Nov 2, 2020
Barack Obama Campaign Speech for Joe Biden Transcript Miami, FL November 2
Barack Obama held a campaign event in Miami, Florida for Joe Biden on November 2. Read the transcript of his speech remarks here.
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Hello, Miami. How’s everyone doing out there? My name is Grace [Neely 00:00:27] . I was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and moved to the United States when I was 10 years old. I came to South Florida in 1989, and I’m proud to have been serving this community as a nurse for more than two decades. I became a nurse because I wanted to help people and to make a difference. I love my job. I love my coworkers and I love this community.
But when COVID-19 hits South Florida, it hit us really hard. Miami became an epicenter for this virus, and it was very difficult for our patients, but it was also very difficult and hard for my colleagues and fellow healthcare workers. It was stressful. We had to wear a PPE for over 12 hours a day, and many of us worried that we were putting our loved ones at risk. I care for my elderly mother and it became very hard here in South Florida. I went for three months without seeing my mother, because I was afraid that I would get COVID and somehow get her infected. If Joe Biden becomes president, I won’t have to worry about that any longer. Joe will set the right example of president. He will follow the science and he will implement a national plan to get this virus under control.
Working in health care, I’ve seen firsthand how real leadership can make a difference in the lives of people. After the Affordable Care Act became law, it was like night and day for so many of the families that come to our hospital. I don’t think the choice in this election could be any clearer. We have seen Joe Biden’s record on healthcare. We have seen him handle crisis after crisis. Compare that to the man in the White House right now, who has absolutely failed our community by every metric.
We have to get out and vote, South Florida. If you have a vote by mail ballot, I need you to drop it off. If you’re voting on election day make a plan. Where is your polling location, where are you voting, and how will you get there, and who will you bring with you? We have a chance to change the direction of this country on every issue that matters to us. The power is in our vote and no one has shown us that more than our next speaker. Obamacare has saved lives. Maybe more here in Miami than anywhere else.
Miami, lets give a big South Florida welcome to the man who gave us hope and has the three pointer and is going to help deliver Florida for Joe and Kamala, the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama.
Barack Obama : (04:08)
Hey. I’m back [inaudible 00:04:26]. Thank you. Thank you, guys. Can everybody please give Grace a big round of applause? That was fantastic. Let me tell you, I love nurses. Hey, you. I think we’ve all had the experience when a loved one’s gotten sick. I remember when Sasha was four months old and she suddenly had a temperature and she was crying and it was midnight. We called the pediatrician. He said, “Look, get her to the emergency room.” It turned out that she had meningitis, which for little babies is really a tough thing. We saw doctors and I was starting to tear up because my baby, I didn’t know what was going on.
Barack Obama : (05:23)
It was the nurses who kept Michelle and I steady, who cared after Sasha, who looked after them. Every time I meet a healthcare worker, I am grateful because every single one of us rely on them at some point in our lives. It’s because of their sacrifices and hard work that our families can rest easy.
Barack Obama : (05:53)
Hello? Is that working? That’s a sign that you guys need to get Grace a big round of applause. I love you, too. Miami, that’s why I came back. I was here just a few days ago, but then I realized there’s still some folks we need to vote. I’ve got one word for you: tomorrow. After four years of failure and division, we have the power to change America. Tomorrow you can put an end to the politics that tries to pull us apart just to win an election and that tries to peddle conspiracy theories and fear, when what we need is competence and hope. Tomorrow in the most important election of our lifetimes. I’ve been involved in some pretty important elections, like mine, but this one’s more important. Tomorrow, right here in South Florida, you can deliver the change that we need. But it’s going to take every single one of us.
Barack Obama : (07:14)
As Grace said, if you haven’t dropped off your ballot yet, don’t wait anymore. Drop it off. If you voted already, then you need to get your friends and family to the polls. If you need to find out where, you can go to iowavote.com. Help them to make a plan to vote. Florida, you delivered for me twice and now I’m asking you to deliver for all of us and elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next president and vice president of the United States of America.
Barack Obama : (07:59)
Now, listen. I got to campaign with Joe over the weekend. It felt like the old days. I can’t wait to see him back in the White House because for eight years, he was the last person who left the room whenever I faced a big decision and he made me a better president. He has the character and the experience to make us a better country. He and Kamala are going to be in the fight, not for themselves, but for every single one of us. We can’t say that about the president right now. Now I never thought that Donald Trump would share my vision or embrace all of my policies, but I hoped for the sake of the country that he might take the job seriously. That he’d put in the work, but he hasn’t. He hasn’t shown any interest in taking seriously the work that is involved being president or helping anybody but his friends or himself or treating the presidency as anything more than a reality show that he can use to get himself attention.
Barack Obama : (09:07)
The rest of us had to live with the consequences and Grace talked about those consequences, 230,000 Americans dead. More than a 100,000 small businesses closed. Half a million jobs gone here in Florida and his chief of staff, he’s admitted what we knew all along. He was quoted just a few days ago. He says, “We’re not going to control the pandemic.” That’s a quote. We noticed.
Barack Obama : (09:43)
America just had its single worst week of new cases. What’s Trump’s closing argument? Last night, this last night on his COVID spreader tour, he’s a super spreader. He just goes around because nothing’s more important to him than crowds to make him feel good, as opposed to trying to keep the American people safe. Last night, he told his supporters, “Don’t tell anybody, but I’m going to fire Dr. Fauci after the election.” Don’t boo. Vote. You know.
Barack Obama : (10:22)
Just in case you were worried he was taking COVID too seriously, now we find out his intention is to eliminate from administration one of the world’s leading experts in infectious disease, but one guy who’s taking it seriously all along that he hasn’t been paying attention to. He’s been listening to the guy, apparently who thinks injecting bleach might be a good idea, but not the actual expert on infectious disease. They want to move out the scientists and the doctors who unders-…
Barack Obama : (11:03)
[inaudible 00:11:00], and the doctors who understand this disease and [inaudible 00:11:05] people or maintain folks who don’t know what they’re doing. Essentially, their closing argument when it comes to COVID is you ain’t seen nothing yet. But this is the last chance, this is his last chance to explain why we should give him four more years, and what you hear him talking about is his inauguration crowd being smaller than mine. After four years, that’s what he’s still worrying about. Let it go. What is his obsession with crowd size? Does he have nothing better to worry about? Did No one come to his birthday party when he was a kid?
Barack Obama : (11:48)
Look, that’s the difference between Joe and Donald Trump right there. That’s the difference. Joe cares about you and your safety and your security. Trump cares about feeding his ego. I understand the President wants to take full credit for the economy he inherited, but zero blame for the pandemic he ignored, but the job doesn’t work that way. Tweeting at the TV doesn’t fix things. Making stuff up doesn’t make things better. You got to have a plan. You got to put in the work.
Barack Obama : (12:23)
And along with the experience to get things done, Joe Biden has concrete plans and policies to turn our vision of a better, fairer, stronger country into a reality. He takes this pandemic seriously. He knows how much it hurts for grandparents and grandkids who can’t see each other and hug each other. He’s not going to screw up testing. He’s not going to call scientists idiots or put people at risk, or, as he did just a few days ago, accuse medical professionals like Grace of trying to profit from the pandemic after all they’ve been through. Ridiculous. Shameful. Come on. Joe will get this pandemic under control with a plan to make testing and a vaccine free for every American, and make sure frontline heroes like Greg never have to ask other countries for the equipment they need. And his plan will guarantee paid sick leave for workers and parents affected by the pandemic, and makes sure that small businesses that hold our communities together and employ millions of Americans can reopen safely.
Barack Obama : (13:29)
Donald Trump likes to claim he built this economy. America created 1.5 million more jobs in the last three years of the Obama/Biden administration than in the first three years of his, and that was before he could blame the pandemic. We handed the longest streak of job growth in American history. The economic damage he inflicted by botching the pandemic response means he will be the only president since the Great Depression to actually lose jobs.
Barack Obama : (14:03)
He talks about Black unemployment, says he’s the best president for Black folks since Abe Lincoln. Really? [inaudible 00:03:10]. His son-in-law says, “Black folks, they have to want to be successful. That’s the problem.” That’s the problem? Really? Like 300 years of history is not the problem.
Barack Obama : (14:23)
Listen, when it came to the economy, Black unemployment almost at 17% during the Great Recession 10 years ago. Through hard work, Joe and I helped to get it down to 7.8% by the time we left the office, and it kept on going down, not because Trump did anything. This year, it’s soared back up to 17% here in Florida.
Barack Obama : (14:44)
His buddies at Mar-a-Lago may be better off than they were four years ago with the massive tax cuts he gave them, but ordinary families here in Florida, they didn’t see that. Now, he won’t extend release to the millions of families who are having trouble paying the rent, or having trouble making payments on their student loans, or just putting food on the table because of this pandemic.
Barack Obama : (15:08)
And Joe Biden understands the key to a strong economy isn’t more tax cuts for billionaires, it’s lifting up the prospects of work in America so that everybody has a chance to succeed. And that’s what Joe’s got, a plan to create 10 million good clean energy jobs to protect Florida from climate change, to secure environmental justice. And he’ll pay for those plans by rolling back Trump’s tax cuts for billionaires.
Barack Obama : (15:37)
And Joe doesn’t just want to get back to where we were. He sees this as a chance to make long overdue changes in the economy so everybody’s life is a little bit easy, whether it’s the waitress trying to raise her own kid on her own, or the student trying to figure out how to pay for next semester’s classes, or the shift worker that’s worried about getting laid off, or the cancer survivor who’s worried about her preexisting condition protections being taken away.
Barack Obama : (16:05)
Florida, I need to talk to you about healthcare for a second because maybe what Grace said, you guys didn’t hear. I want to remind you of this. Republicans love say right before an election that they’ll protect your preexisting conditions. You know what? Joe and I actually protected them 10 years ago with the Affordable Care Art. Hispanics saw bigger gains in coverage than anybody else. Almost 93% of Hispanic kids got covered, an all-time high.
Barack Obama : (16:41)
Under this administration, Hispanic kids have lost coverage. Republicans have tried to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act more than 60 times. Think about that. Why would you make that your mission, taking people’s healthcare away, and with no plan. They promise. They say, “Don’t worry. When we get rid of this plan, we’ll give you a better plan.” They’ve been promising that for 10 years now. They still don’t have one. I keep on looking for it. I’ve looked for it everywhere. You know, between the cushions and the couch. It’s nowhere to be found. Instead, they’ve attacked the Affordable Care Act at every time. They’ve driven up costs, they’ve driven up the uninsured. Now, they’re trying to get the Supreme Court to take your healthcare away in the middle of a pandemic, at a time when families need it the most, with nothing but empty promises to take its place.
Barack Obama : (17:42)
And think about what that would do to families right here in South Florida. Miami Dade has the highest enrollment under Obamacare of any county in Florida. Florida has the highest enrollment of any state in America. So when Trump last week flat out says he hopes the Supreme Court overturns Obamacare, what he’s saying is he wants to take your health insurance away. He just said it.
Barack Obama : (18:16)
Joe and Kamala will protect your healthcare. Joe and Kamala will expand Medicare. Joe and Kamala will make insurance more affordable than everybody because Joe understands that the president’s first job is to keep us safe from all threats; foreign, domestic, and microscopic.
Barack Obama : (18:38)
So when the daily intelligence briefings that our president gets every morning has a flashing warning lights saying there’s a virus coming, the president can’t be AWOL. When Russia puts bounties on our soldiers’ heads, the commander-in-chief can’t be MIA. Joe Biden would never call our troops suckers or losers because he understands that’s somebody’s kid, somebody’s spouse, somebody’s mom or dad.
Barack Obama : (19:10)
When a hurricane devastates Puerto Rico, a president is supposed to help rebuild, not toss paper towels, not suggest selling Puerto Rico, not withhold billions of dollars until just before an election.
Barack Obama : (19:26)
Barack Obama : (20:51)
[inaudible 00:20:51] tomorrow. Don’t boo. No, that’s not something you want to hear in Little Havana or Little Haiti. That’s not something that a leader of a democracy does. That’s something that a two bit dictator does. If you believe in democracy, you want every vote counted.
Barack Obama : (21:20)
Joe Biden will restore our battered standing in the world because he knows our true strength comes from setting an example the world wants to follow, and that’s a nation that stands with democracy and not dictators, a nation that can inspire and mobilize others to overcome threats like climate change and terrorism and poverty and disease, and stand up for human rights, whether it’s in Cuba or anywhere else around the world, including human rights right here in the United States of America.
Barack Obama : (21:56)
And here’s the other thing. You know, I’ve joked about this, but everybody says that’s a good point. They say that. With Joe and Kamala, you’re not going to have to think-
Barack Obama : (22:03)
It’s a good point. They said, “With Joe and Kamala, you’re not going to have to think about them every single day.” You’re not going to have to argue about some crazy tweet that the president sent out this morning. It won’t be so exhausting. You’ll be able to go about your lives knowing that the president’s doing his job instead of suggesting we inject bleach. That the president’s not going to re-Tweet conspiracy theories that the Navy Seals didn’t actually kill Bin Laden. We’re not going to have a president who goes out of his way to insult people just because they don’t agree with him. It’s not normal behavior, South Florida. We wouldn’t put up with this from a teacher, or a high school principal, or our coworker. Why would we accept it from the president of the United States?
Barack Obama : (22:57)
Because there are consequences when somebody behaves that way, when the person who’s supposed to be a top leader acts like that. It [inaudible 00:23:11] other people to be mean, and cruel, and dismissive, and racist. And it frays the fabric of all of our lives. And it affects how our kids see the world. And it affects our families and how they get along. It affects how the world sees America. And that’s why Joe talks about the soul of America. And that more than anything is what separates him from his opponent. And that’s what’s at stake in this election. Joe Biden cares about every American. And Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and I think you, those of you who are out there listening, I think he tries to live up to the values that we cherish, that we were taught of honesty, and hard work, and kindness, and humility, and responsibility, and giving somebody a hand up when they’re down.
Barack Obama : (24:09)
Wasn’t that what you were taught? That’s what I was taught. And we don’t always do it perfectly. Sometimes, we make mistakes in our own lives and our own families, but we try to own up to it. We try to make ourselves better. We try to [inaudible 00:24:27] kids to do the right thing, right? And when you’re like Joe Biden, that’s what you’ll see reflected in the White House. And these are not Republican or Democratic values. I was talking, we were flying over… Because we were Georgia earlier today, and I was telling my staff, “If there was a Democrat who was behaving this way, the way our current president does, I couldn’t support him.” If I saw a Democrat who was lying every single day. I mean, the fact checkers can’t keep up. Just over and over again.
Speaker 2: (25:15)
Barack Obama : (25:16)
You know what I would say [inaudible 00:25:18]? That’s not the example I want. I don’t trust that person to manage the country’s affairs because it’s violating the values that we try to live by, and these are values we try to teach our kids. They’re not white values. They’re not black values. They’re not Latino values, or Asian American values, or Native American values. They’re American values. And we have to reclaim that.
Barack Obama : (25:51)
Some of you saw some folks that there was a Biden Harris bus in Texas. And they were surrounded by Trump cars and supporters. And at some point, some of it got dangerous, right? Looked like folks might be run off the road. And the president can’t be responsible for every single person out there, but he didn’t say, “That’s wrong.” He didn’t say, “In our democracy, there’s no place for that kind of intimidation, or violence, or reckless behavior.” He said, “Yeah, that’s great. [inaudible 00:04:44].” I mean, what’s going to happen to this country and our democracy if our leaders, when folks act recklessly, and dangerously, and irresponsibly, think that’s okay, think that’s fine?
Barack Obama : (27:07)
Imagined if I [inaudible 00:27:08] when I was president. Imagine if that was reversed. Imagine if I had gone around in rallies saying, “Yeah, intimidate folks. We’re going to send folks out and make sure it’s harder for them to vote.” People would have said, Democrats would have said, “That’s wrong.” Well, you know what? This is wrong. And it needs to change. And you have the power to change it. But if we’re going to change it, we’ve got to turn out like never before.
Speaker 3: (27:49)
Yes, we can.
Barack Obama : (27:54)
We can leave no doubt. We can’t afford to be complacent. Not this time, not in this election. The reason I’m back here, South Florida, is because I know some of you have not voted yet. Some of you haven’t voted yet. Some of your friends, probably all of you who are here have voted. But some of you who are hearing me right now, some of you haven’t voted yet. And it’s not because the guy in the office is doing a good job. It’s not because you don’t see the pain that’s going around because this pandemic has been mishandled. But it’s because you’re skeptical that your vote’s going to make a difference. Or you’re just frustrated because you don’t think government can make a difference.
Barack Obama : (28:50)
And so, I want to talk to you. I don’t know what your circumstances are, but if you’re hearing me right now, you haven’t voted yet, I want you to understand that a president can’t solve every problem. Government can’t solve every problem. But you know what it can do, is if you have people in there who care about you, it can make things better. If we elect a House, and a Senate, and a State House, and the State Senate that are focused on working people and getting them the help that they need, it can make a difference. I wasn’t able to make sure that everybody in America got health insurance. That’s what I wanted to do. I got blocked. We got what we could, but you know what? More than 20 million Americans got health insurance that didn’t have it before. Over a hundred million people had protections if they had a preexisting condition that didn’t have it before. It made things better.
Barack Obama : (29:51)
A president by himself or herself can’t eliminate all racial bias in the criminal justice system. That is a legacy that dates back a long ways. But if we elect district attorneys, and state’s attorneys, and sheriffs focused on equality and justice, it can make things better. It can make sure some of the things that young people were protesting this summer don’t happen as frequently. It’s worth voting for. Voting is not about making things perfect. It’s about making things better, about putting us on a track so that, generations from now, we can look back and say, “You know what? Right then, in that election, we took a new path, and things got better.”
Barack Obama : (30:43)
That’s how so many of us enjoy the benefits of others who voted in the past. The reason we got minimum wages is because union workers were willing to work hard and sacrifice. And then, that got better for everybody. The reason women have the right to vote and to run for office is because generations back, suffrages marched and advocated until they got the right to vote.
Speaker 1: (31:23)
Barack Obama : (31:24)
The reason that I’m able to stand here as a former president of the United States is because people like John Lewis were willing to brave armed batons, and horses, and dogs, and fire hoses to fight for us. The reason that this is a country that has embraced and accepted immigrants is because there were others in the past who were willing to make this journey to America, believing that, you know what? We’re going to leave behind the old undemocratic order, the old injustices. We’re going to try to make a new life here for our children and our grandchildren. They didn’t think it was going to be perfect when they got here. Folks who left Cuba, or Haiti, or Guatemala, or the folks before that, who came from Eastern Europe, they did not expect that suddenly, everything was going to be all set. But they were willing to take the risk, and make the effort, and put in the sacrifice. So, if you haven’t voted, if you haven’t voted, just think about that. Compared to what our parents and our [inaudible 00:32:58], great grandparents had to do, this is such a small thing.
Barack Obama : (33:02)
… had to do, this is such a small thing. Typically, in most elections, a little bit over half of us vote who are eligible. Think about that, close to half of the people who have the right to vote don’t vote. Imagine if 60% of us vote. Imagine if 70% of us vote. Imagine what we could do. Imagine January 20th, when we swear in a president and a vice president, who’ve got a plan to get us out of this mess, who care about working Americans, who have a plan to help you start getting ahead, who believe in science, who have a plan to protect this planet for our kids, who believe in racial equality and gender equality, and are willing to do the work to bring us closer to that point. Where, here in America, it doesn’t matter what you look like, it doesn’t matter where you come from or who you love, or how much money you’ve got, you are treated with dignity and you are treated with respect. And you can make it and chase your dreams.
Barack Obama : (34:17)
It depends on you right now. If you’re not voting, I need you to vote.
Speaker 4: (34:24)
Vote for [crosstalk 00:34:25]-
Barack Obama : (34:25)
All of that is possible. All of that is within reach if you vote. For all the times people have asked me these last four years, they said, “Boy, how have you been put up with all this?” And I confess, I said, “Look, there are times where Michelle and I were at the dinner table, we’d get discouraged. We’re just surprised when we hear the president say, “Well, they are good people on both sides,” after a Nazi march. You know, there are times where we’re discouraged by some of the outlandish statements that are made.”
Barack Obama : (35:07)
But even though we’ve seen some of our worst impulses encouraged, we’ve also seen America at its best these last four years. We’ve seen folks stand up and be heard. We’ve seen folks of every age and background pack city centers and town squares so that families wouldn’t be separated. We’ve seen the Parkland kids lead us so that another classroom wouldn’t get shot up. So this would be a moment when we finally acheive common sense gun safety laws. Were we see healthcare workers like Grace risk their lives day in day out to save somebody else’s loved ones. We’ve seen people contribute and volunteer, help out their neighbors, look after that elderly person that maybe doesn’t have somebody looking after them, bringing them groceries, helping them out. We’ve seen Americans of all races joining together to declare in the face of injustice and brutality that Black Lives Matter, no more, but no less. Just like Hispanic lives matter, no more, no less. Everybody’s worthy of respect and dignity and fair treatment. And we don’t want any child in this country to feel the continuing sting of racism. We’ve seen it here in Miami, in South Florida, we’ve seen it all across the country.
Barack Obama : (36:43)
America is a good and decent place. But we’ve seen so much noise and nonsense and misinformation. Sometimes it’s hard for us to remember that. Sometimes some of us get confused. Some of us have friends who they’re looking at their Twitter feed or they’re watching certain programs on TV and they’re good people, they just, they’ve gotten wrong information.
Barack Obama : (37:16)
But the truth is we can do better than we’re doing. We are better than what’s been reflected these last four years in our politics. And I’m asking you to remember what this country can be. I’m asking you to believe in Joe’s ability to lead this country of the dark times and help us build back better. I’m asking you not to abandoned the Americans who are hurting right now. I’m asking you not to let down the young people who are out there marching because they believed what we had taught our children about justice, help them channel their activism into action. We can’t just imagine a better future, we’ve got to fight for it. We got to out hustle the other side. We’ve got to vote for it.
Barack Obama : (38:14)
The president’s declared that he’s basically planned to announce victory no matter what the numbers are. Well, you know what? If we beat him soundly, he won’t be able to do it. But that requires everybody turning out to vote. That requires folks right here in South Florida to vote. If you are eligible to vote and you believe the country can do better, I need you to cast your ballots. Make a plan.
Barack Obama : (38:45)
Tomorrow we can choose to protect healthcare for our families. Tomorrow we can build an economy that rewards working Americans. Tomorrow we can elect leaders who reflect our best instincts and not our worst. Tomorrow we can just hope over fear, and unity over division. And if we do, Florida, if we vote like our lives depend on, we will elect Joe Biden as president. We’ll elect Kamala Harris as vice president, and we will leave no doubt about who we are and what this country that we love stands for. Thank you South Florida, let’s get to work. Vote tomorrow. I love you!