Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden in Miramar, Florida
[As prepared for delivery]
Hello, Florida! It's great to be back with you.
Thank you Mayor Wayne Messam for the passport into your city.
And I want to say thank you to all of the speakers you heard earlier: Mayor Dale Holness, County Commissioner Barbara Shareef, Senator Oscar Braynon.
Thank you, Damien for sharing your story, and for exercising your power as a young voter — a first-time voter.
You're an inspiration, man. I really mean that.
You're making your family proud, and you're a role model for young people across Florida and across the country.
Folks, it's go time.
This is the most important election of our lifetimes, and you can make all the difference here in Florida.
The choice is as clear as ever and the stakes are as high as 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. It's about your place in the community. It's about being able to look your kid in the eye and say that everything will be ok and mean it."
How many people can look their kids in the eye and mean it today?
That's a lesson I've never forgotten. It's what I grew up with surrounded by hard-working families in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Claymont, Delaware.
But times are hard. Unemployment is way up due to the pandemic. The economic outlook for next year remains uncertain.
Across Florida and the country, folks are worried about making their next rent or mortgage payment, whether or not they can purchase their prescription or put food on the table, worried about school and their kids.
They see the people 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: 215,000 dead because of COVID-19.
Experts say we'll lose nearly another 200,000 lives in the next few months all because this President is only worried about the stock market, because he refuses to follow science.
It's estimated that if we just wore masks nationally, we'd save almost 100,000 lives over the next few months.
In his own words, this President knew back in January when he was briefed in detail by the intelligence community that this was an extremely dangerous and communicable disease.
He went on a taped interview with Bob Woodward, the journalist, telling him he knew how dangerous this disease was.
But he did nothing. Ask yourselves, why didn't he tell the country? He said nothing.
He told Bob Woodward that he didn't want to panic the American public.
We don't panic. But he did.
His reckless personal conduct since his diagnosis is unconscionable, and the longer Donald Trump is president, the more reckless he gets.
Dr. Fauci referred to the President's announcement on the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden as a super spreader event.
And how is he responding? He's running a national ad, quoting Dr. Fauci out of context.
He had said way back in March, referring to public health officials, "I can't imagine that anybody could be doing more."
Yet Trump and his campaign deliberately lied, making it sound like Fauci was talking about him.
Fauci went public after the ad came out, saying, "I did not give permission to use that quote."
He wasn't referring to the President.
And even after Fauci said that he did not say that, Trump and the campaign said they would continue to use the ad — knowing it was a lie.
That behavior is no surprise. After all, this is the same man who looks at Americans who put their lives on the line for our nation and calls them "losers" and "suckers."
And now, as a consequence of this overwhelming lying, misleading, and irresponsible action on the part of Donald Trump, how many empty chairs are there around the dinner table because of his negligence?
Folks, we are better than this.
Despite the crises we face, we have an enormous opportunity to build back better, to get everyone a fair return on their work, and an equal chance to get ahead.
For example, for communities of color in south Florida and across the country, the question is: how do we break the cycle where in good times they lag, in bad times they get hit first and hardest, and in recovery, it's toughest to bounce back?
The answer is about justice — criminal justice and policing reforms.
I know this nation is strong enough to both honestly face systemic racism, and strong enough to provide safe streets for our families and small businesses that too often bear the brunt of this looting and burning.
We have no need for armed militias roaming America's streets, and we should have no tolerance for extremist white supremacist groups menacing our communities.
If you say we should trust America's law enforcement authorities to do their jobs as I do, then let them do their jobs without extremist groups acting as vigilantes.
And if you say we have no need to face racial injustice in this country, you haven't opened your eyes to the truth in America.
There have been powerful voices for justice in recent weeks and months: George Floyd's 6-year old daughter Gianna, who I met with, was one such voice when she said, "Daddy changed the world."
Also, Jacob Blake's mother was another when she said violence didn't reflect her son and that this nation needed healing.
And Doc Rivers, the basketball coach — choking back tears when he said, "We're the ones getting killed. We're the ones getting shot. We've been hung.It's amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back."
Think about that. Think about what it takes for a Black person to love America. That is a deep love for this country that for far too long, we have never fully recognized.
What we need in America is leadership that seeks to de-escalate tensions, to open lines of communication, and to bring us together. To heal and to hope.
As President, that is precisely what I will do.
But it's also about jobs, good-paying jobs, financial stability, families of color building wealth and passing it down. That's how we deliver equality and equity.
Another example: more and more women are dropping out of the workforce in this recession, whether in a city or out in the suburbs.
I have a plan to deal with this pandemic responsibly: testing, tracing, masking, not politicizing the race for the vaccine. Plan for its safe and equitable distribution.
Providing the funding for PPE and other resources for schools to reopen safely. Ease the caregiving crises so many families experience — that squeeze of raising your kids while caring for your aging loved one. And protect your health care.
In the middle of this pandemic, why do the Republicans have the time to hold a hearing on the Supreme Court instead of providing the significant economic need to localities?
I'll tell you why: it's all about wiping the Affordable Care Act off the books because their nominee has said in the past that the law should be struck down.
That will take away health care coverage for 20 million Americans. That will take away protections for preexisting conditions for more than 100 million people.
Complications from COVID-19, like lung scarring and heart damage, could well become the next pre-existing condition.
That will toss out the rule that allows children to be covered on their parents' health care until the age of 26.
That will take us backward to when insurance companies could charge a woman more for her health care than a man — just because she's a woman.
Folks, we can do better.
Together, we'll build on the Affordable Care Act, by adding a new health insurance option, a not-for-profit public option which will give private insurers a real competitor.
We'll increase subsidies so your premiums are lower and you can afford plans with lower deductibles and lower out-of-pocket spending.
But we can only do any of this if we come together as a country.
Last week, I went to Gettysburg. Abraham Lincoln told us there that a house divided cannot stand.
Today, trust is ebbing. Hope seems elusive. Instead of healing, we're being ripped apart.
I refuse to let that happen.
We need to revive a spirit of bipartisanship in this country: a spirit of being able to work with one another.
When I say that, I'm told maybe that's the way things used to work, but they can't any more.
Well, I'm here to say they can and they must if we're going to get anything done.
I'm running as a proud Democrat, but I will govern as an American president.
I will work with Democrats and Republicans, 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. And it matters.
You elected me and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, and I'm asking for your trust and support in 2020 with Kamala Harris.
We will always have your back.
So please, vote and help get out the vote. Go to IWillVote.com/FL.
You can still request your vote-by-mail ballot. Do it as soon as you can!
If you have it already, mail it or drop it in a dropbox today.
You can also vote early in-person starting on October 19th here in Broward County.
Tell everyone you know and everyone you meet — vote, vote, vote!
And no matter what, don't let anyone discourage you or tell you your voice won't count.
You, the American people, will decide our future.
It's time to restore America's soul. It's time to rebuild the backbone of America: the middle class. And this time, bring everybody along, no matter your race, age, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability.
It's time to unite America.
And we will do that — by choosing hope over fear, science over fiction, truth over lies, and unity over division.
There is nothing beyond our capacity as a nation when we stand together.
So it's time to stand up and take back our democracy.
God Bless you.
May God Bless our troops.
Joseph R. Biden, Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden in Miramar, Florida Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/347044