Jul 29, 2020
Joe Biden Speaks with UnidosUS Action Fund Online Event Transcript July 29
Joe Biden spoke with the UnidosUS Action Fund during an online event on July 29. He discussed empowering the Latinx community and combating COVID-19. Read the transcript.
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Joe, the UnidosUS Action Fund is proud to support you in this race and our pledge is that we will work every day, day in and day out to make you the next president of the United States. We have that power, that is going to be something that we can deliver on, and we will be very excited when that day, election day comes and we can change the course of this country and change the course of our future together. [foreign language 00:00:00:34] and Joe Biden, thank you for taking this run. We’re happy to be there alongside with you,
Joe Biden: (00:43)
Janet, madam president, thank you. We’ve been friends a long time. I love you. Thank you for your friendship and I really mean it. It’s been a real friendship, and I want to thank you for your unfailing voice for civil rights for all Americans, not just Latinos. You’ve spoken up no matter who it is. You’ve spoken no matter who it is. The leadership and the work of Unidos has been essential in standing up for the dignity to Latinos.
Joe Biden: (01:09)
And if I can interject one thing here, when you and I first met, we had a relatively small population and we called it at the time Hispanic population, mostly Puerto Ricans, American citizens already. But you know, in the 2020 census, which is now two censuses ago, soon to be, the largest increase in Latino population as a percent was in the state of Delaware. The state of Delaware.
Joe Biden: (01:35)
And you remember in the early days, I won’t go into it all because you don’t have time. But back in the days when one of the things that was going to cost me an election as a young senator was my support of the farm workers, which we were a big agricultural state. Well guess what? They’re being embraced in Delaware now. It’s not being pushed away, it’s saying, “Come.”
Joe Biden: (01:56)
Anyway, the dignity of Latinos, the expanding access to opportunity across every part of American life is what you’ve been all about. I don’t know nearly as much as you do, but I’ve tried to learn. Our country is so much stronger for it. Let’s get something straight. The future of America, this is not an exaggeration. I know there’s a lot of press on this call. The future of America depends upon the total, full, thorough integration and acceptance and embrace of the Latino community. That’s not hyperbole. It’s real. That’s why I’m so proud and honored to have gained your endorsement in this campaign. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Joe Biden: (02:37)
And your support is going to be critical. I’m going to need your help because the Latino vote is essential to winning this election and making sure that Donald Trump is a one term president. We can’t afford four more years of this president. Last year, when I spoke at your presidential forum in San Diego, it was an immediate aftermath of the horrific mass shooting in El Paso. It was an act of terrorism, white supremacists violently open firing, targeting Latinos and immigrants who were just going about their lives. It was a tragedy that shot a direct line between Trump and the crusade of his policies to unleash hate and fear against the Latino community.
Joe Biden: (03:24)
And the violent consequences of what can happen when we have a president who emboldens racism and embraces division. This is a president who’s, after losing in the Supreme Court, has barely skipped a beat in his efforts to punish dreamers, including … What people don’t know and I hope the press cover … dreamers make up 30,000 frontline healthcare workers. They’re saving people’s lives at the risk of their own. Young men and women who are as American as anyone, whose home is here.
Joe Biden: (03:56)
I always say to people when they don’t know much about the issue, and they say, “Well, what about these dreamers? Why shouldn’t they …” I said, “Look, they’re more American than most.” They said, “What do you mean?” I said, “Can you imagine you’re three years old and, ‘Mom don’t take me across the Rio Grande. I want to stay here.’ It’s a … you know.” Come on. This is bizarre.
Joe Biden: (04:16)
Just yesterday the administration issued another memo to rescind doc. It’s unconscionable. If I’m elected president, I’m going to take immediate action to protect dreamers and their families. I’m going to send Congress, on day one, an immigration bill that finally reforms our system and offers a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants enriching our community and our daily lives.
Joe Biden: (04:41)
They talk about how it cost the American public. The reason why the social security system has been extended for as much as it has is because of these undocumented immigrants who have jobs and are paying social security. I mean, come on. And this pandemic has taken the lives of almost 150, 000 people here in the United States. Unless the president just wakes up, which I’m worried about.
Joe Biden: (05:07)
I was just watching the television and I think it was a doctor representing the AMA, don’t hold me to that. But a group of doctors talking about, they think there’s going to be an incredible spike in the number of deaths, unless we take strong action now and it’s tearing through the Latino communities. It’s heartbreaking. Not only are they bearing a disproportionate impact, with the New York Times finding the Latinos have contracted COVID at three times the rate of white people.
Joe Biden: (05:36)
Latinos make up an inordinate percentage of those working on the front lines of the crisis. Everywhere from hospitals to meat packing plants. On top of all that, Latinos are bearing the brunt of the economic impact as well, with Latino unemployment at a staggering 14.5%. So this is about a lot more than just defeating Trump. This has to be about building back America, building it back better than it was, and our economy so that it works for everybody, including Latino families that have been shut out and punished and pushed aside for much too long.
Joe Biden: (06:14)
Just yesterday, I rolled out the fourth plank of my Build Back Better agenda. It’s one that focused on building on racial equality across every aspect of our economy. It’s about breaking the cycle where in good times, Latino communities still lag behind. In bad times they get hit first and the hardest, and in recovery, they take the longest to bounce back. We’re going to use every tool at our disposal if I’m elected, to rip out those inequities.
Joe Biden: (06:42)
That means making sure that Latino small businesses have access to the capital they need. They’re as successful as any other but they don’t have the capital or the consequence or the influence or the connections. Latino families have affordable housing and a path to home ownership is critical to build wealth. Have to ensure the people of Puerto Rico have support to rebuild their country and there’s other hurricane seasons coming. Professional caregivers, home health workers, childcare workers are often women, women of color and immigrants are treated with dignity and compensated fairly.
Joe Biden: (07:20)
It’s not only the right thing to do. It’s essential, essential to the very future and the economy and our country. Look, you know this better than I do. Latinos are among the fastest growing population in the United States. Already one quarter of our school children are Latino. How in God’s name can we have a strong thriving Republic if they’re not fully dealt into everything? You are the future. Not a joke. Think about it. They are the future. You heard me say it before, these aren’t somebody else’s kids, they’re our kids. They’re the kite strings that lift our national ambitions aloft. How in God’s name can everyone not want them to do well and have access?
Joe Biden: (08:06)
This crisis has ripped the blinder off so many people in this country for so much of the country. I have to believe we’re ready to close this respect gap, the dignity gap, the wage gap, the opportunity gap, so that so many Latino workers have suffered under it for much too long. I’m going to work like heck to win a Latino vote. I had to correct myself there, I’m sorry. So they can turn this pain into progress. So that we have the opportunity to deal in every one in the American dream.
Joe Biden: (08:39)
I think people are ready. The idea is that at the very heart of our campaign, and I know it’s in your hearts as well. So I want to thank you again for standing with me in this campaign. I look forward to continuing to stand with you as a partner, to pursue justice, progress in the White House. And my administration is going to look like the country, you’re all going to be represented as well. And now, I’m happy to take your questions. I want to go on and talk about a lot of things, but I’m talking too much. I’m excited about this, but I just wanted to leave with the notion. I really mean it. I am optimistic the public has had the blinders taken off. They know who is out there taking care of us and a significant portion of the Latino community.
Well, thank you, Mr. Vice President. You get it, I think, and you get us. And by making sure that you’re addressing these issues that you just laid out, it will go a long way to correct the course of this country. Let me just ask you a question here. Latinos and immigrants have been deemed essential during this coronavirus pandemic and rightfully so, justifiably so. We’ve seen it. You’ve seen it. They’ve kept food on our tables and have been in public health roles and first responder roles.
They have literally put their lives on the line to keep our country going, yet we’ve unfairly excluded mixed status families from receiving any type of pandemic relief. And you’ve committed, I know, to passing immigration reform for our hardworking undocumented taxpayers. But what can you talk about in terms of what you’ll do to immediately address this issue when you get elected?
Joe Biden: (10:45)
Well look, let me be completely honest with you. How bad it will be by the time I’m elected, if I’m elected under the leadership of this guy. And I’m not being so wise, I’m not making a political point. I think it’s just a reality. God only knows where it will be, but it doesn’t change what I’m going to attempt to do.
Joe Biden: (11:03)
Where it will be, but it doesn’t change what I’m going to attempt to do and get done. We have to make sure that no one who’s hurting or qualified to receive protections during COVID is denied. Nobody, nobody. That means working with Congress to make sure that no American citizen is penalized for being part of a mixed status family. And as soon as I take office, I will use my authority one, to immediately reprioritize our enforcement resources away from terrorizing Latino families and workers on the lines in this crisis and give them peace of mind. One of the things we never talk about, I think knowing you, we haven’t talked a lot in the last little bit, but think of the damage done to the psyche of so many young Latinos when they come out of Mass wondering whether their mother’s going to be grabbed. Whether or not Mom shows up at school or Dad shows up at school. They’re going to be … they’re going to show … I mean, it’s just the anxiety.
Joe Biden: (12:06)
And by the way, this generation Z, I know I’m going off point a little bit here, but Generation Z as US Psychiatric Association said, is the most at risk generation for mental health and concerns, because there’s such enormous anxiety, not just among Latinos, but especially among Latino kids. So, I’m going to make sure we’re providing testing and treatment, and eventually vaccines for everyone. Every single persons, regardless of their immigration status. Regardless of their immigration status. We’re not going to beat this virus if we don’t beat it everywhere and in every community.
Joe Biden: (12:40)
And as for essential workers, who as you said are so often Latino, it’s incredible what they’ve done for the country. They’re fighting the deadly without the supplies, support, or basic respect for science that this government is ignoring. Our nation literally couldn’t survive without them. You know, they’ve been the lifeline. They’re the front line troops in our war against the virus.
Joe Biden: (13:05)
And our Commander-in-Chief, who said he’s declared war on the virus has already waved the white flag. He has a duty to get them what they need for the job. Instead of in the middle of pandemic, Donald Trump is trying to go on further gut workplace safety protections, revoke DACA protections for millions of Dreamers, 200,000 of whom are essential workers risking their lives right now in this country, repeal Obamacare and strip millions of health coverage, including millions of Latinos. And keep legal immigrants from seeking necessary medical care, securing people, scaring them away. Scaring them away from getting care.
Joe Biden: (13:49)
It’s un-American. They’re using this Public Charge Rule. I’m going to get rid of the Public Charge Rule on day one. And for months I’ve called for the President to make four urgent steps to protect these frontline workers. One, get all the essential workers priority access to PPE, the protective gear. Two, get free COVID testing and paid sick leave to every worker called back to work. Enforce clear work pay safety standards.
Joe Biden: (14:23)
Well go ahead and jump in because-
Well, I just think you’re really striking a chord because our community is hurting right now.
Joe Biden: (14:34)
Sure it is.
And it’s true from a health perspective, we’ve been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the statistics just bear that out every day. We’ve been obviously twice as likely to contract the virus than everybody else. And our children as a cohort, are more likely to die from the coronavirus than any other cohort. So we’ve been disproportionately impacted yet we haven’t seen that relief. So for you to talk about and say that you’re committed to addressing that, and that you understand the systemic inequities that have led us to be so vulnerable to this pandemic, especially as a community, really speaks volumes about your understanding and knowledge. But really about what you will do, that is so meaningful to us.
Joe Biden: (15:29)
It’s just basic humanity. You know what I think we got to do? Got to push Congress to get all essential workers the premium pay they deserve. The premium pay. Trump has done none of it. This has to be a wake up call for the nation. A call to action. On day one I’m going to send legislation, immigration legislation reform, to the Congress to provide a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants that make up so much of our communities and make us so strong. I’m going to immediately take action to protect Dreamers and family. I’m going to reverse Trump’s un-American Public Charge Rule in my first hundred days. Because look, it’s just basic humanity, just basic decency.
Absolutely. And you know, right now we’re working very hard to make sure that the Senate acts to move the stimulus package.
Joe Biden: (16:19)
And I think they need to be accountable and as much as we’re going to work hard to elect you, we’re also going to work hard to change the Senate and the majority in the Senate. UNIDO US Action fund is very committed to doing that because we are so frustrated and outraged by the lack of commitment or any attention to addressing this pandemic and getting resources to the people who have been on the lines to deliver. And our community has not received that kind of commitment from Mitch McConnell or any of the Senate Republican leaders that we’ve seen engaged on this. Obviously we’re passing and pushing for the Heroes Act, but we want the Senate to act immediately. It’s so important that they move quickly.
Our people are hurting right now. Let me ask you real quick, because all of these are related to the impact overall of the economic pressure that our people are under, our communities under right now. But like for instance, you were right about referencing an education that a quarter of our children in the United States are Latino. And I saw on your website and I’ve heard you say that our collective success depends on the success of the Latino community. Tell me or share with others what you think as president, you’ll do to close the Latino student achievement gap because our parents right now are worried that their children are losing ground. We still don’t know what’s going to happen in schools right now, but you know, a lot of our community doesn’t have full access to broadband and we don’t know if we’re going to be able to have distance learning in a way that’s allowing our community to actually learn and be safe. You want to talk about that a little bit?
Joe Biden: (18:12)
Oh sure. I used to have a friend who was a good friend, he’d say, “Joe, you got to know how to know. You got to know how to know.” You know, we all want our schools open this fall, but it has to really be done unsafely because you pointed out Latino children get COVID in significant numbers. Just ordering them to open like Trump has done isn’t enough. Threatening to withhold money if they don’t, is no way to deal with this either. Pushing the CDC to change it’s guidelines to suit the politics of the President, is even worse. They had much stronger guidelines.
Joe Biden: (18:49)
Now, if we do this wrongly, if we make a mistake, you’re going to put millions of more lives at risk and set our economy and our country back even further, particularly the Latino community. I have to do the hard work of, and we have to do the hard work of getting this virus under control, but Trump doesn’t want to do the hard work. He just wants to go to open because he’s afraid it’s hurts his reelection chances if they don’t. This isn’t about Trump’s reelection. It’s about our kids. It’s about their safety. I’s about the safety of everyone else in our schools too. The teachers, the clerks, the administrators, the janitors, and I’ve laid out a roadmap for reopening schools safely and effectively.
Joe Biden: (19:29)
First, you’ve got to get classes down with social distancing, mask, testing and tracing. You have to have that. Secondly, you have to give school districts, uniform guidance without political interference on safety protocols, like ventilation in the schools and the classroom changes, why you change classrooms. Thirdly, you’ve got to give districts far more resources, federal resources, to help protect because you have to provide the equipment and you have to implement that guidance. Some Republicans are offering just a watered down of what the Democrats have proposed for schools in this next round of stimulus funding. For a school that can’t reopen safely, we have to help plan and improve virtual learning and close the learning gap that COVID has widened. My wife is as you know, Jill is a professor, a teacher, taught in high school and now teaches, don’t hold me to the number, but a vast majority of her students at Northern Virginia Community College are immigrants, are foreign students and English is not their first language. But here’s the deal. She is now working like hell every night to learn how to teach by distance. I mean, teachers she’s working like hell to learn how to deal with teaching remotely.
Joe Biden: (20:57)
So school records show that Latino children, one in four kids of this country as you said, are disproportionately falling behind. The research suggests that some kids could lose a whole year of academic gains. We can’t let that happen. So I’m going to invest in broadband so every single one has access to it. Educators dedicated time, resource and opportunities for professional development to learn more about teaching online. Offer parents and caregivers the tools they need to be able to support this. It’s going to be hard as hell if they can’t open. And we are going to be behind. Not just Latino children, but particularly now all children. So we have to fight for educational quality far beyond COVID.
Joe Biden: (21:40)
That’s why you’ve heard me say I’m going to invest in children from birth and beyond school. Provide free Pre-K, meaning three and four year olds go to school, not to daycare. They go to school. So every child gets the same strong start and doesn’t by the time they get to kindergarten, be behind the eight ball. We’re going to triple funding for Title I schools with so many Latino …
Joe Biden: (22:03)
We’re going to triple funding for title one schools where so many Latino children attend because they are the poor school districts to close the gap between the rich and the poor district. Double the number of school counselors and psychologists to help kids cope with the trauma this pandemic had caused and other traumas they’re worried about. Close the college race gap. We’ve got to ease the student debt crisis, which has left Latino graduates five times more likely to default on their student loans. It’d be loan forgiveness. The bottom line, we have to listen to public health experts and follow the signs, Janet. Parents have to be able to trust their kids are safe or they’re not going to send them back. And President Trump should stop tweeting and start doing something about it, dammit, and stop going out and talking about these crazy woman he talked about last night, about who’s an absolute disgrace, saying things and tweeting that. Anyway, we just need some intelligence.
Yes. Again, you’re showing you get it and that you get us, so I really appreciate that. No offense, but I happen to agree with you, Dr. Jill Biden is the best thing you’ve got going for you right now. We really appreciate her long legacy of engaging, not just in education, but understanding our community’s needs. She’s absolutely had a lot to weigh in on in terms of English learners, and we want to make sure we can continue to support them, so I really appreciate that and I appreciate her. So I hope you’ll stick with her in all of this as well.
Joe Biden: (23:40)
I hope she’ll stick with me. I married way up.
Joe Biden: (23:43)
I married way up. Everybody knows I love her more than she loves me, so I got it. I’m working like hell.
Well, we love you both. Hey, listen, let me ask you about housing. Just real quick, I want to get one more question in because the economic devastation is real and we see a housing crisis looming. Latinos lost over 60% of their wealth during the last great recession and today, a majority of Latinos rent and home ownership is below 50%. We’ve actually gone backwards, significantly. What immediate actions will you take as president to prevent another foreclosure crisis and assist our community as they’re burdened by high rents and especially, as this COVID pandemic moves? Because we’re torn between being able to go to work and put our lives at risk because we don’t have access to healthcare and all the insurance or tests, or not putting food on our table. For the first time we’re seeing food insecurity, and hunger, and families concerned about putting food on table and making ends meet to pay the rent. This is a real issue, and it’s only going to intensify in the fall. But as president, what would you do, Vice President Biden?
Joe Biden: (25:08)
Well, first of all, I hope you’ll invite me back, we can talk about food insecurity because it’s a much bigger issue. I mean, it’s a gigantic issue and it’s real. It’s real. There’s a lot of people working on it hard, but it’s real.
Joe Biden: (25:20)
Look, the middle class isn’t a number. It’s a value set that includes the ability to own your home or live in an apartment where it doesn’t take more than 30% of your income to live there and live in a safe community. But for too many Americans, they lack access to affordable housing. Too many neighborhoods are still divided by race and by income, homes in too many Latino neighborhoods are far undervalued, so you don’t have the wealth you’re building in that home, and 60% of the losses exist, as you point out. I fought for housing equality since my first year in government. I sought to end, when I first entered office as a County Councilman, to deal with red lining, I worked to ban discrimination lending practices that kept black families from buying homes under the Equal Opportunity Act in ’75, [inaudible 00:26:10]. I worked [inaudible 00:26:11] discrimination in housing, sales, rentals, financing, fair housing.
Joe Biden: (26:16)
Look what he’s doing now, the president, he’s trying to scare because an awful lot of suburbanites are now deciding they’re going to vote for me, at least the polling data suggests, as opposed to him. And he’s talking about, “Biden, what he’s going to do, he’s going to send all these folks out to suburbia. They’re going to end up with houses out in suburbian apartments in suburbian.” Even before COVID, the growing inequity and stagnant wages, and rising student debt burdens has driven home ownership rates even lower than they were in the 70s. We can’t let this pandemic make things worse in June, where in the third of renters, including nearly half Latino families, weren’t sure they can afford to meet their rent. This is an emergency, and Congress should immediately create a broad emergency housing support program modeled on the steps it takes to address natural disasters. As I’ve been saying for months, it should extend rent freezes, halt foreclosures for as long as this pandemic lasts, period.
Joe Biden: (27:24)
Now, it isn’t just relief that comes with recovery. I’ve made housing part of the core Build Back Better plan and for racial equity. As president, I’m going to invest literally hundreds of billions of dollars to make housing a right, not a privilege. It’s a basic right to have a roof over your head. We’re going to create a hundred billion dollar affordable housing fund to build and upgrade affordable homes that exists now, build, upgrade them. Fully fund vouchers so no family spends more than 30% of their income on rent, no family. [inaudible 00:28:03] Jim [Kleibern’s 00:28:03] legislation that gets financed, that those that are facing eviction, get legal assistance. Create a $15,000 first-time home owner tax credit, a buyer want to go buy a house, to help them make the down payment on their first house. Crack down on illegal red lining and other discriminatory lending practices. Look, this is a crisis. We have an enormous opportunity to build back better and to finally tear down the barriers that have kept far too many people from fully participating.
Joe Biden: (28:36)
Last point I’ll make, this is also in the overwhelming economic interest of the country. Here’s the deal, if in fact we do not provide the help now, that was in the CARES Act, as well as in what the house has passed, guess what, the whole economy is going to tank even worse. The only way to keep this thing from going even worse is so people have the money now to stay in their homes, to not have to choose between food and their rent, to be in a position where they can actually have money to go out and spend to meet their basic needs. It is the way you stimulate growth because when that doesn’t happen… And by the way, last thing, I didn’t respond and I know I’m keeping you longer than you all want, but look, Mitch McConnell talked about the unwillingness to help state local governments. You may remember, Janet, because we talked about it when we had that financial crisis we inherited, and the Recovery Act, which was… Remember, you helped me work to get three Republicans to change their view and get it passed. Okay?
Joe Biden: (29:47)
Well, that was over $800 billion, I think it came up about 840, and the president asked me to do it, “Joe will do it”, and I did. But here’s the deal, I spent at least a couple hours every single day for 18 months to make sure it got out in ways that kept the economy from going to depression. But here’s the deal, if we were not able to get that money out to help from school districts, to firehouses, to counties, to cities, to the state… They all have to have balanced budgets. There’s a reason why we don’t have to have one so we can stimulate in crisis, and guess what? What’s McConnell’s phrase? A lot of these states can’t even [inaudible 00:30:36] keep their schools open financially. He says, “Let the states go bankrupt.” What a bizarre thing to say. If you are a wealthy person and you don’t care much about the things that I’ve been talking about, you should care because you’re in trouble if we don’t do these things. If you’re a middle class person, you should understand-
Well, we know you care. That has been abundantly clear and made clear over and over again, but again today, and I can’t thank you enough for your commitment to our community. Not only just to bring us all together as a country and heal us as a nation, but to actually put us on the road to economic prosperity. You get it. I know you get us. I’ll just close because I know our time is wrapping up and you’ve been so generous with your time today, but again, not surprising.
I just want to close you. You talked about us remembering a year ago in El Paso, the tragedy that occurred there, and you rightly pointed out what we saw too, and that is that there was a connection between the shooter and Donald Trump’s hateful rants against Hispanics, against Latinos. One of the reasons it’s so easy for the president and his allies to continue demonizing Latinos is because I think they believe they never have to pay a political price for it. Well, it’s time for that to end. One year after that deadly shooting, Latinos and Latinas have a chance and a responsibility to force that change and to vote for someone who shares our values and vision for the future of this country, and that is Joe Biden. I couldn’t be prouder to be here today with you and to be with you every step of the way as we get to election day and to see you sworn in as president of the United States. You have that commitment from me and from the Unidos US Action Fund. I couldn’t be more excited to make sure we make that day a reality. Thank you, Mr. Vice President.
That day a reality. Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Thank you, Joe Biden. Thank you Joe for knowing what is in our hearts. And one last thing, I will personally never forget you calling my sister a few years ago when my mom was suffering from Alzheimer’s. And you said, “Who’s taking care of her?” And I said, “Well, it’s my sister, Rosemary.” And the next day, you called her and encouraged her. I know yesterday you called the mayor of Long Beach, Mayor Garcia because he lost his beloved mother to COVID. We know you care, Mr. Vice President. You show it in so many different ways and that means so much to all of us. And we want to make sure that we can bring your passion and your caring spirit and your commitment to our community into the White House. So you have our commitment. We’re going to do everything we can to get you there okay?
Joe Biden: (34:05)
Okay. You got mine as well. Look, I’ve been a recipient of so much good will and compassion the things that I’ve gone through and I know it matters. And one of the things that I think we had to keep in mind here, the battle is [inaudible 00:34:27] never won. Jon Meacham who has become a friend of mine wrote a book called The Soul of America. And he talks about how there’s a constant tug between the good and the bad in America. It’s a constant tug. And he talks about, we appeal to our better angels and then we find ourselves when things get good slipping. And I used to think you could defeat hate. I used to, but it just hides under a rock. It hides under rocks, this anti everything from antisemitism, anti-latino, anti-black, it just hides, and the words of a president matter. And when they say things like he said, from the day he announced, they breathe oxygen under the rock. These people come out. I recommend you take a look at his book. I think it’s page 50 or 60. He’s talking about this constant struggle.
Joe Biden: (35:22)
There’s a picture. I think it’s 1924, maybe ’25, of 30,000 Klu Klux Klan people in full garb, pointed hats, the whole deal, walking down Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington. And you know why they were revived again after being defeated after the Civil War? To stop Catholics, Irish Catholics, Italian Catholics, Polish Catholics. We were going to pollute Christianity. I can remember stories to this day of my great aunt who was the best backscratcher in the world [inaudible 00:03:02]. She said, “Joey, I remember the black and tans, the people burning down the cods in Ireland when in fact you could not … No Irishman could learn to read or write.” My family, it got passed through. My never had that, but the point was it was still alive in many people. Every group of immigrants who’d ever come here are coming because they have something special.
Joe Biden: (36:28)
Last point I’m going to say to you, the reason why, and I’ve said this to foreign leaders and I mean this sincerely, the reason why we’re the best nation in the world is we are a nation of immigrants, because we’ve been able to cherry pick the best of every culture in the world. Because think about it. You know this. It takes enormous courage, optimism, determination, and the desire for make your family better to leave everything you’ve known and leave it behind and come to a place you don’t know. I really mean it. When my great, great grandfather got in a coffin ship in the Irish sea, not at all sure that he’d make it and be alive and ever see his family again, it took enormous courage.
Joe Biden: (37:18)
And these guys talk about somehow someone sitting down in Guadalajara and a daddy saying, “I got a great idea. Let’s sell everything we have, give it to a coyote. He could take us across the border, drop us in the desert, leave us a place we don’t know. Won’t that be fun?” It takes optimism and courage and it’s about family. Family, family, family. And I don’t want to get going. I’ve kept you too long. God love you. I’m going to need your help, need your advice as we go forward. And if we win, I’ll need your advice as well.
Thank you, Mr. Vice President.
Joe Biden: (37:50)
Joe Biden: (37:53)
Thank you so much.
Joe Biden: (37:59)
I like her a lot.