Joe Biden

Remarks at a Campaign Reception in Seattle, Washington

May 10, 2024

The President. Folks, thank you. I'll tell you something else—[inaudible]—get up here. I want to tell you something else. When we win, he ain't staying in Washington State.

Governor Jay R. Inslee of Washington. Uh oh! [Laughter]

The President. Go talk to Trudi. [Laughter]

Gov. Inslee. Go get it. Have fun tonight.

The President. Thank you.

Hello, Seattle! And thank you for the warm welcome. But please keep it down because—[laughter]—Donald Trump is sleeping. [Laughter] "Sleepy Don," I kind of like that these days. [Laughter]

You know, I have—look, Governor Inslee, Jay, you are the leader in the country on climate change. You really are. You've done more as a Governor in your State than any Governor has in anywhere in America.

When they told us we couldn't possibly get a bipartisan agreement to spend money on climate change, we got $369 billion. When I think climate change, I think jobs.

One of the things that I know we got a little—some people got a little worried because right after I got the nomination and was elected, I didn't—I—made sure I didn't introduce my entire climate change policy for a simple reason. I wanted to bring along organized labor. Labor always thought of climate as causing them jobs—costing them jobs. But I spent time with the IBEW, starting with them, and every other major labor union in America has endorsed our climate policy, embraced it, and made it work.

So—and, Trudi, as my mother would say, no purgatory for you—[inaudible]—straight to heaven—straight to heaven. There's no such thing as being the "first spouse." There's no such thing. It's about—when you're the wife or the husband of a Governor, you're the Governor too. So thank you very much. No, no. You know I'm telling you the truth.

They know where you can show up. They know where you live without—"Why did we do this? Why'd we do that?" Anyway, thank you very much.

And look, I also want to thank the Governor. The previous Governor has become a great friend of mine, and I have great faith that he ain't going nowhere either, if I make it. And that's Gary—Governor Gary Locke. Where are you, Gary?

And you want a fighter on your side, you want someone who knows what she's talking about, someone who does what she says and says what she does, Congresswoman Jayapal, who's right here.

I want to thank Nick and Lisa and all the cohosts here tonight.

Just let me say I—you know, I should have the Head and the Heart perform before every program I have, because this is an incredible crowd.

My dad, when he was high school age—he was from Baltimore—he had a band. He got into Johns Hopkins, but because of the war, he never got to go, make a long story short. But my dad played the saxophone and the clarinet. He could sing a little bit, and he could dance. He had a band.

And he said: "Joey, I don't know where the hell you came from. You have no lip, you can't play a reed instrument." [Laughter] "You have two left feet and can't dance. And you can't carry a tune in the wheelbarrow. But I still love you."

So I—[laughter]—I'm always appreciative when anybody with musical talent says something nice about me. Charity and Matthew, you're incredible. Thank you for all you do.

Look, folks, as we go into spring, we genuinely feel the excitement and momentum we're building in the campaign, and I mean that sincerely.

I think most of the Members of Congress that I've served with so long will tell you no one ever doubts I—what—I mean what I say. The problem is that I sometimes say all that I mean. [Laughter] But I'm optimistic. I'm feeling good. Feeling good about the country. We're moving.

So far, over 1.6 million individuals have contributed to our campaign—five hundred and fifty thousand—fifty-five thousand of them in just since—new since the last campaign, new contributions. And 90 percent of those contributions are under $200—people contributing $5, $10, $20, $50 dollars a month helping this campaign.

There's a genuine groundswell. People are engaged, no matter what the polling data says.

And we've opened over 150 offices in—150—one-five-zero—in battleground States. And that as—and Trump has his zero in those States. And while the press doesn't write about it, the momentum is clearly in our favor, with the polls moving towards us and away from Trump.

Earlier this week, I was in Wisconsin. The Quinnimac [Quinnipiac; White House correction] Poll had up 6 points with registered voters. The IPSOS/ABC poll has us 4 percent up.

But it's awful hard to judge the polls these days because they're so difficult to take. They don't have—most people don't answer their landlines, and so it's really up in the air. But I can tell you, we're out around the country, we're out around a lot. There's some enthusiasm. People want to get things done. Things are beginning to move. And people are beginning to focus.

And those of you who've been involved in partisan politics and going door to door and those kinds of things, people really don't get juiced until somewhere toward the end of the summer and the beginning of the fall. But we're really optimistic.

I know everyone is feeling that enthusiasm—I know not everyone is feeling that enthusiasm. The other day, a defeated-looking man came up to me and said, "Mr. President, I'm being crushed by debt, and I'm completely wiped out." I had to say to him, "I'm sorry, Donald, I can't help you." [Laughter] "Nothing I can do to help."

Look, Trump knows he's in trouble. You know, he has bragged about he's the reason why Roe v. Wade was overturned, and now he's worried the voters are going to remind him of that and all the cruelty and chaos that has caused.

Well, let me ask you: Are we going to hold him accountable or not? We are, right?

Trump did a long interview in TIME magazine. You ought to read—I'm being deadly earnest about this. You ought to read it. He said, quote, "States should monitor women's pregnancies and prosecute those who violate the bans." Monitor women's pregnancies? What have we become here?

But look, chaos is nothing new to Trump. His Presidency was a chaos. Trump is trying to make the country forget how dark and unsettling things were when he was President. But we're never going to forget.

We'll never forget the fact—him lying about the pandemic. He knew how dangerous it was, but he didn't want to—he wouldn't say it to anybody. He said, "Just go inject a little bleach in your arm." [Laughter] Too bad he didn't. [Laughter]

Look—all kidding aside, it was bizarre. We lost a million people. And all the data shows those million, every one of them had eight people that were significant to them: brothers, sisters, uncle, aunts, mothers, fathers, wives, children.

We're never going to forget the love—his love letters to Kim Jong Un of North Korea, talking about what a—how he could work with him, he's a good man, or his administration—his admiration for Putin, standing with Putin at a press conference after a meeting and talking about how he believed Putin, he didn't believe his own security people.

And here's what he said in that TIME magazine article. He said he—and he may—he said—straight up, I really urge you to read it so I'm not—I'm not putting words in his mouth—[inaudible]. His words. No, I really mean it. Because he means what he says.

He said he wouldn't—may not come to an aid of an ally in Europe or Asia if attacked if he felt that country hadn't been spending enough money on its own defense system—would not come to the aid.

Look, folks, I don't want any part of that.

And I spent a lot of time—my expertise is American foreign policy and climate, the two things that I've worked on the most. And, you know, I go to these international meetings, because I know personally the vast majority of the world leaders, and the new ones as well.

And every—whether it's a G-7 meeting or G-20 in any—wherever it is—and I mean this from the bottom of my heart—it's disturbing, because what will happen, as we're leaving the meetings, one of the leaders—many of them—will grab me by the arm and say: "He can't win again. Please. My"—meaning their—"My democracy is at stake."

Look, folks, Madeleine Albright was right. We are the essential nation. If we don't stand up, who does? Who does? If we don't unite the world, who can—in our interest?

But look how far we've come: 15 million brandnew jobs, a record, just in 3½ years. More people have health insurance today than ever before in the history of this country.

We took on Big Pharma, which I've been fighting since I was a Senator, and we finally won. Anybody knows they need insulin for their serious problems they have, it'd cost them—instead of costing them 400 bucks a month, now it costs 15 bucks a month. And it's only just beginning.

And, folks, it not only saves lives, it saves taxpayers $160 billion, because Medicare doesn't have to pay the price. That's a fact.

And with your Governor's help, we're making the most significant investment ever in climate.

I'm so proud to report that—they co-released by 20 major climate organizations, from the Sierra Club to the Sunrise Movement, it credited our administration with making more than 300 actions related to climate, conservation, public health, and clean energy.

In their words—in an endorsement: "Biden does more to take action to protect, restore, and secure health and environment in America than any President in American history, and he's not done yet." We are not done yet.

And as Jay will tell you, every time I had a tough decision, I'd call him, I—forget his opinion. And I'm not joking. Jay, there's no place to hide, if I make it. [Laughter] [Inaudible]—no, I'm serious. He's the best in the country.

I signed the most significant gun safety law in 30 years. The idea our children are going to school and learning how to duck and cover is sick. It's sick.

More children killed because of a bullet than any other reason. Think of that, in America—the United States of America. And the [former; White House correction] President is saying—thanking the—telling the National Rifle Association that, you know, he's their best friend, nothing is going to happen when he's there.

Well, guess what? Thirty years ago—it's not going to stop until we ban assault weapons again.

I apologize. I'm going on too long.

But look, the point is, we're lowering costs, expanding opportunities, and protecting freedoms. But it's all at stake. It really is all at stake.

Trump is still determined, in his words, to "terminate" the Affordable Care Act, which will kick millions of people off insurance. You know, it's the only reason why people with a preexisting condition are able to get insurance, tens of thousands of them.

He's determined to get rid of my climate law, and he's just flat out saying it, because the oil companies hate it.

In fact, it's been reported—you probably saw it on television. He said it in his—in—the TIME magazine article that's on the front—he's on the front cover of.

He said that he asked Big Oil, quote, "to direct a billion dollars to his campaign." He said it would be a good "deal" for them. No, I'm serious. I'm not making this stuff up. Just read it. His own words. He'd repeal everything we're doing on climate. And he said in the TIME article he wants to drill, drill, drill.

Well, folks, look, during his Presidency, he exploded the Federal deficit more than any other President had in a term—[inaudible]—the Federal deficit than any—any previous President.

And he's determined to cut Social Security and Medicare. His own words: "There's a lot you can do in terms of cutting," he says.

Nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office just released a study—this is nothing out of my office—showing his plan for what he wants to spend the next 4 years. And he's—he laid it out, as did the MAGA Republicans in the House. It would cost $5 trillion over the next decade. It's fiscally reckless—it's just totally reckless.

And, folks, there's so much at stake.

You know, I proposed the strongest border bill ever—the most—most fair and humane immigration reform in decades. It includes a pathway to citizenship for "Dreamers" and more.

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

If the team would just hold a second, I want to tell you—look, there's a reason why we have the most advanced economy in the world today, right now: Because we're not xenophobic. We allow people to come in and work. We grow our economy.

Look at China. China's in a situation where they have more retired than working. They —they don't know what to do about it. Many other countries in the same position.

Meanwhile, in the same Trump TIME interview, he vowed to use the U.S. military—saying this, straight up. He's vowed to use the U.S. military to comb the country and deport 11 million people here in America who are waiting to have their cases determined.

I mean—and he calls—and he calls immigrants—and he means it—he calls them "rapists" and "murderers." And he said, quote, "They are not people." "They are not people."

I wonder what would happen when my Irish ancestors were trying to get here, what he would have thought of. Trump says immigrants "poison the blood of America."

Folks, just look at the audience. We are a nation that's integrated with all kinds of denominations, all kinds of backgrounds, all kinds of—look, it's not who we are. That's not America.

But, folks, the biggest threat Trump poses is straight to our democracy—literally, not figuratively—our democracy. The same TIME article, he said what I've heard him say other times. He said, "A lot of people liked it when I said I'd be a dictator on day one."

Well, there were some MAGA Republicans who probably did like it, but I sure in hell didn't, and I'm going to make sure it doesn't happen.

Folks, when asked if he thought—he was asked if he thought—asked if he thought if violence would occur if he lost. You know what his response was? Straight up. "It depends."

He calls the insurrectionists who are now in prison—he calls them "patriots." And if reelected, he wants to pardon "everyone" of them, he says.

Trump says when he loses again—if he—he says "if," I say "when"—[laughter]—he loses again, he says there will be a "bloodbath." His words. A "bloodbath." He means it.

Look, let me ask you a question. Do you see every—all these people vying to become his Vice President? They're being asked will they accept the outcome of the election. They're all afraid to say they would. They're all hedging the bet because they want to be his Vice Presidential nominee.

And, folks, look, the fact is that we're in a position where the MAGA candidates auditioning for Vice President are saying they aren't sure, if they lose, whether they'd accept the outcome. And he says, "It depends."

Folks, look, let me close with this. What's at risk in 2024 are our freedoms and our very democracy.

I never thought I'd say that. As a student of history, someone who's been doing this job for a long time, I never, ever thought I would say that.

Look at the Presidential historians—conservative Presidential historians, what they're saying. You find anybody that doesn't take it serious, who knows what they're talking about?

That's why I need you so badly. So let me ask you: Are you with me?

I need your help. And I'm fed up. And I've never—I've never been more—I've never been more optimistic about our future. We just have to remember—we have to remember who we are.

We're the United States of America. We're the only Nation in the world that's come out of every crisis we've gone into stronger than we went in. And there's nothing—and I mean this from the bottom of my heart—there's nothing beyond our capacity when we act together.

So God bless you all, and let's protect these troops. Let's go—[inaudible]. Really. [Inaudible]

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Don't jump.

Thank you all. Thank you. Thank you all.

NOTE: The President spoke at 6:22 p.m. in the Sanctuary at the Lotte Hotel Seattle. In his remarks, he referred to musicians Charity R. Thielen and Matt Gervais; State Affairs Commission President Kim Jong Un of North Korea; and President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin of Russia. 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 Seattle, Washington Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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