Joe Biden

Remarks at a Campaign Reception in Boston, Massachusetts

May 21, 2024

If you have a seat, please take it. If you don't have a seat, I'll even be shorter than I was going to be. Please, sit down.

Mark and Audrey, thank you for the introduction and welcoming me here back to your home. I appreciate it.

The first time, you may have been—your fault. The second time, it's clearly your fault. [Laughter] You know—you should know better.

And, George and Douglas, thank you for cohosting. I really mean it.

And, Governor Maura Healey, I don't know if she's here now still, but she met me at the airplane, and I want to thank her. She's doing a hell of a job.

And also, Michelle, thanks for the passport into town. I appreciate it. [Laughter]

Thank you all for your support. I'm a Delaware guy, and—but there's something special about this city. I mean, it really is. It's just a good feeling to be able to know you can be in Boston and Boston has your back. I really mean it.

I lived—we lived in Newton for a while when I—my dad was working in the shipyards during the war. But it's just a special place. It's like no other city in the world, in my view.

And we're rebuilding the strongest ground campaign in American history and really are. We're trying to get back to just basic block and tackle in campaigns.

So far, there's over 1.8 million people who've contributed to the—this campaign. And the 1.8 million people contributed under $200. People are doing it at 25, 50, 100 bucks. And it's—and we've raised more money than anybody ever has at this point.

And so, in the battleground States, we've opened 150—150 field offices. Trump hasn't opened a single one yet. We've organized—we're organized—and we're ready.

You know, Trump and the MAGA Republicans are really in disarray right now. It's clear that when we [he; White House correction] lost in 2020, something snapped in this guy. And when he—I mean, really, there's something different. He just can't accept the fact he lost. It's just beyond his capacity.

And that's why January 6 happened, in my view. That's why January 6 happened. Every legal avenue Trump tried to change the election failed and unleashed that—that insurrection.

He's now running again. And the threat that Trump poses is greater in a second term than it was in his first. And, again, that's not hyperbole. He's only obsessed with one thing—about losing in 2020. And it's clearly unhinged him. And I mean it, I—the guy is a little unhinged right now.

And he did a long interview with TIME magazine this week. You ought to—if you haven't seen it, get it. Read it. He just straightforward want—saying what he wants to do. He says, "A lot of people—a lot of people liked the fact that I said I'd be dictator on day one"—"a lot of people." He—asked if he thought violence could occur if he lost, and he said, "It depends."

He called the insurrectionists in prison "patriots." He says he's going to release them if he wins—"every one" of them.

And yesterday his campaign posted online about—he wants to—if he wins, there will be a "unified Reich," like the Third Reich. This is the same guy—this is Hitler's language, not America's. It's no surprise that when he—about 4 months ago, he talked about—I think maybe a little longer—that Hitler did "some"—quote, "some good things." He did "some good things."

Trump says if loses again in November, that there will be a "bloodbath"—a bloodbath—in America. I mean, the guy means what he says. He's not accepting the results of the election when—if he loses again, he pointed out.

And it's clear that all those—all those people auditioning to be his Vice President, they're all singing the same—trying to pass the same litmus test. They've all said the election—even the ones who said that he lost are now saying: "No, no, he won. Biden stole the election." And if he loses the election, they're all saying they will not accept the results either.

This has not happened in American history. This has not happened.

Look what he's saying about reproductive freedom. He's bragging that he's the reason Roe v. Wade was overturned. And it was, because of the appointments he made to the bench.

But you know, look at the piece in TIME magazine. He said States should monitor women's pregnancies and prosecute those who violate the bans. Monitor women's pregnancies. I mean, you know, prosecute them.

You know, folks, Trump isn't running to lead America. He is running on revenge, and he really is. That's revenge. Revenge, but in no way—is no way to lead the country. That's how he wants to do it.

He's running to lead America into the future. That's what he says he's going to do, but he doesn't want to do that.

Look, I mean, I don't have time and I don't want to keep you standing, but just read what he's saying.

Look, we made some real progress. We've got a way to go.

We've created 15 million new jobs—15 million new jobs—more than anybody has in one term. People have more health insurance than they ever did before—our history, and we still cut the deficit.

And it took Big Pharma, won to lower price prescriptions—for prescription drugs. All the people of—who need insulin. You—all of you know somebody who needs insulin for diabetes. Well, guess what? It was costing $400 a month or more. It's now—can't charge more than 35 bucks a month. Because, by the way, it costs—it costs $10 to make it.

Our reforms not only save lives, but it's saving taxpayers billions of dollars. That one thing of reducing the—the last change we made in terms of Medicare, that's reduced the Federal debt by $160 billion—$160 billion—because they don't have to pay the exorbitant prices anymore.

And look, I'm proud that the new report released by 20 major climate organizations—from the Sierra Club to the Sunrise Movement—cited my administration for taking more than 300 actions related to climate, conservation, public health, and clean energy.

And Boston is a national leader, including the New England Aquarium, which is focused on coastal erosion and so much more.

And I'm proud to have restored protections for the Northeast Canyons and the Seamounts in the natural—as national—monuments. It's a big deal. It's going to be here for a long time.

And we've also put more land in conservation than any—somebody—since John Kennedy. And we're going to put 30 percent of all the land and seas in conservation by the year 2030.

Meanwhile, Trump is determined to get rid of the climate law—I mean, he's being straightforward about it—I mean, he flat out wants to get rid of it—get rid of it, because the oil companies hate it.

In fact, it has been reported that he asked Big Oil to direct $1 billion toward his campaign and said if they did that, there'd be "a deal." "We'd have a deal."

What's the deal? They want to—they—Big Oil—it's not about getting lower prices for—he wants Big Oil to fund his campaign in exchange—in exchange for a repeal of everything we've done on climate. That's what he said in TIME magazine. Just look at it. It's on the front—there was a front cover of him last—I guess it's this past month. And he just says one thing. He wants to drill, drill, drill.

This is the same guy that told you if you had windmills off your coast, it was going to cause cancer. And we're going—I mean it's just—it's—it almost is hard to believe what he says.

And the threat just isn't Trump; it's his MAGA Republican Congress. The House of Representatives put together a plan, and I just—I wasn't going to take the time, but I think I should. The Congressional Budget Office analysis, which is a bipartisan operation—it's not Democrat or Republican—did an analysis of his—of the budget that the House Republicans put out. Okay?

It cuts Social Security by $1.5 trillion. Raise your retirement age by 2 years. Raise Medicare costs by repealing the ability to negotiate drug prices, the caps on insulin, and a $2,000 out-of-pocket—package limitation for seniors. Turn Medicare into a premium support voucher-style program that raises premiums for all seniors. Repeal the Affordable Care Act protections against denying care for people with preexisting conditions. There's over 20 million people who have preexisting conditions—that wouldn't be able to get insurance without the existence of that act.

He also says he wants—they're saving—they're going to use savings for a $5.5 trillion tax cut and repeal the minimum tax on corporations and real estate.

Look, I come from the corporate State of the world. More folks are—more corporations are incorporated in my State than every other State in the Union combined. I represented the State for over 36 years in the Senate. I'm not anticorporation, but there's got to be some balance—what we're talking about—just some balance.

And he says that the national abortion ban, they—this is the House—endorsed life as a—at moment of conception—no rape, no incest exceptions, and no bans—and he wants to ban even—they're talking about banning certain contraceptions.

He defunds the Community Oriented Policing Services—the COPS Program—that support local law enforcement in 500 towns and cities all across America.

I could go on. They're just saying it out loud what they're going to do.

Folks, we're lowering costs, expanding opportunities, protecting freedoms. We have to keep that going because all—it's all at stake.

Look, let me close with this. Our freedoms—in my view, our freedoms and our democracy are literally at stake. I know that sounds like hyperbole.

Some of you may remember, when I ran the first time—and you helped me the very first time, a lot of you in this room, but my—this household—that, in fact, if—we talked about how he was going to do a number of things that were contrary to everything we thought would happen.

And I made a speech shortly before the election—made a speech—and after the election as well—on the threat to democracy. And I did it at Constitution [Independence; White House correction] Hall. And I—at, you know, where they wrote the Declaration—I mean, excuse me, where they wrote the Constitution.

And I laid it out. And the press—there are a lot of good press here, and I'm not being critical. But they wondered why I was focused on that, because I said democracy was at stake.

Well, guess what? Sixty-three percent of the American people in the polls said they thought it was too, because of the things that are happening.

That's why I need you. I need you, I need you, because I know we can do this together. I've never been more optimistic about our future. We just have to remember who in the hell we are.

In 2020, I wasn't going to run again because I had just lost my—not just—I had lost my son on Memorial Day in 2015. He was in Iraq, and he was near one of those burn pits for a year, and he came home with stage-4 glioblastoma and died.

And I wasn't going to run again until—remember what happened when—down in Charlottesville, Virginia, when that group came out of the woods carrying torches, chanting the same anti-Semitic bile—the same exact bile—that was chanted in Germany in the early thirties, carrying swastikas—not a joke—carrying swastikas, and saying what they wanted to do? And a young woman was killed, and I ended up talking to her mother. And—accompanied by the Ku Klux Klan.

And afterwards, the press went to her—him and said—to Trump and said, "What's your view of all this?" He said there were very good people on both sides—very good people on both sides.

That's not who in the hell we are, guys. That's not who we are. But if we don't watch it—if we don't watch it—and I know I'm responsible to make sure not to let you down, but we have to win. And you're all putting me in a position to be able to compete and win. And I hope I don't screw it up for you. Because if I do, it's—and by the way, the national press is here. I'm going to say it again. I go to—I've been deeply involved in foreign policy my whole career—chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee; I know all the heads of state before, and I know them now. Barack asked me to be Vice President in large part because of my foreign policy background.

And I go to these international meetings of heads of state—the G-7, the G-20, all—and I give you my word: Every one of those meetings, and I've attended a number of them since I've become President, somebody will grab you—another President or another Prime Minister or head of state will grab my arm as I'm walking out, pull me aside, and say: "You can't let him win. You can't let him win." And then they look at me and say, "Because"—meaning their—"my democracy is at stake."

Folks, there's a lot at stake. We talk about—it's not an important election because I'm running. That's not the reason why it's important. This is one of the most important elections of our life.

I've said to other people that, you know, when I run, I always want to win. Everybody wants—I'm a competitor. But this isn't about my winning. It's about making sure he doesn't win.

You're putting me in a position to be competitive enough to make sure that he doesn't. So, thank you, thank you, thank you.

And, you know, as I said, this is the United States of America. There's nothing beyond our capacity. We're the only Nation in the world—the only Nation in the world—that's come out of every crisis stronger than we went in. Think about it, as a student of history. Every crisis we face, we come out stronger than we went in.

And the world is looking to us. They really are. Whether it's in Israel or Gaza, whether it's in Ukraine, where—where it is. They're tough decisions, but we can make them. And we have to stick together.

Thanks for putting me in the position to compete.

NOTE: The President spoke at 4:14 p.m. at the residence of Mark S. and Audrey K. Schuster. In his remarks, he referred to George D. Krupp, chairman and cofounder, and Douglas S. Krupp, vice chairman and cofounder, Berkshire Group; Mayor of Boston Michelle Wu; Susan Bro, mother of Heather D. Heyer, who was killed in a vehicular attack in Charlottesville, VA, on August 12, 2017; and former President Barack Obama. The transcript was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on May 22. 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

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