Joe Biden

Remarks at a Campaign Reception in San Francisco, California

November 14, 2023

Thank you. Please, please.

Kamala, thank you for that introduction and for being such a strong partner in the progress we've been making.

You know, to the Reilly family, thank you for welcoming us into this beautiful space.

And Governor Gavin Newsom and Jen, thank you for everything you've done for the people of California and what you do for Kamala and for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And Mayor London Breed, thanks for welcoming us to your city. It kind of sparkles right now. [Laughter]

Kamala and I are incredibly grateful to everyone here. You know, just 1 week ago, despite all the predictions, except ours, Democrats had an incredible night once again. In Kentucky, a Democratic Governor was reelected. In Ohio, the right to choose became protected by the Ohio State Constitution.

In Virginia, the Republican Governor tried to gain control of the State legislature and use it as a launching pad for the Presidency—a plan he has abandoned—[laughter]—in the process of banning abortion—attempting to. But guess what? He got trounced.

And on top of that, we had big wins in Pennsylvania. The first African American woman elected the mayor of Philadelphia—a big win. And also a big win for the Pennsylvania on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Look, in Rhode Island, a young man who worked for me, Gabe—[laughter]—Amo, who worked in my administration, he became the first Black Member of Congress from the State of Rhode Island.

And now, of course, at the start of last week, everybody was telling us that Governor Andy—if Governor Andy Beshear lost, the Republicans won the Virginia House and the Senate, the Constitution and the right to choose went down in Ohio, if that had occurred, it would have been a very bad day for Joe Biden. Remember reading all that?

But here's the funny part: Beshear won, Republicans in Virginia lost the House and the Senate, Ohio enshrined the Constitution with the right to choose. Sounds like a pretty good day for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

But the truth is, what happened in those races is not unusual, in the continuation of what we saw in 2020, when we were told we weren't going to win, and again in 2022, when we were supposed to get wiped out. Remember? But some pundits said the same thing.

The American people voted to protect our fundamental freedoms like the right to choose, they voted to protect our democracy, they voted against extremism of our opponents, and they voted for the progress we've been making. They voted again and again.

Just listen to Governor Beshear the other night talk about the massive investments we're making in infrastructure, like the Brent Spence Bridge, the EV battery factories coming to Kentucky and to red States all over the country.

Democrats up and down the ticket ran on lower prescription drug costs. And I've been fighting for decades taking on Big Pharma—God, that was a nice win—to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. And finally, Kamala and I got it done.

Seniors on Medicare who were paying 400—as much as 400 bucks a month for insulin are now paying $35 a month. And it only costs them 12 bucks to make it and package it, by the way. We're also capping total out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors on Medicare at $2,000 a year, even if expensive cancer drugs are needed that cost $10-, $12-, $14,000 a year.

Chip factories are coming home. We invented the chip. We invented it here in the United States; then we stopped doing it. We used to produce 40 percent of the chips in the world. We got down to 10 percent. But billions of dollars are being invested in making chips in America again, a record job creation—historically—historically low unemployment.

And, folks, this is the Biden-Harris agenda. And that agenda not only is popular, but people are voting for it. It's winning elections over and over again.

The press and pundits can keep being surprised as much as they want, but since I came off the sidelines to go toe to toe with Donald Trump, we haven't stopped winning, and he hasn't stopped losing.

Remember when Trump told us he was going to win so much we'd get tired of winning? [Laughter] [Inaudible] Oh, man. I don't want—I shouldn't get started. [Laughter] Let me tell you one thing that's true: We got tired of Trump. The truth is the guy can't get tired of losing.

Folks, look, the Supreme Court majority Trump proudly appointed overturned Roe v. Wade. They practically dared the women of America to be heard in court. The majority of the Court wrote, "Women are not without electoral or political power." At the time, I said, "They ain't seen nothing yet." [Laughter]

Oh, I did. They don't have a clue about the power women in America. And that, we're about to find out. They did in Kansas in the midterms, in Ohio.

Now Trump is running for President bragging about how he "killed Roe v. Wade," quote. But he's trying to change that now too, if you notice.

So let's be absolutely clear what Trump's bragging about. The only reason there is an abortion ban in America is because of Donald Trump. The only reason teenagers in Ohio are being forced to travel out of State to get their health care is because of Donald Trump. The only reason a fundamental right has been stripped away from the American people for the first time in American history is because of Donald Trump.

And just as all his Republican friends have found out about the power of women in America, Donald Trump is about to find out the power of women—[inaudible].

And I especially want to thank Kamala for her leadership on this issue and so many others, from voting rights to artificial intelligence.

Folks, Trump was one of just two Presidents who lost jobs during his Presidency. In all of American history, only two lost jobs during their Presidency. That's why, now and then, we remember him as Donald "Hoover" Trump. [Laughter]

We had a very different record. We've created 14 million jobs since we took office—more jobs than any President has created in an entire term—than any President has in a 4-year term.

Today we got new data showing inflation continues to go down in the country. More to do. In fact, we have the strongest growth and lowest inflation of any major economy in the entire world.

And we passed the biggest investment in the history of the world to combat climate change without a single Republican vote.

I've kept my commitment: We put the first Black woman on the Supreme Court.

In our visit to San Francisco this week, we're being—we're meeting with APEC. President Xi is another example of how we're reestablishing American leadership in the world. It's taking hold. They've got real problems.

Folks, the list of what we've gotten done goes on. We need to protect the progress we've made. Perhaps the most important of all, we need to protect our democracy. It sounds like hyperbole.

When I ran in 2020, I made that speech at Independence Hall saying democracy is at risk. And the press said, "What's he talking about, democracy at risk?" Until they found out 65 percent of the American public felt the same way—Democrats, Independents, and Republicans.

Every other nation is founded on either geography, ethnicity, or religion. But guess what? We're the only nation in the history of the world—in the history of the country—in the history of the world, I should say—that is founded on an idea—an idea. It's not hyperbole; it's a fact. The only one based on an idea.

The idea is: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [and women] are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain . . ." And it goes on: ". . . among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

While we've never fully lived up to it, we have never, ever walked away from it. Now Trump and the MAGA Republicans want to walk away from it. It's not going to happen on my watch, I promise you.

Folks, as we meet here tonight, I know you'll feel in your bones what I feel in mine: This next election is different. It's more important. There's more at stake. And we all know why: because our very democracy is at stake. And I'm not exaggerating.

Our very democracy is at stake because the same man who proclaimed himself to be a "proud election denier;" the same man promising to pardon those who were insurrectionists who were convicted on January 6; the same man who said it was time, and I quote, for "termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution." That was said by a former President running again. The same man is running on a platform to end democracy as we know it, and he's not even hiding the ball.

In recent weeks, the New York Times and Washington Post ran—both ran stories on how he intends to use the Presidency for "revenge" and "retribution"—his phrases—"revenge" and "retribution." And on more than one occasion in recent weeks, he's made a joke about assaults on Nancy Pelosi's husband.

There's a lot of reasons to be against Donald Trump. But damn, he shouldn't be President. He should not be President.

And that attack on—the attack on Nancy's husband, that demonstrates maybe the best reason of all. To make a joke about that, you really have no business being anywhere near the Presidency.

You know, there's no place in America for political violence. None. Zero. Ever. None, zero, ever. And it's never a laughing matter. We all need to send the clearest message possible that political violence is never acceptable.

And in just a few—last few days, Trump has said if he returns to office, he's going to go after all those who oppose him and wipe out what he called the "vermin"—quote, the "vermin" in America. A specific phrase with a specific meaning. It echoes language you heard in Nazi Germany in the thirties. And it isn't even the first time.

Trump also recently talked about, quote, "the blood of America is being poisoned"—"the blood of America is being poisoned." Again, echoes the same phrases used in Nazi Germany.

Folks, we can't fail. We can't fail to treat the threat that he poses. I mean, we can't.

Donald Trump and the extreme—extreme MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy American democracy. Folks, democracy is on the ballot again. We need you. Indeed, we need every American who loves our democracy—Democrats, Independents, Republicans—to join together in 2024.

If we do that, we'll have done something few generations get to say they could do. We will have literally saved democracy. Together, I know we can do this. The choice facing us cannot be any more stark.

When Donald Trump gave his Inaugural Address when he got elected, he chose to speak about American carnage. When I gave my Inaugural Address, I spoke about American possibility.

When Donald Trump looks at America, he sees a failing nation. When I look at America, I see the strongest economy in the world and America leading the world again.

When Donald Trump talks about what he'll do if he returns to the Presidency, he promises to bring "revenge" and "retribution"—his phrase—"revenge" and "retribution." If you return me to the Presidency, my promise would be to lift everyone in this country, leaving no one behind.

Maybe Donald Trump sees an angry, dark, dismal, divided future for America, but I don't.

Folks, I've never been more optimistic about our country's future. We just have to remember who we are. We're the United States of America.

There's nothing beyond our capacity when we work together. Think about it. Think of any crisis we've ever been in where we haven't come out stronger than when—before we went in it. Every one. That's who we are.

Gov knows that. All of you know that.

So, folks, this is more than just an election. This is about preserving our democracy. Because if we move the way I'm confident we can, America is going to be stronger, better, more equal, more just than it's ever been.

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

Thank you very much. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 6:54 p.m. at the Merchants Exchange Building. In his remarks, he referred to Vice President Kamala D. Harris; Clint Reilly, chairman and founder, Clint Reilly Organization, whose real estate arm owns the event venue; Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of Gov. Gavin C. Newsom of California; Gov. Andrew G. Beshear of Kentucky; Gov. Glenn A. Youngkin of Virginia; Mayor-elect Cherelle L. Parker of Philadelphia, PA; Supreme Court Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson; President Xi Jinping of China; and Paul F. Pelosi, Sr., husband of Rep. Nancy Pelosi. The transcript was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on November 15. Audio was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks at a Campaign Reception in San Francisco, California Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/367840

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