Orlando, Florida–(ENEWSPF)–October 3, 2016. At a voter registration event in Orlando on Monday, Vice President Biden drew a sharp contrast between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s visions for working families. Biden made clear how Trump’s and Clinton’s proposals would lead to vastly different futures for the American people. While Trump’s tax cuts only benefit the wealthy at the expense of working families, Clinton’s detailed plan for a fair tax code ensures the economy works for everyone. Urging voters to consider what’s at stake in this election, Biden said, “We are better positioned than any nation in the world to own the 21st century, and Hillary is the only candidate who has any notion of what the immense opportunities are.
Biden’s remarks, as transcribed, are below:
“[…] for Bill Nelson and Grace Nelson. They’re the best people I ever worked with – and I say two of them. Grace, how are you doing, kiddo? Great to see you. I love you.
And my buddy Bill is going to be traveling with me as I head down to Sarasota to continue this effort, to make sure that people show up, turn out, and elect Hillary Clinton president of the United States of America.
I was with Patrick – I was with Patrick Murphy up in New York, doing a fundraiser with him, and he can’t be here today; he’s doing an editorial board, I’m told, in another part of the state. And hang on to that race, guys. He’s going to win that race. Watch this race. And Congressman Murphy – Stephanie, you’re a heck of a candidate, kid. You’re a heck of a candidate. And I believe you – I genuinely believe you’re going to win this race, wherever you are now. I don’t know where you’re standing now. But the American dream is still alive. I don’t know where Trump and everybody else live, but it’s still alive. People still believe. We are better positioned than any nation in the world to own the 21st century, and it’s because the American people never, ever, ever, ever, ever give up. They never give in […].
Folks, last week I was on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and he asked me – he asked me a question, and it was a serious question. He said, have I ever seen a debate focused so much on fact-checking? And my answer was completely honest and spontaneous. I said I’ve never seen a candidate who knows so few facts on foreign policy and national security. I never have. No, I’m serious. I, honest to God, don’t believe ever in the history of the United States of America has a major party candidate been less informed, dangerously uninformed, like he is. His unabashed admiration for Vladimir Putin, one of the most dangerous leaders in the world today; his lack of awareness that Russia already has invaded Ukraine and occupies Crimea. To his credit, he recently acknowledged he realized Crimea is part of Ukraine, which is like he’s going to acknowledge there’s gravity later too.
Look, man, I mean this sincerely. I genuinely mean this. His threat not to protect the Baltic states against a Russian invasion, our NATO allies, required me to go from Australia to meet with all three Baltic presidents – Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania – to tell them – I’m being deadly earnest – to tell them, no, that is not only not our administration’s view, it’s not the view of any Republicans except Donald Trump. His cavalier talk about a nuclear arms race in Asia is dangerous. His designation and denigration of the United States military, the finest – this is not hyperbole – the finest fighting force in the history of the world. That is not hyperbole. This one – no, it really is.
And his playing into the hands of terrorists around the world. Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, a proxy for Iran, top surrogate – he says – he is a direct threat to us, to our military personnel in the region. And here is what he said about Donald Trump’s comment that President Obama founded ISIL. No, no. By the way, everybody here knows it’s bizarre, but urban legend in the Middle East – it’s a Sunni-Shia conflict; it is not just a nation conflict. It’s a Sunni-Shia conflict. And one of the ways to put our people in harm’s way is to tell the Sunnis in the region that we really, really are – I mean, tell the Shia in the region we really are supporting extreme, extreme outfits like ISIL, or ISIS, or Daesh, as they say in the Middle East.
Here’s what Nasrallah said to Trump’s accusation. He said, quote, ‘This is not simple speech,’ referring to Trump. He said, ‘This is an American presidential candidate. This was spoken on behalf of the American Republican Party. And he,’ referring to Trump, ‘has the documents to prove the President has done this.’ That has sent up an alarm throughout every place we are in the Middle East, feeding the urban legend.
But if being the most informed – uninformed candidate for president in the history of America is not enough to disqualify him, his lack of sensibilities are disqualifying. And I really mean this. I’ve been characterized as having gotten angry about some of the stuff he said. It’s not about him or his – it’s about his lack of understanding of who we are as a people. The way he comports himself and the words he utters, and I mean this with every fiber in my being, are truly beneath the dignity of the office of the president of the United States.
He says, ‘I didn’t pay any federal taxes,’ possible for more than 18 years. He said, ‘That makes me smart.’ What does that make the rest of Americans, including very wealthy businessmen who pay their fair share? Rooting for a housing crisis that ruined the lives of millions of God-fearing Americans – millions of Floridians who never missed a mortgage payment, who relied upon the equity in their home to get their kid to college or to be able to retire without having to rely on their children, robbing them of their peace of mind. What did he say? He didn’t deny that. He said, ‘That’s good business.’ I’m serious. I mean, think – just stiffing hundreds of small businessmen and women who worked on his projects. He said, ‘Maybe I didn’t like the quality of their work.’ Can you imagine? This is a Democratic audience. Can you imagine Ronald Reagan ever saying any one of those things? Can you imagine George H. W. Bush or George W. Bush? I mean, it is absolutely – it’s absolutely beyond my comprehension that any president of the United States would ever utter publicly any of those sentiments.
And what type of leader – and this isn’t just a talking point, but you’ve got to really think about the character of somebody. What type of leader awakens at 3 o’clock in the morning – no, no, no, no, I’m – no, I’m being deadly earnest. You don’t have to be a psychologist or psychiatrist. But what kind of leader awakens at 3 o’clock in the morning and tweets Hillary helped, quote, ‘disgusting Alicia M’ become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in a debate? Or 3:30 in the morning. This guy wants to be president of the United States of America.
I tell you what, I have traveled over one million one hundred and fifty thousand miles so far as Vice President. I know – no, it’s not about me.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: “Thank you, Joe!
Look, folks. This matters. The reason the world repairs to us is not just the power of our military, but it’s the example we set for the world, not just example of our power, but the power of our example. That’s why people repair to the United States. That’s why they look to us. That’s why we’re able to lead. There’s a lot at stake, folks. And his policy proposals are equally as erratic and ill-suited for America, while Hillary Clinton’s are designed to actually continue to lift up the middle class, move this country forward, so that America can own the 21st century like we did the 20th. Again, we are better-positioned than any country in the world to do that. That’s not hyperbole. We don’t focus enough on the positive. One of the things – my advice to the campaign – it means, we should start more about what we’re going to do, where we are, what the future is.
Folks, we’ve gone from an economic crisis to recovery, and we’re on the cusp of genuine resurgence. Look at the recent census bureau data. A 5.2 percent growth in household wealth, the fastest one-year growth ever, with typical household incomes – no, we got to do a lot more – but household incomes going up 28 percent. First time – highest ever in one year. 3.5 million people taken out of poverty, not into poverty, out of poverty. The poverty rate fell faster than any time since 1968. More than 15 million jobs over 78 months, more than all the advanced economies in the world combined. Let me say that again. Every other major economy in the world, we have produced more jobs in this 78-month period than all of them combined.
Now, look. We got a long way to go. The unemployment rate’s cut from 10 to 4.9. Foreclosures are abated. Housing prices are up. Homeowners are out from underwater. But there’s so much more we can do. We are so well-positioned. As I said, imagine. Imagine. This is not hyperbole. Imagine. Can you think of any leader in the world who wouldn’t trade places with the President of the United States? Not a joke. I remember back when I was a younger Senator, and I was debating at the Wharton School someone from the Heritage Foundation. Their argument was, Japan was going to own the United States. None of you are old enough – some of you are old enough to remember. Remember, Japan was buying the United States. And I argued then it was not possible. Look at Japan. We want them to do better, but look at Japan. Look at its growth rate, or lack thereof. The European Union, 385 million people. How can we compete? Our prayer now is that they come back. We need them to grow.
I came from a little steel town in Delaware where we moved called Claymont, Delaware. The rest of the world’s not a patch on our jeans. We are – no, no, no, no. They’re good people. But we are so much better-positioned. We have the largest economy in the world. Does anybody think that China is going to eat our lunch? Look, guys. They don’t have – and I want them to do well. It’s in our interest they remain stable and do well. But folks, they not only don’t have any energy, they don’t have water. They don’t have enough water. They’re talking about a $2 trillion project to change the direction of their major rivers to move them to population centers. A significant portion of their arable land is polluted by cadmium. They cannot grow what they need to eat.
Ladies and gentlemen, the reason we’re going to do so well is not because of Barack and Joe Biden.”
AUDIENCE MEMBER: “Yes!”
But we got to clear a lot of the underbrush that was created starting with the Bush administration. We need a tax code that’s fair. By the way, not just to be fair, to increase productivity we need a tax code. When Ronald Reagan was President, there were only – only – there were $800 billion a year in tax loopholes, per year. Do you know how many there are now? $1.3 trillion. Find me an economist who can justify more than $700 billion of that. Tax loopholes make sense for promoting what society thinks is a social good, home ownership, et cetera, childcare. And they’re also to reward people who take real chances to do things that generate growth. But most of this is not productive that’s out there.
We need an education system that’s the best in the world. My wife, who’s a community college professor, says any nation that out-educations us will out-compete us. That’s just a fact. And folks, we also need a 21st century infrastructure. Do you recognize the United States of America ranks 27th in the world in transportation infrastructure? Look, if you notice, your children are not going to hear the word ‘outsourcing.’ No, not a joke. They’re hearing ‘insourcing.’ People are coming home, notwithstanding what you heard at that debate; Hillary didn’t have a chance to respond to everything he said that was wrong.
Ladies and gentlemen, more businesses are coming home than leaving, including the example they gave of Ford. Ford’s invested billions of dollars more in the United States of America notwithstanding that one investment in Mexico. Ladies and gentlemen, there’s an outfit called A.T. Kearney. They’ve asked the 300 largest industries in the world the same question every year for the last 19 years. I believe it’s 19. Where’s the best place in the world to invest? By a margin larger than any time they’ve kept that record – they released it in March – they say the United States of America, for all the reasons I stated.
But folks, in order to do this, in order to keep people coming back – Cambridge Research does a thing. Every year they contact every single American company that has investments in China. They ask what their plans are for next year. Last year, in February, 54 percent said, ‘We plan on coming home.’ But they come home only where there’s an infrastructure, where you can get products to the floor, get it out to the market. Only where you have the best-educated public in the world.
Look, our folks – the congresswoman – soon-to-be congresswoman talked about shoveling coal into a fire. Well, guess what? All the jobs of the future – and six out of 10 require something beyond a high school degree now – require intellectual capacity, not brawn. But all the people – the same person shoveling coal into a fire knows how to learn to work on a machine that does photovoltaic technology in order to build solar panels. They’re fully capable of that, but they’re required to be retrained.
All of you younger people here are going to be retrained the rest of your life, whether you’re physicists or whether you’re lawyers or whether or not you’re doctors. Because what’s changed – the world is changing so rapidly, so incredibly. Digitalization is on the horizon in a way we never, ever thought about it. So we need constantly the best trained people in the world, and it’s not hard to do that. We’re fully capable of it.
But let’s look on the candidate on taxes. Ruth Marcus, a columnist, today wrote Trump in charge of the tax code would be, as always, Trump doing what’s best for Trump. That’s her quote. Donald Trump never gives you the details, but the most reliable estimates from outside groups that are bipartisan point out his plan to cut $9.5 trillion in taxes disproportionately benefits the wealthy. It would also increase taxes on eight million low and middle-income families with 15 million children; provide taxpayers at the top 1 percent – they’re good people, they’re as patriotic as poor folks – but one thing they don’t need is an additional $300,000-a-year tax cut on average.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: “Bravo.”
But look, she does it by eliminating loopholes that have no positive impact on growth. Let me give you an example. She talks about debt-free college. The proposal we put forward just for two years – just for two years – it costs $6 billion a year. It would put 9 million people in community college free, and they only could go to a community college where you could transfer the credits to a four-year school and you had to maintain a B.
Now, that costs 6 billion a year. You say, ‘My God, there goes that big-spending Biden again, and Obama and Hillary.’ Well, guess what? You eliminate just one loophole. It’s called – and we’ve proposed it – it’s called stepped-up basis. If you’re wealthy enough to go out and you buy a million dollars’ worth of stock and four years later it’s worth 2 million, you pay a capital gains tax less than your normal income tax on that million-dollar gain, okay? But if on the way to sell it, God forbid, you get hit by a car and you leave it to your son and he sells it, he pays no tax. Now, that makes – affects three-tenths of 1 percent of the population. They’re all – they’re good people, they’re already very wealthy, already very wealthy. The last thing they need is what it cost. It’s a $17-billion-a-year tax cost to the government.
If you eliminate that one loophole, I can, in fact, put everyone in community college and reduce the deficit by – this is not a joke – by $11 billion. And by the way, in the process – they say they’re all for productivity? If you have that many people going to community college, every independent study shows it would increase the GDP by two-tenths of 1 percent. That’s a trillion dollars over ten years. And so look – .
If you look at what Hillary talks about in terms of child care, I don’t have to tell some of you incredibly qualified women who have children, in a major city like this it can cost you for two kids over $20,000 a year just for providing good child care. If we just raised the minimum wage, if we provide more help for child care – no – for child care, we do these few things, we can actually increase – increase the GDP by 9 percent above what it is now per year.
So look, these guys talk about we’re the one – they’re the ones about economic growth. Everything they proposed for the last 15 years has been regressive on growth. We have not grown. It’s like we have self-induced amnesia.
I’m not going to go any longer, because I could talk about infrastructure, could talk about so many other things, but here’s the deal, guys. Hillary pays for every single thing that she proposes – every single thing she proposes. Does not increase the – she pays for it by pointing out exactly what she would change. For example, I hope a lot of you are out there – I hope you’re paying at the highest tax rate because you’re doing well. I’m not being a wise guy. But you can take a deduction – be it for a charitable deduction or for anything else – you can take it at the rate you’re paying your taxes. If we just limited what you could take at 28 percent, which is the average – or not even average tax rate. You know how much revenue that would raise per year? $660 billion a year. That would allow us to do all these issues that relate to growth, infrastructure, education, health care, child care, minimum wage.
So folks, I’ll end where I began. We are better positioned than any nation in the world to own the 21st century, and Hillary is the only candidate who has any notion of what the immense opportunities are. I’m so sick and tired of hearing America talked down. She needs you; we need you. We need you register to vote and get your friends to register to vote. We need you to bring your families along.
And by the way, registration in Florida ends on October the 11th. It ends on October the 11th. That’s the last day you can register to vote. So bust your neck, folks, to get your friends to register and vote. It does matter. It does matter. So go to iwillvote.com to make sure you’re registered. But also remember that you can vote early in Florida either in person or by mail, so register, vote early, make your voice count.
And remember – remember – we’ve had candidates before appeal to our fears, but they never, never succeed because we don’t scare easily, Americans don’t bend, we don’t bow. We endure, we move forward. We are Americans, second to none. That’s the history of the journey of America and that’s the – God willing, Hillary Clinton will write the next chapter in that history, God willing. Thank you all so very much. God bless you all and may God protect our troops. Appreciate it.”