Joe Biden

Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden in Detroit, Michigan

October 31, 2020

[As prepared for delivery]

Hello, Detroit!

It's good to be back with so many friends.

Mayor Duggan, Governor Whitmer, Lt. Governor Gilchrist, Senator Debbie Stabenow.

Senator Gary Peters, who we need to send back to the Senate. You can always count on Gary to be there for you and your family.

Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, who we need to send back to the House, just like we need to send Haley Stevens and Elissa Slotkin back to the House!

Stevie Wonder is here. Stevie has been a powerful voice for justice for a long time. He's a national treasure.

And of course, Barack Obama.

It's great to see President Obama again. It reminds us we can have a president with character.

A president respected around the world. A president our kids could look up to.

I want to say something we don't say enough as a party — or a nation.

Barack Obama was a great president.

So, I want to make sure we say it here today.

Thank you, Mr. President.

I want to start by extending my condolences to the Chaldean Assyrian community in Michigan on the 10th anniversary of Our Lady of Deliverance church massacre in Baghdad.

The right to worship is a fundamental right in America.

And as Americans we should be proud that people from all over the world find a home here in our communities, here in Michigan, where the right to vote is the most fundamental right of all.

Detroit, three days.

In three days, we can put an end to a presidency that has divided this nation.

In three days, we can put an end to a presidency that has failed to protect this nation.

In three days, we can put an end to a presidency that has fanned the flames of hate all across this nation.

Millions of Americans have already voted. Millions more will vote in the days ahead.

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're 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 do it. We're going to act.

We're going to act to get COVID under control.

One 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 number of cases we're seeing every day right now.

Nearly 100,000 cases nationwide, yesterday alone.

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 yesterday — 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 more than offensive. It's a disgrace.

Especially coming from a president who has waved the white flag of surrender to the virus.

Our frontline health workers have given their all to beat this virus, but we have a president who has given up.

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 did you know President Obama and I helped create more jobs in the last three years of our administration than Trump did in the first three years of his BEFORE the pandemic?

Or how about this, did you know 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?

That's a lot of presidents and a lot of crises — but only Trump is going to have fewer jobs at the end of his presidency than at the start.

You see — I understand something Donald Trump doesn't.

Wall Street didn't build this country. You did.

Working people built this country. Unions built this country.

The middle class built this country.

Back when the economy was on the brink in 2009, when Detroit was on its back, Barack and I bet on you, the American worker.

Over the objection of many, including Vice President Mike Pence, we stepped in and rescued the automobile industry and saved at least one million jobs.

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 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 more than 4 million here in Michigan.

Donald Trump thinks health care is a privilege. I think health care is a right!

I'll 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.

The President likes to portrays 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?

When's the last time you saw a President of the United States being openly mocked by our allies at a NATO conference?

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.

He commands virtually no respect on the international stage.

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.

Maybe that's why 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's 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.

That's why we must support our military. Let's vote for them.

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.

Let's hear those honks from those cars made right here in Michigan!

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 and Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake will not soon be forgotten.

They will inspire a new wave of justice in America.

I believe this country has to come together.

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.

So — please vote.

If you still have your absentee ballot, get it to a drop box as soon as you can.

You can also vote early until Monday afternoon.

Or you can vote on Election Day.

Just make a plan and help get out the vote.


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 incredible opportunities available to the American people.

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.

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 Detroit, Michigan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives