Joe Biden

Remarks at a Campaign Reception in Boston, Massachusetts

December 05, 2023

The President. Hello, hello, hello! Thank you all so very 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 you for—James, thank you for—the whole group of you for 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.

Let me begin by thanking all of you, because you're the reason I won in 2020. You're the reason we got 81 million votes—more than any Presidential candidate has in American history.

It's not hyperbole to suggest you're the reason why Donald Trump is not only a former President, but a defeated former President. Which makes him, yes, a loser. [Laughter]

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 has created in a 4-year term; record economic growth—over 5 percent just the last quarter; unemployment under 4 percent for 20 months in a row, another record; the lowest inflation rate of any major economy on Earth; and we have more work to do.

And look—and we're—we've rebuilt our alliances around the world, including expanding NATO from the depths of the Trump set—from the depths that Trump set us into when we were—when he was in office.

And we're—and 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 Judiciary Committee, including the first Black woman Justice on the Supreme Court.

We not only protected the Affordable Care Act, we made it stronger.

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. Not on my watch.

We made the biggest investment in the history of the world to combat climate change. And helping us lead the way is your former Senator and our Secretary of State, John Kerry. He's the best in the world. And he's at the COP—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 relieved student debt for 3.6 million people, 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. We've 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. 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 childcare to eldercare to making sure the wealthy and corporations start paying their fair share.

You know, we have about a thousand billionaires in the country. You know what their average Federal tax rate is? Eight percent.

Audience members. Boo!

The President. Eight percent. Well, guess what? We're coming. 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 health care 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.

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—off the Oval Office for hours on January the 6th watching—watching—it all unfold as a mob attacked 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 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]

Look, we all know the lies Trump has continued to tell since 2020. Over the course of his term, when he was President, the Washington Post reported and documented 30,500 lies and misstatements he made. That's more than we hear—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 words: 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 thirties. He's threatened to use the American military 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 we 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 us here understand.

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 are we? Are we being what we've 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.

And that's not egotism. But we 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 equal—we've never fully lived up to it, but we've never abandoned it. We've never abandoned it.

Ladies and gentlemen, every generation, we make it better, and we're not going to walk away from it now.

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." 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.

As I first said here in Boston after the marathon bombing, we own the finish line in America. We own the finish line. 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. Thank you, thank you.

Enjoy the show!

NOTE: The President spoke at 7:20 p.m. at the Boch Center's Shubert Theatre. In his remarks, he referred to Gov. Maura Healey of Massachusetts; Supreme Court Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson; Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry; former Vice President Michael R. Pence; and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, in her former capacity as Speaker of the House of Representatives. The transcript was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on December 6. Audio was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks at a Campaign Reception in Boston, Massachusetts Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/368343

Filed Under

Categories

Attributes

Location

Massachusetts

Simple Search of Our Archives