Vice President Joe Biden was in Bristol Borough yesterday , November 5, 2016 during a blitz of Pennsylvania by the democrats. Pa, is a battleground state which means that whatever candidate wins this state, they are going to lock up the election with almost 100 percent certainty. Trump’s team is across Pa as well. Biden’s visit to Warren Snyder Elementary School.
Vice President Biden’s remarks, as transcribed, are below:
“It’s great to be with you. I tell you what, I was just out in Pittsburgh with a bunch of steelworkers and Steelers, and I’m allowed to stay that. Jill, I know – I know no – all Eagles fans here. I got it, but the Rooney’s are a good family. And I was with a guy named Mel Blount, who was a Hall of Famer and played. And Mel’s about eight feet tall, looks like he can still play. And I said, “How do you – how do you keep in shape, pal?’ And he said, ‘Look, I was number 11 of 11 kids. I’m tough. I said, ‘You ain’t met Katie McGinty yet. She’s nine of ten.’ ‘She’s nine of ten.’ We were talking about you, Katie.
I’ll tell you what, my name is Joe Biden and I am Jill Biden’s husband. And it’s good to be back. Steve Santarsiero, who’s going to be our next congressman from the 8th district. Josh Shapiro was a friend of my deceased son, Beau Biden who was attorney general of Delaware – your next attorney general. Your present governor, Tom Wolf, knows you’re doing Bobby Casey, one of my closest friends, and Katie McGinty, the next U.S. senator.
Folks, Katie – tonight is the one night of the year that is a Republican’s favorite night. It’s when we officially turn the clock back one hour. These guys are trying to turn it back a decade or two or three. They get to turn it back tonight for one hour, but I don’t get comfortable with that because they ain’t seen nothing yet. I – folks, as Katie says, she counts like I do. My staff keeps saying three days left. There’s not three days left. There’s about two and a quarter days left; that’s what’s left. And here’s the deal, all kidding aside, this election may literally, not figuratively, come down to Pennsylvania and if you – exactly right – and literally come down to what happens in Bucks County. That is not a joke. By the way, that is statistically accurate, whoever said that over there. That’s statistically accurate. And so, by the way, Dr. Bell, southeastern Bucks is Democrat. You got to carry the whole damn county. You got to move this. But I really mean it.
Look, this matters a whole lot. You all know it. I’m preaching to the choir; I know that, but there’s so much at stake. The stakes couldn’t be higher and the contrast – the contrast could not be sharper. Look, there’s a lot of elections that I’ve been through where the Democrat and Republican are both really good, decent people and where, in fact, it’s – you come down – I usually come down on the side of the Democrat, but every once in a while – every once in a while it’s close. But folks, there’s nothing close about this.
Think about how you’re raised here in Bucks, how I was raised in Claymont and Scranton. Think – no, no, seriously. I mean this – I being deadly earnest here. Think about how you’re raised. You’ve all been raised to treat people with dignity. My dad used to have an expression. I really mean it. My dad used to have an expression, two we most often heard. He used to say, ‘Joey, remember’ – and he lost but he had to move from Scranton to Wilmington because there was no work when I was in third grade in the mid-50s. He said, ‘Joey, remember, a paycheck is about a lot more than a job’ – excuse me – ‘is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about your self-worth. It’s about your sense of who you are. It’s about being able to look your kid in the eye and say, ‘Honey, it’s going to be okay.’ That’s how we were all raised. That’s how we were all raised.
But also, we’re also raised that it was never appropriate – can you imagine if you’re at your dining room table or your kitchen table using crude language? Can you imagine – no, no, I really – I mean this sincerely now. This is not a political thing. This is just a fact about, as Katie said, who we are, who we are as Americans, what we’re made of, what we’re made of. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re in a situation where if any one of our kitchen tables you turned and you said something like, ‘Because I’m the star on the football team or I’m the star – I’m the guy who has the most money in the class or I’m – that I have a right to go out and grab women any way I want to,’ you’d get knocked off the chair. No, no, no. Really, really. If you didn’t see people with dignity in your house or my house, you may not – your dad may not use the same expression, but whosever a guest in your home is your guest and you’re not allowed to – in our household, you weren’t allowed to make fun of anybody because, like me, I stuttered a lot as a kid or you weren’t allowed to make fun of anybody because they had a cleft palate or they had a club foot or they had – they were overweight or they had some problem, because my mother used to say, ‘Everybody, Joey, has something. Everybody has something.’
But you know what? The idea to my dad and mom, if they were here, that the major Republican Party – one of the two major parties, a grand old party – it is a great party – the party of Lincoln, that somebody with that nomination would be getting up – and I’m – this is not for applause or nothing, this is just simple fact – get up at 3:30 in the morning and tweet vitriol about a woman’s body and about what a pig women are. And so, I mean, it is just – it is the stuff of which – talk about class. There’s no class at all, none. It’s everything we were taught. No, I really mean this. And my mother used to say, “The little things are a window into somebody else’s soul.’ Anybody who talked like that, anybody who’d act like he says he act, anybody who would tell Billy Bush that I’m famous and I can do all these things. Look, folks, that’s – all of those things on a character basis are just disqualifying in and of themselves. They really are.
I travel the world. I’m supposedly an expert on foreign policy, an expert to anyone from out of town with a briefcase. I do not have a briefcase with me today – but I have met every major world leader in the last 35 years. I have and – No, this is not for applause. This – and I have traveled over a million, one hundred and fifty thousand miles with the President. And when I go, I go because everybody abroad knows when I speak, I speak for him. Not – I don’t put words in his mouth; I speak his words. I speak and everybody knows that’s the end of it in terms of our position. But here’s what happens with every world leader been with, and I know, I think, almost every one by their first name and I know them pretty well. Every single one of them will ask me either the beginning or the end of our meeting, ‘Tell me, tell me it can’t be true.’ No, no, no, not a joke.
I was recently in Australia because the prime minister was re-elected by a very narrow margin and I went down to reassure them that we were going to stay engaged relative to China and the South China Sea and we’re going to stay engaged in that part of the world. And while I was there, I got a call from the number – former defense secretary of one of the Baltic states, Latvia. Would I please come urgently to meet with the presidents of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, which I flew all the way to Latvia to meet with them. You know what they wanted me to do? They wanted me to go on national television and assure their publics that, in fact, Donald Trump did not speak for our Administration. I assured them he not only didn’t speak for our – he didn’t speak for the Republican Party when he said he wasn’t sure whether he’d honor the NATO commitment to defend them if they were invaded by the Russians. This is what this guy said. This is what this guy said. He’s not sure. He’d check whether they had met their 2 percent of GDP commitment. Ladies and gentlemen, this guy is already doing grave damage to us internationally. No. I promise you I’m not exaggerating. He already is.
And so, folks, look. When it comes to policy and ideology, Senator Toomey – and by the way, Senator Toomey won’t even tell us after being asked, I’m told, 12 times whether he supports this guy or not. How hard can that be? That’s like when I was running as a 29-year-old kid for the Senate. When I was asked in my state, the Southern part of the state and the Eastern Shore of Maryland when George Wallace was popular, did I support George Wallace, how could I have not said, ‘I think George Wallace is a segregationist and I could not possibly support him?’ How can Toomey not say, ‘I cannot support this man?’ What does that say about Toomey’s character, about what he thinks?
Look. And then it comes to policy and ideology, Toomey and Trump are cut from the same political mold. Donald Trump says, and I’m quoting, ‘The wages of American workers are too high.’ Pat Toomey votes against raising the federal minimum wage and equal pay for equal work. Donald Trump says, ‘I don’t pay any taxes. That makes me smarter than you. Pat Toomey votes – we don’t have to make any of this up – Pat Toomey has already voted several times for a Republican budget that literally cuts more taxes for millionaires and increases taxes for middle class people with children. He’s already voted for it.
Pat Toomey says – while you have Katie and Hillary talking about more corporate responsibility, Toomey says, ‘Corporations, we should eliminate any corporate tax. There should be none.’ Donald Trump says he rooted for the housing crisis because he said that is good business. That’s what he said. I’m not making this up. Pat Toomey voted against the Recovery Act that helped first-time homeowners buy their first house, kept middle-income people in their homes, provided for economic help for wounded warriors to be able to refinance their homes. He voted no. Trump tweets that, “The concept of global warming was created by the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing noncompetitive.’ Toomey says the role of human activity in climate change is ‘very much disputed and still debated.’ Senator Toomey, have you acknowledged gravity yet? There is gravity. What do these guys need? What interest groups are they satisfying? Why are they taking these positions? They’re not that stupid.
Donald Trump has told us exactly what he’ll do with your taxes. He’ll provide another $9.5 trillion tax cut over the next 10 years benefitting the top 1 percent. But here’s the deal. It’s either going to raise the deficit by 9 trillion or it’s going to require – these are outside groups looking at it, not me, not Joe Biden the progressive or some liberal think tank, outside groups – if he does it, it’ll require a 40 percent across the board cut in every program from education to Social Security to Medicare. [Booing and cries of “No!”] No, but this is what these guys are saying. You couldn’t make this up.
And by the way, unlike Trump, Senator Toomey’s already voted for such a budget. He voted for the Republican budget that voucherizes – fancy word for saying less money for Medicare; two, privatizing Social Security [Cries of “No!”]; three, cut college tuition tax credits. We put – there’s now 9 million kids from households $50,000 and below in college today who would be battered around, 8 million of them, I should say. [Cheers and applause.] It goes on. They’d cut $2.6 billion in elementary and secondary education. We finally had gotten to the point, by the way, if it were any other year of these crazy things being said by Trump, there would have been headlines in every paper, from the Philadelphia papers to San Francisco. We have the highest graduation rates in the history of the United States now. The highest graduation rates for African Americans. The highest graduation rates for Hispanics, ever.
And there’s not a single one of you going off to college or in college who doesn’t already know that the key to getting people out of the criminal justice system and never getting into it in the first place, avoiding drugs, is to have early education. Do you realize that most kids coming from a disadvantaged household, they’ll show up in school having heard one million fewer words than your household, a middle class household? This guy kicks 157,000 people out of Head Start by the budget he voted for. Folks, he’s already voted for this.
When you ask a Republican Senator 10 times in 10 minutes again whether he supports the Republican nominee for president and he can’t answer you, he’s either got lockjaw or there’s something wrong with him. And that Republican Senator starts running positive ads now with Barack Obama with him? ‘Oh, man, go figure,’ as my brother would say. Isn’t that amazing, Bobby? He’s out there. He doesn’t know whether he’s for Trump, but he knows he’s now for Barack Obama. How things change. Isn’t it amazing? Well, I tell you what. I’m an Irish Catholic. We believe in redemption. It’s possible. It’s possible. Ask yourself, why not get the real deal with Katie McGinty? You know exactly where she stands. You know what she thinks of Trump. You know she has the support of Barack Obama.
In Washington, I’m called Middle Class Joe. As Katie knows, that’s not said as a compliment; that means I’m not sophisticated. But I know who in the hell built America. I know what build this country, middle class people, middle class values. The wealthy do very well when we do well, and the poor have a way up. That’s what America’s – there used to be a bargain in America. The bargain used to be if you worked hard and you contributed to the well-being of the outfit you were with, you got to share in the benefits. That bargain has been broken. And if Senator Toomey has his way, and I’m not exaggerating this, if he has his way in the policies he’s supporting and if Trump has his way, they’re going to crush that bargain. They don’t believe anything about growing from the middle out. It’s all about trickle-down. Guys, do they expect us to have national amnesia? Think of what got us in the problem we’re in in the first place. It was these very policies they’re pushing and 8 years of the Bush administration.
Folks, look. We’re in a situation where we got a shot now. We finally – before I lowered my hand on January 20, 2009 in that magnificent, cold, freezing day with a million people watching on the Mall, we had already lost that day, that hour, 628,000 jobs. We ended up losing, by the end of that month, 800,000 jobs. The unemployment rate nationally was over 10 percent, the greatest economic crisis we’ve ever have short of a depression. In 4 years we’ve gone from crisis to recovery. We’re now on the verge of general resurgence. We’ve created more jobs than all the other advanced economies in the world combined. Wages are finally rising. And last question, almost 3 percent of the economy grew. When we took office, unemployment was over 10 percent. Now it’s below 5 percent.
But what Katie and I know, there’s a lot more we have to do to finish this job. She’s from neighborhoods, the same neighborhoods you’re from, I’m from, where Jill grew up in Willow Grove, where I grew up. Ladies and gentlemen, everything she’s done has been about serving the state and her country. For her, it’s about raising the standard of living for American workers. That’s the kind of Senator she’s going to be. Imagine, imagine, what she and Hillary can do together. They need – they know – they know we need a tax structure.
I love my Republican friends. I’m not going to take this much longer. You don’t want to get me going here on these guys, but I’ll tell you what, Republicans are always talking about ‘We’re for productivity and growth. Yes, we are.’ The only thing that’s grown is the top 1 percent. The only thing that’s grown in America in terms of our overall economy is the disproportionate impact of their policies on the 1 percent and the rest of the nation.
Look, folks, we have a tax structure. We have a thing called – we have a thing called tax expenditures, a fancy word for saying tax loopholes. There’s one justification for tax loopholes – actually, two. One, does the loophole promote a social good; i.e., we want people to be able to buy homes and their first home so they can deduct their mortgage interest from their taxes in order to help them buy a home. That’s a social good we’re promoting. We want people to contribute to charity. That’s a social good. So we are giving them a tax break for doing it or significantly increase productivity, doing something where they risk their money, risk their fortune to do something really important and it fails or it succeeds, they get a tax break. But, look, folks, what’s happened now is there are now $1,300,000,000 tax loopholes per year in the tax code. And, again, not Joe Biden, the International Monetary Fund, Standard and Poor’s of Wall Street, all the mainstream think tanks, they say the single greatest threat to overall economic expansion in the United States and the world is the concentration of wealth. That’s the greatest threat because if it’s concentrated in the top 1 prevent, although a lot of them are good people, if it’s concentrated there, there’s nobody to buy their products. If you are a widget manufacturer and no one’s making any money, you’re not going to sell many widgets. That’s why you’re not seeing corporate growth expand across the world because of the concentration of wealth.
They know, Katie knows, Hillary knows we have a sacred obligation to preserve Social Security and Medicare, not privatize it. Because you pay for it. You pay for it. Hillary and Katie both know how to grow our economy. We need to increase access to work by increasing the tax credit for childcare. It costs over $15-800,000 a year on average to have 2 kids in childcare. There are over 500,000 women not able to work because of the cost of childcare. Katie and Hillary say no more than 10 percent of your salary can go to childcare. The rest can be deducted. That and paid leave, increasing the minimum wage, all of that if we do it, every model shows, will increase economic growth by 9 percent. It will grow the GDP by 9 percent. That starts a virtuous cycle. It creates hundreds of thousands of other jobs.
Look, in order for our country to take advantage of the resurgence, we know there’s two things we need. We need the most advanced infrastructure in the world. And you know we don’t have it anymore. We rank 27th in the world in terms of transportation infrastructure, 27th in the world, the United States of America. Companies are coming home. More are coming home than going abroad. But the reason they’re coming home is because they want to be able to get their product to the factory floor and from the factory floor as cheap as they can. They need an infrastructure to do that. Republicans are voting against it. Hillary has a – I won’t go into it – has a plan as to how we can fund it and how to do it. Look, Jill and I, as Jill told you, 12 years of education. You all know. Any of you parents out there or any of you high school students, you know 12 years of education is not enough for you to go through the rest of your life living a middle class life. It’s not. No. Really.
The President asked me to do a study that I took eight months to do, but we interviewed over 350 of the corporate 500 CEOs. The jobs of the future, he wanted to know what are they. Right now, 6 out of 10 jobs out there require something more than a high school degree, 6 out of 10 right now. This is soluble. This is not rocket science. Instead of providing tax breaks for having racehorses, we should have little tax breaks to go to college. By making – by making the tax code fairer and more productive, we can pay for all of this.
Let me just give you one example, and I won’t go into it. Nine – right now, there’s six million people in community college. If we increase that to nine million people in community college, which could happen if it were free, the only way you could qualify, you have to have a B average and – and you’d have to go to community college, where the credits are transferable to a four-year university. Okay? Now, if you did that, that will increase. That will increase the growth of the economy by 2/10 of 1 percent. But it costs $6 billion a year. And you say, ‘Oh, my God. There go those Democrats again spending our money.’
Just eliminate one single little loophole. It’s called stepped-up basis. Here’s what it is. I didn’t know it. I’m listening as the poorest man in Congress. I didn’t know what stepped-up basis was. You think I’m joking? Read my financial disclosure. The Washington Post said when I filed in 2009, ‘It’s probable no man has ever assumed the Office of Vice President with fewer assets than Joe Biden.’ I assume they didn’t mean intellectual. But here’s the deal. It costs $6 billion a year. If you eliminate this one little loophole called stepped-up basis, it means if you go out and you can buy a million dollars’ worth of stock, it accrues in value over years to $2 million, you are on your way to sell it. If you sold it, you’d have to pay a capital gains tax on the million gain you had less than your income tax rate, but it’s capital gains. But if, God forbid, you get hit by a truck on the way and your child inherits it and sells it the next day, your child pays no tax. Now, the wealthy are as patriotic as the poor. This isn’t an – this is not an inheritance thing. This is not a debt tax. This just says pay the same tax your mom and dad were going to pay. Now, here’s the deal. By not collecting that tax, that means the government loses $17 billion a year. 4/10 of 1 percent of the people benefit from it. There is no evidence it increases productivity. They are all extremely wealthy already. That makes more sense, taking 6 of that 17 billion, putting every single college and community college student in college for free, and reducing the deficit by $11 billion? Folks, there are the things we’re talking about. And, by the way, they’re necessary.
Let me conclude by saying this. Look, there’s a reason why I was reading an – I think it was ABC on Air Force Two, ABC saying that this is going to be the most expensive Senate race in the history, not of Pennsylvania, in American history. Already they are estimating $159 million, 59 million from special interests that have targeted Katie and just maligning her and saying things that are simply untrue. Ladies and gentlemen, why do you think all these special interests who don’t support providing community college, don’t support healthcare, don’t support all of these things, but support more tax, why do you think they don’t want Katie there?”
AUDIENCE MEMBER: “Nasty women.”
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: “You got it, man. They know she’s got a backbone like a ramrod. She will not bend. She will not break. She will not yield. She will keep her word to you
Ladies and gentlemen, we’re on the cusp of a gigantic recovery. Not only are we going to do better. Here we are. We’re on the cusp of change that is going to be breathtaking. You’re going to see. It bothers me these guys talk about how behind the 8-ball we are. We have the most powerful military in the world. We’re eight times larger than any – all the next eight militaries combined. We’re in a position where it’s not only – it’s not only the example of our power but the power of our example. The reason why people view us as the most respected nation in the world is our value system, how we act, how we treat people, who we are.
And, folks, these young kids right in front of me here, they’re going to experience something that is unbelievable. Just as in the last 20 years, we saw more progress in technology than in the previous 100 years, in the next 10 years, you’re going to see more progress occur than happened in the last 75 years. And I’ll tell you what. You’re going to be able to fly from New York to London in 35 minutes in hypersonic aircraft. You’re going to be – there’s going to be enough renewable energy to heat every single, solitary home in America within five years. This is real. And I promise you we’re going to end cancer as we know it in our time. We’re going to do that. It’s within our power.
In America, we don’t scare easily. We do not bend. We never bow. We never break. We always endure. We always move forward. We are America. And we own the finish line. We own it. So go get it. This is important. God bless you, all, and may God protect our troops.”