Joe Biden

Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden in Flint, Michigan

October 31, 2020

[As prepared for delivery]

Hello, Flint! It's good to be back with friends.

Mayor Neeley, 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 him to be your Senator — for you and your family.

My good friend Congressman Dan Kildee, who we need to send back to the House!

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.

Flint, 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 taking back this democracy.

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.

And we're going to need your help.

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.

A national mandate to wear a mask. 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 90,000 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.

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 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.

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 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.

And we have to vote to meet the climate crisis.

Donald Trump calls it a hoax. I see it as jobs and health and safety.

The impacts of climate change too often fall disproportionately on communities of color. We'll make sure these communities benefit from hundreds of billions in federal investments in infrastructure and climate change.

That will create local jobs to rebuild roads, fill the sidewalk cracks, install broadband, and create spaces to live, work, and play safely.

To modernize infrastructure so you can turn on the faucet, and clean water comes out and what happens in Flint never happens again.

Donald Trump has rolled back more than 100 environmental protection laws, many enacted under Barack and me.

I will also hold polluters accountable with the most ambitious environmental justice agenda ever.

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

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