Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden in Bristol, Pennsylvania
[As prepared for delivery]
Hello, Bucks County!
Thank you so much, Tara, for sharing your story. You're doing the most important work in America — teaching our kids. I'm not saying that because I'm married to a teacher.
Everything that will be possible for our country tomorrow is thanks to the work and care you put in today under extraordinarily challenging circumstances.
Because you're giving kids here in Bucks County the confidence to believe in themselves.
I want to thank two great county commissioners who helped flip Bucks County blue last year, Diane Marseglia and Bob Harvie, and I want to thank all of the speakers you heard earlier: John Cordisco, Tina Davis, Jim Greenwood, my friend, Patrick Murphy, and Christina Finello, your candidate for the 1st congressional district.
Let's be sure that when we take back the White House we send Christina Finello with us to fight for Bucks County families.
It's great to be back in my home state, and it's great to be back on the Bristol Campus.
Around here, though, I'm better known as Jill Biden's husband.
She grew up about 25 minutes from here in Willow Grove, and I promise you, the smartest thing I ever did was marry a Philly girl. I bet a lot of you can say the same thing.
She and I are here today because it's Go-Time, folks.
We have 10 days left. It may come down to Pennsylvania, and I believe in you.
The choice is as clear as ever — and the stakes are higher than ever.
The stakes in this election remind me of something my dad used to say — "Joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It's about dignity. Respect. Your place in the community. It's about being able to look your kid in the eye and say honey, it's going to be ok."
That's a lesson I've never forgotten. It's what I grew up with surrounded by hard-working families up in Scranton and over in Claymont, Delaware.
But how many of you today can look your kids in the eye and say ‘everything's going to be okay' and mean it?
How many hundreds of cars waited in line right here on the Bristol Campus yesterday to pick up meals because proud families who always made it work are being pushed to the brink right now?
Times are hard. Unemployment is way up. Folks are worried about making their next rent or mortgage payment, whether their health care will be ripped away in the middle of a pandemic.
Worried about sending their kids to school, worried about not sending their kids to school.
They see folks at the top doing better than ever, while they're left to wonder: "who's looking out for me?"
That's Donald Trump's presidency.
More than 220,000 dead Americans because of COVID-19.
Yesterday we saw the highest number of new cases in one day since this pandemic began.
That was yesterday — the worst day we've ever had.
Yet at the debate on Thursday night, Donald Trump was still saying, "We're rounding the corner...It's going away...We're learning to live with it."
But as I told him — we're not learning to live with it. We're learning to die with it, and there is a dark winter ahead.
Experts say we'll lose nearly another 200,000 lives nationwide in the next few months.
All because this President cares more about the stock market than he does about you.
Because he refuses to follow science.
It's estimated that if we just wore masks, over the next few months we'd save almost 100,000 lives. And you know what's really sad about all this?
The President knew back in February how deadly this virus was and he hid it from the country.
But here's what he did according to the New York Times: his Administration gave Wall Street investors a heads up.
He didn't tell us, just his Wall Street friends.
That's why they made so much money — by, quote, ‘selling short.'
They knew what was coming. But what happened to the rest of us?
He tried to claim he didn't want to panic the American people.
But the American people don't panic. He panicked.
And he still has no plan.
All he can do is double down on his Park Avenue way of looking at the world.
Before the pandemic he handed out a $1.5 trillion tax giveaway that went largely for big corporations and the wealthy.
And now, even with 30 million Americans with lost jobs or lost hours, he thinks the way to get America's economy back on track is to give another gigantic multi-billion-dollar tax cut to those corporations and the very wealthy.
Since the start of this pandemic, billionaires in this country have seen their wealth increase by more than $800 billion.
But Donald Trump can't get his own party to deliver real economic relief to working families and small businesses.
If they don't have time for that, then why in the middle of this pandemic, do Republicans have time to vote to confirm a Justice to the Supreme Court instead of addressing the significant economic needs of local communities?
I'll tell you why — it's Trump's dream of wiping Obamacare off the books. Because his nominee has said in the past the law should be struck down.
If they get their way, you and 100 million Americans — including 5.3 million Pennsylvanians — will lose protections for preexisting conditions.
Complications from COVID-19 will become the next preexisting conditions — allowing insurers to jack up your premiums or deny you coverage.
And women will again be charged more for their health care — just because they're women.
But nothing is more offensive than the way he has spoken about those who've served this nation in uniform. "Losers" and "suckers."
My son Beau served for a year in Iraq. He came home a decorated Iraq War veteran.
He wasn't a "loser" or a "sucker."
He was a patriot.
Just like so many of your sons and daughters, your parents and grandparents.
Frankly, I've dealt with guys like Trump my whole life.
Guys who look down on you because they've got a lot of money. Guys who inherited everything they ever got in life and then squandered it.
Guys who avoid paying what they owe in taxes, because they figure the rest of us, the "little people," can pick up the tab for the country.
Now we find out Trump has a secret bank account in China where he paid more taxes than he did federal income taxes in America.
That he's hundreds of millions of dollars in debt — that's coming due in the next few years.
Give me a break.
He thinks Wall Street built this country, but you and I know who really built this country.
Working people did. The middle class did.
And we know we are so much better than this.
We can bring our economy back.
It starts with my plan to deal with this pandemic responsibly: bringing the country together around testing, tracing, and masking, not politicizing the race for a vaccine — planning for its safe and equitable distribution. Providing the funding for PPE and national standards for schools and businesses to reopen safely. Bringing together Republicans and Democrats to deliver economic relief to working families, schools, and businesses.
As I said before, I will shut down the virus, not the economy.
We can walk and chew gum at the same time, and build back better than before.
An independent analysis put out by Moody's, a Wall Street firm, projects that my plan will create 18.6 million jobs.
That's 7 million more jobs, and $1 trillion more in economic growth than the President's plan.
Here's how my plan works: I'm not going to raise taxes on anyone who makes less than $400,000 a year. But, I'll ask big corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share.
It's time working people and the middle class get tax relief to help you buy your first home, or to pay for child care, or for caring for an aging loved one.
We'll also make health care affordable for every American.
I will build on the Affordable Care Act so you can keep your private insurance or choose a Medicare-like public option. We'll increase subsidies to lower your premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket spending. We'll lower prescription drug costs in this country by 60%, and we'll make sure we keep the protections for pre-existing conditions Barack Obama and I fought for and won.
I'll protect your Social Security and Medicare and we'll create millions of union jobs modernizing our infrastructure, rebuilding American manufacturing by enforcing a real Buy American plan.
And let me be clear — I will not ban fracking in Pennsylvania. I will protect Pennsylvania jobs.
No matter how many times Donald Trump lies.
Donald Trump never delivered on his promise for a big infrastructure plan. He's done nothing, and our roads and bridges are crumbling — just as climate change is accelerating more frequent extreme weather events, not just with wildfires in California or hurricanes along the Gulf Coast.
According to the best data we have, southeast Pennsylvania, including Bucks County — is warming faster than any other part of the state.
How long before floods start picking up along the Delaware River?
We can do something about it. But we've got to come together.
I was reminded of that earlier this month when I went to the sacred ground at Gettysburg.
Abraham Lincoln told us a house divided cannot stand.
But remember what Donald Trump said, when the COVID-19 death count approached 200,000 in America: he said if you take out the blue states with Democratic Governors and just look at the red states with Republican Governors, we're doing quite well.
He's saying if you live in a state like Pennsylvania, you're not his problem. He's not responsible for your family's well-being.
Folks, I don't see the presidency that way. I don't see America that way.
I'm running as a proud Democrat, but I will govern as an American president, and I will work as hard for those who don't support me as for those who do.
That's the job of a president. It's a duty of care for everyone.
And you, too, have a sacred duty — to vote.
It matters. Pennsylvania matters.
So please vote. Help get out the vote.
Return your ballot as soon as possible. Make sure everyone you know does the same.
I'll never forget what President Kennedy said when he promised to send us to the moon. He said he "refused to postpone."
I refuse to postpone the work America must do. There's nothing beyond our capacity. There's no limit to America's future.
The only thing that can tear America apart is America itself.
Everybody knows who Donald Trump is. Let's show them who we are.
We choose hope over fear. Unity over division. Science over fiction. And yes, truth over lies.
So it's time to stand up and take back our democracy.
God bless you—and may God protect our troops.
Joseph R. Biden, Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden in Bristol, Pennsylvania Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/347036