Oct 27, 2020
Joe Biden Campaign Speech Transcript Warm Springs, GA October 27
Joe Biden held a campaign event in Warm Springs, Georgia on October 27. Read the transcript of his speech remarks here.
Transcribe Your Own Content
Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.
Joe Biden: (02:51)
Hello, hello, hello. What a magnificent setting. It’s hard, when you’re driving here, not to think of the circumstances President Roosevelt faced and how he overcame so much for so many. So, good afternoon.
Joe Biden: (03:17)
A few weeks ago, I spoke at Gettysburg about the need to unite our nation, and today I’m here at Warm Springs because I want to talk about how we’re going to heal our nation. Over these past few months, there’s been so much pain, and so much suffering, and so much loss in America. Over 225,000 people have lost their lives to a virus. Many of those lives lost the cruelest way possible: alone. Alone in a hospital room, alone in a nursing home, no family, no friends, no loved ones beside them in those final moments, and it haunts so many of the surviving families, families who were never given a chance to say goodbye. I, and many of you know, what loss feels like when you lose someone you love, you feel that deep black hole opening up on your chest and you feel like you’re being swallowed into it.
Joe Biden: (04:26)
The tragic truth of our time is that COVID has left a deep and lasting wound in this country. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs and we see the empty storefronts and the shuttered businesses, the visible signs of lost hopes and broken dreams. But what we don’t see is all those parents staring at the ceiling late at night wondering, how am I going to pay the mortgage? How am I going to pay for our rent? What are they going to do if one of my kids get sick, now that I’ve lost my health insurance. Growing up, like many of you, I watched my father struggle to find work. He made what I call the longest walk any parent can make, up a short flight of stairs to his children’s bedroom to tell a child you can’t play in that little league team anymore, you can’t go back to the same school.
Joe Biden: (05:34)
We can’t stay here, Joey. We can’t stay in Scranton anymore. We have to move. There are good jobs in Delaware. When I get one, I’ll come back for you, your sister, your brother, and your mom. It’s only 157 miles away, Joey. My father came home every weekend for that year or more, but he always said, when we finally got settled in Delaware, he used to say, “Joey, a job’s”, and all my friends would hear it as well, “A job’s about a lot more than a paycheck.” My sister heard it as well, Valerie. He said, “It’s about your dignity, a job. It’s about respect. It’s about your place in the community.” And right now, on this autumn afternoon, millions of Americans all across this country feel they’ve lost all that.
Joe Biden: (06:31)
A season of protest has broken out all across the nation. Some of it is just senseless burning and looting and violence that can’t be tolerated and won’t, but much of it is a cry for justice from a community that’s long had a knee of injustice on their neck. The names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake. They’ll not soon be forgotten, not by me, not by us, and not by this country. They’re going to inspire a new wave of justice in America. These are historic, painful crises. The insidious virus, the economic anguish, the systematic discrimination, and one of them could have rocked the nation, any one of them. Yet, we’ve been hit by all three at once. But if we’re honest with ourselves, the pain striking at the heart of our country goes back not months but years. Our politics for too long hae been mean and bitter and divisive, you can hear it now in the distance. We’ve stopped seeing dignity in one another. We’ve stopped showing each other respect.
Joe Biden: (07:54)
Too many among us spend more time shouting than listening, more time fighting than working together, more time demonizing and denigrating others than lifting them up. The divisions in our nation are getting wider. Angry people are upset, anger and suspicion are growing, and our wounds are getting deeper. It may, and many wonder, has it gone too far? Have we passed the point of no return? Has the heart of this nation turned to stone? I don’t think so. I refuse to believe it. I know this country, I know our people, and I know we can unite and heal this nation. Warm Springs is a good place to talk about hope and healing. So Franklin Roosevelt came, “To use the therapeutic waters to rebuild himself.” Stricken by polio, the polio virus in 1921, he suffered from paralysis. Like many other Americans in those pre-vaccine decades, FDR longed to live an independent life, a life that wasn’t defined by his illness. To him, and to so many others facing physical challenges, Warm Springs offered therapy for the body, and I might add, and the soul, but it offered something else as well.
Joe Biden: (09:33)
FDR came looking for a cure, but it was the lessons he learned here that he used to lift a nation. Humility, empathy, courage, optimism. This place represented a way forward. A way of restoration, of resilience, of healing. In the years that followed, FDR would come back to Warm Springs often to think about how to heal the nation and the world, and that’s exactly what he did. Lifting us out of a great depression, defeating tyranny, saving democracy. Then it was here on April 12th, 1945, that President Roosevelt died. A casualty of war as surely as any who fell in combat, and the free world mourned. American leaders wept. Maybe even more important was the reaction of the American people. Naval Chief Petty Officer Graham Jackson, a black man, cried as he played his accordion in tribute to FDR, not far from here.
Joe Biden: (10:52)
And the story is told that when Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s procession went by, a man collapsed in grief. The neighbor asked him, “Did you know the president?” The response was “No,” the man said, “but he knew me.” He knew me. Few words better describe the kind of president our nation needs right now. A President who is not in it for himself, but for others. A President who doesn’t divide us, but unites us. A President who appeals not to the worst in us, but to the best. A President who cares less about his TV ratings and more about the American people. A President who looks not to settle scores, but to find solutions. A President guided not by wishful thinking, but by science, reason, and fact. That’s the kind of President I hope to be.
Joe Biden: (12:00)
I’m running as a proud Democrat, but I will govern as an American President. I’ll work with Democrats and Republicans. I’ll work as hard for those who don’t support me as for those who do. That’s the job of a President, a duty of care for everyone. This place, Warm Springs, is a reminder that though broken, each of us can be healed. That as a people and a country, we can overcome this devastating virus. That we can heal a suffering world. And yes, we can restore our soul and save our country.
Joe Biden: (12:48)
In his last hours, President Roosevelt was at work on a speech to be delivered the next day. In it he was to say, “Today, we must cultivate the science of human relationships, the ability of all people, of all kinds, to live together and work together in the same world at peace.” To live together and work together. That’s how I see America. That’s how I see the presidency. And that’s how I see the future. I tell you this from my heart. I believe America and American hope, not fear. Unity, not division. Love, not hate. The presidency though, is only one part of the American chorus. History isn’t only a story of the great and the famous. No, our history is a story of we, the people, of all of us together.
Joe Biden: (13:53)
I’ve long said the story of America is a story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Change in our country comes when the voices of the powerless reach the ears of the powerful. When those whose names we’ll never know, but will risk their lives to, in the words of Dr. King, “Bend the arc of the moral universe towards justice.” Bending that arc is the work of our time, but it’ll take all of us. Red states, blue states, Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives, and Liberals. And I believe from the bottom of my heart, we can do it.
Joe Biden: (14:39)
People ask me, why are you so confident Joe? Because we are the United States of America. There’s nothing, nothing the American people can’t do and been unable to do if we put our minds to it. When news of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s death went out on the wires, an editor in Chicago, turned to his colleague and said “Clear the decks for action.” So I say to you today, if you’re giving me the honor of serving as your President, clear the decks for action.
Joe Biden: (15:16)
For we will act, we will act on the first day of my presidency to get COVID under control. We’ll act to pass my economic plan that will finally reward work, not wealth in this country. We’ll act to pass my health care plan to provide affordable, accessible healthcare for every American, and drug prices that are dramatically lowered. We’ll act to pass the Biden climate plan, meeting the challenges of a climate crisis while creating millions of good paying, high paying, labor jobs. We’ll act to address systemic racism in our country, and we’ll act to give working people a fair shot again in this country. And we’ll act to restore our faith in democracy and our faith in one another.
Joe Biden: (16:08)
Today, we’re facing a public health crisis of historic proportions. And with winter at hand, it’s getting worse. Just last Friday, 83,000 new cases in one day. Saturday, another 83,000 cases. Nearly 1000 people a day are dying. Another 200,000 deaths are expected over the next several months, and the President keeps telling us not to worry. He keeps telling us we’re turning the corner is his quote. He’s as removed from reality, and as offensive as when they told us the virus affects virtually nobody, just the elderly with heart conditions. Virtually nobody, just the elderly with heart conditions, as if they don’t matter.
Joe Biden: (17:13)
And when he said in response to the number of deaths reaching a thousand, he said, “It is what it is.” Well, it is what it is because he is who he is. In the spring, the President declared, in his voice as Commander-in-Chief, says Commander-in Chief. He was going to wage war on the virus. Instead he shrugged, he swaggered, and he surrendered. Then his Chief of Staff just last week made a stunning admission, an admission that I believe, but never thought he’d say. Saying, “We’re not going to control the pandemic.” End of quote. We’re not going to control the pandemic. It’s a capitulation. It’s a waving of a white flag. It’s a window into the shocking truth about this White House that they’ve never really tried.
Joe Biden: (18:19)
Think about all the frontline health professionals who’ve risked and some given their lives for the last nine months in this pandemic. Think about all the first responders. Think about all the grocery store clerks, the drivers, the delivery drivers of the trucks, teachers, parents, the kids home from school. Think about all those who have lost their jobs. Think about all those have been infected by the virus. Think about all those who have died. They were giving their all while their President was giving up. Well, I’m here to tell you: we can, and we will control this virus. As President, I will never wave the white flag of surrender. Just imagine where we’d be today if the President had embraced wearing masks instead of mocking it. Imagine where we’d be today if the president had practiced social distancing, instead of holding super spreader events. Imagine where we’d be with a comprehensive system of testing and tracing.
Joe Biden: (19:29)
I first put forward a detailed plan on how to deal with this virus back in March, this administration ignored it. Then I released several more detailed plans in the months that followed, the most recent just last week. This administration has yet to offer a single plan. Yes, one of the reasons why the most one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, the New England Journal of Medicine, called the President “Dangerously incompetent.” Went on to say, “The President turned a crisis into a tragedy.”
Joe Biden: (20:07)
I’m ready to act. I know what to do. Starting on day one of my presidency, we will do it. I’ve talked about the battle for the soul of America since the very beginning of this campaign, and I want to be very clear in these closing days about what I mean, and about what I intend to do in that battle. To assure that our better angels prevail over our worst instincts. I believe this election is about who we are as a nation, what we believe, and maybe most importantly, who we want to be. It’s about our essence. It’s about what makes us Americans. It’s that fundamental. Time and again, throughout our history, we’ve seen charlatans, the con men, the phony populist, who sought the play on our fears, appeal to our worst appetites, and pick at the oldest scabs we have for their own political gain.
Joe Biden: (21:12)
They appear when the nation’s been hit the hardest and we’re at our most vulnerable, never to solve anything, but only the benefit themselves. In a recent encyclical, Pope Francis warns us against this phony populism, that appeals to “The basest and most selfish instincts.” He goes on to say, “Politics is something more noble than posturing, marketing, and media spin. These sow nothing but division, conflict, and a bleak cynicism.” He said, “For those who seek to lead, we do well to ask ourselves, why am I doing this? Why? What is my real aim?” Pope Francis asked questions that anyone who seeks to lead this great nation should be able to answer. And my answer is this: I run to unite this nation and to heal this nation. I’ve said that from the beginning. It is badly necessary.
Joe Biden: (22:21)
The Bible tells us there’s a time to break down, and a time to build up, a time to heal. This is that time. God and history have called us to this moment, and to this mission. With our voices and our votes, we must free ourselves from the forces of darkness, from the forces of division, and the forces of yesterday, and the forces that pull us apart, hold us down, and hold us back. And if we do so, we’ll once more become one nation under God, indivisible, a nation united, a nation strengthened, a nation healed. That is my goal. That is why I’m running. That is what we must do.
Joe Biden: (23:14)
Thank you all for being here, and may God bless America, and may God protect our troops. Stay safe and wear your mask.