tv Campaign 2020 Joe Biden in Scranton PA CSPAN October 24, 2019 5:46am-6:43am EDT
president trump for the republican nomination. a conversation with former massachusetts governor bill weld and former south or marka govern sanford. part of c-span's campaign 2020 coverage. andh anytime on c-span.org, listen wherever you are using the free c-span radio app. former vice president and 2020 20 democratic presidential candidate joe biden was in his hometown of scranton, pennsylvania to talk about his economic proposals and other issues facing middle-class families. mr. biden: my name is joe biden, and i'm happy to be home.
[applause] it really is good to be home. kid, no, when you are a matter how long you live here, climbs into your heart and occupies you. so many people you know are from scranton. so many people from scranton, and some degree people here. mother eugenia, raised in scranton, first 30 five years of her life before moving to delaware. she lived to age 92, thank god. the last 10 years of life, she lived with me. passed, she moved in, but it was a struggle to get her to move in because when i was growing up in delaware in our three bedroom, split level home for most of my life, we always had a relative living
with us, either my grandpa or my great aunt or an uncle. there was always someone in our home with four kids and mom and dad. it was great for the kids. it really was. great having my grandpa with us and so on. but the fact of the matter was my mother, looking back on it, those walls were pretty thin. so after my dad passed away, i tried to get mom to move in with me in a home we had just built. uite for my mom and dad, but my dad was in hospice the last five months of his life in our home. but my mom wouldn't move in because she said she wasn't going to do that to me. but i said, on mom, you're not doing that to me. you are doing that for us. she didn't want to be a burden.
but that's how my sister and brothers were raised. we were taught that it is all about family. families no burden -- family is no burden. even then, she wouldn't actually move into our house. she sold her house, and there is a little barn on the property i bought. she wanted me to build her a house there. every night i would come home and get to kiss her good night. my wife jill was a great friend of hers. with yoursay, even mother, i can smell ice cream. [laughter] mr. biden: but that satisfied her pride and gave the whole family solace. everything my sister valerie and i learned came from scranton. scranton, as i said, creeps into your heart and never leaves you. when people would ask my mom
delaware had been in over 50 years, she would say i'm from scranton. not a joke. passed alongd those values that scranton families are all about. she would say, remember, you are defined by your courage and you are redeemed by your loyalty. that was my grandfather, ambroise finnegan. joe, courage is the greatest allue with all -- virtue of because without courage, you --'t love with abandon love without abandon. here with his father and mother when he was a senior in high school. went to st. thomas'.
family isextended here as well, including some of my relatives here today, the finnegans and gaffneys. maybe the most important thing my father taught me was that we were raised in the same everybody ifound of came in contact with here. everybody has the same notion. every single person, my dad used to say, no matter who they are, is entitled to be treated with dignity. a word i think that is probably used more here in scranton, at least in my experience, than anywhere else. a's all about dignity, in matter what your station in life, no matter what your background is. everybody is entitled to be treated with dignity. [applause] my dad mr. biden: -- mr. biden:
my dad was a real gentleman. --would tell me, remember she would say the same to my sister, except he would say a woman -- you have to be a man of your word, otherwise you're not a man. it's about honor and it's about family. i learned that my grandpa's kitchen table. not a joke. iswould say, joey, family the beginning, the middle and the end. the older i got, the more i learned to admire my dad's courage and resilience. when scranton fell on hard times in the late 1940's and early 1950's, my dad -- if you listen ,o rock, he always -- to barack he talks about scrappy joe biden from scranton. as a matter of fact, i was in a
beforein a little town my son passed away, one of the favorite parades my kids would go to with me. i was walking down the parade route and thanking them for being good to my boy, and three guys looking like you i played ball within school came behind me and said, what is all of this about scranton? your from delaware. [laughter] mr. biden: but my dad, like i said, if you listen to barack, you'd think i climbed out of a coal mine, but my dad was a white color salesperson. i remember him making what i call the longest walk, that some of you and your family members had to make. the longest walk up a short flight of stairs to your child's , you can'ttell them play in the little league anymore. you can't go back to school because that doesn't have a job. that's got to move.
-- dad's got to move. everything's going to change. i remember dad doing that. ancestral home up there, a lovely woman who bought it from my grandpop. it just brings back memories. he said, we are going to have to move, honey. it's only 157 miles away. he'd been raised in wilmington until he was a junior in high school. he said, only 157 miles away, and i will be here every weekend. i remember thinking that was like going to the moon. and he did. but it wasn't until i got a lot older i realized how much it must have affected his pride, having to walk into the kitchen, and my grandpa finnegan, who had say, can i leave
you in the kids here with -- can i leave jean and the kids here with you? it takes a lot of pride for a man or woman to do that. you know, although it was hard for him, i didn't think it was hard for my grandpa because, again, it's family. you know, i've had nothing but great memories about scranton. climbing what used to be that 10 foot stone wall in marywood, behind thee fights wall. -- going down to walkatinees and trying to across that pipe across the lucky because that's what the heroes did, sometimes falling
in. nothing but good memories, but more than a memories, what i remember most and i think about as i get older is the values that were instilled in me up here. the point of all of this as i look back on it is this is where i learned about loyalty. this is where i learned about patriotism. this is where i learned about what friendship means. this is where i learned about family and faith. face that helped me get through a lot of tough times in my life -- faith that helped me get through a lot of tough times in my life. saidhilosopher kierkegaard faith sees best in the dark. well, we all go through dark times. because of the faith instilled in me here, we've been able to traverse it. when my dad made that walk up the stairs, he told me,
everything's going to be ok once we get settled in delaware. we are all going to come down and be together. and it was. mid-1950's, in the believed everything was going to ok because the middle class still had a fighting chance. we moved to claymont, delaware. that is no longer a steel town. we rented apartment for several years. we finally got to move into a suburban neighborhood not far from there, suburban wilmington. three bedroom, split-level house in a safe neighborhood, with in the relative. but from that time when we were old enough to listen, anytime someone, a relative in delaware or a friend, lost a job, or a neighbor lost a job because of recession or because the company went under, my dad used to say, and i give you my word to this,
remember, a job is about a lot more than your paycheck. it is about your dignity. it is about your place in the community. it is about who you are. it is about being able to look your child in the eye and say it is going to be ok, and mean it. that's how we were raised. my guess is that's how most of raised here ine -- were scranton. know what it was like not to be treated with dignity by people with wealth, for who somehow thought we weren't quite there equals. i can hear her now, my mom. i used to stutter badly when i was a kid. she would say, remember, joey, nobody is better than you, but everybody is your equal. >> that's right. mr. biden: my dad would say, joey, the measure of success is not whether or not you get
knocked down. it's how quickly you get up, so get the hell up, man. [applause] my dad, as he got older, he would be angry if i didn't call him because he had to make sure he had a sport coat on to meet you. he wanted to greet you at his home. -- manners to my dad were a big deal. one day he was over at our house, the house i had built, and i guess i was looking out over this pond it's on in delaware, and i guess i was kind of feeling sorry for myself. i was talking about my deceased wife, and he said, joey, come on. he left and went up to the hallmark store and came back. i have it on my desk to this day, a card. and getgo in that store
a glass, rectangular case with a cartoon. i have this cartoon and it sits on my desk. it's been there for over 25 years. that's not true, 19 years. paper guy,ig funny but my dad was. there's a cartoon character used to be called hagar the horrible, a viking. there's two frames in this picture. it reminds me of the resilience of the people in scranton and claymont. it's a picture of hagar, and the ship is crashed on the rocks. he's standing and shaking his fist to heaven and saying, "why me, god?" a voice from heaven, the same scene with his hand up says, "why not?" why not you?
here in lot of people scranton and all across america have, over the last decades and even now, had to make that longest walk. middle-classo many and working-class folks can't look their kids in the eye any longer and say it's going to be ok and mean it. that's why i'm running. i'm running to rebuild the backbone of this country. the backbone of this country is the middle class. , in this time -- [applause] time, we: and this have to bring everybody along, regardless of your race, your ethnicity, your disability, your gender. everybody's got to come along. [applause] mr. biden: let's get something straight. wall street did not build america.
investment banks did not build america. [applause] mr. biden: hard-working middle-class people built america. unions built the middle class. [applause] and all this talk -- i did an interview for "60 minutes" that's going to come out, "60 minutes" for 90 minutes. [laughter] say, well,they unemployment is down. go back to your old neighborhoods. ask how they are doing, how they are feeling. they are in trouble. there used to be a bargain in america that if you contributed, you got to share the benefits. that bargain has been broken. corporate america has been doing incredibly well for the last 15 years. their profits have gone up exponentially. it used to be there was a direct relationship between so-called productivity, how much more got
put out on the factory floor, and salary. from the end of world war ii to the end of the 1970's come productivity went up over 90%. wages went up 95%. since then, productivity has gone up 68%. wages 8%. what happened to that bargain? it's not happening anymore. studies show the middle class families have difficulty. half of them think their children will never be a situation as good as they are. not today. they don't believe it. [applause] show that youdies have an unexpected expense during the month of $400 or more, you can't pay it. you either borrow the money or
sell something. ladies and gentlemen, we have to rebuild the middle class. let me explain what i mean by middle-class. a lot of economists will tell you, middle-class is $51,800. middle-class is being able to send your child to the park and know they are going to come home safely. being able to send them to the local public school, where you know if they do well, they will be able to go beyond school. [applause] mr. biden: they will be able to get a degree. and you can find a way to pay for it. [applause] mr. biden: middle-class is being able to take your geriatric mom home when dad dies and hope your children never have to take care of you. that's middle-class. just a little bit of breathing room. it's hard for a family today to maintain their dignity if they don't have health care. i can't imagine turning to your child who has a pre-existing
condition and saying, sorry, kid. nothing i can do for you. i can't help you. i can't help you. look, i can't imagine what it would be like for people. many of you know it, and many of you have been through it. raise your hand if you have lost someone to cancer. how many of you have lost a close family member, a son or daughter, a loved one or wife? when my sonine beau, volunteered to go to a rock and was there for a year -- to iraq and was there for a year come a bronze star, comes home and gets diagnosed with terminal imagine lying in that bad towards the end when the insurance company could have come in and said, you are out of your coverage.
it.n't fathom how can a family maintain their have a if they child with some talent that once to go beyond high school, and they can't get their? my dad, when we got to delaware, the first good job he was able to get after several years ended up being management at an automobile dealership. the great thing about that is you always get a new car for the prom. [laughter] mr. biden: i remember going down after a baseball game. the dealership he ran was down where the university is, and we lived about 25 minutes from there. i went to a school in claymont at the time. i remember going down in my baseball uniform, racing down in a 1951 plymouth convertible with a ripped top and beach towels for seat covers. i would park it in one spot, run
in and asked the secretary, where's dad? i was going to get a car to go to the senior prom. she said, he's out in the alley. go on into the shop. my dad was pacing back and forth. true story. he looked up and said, joey, i'm so sorry. so dam sorry. this is before cell phones. i thought maybe something happened to my mom. tosaid, i went to the bank finance all the car loans they had. i spoke to charlie, the vice president. they won't lend me the money to get you to college. i'm so damn ashamed. why would he be ashamed? how many people sat at their kitchen table today and had the conversation saying, you know, we've got to drive on those tires for another 10,000 miles.
we can't afford a new set of tires this month. we've got to wait. who's going to tell her, she can come back? we just don't have the money. we just don't know what to do about that insurance. ideaadministration has no --t hard work and decent what hard-working, decent, ordinary americans are going through. dropped off your child or grandchild the first preschool, first, second, third or fourth grade in america, having to learn how to duck and cover? telling kids, you get behind this pillar here if someone comes in. i spoke to the international psychiatric association and the
american psychiatric association in london. you know the generation that has the greatest degree of anxiety of any generation in america? kids between seven and 20 years old. you know what their greatest fear is? being shot in school. not a joke. being shot in school. you saw all of the pictures of going back to school about kids at the new schools we are building. that's all because we don't have the nerve to take on the damned nra and the gun manufacturers. [applause] mr. biden: there's no need for this. some of you are hunters. i've got shotguns. my sons are hunters. mainly geese. if you go out and hunt for geese, you're not allowed to have in your shotgun more than three shells.
we have federal laws that protect geese. think about it. why in god's name should anyone be able to have a clip that holds 100 rounds? [applause] mr. biden: the administration keeps doing the bidding of the nra and the gun manufacturers. i'm not against the second amendment. the second amendment says it's not absolute. my friends on the far right talk about the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots. you've got to be able to fight against the government. guess what? you need a tank. you need an f-15. you need hellfire missiles. but you can't have them. you can't have bazookas. you can't have machine guns. there are certain weapons people can't own.
there's never been a time in history when we said anybody can own a weapon, anybody. folks, how can a parent feel good about raising a child in a neighborhood where the groundwater is polluted because of oil companies polluting it? or whether or not the inundwater pipes are put in 1960 and are no longer safe? how many schools around the inntry, for all i know here one of these counties, the water in the schools is not safe? thingwe all want the same . a fair shot, a life of dignity, peace of mind that when someone gets sick, you have a little breathing room when the bill comes through. a shot for a better future. with all due respect, and i've never talked about a president like this, i don't think donald
trump is capable of understanding that. he doesn't seem to have any sense of empathy at all for people. [applause] it, ifen: i've not seen it exists. unlike any other president that i've ever worked with. , i'm not sure donald trump has any idea what i'm talking about when i talk about the longest walk. that the i think longest walk his father ever for $100the drop-off million in his trust account. [laughter] [applause] to have had'd like that problem. but look, let me tell you why i'm running. first, thinking about health care, nine years ago, we thought like hell to get obamacare passed.
generations have tried to do that, but we got it done. health care is more than just a luxury reserved for those who can afford it. it is a right. it is a right we all deserve. [applause] mr. biden: it is essential for our dignity and who we want to be as a country. one of my proudest moments in those eight years of standing along president obama, generations of americans who have fought to make that real, it was a really big deal. i wish that i had whispered that in the president's ear. thank god my mother was around. it's saved lives. it's kept people out of bankruptcy. we wanted to do more, but we got as much as we could get done. we put 20 million people on the rolls. we have to finish the
job to ensure that every single american has the choice to be covered by a public option. under my plan, you are free to stick with the insurance you have that you've negotiated with your company if you like it. a lot of you have gone through long negotiation, given up pay raises to get coverage. under my plan, you get to keep it. but if you don't like it or you are uninsured, you get to sign up for a public option, a medicare like proposal. subsidies forses middle-class families to buy in. for the first time, it will the insurance companies to compete with a public option. it is going to keep premiums even lower. bottom line is my health care plan is the fastest, most effective way to reduce costs for american, give everybody quality health insurance, not in
five years, not in 10 years, but right now. [applause] mr. biden: the second thing, we have to rebuild our education system. as we stated at the very beginning -- as was stated at the very beginning by rosemary. my wife, who is taught her whole life and his teaching at this moment -- that is why she's not here with me. she's in the classroom today, teaching. , any countryest that out educates us will outcompete us. it is a basic thing. [applause] the 21st: so in century, does anybody think 12 years of education is enough to class, to, in the middle to be able to sustain? the president asked me to do a study on jobs of the future. six to 10 jobs in this moment
require something beyond a haskell degree. six in 10. onehave to make sure every has that. we can afford to do that. [applause] it means every child will have access to universal pre-k. pre-k exponentially increases the prospect that child is going to finish school and go through without getting into trouble. [applause] it means paying teachers salaries they deserve. teachers and social workers graduateg from school with a four year degree. they get paid less than anyone else graduating as a starting and finishing salary. look, the work we do is of
extreme importance. century, as ist said, 12 years is not enough. under my plan, everyone who qualifies to go to community college is going to be able to go for free. [applause] you say, well, there goes that big spending democrat, right? well, guess what? it costs $6 billion a year to send every qualified person from high school to community college or having to be retrained in community college because they lost a job because of digitalization and artificial intelligence. guess what? $6 billion is a lot of money. are 1.6 trillion dollars of loopholes in the tax code. you get a deduction for racehorses. eliminate one of them.
you are about to go and cash in on capital gains. hipet hurley speaking, your -- figuratively speaking, you are hit by a truck. they don't get paid a centr. guess what -- a cent. guess what? that cost $17 billion a year. eliminate that loophole. [applause] young people are getting crushed by the burden of student debt. many of you parents are as well. if you are paying back student loans through the income-based repayment, my plan is to cut your payments and half. w do it, if you get out of school and you are making less than $25,000 a year, you don't pay anything back. if you make more than that, you only pay 5% of your disposable income, meaning after all your
and your cost of living is involved. anything involving public service, you get $10,000 a year that you work off your debt come up to $50,000. after 10 years of doing it, you have no debt at all. [applause] mr. biden: that's what we are going to do. and by the way, community college, every community college in this state, if you do well, you get to move onto to a four-year college. all of those credits are transferable to a four-year state school. you got some great state universities in this state. penn state's not doing bad, are they? [applause] mr. biden: if you're going to restore the middle class, you need to start to reward work again, not just wealth. right now, under the republican
in the trump plan, we only reward wealth. donald trump inherited a strong economy from barack and me. things were really beginning to move. just like everything else he's inherited, he's in the midst of squandering it. [applause] we need an economy that rewards work, not just wealth. reflects our values. i am going to start by reversing the trump tax cuts for the super wealthy and corporations. [applause] the wealthy didn't need them in the first place, and corporations have spent them on stock buybacks to give benefits to their stockholders, but more importantly, to their ceos. it used to be the average ceo of fortune 500 companies made 36 or
37 times what the average employee made. do you know what it is today? over 420 times as much. what happened? my mother would say, who died and let them -- and made them boss? [laughter] mr. biden: i mean it. but i tell you, i think that 38%ld go up the cup to instead of 29%. i'm getting rid of super wealthy tax loopholes, doubling their capital gains. right now if you are a fireman and a schoolteacher, or you work as a police officer and a nurse, you pay a higher tax rate than somebody making $10 million a , hard tax rate. why is that? it makes no sense.
why should your capital gain be that fornd still being 30%? -- it is a basic bargain to rebuild a stronger middle class. [applause] it doesn't affect any gains on your home and all of those things you are able to take it vantage of. and look, we've -- take advantage of. and look, we've got to stop this awful gun violence that is ripping us apart. we can't live with ourselves if we don't take it on. i'm the only one in the united states of america who's ever taken on the in array nationally nrabeat -- taken on the nationally and beat them, and beat them twice. [applause]
mr. biden: how may cartridges can be in a magazine? i know what it takes to get it done, and i can do it again. we've got to confront the existential threat of climate change. it is the issue facing the world. [applause] the united states accounts for about 15% of the club change problems. we have to lead by example. i've laid out a plan to get to zero emissions by 2050, and 2030,en now and we've made such dramatic change that it can be turned around. but 85% of the problem comes from beyond our borders. we need a president who can marshal those other nations to confront the greatest threat we've ever seen to humanity. it's not hyperbole. it's real. [applause] mr. biden: first thing i will do as president is rejoined the paris climate accord, which i helped put together. [applause]
mr. biden: i will invite the 170 three other nations that are a part of this to washington, d.c. , so they can up the ante of what they promised to do and hold them accountable. [applause] mr. biden: we've lost the respect of nations around the world by the way this president has acted. climate isn't just an existential threat. handled right, it's an extra area opportunity. is uniqueness of america that we are the only nation in the world confronted with a real, serious problem, we've always been able to take it and turn it into an opportunity. that's who we are in the united states. we can build a network of charging stations across america , 500,000 of them, to move to all electric vehicles and reduce carbon by enormous amount.
we have ambitious plans for standards for buildings, cars, power grids that are going to save you money, save you opportunity, and allow you to breathe clean air. we are going to make historic investment in clean energy research and technology, investing $400 billion in the industries in the future so we become a net exporter of all this technology, creating billions of jobs -- creating millions of jobs, union jobs making $40 an hour, not $15 an hour, for real. this is the projection. [applause] these things i'm talking about, these are really big challenges, but they are no good pit -- they are no bigger than our capacity as americans. we have to think about the future we can build. americans are doing their part. they are out there working hard every day. they deserve leaders to work as hard as them. --don't deserve an apartment deserve a department of education that works against
schools. we don't deserve any permanent labor that works against workers. departmentserve a that works on lies and conspiracies. [applause] mr. biden: most of all, we don't deserve a president who goes out of his way to make life in america cooler, harder -- in america crueler, harder. americans deserve the dignity reflected in their leaders. the challenges we face are really serious, but i stand here more optimistic than i was when i got elected to the united states senate. i had to wait 17 days to be eligible. no, really. i was characterized as the young idealistic guy who was optimistic. folks, we have to restore our backbone of this nation.
we have to remember who the hell we are. this is the united states of america. think about it. [applause] mr. biden: i'm more optimistic than i've ever been in my career that if we move this administration out of the way, we have the most productive workers in the world. our workers are three times more productive than they are in asia. we have more great research universities in pennsylvania and the united states and all the rest of the world combined. every major life changing thing has come out of a research university monetized by corporate america, but it has -- whether any in the country. we are the wealthiest country in the world. the wealthiest country in the history of the world. why in god's name are we walking down? with our heads
we have the most powerful military in the history of the world, no hyperbole. byve led the world not just the example of our power, but the power of our example, and it's being eroded. the embrace of dictators and thugs. kim jong-un, love letters. [laughter] mr. biden: no, literally. he had his uncle's brains blown out sitting across the table, his brother poisoned in an airport. putin, who i know relatively well, who has nothing in his mind but to break up nato, reduce our influence around the world, breakup democracy. one thing he fears his democracy. the embrace of the people he has pokers in thed eye of our allies. we are not going to keep our sacred commitment.
so it just happened. i've been all through that part of the world where the kurds are. i spent a lot of time in turkey, a significant amount of time in syria. -- in iraq, in what have we just done? have you found a single military person who doesn't feel like we have just best marched america's reputation -- just besmirched america's reputation around the world? died defeating isis , capturing 10,000 isis capturing 10,000 isis terrorists imprisoned. the president, without the support of any of his military commanders, decides he is going to make a deal with erdogan, who i know well, to move hundreds of american troops who are trainers for the kurds, standing between the kurds and turkish forces who
want to wipe them out, and he pulls them out. you have seen on television, women standing there holding their children under bombardment when our tanks are moving out. our military is so ashamed they are leaving. throwing fruit at them saying, you have abandoned us, we are going to die. what the hell is going on? what is going on? who is going to believe america's word as we give it? does.s what the president he speaks for america, he keeps commitments. when they set all of those prisoners are going to escape, he only said they're going to go to europe, they are going to come to the united states. that is great. what are our allies sitting there thinking? look, there is a thing we can't do. we are better positioned than any nation in the world in the 21st century. we can do it in a reasonable and
quick way. we can unite this country. i'm tired of people, democrats, republicans, and independents walking around with their heads down like what was me. this is the united states of america. [applause] we can do anything we set our mind to. this is the united states of america. god bless you all and may god protect our troops. thank you. [applause]
coverage of the candidates. c-span campaign 2020, your unfiltered view of politics. >> go shopping and see what is now available at the c-span online store, including our own new campaign 2020 t-shirts and hats. go to c-span.org and browse all of our products. >> yesterday, at the white house, president trump announced a permanent cease-fire was reached in syria between turkey and kurdish forces. the president also talked about the u.s. withdrawal from the region and his intention to lift economic sanctions on turkey as a result of the latest cease-fire. pres. trump: thank you very much.