Oct 30, 2020
Joe Biden Campaign Event Speech Transcript Des Moines, Iowa October 30
Joe Biden held a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa on October 30. Read the transcript of his speech remarks here.
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Theresa Greenfield: (01:53)
Well, hello, Iowa. Hello, Polk County. Are you guys ready to send Joe Biden to the White House? Well, I want to thank all the volunteers that are here today. I want to thank all the volunteers across the state, Democrats who are working so hard to elect candidates up and down the ticket here. We’ve just got four days until this election and I am so fired up, because this is a race we can win. And when we win it, when we flip this seat, we’re going to take back the majority of the United States Senate. Honk for that. For those of you who I haven’t met, I’m Theresa Greenfield. I’m a businesswoman. I’m a mother of four. I’m a military mom. I’m a scrappy farm kid and I know the price of corn. I was going through really tough times right now and I think these are going to be some of the most consequential times of our life, with the pandemic, the recent derecho, farm bankruptcy’s at an eight year high. Families struggling to afford… (silence) Tough times. I’ve been through a whole lot of struggles myself. I grew up during the farm crisis when interest rates were at 21%, bankruptcy auctions were going on every single week and farm families were ruined. I had to scrap through a lot of part-time jobs to put myself through college. I worked hard. And when I was widowed at the age of 24, my first husband, Rod, he was a lineman for the power company. He was an IBW member, a union member. Can I get some honks for the unions please? Well, when Rod died in a workplace accident, that left me a single mom with a 13 month old and another one on the way.
Theresa Greenfield: (04:16)
And it was social security and it was his hard earned union benefits that kept the boys and out of poverty. It gave me a second chance to get back on my feet and rebuild a career and provide for my family. And I know everybody wants the dignity of providing for their family. So when Senator Joni Ernst talks about privatizing social security, about going behind closed doors to gut social security, I said, “No way,” and I got in this fight. I want grannies across the state to know… I want grannies across the state to know I’m going to fight to sustain social security for generations to come. And that is something to honk about. Now, we’ve been traveling the state. We’ve done over 350 campaign events around the state. And while people are talking about healthcare and they’re talking about the farm economy, more than anything, they want the divisiveness to end. They want the bickering and the name calling to come to an end. In 2014, Senator Joni Ernst, she told us she’d be independent, she’d be different and she’d make them squeal. Do you guys remember that? Honk if you remember squealing? Well, here’s the deal. She’s had six years and she failed Iowa. She forgot about us. She has sold us out for her big corporate donors. Folks, she’s taken over $200,000 from big pharma and refuses to require Medicare to negotiate for those prescription drug costs. She’s taken over $500,000 from big oil, selling out our farmers. Putting one of their guys to head the EPA, who gutted our ethanol industry. Frankly, I think all that money has kind of got Senator Ernst mixed up. She’s been fighting to keep corn prices low and drug prices high. I’m going to do the exact opposite as your next Senator. Well, enough is enough. We deserve a Senator. Who’s going to put Iowa first, who’s going to fight for our hardworking families. And that certainly is why I got in this race, and I don’t take one dime of corporate PAC donations. Let’s honk about that. Now, growing up on the Greenfield farm, it was a little farm outside of a town of 500, my dad always said, “There’s no boy jobs and there’s no girl jobs. There’s just jobs that need to get done.” And Washington is no different. I’ll work with anyone to get those jobs done. We have got to expand healthcare for all of us, lower prescription drug prices, protect our rural hospitals. We’ve got to get through this pandemic and rebuild our economy. Our farmers need a fair shot and everywhere [inaudible 00:07:36] Medicaid, social security. I’ll work with anyone, Republicans or Democrats to get those jobs done.
Theresa Greenfield: (07:44)
All right. There is no [inaudible 00:07:59]. This race is going to be tough. It’s going to be a donnybrook all the way to the finish line, but I’m going to continue to take my grit and my… But I can’t do it alone, I can’t win it alone. And so I need all of you to go to greenfieldforiowa.com and do three things. Sign up to text and phone bank, lend a hand, talk to everybody you know has a plan to vote. Because your vote is your voice, you want to make it count. All right. Thanks for coming out today. Thank you for helping to flip this seat. We’re going to elect Joe Biden to the White House. We’re going to win races up and down the ticket. We’re going to re-elect Cindy and Abby. We’re going to get Rita and JD across the finish line. We’re going to take back the State House and the State Senate. So please, please work hard. And here’s my promise to you. My promise is this. I’ll never forget who I am, where I’m from and who I’m fighting for. Thank you everybody, be well. (singing)
Speaker 1: (10:32)
Please welcome to the stage Ross Daniels. (singing)
Ross Daniels: (11:03)
I’m just one small voice, but I’m also a voice for millions who have lost a loved one to COVID. We are the mourners. My father passed away from COVID at 1:00 AM on May 5th, holding the hands of two nurses he didn’t know. It wasn’t safe for my sister, Karen, to be by my side and to be with our father. The last faces he saw before he left this world were strangers. Caring, kind, essential, loving strangers, but strangers. Many of the mourners have chosen to remain silent through this grief. My values and my Jewish faith tell me that every life is precious. My faith says it’s quite literally a desecration of God’s name, not to do everything in your power to save a life. So I decided I need to use my voice right now. I needed to tell people that COVID-19 is not a hoax. It’s not behind…
Ross Daniels: (12:03)
COVID-19 is not a hoax. It’s not behind us, that we have not turned a corner, that hundreds of thousands of people in America lie sick or having died to tell people to use the evidence of their eyes, their ears, despite Trump’s pleas to reject them. The death of a father at the age of 92, who had a full and vibrant life is not itself a tragedy to me. For me, the tragedy came in not being able to grieve with my sister who needed to view her own father’s funeral on a livestream. Karen, you’re with me right now. It came from not being able to grieve with friends, to hug them, to cry on their shoulders. Grief during COVID is indeed a lonely exercise. Joe Biden understands this. Joe Biden is made for this moment in our nation’s history. I still can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but the President of our United States has not just chosen to ignore the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have died on his watch. No, Trump’s actually decided it’s to his political advantage to diminish the value of those lives already lost while jeopardizing millions more through super spreader events and outright lies. My dad and the more than 225, 000 lives lost are not, as Trump said, virtually nobody. People loved them. People depended on them. People’s lives were brightened and made whole by them. During the first Vice Presidential debate, it seemed as if the Vice President looked at the screen and spoke directly to me as well as millions of others.
Ross Daniels: (13:53)
You see, my wife and I had just observed Yom Kippur two days before with an empty seat at the head of our table and no family able to travel safely to fill up those seats. Joe understands that. Joe understood that. We all know that Joe has known unimaginable loss in his life. Who better than to steward America through a time of terrible loss of life, loss of livelihoods, loss of dreams? Who better than a person of honored empathy and compassion to help America begin to deal with the sheer magnitude of human suffering talk Trump’s unwillingness to act has brought upon us. Joe Biden is that person who can help us to rebuild that more perfect union. Joe Biden is the person that can help us bend the arc of that moral universe back towards justice and compassion and empathy for our fellow Americans.
Ross Daniels: (15:05)
I’m just one voice, but on November 3rd, I think you’re going to hear the voices of millions of others who are still in mourning. You’ll hear from them at the ballot box. Our votes will do the talking for us. It is now my deep honor and great privilege to introduce the next and 46th President of the United States, Vice President Joe Biden. (music)
Joe Biden: (15:36)
Hello, Iowa. Hello, Polk County. Hello, De Moines. Back at the state fair. God love you all. Thank you for being out here today. Folks, I want to thank Ross. Thanks for that introduction. Ross, my heart goes out to you. It really is. I know it’s hard, but you’ve been turning loss into purpose, saving lives. People who in fact ask me about my circumstances in the past said the best way to get through it is with purpose, find purpose. And you’ve done that. And Governor Tom and Christie Vilsack, my best buddies. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you’ve done for me before, now, and God willing after. Jill and I will always be grateful, grateful for your support and your friendship. And folks, Cindy Axly, God loved her. And Amy Finkenhower, Abby Finkenhower.
Joe Biden: (17:08)
I tell you what, you guys are the single best Congress persons I’ve campaigned with. You need leaders like you right now. We need more of you. We need more. We’ve got to elect them both. And by the way, we need Readon in the Second District and J.D. in the Fourth District. It’s time we can change things a little bit here. Right? Time to change it. I tell you what, and how about Theresa? I’ll tell you what, you have no idea how much you’re going to make my night when you win. You have no idea. And how you’re going to make everybody else’s night. You are as they say back in Scranton, you’re the real deal, kid. You’re the real deal. And you’ve never forgotten where you came from. And the I’m confident about is even going to Washington as a U.S. Senator, you’re not going to forget where you came from and who you are.
Joe Biden: (18:05)
Your values are baked in. They’re Iowa values. They’re American values. You value honor, decency, respect, and dignity. You know they all matter. They matter a lot. That’s who we are. And as we saw in the debate, where a farmer’s daughter knows a breakeven point for a price of corn, crops. You think that’d be fairly basic. That’s like my not knowing where the Delaware River was back home. Folks, but there’s something else. Theresa and I both lost our first spouses. We’ve both been single parents with young kids. We both found a way back from broken places. And we know that’s why you should elect this woman, Theresa, to the United States Senate. She sees, she understands, she believes. When she talks to you, when you talk to her, you know, and I’m not just saying this, you know she understands, she gets it.
Joe Biden: (19:14)
Just like our good friend Tom Harkin was your Senator. Teresa will be your Senator for Iowa. Not like her opponent, who’s Donald Trump’s Senator for Donald Trump. Folks, only four days left. Millions of Americans are already voting. Millions more are going to vote by late Tuesday night. I believe, when you use your power, the power of a vote, we’re going to change the course of the country and quite frankly the world. Right here in Iowa with all of you in the final days. Please keep your sense of empowerment. Keep your sense of optimism of what we can do together, because you know we can do anything. You know how I know how hard it is. More than 200, and now I think it’s up to 30,000 people have died, Americans dead, because COVID-19.
Joe Biden: (20:21)
Nearly 1,700 dead right here in Iowa. Iowa hit a record number of daily cases yesterday. It was over 2,300, and a record number of hospitalizations, more than 600. We’ve now hit nine million cases nationwide, a tragic milestone. And millions of people are out of work, on the edge, and they can’t see the light. They don’t know. It just looks dark right now for them. 82,000 Iowa jobs lost in this pandemic and still they’ve not come back. 70,000 jobs lost in Iowa since Donald Trump became President. Here at the fairgrounds, the Iowa State Fair canceled for the first time since World War Two, and Donald Trump has given up. The White House Chief of Staff said it out loud last week. He said, “We’re not going to control the pandemic. We’re not going to control the pandemic.” In the debate last week with Donald Trump, he said, “We’re rounding the corner. It’s going away.” And only he could say, “We’re learning to live with it.” Well, maybe you remember what I told him, “We’re not learning to live with it. We’re having to learn to die with it because of you.” Donald Trump has waved the white flag. He surrendered to this virus. But the American people don’t give up. Remember what he said when he did that interview, he said, although he knew about the crisis, he knew how bad it was back in January, the end of January, he decided not to tell the people, because he worried there would panic. Well, guess what? We don’t panic. He panicked. And he misrepresented to us. Imagine if you had told us in January how dangerous this was and took action. It’s estimated there would be over 130,000 people still alive.
Joe Biden: (22:38)
By the way, we don’t cower. Nor do I and never will we. Unlike Donald Trump, we will not surrender to this virus. I’m going to put in place a plan to deal with this pandemic responsibly, which I laid out back in March, bringing the country together around testing, tracing, masking. It’s estimated by the leading doctors in America that if you just wore those masks for the next between now and the end of the year, we would save, just putting this mask on, we’d saved 100,000 lives. It’s expected that 200,000 more lives will pass between having the end of the year. Dr. Fauci called last week for a mask mandate. This isn’t a political statement. It’s patriotic duty, for God’s sake. But still, Donald Trump refuses to listen to science. He politicizes the race for a vaccine instead of planning for its safe and equitable and free distribution. He refused to provide schools and small businesses the resources and national standards where they can open safely and stay open. Well, I’m going to bring together Republicans and Democrats to deliver economic relief to working families and school …
Joe Biden: (24:03)
… together Republicans and Democrats to deliver economic relief to working families and schools and businesses. The Congress has already passed this legislation. It’s sitting there, but he refused, he spent all his time this summer in his golf course bunkers or down in the white house bunkers, think about it. I’ve been around for a while, I bet even Senator Grassley would have to acknowledge that I don’t ever remember any President in a crisis where there’s a disagreement in the house and the Senate between Democrats and Republicans, didn’t even try to bring them together to deal with this. The house back in May passed the Heroes Act, which would allow businesses and schools to open safely because it costs money, you need sanitation, you need ventilation, you need masking, you need distancing, you need separators. It all costs money, but it’s sad, one in six businesses are now out of business, because he won’t act. I’ve said before, I’m not going to shut down the economy, I’m going to shut down the virus.
Joe Biden: (25:19)
Even before the virus Donald Trump had already blown it, he inherited a strong economy from Barack and me, well like everything else he inherited, he squandered it. He squandered it, frankly. I’ve dealt with guys like Trump my whole life, so have you. Guys who think because they have a lot more money that they’re better than you, look down on you. I know, I acknowledge I got a little bit of a chip on my shoulder coming from an Irish Catholic neighborhood where it wasn’t viewed as that being such a great thing. When I read something about how if I’m elected President, I’m going to be the first non-Ivy league person to occupy the white house in a long time. Well guess what? Like somehow, I didn’t belong if I didn’t go to the Ivy league. Look, I’ll say it about time, it’s about time that a guy or woman or graduate from a state university is able to sit in the oval office.
Joe Biden: (26:35)
Because if I’m sitting there, you will be too, you know who really built this country? It wasn’t Wall Street, it wasn’t CEO’s, it was hard working folks like all of you who built the middle class and unions helped build the middle class. We know how we can build a back and build it back better with an economy that rewards work for a change, not wealth. We can do it without raising the penny tax on the middle class. I guarantee you, give you my word as a Biden no one making less than $400,000 year will see a penny in their taxes raised, no one, but I tell you what, it’s about time. The wealthiest people in America, the billionaires, the trillionaires, the multi-billionaires and the biggest corporations start paying their fair share. 91 major corporations out of the Fortune 500 didn’t pay a penny in tax last year, that’s tens of billions of dollars. They’re going to pay their fair share.
Joe Biden: (27:47)
Why should a firefighter, an educator, a nurse, a cop pay a higher tax rate, which you do than a major multi-billion dollar corporation. Why should you pay more taxes than Donald Trump who paid $750? You want to know everything I don’t like about Trump? Let me tell you, I could capture it in one answer he gave. He was asked last time out about paying so little taxes, allegedly being a billionaire, know what he said? He says, “Because I’m smarter, I know how to game the system.” But he ain’t going to be gaming the system anymore in the Biden administration, they’re going to start paying. And we’re going to deliver tax relief for working families, the middle class to help you buy your first home, pay for healthcare premiums or childcare or care for an aging loved one, or being able to pay off your student debt for God’s sake. Look, where I come from it’s just about being fair. We’re not asking anybody to do any more than anybody else just be fair, decent.
Joe Biden: (29:07)
Trump got a Supreme Court Justice for overwhelming reason, by the way, never before has there ever been a hearing on a Supreme Court Justice once an election began. That’s never occurred, but you got his justice for one simple reason to destroy the Affordable Care Act. He’d been trying since the day he got elected, and if they get their way, $100 million people will lose protection for pre-existing conditions, including 1.3 million Iowans will lose it. Complications of COVID-19 are going to become the next preexisting condition. Allowing insurers to jack up your premiums, delay your coverage and a lot of young people don’t realize this, but before Obamacare insurance companies charged women more for the same healthcare they charge men because they could, that’ll end. Donald Trump thinks healthcare is a privilege, I think it’s a right. We all get out and vote. And by the way, they’re going to court in 10 days, 10 days, as he said to wipe it all out, end it, all of it.
Joe Biden: (30:34)
Well, I’ll restore the Affordable Care Act and I’ll strengthen and build on it, so you can keep your private insurance if you like it, or choose a Medicare like public option. We’re going to increase subsidies for lower premiums, deductibles, out-of-pocket expenses, surprise billing. As Theresa said, this time, we are going to make sure Medicare can negotiate with the drug companies for prices reducing them by 60%. I promise you we’ll get that done. We’re going to make sure we keep protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Remember what he said when he talked about the people who were dying and not dying, he said, “Virtually,” this is a quote from Trump, “virtually nobody’s dying, except for people over 65 with heart conditions,” like they’re disposable. It doesn’t matter with this guy. No, I’m not joking. Think about it, think about it. And then when he was told for the first time like we did today, 1,000 deaths a day, remember what his comment was? He said, “It is what it is.” Well it is what it is because he is who he is, that’s why it is what it is. These guys are something else, man. And meanwhile, the actuary at the Social Security Department says if Donald Trump gets what he’s saying, he said, “You reelect me I’m going to change social security.” The actuary says, “If the change occurs that he is promoting, it will bankrupt social security by 2023.” Go home and tell your parents or grandparents that, that’s a fact. Theresa said I’ll protect social, security, Medicare, Medicaid. And let’s not forget how Donald Trump weak and chaotic China trade policy has cost farmers and manufacturing so badly. Agricultural exports to China during the Trump years have been 40% lower than during the Obama Biden second term. On his watch and this really bugs me, on his watch ethanol margins have tanked and Iowa’s manufacturing facilities are idle and even closing. He even says, I love this quote from him. He says, because of his bailouts, “Our farmers do better now than when they actually had a farm.” I’m going to read that again. “Our farmers are actually doing better now than when they actually had a farm.” Where’s this guy from? Who does he think he is?
Joe Biden: (33:41)
Look, I’ll do what he’s been unable to do, I’ll mobilize a true international effort to stop China’s abuses so we can strengthen manufacturing and farming in Iowa and across the country. I’m going to hold China accountable, which he hasn’t from the pandemic on. Folks. But there’s nothing worse in my view than the way he has spoken about those who served in uniform. He called them losers and suckers. My son, Beau, many of you knew volunteered to serve a year in Iraq, gave up the Attorney General’s job to do it. Won the bronze star, the Conspicuous Service Metal and other awards, he was neither a loser or a sucker, he was a Patriot. And Theresa, so is your son Dane, who was in the army, he’s a Patriot like all of your sons, daughters, and all of those of you who have served.
Joe Biden: (34:59)
It’s no wonder that the six top generals in the President’s administration left and said, “He does not deserve to be commander in chief,” his own generals in his own administration. No President has ever had that happen, none. And that’s why Special Forces Commander, Stanley McChrystal, general and the head of the Navy Seals, Admiral Craven, along with 20 other four star generals endorsed me saying they’d be proud to have me as commander in chief. A sitting President. And that’s why the Military Times quotes more troops would vote for Biden then Trump. Folks, it’s not about me, it’s about him. That’s why we have to support our military. You vote for me, you’re voting for them. And while Donald Trump fails to condemn White supremacy …
Joe Biden: (36:03)
And while Donald Trump fails to condemn white supremacy, we can vote to deliver racial justice. A season of protest has broken out all across America. And by the way, legitimate protesting is not burning or looting. Violence can never be tolerated and it won’t. But those protests are cries for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake. They’ll not soon be forgotten, not by me, not by us, or not by this country.
Joe Biden: (36:38)
Folks, we ave to vote to meet the challenge of climate crisis as well. More frequent, extreme weather. The West is on fire. We’ve lost more forest than the total space of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined, in the West. The Midwest I need not tell you is flooding. You know here in Iowa, the derecho, catastrophic floods and droughts that lay waste to lives, livelihoods and whole communities. And in the South and the East hurricanes are more severe. Oceans are rising. My state’s only three feet above sea level. People are already talking about the change we have to make. We don’t have a lot of time. Donald Trump, when you say climate change, he thinks hoax, and that stable genius, as he calls himself, continues to say wind power causes cancer. It’s the same guy who said, by the way you think I’m making this up, when he was advised about the increasing hurricanes coming across the Atlantic because of the warm water, he said, “Maybe we should drop a nuclear weapon on them.” Holy mackerel.
Joe Biden: (37:56)
This also a guy you may recall, the stable genius, he said, “The problem with the revolutionary war was we didn’t have enough airports.” And he talks about mental acuity? Whoa. Folks, you look at climate warming. You look at it the way I do. Creates jobs, Iowa jobs, jobs across America. You understand that here in Iowa we’ve already created thousands of good paying jobs because of your dominant in wind energy. And it’s expected that the number of wind jobs will double or triple by 2030 in Iowa. And notwithstanding that the stable genius says wind power causes cancer. Wind power helps save the planet, generates millions of dollars in economic growth, and provides good prevailing wage jobs.
Joe Biden: (38:54)
Folks, combating climate change means saving the planet, protecting our health, and creating millions of good paying jobs, Union jobs, in wind and solar and carbon capture. Iowa farmers were the first in the world to be in a position where they reach net zero emissions, because we’re going to make sure there’s a whole lot more land set aside and you get paid for it. Deep rooted products, emissions, reward them. Folks, we can do this. There’s nothing beyond our capacity. So honk if you want America to lead again. Honk if you want America to trust each other again. Honk if you want America to be united again.
Joe Biden: (39:49)
Folks, we cannot afford four more years of Donald Trump. In 2008 and 2012 you placed your trust in Barack Obama and me and we worked for you, for the entire country. Well, I’ll do it again in 2020. My campaign is a broad coalition, welcomes Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. I’m running as a proud Democrat, but I will govern as an American president. I’ll work as hard for those who don’t support me as those who do. In my administration, they’ll be no red states or blue states, just the United States of America.
Joe Biden: (40:36)
Folks, I mean this at the bottom of my heart. That’s the job of a president, a duty to care, to care for everyone, to heal. And you too have a sacred duty, a duty to vote. It matters. Iowa matters. So in these final days stay empowered, stay united, stay optimistic. Make a plan to vote, vote early, vote on election day, help get out the vote. Go to I willvote.com/ia.
Joe Biden: (41:16)
Folks, this president has done everything to try to discourage us, to try to convince us that it doesn’t matter, all about illegal voting, all the stuff he’s putting up, but guess what? He will not be able to stop us at all. Despite Trump’s efforts, a recent press article two days ago said never before “in modern presidential politics has a candidate had been so reliant on wide-scale efforts to repress the vote as Trump.” End of quote. We will not be silenced. 85 million people have already voted so far. We’ve had enough.
Joe Biden: (42:13)
Folks, look, I’ll never forget as a kid, the words of President Kennedy about going to the moon. He used the phrase, he said, we’re doing it because, ” We refuse to postpone, or I refuse to postpone, incredible opportunities available to the American people.” There’s nothing beyond our capacity. There is no limit to our future. The only thing that can’t tear America, look, I’ll talk about how we’re in trouble. Well, nothing can tear America part, except America itself. And that’s exactly what Donald Trump is doing from the beginning. Trying to divide America, pitting Americans against one another based on race, gender, ethnicity, national origin. It’s wrong. That’s not who we are.
Joe Biden: (43:13)
Look, folks, everybody knows who Donald Trump is. We got to let him know who we are. We choose hope over fear. We choose unity over division, science over fiction. And yes, we choose truth over lies. So folks, it’s time for us to stand up, take back our democracy. We can do this. We’re so much better than we’ve been. We can be who we are at our best, the United States of America. There’s literally not a thing we’ve ever been unable to do, nothing. The only country in the world that’s ever come out of every crisis stronger than it went in is United States of America. And with your help, I promise you, that’s what we’ll do again. God bless you all. And may God protect our troops. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Joe Biden: (44:29)