Today in Wilmington, Delaware:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2020
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Vice President Joe Biden in Wilmington, Delaware
Good afternoon, everyone.
This is an exciting day.
It’s a great day for our campaign. And it’s a great day for America.
Over the past several weeks I’ve had the incredible privilege of meeting and spending time with talented women leaders.
With each one, the more I learned about them and the more I talked with them, the more impressed I was – all of who are qualified to be president.
And I want to thank each of them for being a part of this process, and I look forward to working with them to get this country turned around.
I approached this with a seriousness of mind and purpose because this is a serious moment for our nation.
We are at one of those inflection points in our history. A life-changing election for our nation. And the choice we make this November is going to decide the future of America for a very long time.
I had great choices. But I have no doubt that the right person to join me as the next Vice President of the United States is Senator Kamala Harris. And I hope that you will all join us too, by going to JoeBiden.com today.
Kamala is smart. She’s tough. She’s experienced. She’s a proven fighter for the backbone of this country, the middle class and those struggling to get into the middle class.
Kamala knows how to govern. She knows how to make the hard calls. She’s ready to do this job.
And we’re both ready to get to work rebuilding this nation.
As Attorney General of the largest state in the country, Kamala took on the big banks over mortgage fraud, and Big Oil when it wanted to pollute without consequences.
She was a pioneer on marriage equality, and tackled the gun lobby.
We’ve all watched her in the U.S. Senate go toe-to-toe with Trump officials trying to hide the truth, asking the tough questions that need to be asked and not stopping until she gets an answer.
As a member of the Intelligence committee and the Judiciary committee, she’s been at the center of the most critical national security challenges our country faces, well aware of the threats to our nation, and ready to respond to them.
As the child of immigrants, she knows personally how immigrant families enrich our country, as well as the challenges of what it means to grow up Black and Indian American in the United States.
Her story is an American story – different from mine in many particulars, but also, not so different in essentials.
She has worked hard. She has never backed down from a challenge. She has earned each and every one of her accolades and achievements – and they are many — often in the face of obstacles that others put in her way.
And this morning, all across this nation little girls woke up – especially little Black and Brown girls who so often may feel overlooked and undervalued in our society — but today, maybe they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way. As the stuff of Presidents and Vice Presidents.
In her campaign, Kamala often talked about what she referred to as the 3am Agenda.
About moms and dads awake late at night in their kitchens. Scared, worried, uncertain about how they were going to take care of their families. About how they were going to pay the bills. About how they were going to make it.
Growing up in Scranton and Claymont, I saw that struggle with my family. Kamala saw it with her family. And millions of Americans are living that struggle right now. Especially in this moment of crisis. Especially with so many jobs lost.
Kamala and I both know that all folks are looking for is a shot. A fair shot at making it. And it will be the work of our administration to make sure they get that shot.
Working families need someone on their side in this nation. Because they certainly don’t have anyone on their side with this president.
That’s going to change in the Biden/Harris administration.
It’s been gratifying to see the strong, enthusiastic reaction to Senator Kamala Harris as our next Vice President.
In fact, yesterday, we had our best fundraising day of the entire campaign, and we set the all-time record for online political campaign raising.
It’s come from people from all parts of the country, all ideological views, all backgrounds. Except, of course, from the Trump White House and its allies.
You knew it was coming – you could have set your watch to it. Donald Trump has already started with his attacks. Calling Kamala “nasty.” Whining about how she’s been “mean” to his appointees.
It’s no surprise. Whining is what Donald Trump does best more than any president in American history
Is anyone surprised Donald Trump has a problem with a strong woman?
And we know that more is to come.
So let’s be clear: if you’re a working person, worried about whether or not you’ll have a job to go to, whether or not you’ll be able to pay your mortgage, worried about the poisons in the air you breathe and water you drink, worried about your civil rights, and even your basic dignity being under attack – Kamala Harris has had your back – and now, we have to have her back.
She’s going to stand with me in this campaign, and all of us are going to stand up for her.
And on January 20, 2021, we’re all going to watch Senator Harris raise her right hand and swear the oath of office as the first woman ever to serve in the second highest office in the land.
And then we’re going to get right to work, fixing the mess President Trump and Vice President Pence have created at home and abroad through four years of mismanagement and chaos.
Not only will America dig itself out of the hole they’ve put us in – we’re going to build back better.
We have a public health crisis with more than 5 million reported infections and 165,000 people dead from COVID-19 – and still, months later, no real leadership or plan from the president on how to get this pandemic under control.
No real help for the states and local governments trying to fill the vacuum of leadership from the White House.
No real help for children and teachers – for small businesses and the frontline workers holding our country together.
Instead, he’s issuing executive actions and making promises that will defund Social Security, while insisting that the virus will just disappear.
The Joe Biden and Kamala Harris administration will have a comprehensive plan to meet the challenge of COVID-19 and turn the corner on this pandemic.
Masking. Clear, science-based guidance. Dramatically scaling up testing. Giving states and local governments the resources they need to open schools and businesses safely.
We can do this.
We just need a president and vice president willing to lead.
We have an economic crisis – with more than 16 million Americans still out of work.
Donald Trump is on track to leave office with the worst jobs record of any American president in modern history.
But instead of doing the hard work of meeting face to face with Congressional leaders – Democrats and Republicans – to get Americans the relief they need and deserve, Donald Trump is on the golf course.
We have a climate crisis that Donald Trump refuses to even acknowledge.
When he thinks about climate change, all he hears is one word: “hoax.”
The Biden-Harris Administration is going to meet the climate crisis, protect the health of the American public, and along the way, we’re going to deliver one word: jobs.
And we have a racial justice crisis that Donald Trump seeks only to inflame with his politics of racist rhetoric and division.
Today is not only the day I am proud to introduce Senator Kamala Harris as the Vice-Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party — it’s also the third anniversary of that terrible day in Charlottesville.
Remember what it felt like to see those neo-Nazis and Klansmen and white supremacists coming out of the fields with their lighted torches, faces contorted, veins bulging, and pour into the streets of a historic American city, spewing the same anti-Semitic bile we heard in Hitler’s Germany the 1930s?
Remember how it felt to see a violent clash ensue between those celebrating hate and those standing against it.
It was a wake-up call for us as a country – and for me, a call to action.
At that moment, I knew I couldn’t stand by and let Donald Trump – a man who saw “very fine people on both sides” – continue to attack everything that makes America, America.
I knew we were in a battle for the soul of this nation. And I’m proud to now have Senator Harris by my side in that battle.
For she is someone who knows that what’s at stake is – who we are as a nation, what we stand for, and most important, who we want to be. Someone who knows that the future of this country is limited only by the barriers we place on our own imaginations — because there is nothing Americans cannot achieve when we put our minds to it – and when we stand together.
One of the reasons I chose Kamala is because we both believe you can define America in one simple word: Possibilities.
Let me say it again — possibilities.
That what sets this nation apart is the ability for everyone – and we mean everyone – to go as far and dream as big as hard work and their God-given ability will take them.
When I agreed to serve as President Obama’s running mate, he asked what I wanted. I told him I wanted to be the last person in the room before he made his most important decisions.
That’s what I ask of Kamala – to be the last voice in the room. To always tell me the truth. To ask the hard questions. Because that’s the way we’ll make the best decisions for the American people.
Thank you, Kamala and Doug, for agreeing to take this journey with Jill and me.
Doug, you’re going to have to learn what it means to be a barrier-breaker in this job, too.
America’s first Second Gentleman. And although they’re not here with us today, I want to thank Ella and Cole, too.
My campaigns have always been family affairs – and so I’ve got some news for all of you — you’re all honorary Bidens now.
But here’s the best part — Kamala, you’ve been an honorary Biden for quite some time.
I first came to know who Kamala was through my son Beau.
They were friends. They served as Attorneys General at the same time. And they took on some big fights together. Kamala in California, and Beau here in Delaware. Big fights that helped change our entire country.
I know how much Beau respected Kamala and her work. And that mattered a lot to me as I made this decision.
So, now, we need to get to work. Pulling this nation out of this crisis. Getting our economy back on track. Uniting this nation. And yes – winning the battle for the soul of America.
My fellow Americans, now, let me introduce to you, for the first time, your next Vice President of the United States: Senator Kamala Harris.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2020
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Senator Kamala Harris in Wilmington, Delaware
Thank you, Joe.
As I said when you called me, I’m incredibly honored by this responsibility, and I’m ready to get to work.
After the most competitive primary in history, the country delivered a resounding message that Joe was the person to lead us forward.
And Joe, I’m so proud to stand with you.
And I do so, mindful of all the heroic—and ambitious—women before me whose sacrifice, determination, and resilience makes my presence here today even possible.
This is a moment of real consequence for America.
Everything we care about—our economy, our health, our kids, the kind of country we live in—it’s all on the line.
We’re reeling from the worst public health crisis in a century.
The president’s mismanagement of the pandemic has plunged us into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
And we’re experiencing a moral reckoning with racism and systemic injustice that has brought a new Coalition of Conscience to the streets, demanding change.
America is crying out for leadership.
We have a president who cares more about himself than the people who elected him; a president who is making every challenge we face even more difficult to solve.
But here’s the good news: we don’t have to accept the failed government of Donald Trump and Mike Pence.
In just 83 days, we have a chance to choose a better future for our country.
So Joe, Dr. Biden, thank you for the trust you’ve placed in me.
Jill, I know you will be an incredible First Lady.
My husband, Doug and I are so grateful to become a part of your extended family.
And ever since I received Joe’s call, I’ve been thinking about the first Biden I really came to know—Joe’s son, Beau.
In the midst of the Great Recession, Beau and I spoke on the phone practically every day, sometimes multiple times a day, working together to win back billions of dollars for homeowners from the biggest banks in the nation that were foreclosing on people’s homes.
And let me tell you about Beau Biden.
I learned quickly that Beau was the kind of guy who inspired people to be a better version of themselves.
He was the best of us.
And when I would ask him where he got that from, he always talked about his dad.
The love they shared was incredible to watch.
Beau talked about how Joe would spend 4 hours every day riding the rails back and forth from Wilmington to Washington so he could make breakfast for his kids in the morning and make it home in time to tuck them in bed each night.
All of this so two little boys, who’d just lost their mom and sister in a tragic accident, would know the world was still turning.
And that’s how I came to know Joe.
He’s someone whose first response when things get tough is never to think about himself, but to take care of everybody else.
He’s someone who never asks “Why is this happening to me?” and instead asks: “What can I do to make life better for you?”
His empathy, his compassion, his sense of duty to care for others—is why I’m so proud to be on this ticket.
Joe and I are cut from the same cloth.
Family is everything to me, too.
I can’t wait for America to get to know Doug, and our amazing kids, Cole and Ella.
Whether I’m cheering in the bleachers at a swim meet, setting up a college dorm room, helping my goddaughter prepare for her school debate, building legos with my godson, hugging my two baby nieces, or cooking Sunday dinner – my family means everything to me.
I’ve had a lot of titles over my career, and certainly “Vice President” will be great, but “Momala” will always be one of those that means the most.
You know, my mother and father came to America from opposite ends of the world—India and Jamaica—in search of a world-class education.
But what brought them together, was the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.
That’s how they met—as students, in the streets of Oakland, marching and shouting for this thing called justice, in a struggle that continues to this day.
And I was part of it, my parents would bring me to protests—strapped tightly in my stroller.
And my mother, Shyamala, raised my sister Maya and me to believe that it was up to us—and every generation of Americans—to keep on marching.
She’d tell us, “Don’t just sit around and complain about things. Do something.”
So, I did something.
I devoted my life to making real the words carved above the United States Supreme Court, “Equal Justice Under Law.”
And 30 years ago, I stood before a judge for the first time, breathed deep, and uttered the phrase that would guide the rest of my career: “Kamala Harris, For The People.”
The people—that’s who I represented as District Attorney, fighting on behalf of victims who needed help.
The people – That’s who I fought for as California’s Attorney General, when I took on transnational gangs who traffic in guns, drugs, and human beings.
And it’s the people—who I’ve fought for as a U.S. Senator, where I’ve worked every day to hold Trump officials accountable to the American people.
And the people are who Joe and I will fight for every day in the White House.
And let me tell you, as someone who has presented my fair share of arguments in court, the case against Donald Trump and Mike Pence is open and shut.
Just look where they’ve gotten us:
More than 16 million out of work.
Millions of kids who can’t go back to school.
A crisis of poverty, of homelessness, afflicting black, brown, and indigenous people the most.
A crisis of hunger afflicting one in five mothers who have children that are hungry.
And tragically, more than 165,000 lives cut short.
Many with loved ones who never got the chance to say goodbye. It didn’t have to be this way.
Six years ago, we had a different health crisis: Ebola.
Remember that pandemic?
Barack Obama and Joe Biden did their job.
Only two people died in the United States. Two.
That is leadership. Compare that to the moment we find ourselves in now.
When other countries were following the science, Trump pushed miracle cures he saw on Fox News.
While other countries were flattening the curve, he said the virus would just go away like—quote—“like a miracle.”
So when other countries opened back up for business, what did we do?
We had to shut down again.
This virus has impacted almost every country.
But there’s a reason it has hit America worse than any other advanced nation.
It’s because of Trump’s failure to take it seriously from the start…
His refusal to get testing up and running…
His flip-flopping on social distancing and wearing masks…
His delusional belief that he knows better than the experts…
All of that is the reason why an American dies of COVID-19 every 80 seconds.
It’s why countless businesses have had to shut their doors for good.
It’s why there is complete chaos over when and how to reopen our schools.
Mothers and fathers are confused, uncertain, and angry about child care and the safety of their kids at schools—whether they’ll be in danger if they go or fall behind if they don’t.
Trump is also the reason millions of Americans are now unemployed.
He inherited the longest economic expansion in history from Barack Obama and Joe Biden—and then, like everything else he inherited, he ran it straight into the ground.
Because of Trump’s failures of leadership, our economy has taken one of the biggest hits out of all the major industrialized nations, with an unemployment rate that has tripled as of today.
This is what happens when we elect a guy who just isn’t up to the job.
Our country ends up in tatters.
And so does our reputation around the world.
But let’s be clear – this election isn’t just about defeating Donald Trump and Mike Pence.
It’s about building this country back better.
And that’s exactly what Joe and I will do.
We’ll create millions of jobs and fight climate change through a clean energy revolution.
Bring critical supply chains back so the future is made in America.
Build on the Affordable Care Act, so everyone has the peace of mind that comes with health insurance…
And finally offer caregivers the dignity, respect, and pay they deserve.
We’ll protect a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own body.
Root out systemic racism in our justice system.
And pass a new Voting Rights Act, a John Lewis Voting Rights Act, that will ensure every voice is heard and every vote is counted.
The Civil Rights struggle is nothing new to Joe.
It’s why he got into public service.
It’s why he helped reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, and restore employment discrimination laws.
And today, he takes his place in the ongoing story of America’s march toward equality and justice—as the only person who served alongside the first Black President, and has chosen the first Black woman as his running mate.
But as Joe always points out, this election is about more than policies.
It’s about who we are as a country.
And I’ll admit, over the past four years, there have been moments when I’ve worried about our future.
But whenever I’ve had my doubts, I think of you—the American people.
The doctors, nurses, and frontline workers who are risking your own lives to save others.
The truck drivers, the workers in grocery stores, factories, and farms who are putting your own safety on the line to help get all of us through this pandemic.
The women and students taking to the streets in unprecedented numbers.
The Dreamers and immigrants who know that families belong together.
The LGBTQ Americans who know that love is love.
People of every age, and color, and creed, who are finally declaring in one voice that Black Lives Matter.
All across this country, a whole new generation of children is growing up hearing the cries for justice, and chants of hope, on which I was raised—some strapped into strollers of their own.
And trust me: It’s a song you never forget.
So, to everyone keeping up the fight:
You are doing something.
You are the new heroes of our time.
And you’re the reason I know we’re going to bring our country closer to realizing its promise.
But to do it, we’ll need to work, organize, and vote like never before.
Because we need more than a victory on November 3rd.
We need a mandate that proves that the past few years do not represent who we are, or who we aspire to be.
Joe likes to say that character is on the ballot.
And that’s true.
When he saw what happened in Charlottesville three years ago today, he knew we were in a battle for the soul of this nation.
And together, with your help, that’s a battle we will win.
Earlier this year, I said I’d do whatever Joe asked me to.
Now, I’m asking you to do the same.
So visit JoeBiden.com to get involved in this campaign.
Because electing Joe Biden is just the start of the work ahead of us.
And I couldn’t be prouder to be by his side, running to represent you: The people.
Thank you. And may God bless the United States of America.
Kamala! (August 11, 2020)