Oct 5, 2020
Joe Biden Miami Campaign Speech Transcript October 5
Joe Biden spoke during a campaign event in Miami, Florida on October 5. Read the transcript his speech remarks here.
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Joe Biden: (17:15)
Good afternoon, everyone. It’s great to be back in Miami. And thank you, Esther. I told you our family has been, unfortunately, this considerable consumer of healthcare. Please all sit down. Of healthcare and I’ve learned from personal experience as my sons, my daughter, my wife, family has learned if there are any angels in heaven, they’re all nurses, male and female. Docs let you live and nurses make you want to live. I really mean it. They’re there at the tough times. And by the way, thank you for your service in the military, but also thank you for the beginning of this pandemic.
Joe Biden: (18:10)
Being a surgical nurse wasn’t easy when there wasn’t the PPE available to all of you as you walked into those operating rooms and dealt with all the problems. I know my son-in-law’s a physician surgeon in Philadelphia and the stories at the beginning of this process, when we should have had everything available. So thank you not only for your skill and your courage, but your bravery and doing what you’ve done. And I want to thank you for the care dedication that you went on, all your fellow SEIU members, all your nurses that show up and struggle with illness or coping with the loss of a loved one in terrible times.
Joe Biden: (18:56)
So many of you had to hold a phone to a patient’s ear to say goodbye to a family member because they couldn’t be there. They couldn’t see them in the hospital as they passed. Now, I want to thank Victoria, Victoria for sharing her family’s journey with us today. Victoria and I were talking a little bit earlier. I was in South Asia speaking with a president and he asked me what made America unique? And I said immigration because it’s the history of this country. And he looked at me funny. He said, why is that?
Joe Biden: (19:37)
And I said, because almost everybody who’s come here, other than those who came in chains 400 years ago came because they’re escaping something and it took enormous courage. I really mean this. Think about it, enormous courage to leave everything they knew, everything that was familiar, sometimes leaving family members to get on a boat, a plane, train, whatever the means was to be able to leave and start a new life. And to do that, you have to have optimism, courage. You have to be resilient. You have to be willing to believe you can make things change for the better.
Joe Biden: (20:17)
That’s what’s built this country, immigration. We are, not figuratively, it’s a phrase used to not often fully appreciated, a nation of immigrants. That’s why we’re the most unique and strongest nation in the world. It’s family like yours and Esther’s that have made this country what it is through the hard work and faith and perseverance. The richness and beauty of Miami is built from the connections of family, culture, values that we share with our friends throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. Earlier this afternoon, I visited Little Haiti.
Joe Biden: (20:53)
Had been some years since been there when the earthquake occurred and I came to deliver some assistance to the Haitian community, as well as making sure we had temporary protective status granted. It’s a cultural complex and now here at the site name for one of Cuba’s most celebrated poets and thinkers. This city is living proof of the incredible strength that we draw from families and communities from every culture choosing America. So thank you, Victoria, for choosing us and I’m really honored that you’re going to vote for me in your first election.
Joe Biden: (21:33)
I promise you I will not let you down. I promise you I will not let you down. And let me also say at the top, my prayers continue to be with the president and the first lady for their health and safety as they like so many American families are dealing with COVID-19. I was glad to see the president speaking and recording videos over the weekend. Now that he’s busy tweeting campaign messages, I would ask him to do this, listen to the scientists, support masks, support a mask mandate nationwide, require a mask in every federal building and facility and interstate travel, urge every governor, mayor to do the same.
Joe Biden: (22:21)
We know it saves lives. His administration just rejected a mask mandate for public transportation on Friday. The CIA came along and said, we need to be protected and they said, no. I believe that was wrong and not very rational experts say that universal masking could say between now and January 100,000 lives. Let me say that again. Between now and January, mandatory masking could save 100,000 lives. I backed that mandate months ago. He should back it now. Since the president entered the hospital on Friday, since Friday, more than 100,000 more people have been diagnosed with COVID.
Joe Biden: (23:19)
And this week, at least 5,000 more will die. Cases and deaths are climbing in many states. I hope the president’s recovery is swift and successful, but our nation’s covered crisis is far, far from over. Today, my prayers are with the families of the 210,000 Americans who died from the virus. All those families who got up this morning and there was an empty chair at the breakfast table, tonight, an empty chair at the dinner table where one should be, husband, wife, son, daughter, mother, father. And nearly 7.5 million Americans-
Joe Biden: (24:02)
And nearly 7.5 million Americans have been infected with the virus to date. This pandemic and economic collapse has hit the Hispanic communities, particularly hard. Nationally, the infection rate among Hispanics is almost three times higher than white, non Hispanics. More than 40,000 Hispanics have died from COVID-19, devastating families and close knit communities of loved ones. And here in Florida, where Hispanics make up about one quarter of the population, they make up 37% of the COVID deaths.
Joe Biden: (24:44)
Nearly 3 million Hispanics are unemployed. If you break that down, that last data, unemployment for Hispanic women and Hispanic youth actually went up last month. One in three Hispanic, small business owners have taken a hit and many are likely to have to close permanently. Some economists are calling this what they call a K shaped recovery. It means those at the top, they keep going up, their income. But everyone from the middle and lower-income, it keeps going down, keeps getting worse. Means that essential workers, so many of whom are Hispanic, have sacrificed to keep us going through this pandemic are being left behind by the most unequal recovery in modern American history. Because while workers are struggling, this is a shocking statistic, but it’s true, the top 100 billionaires in America have done pretty well. Just since the COVID crisis they have made an additional $300 billion. The top 100 additional made an additional $300 billion. Everyone else though, they got the bottom half of that K, downward, a downward slide.
Joe Biden: (26:09)
You’re left to figure out how you’re going to pay your bills, put food on the table, pay the rent, or if you’re lucky enough to own a home, will you have enough money to pay the mortgage? How to balance doing your job with being a teacher to your kids, because their school has gone remote. You’re asked to risk your neck if you can’t work from home, while the risk of COVID are mostly kept outside, because you’re one of our first responders, a union nurse like Ester or on an assembly line, or working in a customer service or tourism industry or at a checkout counter or police office, firefighter. I know this isn’t an easy time, but I also think this pandemic has just helped us rip off the blinders in this country as how inequitable so many things are. People didn’t even realize, and so now they’ve seen it.
Joe Biden: (27:16)
I truly believe we have a tremendous opportunity to turn this moment of crisis in a moment of great progress for the country. That’s why I’ve laid out a comprehensive agenda, not just to rebuild our communities, but to build them back, make bold investments in them so we can build back better than before the crisis.
Joe Biden: (27:40)
An independent analysis, President talks about… he loves talking about Wall Street. He never talks about Moody’s on wall street that pointed out, they did a detailed assessment of my economic plan and his. And here’s what Moody’s concluded. They projected my economic plan will create 18.6 million jobs, 7 million more jobs in the president’s economic plan will in four years and $1 trillion more in growth than the president’s plan.
Joe Biden: (28:14)
And here’s how it works. I’m not going to raise taxes on anyone who makes less than $400,000 a year. You won’t pay a penny more. I guarantee you. But I’m going to ask the big corporations and the super wealthy to begin to pay their fair share. It’s not punishment. It just about time you start paying your fair share. The money we raise from making sure they pay their fair share will allow me to invest it in working people on a growing middle class.
Joe Biden: (28:50)
When I announced I said I wanted to rebuild the backbone of this country. Working folks, the middle class. They weren’t built by wall street. It was built by labor. Advance racial equity across the economy to make sure everyone is included in the deal this time. We’re going to invest it in creating millions of good paying jobs, union jobs in manufacturing and technology, making sure our future is made in America. In infrastructure, building roads, bridges, highways, ports, and airports like I was able to do when I ran the Recovery Act for our administration, putting billions of dollars in the Port of Miami, creating so good, hard working people with good decent union jobs, able to accommodate the new supertankers coming through the canal, generating some stability.
Joe Biden: (29:50)
My plan will make sure Hispanic communities benefit from hundreds of billions of dollars in investments, to fill the cracks in the sidewalks, install broadband, close the digital divide, create spaces to live, work, and play in safely.
Joe Biden: (30:07)
And clean energy. We upgrade 4 million buildings, weatherize 2 million homes. We’ll create, at least, the estimates are at least 1 million good paying jobs and save us millions and millions of barrels of oil. We’re going to meet the threat of climate change and invest in strengthening climate resilience, where we are already dealing with an existential threat of climate change. I don’t have to tell you in Miami, don’t have to tell you in South Florida or in my state, which has the lowest sea level, lowest degree of height from sea level than any state in the nation. Stronger, more frequent hurricanes, rising tides, flooding. And no matter where the president says, maybe you should consider dropping an atomic weapon on a hurricane coming our way is not a good idea. It doesn’t work. Look, that’s not some distant future in Miami or South Florida. You’re dealing with it right now. What do you have to do to get knocked in the head to understand it?
Joe Biden: (31:18)
We’re going to make sure the small businesses could come out the other side of this crisis with access to capital and the ability to deal with their debts. My plan will get $50 billion in capital flowing to small businesses, which would get repaid in employment and taxes, especially minority owned small businesses and make another $100 billion in low interest loans available to those businesses to get back on their feet and stay alive, because you know as well as I do, and ethnic communities, they are the heartbeat, they’re the center of a community. Whether it’s a grocery store, a beauty shop, the barbershop, the hardware store, the essence of a community. We’re going to make investments to increase incomes as well. It’s long past time. I’ve worked with Governor Cuomo to get it done in New York and other governors across the country. No one should have to work two jobs to be able to be 40 hours a week, so they’re above the poverty rate. $15 should be a minimum wage in the United States of America, period.
Joe Biden: (32:29)
And for our essential workers, we’re not just going to praise you, we’re going to begin to pay you a good wage, be sure you have strong benefits. We’re going to ease the burden of the major costs in your life. What are they? Healthcare. We’re going to build on the Affordable Care Act, which gave 4 million Hispanic people in this country health insurance, by adding a new health insurance option, a not for profit public option. We’re going to give private insurers a real competitor. We’re going to increase subsidies, so your premiums are lower and you can and afford plans with lower deductibles and lower out-of-pocket expenses.
Joe Biden: (33:10)
We’re going to take on the pharmaceutical industry, a plan that slashes the cost of prescription drugs by 60%. You think I’m making these numbers up. If we just let Medicare negotiate independently for all the drugs they purchase, I promise you the rates are going to fall through the floor. Affordable and accessible.
Joe Biden: (33:33)
Every three and four year old will have access to free quality preschool. All the studies at great universities and all the ones around the country have shown that no matter what zip code a child comes from, no matter what background, if they go to preschool, not daycare, preschool in school at three, four, and five years old, they increase exponentially, over by over 50% a prospect they’ll go through all 12 years and many beyond.
Joe Biden: (34:04)
And we’ll make sure, sure that low and middle-income… and by the way, the total cost of that… it’s called Title 1 program. We now spend $15 billion for in school districts that don’t have high tax rates. Well, guess what? You change that to 45. You can put every one of these kids in school, pay the teachers legitimate rate and make sure that you have school psychologists and social workers in those schools. We’re going to make sure that for childcare, for someone under the age of five or six, no one ever has to pay more than 7% of their income for their young children to get quality childcare, because you truly want to reward work in this country. We have to ease the financial burden of the care that families are carrying. Even before the pandemic, and many of you know it and many of you are doing it, millions of working families faced enormous financial and personal strains, trying to raise their kids and care for their parents or loved ones living with a disability.
Joe Biden: (35:04)
It’s going to sound strange, when I first got elected, when I was 29 years old to Senate, right after I got elected, my wife and daughter were killed. My two sons survived after hospitalized for a long time. I needed help do my job. I could not possibly afford childcare. Even though I was making a really good salary of $42,000 a year, more than I’d ever made. And I couldn’t afford it. Being a single mom or dad or a family that has two people working with young children, it’s incredibly costly. And by the way, and the professional caregivers out there, home health workers, childcare workers, were more often women, women of color and immigrants, and too often underpaid, unseen and undervalued. That’s why my build back better plan will elevate the compensation, benefits and dignity of caregiver-
Joe Biden: (36:03)
… Back Better Plan will elevate the compensation benefits and dignity of caregivers and workers and early childhood educators. That’s what we’re going to do. It’s also going to invest in education beyond high school. If you qualify to get into community college, you’ll automatically be able to go, and you’ll be able to go for free. If you are qualified to get into a four-year public school in your state public college, and your family makes less than $125, 000 a year, you get to go free. If you’re buying your first home, you’re going to have a tax credit up to $15,000 to get there. What happened after the Great Recession in this one? An awful lot of you range in age from the millennials have started off back after 9/11, all the way to the people graduating this year… Are not in a position to do that, because your jobs have been postponed or non-existent. But providing an opportunity, I can get you into the system.
Joe Biden: (37:09)
We’re also going to protect Social Security, increase the benefits for millions of seniors. We’re going to do that all in a partnership and lockstep with the Hispanic community. And by the way, the President’s proposal to eliminate the tax you pay when you get your paycheck for Social Security, without any means by which to replace it, the actuary at social security said Social Security will be bankrupt by 2023. They’ve never liked it to begin with. So look, success and prosperity of the Hispanic Americans is indispensable to the success and prosperity of the United States, and of all America. It’s that simple. Hispanic families are responsible today for $2.6 trillion of our gross domestic product, and growing. If that was a standalone economy, a country all by itself, it would be the eighth largest economy in the world. Think of that.
Joe Biden: (38:20)
Now imagine how much more that would grow if everyone had access to the tools they need to succeed. By investing in Hispanic communities, we’re making the smartest possible investment with the greatest possible returns that our nation could make, period. We also need to rebuild our ability to work with our partners throughout the Western hemisphere to realize the enormous potential of this region in the world, to confront those leaders who continue to oppress the rights of their people. We should be leading the international effort to confront the massive humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. Maduro, who I’ve met, is a dictator, plain and simple, and he’s causing incredible suffering among the Venezuelan people to maintain his grip on power. The Venezuelan people need our support to recover or their democracy and rebuild their country.
Joe Biden: (39:19)
That’s why I would immediately grant temporary protective status to Venezuelans as President. So the Republicans in the Senate can’t keep blocking it like they did again just last week. I’ll make sure we’re supporting neighboring countries that are being overrun with immigration because of Maduro, like Columbia, which are caring for millions of Venezuelans who’ve fled their country in desperation. I’ll use sanctions as one of the tools for a comprehensive strategy that includes humanitarian assistance, international pressure, and support for democratic actors in Venezuela to force the regime to embark on the road to a free and fair election. We also need a new Cuba policy. The administration’s approach is not working. Cuba is no closer to freedom and democracy than it was four years ago. The fact there’s more political prisoners, the secret police are as brutal as ever, and Russia is once again a major presence in Cuba in Havana… For my entire career, I strived for democracy and human rights, for freedom of the press, assembly and religion against dictators of the left and the right. As President, my policy will be governed by two principles.
Joe Biden: (40:40)
First, Americans, especially Cuban-Americans, are the best ambassadors for freedom in Cuba. Second, empowering the Cuban people to determine their own future is central to a national security interest in the United States. I think it’s unconscionable that the current administration is deporting hundreds of Cubans back to a dictatorship. There are almost 10,000 Cubans languishing in tent camps along the Mexican border because the administration’s anti-immigration agenda. That’s the administration actively separating Cuban families by not processing visas, through restrictions on family visits and remittances. I think we have to reverse that. The bottom line is that President Trump can not advance the democracy and human rights for the American people when he has embraced so many autocrats around the world, starting with Vladimir Putin.
Joe Biden: (41:40)
Folks, we can do this. We can reach for more as a nation. We can rebuild. We can rebuild the backbone of this country and finally bring everybody along. America’s always done best coming out of crisis. We’re the only nation it’s always come out of every crisis better than we went in. We can build a new administration that reflects the full diversity of our nation, including Hispanic communities. And Hispanic voters, especially in Florida, can help put our nation on a new path forward. And here in Florida today as the deadline to register to vote ends today… If you haven’t registered, go out right now because it is an obligation. Every vote will make a difference. Check and make sure your family and friends are registered, and then make sure everyone has a plan to vote.
Joe Biden: (42:44)
If you can vote by mail, vote by mail. If you can vote in person, vote in person, if you can vote early, vote early. You can vote early in person starting on October 19th in many places in Florida, including right here in Miami. Just make sure you vote. Together we can win. We can’t let this pandemic change everything. We’ve got to get it under control so we can get our economy working again for everyone. We can come together as a nation. I’m running as a Democrat. Proud of it, but I will be an American President, not a democratic President with a capital D. I’ll fight as hard for you and your family whether you vote for me or whether you vote against me because there’s nothing we can’t do when we do it together.
Joe Biden: (43:34)
Folks, I’ve been other more optimistic about our chances as a nation in the 21st century than I’ve been my whole career. There’s not a single solitary thing that’s beyond our capacities as a nation. I mean that sincerely. The most talented workers in the world… We’re the most incredible system in the world. We have a people, who when they stand together, have never, ever, ever, ever failed. Every time I’d walk out of my grandpa’s house up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, he’d yell, “Joey, keep the faith.” My grandma, when she was alive, would yell back, “No, Joey, spread it.” Let’s go spread the faith. Take back this country. We’re so much better than this. God bless you all, and may God protect our troops. Thank you. Thank you.
Joe Biden: (44:34)