Joe Biden

Remarks at a Campaign Reception in Portola Valley, California

May 10, 2024

I brought somebody along with me.

Vinod and Neeru, thank you. Thank you for that introduction and for your whole family. You know, one of the bad news about being a child or a nephew in a family that's deeply involved is you have no way out. [Laughter] No way out.

Thank you for inviting us to your wonderful home, because I came to see your dogs. [Laughter] As the press can tell you, I like dogs better than people sometimes. [Laughter]

Look, we're here in the home State of—Kamala sends her love. She's—she—every time I come to California, she says, "Why am I not going?" [Laughter]

But a special thanks to Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, who greeted me at the—as the helicopter landed here a little earlier, and I'm going to see her in a few minutes after this event.

I thank you all for your support for the campaign, and—your support for this campaign is consequential.

You know, a fact is that we've got a lot to talk about. And I want to thank you again to make sure that we know that everyone—not everyone is feeling the enthusiasm these days.

The other day, I was—you know, the—we were in a situation where this guy walked up to me and said, "You know"—he said, "I've got—I'm in real trouble. I'm short on cash and I'm in trouble, and I don't know what to do." And I said, "Donald, I can't help you." [Laughter]

Trump is in trouble, and he knows it. After bragging about he's the reason why Roe v. Wade was overturned, he's now worried voters are going to remember that and hold him accountable for the cruelty and chaos that has been created.

Well, I've got news for Donald Trump: Voters are going to hold him accountable. They're going to hold him accountable. I highly recommend—and I don't mean this—I'm not being mean about this. But take a look at the front cover of this week's TIME magazine. Read the article—the long interview with Trump. He's on the cover. So please read it.

He said States should monitor women's pregnancies, prosecute those who violate abortion bans. Monitor women's pregnancies?

You know—but look, the chaos is nothing new for Trump. His Presidency was chaos. Trump is trying to make the country forget how dark things—and unsettling they were as he left the office. But we're not going to forget.

We'll never forget about the pandemic, who—he knew was serious, and he acknowledged it in a—but wanted to not—just keep everybody to—from responding to it.

Remember him saying the best thing to do is just invest—inject a little bleach in your arm? [Laughter] That's what he said. And he meant it. I wish he had done a little bit himself. [Laughter]

We'll never forget his love letters for the South Korean President Kim Jong Un or his admiration for Putin—what a great leader Putin is.

And here's what he said in the—in that TIME article: He may not come to aid the—the aid of an ally in Europe and/or in Asia if he felt the country wasn't paying enough for their own defense.

That's really good, isn't it? You know, well, look, I don't think any of us want to go back to any of that.

Look, look at how far we've come. We've got a long way to go. But we've created 15 million new jobs, more jobs in a 3½-year period than any President has in American history. More—with your help.

More people have health insurance today than ever before in the entire history of the country. And I—with AI coming around, we're going to be—I'm going to get a little lesson—and I mean it sincerely. I'm not joking. I've been trying to understand how we could do what you both are talking about doing. It's consequential. There's no reason why we can't change things.

And look, I've been fighting Big Pharma for a long, long time as a Senator. I could put you in Air Force One, fly you—you have your own Air Force Ones, I know, but—[laughter]—fly you to any capital in the world. If you have a prescription from a drug company here in America, I can buy that drug—that—I can have that filled for 40- to 60-percent less in Toronto, in London, in Paris, in Berlin—around the world.

And look, we're—and we finally won to say that now we can have a situation where I have—want it for all Americans, but it's only occurred—initially, I got that; then they blocked the second half—that Medicare can negotiate drug prices.

For example, all the people—all the people that are—desperately need insulin to control their diabetes, it used to cost an average 400 bucks a month. It now costs $35 a month. It's a life—[applause]. And by the way, it only costs 10 bucks to make. They're still making a good profit.

But we're in a situation, as well, where—you know, in that same legislation which they're—he says he's going to repeal if he's elected. I don't think he'll be able to do it. I pray God he won't. I pray God he won't be elected. [Laughter]

But you know, beginning in 2024 [2025; White House correction], no senior, no matter how large their prescription drug bills are, will have to make—pay more than $2,000 a year. And, God, that's still a lot of money for a lot of seniors. But guess what? Some of these cancer drugs, you know, are $12-, $14-, $15,000 a year.

It not only saves lives, but it saves the taxpayers $160 billion because Medicare no longer has to pay these exorbitant prices over the next 10 years—$160 billion saved.

I was so proud that the new report co-released on 20—by 20 major climate organizations, from the Sierra Club to Sunrise Movement, credited my administration with taking more than 300 actions to—related to climate, conservation, public health, clean energy.

You know, in their words, "Biden has done more to take action to protect, restore, and secure our health, our environment than any President in American history has done yet."

We got a lot—I say—I say that not like, "Whoa." I say that we're just beginning. There's so much we can do—so much we can do.

We also made the most significant investment in American science, technology, innovation in generations so that many of you are leading—so many of you in this room are leading the way. You're way ahead of the rest of the world.

We've already been able to attract more than $866 billion in private investment—$866 billion in private investment in clean energy and advanced manufacturing, historic amounts in such a short period of time. And I know you know better than I do: We're just getting started.

Where is it written that America is not going to lead the world? Where is it written that we can't have the most manufacturing jobs than anybody in the whole world?

And we signed the most significant gun safety—I'm not going to go into it all, but I could go on.

But look, here's the deal. The point is, we're lowering costs, expanding opportunities, and protecting freedoms. And that's all at stake because Trump is determined, in his words, to "terminate" the Affordable Care Act, which means you've got millions of people with preexisting conditions who would lose all their insurance—be gone.

He's determined to get rid of my climate law, which we're spending $368 billion—more money than was spent in the entire world to deal with this issue—because the oil companies hate it. In fact, it's been reported that he asked Big Oil recently—you probably saw it on national television—he asked for a direct billion dollars' campaign from—campaign contributions from them. He said it would be a real good "deal" for you. [Laughter]

Look, I mean, but here—you can joke about it. He means it, though. He means it.

He would repeal everything we're doing on climate. As he said in the TIME article, he wants to drill, drill, drill.

Look, during his Presidency, he exploded the Federal debt—a larger deficit increase than any President in American history. He talks about the deficit.

He's determined to cut Social Security and Medicare if he gets elected. In his own words, there's a lot of "cutting" we can get done. Well, let's start with his deficit.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office just released a study showing his plan would cost—what—he's laid out and the Republican—the MAGA Republicans laid out a game plan for what they'd spend the money and how they'd spend it. And the Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan organization, said his plan would cost $5 trillion over the next decade and it's fiscally reckless.

Look, folks, there's so much at stake. I know—I know you know it. I feel like I'm sometimes preaching to the choir here.

But in the months—after months of bipartisan negotiations, with one of the most conservative Members of the United States Senate from Oklahoma leading it for the Republicans—after months of it, we finally came up with the strongest border bill and the most comprehensive immigration reform in decades.

First bill I introduced when I got elected President was a bill relating to the border. This bipartisan bill that we all agreed on would require 1,500 more—1,500 more security agents on the border; 100 more immigration judges to tackle the backload of 2 million cases; 4,300 asylum officers; new policies to resolve—that can be resolved in 6 months instead of 6 years.

Right now you get—you come across, if you meet the initial tests, you get a bracelet that says come back in 6 years or—actually, it's closer to 8 years. And we can get decisions made on the spot. And that's going to have a significant impact.

If you know you're going to pay a—someone is going to smuggle you into the country, 8,500 bucks, and you know that you're going—your fate is going to be determined in 6 months and you know you're not going to be able to meet the requirements that are needed, you're not going to come. All the evidence shows people would slow down in coming and not come—not attempt to come in illegally.

More than—we agreed we'd provide more than 100 high-tech detection machines, significantly increase the ability to screen and stop smuggling of fentanyl and fentanyl products. It's killing thousands of our children.

The majority of the House and Senate Members strongly support this, but politics derailed it. You know, I thought we had a deal. I thought we were going to really begin to make some progress.

What I'm told, and you—and the press is here; I think they would acknowledge they've heard it too—that you had a whole lot of Republican—Trump on the phone calling Republicans in the Senate to start with saying, "Don't support this bill, because if you do, you've got me as a problem. I'm coming after you."

And why not support it? He said: "Because it will benefit Biden. It will benefit Biden. It'll hurt me, so don't do it."

The bill is stalled. It's stalled now, but we're not giving up.

Look, he's wrong. It'd be an enormous win for Americans. He's right about that part.

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

I love the way people talk about Dreamers. It's like you're 3 years old. Mom says, "I'm taking you across the Rio Grande." You say, "No, Mom, leave me here." [Laughter] Think about it.

And they've been incredible contributors to the work ethic of this country—incredible. One of the reasons why we continue to grow is, we are not xenophobic. We have input of new immigrants coming into the country that should come into the country that, in fact, are generating economic growth.

And by the way, I'm proud that my administration just announced Dreamers are finally going to be able to qualify for the Affordable Care Act and then get health insurance.

Meanwhile, in the same TIME interview, Trump vowed the U.S. military would round up the 11 million, quote, people who are waiting to be determined whether they can be here, put them in trucks and send them back, or put them in prisons.

He calls our immigrants—he'd use the military for that. He says immigrants are a bunch of "rapists"—quote—his quotes—and "murderers." He said: "They're not people. They poison the blood of our country." His words, not mine.

Folks, we have—we need to be able to control our border. Any country does. But the way he talks about it and what he wants to do is criminal.

Folks, that's not who we are. That's not America.

Now, look, the biggest threat Trump poses is to our democracy. And some of you in the receiving line mentioned that to me as well.

You know, that TIME article—in that TIME article, he said, "A lot of people liked it when I said I'd be a dictator for 1 day." He means what he says. Asked if he—asked if he thought violence would occur if he lost, Trump said, "It depends." "It depends." No, I'm—that's not a joke. And you know he means it.

He's called the insurrectionists who are in prison now—he calls them "patriots." And if reelected, he wants to pardon "every one" of them, quote. "Every one" of them.

Trump says when he loses again—he said "if," but I'm saying "when"—[laughter]. When he loses again in November, he says there will be a "bloodbath." That's what he's saying. Listen to his words.

He's not going to accept the results of the election when he loses again.

And look at those all vying to be his Vice Presidential nominee, refusing to acknowledge that they would accept the results of the election. "It would depend," they said. Folks, this is not America. This is not democracy.

Let me close with this. What's at risk in 2024 are our freedoms, our very democracy. And that's not hyperbole. That's why I so badly need you.

I know I don't look it, but I've run a thousand times. [Laughter] I served in the Senate a long, long time. I served as Vice President for 4 years. Every time I've run, I've wanted to win. But this time, I'm running because we have to win. We have to win. We cannot let Trump be elected President of the United States of America.

And I know we can do this together. I've never been more optimistic—I've never been more optimistic about our prospects. We just have to remember who we are. We're the United States of America, for God's sake.

We're the only country in the history of the world that's come out of every crisis stronger than we went in—every single crisis. The only one.

And, folks, I'm taking too much of your time, but there's nothing beyond our capacity. I really mean it. Nothing beyond our capacity when we do it together.

We're a united nation. This is the United States of America. That's what we've got to be. We've got to unite, bring people together. And we have to build this economy from the middle out and the bottom up. The wealthy will still do very well, but you've got to give the middle class a fighting chance and the poor a shot up.

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

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Appreciate it.

NOTE: The President spoke at 12:52 p.m. at the residence of Vinod and Neeru Khosla. In his remarks, he referred to Vice President Kamala D. Harris; State Affairs Commission President Kim Jong Un of North Korea; President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin of Russia; and Sen. James P. Lankford. Audio was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

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

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