labor and a great team effort on I-95, which was already mentioned by the governor. Did you any – think it’d done in 12 days?

Audience members: No.

The President: Did a pretty good – damn good – darn good job. (Laughter.)

And just last week, we announced funding to improve all rail service, including rail service from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh.

We also told you – start – we’re finally going to get – and I realize I’m a Scranton boy. I get it. But my dad used to always talk about how the train line from Scranton to New York was a – it’s coming back. We got the funding for it. (Applause.)

But for all we’ve done, the real heroes of this story are the American people. Thousands of towns all across America are seeing thousands of stories of revival, renewal, hope, and optimism and pride.

Pride. We underestimate how important that is. All those small factories all through the Midwest that are closed down. And they used to say, “Dad worked there; Grandpop worked there. But, Mom, I’ve got to move because there’s no jobs here anymore.”

Pride. Pride in your work and your family and your town. Pride in the nation.

And we do – there’s more – we’ve got a lot more to do.

We’ve got to bring back the childcare. You know, when we had that childcare legislation passed, it reduced child poverty more than anything else in American history for child poverty and eldercare.

Making sure the – and the big corporations start finally paying their share.

And, by the way, we did all this and we still cut the federal deficit by $7 billion — $7 billion [$1 trillion].

And we know all that progress is at stake in this next election.

But today, I want to talk briefly – I don’t want to keep you very long – about what’s most important in this next election.

The future of American democracy is literally at stake. It’s literally at stake.

Let me be clear: Donald Trump poses many threats to his country, from the right to choose, to civil rights, to voting rights, to America’s standing in the world.

You ought to come to me at these international meetings with other heads of state – who I’ve known for a long time – listen to what their concerns are about this election.

But the greater threat he poses is to our democracy, because if we lose that, we lose everything.

When I first ran for president, I said at – at Independence Hall, I made a speech. I said democracy is at stake in America. And the press – understandably, because it was – they hadn’t heard that before – thought, “Well, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration.” Everybody but the press saw it. The American people understood it. But they didn’t think it – they don’t think that anymore – the press.

Remember January 6th? Trump sitting in the – the small dining room off my O – off of the Oval Office for hours and hours watching it all unfold on television: a mob attacked the Capitol, desecrated the Capitol, killed some people. The mob threaten the live of his own vice president because he would not violate the Constitution to make a fake election.

The same mob that went looking for Nancy Pelosi in the Capitol, spun up by the lies, inspired by assaults – and inspired assaults on her husband with a hammer to his head months later. It’s just despicable.

Did you ever think you would see that in our – in any generation sitting before me here?

Trump became the first losing presidential candidate in history who refused to accept the will of the people.

He didn’t show up at my inauguration. Can’t say I was disappointed. (Laughter.) I guess he won;’t show up for the second inauguration either, but – (laughter and applause).

But, folks, I really think it’s important – because you’re a very sophisticated audience – to listen to his word.s He says he’s not running to serve the people of America. He says he’s running get, quote, “revenge” and “retribution.” Revenge and retribution.

The other day, he said he wants to be a dictator only one day to wipe out the civil service and a whole range of other little things like that.

He called those who oppose him “vermin,” language that echoes the language in Germany in the ’30s.

He talked about, quote, “The blood of our country is being poisoned,” end of quote.

And he’s threatened to use the American military in the streets of America to go after his political opponents.

He’s just saying this out loud. He’s saying it out loud.

He embraces political violence instead of rejecting it. We can’t let that happen.

All of you here understand that freedom means to tell the truth, to have the courage to hold up a mirror to the country and say, “Is this who we are? Can we be better? What are we going to do? How do we make it better?

Unlike Trump, we don’t believe America is dark and negative, a nation driven by anger and fear and revenge. When Trump spoke at his inauguration, he spoke about American carnage. That’s what he spoke about, if you recall.

At my inauguration, I spoke about American possibilities. We believe we are hopeful, an optimistic nation driven by a simple proposition that everyone deserves a fair shot.

We’re the only nation in the world – we’re unique in this regard – not built on ethnicity, religion, or geography. We’re the only nation that has (inaudible) in the world built on an idea – an idea. And the idea was we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal and deserve to be treated equally throughout their lives.

We’ve never fully lived up to it, but we’ve never fully walked away from it, as Trump wants to do now. You know, we’re not going to walk away now.

Let me close with this. In three years, we’ll celebrate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in this incredible town. It was – it will be a moment not only about our past and celebrating all we’ve done. It will also be about the future and what we can be.

Because that’s what this is always about in America. What’s next? What’s the future?

I don’t believe and I will not believe that after all this nation has been through – from independence, to the Civil War, to world wars; after being blessed with leaders like Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Dr. King; after having been a beacon of freedom and equality for the rest of the world – I don’t believe that, on our 250th anniversary, this nation will turn to Donald Trump.

Folks, imagine – imagine that moment and ask, “What do we want to be? What do we want to be on our 250t anniversary?”

If we do our job in 2024, we’ll have done something can say they’ve done. We’ll be able to say, literally, we saved democracy. We saved democracy. (Applause.)

And folks, I know we can do it. I know I’m considered a gen- — a congenital optimist. But folks, I’ve never been more optimistic. I mean it from the bo- — I give you my word as a Biden, I’ve never been more optimistic about our country than I am today.

We’re in a mid – –we’re in the midst of a great inflection point in world history that occurs about every six to ten generations where things are changing. Things are changing not necessarily because of a single person, but things are changing.

And they’re changing it now. From global warming to glacial shifts in alliances, so much is changing.

But I promise you, I’ve been – I know – I’ve done foreign policy my whole life – and when I was vice president and now as president. The rest of the world is looking to use not to fight their fights but to help them generate the kind of change they want.

Folks, we are the essential nation, as Madeleine Albright said. We truly are.

There’s not an international event that I’ve attended – I’ve been to 145 countries – since I’ve been pres- — there’s not one where the rest of the world doesn’t come up to me – the leaders – no matter what country they’re from, and say, “You got to – you can’t let him win. You can’t let him win.” They mean it. They mean it.

Here’s what we have to remember. Just remember one thing. We have to remember who the hell we are. We’re the United States of America. There is nothing beyond our capacity – nothing, nothing, nothing – when we do it together. And. that’s the God’s truth.

Think of this: Can you name me one major crisis America has ever encountered that we haven’t come out stronger than we went into it? That’s who we are. We’re the United States of America, for God’s sake, and our diversity is a great person – a great reason for the power we have.

So, folks, I want to thank you for allowing me to be able to compete in this election, like you did my first time when I ran for the United States Senate. I lookout that phenomenal amount of money I raised — $60,000. (Laughter.) Most of it was raised here in Philadelphia.

And so, folks, thanks for trusting me. Thank you for helping me. And with the grace of God, the goodwill of the neighbors, and, as my grandpop was saying, “the creek not rising” we’re going to win this election. And we – not only we, the United States, but the world is going t be better of because of it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. (Applause.)

Appreciate it. Thanks. Thank you, Thank you.

December 12, 2023: Remarks by Vice President Harris at a Campaign Reception: (WhiteHouse.gov)

The St. Regis Washington, D.C., Washington D.C.

The Vice President: Hey. Good after- — good morning. Morning. Good morning. Good morning. Please have a seat, everyone.

Thank you, Sheldon. I think we’re going to get into conversation later about why, in addition to it being – and making good business sense – that the work we are doing together is truly about our children and the future of our country in so many ways. So, thank you for – for your introduction and leadership.

I want to thank Abby. I want to thank – thank Tom for all that you have been doing. I was talking briefly with them before I came out.

And this organization and what you are doing, in terms of the Solar Energy Industries Association – and thank you – it really is a very important, if you will, Venn diagram in understanding that we cannot afford to just exist in silos that are about the industry or about policy or about elections and politics – that there is a profound intersection between the three if we’re actually to see this good work through.

And so, I appreciate all the leaders who are here who understand the connections between them and the importance of then focusing on all of them if we are to actually make real the vision that we have for the future of our country.

Before I get too detailed on the topic, I do want to address another issue, which is what has been happening in Texas with a young woman by the name of Kate Cox. So, she is a mother of two. She and her husband have two children and she is pregnant. And she has been diagnosed by her physician with having a pregnancy that could result in harm to herself and to the fetus.

And she has unfortunately been living in a state that has criminalized access to healthcare for women and criminalized it in such a way that they literally provide for prison time for life for physicians and punish women who should have the right to make a decision about their own bodies.

And so, she has had to travel to a state that is not her home state to receive the healthcare that she needs and has actually been prescribed by a physician.

And I think it is important that when we are talking about foundational freedoms in our country, that we speak out when such an injustice is happening that would deny an individual to be able to make such important decisions about he own body and her life.

And so, the stakes could not be higher on that issue. And, therefore, I think we should all feel compelled to talk about it and think about it in terms of how it affects real people every day.

And with that, I will get to the subject at hand, which is the issue and the importance of the work we all are doing together to build the clean energy economy an a future which will be about the most important and fundamental priorities for us as a species, which is the need to have clean water, clean air and to protect this beautiful planet upon which we live.

And with that, I want to thank all of the leaders who are here, because this is truly a room of innovators and those who have the ability to see what can be, unburdened by what has been.

And I will tell you: Yes, I am so excited about this work.

Back from the time that I was actually district attorney of San Francisco – I was elected in 2003, started my term in 2004 – I created the first environmental justice units of any prosecutor’s office in the country.

And then, later, I would serve for two terms as attorney general of California, where we did a lot of work that was thinking about what we must do in terms of regulation.

But in terms of creating incentives for good behaviors that are about understanding, again, the connection between the policies, which are about a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; the policies which should be about paying attention to poor air quality and how it is created; and then doing the work of aspiring to do better and create incentives to do better.

And we fast forward almost 20 years now, and I think about – back to 2004 and where we are next year and where we have come as a country and as a society on these issues. Those days, we were really battling some folks who just were confirmed and sure that it was not an issue – the climate deniers. Thank God we don’t have to deal with that as much – not completely – (laughter) but as much anymore.

What we have to deal with now is those who would attempt to delay what we know is possible and can be done. We have to deal with the greenwashing. We have to deal with those who, in some sectors, are obstructionist around what makes for smart and good policy with a sense of urgency, which we must all have.

In fact, I just got back from Dubai a couple of weeks ago at COP28. And when we think about who we are as Americans, who the Unite States is on this issue: We have self-appointed and, I think, have earned a standing globally, which is that we are a leader on so many of these issues.

And our leadership on these issues, then, is not only about what we are doing to invest in research and development and innovation in a way it can be used by our allies and partners and even adversaries around the world, but what we are doing to also role model what governments and leaders in whichever sector must take on with priority and a sense of urgency.

We are earning the right to look at our friends around the world, literally, and challenge them. And where they have not had the ability to perhaps imagine what is possible, the work this industry is doing is demonstrating it. Sometimes we have to just show people what we know is possible.

And thankfully, in the cycle of this movement, we are now at that stage where we are shovels in the ground, where the work is actually happening.

Dalton, Georgia, where are you? There you are. I was so happy to come and visit, and what you guys are doing at Qcells, and – and to show people this is what it looks like. And this is what it looks like in terms of a physical structure, but, hey, this is what it also looks like in terms of investing in the skills of an important workforce.

This is what IBEW apprenticeship programs look like, which are four-year apprenticeship programs where the students are paid while they’re going to school because everyone needs to be able to actually have the ability to pay rent and study a new profession.

And we’re showing how – the intersection between investing in the workforce, investing in a new economy, and investing in what we must do for our children for generations to come.

It’s a very exciting time. And the work your industry is doing is pivotal and is a real model for those who may be policy leaders, those who may be industry leaders, those who are global leaders. And dare I say that it also is a demonstration, then, of the fact that this approach works. It works. And it actually makes a difference.

We’re not just testing out a hypothesis. We’re actually proving the premise.

And in that way, then, your industry is so important. And on this point, then, and back to my point about – I love Venn diagrams. This is where the geek in me just comes out. (Laughter.)

So – but on the point of the Venn diagram and, most importantly, the point about the intersection, that is were also your leadership, as a group of leaders in an industry, is important in recognizing the connection between policy, between growing our economy – because it is about a pro-growth economy approach – and the intersection between that and elections. Elections matter.

When we were running for office, Joe Biden was very clear: We’re going to put America back on the map – globally, in terms of reentering the Paris Agreement. And we’re going to put America on the map as a global leader in investing in our economy in many ways, including this one.

And it is because of the support that you all gave in 2020 – to believe that was possible – that we were able to make an historic investment of over $1 trillion in this economy – putting the resources over the next 10 years – by my equation, over the next 10 years into the jobs, into the industry, into R&D.

We’ve already seen over $600 billion of private sector investment that has been spurred because of the investment that we are making based on what we know to be good policy and good practice. Elections matter.

I’ll remind you, sadly, not one Republican in Congress voted for the Inflation Reduction Act – although in Dalton, Georgia, that member of Congress, I believe, is takin a lot of credit for the work that’s happening – (laughter) – despite voting against it. So, maybe that should be further evidence of the fact that it makes for good politics and good policy. (Laughter.)

But there is a connection. And as many of you know – and we have to be clear-eyed about the challenges in this upcoming election cycle – there have been those who have said if they are elected, they will get rid of the IRA. So, it’s no small matter. It’s no small matter.

And I will also acknowledge that you, as leaders – it is not only about elders in business, leaders in innovation and leaders in industry, you also have a lot of courage to put your money where your mouth is.

You guys are investing your resources into this. You are encouraging investment in your ideas and plans. You are having meetings with folks to say, “Believe in this, and I’m going to show you how it can be done. And, actually, you’ll get a return on the investment.”

That takes a lot of courage to believe in it and then do the details that actually make it work.

And so, all of that to say, there’s more that can be done, but who sits in the White House matters on this.

You know, there’s so many issues that, right now in our world, are so complex, but where the environment is – the only appetite in the environment is for binary, when in fact these issues are anything but.

However, November ’24: binary. Binary for so many reasons in – on this issue.

So, with that, again, I say thank you to all of you for your leadership, for your – just your vision for the future of the country, and for making it real every day.

And with that, I’ll take some questions.

Okay. Thank you all. (Applause.)

December 12, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception: (WhiteHouse.gov)

The President: Rosy, thank you very much. (Applause.)

Please. (Applause.)

Please. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Please.

Thank you all so very much. Many of you have been my personal friends and political friends for a long time. I know I don’t look it, but I’ve been around a long while. (Laughter.)

And I want to thank you all – all of you – for – for your steadfast support. And, Rosy, particularly, thank you for that introduction and all the work you did to make this successful.

And most of all – in light of the introduction, it seems a little out of place – but Happy Hanukkah. (Laughter and applause.) Happy Hanukkah.

We know that. this year’s Hanukkah is different after October the 7th attack. As I said after the attack, the safety of the Jewish people, the literal security of Israel as an independent Jewish state is literally at stake. But it is unshakable, our commitment to Israel.

We continue to provide military assistance to Israel as it goes after Hamas. And I’ve personally spent hours – hours, without exaggeration – talking to the Qataris, the Egyptians, the Israelis to secure the freedom of more than 100 hostages. And we’re go – — not going to stop until we – every hostage is returned home – (applause) – every one.

We’ll continue leading the world in delivering humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilians as well to emphasize to our friends in Israel the need to protect civilian life. And they understand it, the vast majority of the population.

But most of all, we condemn Hamas’s using rape, sexual violence, terrorism, and torture of Israeli women and girls without equivocation, without exception.

You know they – I saw some of the photographs when I was there – tying a mother and her daughter together on a rope and then pouring kerosene on them and then burning them, beheading infants, doing things that are just inhuman – totally, completely inhuman.

I also recognize your hurt from the silence and the fear of the safety – your safety because of the surge of antisemitism here in America and around the world.

As I’ve said before, and I won’t belabor it, but it’s – people say why have I had this feeling for so long, since I ran for the United States Senate 170 years ago? (Laughter.)

My dad really was a righteous Christian. He taught me about the horrors of the Shoah. He’d ta- we – and he’s – as a consequence, I’ve taken my grandchildren – my – my three children and my grandchildren, when they turned 14, out them on a plane and flew them to Dachau because I wanted them to seem wanted them to spend the day there and understand that silence is complicity.

Yesterday, at the Hanukkah reception at the White House, I met Holocaust survivors, including a widow of our dear friend, the late Elie Wiesel, who taught us about the perils of indifference.

I’ve been clear that our administration stands with you. We’re aggressively implementing America’s first-ever National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism: prosecuting hate crimes, addressing antisemitism in schools, increasing security around Jewish centers of Jewish life, and more.

In this moment, we have to hold on to the core values of who we are as Americans. The core values are equity, equality, justice, freedom, dignity, respect – values that, from the inception of our nation, have shaped literally the culture, contributions and values of the Jewish Americans – including all of you that are here – Americans.

And that’s what I want to talk about today.

You know, in 2020, you’re the reason why we got 81 million votes, more than any presidential candidate has gotten in American history. You’re the reason – (applause) – you’re the reason why Donald Trump is not a former president but a defeated former president. (Applause.)

You’re the reason why we’re going to win in 2024 again, with your help, and we are. (Applause.) When we – when we started, the pandemic was raging, the economy was reeling. Because of you, – of you, look at what we’ve achieved: record job creation, historic economic growth, among the lowest inflation rates of any major economy on Earth. We’ve rebuilt our alliances around the world.

And because of the great help of Dick Durbin of Illinois, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, we’ve reconfirmed 61 judges – and more, the first Black appointed judge to the Supreme Court of the United States, a woman. And combined, we’ve appointed more – (applause) – we’ve appointed more Black women to appellate courts of the United States and – than every other president in history combined. (Applause.)

Trump and the MAGA Republicans want to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. For the 51st time, they’re trying – (laughter) – literally. We made it more affordable. We made it stronger.

We made the biggest investment in our history of the world – history of the world to combat climate change.

We signed the first new gun safety law in 30 years.

Despite actions of the Supreme Court and MAGA Republicans, we’ve relieved student debt for 3.6 million Americans, who now have a chance to buy their first home and pay their debts and get out of debt.

We’re making historic commitment to rebuild American roads, bridges, ports, airports, clean water systems, high-speed Internet.

But for all we’ve done, the real heroes of the story are the America people. In thousands of towns all across America, we see the stories of revival and renewal; hope and optimism; pride – and pride in your work, pride in your family, pride in your town, pride in this nation.

We know there’s more to do, from childcare to eldercare, making sure the corporations pay their fair share. And we know that ll that progress is at stake in this next election.

And, by the way, we did all that and we still reduced the deficit by $7 billion.

But what’s most at stake in this next election is the future of American democracy, in my view. And that makes this all – it all possible.

Let me be clear, Donald Trump poses, in my view, many threats to this country, from the right to choose – you just saw what the Supreme Court of Texas just did – to civil rights and voting rights to the American standing in the world.

The greatest threat he poses, though, is to our democracy. Because if we lose that, we lose everything.

When I first ran for president, I said democracy was a – — was at stake in America. A lot of people thought when I made that speech at Independence Hall in 2020 – 2021, that I – that they – that they thought I was exaggerating. But they don’t think that anymore.

Remember January 6th, Trump sitting in the private dining room off of my Oval – the Oval Office for hours, watching it all unfold as a mob attacked the Capitol and desecrated the Capitol. Capitol Police died. It threatened the life of his own vice president because the Vice President refused to violate his constitutional oath.

The same mob went looking for Nancy Pelosi. Some up – spun up the same lies, inspired an assault on her – who attacked her husband, Paul, with a hammer months later, smacking him in the head with a hammer.

It’s despicable. And silence coming from him.

Trump became the first losing presidential candidate in history who refused to accept the will of the American people.

He didn’t even show up at the Inauguration. I can’t say I was disappointed, but he didn’t show up. (Laughter.) My guess is he won’t show up for the next Inauguration either. (Laughter.)

But listen to his words today. He says he’s running not to serve the American – the people of America, but to get “revenge” and “retribution.” His words, not mine. “Revenge” and retribution.”

Just the other day, he said – he said he liked to be a “dictator.” Going to be a dictator – only “for one day.”

As we Catholics say – (the President makes the sign of the cross). (Laughter.)

He called those who oppose him, “vermin,” language that echoes that what was heard out in Germany in the ’30s.

He talked about, quote, “The blood of our country is being poisoned.” Sound familiar. Same era.

And he threatened the use of American military in the streets of America to go after political opponents.

He embraces political violence instead of rejecting it, and he can’t let that happen – we can’t let that happen.

Look, all of you here understand what freedom means. It means truth. It means to have the courage to hold a mirror up to our nation and say, “Is this who we are? Is this who we want to be? Can we be better?”

Unlike Trump, we don’t believe that America is dark and negative – a dark and negative nation driven by anger, fear, and revenge.

When Trump was – spoke at his Inauguration, he talked about “American carnage.” When I spoke at my Inauguration, I spoke about possibilities.

We believe we are a hopeful and optimistic nation driven by a simple proposition: that everybody deserves a fair shot.

We’re the only nation in the world built on – not on ethnicity, religion, geography. We’re the only country built on an idea – an idea all Amer- – all of history – the idea that we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men and women are created equal, endowed by their Creator. We’ve never fully lived up to it but we’We’ve never walked away from it either.

Trump want to – that’s what Trump wants to do, but we’re not going to walk away from it.

Look, let me say that – as all this relates to Israel – I spend a lot of time, probably 75 percent of my time, dealing with foreign leaders and traveling the world. There is a real concern around the world that America is losing its moral center. There’s a real concern that with America – American principles continue to be the vanguard of who we are. I’ve spent more time with NATO pulling together and holding it together than I think anyone has.

When Dr. Kissinger – three weeks before he died, we – he and I had our real differences when he was active Secretary of State and I was a senator – but he called to tell me – he said – he asked me to call him, and I did. He said that – he wanted me to know two things. One, not since Napoleon has Europe not looked at Russia with a – with fear in its eyes about what Russia would do, until now. Well, guess what? They are fearful of what we may do.

But it takes me to my concluding point about Israel and about all freedoms in the world. Israel – it’s an existential threat to Israel – its very existence. Israel has a tough decision to make. Bibi has got a tough decision to make. There’s no question about the ned to take on Hamas. There’s no question about that. None. Zero. They have every right.

Bibi and I talk a lot. I’ve known him for 50 years. Some of you know he has a picture on his desk – at least when I’m there, he has it on it. (Laughter.) Eight and a half by eleven, with a picture of – where I wrote “Bibi…” – when we were both young men, he was at the embassy here and I was a senator. I said “Bibi, I love you, but I don’t agree with a damn thing you have to say.” (Laughter.) That remains to be the case. (Laughter.)

He’s a good friend, but I think he has to change and – with this government. This government in Israel is making it very difficult for him to move.

You know, Ben-Gvir is not what you would call someone who – this is the most conservative government in Israel’s history – the most conservative. I’ve known every, every, every, every single head of state in Israel since Golda Meir. And I’ve known them because I’ve spent time with them many times.

And this is a different group. Ben-Givr and company and the new folks they – they don’t want anything remotely approaching a two-state solution. They not only want to have re- –retribution, which they should for what the Palestinian – Hamas did, but against all Palestinians. They don’t want a two-state solution. They don’t want any- — anything having do with the – the Palestinians.

Folks, the Palestinians have not been governed well at all. A lot has happened that’s very negative.

But I spent an awful – an awful lot of time with the Arab countries. Everyone from Saudi – without going into too much detail because it would be inappropriate – from Saudi Arabia to a number of other state, they want to normalize relations.

At the G20 meeting with all the 20 major nations in the world, I got a resolution passed that no one thought could happen, saying we’re going to build a railroad from the middle of India all the way up to England and a pipeline across the Mediterranean to unite the countries. And the train is going to go – literally, not figuratively – from – from India into Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia into – to Jordan, Jordan to Israel, Israel et. cetera.

Because there – we have an opportunity to begin to unite the region – unite the region. And they still want to do it. But we have to make sure that – that Bibi understands that he’s got to make some moves to strengthen PLA [PA] – strengthen it, change it, move it. You cannot say there’s no Palestinian state at all in the future. And that’s going to be the hard part.

In the meantime, we’re not going to do a damn thing other than protect Israel in the process. Not a single thing.

But, folks, there’s a lot to do – a lot to do. We’re going to have to be – as strong supporters of Israel, we’re going to have to be honest about what we’re doing and what the goal is. The goal is Israel’s security. And if Israel – Israel’s sec- –if there were no – many of you heard me say over the years: Were there not an Israel, we’d have to invent one – we’d have to invent one.

I believe without Israel as a freestanding state, not a Jew in the world is safe – not a Jew in the world is safe. It’s up to what happens at the moment.

And so, we got a lot of work to do, but we’re not going to – in the meantime, none of it is going to walk away from providing Israel what they need to defend themselves and to finish the job against – against Hamas.

And, folks, look, if you think about it, one of the things that Bibi understands, I think, now – but I’m not sure Ben-Gvir and his War Cabinet do, who I’ve spoken to several times – is that Israel’s security can rest on the United States. It has the European Union, it has Europe, it has most of the world supporting it. But they’re starting to lose that support by the indiscriminate bombing that takes place.

It was pointed out to me – I’m being very blunt with you all – it was pointed out to me that – by Bibi – that “Well, you carpet-bombed Germany. You dropped the atom bomb. A lot of civilians died.”

I said, “Yeah, that’s why all these institutions were set up after World War Two to see to it that it didn’t happen again – it didn’t happen again. Don’t make the same mistakes we made at 9/11. There was no reason why we had to be in a war with Afghanistan at 9/11. There was no reason why we had to do some of the things we did.”

So, those of you who have family back in Israel, you saw what happened when Bibi tried to change the Supreme Court. Thousands of IDF soldiers said, “We’re out. We’re not going to participate. We’re not going to support the military.”

There wasn’t any outside influence. That came from within Israel.

So, folks, there’s a lot to do – a whole lot to do.

First and foremost, do everything in our power to hold Hamas accountable – every single thing in our power. They’re animals. They’re animals. They exceeded anything that any other terrorist group has done of late that I – in memory.

But, secondly, we have to work toward bringing Israel together in a way that provides for the beginning of an option – an option of a two-state solution, because absent that – (applause) – (inaudible). It’s probably more than you wanted to hear, but – (laughter.)

Look, I do not believe and I will not believe, after all this nation has been through – our nation – from independence to Civil War to world wars; after being blessed by leaders like Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Dr. King; after having stood as a beacon of freedom and equality for the entire world – I don’t believe this nation is going to turn to my predecessor.

Folks, if we do our job in 2024, we’ll be saving what few generations can be able to say: We’ll be saving American democracy in a way that is needed. And the rest of the world is looking.

Many of you – you’re all so- — very sophisticated people, and I’m not being solicitous. You travel the world. Have you met any foreign leader who suggests to you that they’d like to go back to where we were in the “America Only” position again? Have you found one?

Madeleine Albright was right. We are the essential nation. Like it or not, we are – not Joe Biden, America is the essential nation. And they’re looking for us to lead. And with your help, that’s what we’ll continue to do.

But nobody, nobody, nobody on God’s green Earth can justify what Hamas did. They’re a brutal, ugly, inhumane people, and they have to be eliminated.

Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

December 14, 2023: The Biden campaign is stepping up on its abortion attacks on GOP front-runner Donald Trump, seeking to tie the former president to a case in Texas where the state prevented a woman with a nonviable pregnancy from having an abortion. (The Hill)

The White House is following the broader Democratic playbook, as the party wants to keep abortion front and center for 2024 following a string of successes since the Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to abortion last year.

Camping officials believe the Texas case highlights a key point of the reelection campaign: that women’s rights will be under attack from a Trump-led government.

“No woman should be forced to go to court or flee her home state just to receive the health care she needs,” President Biden said in a statement. “But that is exactly what happened in Texas thanks to Republican elected officials, and it is simply outrageous. This should never happen in America, period.”

Biden campaign officials are drawing a direct line between the Texas case and Trump, who appointed three of the Supreme Court justices that voted to end Roe.

“For folks who are still confused on who to blame, Donald Trump is on the airwaves right now bragging about his role in overturning Roe,” Biden-Harris 2024 Communications Director Michael Tyler told reporters Tuesday.

“Donald Trump can’t run away from his record and his abortion legacy.”…

December 15, 2023: Republican Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) is warning House Republicans that President Biden could not be impeached from office for any conduct or crimes committed before he was elected president in 2020. (The Hill)

Mullin’s statement in an interview with Newsman pours cold water on a House GOP investigation into Biden’s family’s business dealings, particularly Hunter Biden’s work with foreign companies, while Biden was vice president during the Obama administration and immediately after.

He warned that any high crime or misdemeanor that may serve as the basis for articles of impeachment “has to be committed while he was on office, the current office, he holds.”

“So what he did as vice president, what he did in between the two [offices] may not be impeachable,” he said during an interview on Newsmax’s “Wake Up America.”

“If they send us a case, make sure it’s convictable,” Mullin advised. “The bar’s real high, there’s no question about it.”…

…Mullin made his statement two days after the House voted along party lines, 221-212, to approve a resolution authorizing a formal impeachment inquiry if Biden and whether he benefits improperly from his son Hunter’s business dealings with foreign entities…

December 17, 2023: A car plowed into a parked SUV that was guarding President Joe Biden’s motorcade on Sunday night while the president was leaving after a visit to his campaign headquarters. The president and first lady Jill Biden were unharmed. (KSBY.com)

While Biden was walking from the campaign office to his waiting armored SUV, a sedan hit a U.S. Secret Service vehicle that was being used to close off intersections near the headquarters for the president’s departure.

The sedan then tried to continue into a closed-off intersection, before Secret Service personnel surrounded the vehicle with weapons drawn and instructed the driver to put his hands up.

President Biden was ushered into his waiting vehicle, where his wife was already seated, before being driven swiftly back to their home. His schedule was otherwise unaffected by the incident.

The Secret Service did not immediately comment on the incident.

December 17, 2023: The Biden campaign late Saturday sharply criticized former President Trump for invoking rhetoric it referred to as “parroting Adolf Hitler” in the wake of remarks in which Trump said immigrants were “poisoning the blood of our country.” (The Hill)

At a campaign rally in Durham, N.H., Trump offered praise for authoritarian world leaders. He quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin to attack President Biden while once again offering praise for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, calling him “very nice.”

“Tonight, Donald Trump channeled his role models as he parroted Adolf Hitler, praised Kim Jong Un, and quoted Vladimir Putin while running for president on a promise to rule as a dictator and threaten American democracy,” Biden-Harris campaign spokesperson Ammar Moussa said in a statement.

“Trump is not shying away from his plan to lock up millions of people into detention camps and continues to lie about that time when Joe Biden obliterated him by over 7 million votes three years ago,” Moussa added…

…Trump’s remarks in New Hampshire were typical expressions of fondness he has for world leaders considered authoritarian and anti-Democratic, which he has made both as president and on the campaign trail.

In his bid to capture the White House again, Trump has threatened vengeance against his political opponents in the face of four criminal indictments against him, two of which were brought by the Justice Department under Biden.

Trump has also been under fire for doubling down on a notion reported by several media outlets that he would serve as a dictator if elected to a second term…

December 19, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception

Private Residence, Bethesda, Maryland

The President: Hello, hello, hello.

Thank you, Governor Wes Moore, for that introduction. I tell you, I was ready to hear another hour or so. (Laughter.) Thank you very much.

And I want to thank you for – the First Lady, Dawn, for putting up with you all these years. (Laughter.)

Look, the fact is that, you know, you have – do have a great Lieutenant Governor. She is first rate.

And my good friend Steny Hoyer, we’ve worked together a long, long time. Now, you were saying all those things about Maryland being first. I’ve been saying to Steny for years the eastern shore of Maryland is really the western shore of Delaware. (Laughter.) But I’m glad he’s taken such incredible, good care of us. Steny, you’re the very best, man. You are the very best. (Applause.)

Risa and Ben, thank you for hosting. This is really important to me, and I can’t tell you how much it means to me and your friendship as well.

But before I begin, I want to say a few words about the situation in the Middle East because I know a lot of you want to hear about it. And I’m going to be very brief because I’ll have time to talk about it later.

But I we- — when I went to Israel, I went to – to fight Hamas, to – they faced a burden, a few milestones that countries have to face and militaries that – a military enemy that says it has one goal: to – the elimination – elimination, using terror, of the entire state of Israel. Hamas has no regard – none whatsoever – on whether civ- if those civilians live or die.

They faced additional burdens too. Hamas is holding a significant number of hostages, including American hostages.

But from the beginning – I’ve said from the beginning, those added burdens do not lessen Israel’s responsibility to distinguish between the Palestinian people and Hamas and to take care to minimize civilian deaths.

And we’re take – and, you know, we’re talking to Israel and the Arab partners about political future for the Palestinian people and a two-state solution with Israel’s security guaranteed, where Israel enjoys peace and normal relations with their Arab neighbors.

And we’re – I’ve been in discussion – I think one of the reasons why Hamas moved when they did – as Steny knows, I was working very closely with the Saudis in the former recognition of Israel.

But, ladies and gentlemen, let me get to the reason we’re here tonight. I – I want to thank you. In 2020, you were the reason we got 81 million votes – more votes than any presidential candidate has ever gotten in American history. But they’re also the reason why Donald Trump not only is a former president but a former defeated president.

And – (applause) and you’re the reason why we’re going to win in 2024. (Applause.)

You know, when we started, the pandemic was raging, the economy was reeling. Because of you, look at what we’ve achieved: record job creation, historic economic growth, among the lowest inflation rates of any major economy on Earth. We rebuilt our alliances around the world.

And because of the great help of Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, we continue to provide for a significant number of – over 60 now – federal judges at a historic pace, two thirds of the people – of whom are people of color. The most diverse slate ever, the first Black woman ever appointed to the United States Supreme Court, and more Black women in the federal – federal appellate courts and circuit courts than every other president in history combined. (Applause.)

Trump and the MAGA Republicans want to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. In fact, they failed 50 times so far. They’re going for 51. (Laughter.) They’re still not giving up. And it’s going to – it’s the very thing that allows people with preexisting conditions to have insurance. I won’t go into all the detail. You know it.

On our watch, we made affordable care even stronger. We’re in a position – we made the biggest investment in the history of the world to combat climate change. We signed the first new gun safety law in 30 years. (Applause.)

We need to do more. Despite actions from the Supreme Court and MAGA Republicans, I’ve relieved the student debt of 3.6 million Americans, and we’re going to keep going. (Applause.)

I made a historic commitment to rebuild America. Here in Maryland, you’ve al- we’ve already announced over $11 billion, including 140 specific projects, including fully replacing the Baltimore Tunnel. I’m probably the only person here who’s ever walked through that tunnel. (Laughter.) Not – not a joke.

I traveled over 1 million – 2- — – 320,000 miles on Amtrak, commuted every single day for years. And that tunnel was built about 180 years ago. (Laughter.)

The tunnel will be all electric. Trains will travel through at 110 miles an hour instead of 30 miles an hour now, and it’s going to be a gamechanger across the board.

But for all we’ve done, the real heroes of this story are really the American people. In thousands of town all across America, we see thousands of stories of revival and renewal, hope and optimism, and pride – pride in your work, your family, your town – pride in the nation.

We know there’s more to do for child care and elder care, making sure that the very big corporations – and, by the way, I know something about big corporations. I come from Delaware. (Laughter.) More corporations incorporated in Delaware than in every other state in the nation combined. I’m not anti corporation, but it’s about time they start paying their fair share in taxes. (Applause.)

And, by the way, even with the historic investments we’ve made, we still have reduced the deficit – all the talk about all we’ve done, we’ve reduced the deficit so far by $1 trillion – $1 trillion. In part because of increasing revenue, but the recovery is going so strongly that we now are able – relative to when I took office – are able to generate additional income.

We reached a bipartisan budget agreement, cut spending an additional $1 trillion over the next 10 years, and in my budget, we proposed more than $2 trillion in deficit reduction, on top of – mostly by asking the big corporations to begin to pay their fair share.

Look, and we all know that progress is at stake in the next election. But I want to talk about what I think is even more at stake in this next election: literally the future of American democracy. And it makes everything possible.

Let me be clear: Donald Trump poses many threats to the country, from the right to choose to civil rights to voting rights to America’s standing in the world.

Some of you are – you’re all successful people; you’ve traveled the world. Find me a head of state or someone of consequence in a country you visit that doesn’t say – you will not be – — will not – will believe that every head of state I’ve met – come in contact with says, “You’ve got to win. You’ve got to win.”

More – less about me, unfortunately, I think, than about the other guy. (Laughter.)

But all – it’s – the greatest threat Trump poses is to our democracy. Because if we lose, we lose everything.

When I first ran for president, I said democracy was at stake in America. I think a lot of people, particularly the press, thought I was exaggerating. But they don’t think that anymore.

They saw what happened on January 6th. Sitting in that little dining room off the Oval Office, Trump – Trump sitting there, watching it unfold on TV as a mob attacked the Capitol and desecrated the Capitol. A mob threatened the life of his own vice president because the Vice President refused to violate his constitutional oath.

The same mob went looking for Nancy Pelosi, spun up by the same lies that inspired the assault that attacked her husband with a hammer to the head two months later.

This is a former president who actually condones and encourages violence against his fellow Americans. It’s simply not acceptable in America to condone violence. It’s despicable.

Trump became the first losing presidential candidate in history who refused to accept the will of the American people, even though he lost 60 court challenges, recounts in Georgia and Wisconsin. In fact, Donald Trump is the only candidate in history to lose Georgia three times in the same election. (Laughter and applause.)

He didn’t even show up for my Inauguration. Can’t say I was disappointed. (Laughter.) My guess, he won’t show for the next one either. (Laughter and applause.)

But, look, listen to his words today. Just this weekend, Trump was embracing his old pal, Putin. Trump even quoted him this weekend. It’s no surprise. After all, there’s a lot of agreement between Moscow and Mar-a Lago.

Trump says he’s running not to serve the people of America, but to regret – his quote – to get “revenge” and “retribution.” Just recently, he said he’d be a dictator for only one day. In that one day, he’s going to take out the Affordable Care Act – 40 million people – he wants to get rid of it. He wants to fill the government with Trump loyalists, seeking a loyalty oath; fire career officials.

He uses the power of the federal government for revenge and retribution against his enemies. And the language he uses reminds us of the language coming out of Germany in the ’30s. He has called those who oppose him “vermin.” And, again, this weekend, he has talked about “the blood of our country” is being poisoned. Even conservative Republicans have spoken against it.

He’s threatened to use the U.S. military in the streets of America to go after his political opponents. Once again, he embraces political violence instead of rejecting it. We can’t let this happen. God knows where it will take us.

Look, all of you here understand that freedom means to tell the truth, to have the courage to hold up the mirror to the American people and say, “Is this who we are? Can we get better? How can we get better?”

Trump, we don’t believe – he doesn’t believe he – when he said – he talks about America being, quote, “a failing nation,” driven by anger, fear, and revenge. Then Trump spoke – at his Inaugural, he spoken to American – he spoke about “American carnage.” When I spoke at my Inauguration, I talked about America’s possibilities.

I believe, – I was with Xi Jinping on the Tibetan Plateau – this is the God’s truth – he said, “Can you define America for me?” I said, “Yes, I can.” And I meant it. “In one word: possibilities.” Possibilities.

We’re the only nation in the world that believes anything is possible if we put our mind to it – anything. We believe we’re a hopeful and we’re an optimistic nation, driven by a simple proposition that everybody deserves a clear shot.

We’re only – the only nation in the world built on not one race, religion ethnicity, geography. We’re the only nation built on an idea – literally an idea. Not hyperbole. An idea: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and – you know the rest.

We’ve never fully lived up to it, but we’ve never walked away from it. It’s the idea that created America. And, ladies and gentlemen, we’re not going to walk away now.

Let me close with this: In three years, we’re going to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the signing – excuse me – of the Declaration of Independence. It will be a moment not only about our past, celebrating what we’ve done, but also about our future and all we can be.

I don’t believe in – I don’t believe and I will not believe that, after all this time, what we’ve done as a nation, we’re going to be – walk away. From the – from the fight for independence to the Civil War to world wars; after being blessed with leaders like Washington and Lincoln and Roosevelt and Dr. King; after having – having stood as a beacon of freedom, for equality in the world – for all the world, I don’t believe our 250th anniversary is going to turn to Donald Trump.

Just this weekend Trump said, and I quote, “Our country is not a great country anymore.” “Our country is not a great country anymore.” I simply don’t believe that and I don’t think any of you do.

Folks, imagine that moment and ask, “What do we want to be on the 250th anniversary?” If we do our job in 2024, we’ll be able to say we saved American democracy. Because the alternative is stark. It is stark.

I’m positive – absolutely positive we can do it. You know, all the talk about polls and all the like – well, you know, there’s an awful lot of polls. But the one that just came out talking about a summary of all the poling by Simon Rosenberg, we, on average, are up by 47, 45. It shouldn’t even be that close – The New York Times/Siena poll.

Eight recent polls show us winning by two to six points. But that’s not – that doesn’t mean a lot right now, in my view, either way, in polls. Those of you who know the business, it’s awful hard. You know, you’ve got to call – you’ve got to make the 20 calls to get 1 person to answer their cellphone. Seriously.

But I’ve never been more optimistic about America, about our country. I know that I was – when I had – I had an emergency operation years ago for a cranial aneurysm. And the doc – when they were wheeling me down, I said, “What are my chances, Doc?” And he gave me his estimate.

And I – he said, “I’m not sure whether this is congenital or – a congenital problem or it’s environmental.” And I said, “I don’t care what it is, Doc. Just take care of it.” (Laughter.)

And he looked at me and said, “You know what your problem is, Senator?” And I’ll never forget this. He said, “Your problem is you’re a congenital optimist.” (Laughter.)

I am a congenital optimist about America. There’s nothing, nothing, nothing beyond our capacity. I really mean it.

Think about it. Name me another nation in the world that has come out of every crisis stronger than we went in – stronger than we went in. That’s who we are, because we’re the American people.

We’re the United States of America. We got to remember that. There’s nothing, nothing, nothing beyond our capacity.

I promise I’ll do everything in my power not to let you down. I guarantee I’ll work like the devil. And I guarantee you: We make our case, we win.

God bless you all. And may God protect our troops. Thank you for taking the time. (Applause.)

Folks, I used to think that traffic was a problem before I was President (laughter) – but they tell – the Secret Service tells them when to shut down the roads. For every vote you’re helping me pick up, I’ll lose three. (Laughter.)

We told them we’d be doing this now. If they don’t, they shut down the roads, and they may come for the tent.

So, thank you again. Thank you, thank you, thank you very much. (Applause.)

And, by the way, your governor is one of the best in the nation. (Applause.) (Inaudible.)

Thanks for the help, man. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

December 19, 2023: Vice President Harris is planning to launch a nationwide tour in early 2024 focused on the fight over abortion access at it is set to become a pivotal issue in next year’s general election. (The Hill)

The “Fight for Reproductive Freedoms” tour will begin in Wisconsin on Jan. 22, 2024, which marks the 51st anniversary since the original Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing abortion access.

The Supreme Court in June struck down that precedent, leading to a series of restrictive abortion laws being passed in GOP-led states.

“Extremists across our country continue to wage a full-on attack against hard-won, hard-fought freedoms as they push their radical policies – from banning abortion in all 50 starts and criminalizing doctors, to forcing women to travel out of state in order to get the health care they need,” Harris said in a statement. “I will continue to fight for our fundamental freedoms while bringing together those throughout America who agree that every woman should have the right to make decisions about her own body – not the government.”

Harris will host events during the tour highlighting firsthand accounts of individuals who have been affected by abortion bans, and she will outline what steps the Biden administration has taken to protect abortion access…

December 22, 2023: Statement from Vice President Kamala Harris on Clemency Actions

Every American has a fundamental right to equal justice under law.

And yet, for too long, far too many people in our country – in particular, people of color – hav been denied that fundamental right of unfair and inequitable drug policies that do not make our communities safer.

Last year, to address these historic injustices and with the support of faith leaders, civil rights advocates, and law enforcement officials, President Joe Biden granted a blanket pardon for simple marijuana possession under federal and D.C. law.

Today, to build on that work, President Biden has issues a broader pardon for an additional set of marijuana possession and use offenses. These marijuana pardons will help thousands of people by making it easier for them to find a job, buy a home, and get an education.

President Biden and I have been clear: We must continue to change our nation’s approach to marijuana and reform the criminal justice system. I have declared many times before, no one should be in prison simply for smoking weed. That is why we continue to call on Governors to join us in this long-overdue work.

Today, President Biden also commuted the sentences of 11 Americans serving time for non-violent drug offenses – individuals who would likely have received shorter sentences for the same crimes today. At the point in our term, he has exercised his clemency power more than any other recent predecessor.

President Biden and I will continue to work to address historic inequities and racial disparities in federal drug policy and sentencing, to make sure that our justice system truly lives up to its name.

December 22, 2023: President Biden is pardoning thousands who were convicted of use and simple possession of marijuana in Washington, D.C. and on federal lands and in the District of Columbia, in executive clemencies that are intended to rectify racial disparities in the justice system. (CBS News)

The president is also granting clemency to 11 people “who are serving disproportionately long sentences for non-violent drug offenses,” he said in a statement Friday. He added that all of these individuals, had they been charged today for the same offenses, “would have been eligible to receive significantly lower sentences.”

It also said that those with crack cocaine convictions “would not be serving the same sentences if they were convicted of a comparable powder cocaine offense,” and now the disparity in sentencing between crack and powder cocaine “is not supported by science, does not advance public safety, and disproportionately impacts Black communities.”

Mr. Biden said his actions would help make the “promise of equal justice a reality.”

“Criminal records for marijuana use and possession have imposed needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities,” Biden said. “Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana. It’s time that we right these wrongs.”…

…The president reiterated his call on governors and local leader to take similar steps to erase marijuana convictions.

“Just as no one should be in a federal prison solely due to the use of possession of marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason either,” Mr. Biden said.

December 22, 2023: President Biden issued a wide-reaching proclamation Friday that further pardons people who have certain convictions related to marijuana under federal and D.C. law. (NPR)

The pardon builds on actions Biden took last year on pardons related to the simple possession of marijuana. A White House official said this new proclamation expands those actions by issuing pardons for things like the offense of use and possession on certain federal lands.

The pardon Biden issued does not apply to state convictions. In a statement, the president encouraged governors to take action on marijuana laws in their own states…

…Vice President Kamala Harris also weighed in.

“As I have declared many times before, no one should be in prison simply for smoking weed,” she said in a statement. “That is why we continue to call on Governors to join us in this long-overdue work.”

In addition to the proclamation, Biden also granted clemency to 11 individuals who he says are serving “disproportionally long” sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.

Biden said that with current reforms, these individuals would have been eligible for much shorter sentences than if they had been charged today…

…In April, Biden commuted the sentences of 31 others who were also convicted of nonviolent drug offenses.

December 24, 2023: President Biden criticized news coverage of the U.S. economy as he faces growing backlash from voters over his handling of inflation. (The Hill)

In brief remarks Saturday before boarding the presidential helicopter, Biden expressed confidence in the economy and ripped the reporters for the way has been portrayed.

“All good. Take a look. Start reporting it the right way,” Biden said when asked about his economic outlook for 2024, according to a transcript released Sunday by the White House.

Biden’s criticism is the latest flash of frustration from the president over how Americans view the U.S. economy.

The economy has roared back from the COVID-19 recession under Biden, who enacted legislation for trillions of dollars of economic relief and investments shortly after taking office in 2021…

December 28, 2023: President Biden on Thursday responded to former President Trump’s Christmas post with a religious message to love your enemies. (The Hill)

Trump’s unusual Christmas message, which he shared on Truth Social, called for various people he sees as “looking to destroy” the nation to “rot in Hell.”

Biden shared an article from The Hill about Trump’s post on X, formerly known as Twitter, and added a message to poke at the former president.

“There’s an expression they say in church sometimes: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you,” the president said.

Biden, who is Catholic and attends church regularly, is likely to face Trump in a presidential rematch next year…

Medium

Trump Is About To Find Out

A close up of a blue suit and a red tie by Marcus Spiske on Unsplash

a closeup of a blue suit and a red tie by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The Colorado Supreme Court posted information about an appeal from a district court proceeding under the Colorado Election Code. The entirety of the information is approximately 200 pages long, and can be found and read on SCRIBD.com.

Here are some key parts of the information decided upon by the Colorado Supreme Court:

Continue Reading “Trump Is About To Find Out”
2024 Presidential Campaign

Francis Suarez (Republican)

An elephant is standing behind some tall grass. Photo by Mehmet Turgurt on Pexels

June 5, 2023: A super PAC supporting Miami Mayor Francis Suarez’s run for the Republican presidential nomination has launched an artificial intelligence chatbot to answer questions about him, marking yet another example of how generative AI tools are being used in 2024 presidential campaigns. (The Independent)

The bot unveiled Wednesday by SOS America PAC listens to a user’s questions and matches them to video answers, created with an AI-powered avatar made to look and sound like Suarez.

“Hi, I’m AI Francis Suarez,” the bot says to introduce itself, its mouth moving in a way that’s not quite human. “You’ve probably heard that my namesake, conservative Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, is running for president. I’m here to answer questions you may have about Mayor Suarez’s proven agenda for economic prosperity, cutting spending and supporting our police. So, how can I help?”…

June 14, 2023: Francis Suarez, Miami’s second-term mayor, has filed papers to run in the Republican presidential primary, casting himself as a conservative problem solver while he faces an FBI probe over payments from a developer seeking help from the city. (Miami Herald – via AOL)

Suarez, a 45-year-old attorney and private equity executive, is the first Hispanic to enter a crowded GOP field. He is expected to announce his candidacy Thursday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, but papers filed with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday show he’s officially a candidate for president…

…In recent weeks, he’s faced questions about his outside employment after the Miami Herald reported he was paid $10,000 a month as a consultant for developer Rishi Kapoor while Suarez’s office assisted Kapoor in resolving permitting issues with the city. The FBI recently opened a probe into the allegations, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Suarez has denied any wrongdoing, saying his work with Kapoor was related to development matters outside of Miami and that his office routinely assists developers seeking help with red tape. While the political leader of Miami, Suarez has no administrative power within Miami government, which is run by a city manager…

June 16, 2023: Miami Mayor Frances Suarez’s entry to the 2024 Republican presidential primary left many wondering how he would carve out a place in a crowded GOP field that includes two other heavyweight candidates from Florida. (Miami Herald)

Thursday night, he signaled what his path could be during his first public speech since officially launching his campaign: He’s taking the Ronald Regan lane, as a Cuban-American with family who faced oppression under the island communist regime, a youthful politician who started in politics by asking Miamians to vote for his papi when his father ran for mayor, and a leader who sees his city as a “thriving city on a hill.”

“I believe America is still a shining city on a hill, whose eyes of the world are upon us, and whose promise should be restored,” he told an audience of a few hundred at the Ronald Regan Presidential in California. Sitting in the front row was his father, Xavier Suarez, Miami’s first Cuban-born mayor. “And I believe this city needs more than a fighter or a shouter. I believe it needs a servant. I believe it needs a mayor.”…

August 4, 2023: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R) said rival GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis’s decision to debate Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) is “a sign of DeSantis’s desperation.” (The Hill)

“I’m not surprised at all. He put pressure on himself, he’s got to compete, he’s got to do well. If he does poorly, I think it’s very, very fatal,” Suarez said of the Florida governor on a business podcast released Friday.

Newsom initially challenged DeSantis to a debate last September. DeSantis, facing pressure from donors and falling poll numbers, accepted the challenge Thursday. The debate is expected to take place in early November…

…DeSantis places second in most polls behind former President Donald Trump in the GOP race, but he is a distant second place…

…Recent national polling averages show DeSantis with about 14 percent support – down from 20 percent when he launched his campaign in May – and Trump with about 53 percent support.

Suarez is receiving less than a tenth of a percent support according to the same polling averages.

August 29, 2023: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced Tuesday that he’s suspending his long-shot 2024 Republican presidential race after he failed to make the cut for the GOP debate stage last week. (CBS News)

In an announcement on Tuesday, Suarez said “running for president has been the greatest honor of my life.” He also vowed to continue to “amplify the voices of the Hispanic community – the fastest-growing group in our country.”

“The Left has taken Hispanics for granted for far too long, and it is no surprise that so many are finding a home in America’s conservative movement,” Suarez said. “Our party must continue to do more to include and attract this vibrant community that believes in our country’s functional values: faith, family, hard work, and freedom. Younger voters, Independents, urban voters and suburban women – all of whom I’ve carried in previous elections – among others, should find a comfortable home in the GOP and its policies.”

Suarez is the first Republican to drop out of the 2024 race…

October 8, 2023: Miami Mayor Frances Suarez, ambitious and eager to bask in the national spotlight, would rather not talk about City Hall right now. (Miami Herald).

His brash, hand-picked police chief is alleging deep-seated corruption by some the city’s powerful commissioners and claiming to have gone to the feds. Commissioners, in turn, have been slamming Miami’s new top cop in public, using a series of at times bizarre televised hearings to accuse Chief Art Acevedo of egomaniacal behavior and outline just how little vetting was done while luring the new chief away from his job in Houston.

And yet, Suarez, riding a wave of positive tech news and entertaining talk of presidential potential, is having nothing to do with the drama at home, dodging interviews, issuing statements and betting that he and the city are better off it he lies low until the city’s top administrator douses the flames…

…But by staying mostly silent, Suarez – who is running for reelection against scant opposition on Nov. 2, risks looking absent as Miami’s often volatile City Hall erupts again and the cop he only months ago called the “Michael Jordan police chief’s” is on the verge of getting canned…

November 14, 2023: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez earned payments totaling six figures advising two financial firms run by close associates of a Russian oligarch, two of several side jobs he refused to reveal to the public until he ran for president with its more rigorous disclosure requirements. (Miami Herald – via AOL).

Suarez received between $160,000 and $220,000 combined working for Dreamer Capital and Legacy Wealth Advisors, which share a Brickell office with a business and charity connected to Igor Makarov, an oil tycoon worth in excess of $2 billion.

Dreamer and Legacy are led, respectively by Lazar Finker and his son, Eugene Frenkel. Both have longtime financial and personal test Makarov, who holds a spot on the Putin List – a U.S. government roster of the mega-rich with Kremlin ties.

Dreamer and Legacy are more than a dozen income sources, paying millions, that the mayor had refused to detail until he briefly ran for president, dropping out in August. The Federal Trade Election Commission requires presidential candidates to reveal who pays them…

November 22, 2023: Another state ethics complaint has been filed against Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. (Miami New Times)

In a complaint filed last week with the Florida Commission on Ethics, activist Thomas Kennedy accuses Suarez of violating state ethics law by spending taxpayer funds on personal security during his bid for president. The complaint records previously obtained by New Times that showed Miami Police Department officers traveled on the campaign trail with Suarez and billed the city more than $20,000 for their hotels, transportation, and meal expenses.

“Mayor Francis Suarez is misusing public resources for personal political benefit,” Kennedy wrote in the complaint.

In an email sent to Kennedy on Tuesday, Millie Fulford, complaint coordinator for the Florida Commission on Ethics, confirmed receipt of the complaint.

Florida law requires that public resources and city staff only be used for public purposes. If the City of Miami is not reimbursed for the costs, Suarez’s use of city funds during his brief presidential campaign could breach regulations, government ethics expert Caroline Klancke told New Times in early November…

…It is unclear whether an investigator has been assigned to the case. A spokesperson for Suarez has not responded to a request for comment…

2024 Presidential Campaign

Larry Elder (Republican)

A brown elephant reaching up to a tree limb by Ana Frantz on Unsplash

Posted March 28, 2023 – Updated April 20, 2023: Conservative radio talk show host and former California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder is jumping into the race for the White House, joining a growing field of contenders taking on former President Donald Trump in the battle for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. (Fox News)

Elder on Thursday announced his candidacy for president in an interview on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight”

“America is in decline, but this decline is not inevitable. We can enter a new American Golden Age, but we must choose a leader who can bring us there. That’s why I’m running for President,” Elder wrote in an accompanying statement.

Elder, a longtime conservative commentator and popular nationally syndicated radio host, easily topped the field of replacement candidates in California’s gubernatorial recall election in September 2021 that Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom convincingly survived. Elder passed on taking on Newsom a second time when the governor easily won reelection last year in the heavily blue state…

…The conservative host, who is Black, has said that he believes that among the top issues in the 2024 election are inflation, energy, an border security. But he’s also emphasized that he wants to highlight the plight of children in American being born to parents who are not married and to target what he argues is “this lie about systemic racism.”

Democratic National Committee chair Jamie Harrison, in a statement, argued that “when Larry Elder isn’t busy cozying up to Donald Trump pr parroting conspiracy theories, he’s laying out an extreme agenda that doubles down on abortion bans. Elder is so extreme he even suggested abolishing Medicare entirely.”…

April 20, 2023: Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder launched a 2024 presidential campaign Thursday, joining a growing list of candidates seeking the GOP nomination. (Politico)

“America is in decline, but this decline is not inevitable,” Elder wrote on Twitter Thursday night. “We can enter a new American Golden Age, but we must choose a leader who can bring us there. That’s why I’m running for President.”

Elder won the most votes of any candidate in the unsuccessful effort to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2021. The radio host and regular Fox News commentator emerged from the packed field of candidates seeking to replace Newsom, touting his opposition to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions and attacking abortion rights.

He now enters a crowded GOP primary field, which includes former President Donald Trump, former South Caroline Governor and former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, conservative entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson…

July 24, 2023: Republican 2024 presidential candidate Larry Elder isn’t placing in any national polls, but for him, his candidacy is very much alive and real. (ABC News)

The 71-year-old Elder has garnered criticism from both Republicans and Democrats for his controversial views about topics like race and his attention-grabbing headlines. One of them involves his ex-fiancée filing a police report, accusing him of brandishing a gnat her, which Elder has vehemently denied.

A former Democrat, he’s never held an elected position, instead earning his living as a lawyer before becoming a talk show host. He was a staple on KABC, calling himself “The Sage from South Central.” Elder’s popularity led him to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2015. His most recent show “The Larry Elder Show,” was nationally syndicated on the Salem Radio Network and drew 1.5 million listeners, according to 2021 estimates…

…”The more thought about it, the more I thought, ‘Frankly, it would be easier for me to run and become president of the United States than to run and become a Republican candidate statewide in California.”…

…Finances are a touchy subject for Elder. He’s raised $467,531 in the second quarter, with $324,616 cash on hand, falling in the lower end of the fundraising spectrum. He has yet to break 1% in three national polls, according to FiveThirtyEight’s average, one the new requirements the Republican National Committee has placed candidates to make it to the first debate, and he told ABC News he’s only about halfway to the required 40,000 unique donors needed.

Elder calls the rules put in place by the RNC “arbitrary and unfair.”…

…”I’m running for president,” he said. But “if my phone rings and the nominee calls and offers me a position as a vice president, I’m not going to let the call go to voicemail.”

October 27, 2023: Former radio show host and California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder has dropped out of the 2024 presidential campaign race and endorsed former President Donald Trump. (WBAL News Radio)

“The reason that I’m doing this is because in the very beginning, the [Republican National Committee] shafted me… if you can’t make the first debate, it’s almost impossible for you to make the second debate, let alone the third debate. So I’m being realistic,” Elder told ABC News, referring to how he failed to meet the national party’s donor and polling qualifications to be at the debates.

Elder is the fourth Republican candidate to drop out…

October 27, 2023: Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder announced Thursday he is suspending his 2024 Republican campaign for president and endorsing former President Donald Trump’s bid to reclaim the White House. (The Gazette)

Elder, from California, is the fourth major candidate to suspend or end his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, following Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, former Texas congressman Will Hurd, and Michigan businessman Perry Johnson…

…Elder, in a statement, said he made the “difficult decision” to end his bid after “careful consultation” with his team.

Trump’s leadership, he said, was “instrumental in advancing conservative, America-first principles and policies that have benefited our great nation.”…

…”Although I’m suspending my campaign for president, my commitment to addressing the crisis of fatherlessness, promoting conservative ideals, and supporting the MAGA movement remains unwavering,”Elder said in his statement…

2024 Presidential Campaign

Will Hurd (Republican)

A brown elephant standing on green grass below a pale blue sky by Rachael Claire on Pexels

June 22, 2023: Former Texas Congressman Will Hurd announced he’s running for president on “CBS Mornings” Thursday. (CBS News)

“This morning, I filed to be the Republican nominee for president of the United States,” Hurd told “CBS Mornings”

Hurd, 45, was first elected to serve Texas 23rd Congressional District in 2014, beating a Democratic incumbent by two points. The majority-Hispanic district stretches along the Rio Grande, west of San Antonio and east of El Paso. Hurd was reelected by narrow margins twice before joining a wave of congressional Republicans who retired before the 2020 election.

…”I believe the Republican Party can be the party that talks about the future, not the past,” Hurd said. “We should be putting out a vision of how do we have unprecedented peace, how do we have a thriving economy, how do we make sure our kids have a world class education, regardless of their age and location? We can do this. It’s hard. But here’s one thing I’ve learned: If we remember two things, we can pull this off. America is better together. Way more unites us than divides us.”…

…As a former CIA officer, Hurd said that Trump’s indictment consisting of 37 felony charges and related to his handling of classified documents after he left the White House is “frustrating,” and that “nobody’s above the law, and you are innocent until proven guilty”…

June 23, 2023: Former Texas Rep. Will Hurd said he would not sign a Republican National Committee (RNC) pledge to back the eventual GOP nominee for president in 2024, after launching his bid for the nomination Thursday. (The Hill)

“I won’t be signing any kind of pledges, and I don’t think that parties should be trying to rig who should be on a debate stage,” Hurd told CNN.

The loyalty pledge is among the criteria Republican candidates must meet to qualify for the first GOP presidential primary debate in August, in addition to polling and fundraising requirements.

“I am not in the business of lying to the American people in order to get a microphone, and I’m not going to support Donald Trump,” Hurd said. “And so I can’t honestly say I’m going to sign something even if he may or may not be the nominee.”

Former President Trump is currently leading a crowded Republican field, despite being indicted for a second time earlier this month on federal charges related to his handling of classified materials…

July 28, 2023: Former Rep. Will Hurd, (R-Texas) on Friday was jeered by a crowd of Iowa Republicans at a gathering for 2024 presidential candidates when he asserted former President Trump is only running for the White House “to stay out of prison”. (The Hill)

“One of the things we need in our elected leaders: To tell the truth, even if it’s not popular,” Hurd, a candidate himself, said at the Iowa GOP’s Lincoln Dinner.

“Donald Trump is not running for president to make America great again. Donald Trump is not even running to represent the people that voted for him in 2016 and 2020,” Donald Trump is running for president to stay out of prison,” Hurd continued, eliciting boos and heckles from those in the audience.

“I know the truth is hard,” he added, echoing comments he made on Thursday. “But if we elect Donald Trump we are willingly giving Joe Biden for more years in the White House”

The former congressman, who served three terms in the House and spent several years working at the CIA, has been sharply critical of Trump and argued the former president is unfit for another term in the White House…

July 31, 2023: Will Hurd, who served in the CIA for a decade and as a member of the House of Representatives from Texas for six years, said that he was running for president because he believed the country is facing generational challenges – including artificial intelligence, competition with China, a struggling education system, and precarious civic health. (NPR)

“Democracy is fragile,” Hurd said in a conversation with The NPR Politics Podcast “We need people that are working towards it.”…

On why he voted against former President Trump’s impeachment while serving in the House of Representatives.

My standard for impeachment has always been a violation of the law. When I was running in 2014 in Republican primaries, every candidate forum, there was a question: Are you going to impeach Barack Hussein Obama? And it was like, “for what?” I do not view impeachment as a political tool. And so my standard has always been a violation of the law. And when it came to Donald Trump’s phone call with President Zelenskyy, it did not meat the criteria for bribery or extortion. Volodymyr Zelenskyy did not know that the aid had been paused. And the aid ultimately was given…

Hurd acknowledges that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election – and he won’t support Trump if Trump is the nominee.

Yes, Joe Biden won. And let me put a finer point on it. The election was not stolen from Donald Trump. He lost it.

He lost it because he was incapable of growing the GOP brand to those largest groups of voters that we talked about earlier, women in the suburbs, folks in Black and brown communities, and people under the age of 35. And the 2020 elections was one of the most secure elections in our history.

I’m not voting for Donald Trump. I’m not going to vote for Joe Biden. I’ll probably write somebody in [if those candidates are nominated.]

He supports a federal 15-week abortion ban – but says states should expand maternal and neonatal care.

If Congress put a 15-week ban on my desk, I would sign it.

But also, if states are restricting this, those states should also have the best neonatal health, the best maternity health care.

The fact that many Black women in the United States – that their death rates during childbirth are equivalent to some in the developing world is absolutely outrageous.

So we should be talking about sex education, making sure contraception is available if this patchwork system is what’s in place…

August 18, 2023: Former Rep. Wil Hurd (R-Texas) went after fellow presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Friday, saying his campaign is “circling the drain” after a leaked debate prep memo suggests he stand behind former President Trump at the first GOP debate next week. (The Hill)

Hurd said in an CNN interview that he wants to be “speaking truth to power,” and is planning to attend the debate in Milwaukee if he can meet the criteria before then.

“I’m not going to be like DeSantis and defend Donald Trump, which is absolutely crazy,” he said. “The Ron DeSantis campaign is circling the drain. The fact that they’re having to cut so much staff, they don’t have the resources to do their own debate prep.”…

…Hurd has not yet qualified for the Wednesday debate in Wisconsin. While his campaign announced Thursday he reached the 40,000 donor threshold, he is still one poll short of qualifying…

October 9, 2023: Former Texas Rep. Will Hurd announced Monday that he is ending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 and is endorsing former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. (CNN)

“Unfortunately, it has become clear to me and my team that the time has come to suspend our campaign,” he wrote in a statement, adding that “it is important to recognize the realities of the political landscape and the need to consolidate our party around one person to defeat both Donald Trump and President (Joe) Biden.”

The former congressman and CIA officer, who had struggled to gain traction in a crowded GOP field dominated by Trump, offered a start warning to his party: “If the Republican Party nominates Donald Trump or the various personalities jockeying to imitate his divisive, crass behavior, we will lose.”…

…In backing Haley, a former ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, Hurd praised her as a leader who can navigate national security challenges. “Ambassador Haley has shown a willingness to articulate a different vision for the country than Donald Trump and has an unmatched grasp on the complexities of our foreign policy,” he said…

October 16, 2023: Will Hurd wants to be the most powerful man in the world. Like so many candidates before him, he knew the loneliness of the long distance runner crisscrossing Iowa and New Hampshire in a quest for votes that might make him president of the United States. But it was not to be. (The Guardian)

This week Hurd called it a day after a campaign that failed to make much of a splash. Indeed, arguably his biggest headline came in July when he declared, “Donald Trump is running to stay out of prison,” and was roundly booed at the Iowa Republican Party’s Lincoln Dinner. Unrepentant, Hurd told them: “Listen, I know the truth is hard.”…

…Hurd, 46, is no stranger to the campaign trail. He served three terms in the House of Representatives and was the chamber’s sole Black Republican during his final two years in office. He represented Texas’s then most competitive district, which was heavily Hispanic and stretched from the outskirts of San Antonio to El Paso, spanning more than 800 miles of US-Mexico border…

…Hurd was the last major candidate to join the already crowded Republican presidential primary field when he announced his run in late July. He campaigned as a pragmatic, pro-business moderate with strong national security credentials who was unafraid to seek bipartisan consensus. He took on the grind of countless hours on planes, in hotels and away from family with good grace…

…Nine in 10 people in Iowa and New Hampshire are white. Democrats, for their part, have revised their 2024 presidential primary schedule, replacing Iowa with the more racially diverse South Carolina as the leadoff voting state. Hurd, the some of a Black father and white mother, has written about the racism he endured as teenager and entitled the first part of his book: “The GOP needs to look like America.”…

Trump alternative. Her campaign reported that she raised more than $11m between July and September and this week George Will, an influential Washington Post columnist, called on South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and other contenders to drop out and rally around the “experienced, polished, steely and unintimidated” Haley”…