Sep 4, 2020
Joe Biden Press Conference Transcript September 4
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden held a press conference on September 4. He discussed the economy, Israel, and President Trump’s alleged remarks about fallen soldiers. Read the transcript of his remarks here.
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Joe Biden: (11:27)
Good afternoon folks. Sorry I’m a little late. I was a mesmerized. I was walking out of the office, that listening to an interview of former General Barry McCaffrey and Bill Cohen, former Secretary of Defense. Before I begin, I want to speak a little bit to what they talked about and the revelations about President Trump’s disregard for our military and our veterans. Quite frankly, if what is written in the Atlantic is true, it’s disgusting. At affirms what most of us believe to be true, that Donald Trump is not fit to do the job of President, to be the Commander in Chief. The President reportedly said, and I emphasize reportedly, said that those who sign up to serve, instead of doing something more lucrative are suckers. Let me be real clear. When my son was an Assistant US Attorney and he volunteered to go to Kosovo, when the war is going on as a civilian, he wasn’t a sucker.
Joe Biden: (12:46)
When my son volunteered and joined the United States military, as the Attorney General and went to Iraq for a year, won the Bronze Star and other commendations, he wasn’t a sucker. The service men and women he served with, particularly those who did not come home, were not losers. If these statements are true, the President should humbly apologize to every Gold Star Mother and Father and every Blue Star Family that he’s denigrated and insulted. Who the heck does he think he is? Is it true? Well, we’ve heard from his own mouth, his characterizations of an American hero, John McCain as a loser in 2015. Donald Trump said he was not a war hero. I like people who weren’t captured. Well good for him. And his dismissal of the traumatic brain injury suffered by troops serving in Iraq, as mere headaches, not too long ago. He stood by failing-
Joe Biden: (14:02)
He stood by failing, failing to take action or even raise the issue with Vladimir Putin while the Kremlin puts bounties on the heads of American troops in Afghanistan. It’s a sacred duty and you’re tired of hearing me say this. Those of you who’ve been covering me for years know. I get in trouble for saying it, but I’m going to say it again. We have many obligations as a government. We only have one truly sacred obligation. Equipped and support those who we send into harm’s way, care for their families while they’re gone, and care for them when they are home. That’s the only truly sacred obligation the government has. Duty, honor, country. These are values that drive our service members. It’s an all voluntary outfit. President Trump is demonstrated he has no sense of service, no loyalty to any cause other than himself. If I have the honor of being the next commander in chief, I will ensure that our American heroes know I’ll have their backs, honor their sacrifice. And those who’ve been injured will be in military parades. I’m always cautioned not to lose my temper. This may be as close as I come in this campaign. Just a marker of how deeply President Trump and I disagree about the role of the president of the United States of America. The August jobs report came out this morning. And I’m grateful for everyone who found work again and found a glimmer of hope that brings them back from the edge, but there is real cause for concern as well. The pace of the job gains in August was slower than July, significantly slower than in May and June. More and more temporary layoffs are turning into permanent layoffs. 28 million people filed for unemployment. And after six months in the pandemic, we’re less than halfway back to where we were with 11 million, 11.5 million Americans not getting their jobs back. We’re still down 720, 000 manufacturing jobs. In fact, Donald Trump may be the only president of modern history to leave office with fewer jobs than when he took office.
Joe Biden: (17:14)
I’ve talked to a lot of real working people, ask them. They feel like they’re being left behind. Ask them, how do they feel about the economy coming back? You’ll find they don’t feel it. And that’s why I’m here today, to thank Paul Calistro and his team for hosting us at West End Neighborhood House here in Wilmington. Paul, your continued tradition of doing God’s work through this community is important. It’s been around for more than 130 years. Through pandemics, wars, depressions. West End has been here for generations of people who are just looking for a chance, not a handout. Just a fair shot at a good job, a safe place to live, and a better life to pass down to their kids.
Joe Biden: (18:05)
This is a special place for the Biden family. My daughter, Ashley, a social worker, was a caseworker here helping young people who are aging out of foster care. When my son was the Attorney General, Beau came here, right here, to learn more about job training programs for those working toward a GED and a certificate for a good paying job. When I was senator and vice president, there were plenty of economists I had around me to talk about every aspect of the economy. But I always think about the people who walked through the doors here. Working people, white, Black, brown, Latino. What are they doing? Are they okay? I knew if they’re okay, they walk through these doors, the economy was doing okay. If they weren’t okay, we weren’t doing well.
Joe Biden: (18:58)
That’s what we should be thinking about is this latest jobs report. But the report reinforces the worst fears and painful truths. The economic inequities that began before the downturn have only worsened under this failed presidency. When the crisis started, we all hope for a few months of a shutdown would be followed by a rapid economic turnaround. No one thought they’d lose their job for good or see small businesses shut down en masse. But that kind of recovery requires leadership, leadership we didn’t have and still don’t have. And as a result, economists are starting to call this recession a K-shaped recession, which is a fancy phrase for what’s wrong with everything about Trump’s presidency. The K means those at the top are seeing things go up. And those in the middle and below are seeing things go down and get worse. It’s no surprise because at root of this is the fact that Trump has mismanaged the COVID crisis. And that’s why it’s a K-shaped pandemic.
Joe Biden: (20:10)
First, the president’s chaotic mismanagement of the pandemic is still holding us back. Compared to other major industrial countries in Europe and Asia, during the pandemic, our unemployment rate is still more than double, while other nations have only gone up by half. Why? Because the president has botched the COVID response, botched it badly. I’ve said from the beginning we can’t deal with an economic crisis until you beat the pandemic. You can’t have an economic comeback when almost 1000 Americans die each day from COVID, when the death toll was reached about 200,000, when more than six million Americans have been infected, when million more worry about getting sick and dying, and schools and businesses try to reopen.
Joe Biden: (21:04)
We all know it didn’t have to be this bad. It didn’t have to be this bad to begin with if the president just did his job, if he just took the virus seriously early on in January and February as it spread around the globe, if he just took the steps we needed back in March and April, institute widespread testing and tracing to control the virus, if he provided clear national scientific-based guidance to state and local authorities, if he just set a good example like social distancing and wearing a mask. It’s not too much to ask. It’s almost like he doesn’t care. It doesn’t affect him because it doesn’t affect him or his class of friends.
Joe Biden: (21:48)
Anyone with a big enough checkbook can get rapid tests on demand. If you don’t, you might have to wait in line for hours and wait for weeks to get your result, if you can get them at all. You have the kind of job where you can work from a laptop at home remotely, risking getting COVID is very small at work. This job report shows that 37 million people reported teleworking in August. But if you work in an assembly line or check out counter or a meat packing plant or drive a truck or deliver packages, you’re at much greater risk. And the job report shows that more than 27 million workers reported that they couldn’t work or lost hours because their employer had to close or lost business due to the pandemic.
Joe Biden: (22:41)
If you can hire a private tutor or have a live-in childcare, you can balance being a parent and remote schooling. If you can’t, you have to do your job and be a teacher all at once. Jill and I have held briefings on reopening school safety two days ago, asking the question as we hear so many parents call and ask us, educators as well who feel like they’re in an impossible situation. What are they supposed to do with our children when the president has made it so hard for schools to reopen safely? What’s the alternative when it’s devastating to keep them isolated from their friends and their support systems? I also said earlier this week, to the shock of many, we have lost more cops this year to COVID than on patrol. Just a reminder how an already dangerous job, law enforcement, has gotten more dangerous because of Trump’s mismanagement.
Joe Biden: (23:49)
What may be just as shocking is many other jobs have also become dangerous due to COVID. Being a healthcare worker is now more dangerous than ever. We’ve lost hundreds of them this year because they weren’t protected from COVID on the job. Being a meat packer is more dangerous than ever. So many have died due to getting COVID at work. Work for waitresses and waiters and transit workers all have become more dangerous, with so many dying of COVID. Ladies and gentlemen, no matter what he says or what he claims, you are not safer in Donald Trump’s America. You’re not safe in Donald Trump’s America where people are dying at a rate last seen when Americans were fighting in World War II. Donald Trump’s malpractice during this pandemic has made being a working American a life or death work. And while there is a disproportionate impact on Black, Latino, and Asian Americans and Native Americans working class communities, white working class communities are being hit hard as well.
Joe Biden: (24:59)
Opioid deaths, for example, are up during the pandemic. Another crisis that Trump continues to all but ignore. In the meantime, Trump and his friends have strong views about what the rest of America should do. Quote, “Cut unemployment benefits to force people to go back to their jobs,” end of quote. “Defund social security and eliminate Obamacare in the middle of a pandemic,” end of quote. Reopen public schools without resources or guidance. Reopen main street business without protection for workers so corporations can continue to soar. This is their plan?
Joe Biden: (25:43)
Second and similarly, the economic pain remains unrelenting for millions of working people of every race and background aren’t getting relief they need. Meanwhile, wealthy are doing just fine, some better than ever. This divergence in fortunes is unique to any recession in recent memory. And the painful truth is we just have a president who just doesn’t see it. He doesn’t feel it. He doesn’t understand. He just doesn’t care. He thinks if the stock market is up, then everything’s fine. If his wealthy friends and donors are doing well, then everything’s doing well. If corporations see their valuations rising, then they must be hiring. But the best economists know what I know. I have learned growing up in Scranton and Claymont, Delaware up the road, places where folks aren’t invested in the market like wealthy Americans. A measure of our economic success is the quality of life of the American people.
Joe Biden: (26:54)
And if your stocks soar as families teeter on the brink of hunger and homelessness and our president calls that success, what does that say about what he values? When you see the world in such a narrow prism, it’s no wonder he doesn’t see nearly 30 million Americans on unemployment, one in six small businesses that closed right now. He doesn’t understand what life is like for people walking by their boarded up shops, educators afraid that doing their job, that job they love, will bring the virus home to the people they love, or of parents searching for health insurance now that the furlough has turned into a layoff. It’s no wonder he doesn’t see the single mom forced to wait in the three hour food line so for the first time in her life, so she can feed her family because she’s now part of the one in six households with children that don’t have enough to eat. He wants us to believe that we’re doing better, to keep it up and not-
Joe Biden: (28:03)
… that we’re doing better, to keep it up and not notice that this remains the worst economic situation since the Great Depression and our country face the historic divergence in our way of life. Which gets me to my third and final point and what the American people really need to understand, all the pain and suffering stems from President Trump’s failure to lead, his sheer inability and willingness to bring people together, he likes to sign executive orders, actions for photo ops, but they’re ill-conceived and could do more harm than good. He says, “Protecting renters from eviction,” that’s what he’s doing, but he’s not giving them any support to pay the rent when it comes due. Millions of Americans, all will be left with a terrible choice between eviction and living in the streets or paying back rent they simply don’t have when there was an answer offered and rejected. He says he’s continuing to provide enhanced unemployment insurance payments, but he cut the amount that everyone on it receive, leaves them on the edge when it runs out in a few weeks or sooner.
Joe Biden: (29:21)
He should be doing his job of calling congressional leaders together immediately to get a deal and deliver real results for the American people. This is the first president in the middle of a crisis I’ve never seen has called Congress into the Oval Office. If I were president, that’s what I’d do and I’d get it done like previous presidents. Rentals, food, unemployment assistance, tens of millions struggling Americans, student loan reliefs, small business support, and aid to schools and state governments that are going bankrupt. And as long as this pandemic and the economic catastrophe persist, no one should have their water or power cut off because they can’t afford to pay the bill. Bottom line, Mr. President, do your job, get off your golf course and out of the sand bunker, call the leaders together in the Oval Office, sit with them and make a deal. Make a deal that delivers for working Americans and eases their anxiety and pain. In July, I laid out my Build Back Better plan for an economy that works for everyone. Over the next three weeks I’ll be laying out the sharp contrast my plan has with the president’s non-plans. I’ll be asking American people three basic questions, who can handle a pandemic? Who can keep their promises? And who cares about and will fight for working families? Like the people here at West End, throughout this pandemic, they found their way to keep the center open safely and provide for critical services. No one here has been laid off. They adjusted their spaces for social distancing. They started a lending program to help local businesses, hair salons, and other small businesses. They continue their childcare services, which is critical for so many working families.
Joe Biden: (31:25)
By pure courage, heart, and grit, they never give up and they never give in and they pursue the full promise for America. That’s the story of the people of this community and this country, that’s who we are. Give ordinary American just half a chance and they never let the country down, they’ll do extraordinary things, they’ll never let us down unlike the current president. And unlike the current president I won’t let you down either, that’s what this election is about, helping people unite, get together, move this country back in the direction that we can be, there’s nothing beyond our capacity, nothing, if we just do it together. Thank you all, and I now take your questions. I guess… Are you calling on people or how am I… I don’t have a list, so you go ahead and call.
Speaker 1: (32:21)
[crosstalk 00:32:19]. Isaac.
Thank you, sir. This morning in reference to that article in The Atlantic, in a call convened by your campaign, Khizr Khan said that the comments demonstrated that President Trump’s life is a testament to selfishness and that his soul is that of a coward. You’ve talked about this as a different view of how you see the job as the president, but when you hear these remarks, suckers, losers, recoiling from amputees, what does it tell you about President Trump’s soul and the life he leads?
Joe Biden: (32:59)
I’m going to try to be measured in my response. If it’s true, and based on other things he said I believe the article is true, I’d ask you all the rhetorical question, how do you feel? How would you feel if you had a kid in Afghanistan right now? How would you feel if you lost a son, daughter, husband, wife? How would you feel, for real? I know that’s not your job to express that feeling, but you know in your heart, you know in your gut, it’s deplorable. As I’ve said many times, I’ll say again, these folks are the backbone of America, they’re the heart, the soul, the grit, that’s what patriotism is about. I’ve probably… I’ve just never been as disappointed in my whole career with a leader that I’ve worked with president or otherwise, that if the article is true and it appears to be based on other things he’s said, it is absolutely damnable, it is a disgrace.
Let’s get on a somewhat related topic. What would you say to the supporters of the QAnon, the people who believe in that conspiracy, what they think is true about America, that there’s sex trafficking and a conspiracy against President Trump? And what would you say to President Trump for not rejecting that conspiracy and the people who believe in it?
Joe Biden: (35:06)
I’ve been a big supporter of mental health, I’d recommend that people who believe it maybe should take advantage while it still exists in the Affordable Care Act. It’s bizarre, totally bizarre. And now, have you guys found that planeload of people in uniforms, and weapons, and flying around? I mean, have you found them yet? Is there anybody even from… By the way, I respect conservatism and liberal points of view in the press. Anybody found that plane? What in God’s name are we doing? Look at how it makes us look around the world, it’s mortified, it’s embarrassing, and it’s dangerous. If the president doesn’t know better, which I… He has to know better, and my Lord we’re in much more trouble than I ever thought we were. It’s bizarre.
Joe Biden: (36:09)
And this is a case where I’ve been surprised, pleased, but surprised with folks I’ve had political arguments with like the former governor of Michigan coming out and endorse me, all the Republicans are endorsing me, they’ll reach where, that this can’t go on, I mean, this cannot go on. It’s a deconstruction of a democratic system, they know it. So, I just… I’ll conclude with what you heard me say times before, the words of a president matter, even a lousy president, it gives succor, it gives encouragement to people who are spouting irrational views that no one has even close to ever presuming or showing ever existed. And it’s done for a simple reason, from the very beginning he’s understood the only way he could win the first time and can win this time is he fundamentally divides the nation, puts the nation… Divides us so we’re at each other’s throats, that’s not who we are.
Thank you, sir.
Speaker 1: (37:43)
Speaker 2: (37:55)
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Last night, President Trump mocked you for wearing a mask and said that this is a sign that you must have some ‘big issues’. He says this even though he knows that according to scientists and public health officials, wearing masks saves lives. I wonder if you worry that this kind of language that comes from the President of the United States could deter some Americans who are tuning into him to not wear masks.
Joe Biden: (38:22)
Well, I wear [inaudible 00:38:24] is a big issue, I’m a smart fellow, I listen to scientists, this is not a game, life and death. Reports that we’re going to have maybe… There’s some reports that say another 100,000 dead, as many as a 100,000 dead, more by the end of the year. I mean, I don’t get it. I mean, I just… Anyway, it’s hard to respond to something so idiotic.
Speaker 2: (39:03)
Okay. Before my second question, just quickly, have you been tested now for COVID-19?
Joe Biden: (39:07)
Yes, I have.
Speaker 2: (39:08)
How many times?
Joe Biden: (39:09)
I’ve been tested once with a deep test, and I’m going to continue to be testing on a regular basis.
Speaker 1: (39:17)
Okay, next question.
Speaker 2: (39:17)
Could I just ask quickly about Attorney General William Barr saying on CNN this week, he said that his assessment right now is that China poses the most aggressive threat to US elections even more than Iran or Russia, do you believe him? Is that also your understanding based on the intelligence briefings that you have received?
Joe Biden: (39:37)
No, it’s not consistent with the briefings I’ve received. And he’s a lousy enough attorney general, but he’s a really bad intelligence officer.
Speaker 2: (39:48)
It’s not consistent because you believe [crosstalk 00:39:51].
Joe Biden: (39:51)
Because I believe what I’ve been told, and you all know it. I mean, look, it’s… You even have office like Facebook taking somewhat… Look, it’s just… There are a lot of countries around the world, I think, would be happy to see our elections destabilized, but the one who’s working the hardest, most consistently, and never has led up is Russia. And again, it’s unfair to say to you guys, but ask yourself the rhetorical question, what is he so afraid of Vladimir Putin [inaudible 00:12:30]? I mean, what’s the problem? I mean, nothing, it’s almost obsequious. I mean… Anyway, I just want to make it clear, I believe any country that engages in any activity to delegitimize or impact on American elections is a direct violation of our sovereignty, and if I am President of United States, there will be a response.
Speaker 1: (41:13)
Great, next question.
Speaker 2: (41:13)
Speaker 1: (41:14)
Speaker 3: (41:21)
Sir, it’s been a couple of weeks now since you announced Senator Harris as your running mate and we haven’t seen her out very much including yesterday in Kenosha, why is that? And what role do you see her playing in the final [crosstalk 00:13:33]?
Joe Biden: (41:32)
She’s been on the road, she’s out herself. The role is that, just like when Barack and I campaigned, we try to cover as much territory as we could, and both of us out campaigning. She is an incredibly competent candidate, she is doing a great job. There will be times where together, but there’s a lot of territory to cover. I talk with her almost every day, I speak with her, we work together, and I have great confidence in her. There’s nothing about not campaigning together, it’s about being able to cover more territory.
Joe Biden: (42:03)
… About not campaigning together. It’s about being able to cover more territory.
Speaker 3: (42:05)
And just as second question, do you know when you will have another COVID test? Do you have any planned, any future testing coming up?
Joe Biden: (42:12)
Well, what they’re doing is they’re going to do it on a regular basis because everyone on my service detail and people who come into the house with me, they’re all tested. I just, “Yes, sir.” Show up and put my head back, when they tell me.
Speaker 3: (42:29)
You don’t know when it’ll be, the next one?
Joe Biden: (42:31)
Speaker 3: (42:32)
You don’t know when the next one will be?
Joe Biden: (42:34)
I imagine it will be sometime this week. I just don’t know, but it will be a regular basis.
Speaker 3: (42:39)
Speaker 4: (42:39)
Speaker 5: (42:46)
Thank you, sir. Let me ask you about another thing the president said last night. He once again, suggested to his supporters that they should consider voting twice, if they’re in one of those states that can allow you to request an absentee ballot. So you fill that out and then go try voting again in person. State officials have said it’s a felony in some cases, just curious what you make of it.
Joe Biden: (43:11)
It is a felony. It would be felony here in the state of Delaware. Look, I mean, how many times does this president have to suggest things and say things where you all, don’t just write, he’s a fraud. Not an opinion. Maybe we should delay the election. Maybe we should write in ballots are fraudulent, not a single bit of evidence. And I think it’s all designed to create so much chaos that no matter what the outcome of the election is that is thrown up in the air. That must be his reason because he says, and does things that no other president that I’m aware of in American history has ever done. And we all go, “Well, here’s another ridiculous, illegal, inappropriate thing he said, but he says so many of them, it doesn’t matter.” It just undermines the legitimacy of our democratic process and it’s dangerous.
Speaker 5: (44:33)
You said today is the angriest you’ve been as a presidential candidate, but you said you’re trying to restrain yourself. Aren’t there a lot of people out there who are supporting you or inclined to not vote for the president, who would say, “Why isn’t Joe Biden, angrier about all of this.”
Joe Biden: (44:53)
Because presidents United States should be presidential and should lead by example, as well as make clear exactly where they stand. Getting down in the gutter like the president does saying things that I’d be inclined, if we were behind a barn somewhere, it’d be a different thing. But that’s not the job of a president. The job of a president sets an example. My anger is real because I must tell you, I carry and I deliberately didn’t bring it with me today. The Delaware National Guard had a pin made up. That’s a gold star that was made up for my son, Beau, who didn’t die in the field. And I always carry it with me and I didn’t carry it today because I was worried that if I focus too much on it, that I would engage in some of the kind of language the president’s used. I mean, but I just think it is sick. It is deplorable. It is so un-American. It is so unpatriotic.
Joe Biden: (46:18)
And then watching him this morning while I was shaving and the TV on talking about he never said anything like that. He honored John McCain. He’s the reason why flags are flown at half mast. Oh, wasn’t that noble of him. He’s the same guy that when the ship went into harbor and made sure the USS McCain was covered, you couldn’t see it. He’s the same guy that denigrated John. He’s the same guy who did a similar thing where he talked about George H.W. Bush, he was shot down in the Pacific. I mean, but he just stands there. It’s almost pathological. I’ve never said anything like that. No ones been better than the military. I just got to focus on what has to be done, not what he did, what I do from here. What gets done from here.
Speaker 5: (47:22)
Thank you, sir.
Speaker 6: (47:26)
Thank you, Mr. Vice president, if I could follow up on Ed’s question about voting, we know the president has been attacking mail in voting he’s even now suggesting his supporters vote twice. We also know that Russia has been trying to sow doubt about the system. Are you concerned at all that this messaging may be working, that your supporters may give up on voting by mail because they’re concerned that it may be rigged?
Joe Biden: (47:47)
Yes, I am. That’s why I try not to talk about it too much because I’m playing into. The more we talk about it … There’s two things he wants us to talk about, is the election legitimate? And the whole country is up in flames. Everything’s burning, law and order because he doesn’t want to talk about anything, anything at all about the job he hasn’t done. And so it’s a conundrum. There’s a lot we could talk about in terms of the specifics that Russia is doing and not doing it. But when you do, all it does is undermine what people think may be legitimate. What I don’t want to have happen, I don’t want people reaching the point where you can understand sometimes. It’s not worth voting.
Joe Biden: (48:40)
It seems to me that one of the things that I keep trying to say to people is, “Go to, Iwillvote.com.” Iwillvote.com and figure out where you can vote, how you can vote. What’s available to you, where you could vote early, where you could vote in person, where it’s going to be safe for you, et cetera. Plan now, plan now. But the more chaos that is sewn here, it’s going to disincline people to show up. And in a sense, every time I speak about it, I feel like I’m playing into his game. Not do you agree with me, but does that make sense what I’m saying? So I think that’s all part of the deal.
Speaker 4: (49:29)
Speaker 2: (49:29)
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Going back to the jobless report from this morning, you had acknowledged that less than half of the 22 million jobs that were lost the spring because of the pandemic have been recovered. What do you think the 1.4 million added back in August says about just the general direction of the economy?
Joe Biden: (49:58)
I think any job added back is positive. I think it matters to the people who got that job back. Maybe you all were raised in households like I was where my mom or dad was losing a job because of the economy, what’s going on in your community. You could feel the tension unease in the household, how it just, everything. Worrying about whether you can provide for your family. And then along the way, also look at the people who you’ve got … A couple million people out there close to, who are part time workers who still can’t make it, but are listed as employed. And a lot of them also are in the process of wondering whether or not. I mean, they’re a lot of people lined up in food lines. There are the people, many of them who have lost their healthcare, their health care provided by their employer.
Joe Biden: (51:03)
They’re the same people out there worrying, if this president is able to win in court and wipe out the entire Affordable Care Act and all the 100 million people with preexisting conditions, won’t be able to get insurance, even if they had the money. It’s just, the anxiety is enormous, is enormous. And look, again, I’m not being solicitous. Among the brightest people I’ve dealt with my whole career, have been the press, not a joke. You’re all extremely well educated. You’re well-read, you have significant backgrounds and the vast majority have tried to report the news, not just opinion, but I can’t believe that you don’t feel the same … Not Democrat, Republican. Okay.
Joe Biden: (52:04)
You don’t feel the same anxiety because you got a brother, a sister, a mother, a father, son, or a daughter who’s going through what you’re not, what we’re not. We have jobs. I don’t have a job now, but we have jobs. And so it’s a real concern. And I just think that this has moved beyond Democrat, Republican. I think it’s moved to trying to put this country back together again. So we can move.
Speaker 4: (52:39)
Speaker 7: (52:39)
Mrs. Garner, one more question on the economy, one more on the economy.
Speaker 4: (52:39)
Thank you guys, thank you.
Speaker 7: (52:39)
One more on the economy.
Speaker 8: (52:51)
Mr. Vice President can I ask [crosstalk 00:52:51].
Speaker 9: (52:51)
Pick one from a box for this guy. You like to engage.
Joe Biden: (52:51)
I like to engage.
Speaker 10: (52:55)
Mr. Vice President, if I may ask. President Trump has just announced Kosovo and Serbia deal. President Trump has just announced an economic normalization deal between Serbia and Kosovo. And part of that deal is Kosovo and Israel having diplomatic normalization. You have stated that you support a two state solution in the Middle East. Would you support more Muslim majority countries normalizing relations with Israel, even though it may mean that the Palestinians will lose leverage in their fight towards a two state solution?
Joe Biden: (53:30)
Well, first of all, I don’t know what the deal is you’re referring to. Okay. What I have argued relative to Serbia and Kosovo, is that Kosovo should be an independent country, not a part of Serbia. I’ve spent a lot of time there. And so I don’t know how … I assume that would reinforce that independence, but I don’t know, based on what’s being said. I think normalization of relations among countries is a by and large an almost every instance, a good thing to have a Muslim majority country normalizing relations with Israel. And in a generic sense seems positive to me, but I have to know the detail of what’s happening, what’s going on. And I don’t know that and it may, you may be right, that, that would cause the Palestinians to lose leverage in a decision on a two state solution. I’d have to look [crosstalk 00:54:36].
Speaker 10: (54:36)
In general, do you support more countries recognizing Israel?
Joe Biden: (54:39)
Oh, I do. Absolutely, I do. I do. And I think that’s the thing, recognizing Israel as an independent Jewish state. I think that’s important. But also, I believe that Israel has to be prepared to work toward a genuine two state solution. Thank you all very much.
Speaker 10: (54:58)
Thank you, Mr. Vice President.
Speaker 4: (54:59)
[crosstalk 00:54:59], thank you so much. [inaudible 00:55:29].
Joe Biden: (55:29)
Speaker 11: (55:29)
Joe Biden: (55:29)
Sure. The answer is yes. It’s still a great nation.