Skip to content
Fact
ba
.
se

Remarks: Joe Biden Addresses a Fundraising Event in Chicago - November 9, 2023

  • Joe Biden
    Person
Slightly Positive

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
Hello, hello, hello. [Applause] Please, take a seat if you have one. [Laughs] 1

Joe Biden

Very Positive
Glen, thanks for that introduction. And -- and, Ben, thanks for welcoming us into your business. Ben gave me a -- a beautiful piece of glass that he had molded in -- for my wife, and I'm going go home a hero. 2

Joe Biden

Very Positive
Folks -- Governor Pritzker, you're still here, aren't you, pal? My buddy. [Applause] The governor is as responsible for my being behind this podium as anybody. He's helped me so much. I didn't even realize how much he helped until about a year after I got elected. But thank you, Gov. Appreciate it. 3

Joe Biden

Very Positive
And, look -- [applause] -- Kamala and I are incredibly grateful to everyone who's here. And we're -- we're really looking forward to the convention here in Chicago next year. [Applause] We really are. 4

Joe Biden

Very Positive
Just a few days ago, despite all the predictions, except ours, Democrats had an incredible night once again, thanks to -- [applause] -- the help of Governor Pritzker, who inspired a lot of support across the country. 5

Joe Biden

Very Positive
And in Kentucky -- in Kentucky, a Democratic governor was reelected after telling me on the phone and running on all the programs that were the Biden initiatives in the White House. And he's a good friend. 6

Joe Biden

Positive
In Ohio, the right to choose became protected in the Ohio State Constitution, as it should. [Applause] 7

Joe Biden

Neutral
In Virginia, the Republican governor tried to control the state legislature, and he lost control of both the House and -- and -- and the Senate. [Applause] Well, he got trounced, actually. [Laughter] 8

Joe Biden

Very Positive
Look, on top of all that, the big wins in Pennsylvania for the -- in -- with the first Black woman elected mayor of Philadelphia. [Applause] 9

Joe Biden

Negative
By the way, I know the Bears are playing tonight. But I got to tell you, I'm an Eagles fan, and for a simple re- -- [laughter] -- no, no -- wait, wait -- I married a Philly girl. [Laughter] And they are tough fans. If I didn't support the Eagles, I'd be sleeping alone. So, I just want you to know. [Laughter] 10

Joe Biden

Very Positive
But we also had a big win in Pennsylvania in the state Supreme Court. In Rhode Island, a young man, Gabe Amo, who worked in my administration, became the first Black member of Congress from the state of Rhode Island. [Applause] 11

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
And, of course, at the start of the week, everyone was telling me that Governor Andy Beshear lost and the Republicans were going to win in Virginia, and the Constitution -- the right to choose was going to go down the drain, and so on. 12

Joe Biden

Very Positive
And, by the way, I put on your seats -- the -- the press have been talking about two polls about what great difficulty I'm in and -- right now. If you take a look at that -- and on your seats -- and there were -- at the same time, there are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, other polls. In every one, we're winning, except for two we're tied. 13

Joe Biden

Neutral
The point is that the CNN and New York Times poll is the only thing you heard about. So, your money is not wasted yet. [Laughter] I can still screw up, but we're not there yet. [Laughter] 14

Joe Biden

Very Positive
Look, here's what's funny: Beshear won. Republicans in Virginia lost the House and the Senate. Ohio enshrined its constitutional right to choose. This sounds like a pretty good day to me. 15

Joe Biden

Very Positive
But remember, they said the same thing when we said we were going to do well in the off-year election of 2022. Best of any -- out -- best any president has done in an off-year election. And we did very well. 16

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
But you turn on your TV coverage -- the coverage is only of two polls. You don't see that over that same period of time were the eight polls that we're winning. And that's not just interesting, but it's, I think, accurate. 17

Joe Biden

Very Positive
The truth is what happened on Tuesday is not unusual. It's a continuation of what we saw, as I said, in 2020 and in 2022. The same pundits said the same thing. And the American people voted to protect our fundamental freedoms like the right to choose. They voted to protect our democracy. They voted against extremism of our opponents. And they voted for progress we've been making. They supported it. 18

Joe Biden

Neutral
And all -- even the other two polls that they keep quoting with the bad numbers show that they overwhelmingly support the programs we've initiated -- overwhelmingly support it. 19

Joe Biden

Unknown
And if you just listened to Governor Beshear the other night talking about the massive investments we're making in infrastructure, in the Brent Spence Bridge, the EV battery factories coming to Kentucky and other red states. 20

Joe Biden

Negative
Democrats up and down the ticket ran on lower prescription drug costs, which I've been fighting for for 30 years, taking on Big Pharma to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. And finally, it got done. Seniors on Medicare who paid as much as 400 bucks a month for insulin for diabetes are now paying $35 a month. 21

Joe Biden

Very Negative
And we're also -- [applause] -- and we're also capping total [DEL: out-of-cost :DEL] [out-of-pocket] drugs for seniors on Medicare at $2,000 a year, no matter how expensive their drugs are for the -- for the year. They can cost -- cancer drugs can cost up to $14,000 a year, but the most they're going to have to pay is $2,000 a year, because you can't afford anything beyond that. 22

Joe Biden

Unknown
Semiconductor factories are coming back to America -- billions of dollars being invested in making chips in America again. 23

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
You know, the -- this r- -- the record job creation. 24

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
We invented the chip, by the way. Remember when you start- -- everybody started understanding what "supply chain" meant, when, during the pandemic, you had factories closing in the nation, and you couldn't get the facto- -- what we needed? Well, now we don't have to worry about that. 25

Joe Biden

Very Positive
And, by the way, that over -- there's billions of dollars being int- -- in -- being invested by private sector in these factories. And they're building what they call these "fabs." They're like -- look like great big football fields. 26

Joe Biden

Unknown
Do you know what the average salary of those -- in those fabs are? $114,000 a year. And you don't need a college degree to have that job. 27

Joe Biden

Very Negative
There's historically low unemployment. 28

Joe Biden

Positive
Folks, this time -- it's -- this time, the Biden-Harris agenda has taken hold. And it's not only popular, people are voting on it. And people are winning elections on it over and over and over again. 29

Joe Biden

Very Positive
And the press and pundits keep being surprised. They can be surprised as much as they want. But since I came off the sidelines to go toe-to-toe with Donald Trump, we haven't stopped winning and he hasn't stopped losing. [Applause] 30

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
You remember when Trump told us he was going to win so much we'd get tired of winning? [Laughter] We just got tired of him, not winning. [Laughter and applause] Let me tell you. The truth is, this guy can't get tired of losing. 31

Joe Biden

Very Positive
Look, folks, the -- when a Supreme Court majority that he appointed overturned Roe v. Wade, they -- they -- he -- they practically dared the women in America to be heard. Remember what they said? And the -- but -- the women, if they want to change this in the states, they can. Well, the majority -- a real quote, "Women are not without electoral polit- -- or political power." And I said at the time: They don't have a clue about the power of women in America. Not a clue. [Applause] 32

Joe Biden

Unknown
And I said, "They're about to find out." And they did in Kansas midterms, in Ohio -- the midterms in Ohio, and all across the country. 33

Joe Biden

Very Negative
The only reason abortion bans in America is because of Donald Trump. He's the only reason teenagers in Ohio are being forced to travel out of state to get their healthcare because they -- because of Donald Trump -- where they've been raped or -- by a family member or by anyone else. 34

Joe Biden

Positive
The only person -- the only persons out there whose -- the reason fundamental rights have been stripped away because in Amer- -- be- -- of the American people is -- for the first time in history is because of Donald Trump. And, look, just as all his friends have found out about the power of women in America, he's about to find out, too, in a big way. 35

Joe Biden

Very Positive
Folks, I just visited an auto plant down the road in Belvidere that's going to stay open and create jobs thanks to the historic agreements between the UAW and the Big Three automakers. And they're going to be investing several billion dollars, creating thousands of jobs in Belvidere, where there's a plant that had been closed. 36

Joe Biden

Very Negative
Trump was one of only two presidents in American history who lost jobs in the presidency -- one of only two. That's why every now and then, remember him as Donald "Hoover" Trump. [Laughter] No, but seriously. He lost jobs. 37

Joe Biden

Very Positive
We have a very different record. We've created 14 million jobs since I took office. We've created more jobs in two years than any president has created in a four-year term. 38

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
Folks, the list of what we've gotten done goes on. But my friend, Senator Dick Durbin, who really has been incredible helping get judges through -- we have now gotten 150 judges confirmed to the court -- [applause] -- two thirds of whom are women and two thirds of whom are people of color. [Applause] 39

Joe Biden

Very Positive
We put the first Black woman on the Supreme Court and appointed more Black women to the Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal than every other president in American history combined. [Applause] 40

Joe Biden

Very Positive
And, folks, look, it's about a simple proposition -- a simple proposition. I promised my administration was going to look like America -- look like America. And that's exactly what the case is. Because it's important we are -- we are a multicultural country. It's one of the reasons for our strengths. And we should brag about it, not run away from it. 41

Joe Biden

Very Positive
We passed the biggest investment in the history of the world to combat climate change -- you know, in the entire world, over billions of dollars, because it's the only existential threat to humanity. And it really is one. We need to protect the progress we made. Most important of all, we need to protect our democracy. 42

Joe Biden

Somewhat Negative
Folks, look, in 2020, after -- it was not long after my son had died, because of Iraq -- being there. You're sleeping in a hooch that was only about 400 yards from the burn pits. I wasn't going to run. And -- but then you remember what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia? There was people coming out of -- literally, not figuratively -- coming out of fields, carrying torches -- torches in their hands with Nazi swastikas and singing the same antisemitic bile and chants that sang in Germany in the '30s. 43

Joe Biden

Neutral
And a young woman was killed. I talked to her mom. She was a bystander. And the President was asked at the time, what did he think -- what did he think about all that? And he looked into the cameras, and he said, "Well, there's some very good people on both sides." That's when I decided I couldn't remain silent any longer. That's for real -- for real. Because I really did think our democracy was at stake and everything we stood for was up for grabs. 44

Joe Biden

Very Negative
And so, what happened was we -- I -- I but -- I thought, "No, it's going to be too ugly for my kids and my grandkids." I knew what it was going to be like. We went through this before. And so, I wasn't going to run. 45

Joe Biden

Leans Positive
I got a -- we have a tradition in the Biden family -- not a joke -- only invoked, in my recollection, 9 ti- -- 10 -- this was the 10th time. And it was during my dad's life, we started it. Any kid in the family can ask for a family meeting. I'm -- I'm being literal now -- a family meeting if they want to talk about something important. 46

Joe Biden

Neutral
Well, I got a phone call after that invasion by those white supremacists back in Charlottesville and -- from my eldest [DEL: daughter :DEL] [granddaughter], who is a lawyer with one of -- was then a senior at Columbia Law School. And so, she and my daughter -- I had two [DEL: daughters :DEL] [granddaughters] at the University of Pennsylvania at the time, and -- my two -- two kids -- my deceased son's children were also then still in high school. 47

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
And they said, "We want a family meeting, Pop." It was on a Thursday. So, they came down on Saturday. We sat in the library in my home with my wife, and they said, "Pop, you've got to run," making the case. And I said, "Well, you know, it's going to be tough." 48

Joe Biden

Unknown
And my youngest, who's now in high school, about to graduate, his name is Hunter, named after his -- his un- -- anyway -- 49

Joe Biden

Very Positive
And he said to me -- he said, "We know it's going to be bad." And he took out his cell phone. And he showed me a -- a picture on the cell phone of me walking out of the Catholic Church where Beau was -- the memorial mass for Beau and a military coffin draped with a flag escorted by the military, because he had won the Bronze Star, the Conspicuous Service Medal, and other honors. 50

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
And I was holding onto little Hunter, his son, and I had him under the chin. I used to hold Beau -- when we were in church, I'd put my arm around him, and I'd cup his chin in my hand. And that's how I had Hunter. And we were walking -- I had my hand on the casket, it was being wheeled out, and little Hunt on my right. And the caption said, "Biden molests another child." 51

Joe Biden

Slightly Negative
And he looked at me and he said, "Pop, we know it's going to be ugly, but you got to do it." You know, that's why I ran, at the time. 52

Joe Biden

Negative
And I got in trouble with my campaign because I said I was running for three reasons -- all seemed improbable. 53

Joe Biden

Very Positive
One was to restore the soul of this country, some decency and honor to the White House. 54

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
The second one was to begin to build the economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down. When that occurs, everybody does well. 55

Joe Biden

Unknown
And thirdly was to unite the country. And although I had a reputation when I was a senator of being a uniter, the press legitimately said -- and the press is here -- that Biden doesn't understand the Senate's changed, the Congress changed; you can't unite the country. 56

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
Well, my notion is if you can't unite the country, how do you keep a participatory democracy going if you can't get consensus? How does that work? 57

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
Well, you know, I reminded people: Every other nation is founded on some principle, whether it's ethnicity, whether it's religion, whatever it is. We're the only nation in the world founded based on an idea -- an idea that Trump and the MAGA Republicans walked away from. 58

Joe Biden

Very Positive
We've never fully lived up to it, but we've never walked away from it. It says, "We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights." 59

Joe Biden

Unknown
That's the idea we re- -- that's what we ba- -- everything in our Constitution is based upon. 60

Joe Biden

Very Positive
Well, guess what? It's still my goal to make sure people understand that. 61

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
I'm running again because we made progress, but our democracy is still at stake. 62

Joe Biden

Very Positive
I'm very proud of our record, all the things that we got passed. That's true. And presidential historians are giving us really high marks for the things we've done. But we still haven't united the country. 63

Joe Biden

Unknown
If you come into my office in the White House and you're invited to see the Oval Office, there used to be only one photograph -- one -- one -- not photograph -- one painting above the fireplace. It was George Washington. 64

Joe Biden

Unknown
I sat under that painting for six years -- eight years as Vice President, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee before that many, many times. 65

Joe Biden

Somewhat Negative
So, when I asked my brother, I said -- and I found out you have to, when you lose -- when you leave, not lose, the presidency, you have to be out of that office on January 20th by 10 o'clock, and the incoming president can't come in until, I think, it's 3 or 4 o'clock. 66

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
The reason is, it gives you a chance to change everything from the rug to the paintings to whatever you wanted to do. 67

Joe Biden

Positive
So, I asked my brother Jimmy to do that for me. And he called an acquaintance, Jon Meacham, a presidential historian, to help. 68

Joe Biden

Leans Negative
So, I walked in when it was time to take office -- by the way, the other guy -- first time in American history he never showed up at all. [Laughter] Seriously. I mean -- anyway -- [laughter]. 69

Joe Biden

Negative
I shouldn't get started. I'll get in trouble. [Laughter] 70

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
But -- and I just walked in, and there's this -- now there's this massive painting -- portrait of Franklin Roosevelt. And I looked and said, "I admire Franklin Roosevelt, but why Roosevelt?" 71

Joe Biden

Very Positive
And Jon Meacham spoke up and said, "It's unlikely any president since Roosevelt has inherited a country in the world in such disarray financially." I said, "That's wonderful." [Laughter] And then there's four other portraits -- small ones, the size of the Wa- -- George Washington. And they had -- anyway -- 72

Joe Biden

Very Negative
But the one on the bottom left was Abraham Lincoln, a Republican. And I said, "Why re- -- why Lincoln?" He said, "Because the country has never been so divided since the Civil War." 73

Joe Biden

Leans Negative
Well, you know, there's some truth to that. But it's unnecessary, and it's -- and it's really, really damaging. You know, because -- because, folks, the same man who said we should terminate the rules and regulations and articles of the Constitution -- these are things he said -- is now running on a plan to end democracy as we know it. 74

Joe Biden

Very Negative
He's not even hiding the ball. In recent weeks, the New York Times and Washington Post ran stories how he intends to use the presidency, quote, for "revenge" and "retribution." And on more than one occasion in recent weeks, he's made a joke about the assaults on Speaker Pelosi's husband who was smacked in the head with a hammer. 75

Joe Biden

Very Positive
Now, there are a lot of reasons that Donald Trump shouldn't be president, but that one may demonstrate the best reason of all. If you can make a joke about that, you really have no business being anywhere near the presidency. [Applause] 76

Joe Biden

Very Positive
And, folks, we're asking the entire nation to join us in sending the strongest, clearest, most powerful message that political violence in America is never, never, never, ever justified or acceptable. Never. Never. [Applause] 77

Joe Biden

Leans Positive
And, by the way, this is not your father's Republican Party. Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy democracy as we know it. 78

Joe Biden

Very Positive
Folks, democracy is on the ballot again, and Kamala and I need you. Indeed, we need every American who loves democracy to join together in 2024. 79

Joe Biden

Positive
If we do that, we'll have done something few generations get to do; we'll have saved democracy. 80

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
After I became Vi- -- after I was Vice President, we stepped down after we -- the eight years was up, what happened was I became a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and taught -- they set up a school of foreign policy in my name. And I taught -- I taught the Constitution as well. 81

Joe Biden

Positive
Think about it. Think about what we mean when we say we are democrats with a ca- -- small "d," that we support the Constitution. 82

Joe Biden

Very Positive
Look, I know it sounds like a low bar, but it's a bar that we have to get over. We got to make sure we put -- we finally put away this notion of the extreme MAGA Republican. It's -- again, it's not your father's Republican Party. 83

Joe Biden

Very Positive
The vast majority of Republicans are decent, honorable people -- people I dealt with and worked with my whole career. People I have strong disagreements with, like Bob Dole and others -- Howard Baker -- but good, good men and women. 84

Joe Biden

Very Negative
We got to bring that back. Because I'll tell you one other thing: You know, every time I hear -- when I'm been induced, I hear "Hail to the Chief," I turn around and wonder where the hell is she? Where is he?" [Laughter] It's hard to get used to. For real. 85

Joe Biden

Unknown
But here's the deal. You know, we're in a situation here where the rest of the world looks to us. Madeleine Albright was right; we are the essential nation. 86

Joe Biden

Neutral
I walk into a room with any head of state and -- I'm serious -- everything stops. Not because of me; because I'm President of the United States of America. The rest of the world -- [applause] -- no, I mean it. 87

Joe Biden

Unknown
The rest of the world looks to us. They look to us. 88

Joe Biden

Neutral
When I -- when I first got elected, I went to the first meeting of the G7 I attended -- the leading -- the heads of state of the European countries in NATO. And I sat down and I said, "America is back." And Macron looked at me, and he said, "For how long?" Not a joke. 89

Joe Biden

Very Negative
And Scholz looked and said, "What would you think, Mr. President, if you picked up the paper tomorrow, in the London Times, and it said 1,000 people had marched to the Parliament, walked and broke down the doors of the House of Commons to protest the certification of the speaker. What would you think?" 90

Joe Biden

Very Positive
I started thinking about it. What would we think if we read that? This the United States of America. And again, we have enormous opportunities at this moment in history. But we cannot -- we cannot fail to speak to our principles. 91

Joe Biden

Negative
The choice facing us is not to be [inaudible]. When Donald Trump gives his inaugural address, he chose to speak about American carnage. That's what we remem- -- remember the Inaugural Address, talking about "American carnage," America is weak, in disarray? 92

Joe Biden

Unknown
He wanted to get out of NATO. He wanted to move "America First." Et cetera. 93

Joe Biden

Unknown
When I gave my America -- when I gave my Inaugural Address, I spoke about American possibilities. 94

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
When Donald Trump looks at America, he sees a failing nation. When I look at America, I see the strongest economy in the world with -- leading the world again, the ability to set the world standards. 95

Joe Biden

Slightly Negative
When Donald Trump talks about what he will do if he returns to the presidency, he promised to bring revenge and repri- -- retribution. 96

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
If you return me to the presidency, I promise you, we'll lift everyone in this country. Everyone. [Applause] Everyone. 97

Joe Biden

Very Negative
Maybe Donald Trump sees an angry, dark, dismal, divided future for America, but I don't. 98

Joe Biden

Unknown
Folks, I'm taking too much your time. 99

Joe Biden

Slightly Negative
And, folks, look, I've never been more optimistic about our country's future, and I mean that. Never been more optimistic. 100

Joe Biden

Negative
We just have to remember who in hell we are. We're the United States of America. And there's nothing -- nothing beyond our capacity when we set our mind to it. 101

Joe Biden

Very Negative
Unless you think I'm exaggerating, think of any crisis we've gone through where we come out the other side, we haven't been stronger than we went into it. I'm not joking. Think of one. 102

Joe Biden

Very Positive
This the United States of America. We got to remember who we are. And with your help, I'll do all my -- everything in my power to make you proud of what we're doing. 103

Joe Biden

Very Positive
And in the meantime, God bless you all. And may God protect our troops. Thank you. [Applause] 104