Oct 10, 2020
Joe Biden Las Vegas Speech Transcript October 9
Joe Biden gave a 2020 campaign speech in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 9, 2020. Read the full speech transcript here.
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Joe Biden: (00:00)
… a widow and a dear friend of an American hero, John McCain. We also saw the resilience and the goodness of decency of the American people. They’re not looking for a handout, they just want a fair shot. My dad used to have an expression when he lost his job up in Scranton. When I was in grade school, my dad would say, and we had to move in with my grandparents. When he went down south from Scranton to Wilmington, Delaware looking for a job. And he used to always say that, “The fact is Joey, I’m not looking for government to solve my problems but I hope like hell they can at least understand my problems.” He finally got a job, we could afford to buy a small home. He worked hard to build a decent middle class life. It wasn’t easy for him, but he had an expression.
Joe Biden: (00:47)
As I said, a job joy about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about your place in the community. It’s being uable to look your kidney eye and say, “Honey, it’s going to be okay.” You deserve a president who understands what you’re going through. Who sees you where you are and where you want to be. The last thing you need is a president who ignores you, looks down upon you, who just doesn’t understand who in God’s name we are. That’s President Trump. His reckless personal conduct since his diagnosis. The destabilizing effect it’s having on our government is unconscionable. He didn’t take the necessary precautions to protect himself or others. And the longer Donald Trump is President, the more reckless he gets. How can we trust him to protect this country?
Joe Biden: (01:44)
Governor, you’ve seen how he picks fights with states and pits them against one another. Look, what’s happened. More than 210,000 Americans are dead. 420,000 have been hospitalized. We lose anywhere from 700 to a thousand people every single day in America, worse than any country in the world. More than 7.5 million Americans have been infected. And we’re still counting. And here in Nevada, there have been more than 82,000 cases in total. More than 1,600 deaths. 80% of those deaths have been seniors over 60 years of age. Black, Latino, Asian American, Native-American communities are especially hit hard. Nationally, the infection rate among Latinos is almost three times higher than that of white non-Latinos and the death rate as well as three times higher. More than 40,000 Latinos have died from COVID-19. My heart goes out to all those families who got up this morning and there was an empty chair around the kitchen table. Or go to dinner tonight and the person that should be there is gone.
Joe Biden: (03:08)
They’ve lost part of their soul. They’ve lost part of their life. It’s all about family. With you and I it’s all about family. Losing family is a devastating thing. We can do so much better. My heart goes out to everyone struggling with the economic crisis caused by the neglect, the simple neglect of this President. Nearly 11 million jobs lost since the beginning of this crisis. And they still haven’t come back, including 136,000 jobs here in Nevada. Temporary layoffs have turned to permanent layoffs. Record growth last month and a number of Americans facing long-term unemployment. And the problem of long-term unemployment, once you get beyond a certain point, history shows us that they never get a job again.
Joe Biden: (04:04)
All told, there are now 30 million workers who either lost hours, lost paychecks, or lost their jobs entirely. Roughly 700,000 people have dropped out of the labor force last month. And the vast majority were women. We’re still down 647,000 manufacturing jobs nationwide since the crisis has started. And our balance of payments deficit is going up. And here in Nevada, the unemployment rate is 13.2%, the highest in the nation because of President Trump’s negligence. The hospitality industry has hit particularly hard. The culinary union, has recently said publicly that 50% of their members are still out of work. Tourism in June was down 70% from a year ago. The result? President Trump will be the first president in modern history since Hoover to leave office with fewer jobs than he had when he came into office. Here in Nevada, after seeing over 200,000 jobs created in the last seven years of the Obama-Biden administration, Nevada has actually seen jobs go down under the Trump presidency. He’s leaving us with what he calls, he says is a V-shape recession.
Joe Biden: (05:36)
It’s a K-shaped recession where those at the top keep going up and the middle-class and everyone else keeps going down, getting worse. Means essential workers who sacrificed to keep us going through this pandemic are being left behind by the most unequal recovery in modern history. You get this, the top 100 billionaires in America have done pretty well. Just in the pandemic, the top 100 billionaires have made an additional $300 billion, top 100. But you get the bottom half of that K and it’s a downward slide. You’re left to figure out how you’re going to pay your bills, put food on the table. So much food insecurity in America, in this state. How to balance doing your job with being a teacher for your kids because of the negligence of the President, they can’t go back to school because they haven’t provided the wherewithal for schools to open.
Joe Biden: (06:43)
You’re asked to risk your neck because you can’t work from home where the risk of COVID are kept outside. That’s because you’re a police officer, a firefighter, a nurse, or you’re working on an assembly line in customer service or a checkout counter, or here in Vegas in hospitality. If you’re a housekeeper, a casino worker, the ones who built this very stage. Governor Sisolak, your members of Congress are doing everything they possibly can to help turn things around. Governor, you’ve been focused and responsible. You followed science and put public health and safety. You made tough calls that saved lives. Working around the clock so we can reopen schools and the economy safely. Your members of Congress, have done the same.
Joe Biden: (07:44)
And the House passed what they call the HEROES Act months ago. Would have provided billions of dollars to help states keep first responders on the job. The safety measures needed, the PPP needed to open our schools and businesses but Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell, Republican leader did nothing to move the legislation. Nothing in June, nothing in July, nothing in August, nothing in September, things getting worse and worse and worse. And as people struggled and suffered, what did they focus on? If this wasn’t so serious, you’d think I’m making it up. What they focused on is more tax cuts for the wealthy, not a joke. They’re proposal adds another $30 billion tax cut for millionaires and billionaires. Cuts in funding. Cutting the means by which we fund the Social Security system, leading the actuary of Social Security to say if they do it, by 2023, mid-2023, there’ll be no money for Social Security.
Joe Biden: (08:54)
And a relentless effort to eliminate, as Alejandro said, the Affordable Care Act, which provides healthcare coverage for 22 million people, over 100 million with pre-existing conditions. This is going on at the same time he’s already cost 10 million people their health insurance because their companies have gone bankrupt. It’s unconscionable. Instead of focusing on our needs, your needs, he’s trying to take your healthcare away. He’s literally before the Supreme Court as I speak to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act, take away that healthcare for 20 million Americans. That’s 282,000 Nevadans. Take away federal protections for preexisting conditions, 1.2 million Nevadans. And complications from COVID like lung scarring and heart damage could well become the next pre-existing condition. Striking down the Affordable Care Act would toss out the rule that allows our children to be covered on their parents’ insurance policy until age 26. Take us backward when insurance companies could change a woman more for healthcare than a man for the same procedure, just because she’s a woman. Take away Medicare benefits for seniors. Increase their drug prescription costs.
Joe Biden: (10:28)
And just as he vowed to “terminate” as I said earlier the funding for Social Security. The idea that in just a few years could put at risk 410,000 Nevadans that rely on a dignified retirement because of Social Security. And during all this, not once did President Trump call a high-level meeting of Democrats and Republicans to the White House to resolve these issues. I’ve served with a lot of presidents, never, no matter how good or bad you thought they were did they fail to try to bring parties together in the White House to reach a settlement. You know why? He spent so much time hiding in the bunker in the White House or on the bunker of his golf course, playing hundreds of rounds of golf.
Joe Biden: (11:27)
And then this Tuesday, what’d he do? He said, “End the discussions.” He wasn’t even starting them. No more negotiations. No more negotiations. And now today he says, “Well, I’m back.” One thing for sure, Donald Trump shows no urgency to deliver hardworking Americans, like the family I grew up in. Like all of you. What they need now desperately. For exactly two months since the emergency small business program that your congresspeople voted, for has closed down two months of small business owners in Nevada and across the country, waiting, hoping, for just a little extra help to be able to stay open. Now we have more than 400,000 small businesses have been permanently closed.
Joe Biden: (12:20)
By the way, the largest employers in America are small businesses. Millions more are struggling to hang on. How many more will go under? How many more dreams will be extinguished because of the selfishness of this President and the Republican leaders in Congress? Make no mistake, if you’re out of work, if your business is closed, if your child’s school was shut down, if you’re facing eviction, as millions are, over 20 million Americans worry about whether they’re going to be able to pay their mortgage next month. None of that seems to matter to Donald Trump. You’re a firefighter, police officer, who depends on state and local budgets. He’s turned his back on you as well, because they’ve got to balance their budgets. They’re being laid off all over America.
Joe Biden: (13:12)
When Barack and I were elected, we inherited the worst recession short of the Great Depression in history. He put me in charge of what’s called the Recovery Act. $800 billion. We passed and needed to get out into the economy within 18 months to prevent a depression. We did it with less than two tenths percent of waste or fraud. And I was able to see to it that the states in order to keep moving, keep teachers, firefighters, first responders, all employed. I was able to get $140 billion in aid out to the states. Right here in Clark County, I was able to bring to $1.2 billion to keep your economy going. We have that ability now.
Joe Biden: (14:04)
The House has already passed a similar piece of legislation. And we started the longest sustained recovery in American history. But you know what Mitch McConnell said about help with the states. I’m not making this up. He said, “Let them go bankrupt. Let them go bankrupt.” What in the hell is he talking about? Folks, we’re so much better than this. We can turn this crisis into progress. We contain this virus and fully reopen our economy. We make up 4% of the world’s population and we have 20% of the world’s deaths. If we just follow the science, expand testing and tracing, social distance, washing our hands, implementing nationwide mask mandates. Don’t politicize the race for a vaccine, Mr. President. Just have a plan for safe and equitable distribution.
Joe Biden: (15:14)
On the economy, bring the Congress back together to pass real relief to help people who’ve lost their unemployment checks as well. And then implement a comprehensive agenda that I’ve laid out to make bold investments so we can build back better. He keeps talking about the Republicans. Some Republicans, a lot of them are acknowledging and supporting me, but a lot of them also are talking about, “Well, Biden’s going to spend all this money.” Well, guess what? The independent analysis put out by Moody’s, a Wall Street firm did a detailed analysis of my recovery plan and the President’s. And here’s what they said, it’s off of Wall Street, that my plan will create 18.6 million jobs in four years. 7 million more jobs than the President’s plan. And $1 trillion more in economic growth than the President’s plan.
Joe Biden: (16:18)
Democrats know how to get things done. Here’s how my plan works. It’s not going to raise a penny in tax for anyone making less than $400,000 a year. Not a penny. And how am I going to pay for all this? I’m going to ask the big corporations and the wealthy to start paying their fair share. You realize that the Fortune 500 companies, 92 of them making billions of dollars, don’t pay a single penny in taxes. It’s wrong. Donald Trump paying $720 in taxes? Come on. The money we raise by eliminating the $1.3 trillion of his $2 trillion tax cut that affects the super wealthy and corporations, we’re going to invest in working people. We’re going to grow the middle class to make sure everyone’s included on the deal.
Joe Biden: (17:23)
The kinds of investment that will stimulate the economy, including industries like tourism and hospitality. To get back to full employment fast and help build back better than before. It means the analysis shows creating millions of good paying union jobs. Manufacturing and technology. Making sure our future is made in America. We and the President in the White House gives out $600 billion in contracts per year. Well guess what? While I’m President, it’s going to go to no outfit that doesn’t make it in America, the whole thing, and sell it in America. I mean it.
Joe Biden: (18:17)
And infrastructure. Building roads, bridges, highways, ports, airports, and clean energy. Upgrading four million buildings and weatherizing, two million homes, creating at least a million good paying jobs in the process. Making the climate safer, saving hundreds of millions of barrels of oil. We’ll deal with climate change by creating millions of union jobs that build a climate resilience of our cities and our towns fighting back stronger, more frequent wildfires. Beating heat waves, droughts, hurricanes, and floods. By the way, did you hear what the President said about hurricanes this summer? He was told about how they’re coming across the warm water in the Atlantic and the closer they get to the shore, the worse they get. You know what he said, Alejandro? He said, “Maybe we should drop an atomic weapon on them and blow them up.” As we say in my religion, “Bless me father for I have sinned.” What’s going on here?
Joe Biden: (19:27)
Under my plan, small business come out the other side of this crisis with access to capital and the ability to deal with their debts. We’re going to get $50 billion in new capital, especially for minority owned businesses and small businesses. We’re going to make another hundred billion dollars in low-interest loans available to these businesses, creating jobs, increasing economic growth and increasing incomes. A $15 minimum wage. I’m dreaming here. But a $15 minimum wage for our essential workers. We’re not just going to praise you, we’re going to pay you with a good wage. Ensure you have strong benefits. We’ll ease the burden of the major cost in your life. We’ll build the Affordable Care Act, writing knew health insurance options, not for-profit public options, which give private insurers a real competitor. We’re going to increase subsidies for premiums and lower your costs. Increase plans that will lower deductibles and lower out of pocket expenses. And we’re going to take on the pharmaceutical industry with a plan that will slash costs of prescription drugs by 50%.
Joe Biden: (20:44)
The reason I’m not going to more detail, you’ve been out here a long time, let’s give me one example. If in fact Medicare is able to negotiate for all the drugs they buy and say you’re not going to be able to sell them to them unless you pay the price we’re suggesting, that would drop by 60% the cost the cost of drugs.
Joe Biden: (21:06)
We’ll also make high quality childcare available and accessible. We’ll work with the states to ensure that every three, four year old will get access to free, high quality preschool. Not, not, not daycare. We’re going to make sure low and middle income families never have to spend more than 7% of their income to care for young children. Because if we truly want to reward work in this country, we have to ease the financial burdens that created the care for families that are caring for raising a child and an aging loved one. Look at the professional caregivers out there, home health care workers, childcare workers, who are more often women. Women of color immigrants, are too often underpaid, under seen and undervalued. That’s why my Build Back Better plan will elevate the compensation, benefits and dignity of caregiving workers and early childhood educators. We’re also going to triple the funding for Title I schools like the one behind me here, which served high number of children from low-income families.
Joe Biden: (22:11)
We’re going to make four years of public college and universities tuition free for any family that makes less than $125,000 a year. We’re going to make community college and job training programs free for all hardworking Americans that qualify. And if you’re buying your first home, we’re going to provide a $15,000 tax credit to help you get there. We’re going to protect Social Security. Increase benefits for millions of seniors. Look, I’m not going to lay it out, but go to joebiden.com. Go to Moody’s, look it up. We pay for all this and we grow the economy at the same time.
Joe Biden: (22:54)
The fact is, President of the United States can only see the world from Park Avenue. He thinks Wall Street built this country and CEOs. I see the world from where I grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania and Claymont. Communities like some that you live in. I know the middle-class working people built this country. The measure of economic success has been what our families are talking about around the kitchen table. Are you able to look your kid in the eye and say, “Honey, it’s going to be okay?”
Joe Biden: (23:27)
How many times do you know somebody… This morning I had to say, look, I know those tires are bald, but you got to ride on them for another 20,000 miles. We just don’t have the money. We just can’t do it now.” Who’s going to tell her she can’t go back to school because we can’t continue to borrow the money to keep her in that community college? There was a discussion that took place around my table and I’m sure yours as well. But if we’re going to get anything done, we got to come together.
Joe Biden: (23:57)
I made a speech I worked really, really hard on and thought really hard about before I made it in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the battlefield last week. I said at that time that we’re facing a crisis, not unlike we did after Gettysburg. I said there that I’m running as a proud Democrat, but I’m going to govern as an American president. The work is hard for those who don’t support me as those who do, because after all this country has been through, after all that America has accomplished, after all the years, we stood as a beacon of light to the world we cannot be that here and now, in 2020, we allow the government, the government of the people, by the people, and for the people, to perish from this earth.
Joe Biden: (25:01)
Folks, we have it our hands. And I made this in the bottom of heart, we have in our hands the ultimate power. And what’s the ultimate power in a democracy? The power to vote. Here in Nevada, the best thing you can do is vote early and return your ballot quickly. Ballots here in Clark County were mailed two days ago, on Wednesday. You can return your ballot by mail. You can drop it off at a drop box or vote in person during the early vote or on election day. But just make a plan. Seriously, go to iwillvote.com/nv. Make a plan. Don’t risk any delays, return that mail and ballot as soon as you can. Make sure your voice is heard.
Joe Biden: (25:58)
We can be better than what we’ve seen. We can be what we are at our best, the United States of America. I’m confident we can bring Democrats and Republicans together again with him gone. Folks, conclude by saying there has never, ever, ever been anything the United States has been unable to accomplish when we’ve done it together. Never, never, never. So folks let’s stand up and vote and take back this country now. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Appreciate it. (silence)