Photo of Joe Biden

Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden Introducing Kamala Harris as His Vice Presidential Running Mate in Wilmington, Delaware

August 12, 2020

As prepared for delivery.

Good afternoon, everyone.

This is an exciting day.

It's a great day for our campaign. And it's a great day for America.

Over the past several weeks I've had the incredible privilege of meeting and spending time with talented women leaders.

With each one, the more I learned about them and the more I talked with them, the more impressed I was – all of who are qualified to be president.

And I want to thank each of them for being a part of this process, and I look forward to working with them to get this country turned around.

I approached this with a seriousness of mind and purpose because this is a serious moment for our nation.

We are at one of those inflection points in our history. A life-changing election for our nation. And the choice we make this November is going to decide the future of America for a very long time.

I had great choices. But I have no doubt that the right person to join me as the next Vice President of the United States is Senator Kamala Harris. And I hope that you will all join us too, by going to JoeBiden.com today.

Kamala is smart. She's tough. She's experienced. She's a proven fighter for the backbone of this country, the middle class and those struggling to get into the middle class.

Kamala knows how to govern. She knows how to make the hard calls. She's ready to do this job.

And we're both ready to get to work rebuilding this nation.

As Attorney General of the largest state in the country, Kamala took on the big banks over mortgage fraud, and Big Oil when it wanted to pollute without consequences.

She was a pioneer on marriage equality, and tackled the gun lobby.

We've all watched her in the U.S. Senate go toe-to-toe with Trump officials trying to hide the truth, asking the tough questions that need to be asked and not stopping until she gets an answer.

As a member of the Intelligence committee and the Judiciary committee, she's been at the center of the most critical national security challenges our country faces, well aware of the threats to our nation, and ready to respond to them.

As the child of immigrants, she knows personally how immigrant families enrich our country, as well as the challenges of what it means to grow up Black and Indian American in the United States.

Her story is an American story – different from mine in many particulars, but also, not so different in essentials.

She has worked hard. She has never backed down from a challenge. She has earned each and every one of her accolades and achievements – and they are many — often in the face of obstacles that others put in her way.

And this morning, all across this nation little girls woke up – especially little Black and Brown girls who so often may feel overlooked and undervalued in our society — but today, maybe they're seeing themselves for the first time in a new way. As the stuff of Presidents and Vice Presidents.

In her campaign, Kamala often talked about what she referred to as the 3am Agenda.

About moms and dads awake late at night in their kitchens. Scared, worried, uncertain about how they were going to take care of their families. About how they were going to pay the bills. About how they were going to make it.

Growing up in Scranton and Claymont, I saw that struggle with my family. Kamala saw it with her family. And millions of Americans are living that struggle right now. Especially in this moment of crisis. Especially with so many jobs lost.

Kamala and I both know that all folks are looking for is a shot. A fair shot at making it. And it will be the work of our administration to make sure they get that shot.

Working families need someone on their side in this nation. Because they certainly don't have anyone on their side with this president.

That's going to change in the Biden/Harris administration.

It's been gratifying to see the strong, enthusiastic reaction to Senator Kamala Harris as our next Vice President.

In fact, yesterday, we had our best fundraising day of the entire campaign, and we set the all-time record for online political campaign raising.

It's come from people from all parts of the country, all ideological views, all backgrounds. Except, of course, from the Trump White House and its allies.

You knew it was coming – you could have set your watch to it. Donald Trump has already started with his attacks. Calling Kamala "nasty." Whining about how she's been "mean" to his appointees.

It's no surprise. Whining is what Donald Trump does best more than any president in American history

Is anyone surprised Donald Trump has a problem with a strong woman?

And we know that more is to come.

So let's be clear: if you're a working person, worried about whether or not you'll have a job to go to, whether or not you'll be able to pay your mortgage, worried about the poisons in the air you breathe and water you drink, worried about your civil rights, and even your basic dignity being under attack – Kamala Harris has had your back – and now, we have to have her back.

She's going to stand with me in this campaign, and all of us are going to stand up for her.

And on January 20, 2021, we're all going to watch Senator Harris raise her right hand and swear the oath of office as the first woman ever to serve in the second highest office in the land.

And then we're going to get right to work, fixing the mess President Trump and Vice President Pence have created at home and abroad through four years of mismanagement and chaos.

Not only will America dig itself out of the hole they've put us in – we're going to build back better.

We have a public health crisis with more than 5 million reported infections and 165,000 people dead from COVID-19 – and still, months later, no real leadership or plan from the president on how to get this pandemic under control.

No real help for the states and local governments trying to fill the vacuum of leadership from the White House.

No real help for children and teachers – for small businesses and the frontline workers holding our country together.

Instead, he's issuing executive actions and making promises that will defund Social Security, while insisting that the virus will just disappear.

The Joe Biden and Kamala Harris administration will have a comprehensive plan to meet the challenge of COVID-19 and turn the corner on this pandemic.

Masking. Clear, science-based guidance. Dramatically scaling up testing. Giving states and local governments the resources they need to open schools and businesses safely.

We can do this.

We just need a president and vice president willing to lead.

We have an economic crisis – with more than 16 million Americans still out of work.

Donald Trump is on track to leave office with the worst jobs record of any American president in modern history.

But instead of doing the hard work of meeting face to face with Congressional leaders – Democrats and Republicans – to get Americans the relief they need and deserve, Donald Trump is on the golf course.

We have a climate crisis that Donald Trump refuses to even acknowledge.

When he thinks about climate change, all he hears is one word: "hoax."

The Biden-Harris Administration is going to meet the climate crisis, protect the health of the American public, and along the way, we're going to deliver one word: jobs.

And we have a racial justice crisis that Donald Trump seeks only to inflame with his politics of racist rhetoric and division.

Today is not only the day I am proud to introduce Senator Kamala Harris as the Vice-Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party — it's also the third anniversary of that terrible day in Charlottesville.

Remember what it felt like to see those neo-Nazis and Klansmen and white supremacists coming out of the fields with their lighted torches, faces contorted, veins bulging, and pour into the streets of a historic American city, spewing the same anti-Semitic bile we heard in Hitler's Germany the 1930s?

Remember how it felt to see a violent clash ensue between those celebrating hate and those standing against it.

It was a wake-up call for us as a country – and for me, a call to action.

At that moment, I knew I couldn't stand by and let Donald Trump – a man who saw "very fine people on both sides" – continue to attack everything that makes America, America.

I knew we were in a battle for the soul of this nation. And I'm proud to now have Senator Harris by my side in that battle.

For she is someone who knows that what's at stake is – who we are as a nation, what we stand for, and most important, who we want to be. Someone who knows that the future of this country is limited only by the barriers we place on our own imaginations — because there is nothing Americans cannot achieve when we put our minds to it – and when we stand together.

One of the reasons I chose Kamala is because we both believe you can define America in one simple word: Possibilities.

Let me say it again — possibilities.

That what sets this nation apart is the ability for everyone – and we mean everyone – to go as far and dream as big as hard work and their God-given ability will take them.

When I agreed to serve as President Obama's running mate, he asked what I wanted. I told him I wanted to be the last person in the room before he made his most important decisions.

That's what I ask of Kamala – to be the last voice in the room. To always tell me the truth. To ask the hard questions. Because that's the way we'll make the best decisions for the American people.

Thank you, Kamala and Doug, for agreeing to take this journey with Jill and me.

Doug, you're going to have to learn what it means to be a barrier-breaker in this job, too.

America's first Second Gentleman. And although they're not here with us today, I want to thank Ella and Cole, too.

My campaigns have always been family affairs – and so I've got some news for all of you — you're all honorary Bidens now.

But here's the best part — Kamala, you've been an honorary Biden for quite some time.

I first came to know who Kamala was through my son Beau.

They were friends. They served as Attorneys General at the same time. And they took on some big fights together. Kamala in California, and Beau here in Delaware. Big fights that helped change our entire country.

I know how much Beau respected Kamala and her work. And that mattered a lot to me as I made this decision.

So, now, we need to get to work. Pulling this nation out of this crisis. Getting our economy back on track. Uniting this nation. And yes – winning the battle for the soul of America.

My fellow Americans, now, let me introduce to you, for the first time, your next Vice President of the United States: Senator Kamala Harris.

Joseph Biden, Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden Introducing Kamala Harris as His Vice Presidential Running Mate in Wilmington, Delaware Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/345120

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