Joe Biden

Remarks at a Campaign Reception in Palo Alto, California

May 10, 2024

The President. Well, Melissa [Marissa; White House correction] and Zach, thank you very much. I really mean it. And you have such a beautiful family. You really do.

Girls, when you get to be teenagers, it gets hard to raise daddies. [Laughter] We're easy until about age 13, when the boys start showing up. [Laughter] So you've got to be very patient with daddies.

And I told your brother he's got one important job: Keep the guys out of the house. [Laughter] Anyway.

[At this point, the audio was briefly dropped.]

You're incredible.

These two ladies here, in my view, and I mean this sincerely, are emblematic of how America is changing. You're incredibly competent. You're changing the whole notion of what constitutes success and what can be done. Both are capable of doing anything in the world they set to do. I mean it sincerely. And I just can't tell you how much you have folks looking up to you all across this country, women who look and say—[inaudible]. [Inaudible]—you're doing. Look what you're doing.

When I got elected President—I mean this sincerely—I decided I was going to have an administration that looked like—I should stay here, shouldn't I?

[The President gestured toward the podium.]

[Laughter] I was going to have an administration that looked like America, and I meant it, both in terms—we have more women in my Cabinet than we have men. We have more women in the offices, in the major positions in my administration than we have men. And we have people of color that—we have more African Americans that are in courts. We have more Hispanics.

I mean, we just decided that it's important. I mean this sincerely. I didn't plan on saying any of this until I looked at you two guys.

It's really important that people have something to look to to know what can be done, to know what can be accomplished. You could be Governor; you could be President. [Laughter] No, I mean, I'm not joking. I'm being deadly earnest. And a lot is changing.

And so Jennifer, the First Partner of California, who is doing an incredible job along with the Governor. And also, it's great to be in California with—but the only—I'm in a little bit of trouble because Kamala is not here. [Laughter] Every time I'm going to California, she says: "What—wait, wait—I've got to go back. I've got to go back." [Laughter] She sends her love.

And I want to thank you all for your support for this campaign.

Look, we're into the spring, and we're genuinely—there's excitement and momentum moving on—building this campaign.

So far—I don't think this has ever happened before—we have 1.6 million people who have individually contributed to this campaign—1.6 million; 97 percent have contributed under $200, and they're doing $5, $10, $20, $30 a month. And we've raised more money than anybody has ever raised—because of you, as well—at this stage in a campaign.

We've opened over 150 offices in battleground States. And you know, we've opened—and Trump has opened zero offices. And it's not just because he's in a trial, he isn't doing it at all.

Look, I think this is going to be a campaign—those women and men who play sport—tough sports. It's like—it's about blocking and tackling. It just gets down to who is going to get to—have the volunteers, who's going to knock on the doors, who's going to make those phone calls, who's going to put those signs up. It matters. Who's going to get people to the polls.

While the press doesn't want write about it, the momentum is clearly in our favor, with polls moving towards us and away from Trump.

As I left Wisconsin last week, the Wisconsin latest Quinnipiac Poll has us up 6 points among registered voters. The IPSOS/ABC Poll has us up 4 nationwide. All the rest are basically tied.

But I, quite frankly, don't think the polls mean anything today. It's awful hard to get a read of a poll. I don't know how many—my pollsters tell me that you have to contact an enormous number of people just to get a response. And there's—hardly anybody has cell phones—anything other than cell phones.

We know not everyone is feeling the enthusiasm, though, for real.

The other day, a defeated-looking guy came up to me and said: "Look, Mr. President, I'm being crushed by debt. And I'm completely wiped out." And I had to tell him, "Donald, I can't help you." [Laughter] "There's nothing I can do for you." [Laughter]

Look, Trump is in trouble, and he knows it. And after bragging about his reasons why Roe v. Wade was overturned and he was the reason for it, he now wants voters to hold—not hold him accountable for all the cruelty and chaos it's created.

And I have news for Trump: The voters aren't forgetting. They're going to hold him accountable.

Trump did a long interview, if you've seen it, in TIME magazine. If you haven't, I urge you to get it. Not a joke. He—his own words. He said, "States should monitor women's pregnancies and prosecute those who violate abortion bans." Monitor women's pregnancies? That's just what we need a President doing.

Look at the chaos. It's nothing new for Trump. His Presidency literally was chaos. It's—and it seems like a hundred years ago.

Trump is trying to make the country forget how dark and unsettling things were during his Presidency. But we'll never forget. A million people died. A million people died because of COVID, and he kept telling people: "Don't worry. Nothing to it. Just inject a little bleach in your arm." For real.

Well, I wish he had injected a little beach, and we could see what was going on. [Laughter]

But look, you know—remember his love letters for Kim Jong Un of North Korea and how he admires—his admiration for Putin—said he trusted Putin over our own people?

Here's what he said in that TIME article, and you've really got to get it, because this is about alternatives too. He may not come out and aid an ally in Asia or in Europe if he thinks they haven't paid enough for their own defense. That's a great message to send.

As the press—national press is with me today, they've heard me say it before. Some of them have been with me at these international organizations I attend—the G-7, the G-20, all these various—where I meet with other heads of state.

They literally—they literally come up to me as I'm leaving and say: "He can't win. He can't win. My"—meaning their country's—"democracy is at stake."

Look how far we've come: 15 million new jobs. No President has ever created that many jobs in one term ever in American history. More people have health insurance today than ever before in the history of the country. Millions of people didn't have it before. And we're going to expand that.

We took on Big Pharma to lower prescription drug costs. How many people do you know who need insulin for their diabetes? They were paying roughly 400 bucks a month. Now they don't have to pay more than $35 a month. And they're still making a good profit with that.

And look, we're—it not only saves lives; it saves the taxpayer $160 billion—$160 billion—because the Federal Government doesn't have to pay out these exorbitant prices.

And so, look, I'm so proud of the new report released by the 20 major climate organizations, from the Sierra Club to the Sunrise Movement, crediting our administration with taking more than 300 related climate actions: conservation, public health, clean energy.

In their words—it sounds—I feel guilty mentioning—reading this—"Biden does more to take action and protect, restore, and secure health and the environment than any President in American history, and he's not done yet."

We're not done yet. We're on the verge of being able to do so much more. We're just finally breaking through. We're breaking through on the ability to deal with agriculture and all the—anyway.

We've made the most significant investment in American—in science, technology—I need not tell you in Silicon Valley any of this—in generations. And so many of you are leading the way.

We've already attracted off the sidelines $866 billion—$866 billion—in private investment in clean energy, advanced manufacturing—historic amounts in such a short period of time. And we're just getting started.

We—I mean, we're really—I know you—probably, it's the only place in the country that fully appreciate it. We're just getting started.

I signed the most significant gun safety law in 30 years. And by the way, although she's not around to help me this time, Dianne Feinstein and I passed the assault weapons ban. We're going to pass it again.

Look, I could go on. The point is, we're lowering costs, expanding opportunities, and protecting freedom. But it literally is all at stake. I'm not going to take too much of your time.

Trump is still determined, in his words, to, quote, "terminate" the Affordable Care Act. That will kick millions of people off of health care because it's the only way they can get—if you have a preexisting condition, it's the only means by which you can get insurance.

He's determined to get rid of the climate law. We're spending $368 billion on climate, more than ever spent in the entire history of the world. And we're just getting started. Why? Because—and he's—he wants to make sure that he gets—he says, if I'm not elected, he's going to eliminate it.

Did you see what he just said? You saw it on television, also out of his—his TIME magazine article. He said to the major—oil executives—he told Big Oil—he said, "'Raise me a billion dollars,' and I said, 'That would be a hell of a deal for you'"—make a deal. And then he goes on and says he has one objective if he's reelected: Drill, drill, drill.

Look, folks, during his Presidency, he exploded the Federal deficit more than any President did in a—one term. He racked up more Federal debt than any previous President in history.

He's determined to cut Social Security and Medicare. We're going to have to deal with it, but we can do that by everybody beginning to pay their fair share. In his own words, he said, "There's a lot you can do in terms of cutting." And he plans on doing it.

The nonpartisan [Congressional; White House correction] Budget Office just released a study showing his plans that all—that the House of Representatives' Republicans passed as well, what they're going to do in a—if they take control next time—it would cost $5 trillion over the next decade. It's fiscally reckless—$5 trillion.

Folks, there's so, so much at stake. I know you know all this, so I should shush up.

But after months of bipartisan negotiations, I proposed the strongest border bill ever, a comprehensive immigration reform—in decades—a bipartisan bill that would require us to hire 1,500 more security agents and officers at the border; 100 more immigration judges to tackle the backload of 2 million cases—there's a backload of 2 million cases; 4,300 asylum officers and new policies so they can resolve cases in 6 months instead of 6 years and to get decisions faster.

When they do that, no one is going to pay a cowboy to take them across the border for 8,000 bucks, knowing they're going to be sent home in 6 weeks [months; White House correction].

A hundred more high-tech detection machines. We know how we can deal with fentanyl coming into the country and the biproducts.

It's just stupid what they did.

And by the way, that group that put it together was led by a very—one of the most conservative Members of the Congress in the United States Senate from Oklahoma. But the majority of the House and Senate support this bill, but politics derailed it.

Trump was on the phone, I'm told—and I have the national press here, so they—they've heard it too; they can write whether they think I'm telling the truth or not. Trump was on the phone calling Members of the House and the Senate saying: "Don't bring that bill up. Don't pass that border bill."

Why? "Because it'll make Biden look like a winner. It would be a political win for Biden. Don't do it."

Now, his ability to threaten people or have an impact on the Congress is amazing to me. And guess what? They backed off, even though the vast majority support it.

But he's wrong. It'd be an enormous win for America.

We're a nation of immigrants. That's why this bipartisan bill also includes fair and humane immigrant reform—immigration reform in decades—the most significant. It includes a pathway for citizenship for "Dreamers" and so much more.

And by the way, I'm proud that my administration just announced that Dreamers are finally able to get health care under the Affordable Care Act.

Look, folks, the idea these Dreamers are somehow—you know, you're 5 years old, mom says, "Let's cross the Rio Grande," and you say: "No, Mom, leave me here. I'm going to be okay"—it's ridiculous.

And by the way, it's one of the reasons why our economy is growing. We're not xenophobic. We're able to grow the economy because we have workers coming in. We have farmworkers and other workers, and it's real.

And the Governor is doing an incredible job, by the way. No, he really is.

And by the way, AMLO said—I told him what was going on down at the border in Southern California. It slowed down from 10 million people—I mean, excuse me, 500,000 people to 50,000 people.

I mean, there's a lot—there's a lot—I don't want to bore you, but there's a lot we can do and are doing.

Meanwhile, in the TIME interview, Trump vowed to use the U.S. military to round up—get the military out there, going through America, round up the 11 million Americans who are waiting for their determination of what's going to happen in their—because they're waiting now 5, 6, 7 years to be—longer to be able to have their hearings whether they can stay.

And he—and I just wonder how people feel when he calls our immigrants "rapists" and "murderers." He says, quote, "They're not people." The rest of the world hears this, by the way. He says immigrants "poison the blood of America"—of our country.

Folks, that's not who we are. That's not America. And we—and it really hurts us around the world, not in terms of immigration but in terms of what kind of people we are.

Folks, the biggest threat Trump poses is to our democracy. You know, again, in that TIME article, he says, "A lot of people liked it when I said I'll be a dictator for one day." Well, I don't like it, because I know he means it.

Asked if he thought violence would occur if he lost, Trump says, "Well, it depends." Then asked if he'd recognize—he'd recognize the outcome of this next election, he said if he's not reelected, and he said no.

He calls the insurrectionists who are in prison—he calls them "patriots." He says, if reelected, he wants "every one" of them—he'll free them, pardon them.

Trump says, if he loses again in November, there'll be a "bloodbath." I mean, this is a President of the United States of America, for God's sake.

[The President gestured toward Representative Anna G. Eshoo.]

Oh, I didn't see you, Congresswoman. I—I apologize. I didn't——

Rep. Eshoo. That's all right.

The President. By the way, she's one of the best in the country.

He says he's not going to accept the results of the election when he loses again. You can't only love your country when you win.

MAGA candidates auditioning to be his Vice President are saying they would not accept the results, either. I don't know what it is. I mean, something is going on. It's like they're drinking some Kool-Aid.

Look, let me close with this. What's at risk in 2024 are our freedoms and our democracy. I know we can do this if we work together. I really do. We're the only country in the world that's come out of every crisis stronger than we went into the crisis—every one.

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

And I know I get criticized, in the light of all he's doing, to say we've got to work together. But we have to work together because I don't—this is not your father's Republican Party. This is a different breed of cat.

The MAGA Republicans make up somewhere between 30 and 35 percent of the Republican Party. They have a hammer on the rest of the party. But it's not who we are.

I've always been—I've been in the Senate a long time before this job. And some of the most impressive men and women I've worked with are the Republicans. But it's not there anymore. It's got to change. It's got to change.

So, with your help, not only will you help me get elected, but hopefully, we'll elect a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate, and we'll get a lot done.

Thank you.

And by the way, thank these girls for getting all dressed up. [Laughter] They're all—[inaudible]—and this good-looking guy.

By the way, I made a promise—I made him give me a promise: If he or his sister ended up being President of the United States and they say, "Joe Biden is out in the waiting room," promise me you won't say, "Joe who?" [Laughter]

Really, folks, thank you. I know there's a lot at stake. I really—[inaudible].

As I said, every time I've run in the past—and I was a Senator for 36 years and Vice President for 8 years—I've always wanted to win. But I've never before felt that it was an obligation—an obligation to win. We've got to get this done. There's too much at stake.

So thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:28 p.m. at the residence of Marissa Mayer and Zachary Bogue. In his remarks, he referred to Marielle and Sylvana Bogue, daughters, and Macallister Bogue, son, of Ms. Mayer and Mr. Bogue; Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of Gov. Gavin C. Newsom of California; Vice President Kamala D. Harris; President of the State Affairs Commission Kim Jong Un of North Korea; President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin of Russia; Sen. James P. Lankford; and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico. The transcript was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on May 12. Audio was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks at a Campaign Reception in Palo Alto, California Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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