Oct 16, 2020
Joe Biden Detroit Speech Transcript October 16
Joe Biden gave a campaign speech in Detroit, Michigan on October 16 as part of his 2020 presidential campaign. Read the full transcript of his speech here.
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Joe Biden: (00:00)
How y’all doing? My name’s Joe Biden. I’m a car guy and I got a ’67 Corvette that’s Goodwood green. That’s a 60… That’s not a 67. That’s a 427. That thing gets up and goes. Anyway. Choir, you must be freezing. Freezing to death. Well, I tell you what, man, you ought to huddle on the bus or something. Folks, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you being here. What time is it now? Seven o’clock at night, cold as the devil and your here. And I thank you very, very much. Detroit, there’s no better, no more appropriate place to hold a drive-in rally than in motor city USA.
Joe Biden: (01:01)
I want to thank Everett. I want to thank Everett for sharing his story with us and for the unfailing dedication that you and so many of your proud union educators, we owe you. We owe you big for those students and families you take care of during these difficult times. I’m married. I’m Jill Biden’s husband. She’s an educator. So, that’s what teaching is. It’s just not she does. It’s who she is. So Everett, thank you. And folks, look. I also want to thank the incredible leaders who are here today. My good friend, Mayor Duggan and mayor Duggan and I spent an awful lot of time together trying to get Detroit back. He got it back on the upside, but I was here trying to get to all the help he could possibly get to get it done. As Vice President I’m fighting to support this city, invest in the revitalization of the future of Detroit, because I’ve always believed in Detroit, not just saying that. My dad was an automobile man.
Joe Biden: (02:00)
That’s what got me through school. That’s what everything was about. And I’ve always believed in Michigan. We have the finest auto workers in the world here in Michigan. That’s not hyperbole. That’s a fact. I want to thank you, Chairwoman Barnes. Thank you very, very much. And Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist, you’ve been a good friend. And Governor Whitmer, you’ve been an incredible leader. She’s been tested and proven under crisis conditions and extraordinary circumstances.
Joe Biden: (02:30)
Your leadership through this pandemic has saved countless lives of Michiganders here, Gov. That’s a fact. And you’ve shown the whole nation just how tough you are. Michigan tough. I’m proud to call you a friend. And Senator Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, thank you for fighting for the people of Michigan who need help now, but aren’t getting it because the Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, cares more about shoving through our Supreme Court nomination to take away your health care than he does helping the hurting people in this city, this state in this country. We can’t forget that winning in November doesn’t just mean defeating Donald Trump. It means winning back the United States Senate and expanding our majority in the House of Representatives. That’s why we need to send Gary back to Washington, DC.
Joe Biden: (03:20)
I really mean it. We need him. That’s the guy who knows what he believes and says what he believes and does what he believes. And alongside Debbie Stabenow for the people in Michigan, but not quite frankly for the whole country. Folks, as my coaches to say, it’s go time. This is the most important election of our lifetimes. And you can make all the different here in Michigan. The choice is as clear as ever, and the stakes are higher than ever. The stakes in this election remind me of something my dad used to say. He said, “Joey, a job’s about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about your place in your communities. Be able to look your child in the eye and say, ‘Honey, it’s going to be okay,’ and mean it.” Well, that’s a lesson I’ve never forgotten.
Joe Biden: (04:13)
That’s what I grew up surrounded by, hard work and families. In Scranton, Pennsylvania. Claymont, Delaware. How many people today though, can look their kids in the eye and say, “Everything’s going to be all right,” and mean it? These times are hard. Unemployment is way up due to the pandemic. Just this week, over a million, 200,000 more people file for unemployment. The economic outlook for next year remains uncertain and across Michigan and the country, folks are worried about making their next rent payment or their mortgage payment or their car payment. They’re worried whether or not they can purchase the prescription drug they need or put food on the table, have to make a choice. Worried about sending their kids to school or worried about not sending their kids to school. They see the people at the top doing a hell of a lot better while the rest are left to wonder, “Who’s looking out for me?” That’s Donald Trump’s presidency.
Joe Biden: (05:14)
More than 215… I think it’s now 217,000, dead Americans because of COVID-19. And experts say we’ll lose nearly 200,000 more lives in the next few months, all because this President cares more about his Park Avenue perspective on the world and the stock market than he does about you. Because we refuse to follow the science. It’s estimated if we just wore these masks between now and the end of the year, we’d save 100,000 lives. Folks, you know what’s really sad about all this? The President knew. He knew back in January how dangerous this virus was.
Joe Biden: (05:59)
And he hid it from the American people. He told the journalist Bob Woodward in a taped interview the disease was deadly. In January. Deadly and far worse than the flu and airborne. But here’s what he did. According to the New York Times today, his administration gave Wall Street investors a heads up about it. Didn’t tell us, but gave Wall Street Investors a head up, but the American people, he said nothing. That’s why they made so much money by quote, “Selling short.” They knew what was coming. But what happened to the rest of us? He told Bob Woodward he didn’t want to panic the American people. We don’t panic. He panicked.
Joe Biden: (06:53)
This personal conduct since his diagnosis has been unconscionable. The longer Donald Trump is President, the more reckless he gets. Dr. Fauci, the leading expert in the country, referred to the President’s announcement on the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden, as quote, “A super spreader event causing so many people to get COVID.” And how did Trump respond? He responded by running a national ad, taking Dr. Fauci’s words out of context.
Joe Biden: (07:27)
Dr. Fauci said way back in March a quote, “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.” Referring to the public health officials. Then Trump took that quote out of context and put it into a campaign ad deliberately lying, making a sound like Dr. Fauci was talking about him. Even after Fauci asked him to take the ad down, trump’s campaign said they’d continue to use the ad, knowing it was a lie. That behavior is no surprise. After all, this is the same man who looks at Americans who put their lives on the line, like my son put the lives on the line to save our nation, calls them losers and suckers. My son Beau spent a year in Iraq, won the bronze star of the conspicuous service medal. He was no sucker.
Joe Biden: (08:20)
And the people he left behind were heroes. And now, as a consequence of this overwhelming lying, misleading irresponsible action on the part of Donald Trump, how many empty chairs are there going to be around the dining room table tonight because of his negligence? Folks, we’re so much better than this as a country. Despite the crisis we face, we have an enormous opportunity to build back better. The American people have had the blinders off to replace Donald Trump’s incentives for companies to ship jobs overseas, with rental policies and tax credits, to revitalize American manufacturing, to make it in America, make it in Michigan, buy American.
Joe Biden: (09:12)
Look. We’re going to do everything to give everyone a fair return on their work, an equal chance to get ahead. For example, in communities of color here in Detroit and all across the country, the question is, “How do we break the cycle?” Where in good times, you lag behind. In bad times, you’re the first hit and hit the hardest. And in recovery, you’re the last ones the bounce back. The answer is about justice. Criminal justice, policing reform. This nation is strong enough to both honestly face systemic racism and strong enough to ride safe streets for our families and small businesses that too often bear the brunt of looting and burning. We have no need for armed militias roaming America’s streets, and we should have no tolerance for extremist white supremacist group, menacing our country. These guys are hatching violent and deranged schemes, like the one against Governor Whitmer that the FBI and local law enforcement uncovered and stopped last week. But make no mistake, that was a planned act of terrorism.
Joe Biden: (10:29)
A plot. Think of this. A plot in the United States of America to blow up a bridge on American soil, to threaten the lives of police officers, to kidnap an American leader. That’s the sort of behavior you might expect from ISIS that should shock the conscience of every American to see that sort of twisted thinking take root here in America. What all President does, Trump does, is fan the flames of hatred and division in this country. Telling the proud boys in the debate with me. When I said, “Will you condemn them? He said, “I’ll tell them to stand back and stand by.” What the hell’s the matter with this guy? Attacking Governor Whitmer on the same day this plot was exposed. It’s despicable. And by the same measure, if you say we have no need to face racial injustice in this country, you haven’t opened your eyes to the truth of America today.
Joe Biden: (11:31)
There’ve been powerful voices for justice in recent weeks and months. George Floyd’s six year old daughter, who I met with when I met the family. Jean. I knelt down to say hi to her, and looked at me and said, “Daddy, change the world.” Jacob Blake’s mother, another one, when I met with her, said violence doesn’t reflect who her son is and the nation needs healing and said she’s praying for the police officers. Or [Doc Rivers 00:12:02], the basketball coach, choking back tears when he said, quote, “We’re the ones getting killed. We’re the ones getting shot. We’d been hung. It’s amazing why we keep loving this country and this country doesn’t love us back.”
Joe Biden: (12:15)
Think about that. Think about what it takes to be a black person who loves America today. That is a deep love of this country that has far too long, has not been fully recognized. What we need in America us leadership to seek to deescalate tensions, to open the lines of communications, to bring us back together again, to heal, to hope. As President that’s precisely what I’ll do, but true justice is also about jobs, good paying jobs, financial stability, families of color building wealth, passing it down.
Joe Biden: (12:54)
That’s how I deliver equality and equity. Another example, more and more women are dropping out of the workplace because of the recession or in a city or out in the suburbs. I have a plan to deal with the pandemic responsibly. New testing, tracing, masking, not politicizing the race for vaccine. Planning for safe and equitable distribution, providing PPE and other resources for schools to reopen safely. Ease the caregiving crisis that so many families are experiencing. Squeezed between raising your kid and caring for your aging loved ones. And protect your health care. In the middle of this pandemic why didn’t Republicans have the time, as I said, to hold a hearing on the Supreme Court, instead of addressing the significant economic needs of local communities? I’ll tell you why. It’s about wiping out Obamacare. Wiping it off the books, because their nominee has said in the past that the law should be struck down.
Joe Biden: (13:56)
He’s going to take away healthcare coverage for 20 million Americans. They’ll also take away protections for preexisting conditions that more than a hundred million people in America have. Complications of COVID-19 will also add to that. Lung scarring, heart damage could well become the next pre-existing condition. That will toss out the rule that allows children to be covered on their parents’ health insurance till age 26. Will take us backwards to when insurance companies could charge a woman more for healthcare than a man, just because she’s a woman. Folks, we can do so much better together. I’ll build on the Affordable Care act, where you can choose to keep your private insurance as well as offer Medicaid like public option, which will give private insurance real competition. We’re going to increase subsidies so your premiums are lower. You can afford a plan with lower deductibles, lower out-of-pocket spending.
Joe Biden: (14:58)
Folks, we can only do this if we come together as a country. Abraham Lincoln told us that a house divided cannot stand. Today, trust is ebbing. Hope seems elusive. And instead of healing, we’re being ripped apart. I refuse to let that happen. We need to revive a spirit of bipartisan in this country. A spirit of being able to work with another. When I say that I’m told that used to be the way, Joe, used to get a lot of things done, but things have changed. Well, I’m here to tell you it can happen again. And they must. It must if we’re ever going to get anything done. I’m running as a proud Democrat, but I will govern as an American President.
Joe Biden: (15:52)
I work with Democrats and Republicans. That’s why so many Republican leaders have endorsed me. They know I’ve done it and we’ll do it again. For those who don’t support me as well as those who do, folks that’s the job of a President, the duty to care, the duty to heal. And you, too, have a sacred duty. As my friend, John Lewis used to say, “Vote. It matters.” Michigan matters. You elected me and Barack Obama in 2012. And you bet on us when we bet on you and bet on American workers. We bet on the UAW. I’m asking for your trust and support in 2020 for Kamala and me. We’ll always have your back. I promise you. So please, vote. Help us get out the vote. Go to iwillvote.com/mi and Detroit, more than 20 years. Look, you have now 20 early voting centers. They’re open now all across the city.
Joe Biden: (17:06)
Open seven days a week and election day. It’s a one-stop shop. You can go get registered and vote right then and there. So don’t wait. Vote today. Tell everyone you know. Everyone you meet, vote. Vote. Vote. And no matter what, don’t let anybody discourage you or tell you your vote won’t count because it does.
Joe Biden: (17:29)
You, the American people are going to decide the future of this country. Vote. It’s time to restore America’s soul. It’s time to rebuild the backbone of this country. The middle class and unions built the middle class. No matter what your age, race, or gender. Folks, folks, look. It’s time to unite America. It really is.
Joe Biden: (17:51)
I’ll never forget what President Kennedy said about going to the moon. My colleagues in the Senate used to kid me by raising it when I’d bring it up in a caucus. He answered the question that was on everybody’s lips but nobody asked. “Why are we doing this?” He said, “We’re doing it because we refuse to postpone.” I refuse to postpone any longer the work America must do. There’s nothing beyond our capacity. There’s no limit to America’s future. The only thing that can tear America part is America itself. Look, everybody knows who Donald Trump is. Let’s show them who we are. We choose hope over fear, unity over division, science over fiction. And yes, truth over lies. It’s time to stand up, take back our country. God bless you all and may God protect our troops. Go get him. We can do this. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.