Joe Biden

Remarks During a Democratic National Committee Campaign Videoconference With Irish Americans

March 15, 2024

Can you all hear me? Happy St. Patrick's Day weekend. It's a little premature. It's not until Sunday.

But I just want to say it's great to so many friends out there who have been with me from the beginning. Looks like Bobby Grady, Kathleen Kennedy, a whole—all so many of you. And I really mean it. You guys brought me the dance in 2020. And I'm proud and willing to do it again.

I'm speaking to you not only as the President, but as the great-great-grandson of the Blewitts of County Mayo and the Finnegans of County Louth.

My proud—I'm the proud son of Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden—[laughter]—she's looking down right now—speaking from the White House, designed by, I might add, an Irish architect.

Look, my grandfather Ambrose Finnegan used to say, for real, "Joey, if you're lucky enough to be Irish, you're lucky enough." Well, all of us Irish Americans are lucky we have ancestors who came to these shores. It's a—it was a precious gift, the belief that America was a place of possibilities.

I used to hear the stories from my grandfather about his father and his grandfather when they came.

As I made clear at the State of the Union, we're still in the battle for the soul of America—and that's not hyperbole—between forces who want to pull America back and those who want to move us into the future. Those who—it's a real battle between the old ideas of hate, anger, revenge, and retribution and the core American values that brought our ancestors here: honesty, decency, dignity, equality.

Irish Americans have always stepped up in that fight—[inaudible]. For real. That's who we are. We're the only people in the world who are nostalgic about the future, I've said—and I mean it. A future where we defend democracy, not diminish it; expand freedom, not restrict it. I know each one of us can do this. I know we can do this.

I want to thank you for your support and your friendship. To borrow a line from Yeats, he said, "Think where man's glory most begins and ends and say my glory was I had such friends." You've been an incredible friend to me. And I really mean it. And I—I'm—[inaudible]—the Irish of it—we never give up. We know what the—[inaudible]—look like. We know what—[inaudible]—out there. We know and we just never stop.

We can't stop now. There's so much—there's so much at stake. The guy I'm running against a second time you helped me beat the first time is a guy who doesn't share our values, and this is all about values. It's who we are as Americans. We are a nation of values and dignity.

You've heard me say many times: My dad used to say: "Your job is about a lot more than your—a paycheck. It's about your dignity. It's about respect. It's about being able to look your kid in the eye and say, 'It's going to be okay, honey.'" That's what we're all about. That's what we're all about.

And I just left the Taoiseach from Ireland and the Speaker, Johnson. I met with all the folks at—who are Irish Americans—[inaudible]—in the Congress and the Senate and they have—and—anyway—I—I'm not supposed to be talking this long here. But I can't tell you how much I appreciate your friendship and your commitment. And you know we never give up. We're not going to give up. We must win this race for the sake of our ancestors and the sake of our—[inaudible].

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you're doing. May God bless you. And may God protect our troops. Thank you.

NOTE: In his remarks, the President referred to former Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend of Maryland; former President Donald J. Trump; Prime Minister Leo Varadkar of Ireland; and Speaker of the House of Representatives J. Michael Johnson. The transcript was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on March 18. Information on the time and location of the videoconference was not released. Audio was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks During a Democratic National Committee Campaign Videoconference With Irish Americans Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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