Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden in Cleveland, Ohio
[As prepared for delivery]
Thank you, Kortney, for that introduction.
Thank you Representatives Marcia Fudge, Marcy Kaptur, Joyce Beatty, and Tim Ryan.
Tough as nails. Incredible leaders. We need to send them back to Congress!
And thanks to Senator Sherrod Brown. No one fights harder for the dignity of working people.
Sherrod won reelection in 2018, by about the same margin Trump did in 2016.
So when Sherrod tells me to come to Ohio the day before Election Day, I listen.
And to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Connie Schultz — thank you for being here.
Ohio, one more day.
Tomorrow we can put an end to a presidency that has divided this nation.
Tomorrow we can put an end to a presidency that has failed to protect this nation.
Tomorrow we can put an end to a presidency that has fanned the flames of hate across this nation.
Millions of Americans have already voted. Millions more will vote today and tomorrow.
And my message to you is simple: The power to change this country is in your hands.
I don't care how hard Donald Trump tries.
There is nothing — NOTHING — that is going to stop the people of this nation from voting.
And when America votes, America will be heard.
And when America is heard, I believe the message is going to be loud and clear.
It's time for Donald Trump to pack his bags and go home.
We are done with the chaos.
The tweets. The anger. The hate. The failure. The irresponsibility.
We've got a lot of work to do.
And if I'm elected your president, we're going to act.
We're going to act to get COVID under control.
On Day One of my presidency, we will put into action the plan I have been talking about for months: Masking. Social distancing. Testing. Tracing.
A plan for the full and fair and free distribution of therapeutics, and the vaccine when we get one.
Imagine where we would be if we had a president who wore a mask instead of mocked it?
I can tell you this: We wouldn't have 9 million confirmed cases of COVID in this nation.
We wouldn't have over 230,000 deaths.
We wouldn't be seeing these new record numbers of cases we're seeing every day right now.
Nearly 100,000 cases nationwide just two days ago.
We wouldn't be facing another 200,000 deaths in the next few months.
This president knew in January this virus was deadly, but he hid it from the American people.
He knew it was worse than the flu. But he lied to the American people.
He knew it wasn't going to disappear. But he kept telling us a miracle was coming.
And just Friday, he had the gall to suggest that America's doctors — the people who have been on the front lines of this crisis for nine months — along with the nurses and so many others — he suggested these doctors are falsely inflating the deaths due to COVID because they want to make more money.
The people of this nation have suffered and sacrificed for nine months, none more so than our doctors and frontline health care workers. And this president is questioning their character, their integrity, their commitment to their fellow Americans?
It's a disgrace.
And then last night, Trump says he's going to fire Dr. Fauci.
I've got a better idea: Let's keep Dr. Fauci on the job and fire Donald Trump!
Donald Trump has waved the white flag of surrender to the virus.
I will never raise the white flag of surrender. We are going to beat this virus. We are going to get it under control.
And the first step to beating this virus is to beat Donald Trump.
Donald Trump keeps telling us what a great "JOBS" president he is.
Well, I was just with Barack in Detroit and Flint. It was great to be with a president with character.
A president respected around the world. A president our kids could and did look up to.
Did you know that after President Obama and I bet on the American worker and helped rescue the auto industry nearly 500,000 jobs were created in Ohio?
Meanwhile, 330,000 have been lost here since President Trump took office.
Did you know Donald Trump is going to be the first president in 90 years who is going to finish his four years in office with FEWER jobs under his leadership than he started with?
It's no surprise.
Remember when he lied to all those workers and their families at the GM plant in Lordstown?
He said "Don't move, don't sell your house." But then the plant shuts down.
After the first debate here in Cleveland, I met an Ohioan named Tiffany, whose husband lost his job at the plant and had to take a job eight hours away in another state.
He drives home on weekends, a 16 hour round trip, to be home with her and their kids.
What about his threat and grudge against Goodyear?
What about his broken promise to protect pensions of workers, especially multiemployer pensions?
What about how he stopped overtime pay for millions of America's workers that President Obama and I put in place?
And let's not forget how Donald Trump is weak and chaotic with China on trade.
Farm bankruptcies are way up. Exports are way down.
Agriculture exports to China during the Trump years have been 40% lower than they were during the Obama-Biden second term.
He even says because of his "bailouts," "our farmers do better now than when they actually had a farm."
Who does this guy think he is?
My policies will hold China accountable!
I'll end the Trump tax loopholes that incentivize companies to ship jobs overseas and I'll add a 10 percent surtax to companies that do.
But for companies that invest in strengthening American manufacturing or bring jobs back home, I'll offer a 10 percent tax credit.
And no government contracts will be given to companies that don't make their products here in America.
Our future will be made right here in America, right here in Ohio!
Folks — Donald Trump forgot and betrayed Ohio's workers.
Frankly, I grew up with guys like Donald Trump. So have you.
Guys who think they're better than you, who look down at you.
I have a chip on my shoulder when I read something about how if I'm elected president I'll be the first president who didn't go to an Ivy League school in a long time.
Like somehow that meant I didn't belong.
I say it's about time a state school graduate is in the White House.
Because if I'm there, you're there too.
Donald Trump sees the world from Park Avenue looking down to Wall Street.
I see it from Scranton — where I grew up.
I see it from here in Cleveland.
Wall Street didn't build this country. Working people built this country. The middle class built this country, and unions built the middle class.
I believe we should be rewarding work, NOT wealth in this country.
Under my plan, if you make less than $400,000 a year, you won't pay a penny more in taxes.
But the wealthiest people and the biggest corporations — the 91 of the Fortune 500 companies that paid zero in federal income taxes, they're going to pay their fair share.
Why should a firefighter, an educator, or a nurse pay a higher tax rate than the super wealthy?
Why should YOU pay more in taxes than Donald Trump?
Remember? He paid $750 in federal income taxes.
How about you?
We will act to protect health care.
Trump and the Republicans just jammed through a Supreme Court nomination and we know why.
To try and destroy the Affordable Care Act, again.
If they get their way, 100 million Americans will lose protections for preexisting conditions — including nearly 5 million here in Ohio.
Donald Trump thinks health care is a privilege. I think health care is a right!
I will not only restore ObamaCare, we'll build on it to 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, and reduce prescription drug costs by 60 percent.
We'll make sure we keep the protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
Meanwhile, the Social Security Actuary says a plan like Donald Trump's will bankrupt Social Security by 2023.
Tell that to your parents or grandparents! I will protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid!
But folks, nothing is worse than the way he has spoken about those who've served in uniform.
"Losers" and "suckers."
My son Beau served for a year in Iraq. He wasn't a "loser" or a "sucker."
He was a patriot.
Just like all of your sons and daughters. Your parents and grandparents who served.
Six generals and admirals who worked in his administration who have since left and said he is unfit to be Commander-in-Chief of the United States.
And that is why Joint Special Operations commander General Stanley McChrystal, and the Commander of Special Operations Command who oversaw the Bin Laden raid Admiral Bill McRaven, along with 22 other 4 stars, have endorsed me, saying that they support me as the next Commander in Chief.
The President likes to portray himself as a tough guy. A macho man.
But when's the last time you saw the President of the United States literally being laughed at by world leaders when he spoke at the United Nations?
And can you believe we have a President who acts like Vladimir Putin's puppy?
Putin put bounties on the heads of American soldiers serving in Afghanistan, and Trump was too scared to challenge him.
Donald Trump is not strong. He's weak.
This is a President who not only doesn't understand sacrifice, he doesn't understand the courage — the physical courage — it takes to serve in uniform.
We must support our military.
Let's vote for them.
And we have to vote to meet the challenge of the climate crisis, we will act to meet the climate crisis.
Donald Trump calls it a hoax. I see jobs.
I see American workers building and installing 500,000 charging stations across the country and American consumers switching to clean and electric vehicles through rebates and incentives.
I see the federal government harnessing its purchasing power to buy clean and electric vehicles for its enormous fleet of vehicles that are made and sourced by union workers right here in America.
This will mean one million new good-paying jobs across the American auto industry alone.
And we will act to deliver racial justice in America. Protesting is not burning and looting — and violence must never be tolerated. And it won't.
But these protests are a cry for justice.
The names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Jacob Blake will not soon be forgotten.
Not by me, not by us, not by this country.
They will inspire a new wave of justice in America, but we also know that true justice is also about jobs and building wealth for your families.
So honk for a $15 an hour minimum wage! Honk for down payment assistance for a real shot at homeownership! To start a small business! To send a child to college debt-free!
Ohio, in 2008 and 2012 you placed your trust in me and Barack.
In 2020, I'm asking for your trust again, in me and Kamala. I'm proud of the coalition this campaign has built to welcome Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.
I'm running as a proud Democrat, but I will govern as an American president.
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 to care for everyone.
And you, too, have a duty.
Vote. Make a plan. Get out the vote.
Here's the amazing thing about this moment in history: On the one hand, we are facing the biggest threat to who we are and what we believe that we've seen in our lifetimes.
But on the other hand, our future has never been more promising.
I've said it many times — I'm more optimistic about America's future today than I was when I got elected to the United States Senate as a 29-year-old.
And here's why: we are better positioned than any nation in the world to lead the 21st century.
Our workers are three times as productive, we have the biggest economy in the world, we have the strongest military in the history of the world, we have the most innovative entrepreneurs, we are virtually energy independent, we have more great research universities than the rest of the world combined. No other nation in the world can match us.
We lead by the power of our example, not the example of our power.
The only thing that can tear America apart is America itself.
And that's exactly what Donald Trump has been doing from the beginning of his campaign.
Dividing America. Pitting Americans against one another based on race, gender, ethnicity, national origin. That's wrong. That's not who we are.
Everybody knows who Donald Trump is — let's keep showing 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.
We can do this. We can be better than what we've been.
We can be who we are at our best — the United States of America.
May God bless you.
May God protect our troops.
Joseph R. Biden, Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden in Cleveland, Ohio Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/347038