Oct 12, 2020
Joe Biden Campaign Speech Toledo, Ohio Transcript October 12
Joe Biden held a campaign event in Toledo, Ohio on October 12. Read the transcript of his speech here.
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Joe Biden: (00:00)
Well, I’ll tell you what. My dad was an automobile man. I got through school, and we got through being able to eat after he lost his job up in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He had to move down to Delaware, because selling General Motors products. So I’ve known, and my state used to have the largest percentage of auto workers of any state in the nation, because we had a small population and the largest General Motors and largest Chrysler plant outside of Michigan and Ohio. I saw what happened when we got hit very hard. We’ve lost both those plants.
Joe Biden: (00:47)
Well, let me start off by saying, Mr. Mayor, thanks for the passport into your city, and Marcy, you’ve been a friend a long time. Thank you for your introduction. There’s no more fierce defender. There’s no more fierce defender, the people she grew up with, than Marcy. She has never, ever, ever forgotten where she came from. She’s tough. She’s a straight shooter. She’s influential in Congress. She’s honest, and she sees you. You’re always in her view.
Joe Biden: (01:21)
Tony, Mr. President, I know you’re new, and he says, “Piece of cake.” So I don’t have to worry if I get elected the first 100 days. But all kidding aside, Tony, thank you for hosting us, and thank you, Local 14. [inaudible 00:26:09], thanks for that introduction. All you did for Barack and me when we were running, when we got elected, jumping in and being part of helping us govern, you remind me of something my dad said. He said, “Joey, a job’s about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about your place in the community. It’s about respect. It’s about being able to say to your kid, look them in the eye and say, ‘Everything’s going to be okay’ and mean it. That’s what a job’s about, a decent paying job like the UAW provides.”
Joe Biden: (02:13)
This lesson I grew up with, surrounded by hard work and families in Scranton and then in Claymont, Delaware, where we had to move when Dad lost work. There was no work in Scranton, just like here in Toledo, but the times are hard. Unemployment is way up due to the pandemic and the terrible way in which it’s been handled. The economic outlook remains uncertain. Across Ohio and the country, folks are worried about making their next mortgage payment or their rent payment, whether or not they can purchase their prescription drugs or be able to put food on the table, literally worried about whether their kids’ schools open and be able to stay open and, if they’re not open, how they can go to work, if they have a job, and still take care of their kids.
Joe Biden: (03:03)
They see the people at the very top doing better than they ever have while they’re left to wonder, “Who’s looking out for me?” That’s Donald Trump’s presidency, 215,000 dead because of COVID. Experts say we’re likely to lose another 200,000 people in the next few months unless we take some serious action. He doesn’t know what he’s doing, all because this president’s only worried about one thing: the stock market. They refuse to follow the science. It’s estimated that if we just wore these masks nationally, we’d save over 100,000 lives between now and the end of the year.
Joe Biden: (03:46)
This president knew back in January. He was briefed in detail by the intelligence community how extremely dangerous this COVID virus was, how communicable the disease was. He went on a taped interview with Bob Woodward, a leading journalist. It’s on tape. It’s been played, telling Woodward that he knew how dangerous the disease was, but did nothing. Ask yourself, “Why didn’t he tell us? Why didn’t he warn us?” He said nothing. He told Woodward he didn’t want it panic the American people. That’s why he said nothing.
Joe Biden: (04:24)
We don’t panic. America doesn’t panic. But Trump panicked. His reckless personal conduct since his diagnosis has been unconscionable. The longer Donald Trump is President, the more reckless he seems to get. Dr. Fauci, the most respected doc on this issue in the world, in the country, he told the president … You know the president’s announcement of his pick for the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden? He’s referred to that as a super spreader. All those people got the disease.
Joe Biden: (05:00)
How’s he responding? Well, guess what? He’s now running an ad you probably saw, a national ad quoting Dr. Fauci out of context. Way back in March, referring to public health officials, Dr. Fauci said, “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more,” end of quote. In the recent ad that’s going out nationally, Trump quotes Dr. Fauci is saying that about him, the president. Trump and his campaign deliberately lied, making it sound like Fauci was talking about Trump. Fauci went on to the public air when the ad came out saying, three days ago, “I did not get permission for that quote.” He wasn’t referring to the president.
Joe Biden: (05:47)
Even after that, Fauci said he didn’t say that. The president and the campaign, even after Fauci laid this out, the campaign said, “We’re still going to use it, because he did say it, even though it wasn’t about him.” The point I’m trying to make is it was a knowing lie, like we’re being told about everything about this COVID consequences. As a consequence, through his months of overwhelming lying, misleading and irresponsible action on the part of Donald Trump, how many empty chairs were around your breakfast table this morning? Someone you love, somebody you cared about, someone you knew, a family member or a neighbor, missing, missing. Why? Because of negligence.
Joe Biden: (06:36)
Look, I view this campaign, as I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, between Scranton and Park Avenue, between Toledo and Park Avenue. All Trump can see from Park Avenue is Wall Street. That’s why his only metric for American prosperity that he values is the Dow Jones and the index. Like a lot of you, I spent a lot of my time with guys like Trump looking down on me, the Irish Catholic kid in the neighborhood, guys who thought they were better than me because they had a lot of money, guys who inherited everything they ever got and still managed to squander it.
Joe Biden: (07:18)
I have to admit I shouldn’t have done it, but I’ve on record saying, and so I’ll repeat it, I still have a little bit of a chip on my shoulder about guys like him. I read some stories after I got the nomination that quote, “If Biden gets elected, he’ll be the first non-Ivy League school graduate to get elected in” … [inaudible 00:07:42] it was 80 or 90 years. Guys, have a seat, man. You know what? Like some state school guy who went to the University of Delaware, I was proud of it. Hard to get there, hard to get through in terms of money. But folks, since when can someone who went to a state university not be qualified to be President?
Joe Biden: (08:03)
Folks, I know what it takes to be President. I sat next to a man for eight years, watching and participating. My mom taught me what you’re probably taught by your parents, too. She said, “Joey, nobody is better than you, but everybody’s your equal.”
Joe Biden: (08:25)
I don’t measure people based on the size of their bank account. I don’t respect people based on whether they own a mansion. I don’t judge them based on whether they belong to a country club. You and I measure people by the strength of their character, their honesty, their courage, their courage. My mom used to say, “The greatest gift of all, the greatest virtue is courage. You’re redeemed by your courage.” That’s what she’d say, and redeemed by your loyalty, honesty, loyalty, things that are bigger than yourself or the neighborhoods we were raised in.
Joe Biden: (09:04)
It’s all about family, decency, honor, opportunity. These are the values I learned growing up in Scranton, my guess is you learn growing up in Toledo, wherever you grew up. The people I grew up with in Scranton didn’t have any money in stocks. In our house, growing up, every penny my dad made went to paying the bills, keeping the lights on and food on the table. Every penny our friends in Scranton made went to paying the bills and taking care of their families as well. We looked out for our neighbors.
Joe Biden: (09:35)
That’s why I have a different measure by which I judge the health of America’s economy. I see hardworking women and men who are just trying to earn an honest living and take care of their families, just want an even shot. They’re not asking for anything. They’re just asking for a fair shot, and given a shot, the American people will never, ever, ever, ever let their country down, never.
Joe Biden: (10:02)
The other expression my dad would have, he’d say, “When you see the abuse of power, there’s only one way to respond to it, and that’s with power.” The only power we have to take on corporate America is union power. That’s the only power. I just think back to 2008, when Barack and I were elected and we inherited the worst recession short of a depression in history. The president put me in charge of the Recovery Act, $800 billion. It was needed to save our economy from going into depression. We did it with less than two-tenths of 1% waste or fraud. We were able to see to it that Ohio and other states received substantial assistance to address their economic pain and recover and rebuild, to make sure we kept teachers, firefighters, and cops, public nurses on the job. People are being laid off now because you don’t have the local money to do it.
Joe Biden: (11:01)
So they didn’t have to be fired because of lack of money. That was the federal government stepped up, and it started the longest sustained economic recovery in American history that this guy inherited and then squandered again. But you know what Mitch McConnell said recently about helping the states and cities. He said, quote, “Let them go bankrupt.” Well, I heard that before. You heard it, too. Republicans said the same thing about the automobile industry.
Joe Biden: (11:32)
Like I said, I come from an automobile state, an automobile man. The auto industry that supported one in eight Ohioans was on the brink. It was more than ten years ago, but you remember like it was yesterday. It was on the brink. But Barack and I bet on you and the American worker, and it paid off. I argued the American worker was the finest auto worker in the world. Management screwed it up. You didn’t. You didn’t make the mistake. By the way, it all got paid back. But guess who made the greatest sacrifices? Auto workers. You made the sacrifices to get it back.
Joe Biden: (12:15)
So it’s over the many objections of many that we stepped in and rescued the automobile industry, General Motors and Chrysler, saving one million jobs. Then what happened when Donald Trump came to office? Remember what Trump said in 2017 in Lordstown? He said, “Don’t move,” quote, “Don’t move. Don’t sell your house.” But Lordstown shut down on Trump’s watch.
Joe Biden: (12:43)
After a decade in Cleveland, after the debate in Cleveland, I met with an elementary school teacher in Lordstown. Her husband was there as well, one of the workers who lost his job in Lordstown. He had to accept a transfer to a plan in Kentucky, eight hours away, one way, to maintain his healthcare and his pension. He drives 16 hours a weekend to see her and their two kids.
Joe Biden: (13:10)
But Donald Trump’s betrayal doesn’t stop there. He betrayed union workers at Goodyear when he called for a boycott of buying Goodyear tires because of a personal grudge. He passed a tax bill for the super wealthy corporations that actually provided incentives for companies to move jobs overseas.
Joe Biden: (13:33)
Folks, manufacturing is the backbone of America. But we’re in a manufacturing recession because of Donald Trump even before the COVID virus hit. We’re down 647,000 manufacturing jobs nationwide since the crisis started, and our balance of payments, meaning we’re sending more overseas than coming to us. I mean, we’re buying more overseas than we’re selling, is higher than it’s been a long time. There’s still 10,900 lost auto worker manufacturing jobs in Ohio that did not come back. The Trump presidency will be the first presidency since Herbert Hoover over 90 years ago, first president of modern history to leave office with fewer jobs than he had when he came to office.
Joe Biden: (14:25)
Donald Trump’s only plan is more tax cuts for the wealthy. Most of you, if you still have a job, paid more than he paid last year in taxes. $750? Come on. The system’s rigged. We’ve got to change it. $30 billion, a new proposal, just for the gains of the 100 richest billionaires in America, 30 billion. Hear me? They made $30 billion alone in this year, while the rest of the people were getting killed.
Joe Biden: (15:04)
In the middle of this pandemic, why do Republicans have time to hold a hearing on the Supreme Court instead of providing the significant economic need for localities? I’ll tell you why. It’s about finally getting his wish to wipe out the Affordable Healthcare Act, because their nominee has said in the past that the law should be struck down. His relentless effort to eliminate the Affordable Care Act that provided healthcare coverage for 20 million people who didn’t have it, protections for well over 100 million people with pre-existing conditions. We’ve seen his pledge, quote, “to terminate the tax dedicated to financing Social Security.”
Joe Biden: (15:53)
Marcy and I were talking about that. You know what the actuary at the Social Security Department said? If it goes through, this tax, he’s talking about, cut on Social Security, it will actually bankrupt, bankrupt Social Security by the middle of 2023. Go home and tell your parents that.
Joe Biden: (16:14)
Not once has President Trump called for a high-level meeting between Democrats and Republicans in the White House. This is going on now. The House already passed back in the beginning of the summer this [inaudible 00:16:29] to be able to reconcile people in real trouble, get help to states like we did. He had once called a meeting between Democrats and Republicans to deliver the new COVID relief package for working families and small businesses that are going bankrupt. He spent too much time and the bunker of his golf course or in the bunker of the White House than he was willing to actually sit to try to work something out.
Joe Biden: (17:00)
Check it out. First president I can ever remember, in the middle of a national economic crisis, did not try to call the parties together. He turned his back on you. I promise you I will never do that.
Joe Biden: (17:19)
Folks, that’s why my Build Back Better plan is built around a simple concept. It’s time to reward work, not wealth, work. I mean it. An independent analysis by a big Wall Street firm called Moody’s, not a Democratic think tank, they did an analysis of my economic plan to revive this country and an analysis of his. Here’s what they concluded: that my plan will create 18.6 million jobs in the next four years, 7 million, more than the president’s economic plan. It would generate economic growth, an additional trillion dollars more than the president’s plan. Look, what these guys don’t get is when you do well, when my family does well, everybody does better. Everybody does better. That’s the God’s truth.
Joe Biden: (18:28)
Here’s how my plan works. I’m not going to raise taxes on anyone who makes less than $400,000 a year. If you make more than 400, beep your horn, because you’re going to get a tax raise. Well, I’m going to raise your tax slightly if you’re making over 400. But look, you’re not going to pay a penny more. In fact, tens of millions of middle class families are going to get a tax cut when they need it most for raising their kids, trying to get affordable healthcare, buying their first home, or saving for retirement.
Joe Biden: (18:58)
But I’m going to ask big corporations and the super wealthy just to begin to start to pay their fair share. I’m going to raise back tax cut he gave for corporate America. They were paying the mid thirties. They’re now paying 21. If we just raise the tax back to what it should be, 28%, that generates over $100 billion. Hear me? That’s money. I mean, excuse me, $1.3 trillion. That’s what it raises to help hardworking folks, to allow us to invest in work and people and grow the middle class and make sure everybody comes along this time. My plan will create a million good-paying union jobs, manufacturing and building products and technology that we need now and in the future. We’re not investing in research.
Joe Biden: (19:51)
It starts with a pretty basic idea. The federal government every year spent $600 billion just making sure that we have ships and planes, cars, trains, all the things the government lets contracts for. Well, I promise you this. Every single product, every single contract let will be only let to a company or a firm that makes it in America from beginning to end. Not a joke. It’s going to be used to buy American products, support American jobs. We’ll invest to build more resilient infrastructure, roads, bridges, ports, 1.5 million new affordable housing units, high-speed broadband in every American household, more important than ever. We’re going to rebuild crumbling schools, retrofit four million buildings, and weatherize two million homes, creating one million new jobs, the reason why everyone from the electrical works and every other major union is strongly supporting us. It’s all going to be done by certified union labor. Promise.
Joe Biden: (21:11)
You may remember when the president put me in charge of that $800 billion, not one single contract went out that wasn’t prevailing wage, not one. So we’re going to end Trump’s new incentive for sending jobs abroad. That’s what he’s done. More jobs are going abroad now. Any company that offshores a job is going to pay a 10% penalty. Any company that brings back a job, reopens a closed factory, like a manufacturing plant, they’ll get a 10% credit for their investment. We’re going to make trade strategy that fights for every American worker and every American job and actually get results, not Trump’s chaotic trade war, erratic tweets, and bluster that’s only stiffed American workers and consumers, including farmers. He’s let you down. He’s let us down.
Joe Biden: (22:13)
I promise you I will stand up to China’s trade abuses, and I will invest in the American worker, because I know no one, nobody can outcompete an American worker when they’ve gotten a fair shot, nobody in the world.
Joe Biden: (22:29)
One more thing: The United States government owns and maintains an enormous fleet of vehicles. We’re going to convert many of them to electric vehicles, and you’re going to still need to build these transmissions for a long time to come. But any new jobs in that area are going to go to people who are in the automobile industry, who are in the manufacturing, who are in the UAW are going to be making these new vehicles, sourced right here in America. The government will provide and demand support to retool factories that are struggling to compete. The US auto industry will step up. I’ll expand capacity so the United States, not China leads the world in modern new technology.
Joe Biden: (23:14)
We’re going to make it easier for American consumers to move to the vehicles of the future by building a network of 500,000 charging stations across the country. We’re offering consumers rebates to swap older fuel-efficient cars. We’re going to move in a direction that technology is taking us and making sure UAW leads the way in how we do it. Together, this will mean one million good new jobs in the auto industry.
Joe Biden: (23:51)
Folks, it’s an example of how we can do anything. I’m more optimistic about what we have a chance to do in the next four to six years, eight years, than anything anytime in my whole career. The blinders have been taken off the American people. They see what the combination of the pandemic, the economic crisis, the racial inequality refacing, and what’s going on internationally, and they’re ready to step up. They know we have to change.
Joe Biden: (24:27)
Nothing, nothing, nothing is beyond the capacity of the United States of America, and I mean that. Think about it. We’re the only country in the world that’s come out of every crisis stronger than we went in because of who we are. As I’ve said to other world leaders, never underestimate the American people. There’s no quit in America. There’s none. In America, we can do anything that we need to do if we can do it together. Nothing can stop us.
Joe Biden: (25:05)
We have to come together. That’s why I’m running. I ran as a proud Democrat for the Senate. I had run as a proud Democrat for Vice President, and I’m running as a proud Democrat for President. But I promise you this. I will govern as an American president. I’ll govern for every one who voted for me, as well as against me. We can be better than what we’ve seen. We can be what we are at our best, the United States of America. So vote. Vote. Visit iwill.com/ohio. God bless you. God bless the auto workers. God protect. Thank you. Which way am I going?