Joe Biden

Remarks at a Campaign Event

May 01, 2024

The President. My name is Joe Biden. I work for Tammy Duckworth. [Laughter]

Folks, I want to thank Tammy for that introduction—most of all, for her friendship and her partnership. And, Raja, your partnership and leadership in the House has been invaluable.

Excuse me. I've got a bit of a cold.

[At this point, the President cleared his throat.]

And I also want to thank Senator—where is Mazie? She—where is Mazie Hirono?

Audience member. She—[inaudible].

The President. She was here. I was saying hi to her a little bit earlier. Thank her for her friendship as well.

And Congressman Ted Lieu is also here. And I know several other members are on their way and couldn't be here because of votes.

I want to thank you all and all of our cohosts and all of you for your support. So many of you were with me from the beginning, back in 2019.

I'm honored and—to join you on this first day of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Folks, I'm honored to see that heritage across most of the diverse—and I—let me say it another way. I told you, when I got elected, I was going to have an administration that looked like America. Well, guess what? It does. It does, starting with Kamala doing an incredible job as Vice President.

And I also want to thank Katherine Tai, who's here today. Katherine, you were here, anyway. There you are.

As we enter the spring, we genuinely feel the excitement and momentum being built in the campaign. So far, 1.5 million individual people have contributed to our campaign, 550,000 of them being brandnew contributors, and 97 percent of all those contributors contributed less than $200. It's a real genuine movement.

And we're ramping up the campaign headquarters and field offices, hiring staff all across the country. And we're way ahead of Donald Trump's MAGA Republicans, which have done virtually nothing so far.

And while the press doesn't write about it, momentum is—momentum is clearly in our favor, with polls moving toward us and away from Trump. Just lack—last week, the—Marist Poll had us up by 3 among all voters, 6 for the—points for the likely voters; Florida Atlantic poll has us up 4, et cetera.

But you and I both know, this far out, the polls don't mean a lot. They don't mean a lot. People are really going—don't really begin to focus focus until they get closer to September.

But I know not everyone is feeling the enthusiasm. The other day, a defeated-looking man came up to me and said: "Mr. President, I'm being crushed by debt. I'm completely wiped out." And I had to look at him and say, "Donald, I'm sorry; I can't help you." [Laughter] "I'm not able to help you." [Laughter]

Trump is in trouble, and he knows that. Last week, I was in Florida, where today we're implementing—they're implementing the most extreme abortion bans in the country—one of them. He's only one—the only one person responsible is Donald Trump.

After bragging about he's the reason Roe v. Wade was overturned on television, on camera, making the case, he's now worried the voters are going to hold him accountable for all the cruelty and chaos he's created.

Well, I have news for Trump. They are going to hold him accountable. They are going to hold him accountable.

Today a 6-week ban in Florida. And then Trump did a long interview in TIME Magazine. I—it's coming out. You've got to read it. It's a mandatory reading. And he said in that magazine—he said States should monitor women's—now, get this: States should monitor women's pregnancies and prosecute those who violate abortion bans. Monitor women's pregnancies?

That's not all. He said, in a quote, "A lot of people liked it when I said I want to be a dictator for one—on day one." Asked if he thought violence would occur if he lost, and his response was, "It all depends."

He calls the insurrectionists who are in prison—he calls them "patriots," and if reelected, he wants to know—let everybody know he's going to pardon every one of them—his quote—every one of them.

Trump says when he loses again in November, there will be—if he loses, but he will—there will be a "bloodbath." And he means it. And said a whole lot more in that TIME interview. You've got—TIME Magazine. I guess it comes out next week, if I'm not mistaken. You've got to read it.

Look, chaos is nothing new to Trump. His entire Presidency for 4 years was chaos. Trump is trying to make the country forget just how dark and unsettling things were when he was President. But we'll never forget.

We'll never forget lying about the pandemic, telling the American—because—remember that interview he did—honest interview; he got exposed—telling them he knew it was—the pandemic was deadly? And he—what did he tell people? It was mentioned already: Inject bleach.

Well, all that bleach apparently injected into his hair instead of his arm. [Laughter]

We'll never forget the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes during the pandemic. And I'm proud to have signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act with your support.

We'll never forget his love letters with Kim Jong Un and his admiration for Putin.

Here's what he said in that TIME interview: He may not come to the—he said he may not—if he were President again, not come to the aid of an ally attacked in Europe or Asia if he felt the country wasn't paying enough for their own defense. Isn't that wonderful? A President of the United States of America.

Do you want to go back to any of that? I don't think so.

Look how far we've come: 15 million new jobs, a record for any one term for a President of the United States. Because of you, historically low levels of unemployment for Asian Americans, while Asian American unemployment nearly doubled under Trump.

We're seeing record small-business creation, including among Asian Americans. In fact, we've increased loans to Asian American businesses through the Small Business Administration by one-third since Trump left office.

Because we expanded the childcare tax credit during the pandemic—not one—I might add, not one Republican voted for it—we cut Asian American child poverty by 25 percent—a record low.

More people have health insurance today than ever before in the history of this country, including among Asian Americans.

We took on Big Pharma—I've been fighting them since I was a Senator, and we finally won—to lower prescription drug costs, like insulin. It used to cost $400 a month; now it's 35 bucks a month. It only costs them 10 bucks to make it.

Folks, when I originally got that law passed, it affected everyone, not just the elderly. If I'm elected again, it's going to affect everybody. All Americans should be—I could put you on Air Force One, fly you to any—if you had a prescription from an American drug company, fly you to any major capital in the world, and I can get you that same prescription for 40- to 60-percent less.

Look, we made the most significant investment in climate ever. And I signed the most significant gun safety law in 30 years, which I know matters with the community as they mourned—as we mourned with you in Atlanta and Monterey Park.

I could go on. The point is, we're lowering costs, expanding opportunities, protecting freedoms for the communities. We're keeping our commitments and our communities safe in combating anti-Asian hate. But a lot more is at stake.

Look, Trump is determined—determined—to terminate the Affordable Care Act. Why? Because of—it's Obamacare expanded. He can't stand anything associated with Barack Obama.

He's determined to get rid of my climate law. Why? Because oil companies hate it. He said in that TIME interview, his—he has two goals, one of which is to drill, drill, drill. He's determined to cut taxes for the very wealthy while cutting Social Security and Medicare and do so much to—other damage.

Look, I proposed the most comprehensive immigration reform in decades while Trump is saying immigrants "poison the blood of the country," looking at many of you when he says it.

But the biggest threat Trump poses is to our democracy. Above all, what's at risk in 2024 are the freedoms and our democracy.

Let me close with this. This election is about competing values and competing visions in America. Trump values and visions are one of anger, hate, revenge, and retribution. That's not hyperbole.

I have a very different set of values that leads—like you do—leads me to a very different vision of America: one of hope and optimism. That's the heart of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islanders' story of our Nation—in our Nation.

I see an America where we defend democracy, not diminish it. I see an America where we protect our freedoms and not take them away. I see an America where the economy grows from the middle out and the bottom up and where working people have a fair shot, where health care is a right, not a privilege. And I see a future where we save the planet from the climate crisis and our country from gun violence.

Folks, this election is about freedom, America, and democracy. That's why I badly need you.

You know, one of the reasons why our economy is growing is because of you and many others. Why? Because we welcome immigrants. We look to—the reason—look, think about it. Why is China stalling so badly economically? Why is Japan having trouble? Why is Russia? Why is India? Because they're xenophobic. They don't want immigrants.

Immigrants is what makes us strong. Not a joke. That's not hyperbole. Because we have an influx of workers who want to be here and just contribute.

This community's vote will be critical in—from Virginia to Georgia to Nevada. I know we can do a lot together—a lot more.

And I've never been more optimistic about our future. We just have to remember who we are. We're the United States of America, for God's sake. There's nothing beyond our capacity when we act together.

Think about it. We're the only nation in the history—modern history of the world that's come out of every crisis stronger than we went in—stronger than we went in every time we've stood together.

And we're standing together, I promise you. You have my commitment. I'll never leave the value set I've laid out for you, I guarantee you.

Thank you all for what you're doing. Thank you for the enormous contributions you've made to this American society.

And whether you're immigrants or not, whether you're the children of immigrants, like I am, the fact of the matter is you're what makes America what it is. Not a joke. It's not a joke.

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

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 6:03 p.m. at the Mayflower Hotel. In his remarks, he referred to Sen. L. Tammy Duckworth; Rep. Raja S. Krishnamoorthi; State Affairs Commission President Kim Jong Un of North Korea; President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin of Russia; and former President Barack Obama. The transcript was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on May 2. Audio was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks at a Campaign Event Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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