Joe Biden

Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session at a Campaign Event in Reno, Nevada

March 19, 2024

The President. I know who I'm voting for. [Laughter]

Well, first of all, thank you, thank you, thank you.

[At this point, a child in the audience could be heard talking.]

And in my house, kids rule. So don't worry, okay? [Laughter] No, I'm serious. If they want to let them run around, that's good by me as well. [Laughter]

Look, the bottom line is, if you think about it: All of us in this room have one fundamental difference between us and Trump. And I mean this sincerely. We have a different value set. It gets—to me, you know, I've been campaigning around the country and been in this job for 3 years, and it's—you know, it makes it—the more I've thought about it, it's just fundamentally different.

You mentioned vets. Well, you know this is a guy who said, when he wouldn't go up to visit a cemetery of veterans, that they're a bunch of "losers" and "suckers." My son was one of those "losers" and "suckers."

You know, it just—I just—I've never heard a President say the things that this guy has said. But the difference is he means them. He means what he says.

With your help, we got elected the first time around. And this county and this State is really, really, really critical.

Number two.

[A toddler in the audience cried.]

Number two, my campaign manager here, she's had enough. [Laughter] She doesn't like all that noise either. [Laughter]

Look, last week, Donald Trump and I clinched the nominations. We're going to beat him again. We not only have this office; we've opened up four offices so far—we're—in this State. Four. And there are going to be more.

And, folks, you know, we're going to keep making the case for a second term by lowering the costs and creating more jobs.

You know, we have grassroots support. You know, so far, this campaign, we've raised—more than 1,300,000 people have contributed under $200 to us—1,300,000. And 500,000 of those people are brandnew from before. And it's a—[applause].

And, folks, you know, the fact is that the support around the country is real. I mean, it's not just—and it's not just for me. It's for Kamala and for the Democratic Party.

The third thing is, you know, we're—we've already created tens of thousands of good-paying jobs right here in this State as well—by the way, clean jobs—jobs that—clean energy jobs. Trump lost millions of jobs—millions when he was President. It's amazing how the nostalgia for a lost 4 years was.

I mean, look, Trump passed a tax cut. Here's what he said. He said in Mar-a-Lago when he passed his last tax cut, which increased the deficit—exploded the deficit larger than any President ever has in a 4-year term. And here's what he said. He said, "I made a lot of you richer."

This time out, he's saying—he was in Mar-a-Lago, and he told a crowd of people—I want to look down and make sure I get it exactly right. He said—he described the crowd as, "I know you're rich as hell, but that's why I'm going to give you another big tax cut."

The point is, it's about values. What do we value? Who are we? I mean, who are we for? What are we trying to get done?

Folks, you know, Trump wants to undo everything we've done. You know, he wants to strip Medicare of the ability to negotiate prices.

I've been fighting my whole career as a Senator and then as a Vice President to make sure that Medicare is able to do what the VA is able to do. The VA can negotiate with the drug companies as to how much they're going to pay for all the medicines that come into the VA, but we've never been able to do it.

We finally beat them.

And not a joke: If we got back on Air Force One here and you picked any State—any capital in the world and said—and brought a prescription you had to have filled by whatever the company is—an American pharmaceutical company—I can—you could fly to Toronto, to London, to Paris, to Budapest, anywhere. I promise you that you can buy it there for 40- to 60-percent less than you're paying for it.

How many of you know someone who needs insulin? Okay, well, guess what? It was costing 400 bucks a month on average. It now costs $35 a month. And by the way, they're still making over 300 percent. Do you know how much it costs to make it? Ten dollars—t-e-n. Ten dollars.

We also wrote into the law he wants to get rid of that, in fact, no senior, no matter how high the prescription trusts—bills are—and by the way, some of the cancer drugs are $10-, $12-, $14,000, $15,000—will never have to pay more than $2,000 a year for their drug—[applause]—$2,000.

And guess what? With your help, if we get elected the next 4 years, we're going to change that to apply to everybody in America. I mean it. When I first passed the insulin, it—it applied to everyone. When I tried to get it reauthorized, I—the Republicans blocked it.

But look, folks, the bottom line is, he wants to undo everything we've done. You know, we've created over 800,000 manufacturing jobs nationwide. We created an awful lot of jobs right here in your State.

And by the way, you know, I was—every time I land here, I think of Harry Reid, in Nevada. Harry—Harry and so many of you talked about—talked about the fact that we needed high-speed rail from Vegas to California, to Los Angeles. Well, guess what? It's coming. Well over a billion dollars, man.

And you're going to be able to get to—not that anybody wants to get to Los Angeles, but—[laughter]—people from Los Angeles want to get to Nevada. Well, they'll do it in 2 hours instead of 4 and take tens of thousands of vehicles off the road and improve the environment.

Look, folks, the fact is that there's a reason why we're doing so well. It's because of union labor. Not a joke. And by the way, that's not a joke. It's a fact.

I didn't realize—although I'd been around—you know, I know I've only been around a little—I look like I'm 25, 30, but—[laughter]. But I didn't realize back when the law was passed during the FDR administrations that labor unions were able to organize and the rules—[inaudible]—organization—that they passed a provision in the law that I didn't realize until a couple of years ago—until I—about 8 years ago that existed. It says if a President is given money by the Congress to spend on any American project or individuals that that President must use, one, American products in doing it and, two, must use American labor to do it.

As I assume my labor friends will tell you, I've been the most prolabor President in the history of the United States of America for a simple reason. They grow the economy. They grow the economy.

I had the Treasury Department do a study. I asked them—I said, "What is the effect of using union labor on the rest of the economy?" Everybody does better when unions do better. Everybody does better. Wages up across the board.

So, folks, look—I'm going on too long. I apologize.

[Music began to play.]

[Laughter] That must be my traveling staff. [Laughter]

One closing comment. We've never had a President who has said or done some of the things this guy has said. We have thousands upon thousands of people dying in Ukraine.

One of the things that Dr. Kissinger said—Henry Kissinger said before—he called about 10 days before he died, and asked if I would speak to him. And so I called—he didn't call. He asked if I'd call him, and I did.

And he said—you know, he said, "Not since the time of—way back when"——

[A toddler in the audience babbled.]

Are you really? [Laughter] No, I'm kidding.

"For the longest time, Europe looked over its shoulder at Russia with some dread." And he said, "Not since Napoleon have they not looked over their shoulder, until we came along." He said: "You've strengthened NATO like it's never been strengthened before. You've united Europe in a way. You've increased NATO and the border of NATO from bringing in Sweden and Norway." And he says, "It's changed the world."

This guy is talking about Putin like he's his lost long—long-lost buddy, which he is. No, here's what he said. He said: If Putin—if the—if a NATO member or a European country doesn't do—pay their dues, then come in, do whatever the hell you want, Putin.

Folks, this is—this guy is—he has no basis on understanding what American foreign policy is about and what our national security is about. The idea that we'd walk away from a sacred obligation that has existed since World War II, has kept the peace in Europe, is crazy.

But look, I'm confident—I'm confident—we get our message out to the American people, we're going to win again.

But here's the deal. You're the ones that are going to do it. And that's not hyperbole. I'm not joking with you. It gets on—down to, as we used to say—my football coach, all block and tackling: knocking on doors, calling people, going and making the case face to face with them.

That's why we're opening these campaign headquarters. We're opening them all over the country. And we're going to continue to do so, so people can ask questions—people can look us in the eye and ask the questions, and we can have answers—we have answers for them.

So the bottom line here is, I feel really good as I go around the country. Not a joke.

And by the way, I—and the press are all good guys in here, but—[applause]—but they report a lot of polls. The last four polls out, we're winning. Okay?

But guess what? None of these polls mean a damn thing this early on, so we've just got to keep at it.

Anybody want to ask me any questions?

Q. I have one.

The President. Yes.

Child Tax Credit/Economic Improvement Efforts

Q. The child family credits really helped save my daughter's family during COVID. Is there any possibility of bringing those back?

The President. That is one of the—I—what—I didn't get into—what I plan on doing next time out: We're going to bring back the child tax credit. It cut child poverty in half.

And by the way, it grows the economy. When women are able to go to work knowing they have a safely—a safe place for their children, it grows the economy—in terms of education, as well, by the way.

We're in a situation where—think about it—you know, a lot of people haven't had the advantage others have had. They may come from a home that is—doesn't have the same background, doesn't have the same educational background, doesn't have books in the house.

All the studies show, for example, if a child comes from a broken home where there are no books in the house and mom or dad are having real trouble, they're going to hear a million fewer words spoken before—not the—not different words, total words spoken—than a kid coming from a middle class household. A million. And it puts them—and they start off way, way behind.

But what we found out with—there are significant studies being done—that if in fact—if in fact—you have a circumstance where you start a kid in preschool at the age 3, 4, and 5, they have a 50-percent better chance—50 percent of them go on to go all through 12 years and on to college if in fact they have that chance—and it doesn't cost us much.

How the hell can we lead the world if we don't have the best infrastructure in the world, we don't have the best education in the world, we don't have the best tax system, and so on.

And the other thing I'm going to do—I'm going to talk about it down in Vegas—is that we're going to also make sure that we deal with all those things that affect people's daily lives.

Look, you know, I come from a house—and I'll end with this. I'll—come from a household where there was a—we lived in a three-bedroom house—we weren't poor, but my dad—I guess we were technically lower middle class income. We never thought of ourselves that way. But we lived in a decent house, a three-bedroom house, a split-level home with four kids and a grandpop living with us. And I—and you know, but there wasn't—on the trickle-down economics—you know, everybody talks about—not a whole hell of a lot ever trickled down on my dad's kitchen table.

My dad used to say—for real, not a joke—my dad used to say: "Joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It's about your dignity. It's about respect." For real. For real. "It's about being able to look your kid in the eye and say, 'Honey, everything is going to be okay.'" Well, that's what we're working on.

We're building this economy from the middle out and the bottom up. When that happens, everybody does well, including the wealthy. And by the way, I'm a capitalist. If you can make a million bucks or a billion bucks, go make it. Just pay your fair share of taxes. Okay?

By the way, you know, we have—in the United States of America, we have a thousand billionaires now since——

Audience members. Wow.

The President. A thousand. It was 740 when it was—before the pandemic. Now it's a thousand. And guess what happened? You know how—you know what their—their average tax rate is—Federal tax rate? Eight-point-three percent.

I plan on raising it—and we're going to get it done if you give me a Democratic Congress—to 25 percent. That's all. Twenty-five percent.

And by the way, guess what that will do? That will raise $400 billion over 10 years. And imagine what we could be doing with childcare, health care, so many other things——

Quick question there.

Q. I wanted to ask you, because I know you going to win—[laughter]—I wanted you, when you win, please, support the registry. It's a law that just needs to be adjust and will help—[inaudible]—million immigrants, because, you know, immigrants are the—[inaudible]—base of this country. [Inaudible]

The President. All right.

Q. It's a—it's a law. It's already 80 years old. It needs to be adjust. Hasn't been adjusted for the last 40 years. So, when you become the President who can—[inaudible]—you will. I wanted to—[laughter].

The President. By the way, get her phone number. I'll call you. Okay? [Laughter] No, I'm serious. Okay?

Q. Yes.

The President. All right.

I know, I know, I know, I know. I've got to go. I—anyway.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:11 a.m. at the Washoe County Democratic Party Office. In his remarks, he referred to Vice President Kamala D. Harris; and President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin of Russia. He also referred to his brothers James B. and Francis W. Biden and his sister Valerie Biden Owens.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session at a Campaign Event in Reno, Nevada Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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