Kamala Harris photo

Remarks by the Vice President at a Pennsylvania Democratic Party Reception in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

October 28, 2022

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Hello, Pennsylvania! (Applause.) Good evening. Good evening. Good evening. It is so good to be here with all of these extraordinary leaders.

I just said to Jaime -- he was just on fire tonight, wasn't he? (Laughs.) I want to thank Jaime Harrison, the Chairman of the DNC, for all the work. He's been traveling all over the country and doing an extraordinary job. So, Jaime, thank you for that warm and wonderful introduction and all that you do. (Applause.)

And thank you to the Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman, Sharif Street. Thank you for your leadership -- (applause) -- wherever he is.

So, Philadelphia, it is good to be back. It is good to be back with you -- and, in particular, with your courageous Governor, Tom Wolf. (Applause.) Your next governor, Josh Shapiro. (Applause.) Your great senator and my friend, Bob Casey. (Applause.) And your soon-to-be senator, John Fetterman. (Applause.)

And, of course, it is wonderful for all of us to be with one of Pennsylvania's proudest sons, our President, Joe Biden. (Applause.)

So everyone here knows Joe and that Joe Biden has always stood for what we stand for as Democrats: working people, good jobs at fair wages, decency, democracy. And I do believe that when you know what you stand for, you know what to fight for. And we've got 11 days to get it done. (Applause.) Eleven days, Pennsylvania. Eleven days until this November's election.

And all of those issues that I just mentioned that we stand for are on the ballot. So we're here to say that we are committed to making each and every day count.

And we've done this before. We know how to do what we do. We've done it before.

Remember in November 2020? Patriotic Pennsylvanians of all ages, all races, all backgrounds braved a global pandemic, stood in line, cast ballots in record numbers, and then you ensured every single vote was counted. Thank you, Josh Shapiro. (Applause.) (Laughs.)

You stood firm against election deniers, outside this very building. (Applause.) We watched. We saw what you were doing.

And because of millions of Americans like you, in 2020, Joe Biden and I won the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania -- (applause) -- and we won the White House.

And over these last 22 months, Democrats, led by President Biden, have delivered. In fact, over these last 22 months, Democrats have delivered big time. (Applause.)

We know what we stand for. We know what we stand for. And so we knew what to fight for.

But, Pennsylvania, our work is far from finished. Just think: The United States Supreme Court -- the highest court in our land, the former court of Thurgood Marshall -- just took a constitutional right, that had been recognized, from the people of America, from the women of America.

And now, extremist so-called leaders, including some right here in Pennsylvania, are calling for an abortion ban nationwide.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Apparently -- because I was watching TV the other night -- apparently, this fellow running against John Fetterman even believes that local politicians belong in an examination room --


THE VICE PRESIDENT: -- while a woman is in that room with her doctor.

So, these folks are something else. (Laughter.) These folks apparently believe that government should be making decisions about women's bodies. Well, we do not. (Applause.) We trust the women of Pennsylvania. We trust the women of America.

And recall -- because there's just hypocrisy upon irony on this -- recall: When Dobbs was decided, the proponents said, "Well, you know, we -- we should just send this issue to the states." Now, understand it's these same folks saying that that are the ones making it more difficult to vote in the states, including right here in Philadelphia. Undemocratic laws. Un-American laws.

So, Pennsylvania, the stakes are high. Up and down the ballot, here in the Commonwealth, as so-called leaders are undermining rights, pay attention to the state house races, pay attention to the state senate races. (Applause.) Elect Josh Shapiro governor. Hold on to the U.S. House of Representatives. And expand our majority in the United States Senate by electing John Fetterman. (Applause.)

The stakes are high.

And to illustrate, I'd offer us to consider just for a moment two very real scenarios as alternatives. First, imagine -- it's difficult and hard to imagine -- but imagine if we lost the governor's office in Harrisburg and our majorities. But what's at stake? Imagine if we lost that and our majorities in the House and the Senate. That would mean that big lies and extremism would rule the day. That's what will happen.

And we know what would then follow. Because you see, Justice Clarence Thomas said the quiet part out loud. Contraception is on the line. Marriage equality is on the line. With Republican Party leaders in charge, healthcare is on the line. Social Security would be on the line. Medicare would be on the line. Good jobs and fair wages for working families on the line.

But we can also imagine a better scenario because that's what we're working toward. Imagine we hold the governor's office, we hold the United States Senate, and we elect two more -- two more Democratic senators, including John Fetterman. (Applause.) We can then protect and build on our progress. When we do that, we can fight for paid family leave and affordable childcare. We can fight to renew the assault weapons ban. (Applause.) We can fight for working people of America.

In that scenario, the President has been clear -- our President has been clear the filibuster will not stand in the way of protecting two very fundamental freedoms. And here's my perspective on it. Jaime told you about it. So, as Vice President, I'm also the President of the United States Senate. And I will tell you, as a point of pride, I have already broken John Adams's record of tiebreaking votes in the Senate in my first year. (Laughs.) (Applause.)

And I cannot wait to cast the tiebreaking vote to pass the Women's Health Protection Act -- (applause) -- and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act! (Applause.) I cannot wait.

Just two more seats. Two more seats. One of them right here. (Applause.) Two more seats.

So, Pennsylvania Democrats, we know what we stand for, and so we know what to fight for. In the place -- this beautiful place that first defined the meaning of freedom and liberty, we have 11 days to fight like we have never fought before.

And the thing I know about everybody in this room: When we fight, we win. (Applause.)

Thank you. May God bless you, and may God bless America. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you all.

Kamala Harris, Remarks by the Vice President at a Pennsylvania Democratic Party Reception in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/358577

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