“Those who have served know empathy is a vital leadership quality – you cannot do what is best for those you lead if you do not know their challenges. Joe Biden has empathy born of his humble roots, family tragedies and personal loss. When Americans are struggling, Joe Biden understands their pain and takes it upon himself to help.”
Today, nearly 500 retired top military and national security officials endorsed Joe Biden for President of the United States. In an open letter, the generals, admirals, ambassadors, and other former national security leaders pointed to Joe Biden’s empathy, honesty, experience and leadership as necessary traits required to navigate America through a painful time. The leaders, including Democrats, Republicans and Independents, also cited Donald Trump’s failure to address the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and other monumental crises facing the nation.
We are former public servants who have devoted our careers, and in many cases risked our lives, for the United States. We are generals, admirals, senior noncommissioned officers, ambassadors, and senior civilian national security leaders. We are Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. We love our country. Unfortunately, we also fear for it. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven America needs principled, wise, and responsible leadership. America needs a President who understands, as President Harry S. Truman said, that “the buck stops here.”
We the undersigned endorse Joe Biden to be the next President of the United States. He is the leader our nation needs. We believe that Joe Biden is, above all, a good man with a strong sense of right and wrong. He is guided by the principles that have long made America great: democracy is a hard-won right we must defend and support at home and abroad; America’s power and influence stem as much from her moral authority as it does from her economic and military power; America’s free press is invaluable, not an enemy of the people; those who sacrifice or give their lives in service of our nation deserve our respect and eternal gratitude; and America’s citizens benefit most when the United States engages with the world. Joe Biden will always put the nation’s needs before his own.
Those who have served know empathy is a vital leadership quality – you cannot do what is best for those you lead if you do not know their challenges. Joe Biden has empathy born of his humble roots, family tragedies and personal loss. When Americans are struggling, Joe Biden understands their pain and takes it upon himself to help.
We believe America’s president must be honest, and we find Joe Biden’s honesty and integrity indisputable. He believes a nation’s word is her bond. He believes we must stand by the allies who have stood by us. He remembers how America’s NATO allies rushed to her side after 9/11; how the Kurds fought by our side to defeat ISIS; and how Japan and South Korea have been steadfast partners in countering North Korean and Chinese provocations. Joe Biden would never sell out our allies to placate despots or because he dislikes an allied leader.
While some of us may have different opinions on particular policy matters, we trust Joe Biden’s positions are rooted in sound judgment, thorough understanding, and fundamental values.
We know Joe Biden has the experience and wisdom necessary to navigate America through a painful time. He has grappled with America’s most difficult foreign policy challenges for decades, learning what works – and what does not – in a dangerous world. He is knowledgeable, but he also knows that listening to diverse and dissenting views is essential, particularly when making tough decisions concerning our national security. Many of us have briefed Joe Biden on matters of national security, and we know he demands a thorough understanding of any issue before making a decision – as any American president should.
Finally, Joe Biden believes in personal responsibility. Over his long career, he has learned hard lessons and grown as a leader who can take positive action to unite and heal our country. It is unthinkable that he would ever utter the phrase “I don’t take responsibility at all.”
The next president will inherit a nation – and a world – in turmoil. The current President has demonstrated he is not equal to the enormous responsibilities of his office; he cannot rise to meet challenges large or small. Thanks to his disdainful attitude and his failures, our allies no longer trust or respect us, and our enemies no longer fear us. Climate change continues unabated, as does North Korea’s nuclear program. The president has ceded influence to a Russian adversary who puts bounties on the heads of American military personnel, and his trade war against China has only harmed America’s farmers and manufacturers. The next president will have to address those challenges while struggling with an economy in a deep recession and a pandemic that has already claimed more than 200,000 of our fellow citizens. America, with 4% of the world’s population suffers with 25% of the world’s COVID-19 cases. Only FDR and Abraham Lincoln came into office facing more monumental crises than the next president.
Joe Biden has the character, principles, wisdom, and leadership necessary to address a world on fire. That is why Joe Biden must be the next President of the United States; why we vigorously support his election; and why we urge our fellow citizens to do the same.
It’s ridiculous, almost humorous – if not so tragic – to hear Trump complaining that Biden hasn’t been able to issue a nationwide mandate to wear masks, when he is ostensibly the president (he says so, “I’m president. Can you believe it?” and “I can do anything I want. I’m president.”) but has failed to serve in the function while abusing the power. Trump could have used his power to require Domestic Production of protective equipment like masks, gowns, gloves, and the all-important ventilators, rather than give out massive no-bid contracts to companies like Kodak that had no experience, or have his son-in-law Jared Kushner use political operatives to take calls from grifters who claimed to be able to procure PPE, while dismissing the need to set up testing or send out equipment to Blue States, because, well, they vote Democratic and have Democratic leadership. Trump (an anti-vaxxer) has contradicted his own medical advisers, politicized the once vaunted CDC, FDA, NIH, thrown out nearly $1 trillion in Operation War Speed, all the while sowing such doubt in the efficacy or safety of any vaccine that would be rushed through testing. And yet, Trump, who disbanded the Obama-era pandemic office, pulled out of the World Health Organization and international efforts to produce a vaccine, has actually blamed Biden for failing to have stockpiled testing and vaccines against a virus that didn’t exist until more than three years into his reign. The Trump Campaign is now chiding and misrepresenting and frankly lying about Biden’s proposals and position on coronavirus and vaccines.
Trump, who is now listening only to those health “experts” like radiologist Scott Atlas who confirm his own conveniences, now is embracing the “herd immunity” (he called it “herd mentality in the ABC Town Hall) approach – essentially doing nothing, telling people not to wear masks or socially distance, so that as many as possible will become infected until so many are infected or dead, the virus has no place to go. Problem with that is you would need 225 million out of the 330 million population to get the infection, out of which as many as 6 million would die. But there is actually no proof that there is immunity from COVID-19, or that immunity after infection does not last more than a few months, or whether the virus mutates (like flu viruses) so that it becomes a new disease all over again.
Actual medical experts, including CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield: “We are not defenseless against COVID-19,” he said. “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.” Dr. Redfield said as recently as this week, after Trump chided the use of masks, “I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine.” Trump’s reaction? He rebuked Redfield, saying he had “made a mistake,” “misunderstood the question,” and had taken back his statement.
Estimates put the number of lives that could be saved between now and December- now forecast to be as high as 215,000 MORE deaths- at 100,000 and it is likely that had a nationwide mask order been imposed, 100,000 of the 200,000 who have already died could have been saved.About 1,000 Americans are dying each day.
And let’s be clear, New York State and the surrounding states became a hotspot because Trump’s intelligence network did not want to mention that the coronavirus was coming in from Europe. While everyone watched for the spread to come from the West Coast from China, 3 million people who came from infected areas of Europe had already come through New York’s airports. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo was left to figure out on his own how to contain the virus before it completely overwhelmed the health care system. Now, Trump wants to dismiss the numbers of COVID-19 dead in Blue States – apparently, dead people in Blue States don’t matter – to make the absurd argument that the rates of death in the United States are somehow on par with the rest of the world (not).
Here are Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, after a vaccine briefing in Wilmington, Delaware, in which he outlined his own plan to get control of the coronavirus, save lives and restore the economy: testing and tracing, national protocols for mask-wearing and social distancing, an actual plan to distribute the vaccine free.
“So let me be clear, I trust vaccines. I trust the scientists. But I don’t trust Donald Trump — and the American people can’t either,” Biden said.
“If I am elected president, I will begin implementing an effective distribution plan from the minute I take office. That is what I discussed with the experts in the briefing today. “It will include: a detailed timeline for when people will get the vaccine, a clear delineation of priority populations, the specific means and mechanisms of shipping and storage at appropriate temperatures, the division of responsibility at every level of government.
“And I will provide the leadership necessary to carry this plan out. I will level with the American people. I will take responsibility. I will support rather than tear down the experts responsible for day-to-day execution. I will follow the science.”
– Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.
I just concluded an hour and a half long briefing with seven of our nation’s top public health experts on the state of the pandemic, the steps needed to curb the spread of the virus, and the challenge of distributing a safe and effective vaccine once we have identified one.
Before I turn to those issues, let me say a few words about the president’s comments last night.
Even after acknowledging to Bob Woodward on tape that he was fully informed on the gravity of the danger related to COVID-19. He refused to warn the American people. And again, last night, in a televised town hall, the President revealed in no uncertain terms the lack of seriousness with which he continues to take this pandemic.
Nearly eight months after this crisis on the doorstep of 200,000 American deaths, President Trump refused once again to take responsibility or to take action.
By his own admission he continued to lie about COVID-19. He doubled down on his catastrophic mistakes.
And, perhaps worst of all — he made clear that he still doesn’t have a plan to bring us out of this crisis.
He even said that quote — “a lot of people think that masks are not good” — undercutting the easiest and most effective means we have for reducing the spread of this disease. [Asked “who thought that?” Trump said “waiters.”]
This virus is still taking nearly a thousand lives each day.
And forecasts show that the numbers are likely to climb this winter.
But, incredibly, President Trump insists that he wouldn’t have done anything differently.
Not one thing.
Last Friday, we learned that another one thousand Americans died due to this virus.
On the very same day, Canada reported that not one person died of COVID-19.
And Trump wouldn’t have done anything differently?
If you’re a parent in America, preparing for another day that you can’t send your child to school, if you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, if your small business can’t open or you can’t go back to work because the virus is still spreading in your community, how does it make you feel to hear the President say he wouldn’t have done anything differently?
And if he gets four more years, why should we expect anything to change?
All President Trump had to offer last night was the same weak and feckless inaction — the same lies and empty promises — that we’ve seen from the very beginning.
He still won’t accept responsibility. He still won’t offer a plan.
Last night, he repeated what he has said so many times before: That even if he continues to offer only failing indifference some day, the virus will go away like a miracle.
It won’t go away like a miracle. The fact is, even if we get a vaccine, it will not be available to most of the population until well into next year.
And we are heading into a dangerous autumn.
In fact, the University of Washington model — which the White House has previously touted — projects that cases and deaths are going to spike in November – and an additional 215,000 Americans will die by the end of the year.
That’s more than have already died.
We need leadership right now to prevent that from happening. That same University of Washington model shows that if there is universal masking, we could cut those deaths by more than half. We could save more than 100,000 lives.
Even Donald Trump’s own director of the CDC told us that wearing a mask is the single most important step we can take to curb this virus. He said “I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine.”
I spoke with the experts today about additional steps we can take to prevent needless deaths and suffering.
Uniform national guidance – and standards on social distancing – that can be applied to the particular circumstances of states and communities.
More effective approaches on testing and tracing.
If we do these things between now and January – we could save even more lives.
Last night, Donald Trump indicated he has no interest in doing these things.
A president’s first responsibility is to protect the American people.
And he won’t.
That is utterly disqualifying.
I also spoke with the experts about the paramount importance of preparing now for the swift, organized, and free distribution of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.
I am profoundly grateful to the scientists and researchers working tirelessly to ensure that a safe and effective vaccine becomes a reality as soon as possible.
They carry the hopes of our entire nation and the entire world.
And when their work comes to fruition – and it will — they will no doubt save countless lives.
But scientific breakthroughs don’t care about calendars any more than the virus does.
They certainly don’t adhere to election cycles.
And their timing, their approval, and their distribution should never, ever be distorted by political considerations. They should be determined by science and safety alone.
A vaccine would offer a way back to normalcy and a path forward to better days for all of us.
It won’t happen overnight. It will take months to distribute it to the entire population.
But I’m more hopeful than ever in the power of science to get us there.
One thing is certain, we cannot allow politics to interfere with a vaccine in any way.
Americans have had to endure President Trump’s incompetence and dishonesty when it came to testing and personal protective equipment.
We cannot afford a repeat of those fiascos when it comes to a vaccine. The stakes are too high American families have already suffered and sacrificed far too much.
So let me be clear, I trust vaccines. I trust the scientists. But I don’t trust Donald Trump — and the American people can’t either.
Last week, Senator Harris and I laid out three questions this Administration must answer — to assure the American people that politics will play no role whatsoever in the vaccine process.
If Donald Trump can give honest answers to these questions — the American people should have the confidence and transparency they need to trust a vaccine and adopt it in numbers that make a difference.
First, what criteria will be used to ensure that a vaccine meets the scientific standard of safety and effectiveness?
Second, if the Administration greenlights a vaccine — who will validate that the decision was driven by science rather than politics?
Third, how can we be sure that the distribution of the vaccine will take place — safely, cost-free, and without a hint of favoritism?
The fact of the matter is developing a vaccine is only part of the battle.
Distributing a vaccine to the entire population is as complex and challenging as the most sensitive military operation.
I’ve been calling for an effective distribution plan for months.
If I am elected president, I will begin implementing an effective distribution plan from the minute I take office. That is what I discussed with the experts in the briefing today.
It will include: a detailed timeline for when people will get the vaccine, a clear delineation of priority populations, the specific means and mechanisms of shipping and storage at appropriate temperatures, the division of responsibility at every level of government.
And I will provide the leadership necessary to carry this plan out. I will level with the American people. I will take responsibility. I will support rather than tear down the experts responsible for day-to-day execution. I will follow the science.
With satisfactory answers to the three questions I laid out — every American— including me and my family — can have confidence in a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.
This isn’t about politics. It’s about saving lives.
It’s about getting back to our loved ones and our friends.
It’s about getting our economy back on its feet.
Getting back to the movie theater, to the restaurant, to the ballpark.
It’s about getting back to our lives — and getting America up off the mat.
We can, and we must, be united in that pursuit.
No matter when that breakthrough emerges — no matter when that hope bears fruit.
That’s America at our best.
God bless our scientists and researchers — and frontline workers.
On Labor Day, Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for President, issued his plan to “Build Back Better” for American workers, drawing a contrast to the actual record of Donald Trump and contradicting Trump’s claim of a rebounding economy. Biden points to fewer than half of the 29 million jobs lost to the coronavirus pandemic have been restored (though Trump likes to boast about 1 million jobs added a month as a record and proof of a robust, rebounding economy), with 11.5 million still unemployed and facing the possibility their jobs will not come back. Manufacturing jobs, which Trump touts, is down 720,000 from when Trump took office. “President Trump may well be the only president in modern history to leave office with fewer jobs than when he took office. Trump thinks if the stock market is up, his rich friends and donors are doing well and corporation see their valuations rising, then everyone must be doing well… Joe knows we need to get serious about defeating the pandemic, dig out from the worst jobs crisis in nearly a century, and rebuild the middle class so everyone comes along.” Biden’s plan is to invest in infrastructure, clean energy, caregiving and education, and will support – not break up – unions, collective bargaining, higher wages and worker safety. Here is a fact sheet from the Biden campaign – Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Joe Biden’s Plan to “Build Back Better” for American Workers
After six months in the pandemic, we are less than halfway back to where we were — with 11.5 Million Americans not yet getting their jobs back. We’re still down 720,000 manufacturing jobs. President Trump may well be the only president in modern history to leave office with fewer jobs than when he took office.
Trump thinks if the stock market is up, his rich friends and donors are doing well, and corporations see their valuations rising — then everyone must be doing well. But Joe knows from growing up in neighborhoods in Scranton, Pennsylvania and Claymont, Delaware that the measure of our economic success is the quality of life of the American people. Today, too many working families are worried about paying their bills and putting food on the table.
Joe knows we need to get serious about defeating the pandemic, dig out from the worst jobs crisis in nearly a century, and rebuild the middle class so everyone comes along. He has a plan to Build Back Better by summoning a new wave of worker power and building an economy that serves the dignity of the hard-working people who make it run. He will put millions of Americans to work in good-paying jobs with a choice to join a union to meet four national challenges: building a stronger industrial and innovation base so the future is made in America, building sustainable infrastructure and a clean energy future, building a stronger caring economy, and advancing racial equity across the board.
Build worker power, raise wages, and secure stronger benefits. We’ve seen millions of American workers put their lives and health on the line to keep our country going. Joe will treat American workers and working families as essential at all times, not just times of crisis — with higher wages, stronger benefits, and fair and safe workplaces, so they can live a middle class life and provide opportunity for their kids. And, he will strengthen unions and worker power.
Encourage, not only defend, union organizing and collective bargaining. Joe knows the only way to take on abuses of power by corporations and Wall Street, and to restore America’s middle class, is with worker power. Joe will send economic recovery legislation to Congress that will make it easier for workers to organize a union and bargain collectively with their employers by including the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, card check, union and bargaining rights for public service workers, and a broad definition of “employee” and tough enforcement to end the misclassification of workers as independent contractors. Joe will also hold company executives personally liable when they interfere with organizing efforts.
Raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour and end the tipped minimum wage and sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities.
Ensure that every American has access to quality, affordable health care, by providing a public option and lowering costs for care and for prescription drugs.
Provide universal paid sick days and 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.
Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act as the next step in efforts to ensure women are paid equally for equal work, and take other steps to address discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
Ensure workers are safe from COVID-19 and other workplace hazards by setting and enforcing robust safety standards. No one should get sick, injured, or die because they went to work.
Buy American. Joe will strengthen and enforce “Buy American” so that the massive amount of taxpayer money the federal government spends every year on everything from defense equipment to steel to auto fleets is used to help American manufacturers and their workers. And he’ll invest $400 billion more in buying American made goods to build a clean energy future.
Innovate in America. Joe will make a new $300 billion investment in research and development (R&D) and breakthrough technologies – from electric vehicle technology to lightweight materials to 5G – to unleash high-quality job creation in manufacturing and technology.
Pursue a Pro-American worker tax and trade strategy to fix the harmful policies of the Trump Administration and give our manufacturers and workers the fair shot they need.
Bring back critical supply chains to America so we aren’t dependent on China or any other country for the production of critical goods in a crisis.
Build a modern, sustainable infrastructure and an equitable clean energy future. Joe will make a $2 trillion accelerated investment setting us on an irreversible course to meet the ambitious climate progress that science demands, putting millions of people to work in good paying jobs:
Rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure – from roads and bridges to green spaces and water systems to electricity grids and universal broadband – to lay a foundation for sustainable growth, withstand the impacts of climate change, and provide access to clean air and water.
Position the American auto industry to win the 21st century, mobilizing American workers to manufacture clean vehicles and their input materials and parts.
Generating clean, American-made electricity, creating jobs for every kind of worker from scientists to construction workers to electricity generation workers to welders to engineers.
Retrofitting buildings, weatherizing homes, and building affordable housing.
Create jobs in climate-smart agriculture, resilience, and conservation, including by mobilizing the next generation of conservation and resilience workers through a Civilian Climate Corps and creating jobs to clean up local economies from the impacts of resource extraction.
Mobilize American talent and heart to create a 21st century caregiving and education workforce. The pandemic has laid bare just how hard it is for people in this country to find access to quality caregiving they need for themselves, or to juggle the responsibilities of working and also caring for family members. Joe will make substantial investments in the infrastructure of care in our country. He’ll:
Create millions of caregiving jobs by making preschool universal and high quality child care affordable and accessible for working families, and making it easier for aging relatives and loved ones with disabilities to have quality, affordable home- or community-based care
Treat caregivers and early childhood educators with respect and dignity, and give them the pay and benefits they deserve, training and career ladders to higher-paying jobs, the choice to join a union and bargain collectively, and other fundamental work-related rights and protections.
Free up millions of unpaid caregivers to pursue paid careers if they so choose.
Advance racial equity across the American economy. Joe will ensure Black and Brown small business owners, families, and workers are finally and fully cut in on the deal. His plan for achieving racial equity across the American economy covers everything from infrastructure to housing to education, and targets the racial wealth, jobs, and income gaps.
As workers struggle against a deadly pandemic, painful recession, and deep racial disparities — all worsened by Trump’s mismanagement and neglect — they also face an additional burden: a union-busting president. When he isn’t calling to boycott Goodyear and its thousands of union workers for petty personal reasons, President Trump is actively fighting against working people. Among many other things, Trump has:
Promised to veto the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO Act) – legislation that would make it easier for workers to unionize and collectively bargain – and stripped federal workers of their right to unionize.
Provided big tax cuts to corporations, without making them bring jobs home – and raised taxes for union members, by ending deductions for union dues.
Abandoned the Obama-Biden overtime expansion, costing over 8 million workers over $3.4 billion in lost wages already.
Let federal contractors double offshoring in his first 18 months in office.
Started a trade war with China that pushed manufacturing into recession – and then wasted his so-called “phase one” deal lobbying for big banks, instead of fighting for American jobs.
Broke his promise to invest in rebuilding infrastructure. Donald Trump promised a big infrastructure bill when he ran in 2016 and every year since. Every few weeks when he needs a distraction from the latest charge of corruption in his staff — or the conviction of high ranking members of his administration and political apparatus — the White House announces it’s “Infrastructure Week.” But he’s never delivered or even really tried.
Rolled back safety protections at workplaces, including by trying to weaken several occupationalandsafety regulations established during the Obama-Biden Administration, reducing Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) investigators to a historic low, and failing to put in place OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards to keep workers safe from COVID-19.
Weakened enforcement of American labor laws and made it easier for employers to misclassify workers by sabotaging the enforcement agencies and slashing their investigator corps.
Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for president, spoke out against violence that has erupted out of peaceful protests against racial injustice and police brutality, which Donald Trump has stoked, inflamed, ignited seeing violence as the deflection to rising angst over his failure to contain COVID-19, which is killing 1,000 people a day, or improve the economic hardship most Americans are experiencing because of the public health crisis.
“Ask yourself: Do I look to you like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” Biden said.
“I want a safe America – safe from COVID, safe from crime and looting, safe from racially motivated violence, safe from bad cops.
“And let’s be crystal clear: Safe from four more years of Donald Trump.
“I look at this violence and I see lives and communities and the dreams of small businesses being destroyed and the opportunity for real progress on the issues of race and police reform and justice being put to the test.
“Donald Trump looks at this violence and sees a political lifeline.”
These are Biden’s remarks, highlighted, delivered in Pittsburgh on Monday, August 31:
In the early days of World War II, Franklin Roosevelt told the country, “The news is going to get worse and worse before it gets better and better, and the American people deserve to have it straight from the shoulder.”
Straight from the shoulder: The job of a President is to tell the truth. To be candid. To face facts. To lead, not to incite. That’s why I am speaking to you today. The incumbent President is incapable of telling us the truth. Incapable of facing facts. Incapable of healing.
He doesn’t want to shed light. He wants to generate heat. He’s stoking violence in our cities. That is the tragic fact of the matter about this perilous hour in our nation. And now – we must stand against violence – in every form it takes. The violence we’ve seen again and again and again of unwarranted police shootings and excessive force.
Seven bullets in the back of Jacob Blake. A knee on the neck of George Floyd. The killing of Breonna Taylor – in her own apartment.
The violence of extremists and opportunists – right-wing militias, white supremacists, vigilantes – who infiltrate protests carrying weapons of war, hoping to wreak havoc, and to derail any hope and support for progress.
The senseless violence of looting and burning and destruction of property.
I want to be clear about this: Rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting.
None of this is protesting – it’s lawlessness – plain and simple.
And those who do it should be prosecuted. Violence will not bring change, only destruction. It’s wrong in every way. It divides instead of unites.
Destroying businesses only hurts hard working families that serve the community. It makes things worse, not better.
It is not what Dr. King or John Lewis taught. It must end.
The fires are burning – and we have a president who fans the flames rather than fighting them.
But we must not burn. We must build.
This president long ago forfeited any moral leadership in this country. He can’t stop the violence – because for years he has fomented it.
He may believe mouthing the words law and order makes him strong, but his failure to call on his own supporters to stop acting as an armed militia in this country shows you how weak he is.
Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is reelected?
We need justice in America. And we need safety in America.
We are facing multiple crises – crises that, under Donald Trump, keep multiplying.
Unwarranted police violence.
Emboldened white nationalists.
A reckoning on race.
Declining faith in a bright American future.
The common thread?
An incumbent president who makes things worse, not better.
An incumbent president who sows chaos rather than providing order.
An incumbent president who fails in the basic duty of the job: to advance the truths that all of us are born with a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
That’s right: all of us.
The moms and dads in Scranton where I grew up – who have worked and scrapped for everything they’ve ever gotten in life.
The auto worker in Michigan – who still makes the best car in the world.
The single mom in Ohio working three jobs just to stay afloat – who will do anything for her child.
The retired veteran in Florida who gave everything he had to this country – and now just wants us to honor the promises we made to him.
The Lord and Taylor salesperson who just lost their job – the store closing after 194 years in business.
The nurses and doctors in Wisconsin who have seen so much sickness and so much death the past six months they wonder how much more they can take, but still they muster up the courage to take care of their patients in this pandemic and risk their lives.
The researcher in Minnesota who woke up this morning determined to find a breakthrough in treating cancer – who will do the same thing tomorrow and the day after and the day after – because she will never give up.
I’m in this campaign for you, no matter your color, no matter your Zip Code. No matter your politics.
When I think about the presidency, I don’t think about myself.
This isn’t about my brand.
This is about you.
We can do better.
We must do better.
And I promise this: We will do better.
The road back begins now, in this campaign. You know me. You know my heart, and you know my story, my family’s story.
Ask yourself: Do I look to you like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?
I want a safe America – safe from COVID, safe from crime and looting, safe from racially motivated violence, safe from bad cops.
And let’s be crystal clear: Safe from four more years of Donald Trump.
I look at this violence and I see lives and communities and the dreams of small businesses being destroyed and the opportunity for real progress on the issues of race and police reform and justice being put to the test.
Donald Trump looks at this violence and sees a political lifeline.
Having failed to protect this nation from a virus that has killed more than 180,000 Americans, Trump posts all cap tweets screaming Law and Order to save his campaign.
One of his closest political advisors in the White House doesn’t even bother to speak in code. She just comes out and says it: “The more chaos…and violence…the better it is” for Trump’s reelection.
Think about that.
This is a sitting President of the United States. He’s supposed to be protecting this country. But instead he’s rooting for chaos and violence.
The simple truth is Donald Trump failed to protect America. So now, he’s trying to scare America.
Since Donald Trump and Mike Pence can’t run on their record that has seen more American deaths to a virus than this nation suffered in every war since Korea combined…
Since they can’t run on their economy that has seen more people lose their jobs than at any time since the Great Depression…
Since they can’t run on the simple proposition of sending our children safely back to school…
And since they have no agenda or vision for a second term Trump and Pence are running on this:
“You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America”.
And what’s their proof? The violence you’re seeing in Donald Trump’s America.
These are not images from some imagined “Joe Biden’s America” in the future.
These are images from Donald Trump’s America today.
He keeps telling you if only he was president it wouldn’t happen.
He keeps telling us if he was president you would feel safe.
Well – he is president. And it is happening. And you don’t.
And it’s getting worse. And we know why. Because Donald Trump adds fuel to every fire.
Because he refuses to even acknowledge there is a racial justice problem in America.
Because he won’t stand up to any form of violence.
He’s got no problem with the right-wing militias and white supremacists and vigilantes with assault weapons – often better armed than the police, often in the middle of the violence – at these protests.
And because tens of millions of Americans simply don’t trust this president to respect their rights, to hear their concerns, or to protect them.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
When President Obama and I were in the White House, and had to defend federal property, you didn’t see us whipping up fears around the deployment of secret federal troops.
We just did our job. And the federal property was protected.
When President Obama and I were in office, we didn’t look at cities as Democratic- or Republican-run. These are American cities.
But Trump doesn’t see himself as a president for all of America.
Frankly, I believe if I were president today, the country would be safer and we would be seeing less violence. And here’s why.
I have said we must address the issue of racial injustice. I have personally spoken to George Floyd’s family and Jacob Blake’s family. I know their pain, I know the justice they seek. They have told us none of this violence respects or honors George or Jacob.
I believe I can bring those fighting for racial justice to the table. I have worked with the police in this country for over forty years. I know most cops are good and decent people. I know the risk they take every day with their lives. And I am confident I can bring the police to the table.
I would make sure every mayor and governor had the support they needed from the federal government – but I wouldn’t be looking to use the United States military against our own people.
If I were president, my language would be less divisive. I would be looking to lower the temperature in the country – not raise it. And I would be looking to unite the nation.
But, look, if Donald Trump wants to ask the question: Who will keep you safer as President? Let’s answer it.
First, some simple facts.
When I was Vice President, violent crime fell 15% in this country. We did it without chaos and disorder. And yes we did it with Democrats as mayors of most big cities in this country.
The murder rate is up 26% in cities across the nation this year under Donald Trump.
Do you feel really safer under Trump?
COVID has taken more lives this year than any outbreak in more than 100 years. More than 180,000 lives in just six months. An average of 1,000 people dying every day in the month of August.
Do you feel really safer under Trump?
Mr. Trump – you want to talk about fear? Do you know what people are afraid of in America?
They’re afraid they’re going to get COVID. They’re afraid they’re going to get sick and die. And that in no small part is because of you.
We are now on track for more than 200,000 deaths in this country due to COVID.
More than 100,000 seniors have lost their life to the virus. More cops have died from COVID this year than have been killed on patrol. Nearly one in six small businesses is closed in this country today.
Do you really feel safer under Trump?
What about Trump’s plan to destroy the Affordable Care Act – and with it the protections for pre-existing conditions. That impacts more than 100 million Americans.
Does that make you feel safer?
Or how about Trump’s plan to defund Social Security.
The Social Security Administration’s chief actuary just released a report saying if a plan like the one Trump is proposing goes into effect, the Social Security Trust Fund would be, quote, “permanently depleted by the middle of calendar year 2023, with no ability to pay benefits thereafter.” To put it plainly, Social Security would be wiped out.
Feel safer now?
And the fear that reigns under this president doesn’t stop at our shores.
The Kremlin has put bounties on the heads of American soldiers.
And instead of telling Vladimir Putin that there will be a heavy price to pay if they dare touch an American soldier – this president doesn’t even bring up the subject in a phone call.
Russian forces just attacked American troops in Syria, injuring our service members. The president didn’t say a word. He didn’t lift a finger.
Never before has an American president played such a subservient role to a Russian leader.
It’s not only dangerous – it’s an embarrassment.
Not even America’s troops can feel safer under Trump.
Donald Trump’s role as a bystander in his own presidency extends to the economic pain being felt by millions of Americans.
He said this weekend, “You better vote for me or you are going to have the greatest depression you’ve ever seen.”
Does he not see the tens of millions who had to file for unemployment this year? The folks who won’t be able to make next month’s rent? The folks who lost wages while the cost of food staples rose dramatically?
Barack Obama and I stopped a depression in 2009. We took a bad economy and turned it around.
Donald Trump took a good economy and drove it into the ditch. Through his failure to get COVID under control, his failure to pull together the leaders in Congress, his failure to deliver real relief for working people — has made our country’s economic situation so much worse than it had to be.
When we talk about safety, and security, we should also talk about the basic security of being able to look your kid in the eye and tell them everything is going to be okay. We won’t lose our home. We’ll be able to put food on the table.
I’ve laid out an agenda for economic recovery that will restore a sense of security for working families. And we won’t just build things back the way they were before. We’re going to build back better.
With good-paying jobs building our nation’s roads, bridges, solar arrays and windmills. With investments in our health care and child care workers so they get the pay and dignity they deserve, while easing the financial burdens for millions of families. With a clean energy strategy that has a place for the energy workers right here in western Pennsylvania. I’m not for banning fracking. Let’s say that again. I’m not for banning fracking – no matter how many times Donald Trump lies about me.
The future. That’s what this is all about.
We all hear Donald Trump’s self-centered rants and riffs, but the voice America should hear is Julia Jackson’s – the mother of Jacob Blake.
Hers is a voice of courage and character and wisdom.
In looking at the damage that had been done in her city she said, “the violence and destruction” didn’t “reflect my son or my family.”
These are the words of a mother whose son had just been shot seven times in front of his children. Badly injured. Paralyzed, perhaps permanently.
And even as she seeks justice for her son – she is pleading for an end to the violence – and for this nation to heal.
She said she was praying for her son. She said she was praying for all police officers. She said she had already been praying for America, even before her son was shot.
She asked us all to examine our hearts – citizens, elected officials, the police – all of us.
And then she said this, “We need healing.”
More than anything, that is what we need to do as a nation: We need to heal.
The current president wants you to live in fear. He advertises himself as a figure of order.
He isn’t. He is not part of the solution. He is part of the problem. The biggest part.
A problem that I, as President, will give my all to resolve.
I will deal with the virus. I will deal with the economic crisis. I will work to bring equity and opportunity to all.
We have arrived at the moment in this campaign that we all knew we would get to. The moment when Donald Trump would be so desperate, he would do anything to hold on to power.
Donald Trump has been a toxic presence in our nation for four years.
Poisoning how we talk to one another. Poisoning how we treat one another. Poisoning the values this nation has always held dear. Poisoning to our democracy.
Now – in just a little over 60 days – we have a decision to make:
Will we rid ourselves of this toxin? Or will we make it a permanent part of our national character?
As Americans we believe in Honesty and Decency. Treating everyone with dignity and respect. Giving everyone a fair shot. Leaving no one behind. Giving hate no safe harbor. Demonizing no one. Being part of something bigger than ourselves.
Donald Trump doesn’t believe in any of that.
America is an idea.
It is the most powerful idea in the history of the world – and it beats in the hearts of the people of this country:
All men and women are created equal – and they deserve to be treated equally.
Trump has sought to remake this nation in his image – selfish, angry, dark, divisive.
That is not who we are.
At her best, America has always been – and if I have anything to do with it – always will be a generous, confident, optimistic nation.
Donald Trump is determined to instill fear in America – that is what his entire campaign for presidency has come down to.
But I believe Americans are stronger than that.
I believe we will be guided by the words of Pope John Paul II. Words drawn from Scripture: “Be not afraid”.
Fear never builds the future. Hope does. And building the future is what America does.
In fact, it’s what we do best.
This is the United States of America. And there is nothing we haven’t been able to do, when we’ve done it together.
Thank you. May God bless you. And may God protect our troops.
In the 2016 campaign, Trump, whose real estate business was sanctioned by the Department of Justice for discriminating against Blacks, absurdly told Black Americans, “What have you got to lose?” Well, in 2020, it is clear: your lives and your livelihoods. Blacks are disproportionately sickened and dying of COVID-19 and climate crises and are the victims of police brutality, killed by police and self-appointed vigilantes, in accelerated numbers.
While the Trump campaign parade Black Americans and people of color at the Republican National Convention and thousands assemble for a new March o n Washington in person and virtually, the Biden Campaign issued an indictment of how Trump has failed Black Americans and what a Biden administration would do to empower Black Americans.
Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris issued a statement on the 57th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom:
“The murder and violence toward Black Americans of the 1960s is happening today in broad daylight for the world to witness,” . A pandemic and economic crisis lays bare the systemic racism that still plagues our way of life. And instead of seeking to heal and unite, too many in our nation seek to inflame and divide.
“We’re in an ongoing battle for the soul of our nation. We condemn the violence. We cannot afford our cities and the bonds between us to be burned, broken, and scarred any further. We have to root out the racism, hate, and the vengeance.
“As our late friend John Lewis said with his final words, we must lay ‘down the heavy burdens of hate at last.’ We need to treat one another with the respect and dignity that each one of us deserves.
“And we must channel the spirit of this day 57 years ago as we’ve seen so many people of every age, race, and station do across the country over the last few months, and again this morning on the National Mall.
“With wisdom, courage, and faith, we must not turn away.
“We must choose the light and overcome.”
FACT SHEET: Trump Has Failed Black Americans
Trump has failed to deliver results for Black communities since Day One of his Administration. His failure to control COVID-19 has hurt Black Americans even more, leaving the community bearing the disproportionate brunt of COVID infections, deaths, and job loss. And, Trump’s failure to get the virus under control has worsened the economic crisis. It didn’t have to be this bad, and Black families are paying the price with their lives and livelihoods. Trump has:
Failed to address the racial disparities in the coronavirus pandemic and overseen a corrupt recovery that passed over Black small business owners. Trump didn’t have a plan to address COVID-19 and still doesn’t today. It didn’t have to be this bad — particularly for Black Americans and other people of color, who are disproportionately getting sick. Black unemployment hit 14.6%, and the unemployment gap between Black and White Americans widened further last month. And, Trump botched the delivery of assistance to small businesses, cutting out Black-and other minority-owned businesses in particular.
Sabotage Black Americans’ health care. Obamacare has saved the lives of countless Black Americans, increasing the number of insured by millions and prohibiting insurers from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions like asthma, cancer, and diabetes. Now, Trump is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down that landmark law, leaving millions without coverage in the middle of a deadly pandemic.
Put the wealthy and well-connected ahead of Black workers and communities. Trump has watered down key wage and workplace protections. He promised to veto a $15 minimum wage, and proposed a tip-pooling rule that would’ve let employers pay many non-tipped workers even less than today. He let federal contractors break laws requiring them to give workers of color a fair shot, and tried to let companies hide the truth when they don’t pay Black workers equal wages. And, Trump has done just as badly by Black entrepreneurs: he tried to slash funding for and even eliminate the federal agency that’s wholly dedicated to developing minority-owned businesses. Wealthy investors and Trump associates have reaped the benefits of Trump’s Opportunity Zones, while communities of color they’re supposed to help have been left behind.
Undercut the path to homeownership and affordable housing for Black Americans. Trump is trying to make it harder to fight housing discrimination and easier for lenders to exclude communities of color. He rolled back the Obama-era Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which fought racial bias in housing. He repeatedly called for cuts to affordable housing programs, slamming Black families, which have lower homeownership rates and are more likely to be low-income renters. And, Trump called for drasticcuts to subsidized housing and voucher programs, and for changes that would raise rents for low-income families.
Reversed work for racial equity in education. Trump and Betsy DeVos revoked rules designed to protect students of color from racial bias in school discipline. They did away with measures meant to help schools to diversify or implement inclusive affirmative action plans. And, Trump abandoned his promise to help students manage crippling college loans, leaving Black Americans three times more likely to default on that debt.
Highlights: How Joe Will Empower Black Americans
For too long, Black Americans have lived with a knee on their neck. Joe Biden knows they’ll never have a fair shot at the American Dream, so long as entrenched disparities are allowed to quietly chip away at opportunity. With Senator Kamala Harris, he will rebuild our economy in a way that finally brings everyone along—and that starts by rooting out systemic racism from our laws, policies, institutions, and hearts. Highlights of Joe’s plans include:
Create wealth in the Black community. The typical white family holds approximately ten times more wealth than the typical Black family. Joe’s plan to Build Back Better will close the racial wealth gap, opportunity gap, and jobs gap. He will create millions of good-paying jobs, increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, end paycheck discrimination, provide affordable child care for families, and leverage more than $150 billion in new capital and opportunities in economically disadvantaged areas, especially for Black owned small businesses and other small businesses that have been structurally excluded for generations. Because homeownership is key to building wealth, he’ll create a $15,000 down-payment tax credit for first-time home buyers. And Joe will set a goal that disadvantaged communities – including many Black communities – receive 40% of the overall benefits of his spending on infrastructure and clean energy.
Tackle health inequities. Black Americans are dying from COVID-19 at a higher rate than whites, shedding light on the long-standing, pervasive disparities across our health care system. Joe will protect and build on Obamacare to ensure access to high-quality, affordable care beyond the crisis, including by providing Black Americans with a new health insurance option – a public option. He’ll also ensure Black communities have clean air to breathe and water to drink, and healthy foods to eat.
Address racial inequity in our education system. Joe will eliminate the funding gap between white and non-white districts, improve teacher diversity, and provide high-quality, universal preschool for all three and four-year-olds. He will invest over $70 billion in Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions to lower students’ costs, establish research centers, build high-tech labs, and more. Joe will also ensure Black Americans can attend community college without debt and make public colleges and universities tuition-free for families earning under $125,000 (including 90% of Black families). And he’ll relieve student debt, especially key for Black students who hold more debt and are three times more likely to default on loans than white borrowers. He’ll forgive undergraduate tuition-related federal student debt from public colleges and private HBCUs and MSIs for Americans earning up to $125,000.
Root out systemic racism in our police departments and justice system. Joe will outlaw choke holds, create a model use of force standard and a national police oversight commission, and push police departments to review their hiring, training, and de-escalation practices. He’ll expand and use the authority of the Justice Department, created by legislation he authored, to address systemic misconduct in police departments and prosecutors’ offices. He’ll also invest in public defenders’ offices, eliminate the death penalty and mandatory minimums, and end cash bail and private prisons. He’ll decriminalize the use of cannabis and automatically expunge all cannabis use convictions, and end incarceration for drug use alone.
Just before Donald Trump gives his Republican National Convention speech from the White House, in violation of “norms” and law that prohibits using government facilities for politics, when it is widely anticipated that Trump will smear Joe Biden with lies, Senator Kamala Harris, the Democratic candidate for Vice President, delivered a speech in Washington DC drawing the contrast between Trump’s failure and what Joe Biden brings to the office of President. Here is a highlighted transcript:
On this eve of the 57th March on Washington, I will speak about the recent events in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The wildfires raging across the California coast to the Rocky Mountains. The storm which is working its way through Texas, Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.
And most of all—about who we are as a country.
We are a nation that, at its best, loves, protects, and helps our fellow Americans.
Today, we see pain, hurt, and destruction in the ashes of wildfires and the damage of Hurricane Laura.
We encourage everyone to continue following guidance from your local authorities to stay safe.
And Joe and I pledge to be there for those whose lives have been turned upside down.
Those who will need help from neighbors, strangers, and our government to make it through, to build back, to restore your lives and your communities.
We also see pain, hurt, and destruction in the aftermath of yet another Black man shot by police.
Jacob Blake, shot 7 times in the back in broad daylight in front of his 3 young sons. 7 times… in the back… in broad daylight… in front of his 3 sons.
As Vice President Biden put it, the shots fired at Mr. Blake pierced the soul of our nation.
It’s sickening to watch. It’s all too familiar. And it must end.
Thankfully, he is alive today. But he is fighting for his life and shouldn’t have to be.
My heart goes out to the Blake family, as they endure an ordeal that is tragically common in our country.
Joe and I spoke with them yesterday. They are an amazing group of people with extraordinary courage.
Even in their pain and grief, even as they seek justice for their son—they spoke about the need to end the violence and heal our nation.
I’ve had conversations like this with far too many mothers and fathers—but you will see and hear no one with more courage, more character, and more moral clarity.
People are rightfully angry and exhausted. And after the murders of Breonna, George, Ahmaud, and so many others, it’s no wonder people are taking to the streets. And I support them.
We must always defend peaceful protest—and peaceful protestors.
We should not confuse them with those looting and committing acts of violence, including, the shooter who was arrested for murder.
And make no mistake, we will not let these vigilantes and extremists derail the path to justice.
Here’s my promise to those mothers and fathers, and all who stand with them:
In a Biden-Harris Administration, you will have a seat at the table—in the Halls of Congress, and in the White House.
We all grew up reciting the pledge of allegiance, but now, we must give real meaning to its words.
One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Justice. Let’s talk about that. Because the reality is that the life of a Black person in America has never been treated as fully human—and we have yet to fulfill that promise of equal justice under law.
We will only achieve that when we finally come together to pass meaningful police reform and broader criminal justice reform, and acknowledge, yes acknowledge, and address systemic racism.
We will only come closer to achieving that when we finally come together.
We have come a long way in our country towards building a more perfect Union, and the time is now—right now—to take the next step forward.
And even as we experience this reckoning with racial injustice, we must also confront another crisis:
The pandemic that has torn apart so many lives.
The numbers that define this crisis are staggering.
We cannot look the other way or allow ourselves to become numb to them.
Nearly 6 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
180,000 lives lost.
More than 50 million claims for unemployment this year alone.
We need to see—and we need to hear—what’s happening in our country.
The quiet desperation that has taken over so many lives in America.
The family packing into their car at 5 in the morning—hoping the local food bank still has something left when they get to the front of the line.
The 50-year old store manager who’s been laid off—and knows he can’t pay the rent on the 1st of the month.
The mothers and fathers stretched to the breaking point—working from home while helping their kids with online classes—just trying to hold it all together.
The small business owners—economic engines of our communities—who are shutting their doors every day.
The nurse getting ready for her afternoon shift—who has seen so much suffering and death in recent months—and wonders how much more she can bear to witness.
The family grieving the loss of their grandmother who has been in a nursing home—who they couldn’t even visit over the last three months of her life.
The alarming and disproportionate rate at which Black, Latino, and Indigenous families are contracting and dying of COVID-19.
That is the reality of America right now. A reality completely absent from this week’s Republican National Convention.
Because unlike the Democratic convention, which was clear-eyed about the challenges we are facing and how we will tackle them…
The Republican convention is designed for one purpose—to soothe Donald Trump’s ego. To make him feel good.
But here’s the thing, he’s the President of the United States. And it’s not Supposed to be about him.
It’s supposed to be about the health, and the safety, and the well-being of the American people.
And on that measure, Donald Trump has failed.
You see, at its most basic level, Donald Trump doesn’t understand the presidency.
He thinks it’s all about him. Well, it’s not. It’s about you. It’s about all of us. The People.
As a lawyer and advocate, when I would rise to speak in a courtroom, I’d say the following words:
Kamala Harris for the people.
And that is why I stand here today—to speak for the people.
Because we know the truth.
Donald Trump has failed at the most basic and important job of a President of the United States.
He failed to protect the American people. Plain and simple.
Trump showed what we, in the legal profession, would call a reckless disregard for the well-being of the American people.
A reckless disregard for the danger a pandemic would pose to American lives. For the devastation it would do to our economy. For the damage it would do to communities of color who have been subjected to structural racism for generations.
For the chaos that would upend our daily lives… make it impossible for many of our kids to go to school… make it impossible to live normally and with certainty.
He never appreciated that a President swears an oath before God and country to protect America against threats seen and unseen.
It’s his duty. It’s his obligation to protect us.
And yet, he has failed. Miserably.
Here’s the thing, Donald Trump’s incompetence is nothing new.
That has always been on full display. But in January of this year, it became deadly.
That’s when the threat of a virus that would endanger the world first emerged.
Trump dismissed the threat. Joe Biden, sounded the alarm.
It would be the beginning of a pattern that persists to this day.
Trump telling us not to worry, that the virus will, quote, “disappear,” that a quote, “miracle” is coming.
Joe Biden, saying we need a plan, a national strategy, a President who is willing to lead, willing to be a role model for our nation. For our children.
Trump still doesn’t have a plan.
Joe Biden, released his first plan in March.
Here’s what you have to understand about the nature of a pandemic.
It’s relentless. You can’t stop it with a tweet. You can’t create a distraction and hope it’ll go away. It doesn’t go away. By its nature, a pandemic is unforgiving.
If you get it wrong at the beginning, the consequences are catastrophic. It’s very hard to catch up. You don’t get a second chance at getting it right.
Well, President Trump got it wrong in the beginning.
And then, he got it wrong again… and again.
And the consequences have been catastrophic.
And here’s why Trump has been so unwilling and unable to deal with this crisis:
First, he was fixated on the stock market over fixing the problem.
He tweeted about it consistently during this period.
He was convinced that if his administration focused on this virus, it would hurt the market and hurt his chances of being reelected.
That mattered more to him than saving American lives.
Second, right at the moment that we needed Donald Trump to be tough on the Chinese government, he caved.
On January 24th, he praised the transparency of the Chinese government.
He said, quote, “China has been working hard to contain the coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well.”
But they weren’t being transparent. They blocked public health inspectors from the CDC, from getting the access and information they needed to protect American lives.
Donald Trump stood idly by. And folks, it was a deadly decision.
Instead of rising to meet the most difficult moment of his presidency, Donald Trump froze. He was scared. He was petty and vindictive.
On a call with governors across the country on March 16th, he told them it wasn’t his job to get personal protective equipment to frontline workers.
He said, quote: “Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment, try getting it yourselves.” Unquote.
On that day…we had about 5,000 cases as a nation.
Today… we have nearly 6 million.
Even now—some eight months into this crisis—Donald Trump still won’t take responsibility. He still won’t act.
The tragedy in all of this is… it didn’t have to be this bad.
Just look around. It’s not like this in the rest of the world.
All we needed was a competent president—one who was willing to listen, willing to lead, take responsibility, have a plan, do their job.
Joe Biden will be that president.
He’s got a national strategy.
He’s more than ready to lead.
Every month since March as this pandemic has unfolded, Joe Biden has updated the steps he would take to save American lives. And he’s done it based on what every scientist, every expert, every economist, said we should be doing.
As President, Joe Biden will put a plan into effect on day one.
Develop and deploy rapid tests with immediate results.
Make sure testing, treatments, and ultimately, a vaccine reach all Americans, including communities of color, who have historically been left behind.
Manufacture the medical supplies and protective equipment we need.
And make them right here—in America, so we’re never again at the mercy of China and other foreign countries to protect our own people.
Joe and I will make sure our schools have all the resources they need—to be open, safe, and effective.
Put politics aside—and not silence the experts—so the public gets the information they need and deserve.
And put in place a nationwide mask Mandate—in Joe’s words, it’s not a burden to protect each other.
Because he knows we’re all in this together.
Donald Trump says there’s nothing he could have done to prevent all this death.
Here’s the truth:
Barack Obama and Joe Biden had a program called PREDICT that tracked emerging diseases in places like China. I’m going to repeat that. The program tracked emerging diseases in places like China. Trump cut it.
They dedicated a team on the National Security Council to global health security and biodefense. Donald Trump eliminated it.
They implemented standards for nursing homes to improve infection control. Trump is erasing them.
Before the virus hit, Trump made our country vulnerable. After it was struck, he failed to do what was necessary.
As it continues, he’s making it worse every day.
Just this week, the Social Security Administration said a cut to Social Security like the one Trump is proposing would end disability benefits within one year and end All benefits within 3 years.
Let me be as clear as possible, if Donald Trump’s extreme proposal goes into effect, the checks that America’s seniors rely on to pay your bills, to buy your medicine—to live—will stop coming.
The very people who have suffered so greatly in this crisis.
And in the middle of a health crisis made worse by his own actions, Donald Trump is in court right now trying to throw out the entire Affordable Care Act, including the protections it provides for people with pre-existing conditions.
That means, if you are fortunate enough to survive COVID-19, insurers could deny you coverage for treating any long-term effects.
Now President Trump, won’t tell you any of this at the Republican convention tonight.
And we all know he’s not changing.
The president he has been—is the president he will be.
But we have a chance to right these wrongs and put America on a better path forward.
One where the leaders we elect listen to the experts and follow the best medical guidance to keep us and our families healthy and safe.
One where we take meaningful action against systems and traditions of oppression.
One where we stop fanning the flames of hate and division, and treat one another with the respect and dignity that each one of us deserves.
As Joe Biden said in his acceptance speech, we have a choice between the light and the dark.
Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for President, following Vice President Mike Pence’s speech to the Republican National Convention extolling “Donald Trump’s America,” offered this statement:
Last night, Vice President Mike Pence stood before America and with a straight face said, “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.”
The violence you’re seeing in Donald Trump’s America.
Did Mike Pence forget Donald Trump is president? Is Donald Trump even aware he’s president? These are not images from some imagined “Joe Biden’s America” in the future. These are images from Donald Trump’s America today. The violence we’re witnessing is happening under Donald Trump. Not me. It’s getting worse, and we know why.
Donald Trump refuses to even acknowledge there is a racial justice problem in America. To solve this problem, first we have to honestly admit the problem. But he won’t do it. Instead of looking to calm the waters, he adds fuel to every fire. Violence isn’t a problem in his eyes – it’s a political strategy. And the more of it, the better for him.
One of his top White House advisors said it flat out earlier today. “The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order.” The better it is.
I have made it clear. There is no place for violence, looting, or burning. None. Zero.
All it does it hurt the communities reeling from injustice – and it destroys the businesses that serve them – many of them run by people of color who for the first time in their lives have begun to build wealth for their family.
But while I have condemned all forms of violence – police violence, lawless violence and violence perpetrated by extreme, right-wing militia groups – like the groups the 17-year-old just arrested in Illinois for murdering two people in Wisconsin is reputed to have been aligned with. Trump doesn’t speak out against these extreme right-wing groups. Instead – as he did about Charlottesville – he embraces them.
If you’re worried about the violence you’re witnessing, you better be worried about the armed militias – often aligned with white supremacists and white nationalists and Neo-Nazis and the KKK – who are often the source of the biggest trouble.
I am sure Donald Trump will stand before America and say the same things his vice president said last night. And when he does, remember: every example of violence he decries has happened on his watch. Under his leadership. During his presidency.
And of course, as has been true all week, I’m sure there will barely be a mention of what more than 300 million Americans fear the most right now – contracting COVID-19. 180,000 Americans have lost their lives under this president to this virus.
And there will almost certainly be no mention of the catastrophic impact his failure to deal with the virus has had on this nation’s economy – the millions of people who have lost their jobs, their health care, their homes, their small businesses.
So when Donald Trump says tonight you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America, look around and ask yourself: How safe do you feel in Donald Trump’s America?
As the Republican National Convention 2020 unfolds with stunning ferocity, mendacity, and fear-mongering, basically offering an Alice Through the Looking Glass Orwellian alternative reality, more and more Republicans, including Presidential appointees, legal experts and Congressmen and elected officials have allied against Trump for his corruption and abuse of the Presidency. These include former Governors John Kasich and Christine Todd Whitman and former Secretary of State Colin Powell who appeared at the Democratic National Convention in support of Joe Biden.
The growing list of administration officials supporting Biden over Trump also includes a former Homeland Security official Myles Taylor, who in a Washington Post op-ed, wrote, “Trump showed vanishingly little interest in subjects of vital national security interest, including cybersecurity, domestic terrorism and malicious foreign interference in U.S. affairs…. Because the commander in chief has diminished America’s influence overseas, today the nation has fewer friends and stronger enemies than when Trump took office…. Trump has also damaged the country in countless ways that don’t directly involve national security but, by stoking hatred and division, make Americans profoundly less safe.
“The president’s bungled response to the coronavirus pandemic is the ultimate example…His first term has been dangerously chaotic. Four more years of this are unthinkable.”
And former Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, in declaring his support for Biden for president, stated, “And so, it is because of my conservatism, and because of my belief in the Constitution, and in the separation of power, and because I am gravely concerned about the conduct and behavior of our current president that I stand here today – proudly and wholeheartedly – to endorse Joe Biden to be our next president of the United States of America. (Watch Senator Flake’s remarks HERE.
Republican Members of Congress Endorse Biden
On the first day of the Republican National Convention, former Republican Members of Congress, including former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, announced their support for Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris. In a strong rebuke to the current administration, these former members of Congress cited Trump’s corruption, destruction of democracy, blatant disregard for moral decency, and urgent need to get the country back on course as a reason why they support Biden. These former Members of Congress are supporting Joe Biden because they know what’s at stake in this election and that Trump’s failures as President have superseded partisanship.
With the support of these Members of Congress, the Biden for President is launching Republicans for Biden, a national effort to engage Republicans who are supporting Biden this fall. The campaign will encourage Republicans to organize their communities for Biden using the Vote Joe app and other relational organizing tools. More information is at joebiden.com/republicans or by texting GOP to 30330.
Republicans endorsing Joe Biden include:
Senator Jeff Flake (AZ)
Senator Gordon Humphrey (NH)
Senator John Warner (VA)
Congressman Steve Bartlett (TX)
Congressman Bill Clinger (PA)
Congressman Tom Coleman (MO)
Congressman Charlie Dent (PA)
Congressman Charles Djou (HI)
Congressman Mickey Edwards (OK)
Congressman Wayne Gilchrest (MD)
Congressman Jim Greenwood (PA)
Congressman Bob Inglis (SC)
Congressman Jim Kolbe (AZ)
Congressman Steve Kuykendall (CA)
Congressman Ray LaHood (IL)
Congressman Jim Leach (IA)
Congresswoman Susan Molinari (NY)
Congresswoman Connie Morella (MD)
Congressman Mike Parker (MS)
Congressman Jack Quinn (NY)
Congresswoman Claudine Schneider (RI)
Congressman Christopher Shays (CT)
Congressman Peter Smith (VT)
Congressman Alan Steelman (TX)
Congressman Jim Walsh (NY)
Congressman Bill Whitehurst (VA)
Congressman Dick Zimmer (NJ)
Republican Presidential Appointees, Legal Experts Support Biden
On August 25, as the Republican National Convention was underway, former Republican Presidential Appointees and legal experts came out in support of Joe Biden and against President Trump in light of the corruption and abuse of power that has pervaded the current administration. Trump has used the presidency to enrich himself — spending countless tax dollars at his own properties. Members of his administration have failed to divest themselves from conflicts of interest as promised. And, Trump has weaponized the Executive Branch against its core mission, including using the U.S. Justice Department to protect the president and his friends, over the American people and the rule of law. Trump has welcomed wealthy special interests into the Oval Office and to the highest levels of his administration to develop and guide policy.
As President, Biden is dedicated to restoring even-handed justice and the principle that no person is above the law. He would:
Return basic honesty and integrity to the U.S. Department of Justice and to Executive Branch decision-making;
Restore ethics in government;
Rein in Executive Branch financial conflicts of interest;
Reduce the corrupting influence of money in politics and make it easier for candidates of all backgrounds to run for office.
Republican appointees endorsing Joe Biden include:
Donald B. Ayer, Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General (H.W. Bush Administration)
Alan Charles Raul, Former Vice Chairman of the White House Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (W. Bush Administration), General Counsel of the Office of Management and Budget (H.W. Bush Administration), General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (H.W. Bush Administration), and Associate Counsel to the President (Reagan Administration)
Charles Fried, Former U.S. Solicitor General (Reagan Administration), Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Stuart Gerson, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice (H.W. Bush Administration), Debate Prep Advisor to President H.W. Bush, W. Bush Presidential Transition Staff
Peter Keisler, Former U.S. Acting Attorney General (W. Bush Administration), Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice (W. Bush Administration)
Paul Rosenweig, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Department of Homeland Security (W. Bush Administration), Privacy and Security Expert
Robert Shanks, Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice (Reagan Administration)
J.W. Verret, Former Chief Economist and Senior Counsel to the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, Trump Presidential Transition Staff
And the Lincoln Project continues to produce amazing videos, ads, social media campaign. “The Lincoln Project is holding accountable those who would violate their oaths to the Constitution and would put others before Americans.”
The stated mission of the Lincoln Project: Defeat President Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box.
“We do not undertake this task lightly nor from ideological preference. Our many policy differences with national Democrats remain. However, the priority for all patriotic Americans must be a shared fidelity to the Constitution and a commitment to defeat those candidates who have abandoned their constitutional oaths, regardless of party. Electing Democrats who support the Constitution over Republicans who do not is a worthy effort.” (lincolnproject.us)
In stark contrast to the hate-filled propaganda fest of the Republican National Convention, Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for president, has continued to address the important issues and unprecedented crises the nation is facing, some age-old, and others more immediate. Women’s Rights and the inequity in pay has lifelong and generational implications for women and families. On Women’s Equality Day, Biden, who sponsored the Violence Against Women Act and named Kamala Harris, his vice president, issued this statement and fact sheet drawing the contrast between Trump’s failures on women’s issues and how Biden would work for American women:
Today, on Women’s Equality Day, Jill and I join with all Americans in celebrating the long line of women who have reached out through history as fearless, ambitious trailblazers to deliver a better future for America’s daughters. From the suffragists, to the labor organizers, to the women who continue to lead the fight for the Equal Rights Amendment, and from the glass-ceiling breakers to the women in every workplace who have to fight twice as hard just to prove their basic dignity every single day, American women have pushed this country forward, one step at a time.
There can be no half measures when it comes to equality. That’s why we must keep working.100 years ago today, the final paperwork was signed, officially proclaiming the ratification of the 19th Amendment to our Constitution–and of the right of women to vote in the United States of America. It was a culmination of decades of struggle to achieve a Constitutional amendment on women’s suffrage, and a true milestone for our nation. But it was also only the beginning of a long, still unfinished march toward full equality for all women, especially for women of color who were still not guaranteed their right to vote until the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and even longer for Latinas and Native American women.
Now, it is up to us to carry forward the banner of equality for the next generation–to build on the legacy of Shirley Chisholm and Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton to elect Kamala Harris as our next Vice President; to fully deliver on the promise of equal pay for equal work; to ensure women’s access to health care, eliminate health disparities, and protect women’s ability to make their own health care choices; and to end the scourge of violence against women.
It starts by voting this November. It starts by exercising that sacred American right, which so many have marched and suffered to secure.
We can do this. We can finally live up to our highest ideals–that all men, and women, are created equal. We can ensure that little girls and boys alike, of every race and background, know that in America, there is no limit on how high their dreams and their talents can carry them.
FACT SHEET: Trump Has Failed American Women
President Trump’s mismanagement of the pandemic has wiped out years of jobs gains for women, launching us into a she-cession with millions of women unemployed and worried about whether they will be able to feed their families and return to work. The pandemic has disproportionately impacted women of color and young women, with 1 in 7 Black women and Latina women and 1 in 5 young women unemployed and many women forced to work fewer hours than they need or would like. Even before the pandemic, President Trump has relentlessly worked against women’s interests. He has:
Persistently tried to rip away health care benefits and protections for millions of women. In the middle of a pandemic, Trump is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare, which would allow insurers to deny women coverage because of pregnancy or pre-existing conditions like cancer or diabetes, choose not to cover maternity care, stop young adults under 26 from staying on their parents’ plan, charge co-pays for recommended preventive services including contraception and mammograms, and charge women higher premiums just for being women — a practice which cost women $1 billion more than men annually. And, he has prevented organizations like Planned Parenthood from receiving Title X federal family planning funds.
Made college campuses less safe for women by shaming and silencing survivors of sexual assault. The Trump Administration’s Education Department — led by Betsy Devos — has rolled back Obama-Biden policies and given colleges a green light to ignore sexual violence and strip survivors of their civil rights under Title IX. Trump and DeVos have let colleges off the hook for protecting students by permitting them to choose to investigate only more extreme acts of violence and harassment and requiring them to investigate in a way that dissuades survivors from coming forward.
Disbanded the White House Council on Women and Girls. The Obama-Biden Administration created the White House Council on Women and Girls to make sure the federal government was doing its best to tackle issues like equal pay, paid family leave, and poverty in an effective manner. The Trump Administration then disbanded it and put nothing in its place.
Highlights: How Joe Will Work For American Women
Women, and particularly women of color, have never had a fair shot to get ahead in this country. When Joe Biden and Kamala Harris build our country back better after this economic crisis — a crisis worsened by President Trump’s failure to get the virus under control — they will ensure we get closer to full inclusion of and equality for women. Highlights of Joe’s plans include:
Ensure women’s issues remain at the forefront of policy efforts. Biden will create a White House Council on Gender Equality, chaired by a senior member of the White House tasked solely with guiding and coordinating government policy that impacts women and girls, such as economic policy, health care, racial justice, gender-based violence, and foreign policy.
Improve women’s economic security. Joe will create millions of good paying jobs, pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and take other steps to achieve equal pay, take on workplace discrimination and harassment, and support women entrepreneurs.
Expand women’s access to health care. Joe stood with President Obama to pass Obamacare, which gave millions of women access to better, more affordable health care. Joe will protect and build on Obamacare to expand access and lower costs, including by offering all women the choice of a new public option. He’ll reduce the unacceptably high maternal mortality rate, which disproportionately affects Black and Native women, and he’ll ensure all women have access to the full scope of health care — including reproductive health care.
Help women navigate work and families. Joe has taken care of aging parents, and he’s been a single parent — he knows how hard it is to raise a family. As President, he will provide universal access to high quality preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds and ensure no low-income or middle class family with children under age 5 has to pay more than 7% of their income for child care. He will also enact legislation to provide 12 weeks paid family and medical leave, and require employers to provide up to seven days of paid sick, family, and safe leave.
Expand access to higher education and relieve student debt. Women, and primarily Black women, hold two-thirds of the nation’s student debt. Joe will provide access to community college without debt, make public colleges and universities tuition-free for families earning under $125,000, invest over $70 billion in HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions, and double Pell. He’ll also strengthen Public Service Loan Forgiveness and forgive undergraduate tuition-related federal student debt from public colleges for people earning up to $125,000.
End violence against women. A driving force in Joe’s career has been fighting back against abuses of power. It motivated him to author the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. Joe will keep getting things done for survivors of gender-based violence, starting by reauthorizing VAWA, keeping guns out of the hands of abusers, and expanding the safety net for survivors.
Dismantle systemic racism affecting women of color. Joe will be unflinching in confronting systemic racism, including by investing in trauma-informed prevention and treatment programs and services as alternatives to girls – disproportionately girls of color – being placed in detention.
Joe Biden accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for president with the speech of his long and storied career, with the passion of his commitment to public service and the good of the nation. Known for being both a man who works toward consensus while keeping true to his values and conscience, he demonstrated the forcefulness and strength he would bring to the presidency, starting off right out of the gate with a forceful indictment of Donald Trump, and his pledge, in a nutshell, to restore “the soul of the nation”. On the fourth and last night of the Democratic National Convention, themed “America’s Promise,” he declared, “The current president has cloaked America in darkness for much too long. Too much anger. Too much fear. Too much division. Here and now, I give you my word: If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us not the worst. I will be an ally of the light not of the darkness. It’s time for us, for We the People, to come together.”
He set out how he was the leader the nation needs now as the nation simultaneously is under assault from four crises: the worst public health crisis in a century; the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression; a racial reckoning of proportion not seen since the 1960s; and the existential crisis to the nation and planet posed by climate change. “It’s all on the ballot. The choice could not be more clear.”
Here is a highlighted transcript of the remarks by Vice President Joe Biden, now the Democratic candidate for president:
Ella Baker, a giant of the civil rights movement, left us with this wisdom: Give people light and they will find a way.
Give people light.
Those are words for our time.
The current president has cloaked America in darkness for much too long. Too much anger. Too much fear. Too much division.
Here and now, I give you my word: If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us not the worst. I will be an ally of the light not of the darkness.
It’s time for us, for We the People, to come together.
For make no mistake. United we can, and will, overcome this season of darkness in America. We will choose hope over fear, facts over fiction, fairness over privilege.
I am a proud Democrat and I will be proud to carry the banner of our party into the general election. So, it is with great honor and humility that I accept this nomination for President of the United States of America.
But while I will be a Democratic candidate, I will be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn’t support me as I will for those who did.
That’s the job of a president. To represent all of us, not just our base or our party. This is not a partisan moment. This must be an American moment.
It’s a moment that calls for hope and light and love. Hope for our futures, light to see our way forward, and love for one another.
America isn’t just a collection of clashing interests of Red States or Blue States.
We’re so much bigger than that.
We’re so much better than that.
Nearly a century ago, Franklin Roosevelt pledged a New Deal in a time of massive unemployment, uncertainty, and fear.
Stricken by disease, stricken by a virus, FDR insisted that he would recover and prevail and he believed America could as well.
And he did.
And so can we.
This campaign isn’t just about winning votes.
It’s about winning the heart, and yes, the soul of America.
Winning it for the generous among us, not the selfish. Winning it for the workers who keep this country going, not just the privileged few at the top. Winning it for those communities who have known the injustice of the “knee on the neck”. For all the young people who have known only an America of rising inequity and shrinking opportunity.
They deserve to experience America’s promise in full.
No generation ever knows what history will ask of it. All we can ever know is whether we’ll be ready when that moment arrives.
And now history has delivered us to one of the most difficult moments America has ever faced.
Four historic crises. All at the same time. A perfect storm.
The worst pandemic in over 100 years. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
The most compelling call for racial justice since the 60’s. And the undeniable realities and accelerating threats of climate change.
So, the question for us is simple: Are we ready?
I believe we are.
We must be.
All elections are important. But we know in our bones this one is more consequential.
America is at an inflection point. A time of real peril, but of extraordinary possibilities.
We can choose the path of becoming angrier, less hopeful, and more divided.
A path of shadow and suspicion.
Or we can choose a different path, and together, take this chance to heal, to be reborn, to unite. A path of hope and light.
This is a life-changing election that will determine America’s future for a very long time.
Character is on the ballot. Compassion is on the ballot. Decency, science, democracy.
They are all on the ballot.
Who we are as a nation. What we stand for. And, most importantly, who we want to be.
That’s all on the ballot.
And the choice could not be clearer.
No rhetoric is needed.
Just judge this president on the facts.
5 million Americans infected with COVID-19.
More than 170,000 Americans have died.
By far the worst performance of any nation on Earth.
More than 50 million people have filed for unemployment this year.
More than 10 million people are going to lose their health insurance this year.
Nearly one in 6 small businesses have closed this year.
If this president is re-elected we know what will happen.
Cases and deaths will remain far too high.
More mom and pop businesses will close their doors for good.
Working families will struggle to get by, and yet, the wealthiest one percent will get tens of billions of dollars in new tax breaks.
And the assault on the Affordable Care Act will continue until its destroyed, taking insurance away from more than 20 million people – including more than 15 million people on Medicaid – and getting rid of the protections that President Obama and I passed for people who suffer from a pre-existing condition.
And speaking of President Obama, a man I was honored to serve alongside for 8 years as Vice President. Let me take this moment to say something we don’t say nearly enough.
Thank you, Mr. President. You were a great president. A president our children could – and did – look up to.
No one will say that about the current occupant of the office.
What we know about this president is if he’s given four more years he will be what he’s been the last four years.
A president who takes no responsibility, refuses to lead, blames others, cozies up to dictators, and fans the flames of hate and division.
He will wake up every day believing the job is all about him. Never about you.
Is that the America you want for you, your family, your children?
I see a different America.
One that is generous and strong.
Selfless and humble.
It’s an America we can rebuild together.
As president, the first step I will take will be to get control of the virus that’s ruined so many lives.
Because I understand something this president doesn’t.
We will never get our economy back on track, we will never get our kids safely back to school, we will never have our lives back, until we deal with this virus.
The tragedy of where we are today is it didn’t have to be this bad.
Just look around.
It’s not this bad in Canada. Or Europe. Or Japan. Or almost anywhere else in the world.
The President keeps telling us the virus is going to disappear. He keeps waiting for a miracle. Well, I have news for him, no miracle is coming.
We lead the world in confirmed cases. We lead the world in deaths.
Our economy is in tatters, with Black, Latino, Asian American, and Native American communities bearing the brunt of it.
And after all this time, the president still does not have a plan.
Well, I do.
If I’m president on day one we’ll implement the national strategy I’ve been laying out since March.
We’ll develop and deploy rapid tests with results available immediately.
We’ll make the medical supplies and protective equipment our country needs. And we’ll make them here in America. So we will never again be at the mercy of China and other foreign countries in order to protect our own people.
We’ll make sure our schools have the resources they need to be open, safe, and effective.
We’ll put the politics aside and take the muzzle off our experts so the public gets the information they need and deserve. The honest, unvarnished truth. They can deal with that.
We’ll have a national mandate to wear a mask-not as a burden, but to protect each other.
It’s a patriotic duty.
In short, I will do what we should have done from the very beginning.
Our current president has failed in his most basic duty to this nation.
He failed to protect us.
He failed to protect America.
And, my fellow Americans, that is unforgivable.
As president, I will make you this promise: I will protect America. I will defend us from every attack. Seen. And unseen. Always. Without exception. Every time.
Look, I understand it’s hard to have hope right now.
On this summer night, let me take a moment to speak to those of you who have lost the most.
I know how it feels to lose someone you love. I know that deep black hole that opens up in your chest. That you feel your whole being is sucked into it. I know how mean and cruel and unfair life can be sometimes.
But I’ve learned two things.
First, your loved ones may have left this Earth but they never leave your heart. They will always be with you.
And second, I found the best way through pain and loss and grief is to find purpose.
As God’s children each of us have a purpose in our lives.
And we have a great purpose as a nation: To open the doors of opportunity to all Americans. To save our democracy. To be a light to the world once again.
To finally live up to and make real the words written in the sacred documents that founded this nation that all men and women are created equal. Endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You know, my Dad was an honorable, decent man.
He got knocked down a few times pretty hard, but always got up.
He worked hard and built a great middle-class life for our family.
He used to say, “Joey, I don’t expect the government to solve my problems, but I expect it to understand them.”
And then he would say: “Joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about your place in your community. It’s about looking your kids in the eye and say, honey, it’s going to be okay.”
I’ve never forgotten those lessons.
That’s why my economic plan is all about jobs, dignity, respect, and community. Together, we can, and we will, rebuild our economy. And when we do, we’ll not only build it back, we’ll build it back better.
With modern roads, bridges, highways, broadband, ports and airports as a new foundation for economic growth. With pipes that transport clean water to every community. With 5 million new manufacturing and technology jobs so the future is made in America.
With a health care system that lowers premiums, deductibles, and drug prices by building on the Affordable Care Act he’s trying to rip away.
With an education system that trains our people for the best jobs of the 21st century, where cost doesn’t prevent young people from going to college, and student debt doesn’t crush them when they get out.
With child care and elder care that make it possible for parents to go to work and for the elderly to stay in their homes with dignity. With an immigration system that powers our economy and reflects our values. With newly empowered labor unions. With equal pay for women. With rising wages you can raise a family on. Yes, we’re going to do more than praise our essential workers. We’re finally going to pay them.
We can, and we will, deal with climate change. It’s not only a crisis, it’s an enormous opportunity. An opportunity for America to lead the world in clean energy and create millions of new good-paying jobs in the process.
And we can pay for these investments by ending loopholes and the president’s $1.3 trillion tax giveaway to the wealthiest 1 percent and the biggest, most profitable corporations, some of which pay no tax at all.
Because we don’t need a tax code that rewards wealth more than it rewards work. I’m not looking to punish anyone. Far from it. But it’s long past time the wealthiest people and the biggest corporations in this country paid their fair share.
For our seniors, Social Security is a sacred obligation, a sacred promise made. The current president is threatening to break that promise. He’s proposing to eliminate the tax that pays for almost half of Social Security without any way of making up for that lost revenue.
I will not let it happen. If I’m your president, we’re going to protect Social Security and Medicare. You have my word.
One of the most powerful voices we hear in the country today is from our young people. They’re speaking to the inequity and injustice that has grown up in America. Economic injustice. Racial injustice. Environmental injustice.
I hear their voices and if you listen, you can hear them too. And whether it’s the existential threat posed by climate change, the daily fear of being gunned down in school, or the inability to get started in their first job — it will be the work of the next president to restore the promise of America to everyone.
I won’t have to do it alone. Because I will have a great Vice President at my side. Senator Kamala Harris. She is a powerful voice for this nation. Her story is the American story. She knows about all the obstacles thrown in the way of so many in our country. Women, Black women, Black Americans, South Asian Americans, immigrants, the left-out and left-behind.
But she’s overcome every obstacle she’s ever faced. No one’s been tougher on the big banks or the gun lobby. No one’s been tougher in calling out this current administration for its extremism, its failure to follow the law, and its failure to simply tell the truth.
Kamala and I both draw strength from our families. For Kamala, it’s Doug and their families.
For me, it’s Jill and ours.
No man deserves one great love in his life. But I’ve known two. After losing my first wife in a car accident, Jill came into my life and put our family back together.
She’s an educator. A mom. A military Mom. And an unstoppable force. If she puts her mind to it, just get out of the way. Because she’s going to get it done. She was a great Second Lady and she will make a great First Lady for this nation, she loves this country so much.
And I will have the strength that can only come from family. Hunter, Ashley and all our grandchildren, my brothers, my sister. They give me courage and lift me up.
And while he is no longer with us, Beau inspires me every day.
Beau served our nation in uniform. A decorated Iraq war veteran.
So I take very personally the profound responsibility of serving as Commander in Chief.
I will be a president who will stand with our allies and friends. I will make it clear to our adversaries the days of cozying up to dictators are over.
Under President Biden, America will not turn a blind eye to Russian bounties on the heads of American soldiers. Nor will I put up with foreign interference in our most sacred democratic exercise – voting.
I will stand always for our values of human rights and dignity. And I will work in common purpose for a more secure, peaceful, and prosperous world.
History has thrust one more urgent task on us. Will we be the generation that finally wipes the stain of racism from our national character?
I believe we’re up to it.
I believe we’re ready.
Just a week ago yesterday was the third anniversary of the events in Charlottesville.
Remember seeing those neo-Nazis and Klansmen and white supremacists coming out of the fields with lighted torches? Veins bulging? Spewing the same anti-Semitic bile heard across Europe in the ’30s?
Remember the violent clash that ensued between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it?
Remember what the president said?
There were quote, “very fine people on both sides.”
It was a wake-up call for us as a country.
And for me, a call to action. At that moment, I knew I’d have to run. My father taught us that silence was complicity. And I could not remain silent or complicit.
At the time, I said we were in a battle for the soul of this nation.
And we are.
One of the most important conversations I’ve had this entire campaign is with someone who is too young to vote.
I met with six-year old Gianna Floyd, a day before her Daddy George Floyd was laid to rest.
She is incredibly brave.
I’ll never forget.
When I leaned down to speak with her, she looked into my eyes and said “Daddy, changed the world.”
Her words burrowed deep into my heart.
Maybe George Floyd’s murder was the breaking point.
Maybe John Lewis’ passing the inspiration.
However it has come to be, America is ready to in John’s words, to lay down “the heavy burdens of hate at last” and to do the hard work of rooting out our systemic racism.
America’s history tells us that it has been in our darkest moments that we’ve made our greatest progress. That we’ve found the light. And in this dark moment, I believe we are poised to make great progress again. That we can find the light once more.
I have always believed you can define America in one word: Possibilities.
That in America, everyone, and I mean everyone, should be given the opportunity to go as far as their dreams and God-given ability will take them.
We can never lose that. In times as challenging as these, I believe there is only one way forward. As a united America. United in our pursuit of a more perfect Union. United in our dreams of a better future for us and for our children. United in our determination to make the coming years bright.
Are we ready?
I believe we are.
This is a great nation.
And we are a good and decent people.
This is the United States of America.
And there has never been anything we’ve been unable to accomplish when we’ve done it together.
The Irish poet Seamus Heaney once wrote:
Don’t hope on this side of the grave,
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme”
This is our moment to make hope and history rhyme.
With passion and purpose, let us begin – you and I together, one nation, under God – united in our love for America and united in our love for each other.
For love is more powerful than hate.
Hope is more powerful than fear.
Light is more powerful than dark.
This is our moment.
This is our mission.
May history be able to say that the end of this chapter of American darkness began here tonight as love and hope and light joined in the battle for the soul of the nation.