Aug 17, 2020
Cardi B Interviews Joe Biden Transcript
Cardi B interviewed Joe Biden for ELLE Magazine on August 17. They discussed coronavirus, police brutality, and healthcare. Read the transcript here.
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Cardi B: (00:05)
Oh, snap. Is [inaudible 00:00:07] real?
Joe Biden: (00:08)
How are you doing?
Cardi B: (00:09)
Hi Biden, how are you?
Joe Biden: (00:10)
How are you? The name’s Joe.
Cardi B: (00:14)
Well hello there Joe.
Joe Biden: (00:16)
Hi, [crosstalk 00:00:16] as a matter of fact, watch me and my daughter. The love of my life, the life of my love. She’s a fan of yours.
Ashley Biden: (00:22)
Hi, how are you?
Cardi B: (00:23)
Hi, how are you?
Joe Biden: (00:23)
This is [Ashley 00:00:24].
Ashley Biden: (00:24)
Good. How are you doing?
Cardi B: (00:26)
I’m good [crosstalk 00:00:26].
Joe Biden: (00:26)
You know the nickname she gave her father when she was growing up?She’d call me Joey B. So we may be related or something [crosstalk 00:00:33].
Ashley Biden: (00:33)
Yep. Cardi B, Joey B [crosstalk 00:00:35]. I’m a huge fan [crosstalk 00:00:37] and I just wanted to say [crosstalk 00:00:38] hi.
Cardi B: (00:39)
You doing … I feel so crazy, because I feel like I’m a little bit late. But Biden, let me tell you something. When you have kids my age, like the one my age, two years old. Your schedule never go as planned. You know what I’m saying?
Joe Biden: (00:52)
You’re telling me.
Cardi B: (00:53)
I went to sleep early …
Joe Biden: (00:54)
I got four kids, five grandkids. Come on. I’m an expert. I understand about kids. The most important thing in the world. They come first.
Cardi B: (01:03)
Yes, definitely. Always. I kick them first, period.
Joe Biden: (01:08)
Keep it that way.
Cardi B: (01:09)
So Joe, I heard you got some questions for me.
Joe Biden: (01:13)
Oh, I do have some questions for you. First of all, I want to congratulate you, the cover of Elle. I tell you, that’s pretty good. That’s pretty big time. Number one, doesn’t surprise me you’re on the cover. But number two, thanks for your generosity, dealing with people who are suffering from COVID. There’s so many people who needlessly are in trouble, who are needlessly have died when they didn’t have to, if we had taken the precautions we needed to. And thank you, you have a generous heart. You have a generous heart. And [crosstalk 00:01:44] what I wanted to know was, tell me, what’s your main interest, in terms of this election?
Cardi B: (01:51)
I have a whole list of things that I want, and I wish, and I desire for our next president to do for us. But, first in first, let me [inaudible 00:02:02]. I just want Trump out. You know what I’m saying? I just feel like his mouth gets us in trouble so much. I don’t want to be lied to. I don’t want … We’re dealing with a pandemic right now, right? And I just want answers. I want to know when this is over. I want to go back to my job. I want to be able to go outside. I want to be able not to feel like I’m trapped in my home. And, but I don’t want somebody to lie to me and tell me that it’s okay to go outside. It’s okay not to wear a mask. That everything is going to be okay.
Cardi B: (02:35)
No, I want a timeline of when things are going to get better. I want a president to tell me what are the steps for us to get better, besides taking precautions, like with our masks and quarantine. I need somebody to tell me, “This is going to be over when we find this cure. This is why it’s taking so long. This is why other countries are doing better than ours when it comes to this pandemic.” I need somebody to tell me the truth, the hardcore truth.
Cardi B: (03:08)
And, also, I of course want free Medicare. And this is why it’s important to have free Medicare, because look what’s happening right now. You see why we should have been have free Medicare for a long time. I, of course, think that we need free college education, that’s second. And, I want black people to stop getting killed, and no justice for it. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of it, I just want more stricter laws, that is fair to black citizens, and it’s fair for cops too. If you kill somebody that doesn’t have a weapon on them, you go to jail. You know what? If I kill somebody, I got to go to jail. You got to go to jail too.
Cardi B: (04:00)
That’s what I want, and it’s so sad that a pandemic has to happen so people could open their eyes on seeing what type of person are they dealing with. You know what I’m saying? It was like, you’re really confusing the people. One day you’re telling them that this is nothing, that people need to stop getting tested, because they’re going to get it anyways. Next thing you know you have a mask in your face, and you’re really playing games, not with us, not the wokes. You playing games with the people that support you … All of this has to happen, this crazy stuff that have to happen so they could open their eyes for the past four years.
Joe Biden: (04:39)
Well, it doesn’t have to happen. For example, in 2016 if 18 to 23 or four year olds have voted in the same percentage as the rest of the population, we would have had Hillary Clinton, not him. The vote matters. That’s why you keep talking to people about the need to vote. The vote matters. It matters a great deal. And so, we got to take … Look, the generation, your generation and the young millennials beyond that, they can own this. They can own this outcome, and they can own what happens in the next election. They are the ones that can change things dramatically, if they show up and vote. Tell me what your fans most say to you when they communicate with you online. What are they most concerned about?
Cardi B: (05:28)
Obviously free college education, free Medicare, especially now that people are just getting sick left to right, left to right. And that’s why I keep telling people, because sometimes people have problems in they community. They just wonder, for example, a lot of afterschool programs that I was growing up with, there’s no afterschool programs a lot anymore, in my hood.
Joe Biden: (05:53)
That’s right. Nowhere [crosstalk 00:05:55].
Cardi B: (05:55)
People are just wondering, why? Why is that?
Joe Biden: (05:58)
Because people don’t want to pay the taxes for it, and that’s why this whole thing about government’s bad has been such a downer for the things that really matter to you and me … I was doing very well as a single dad when my wife and daughter got killed, and I had two boys that survived that accident. I didn’t have the money to have someone to take care of my kids. Thank God I had my sister, and my brother, and my mother who helped me. My sister moved in with me, with she and her husband. But look at all the people that don’t have that kind of help.
Cardi B: (06:28)
And you want to know something? Talking to you, I’m always so focused on Medicare and college education, and I never really thought about how important is childcare. You know what I’m saying? Because, I think that nobody’s more motivated than a mom. Nobody want to go and hustle out there, and get that money for they kid. Once you become a mom, you changed completely. Your mindset changed completely, but it’s like, how are you supposed to do that when you probably don’t have a babysitter for your kid? And I’m, fortunately for me, I’m able to, I have my mom take care of my child. But a lot of people, they mom cannot retire and take care of they kids. Their mom [crosstalk 00:07:12] has to work too.
Joe Biden: (07:14)
One of the things that I admire about you, is you keep talking about what I call equity. Just decency, fairness. Treating people with respect. John Lewis used to say, “The vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool you have. Use the power to change for the change you want by voting.” Look, I’m a lot older than you, to state the obvious. When I was in high school, what happened was we had the civil rights movement was just being started. And what happened? Along came Bull Connor and his dogs. He thought he was going to drive a wooden stake into the heart of the civil rights movement.
Joe Biden: (07:50)
But when all those folks who never realized, never saw before what was happening in the South, they lived in places where there were very few black people, didn’t know any black people. All of a sudden they saw Bull Connor with dogs ripping off the clothes of black women, elderly women going to church, and kids being knocked down with fire hoses and their skin being ripped off. All of a sudden, as Dr. King said, we had the second emancipation. We had the Voting Rights Act and we had the Civil Rights Act. It changed things, because people said, “”Oh my God, that’s happening.
Joe Biden: (08:22)
I think I heard you say somewhere along line what I’ve been saying, this cell phone has changed America. Because what happens now? We’re at a point where some brave kid, 15 years old can stand there, and for a total of eight minutes and 46 seconds take a photograph of a black man whose family I know and met with, and understand, and spent time with, and watched him brutally murdered, brutally murdered. And people around the world were saying, “My God.” … That it really happens, because I’m not in a neighborhood like that. I don’t come from a place. And now guess what? They’re demanding change.
Cardi B: (08:59)
Black people, we’re not asking for sympathy, we’re not asking for charity. We are just asking for equality.
Joe Biden: (09:08)
Cardi B: (09:10)
We are asking for fairness, and we are asking for justice. That is all. I feel like everything that people are asking for is getting interpreted in a very different way. No, it’s simple. We just want justice. That’s all. We want justice. We want to feel like Americans. We want equality.
Joe Biden: (09:31)
Treat me with respect [crosstalk 00:09:31].
Cardi B: (09:31)
People want … Yes, with respect.
Joe Biden: (09:34)
Respect. That’s where I think you’re seeing a real … Look, I have a friend who is a congressman in Mississippi, Bennie Thompson, and a very well known congressman, an African-American. He called me two weeks ago. He said, “Joe, I just came from a protest in Mississippi,” and he said, “and I looked out there, and there were … ” I forget how many people. He said, “There was many white kids marching as black kids. This is Mississippi Joe, things are changing Joe.” The reason I’m so optimistic is because of your generation. You’re the smartest, the best educated, the least prejudice and the most engaged generation in American history, and you’re going to change things. You’re going to change them. You’re the reason I have such incredible hope. I really mean it. I’m not trying to be nice. It’s a fact. That’s what’s going to change things.
Joe Biden: (10:25)
The rest of the world has always looked to us. Why have they looked to us? Not because we’re so powerful, but the power of our example. Look what they’re seeing now with this president. He’s literally promoting hatred, promoting prejudice, promoting racism, talking about protecting the Confederate flag when Mississippi takes it off their flag, and he’s defending it. He’s talking about stats. I mean, what this is all about, all about the game of making people hate each other, because that’s how he wins, by dividing us. But you’re going to change it. Your generation is changing. You already are doing it.
Cardi B: (11:04)
The new generation, my fans, my people. And it’s like, this is why we have to go out and vote. I know that the young generation right now, with social media, we are just so eager to make money, to look a certain type of way, to have style, celebrity gossip. And it’s like, why don’t we make a change for real and just vote?
Joe Biden: (11:27)
And in the primaries they kept saying, “Well, there’s not that many people voting. Biden not going to excite anybody.” We had the largest turnout in the primaries, ever. People are ready. They’re ready, and they know we can change it. But look, there’s a lot, but we really rely on people like you. And let me tell you something, the American people have never, ever, ever let their country down, given half a chance. Never. And they’ve been battered by corporate America, they’ve been battered by this president, particularly, and the way in which he’s able to continue to divide it. He appeals to the outright prejudice of some of those in that community that don’t have any money, and he just appeals to their prejudice. He spews hate. We got to stop it.
Cardi B: (12:13)
Prejudice, it’s just so dangerous. It could be a start of a civil war. It makes people feel uncomfortable around different people. Nobody wants to feel targeted. Nobody wants animosity. We just want the best for us. Everybody just want the best for they self, they future [crosstalk 00:00:12:33].
Joe Biden: (12:34)
That’s exactly right [crosstalk 00:12:34].
Cardi B: (12:35)
[inaudible 00:12:34]. I don’t want to live to tell my kid, “You have to be careful going to the store. Don’t wear this, this certain type of clothes. Don’t wear a mask. Don’t wear a hoodie. Please, don’t get stopped.” We don’t want that, and I don’t want to feel a certain type of hate, a certain type of animosity for different a race, because I feel like they get it easier than us. I don’t want to feel like that. Nobody wants to feel like that. That I guess that why can’t we just work with each other? And [crosstalk 00:13:11].
Joe Biden: (13:09)
Cardi B: (13:12)
[inaudible 00:13:12] And racism always have existed, but I feel like right now there’s just a lot of tension, and we need somebody to clean that. I’m just so tired of it. [crosstalk 00:13:24].
Joe Biden: (13:23)
Well by the way, the country has been mourning. And what you’re finding now, is the vast majority of the American people understand what’s going on. My mom used to have an expression. Say, “Joey, the greatest virtue of all is courage, because without courage you couldn’t love with abandoned, and without courage none of the other virtues would exist.” It’s time for some courage, and you’re exercising it. You and other people of your stature, who have millions of people who look to you, you’re exercising …
Joe Biden: (13:54)
Cardi, it’s not easy for you to do this. You’re going to get a lot of flack for the kinds of things you say, but you have the courage to stand up and say, “Now’s the time.” … By the way, we’re going to have, if I get elected president, free college education for four years of college, flat out. Anybody with a family, less than 125 grand, you’re going to get a free education. Everybody gets free education for community college. Everybody wants to go on and become an apprentice, free.
Cardi B: (14:21)
Let me tell you about my college experience, right?
Joe Biden: (14:24)
Cardi B: (14:27)
I’m from New York. So when you’re in high school or middle school, they give you a free Metro card so you could travel. It’s for you to be able to go to your school, and of course they gave me free lunch. When I was in college I had to get a job, because I really needed five dollars, every single day, to be able to go from Washington Heights to Chamber Street, and then I had to feed myself. Sometimes I had to wait from 1:00 PM all the way to 9:00 PM, that’s my schedule, to get home so I could be able to eat.
Cardi B: (15:03)
Because that whole time right there, I couldn’t afford to go to McDonald’s. I couldn’t afford to go to any restaurants around Chamber Street on my break, and you have to pay for lunch, the school lunch there. So, I was just starving, and I just felt so discouraged. So I just feel like that is so important, to finance students while they in college, because they get really discouraged. And that’s what people want to know. People want to know, can you provide college education, this Medicare plan, without a big chunk of taxes coming out of our checks.
Joe Biden: (15:43)
And the way we can pay for all of this, is doing practical things, like making sure that no corporation making a profit should pay less than 15% tax on their profit. None. Zero. Everybody has to pay their fair share. Thank you for your willingness to help. I promise … I’ll make mistakes as president, but I’ll admit to the mistakes I make, and you’re never going to have to wonder whether I’ll keep my word.
Cardi B: (16:09)
Joe Biden: (16:10)
Cardi B: (16:10)
I would like to see.
Joe Biden: (16:12)
Just check me out. I’ve never broken my word, anything I’ve said I was going to do, never in my life …