Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden, Jr. (born 20 November 1942) is an American politician serving as the 46th and current president of the United States. A member of the Democratic Party, Biden previously served as the 47th vice president from 2009 to 2017. He represented Delaware in the United States Senate from 1973 to 2009.
- (W)hen it comes to issues like abortion, amnesty, and acid, I'm about as liberal as your grandmother. I don't like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far. I don't think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body. I support a limited amnesty, and I don't think marijuana should be legalized.
- I don't want anybody to give me credit for sharing any point of view George Wallace has. There are some people who oppose busing because they are racist, but the vast majority of the American people — the people of Delaware — oppose it for the same reason that the architect of the concept now opposes it. Professor Coleman, an educator, first suggested the possible benefits of busing in a 1966 report. Now in 1975 Coleman says, "Guess what? I was wrong. Busing doesn't accomplish its goal." We should be concentrating on things other than busing to provide for the educational and cultural needs of the deprived segment of our population. But we've lost our bearings since the 1954 "Brown vs. School Board" desegregation case. To "desegregate" is different than to "integrate." I got into trouble with Democratic liberals in 1972 when I refused to support a quota-system for the Democratic National Convention. I am philosophically opposed to quota-systems; they insure mediocrity. The new integration plans being offered are really just quota-systems to assure a certain number of blacks, Chicanos, or whatever in each school. That, to me, is the most racist concept you can come up with; what it says is, "in order for your child, with curly black hair, brown eyes, and dark skin to be able to learn anything, he needs to sit next to my blond-haired, blue-eyed son." That's racist! Who the hell do we think we are, that the only way a black man or woman can learn is if they rub shoulders with my white child? The point is that if we look beyond the "old" left to the "New Left," almost all the new liberal leaders and civil rights leaders oppose busing.
- Farley, Joe (September 20-26, 1975). An Interview with Senator Joseph R. Biden. People Paper / Congressional Record.
- I think the Democratic Party could stand a liberal George Wallace—someone who's not afraid to stand up and offend people, someone who wouldn't pander but would say what the American people know in their gut is right.
- Philadelphia Enquirer (Oct. 12, 1975) Alana Goodman, “Joe Biden once said Democrats needed ‘a liberal George Wallace’”, Washington Examiner (Feb. 7, 2019)
- I do not buy the concept, popular in the ’60s, which said, ‘We have suppressed the black man for 300 years and the white man is now far ahead in the race for everything our society offers. In order to even the score, we must now give the black man a head start, or even hold the white man back, to even the race.’ I don't buy that. I don't feel responsible for the sins of my father and grandfather. I feel responsible for what the situation ls today, for the sins of my own generation. And I'll be damned if I feel responsible to pay for what happened 300 years ago.
- From Joe Farley (13 September 1975), An Interview With Joe Biden
- Unless we do something about this, my children are going to grow up in a jungle, the jungle being a racial jungle with tensions having built so high that it is going to explode at some point.
- Busing of schoolchildren (Jun. - Jul. 1977): hearing before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-fifth Congress, first session, on S. 1651.
- For too long in this society, we have celebrated unrestrained individualism over common community. For too long as a nation, we have been lulled by the anthem of self-interest. For a decade, led by Ronald Reagan, self-aggrandizement has been the full-throated cry of this society: 'I've got mine, so why don't you get yours' and 'What's in it for me?'
- Speech announcing entry into 1988 presidential race, Wilmington, Delaware (June 10, 1987)
- We must rekindle the fire of idealism in our society — for nothing suffocates the promise of America more than unbounded cynicism and indifference. We must reclaim the tradition of community in our society. Only by recognizing that we share a common obligation to one another and to our country can we ever hope to maximize our national or personal potential. We must reassert the oneness of America. America has been and must once again be the seamless web of caring and community.
- Speech announcing entry into 1988 presidential race, Wilmington, Delaware (June 10, 1987)
- The standard of judgment is no longer results but the flickering image of seriousness, skillfully crafted to squeeze into 30 seconds on the nightly news. In this world, emotion has become suspect - the accepted style is smooth, antiseptic and passionless.
- On the national debate, Speech announcing entry into 1988 presidential race, Wilmington, Delaware (June 10, 1987)
- It is an exciting and dangerous time, for this generation of Americans has the opportunity so rarely granted to others by fate and history. We literally have the chance to shape the future - to put our own stamp on the face and character of America, to bend history just a little bit.
- On the national debate, Speech announcing entry into 1988 presidential race, Wilmington, Delaware (June 10, 1987)
- During the '60s, I was in fact very concerned about the civil rights movement. I was not an activist. I worked at an all-black swimming pool in the east side of Wilmington, Delaware. I was involved. I was involved in what they were thinking, what they were feeling. I was involved, but I was not out marching. I was not down in Selma, I was not anywhere else. I was a suburbanite kid who got a dose of exposure to what was happening to black Americans in my own city.
- News conference, 1987-09-17, quoted in Robert Mackey (14 February 2020), "Ahead of South Carolina Vote, Joe Biden Faces Questions Over Claims of Civil Rights Activism", The Intercept
- Let me tell you what is in the bill, and I'll let you all decide whether or not this is "weak". [...] It provides 53 death penalty offenses. Weak as can be, you know? We do everything but hang people for jaywalking in this bill. That's weak stuff.
- Regarding the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which he wrote
- Senate, 1992-05-14, quoted in Beth Baumann (23 July 2019), "Biden Walks Back His Previous Tough On Crime Stance Now That Criminal Justice Reform Is Popular", Town Hall
- When I introduced the budget freeze years ago, the liberals in my party said, "It's an awful thing you’re doing, Joe. All the programs we care about, you're freezing them— money for the blind, the disabled, education, and so on." And my argument then is the one I make now, which is the strongest, most compelling reason to be for this amendment or an amendment. And that is that "if we don't do that, all the things I care about are going to be gone."
- When I argued that we should freeze federal spending, I meant Social Security as well. I meant Medicare and Medicaid. I meant veterans' benefits. I meant every single, solitary thing in the government. And I not only tried it once, I tried it twice, I tried it a third time and I tried it a fourth time. Somebody has to tell me in here, how we're going to do this hard work without dealing with any of those sacred cows.
- Senate, 1995-01-31, quoted with video in Walker Bragman (20 May 2019), "Watch: Joe Biden Once Boasted About Wanting to Cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans’ Benefits", Paste Magazine
- You and I both know, and all of us here really know, and it's a thing we have to face, that the only way, the only way we're going to get rid of Saddam Hussein is we're going to end up having to start it alone — start it alone — and it's going to require guys like you in uniform to be back on foot in the desert taking this son of a — taking Saddam down. You know it and I know it.
- But I respectfully suggest, Major, that the responsibility is slightly above your pay grade, to decide whether to take the nation to war alone, or to take the nation to war part way, or to take the Nation to work half-way. That is a real tough decision.
- To Scott Ritter, in hearings about the disarmament process, before the Senate Committee on Armed Services (September 1998), quoted in Ryan Grim (7 January 2020), "Joe Biden, five years before invasion, said the only way of disarming Iraq is "taking Saddam down"", The Intercept
- Alan Cranston understood power not as a reflection of status but as a tool with a purpose.
- Meet the Press (2000-12-31)
- Saddam Hussein's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, in my view, is one of those clear dangers. Even if the right response to his pursuit is not so crystal clear, one thing is clear. These weapons must be dislodged from Saddam Hussein, or Saddam Hussein must be dislodged from power.
- US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, 2002-07-31, quoted in Tara Golshan and Alex Ward (15 October 2019), "Joe Biden’s Iraq problem", Vox
- He made a compelling case. The predominance of the evidence, the pure weight of the evidence, I think anyone. … Let me put it this way, if I were back practicing law I can’t imagine I could not convince an open-minded jury of the facts that he presented as having been true.
- Hell, I might be president now if it weren't for the fact I said I had an uncle who was a coal miner. Turns out I didn't have anybody in the coal mines, you know what I mean? I tried that crap — it didn't work.
- The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (2004-07-28)
- Mr. President, today, in his speech to the National Endowment for Democracy, President Bush gave a vivid and, I believe, compelling description of the threat to America and to freedom from radical Islamic fundamentalism. He made, in my view, a powerful case for what is at stake for every American. Simply put, the radical fundamentalists seek to kill our citizens in great numbers, to disrupt our economy, and to reshape the international order. They would take the world backwards, replacing freedom with fear and hope with hatred. If they were to acquire a nuclear weapon, the threat they would pose to America would be literally existential. The President said it well. The President is right that we cannot and will not retreat. We will defend ourselves and defeat the enemies of freedom and progress.
- It's going to be very difficult. I do not view abortion as a choice and a right. I think it's always a tragedy, and I think that it should be rare and safe, and I think we should be focusing on how to limit the number of abortions. There ought to be able to have a common ground and consensus as to do that.
- Texas Monthly interview, 2006, quoted in Clark Mindock (14 June 2019), "Joe Biden says he does not view ‘abortion as a choice and a right’ in unearthed video", The Independent (UK)
- I voted for a fence, I voted, unlike most Democrats — and some of you won't like it — I voted for 700 miles of fence,… And the reason why I add that parenthetically, why I believe the fence is needed does not have anything to do with immigration as much as drugs. And let me tell you something folks, people are driving across that border with tons, tons, hear me, tons of everything from byproducts for methamphetamine to cocaine to heroin and it's all coming up through corrupt Mexico.
- South Carolina rotary club (November 27, 2006), quoted in Andrew Kaczynski (10 May 2019), "Joe Biden once said a fence was needed to stop 'tons' of drugs from Mexico", CNN Politics 
- You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent … I'm not joking.
- remember, no guys 'til you're thirty
- 1 October 2006 page 121 of "A Governor's Story" by Jennifer Granhol published 20 September 2011
- I'm running for president because I think that, with a lot of help, I can stem the tide of this slide and restore America’s leadership in the world and change our priorities. I will argue that my experience and my track record — both on the foreign and domestic side — put me in a position to be able to do that.
I would respectfully suggest to you that the Democrats out there understand I am the only person with a plan that can get out of Iraq without our interests in the region not falling apart.
- Conference call with reporters after announcing candidacy for the 2008 Democratic president nomination (January 30, 2007)
- I'm not exploring. I'm in. And this is the beginning of a marathon
- Referring to his choice not to set up an "exploratory committee" and instead enter the race directly; interview on ABC News after announcing candidacy for the 2008 Democratic president nomination (January 30, 2007)
- There's good reason to be excited. You have the first woman running who is qualified, and a very attractive African-American who has demonstrated crossover appeal. I got involved in politics 40 years ago during the civil rights movement, so yes, it's an exciting thing.
- The average voter out there understands that the next president is going to have to be prepared to immediately step in without hesitation and end our involvement in Iraq. It's very difficult to figure out how to move on to broader foreign policy concerns without fixing Iraq first.
- People ask if I can compete with the money of Hillary and Barack. I hope at the end of the day, they can compete with my ideas and my experience.
- "Biden officially running for president", NBC News, 31 January 2007, retrieved on 2007-02-01
- I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.
- Speaking of Presidential candidate Barack Obama
- "Biden Unbound: Lays Into Clinton, Obama, Edwards". The New York Observer. February 1, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-02-01.
- I don't think John Edwards knows what the heck he is talking about. John Edwards wants you and all the Democrats to think, ‘I want us out of there,’ but when you come back and you say, ‘O.K., John. What about the chaos that will ensue? Do we have any interest, John, left in the region?’ Well, John will have to answer yes or no. If he says yes, what are they? What are those interests, John? How do you protect those interests, John, if you are completely withdrawn? Are you withdrawn from the region, John? Are you withdrawn from Iraq, John? In what period? So all this stuff is like so much Fluffernutter out there. So for me, what I think you have to do is have a strategic notion. And they may have it—they are just smart enough not to enunciate it.
- Speaking on Edwards' position for immediate withdrawal of about 40,000 American troops from Iraq (February 5, 2007), reported in the New York Observer
- Tim Russert: But, senator, we have a deficit. We have Social Security and Medicare looming. The number of people on Social Security and Medicare is now 40 million people. It's going to be 80 million in 15 years. Would you consider looking at those programs, age of eligibility—
Joe Biden: Absolutely.
Russert: —cost of living, put it all on the table?
Biden: The answer is absolutely. You have to. You know, it's— one of the things that my, you know, the political advisers say to me is, "Whoa, don't touch that third—" Look, the American people aren't stupid. It's a real simple proposition. [...] Social Security's not the hard one to solve. Medicare, that is the gorilla in the room, and you've got to put all of it on the table.
Biden: Everything. You've got to.
- Meet the Press, 2007-04-29
- Rudy Giuliani — there's only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun, a verb, and 9/11.
- Democratic primary debate (October 30, 2007)
- The one thing I want my kids to remember about me is that I was an athlete. The hell with the rest of this stuff.
- "Barack Obama Reveals How He Popped the Question to Joe Biden". People Magazine. August 25, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-08-26.
- When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'
- Interview with CBS Evening News. CBS Evening News, September 22, 2008
- Like millions of Americans, they're asking questions as profound as they are ordinary. Questions they never thought they would have to ask: Should mom move in with us now that dad is gone? Fifty, sixty, seventy dollars to fill up the car? Winter's coming. How we gonna pay the heating bills? Another year and no raise? Did you hear the company may be cutting our health care? Now, we owe more on the house than it's worth. How are we going to send the kids to college? How are we gonna be able to retire? That's the America that George Bush has left us, and that's the America that George -- excuse me, if John McCain is elected president of the United States.
- Joe Biden's vice presidential candidacy acceptance speech at the DNC, 2008. 
- When we kicked — along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, "Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don’t know — if you don’t, Hezbollah will control it." Now what’s happened? Hezbollah is a legitimate part of the government in the country immediately to the north of Israel.
- Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history. The idea he doesn't realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that. And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit. The only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote. He has no authority relative to the Congress.
- Biden at the 2008 Vice Presidential debate. Biden-Palin Vice Presidential debates, October 2, 2008
- No Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. No, we do not support that. Vice President Joe Biden in 2008 during VP debate is asked “if he and Barack Obama support Gay marriage.” Biden-Palin Vice Presidential debates, October 2, 2008
Promises to Keep (2008)
- He wanted me to understand two big things: First, that nobody, no group, is above others. Public servants are obliged to level with everybody, whether or not they'll like what he has to say. And second, that politics was a matter of personal honor. A man's word is his bond. You give your word, you keep it. For as long as I can remember, I've had a sort of romantic notion of what politics should be- and can be. If you do politics the right way, I believe, you can actually make people's lives better. And integrity is the minimum ante to get into the game. Nearly forty years after I first got involved, I remain captivated by the possibilities of politics and public service. In fact, I believe- as I know my grandpop did- that my chosen profession is a noble calling.
- Pages xv-xvi
- We all know- or at least we are told continually- that we are a divided people. And we know there's a degree of truth in it. We have too often allowed our differences to prevail among us. We have too often allowed ambitious men to play off those differences for political gain. We have too often retreated behind our differences when no one really tried to lead us beyond them. But all our differences hardly measure up to the values we all hold in common... I am running for the Senate because... I want to make the system work again, and I am convinced that is what all Americans really want.
- Pages xvi-xvii
- Full disclosure: I do not have absolute faith in the judgment and wisdom of the American people. We're all human, and we can all be misled. When leaders don't level with citizens, we can't expect them to make good judgments. But I do have absolute faith in the heart of the American people. The greatest resource in this country is the grit, the resolve, the courage, the basic decency, and the stubborn pride of its citizens.
- Page xx
- I wasn't built to look the other way because the law demanded it. The law might be wrong.
- Page 42
- I had no place to go. It was up or out.
- Page 58
- I knew I had to be sure-footed about the issues I was talking about. When you're twenty-nine years old, who the hell is going to think you're credible? It wasn't enough to have ideas; I had to know my facts. I had to demonstrate command from the minute I started running. I understood that was the test I had to pass.
- Page 63
- The fabric of our complex society is woven too tightly to permit any part of it to be damaged without damaging the whole.
- Page 64
- I didn't argue that the war in Vietnam was immoral; it was merely stupid and a horrendous waste of time, money, and lives based on a flawed premise.
- Pages 65-66
- When seagull droppings landed on my head at a campaign event at Bowers Beach two days before Election Day, I chose to read it as a sign of a coming success.
- Page 73
- The first few days I felt trapped in a constant twilight of vertigo, like in the dream where you're suddenly falling... only I was constantly falling. In moments of fitful sleep I was aware of the dim possibility that I would wake up, truly wake up, and this would not have happened.
- Page 80
- Most of all I was numb, but there were moments when the pain cut through like a shard of broken glass. I began to understand how despair led people to just cash it in; how suicide wasn't just an option but a rational option.
- Page 80
- I liked to go at night when I thought there was a better chance of finding a fight. I was always looking for a fight. I had not known I was capable of such rage. I knew I had been cheated of a future, but I felt I'd been cheated of a past, too. The underpinnings of my life had been kicked out from under me... and it wasn't just the loss of Neilia and Naomi. All my life I'd been taught about our benevolent God. This is a forgiving God, a just God, a God who knows people make mistakes. This is a God who is tolerant. This is a God who gave us free will to be able to doubt. This was a loving God, a God of comfort. Well, I didn't want to hear anything about a merciful God. No words, no prayer, no sermon gave me ease. I felt God had played a horrible trick on me, and I was angry. I found no comfort in the Church. So I kept walking the dark streets to try to exhaust the rage.
- Page 81
- I kept trying to tell people that just because I was young didn't mean I could speak for all young people.
- Page 84
- A better man might have handled the situation with more grace than I did. A better man would have been able to separate his personal life from his career.
- Page 87
- There is a great deal of pressure, in the one particular area at least, to prostitute our ideas, if not our integrity.
- Page 93
- Sleep was like a phantom I was too tired to chase.
- Page 96
- A convicted felon who had strong family ties, a stake in the community, and an education might get probation, while a man who had few family ties, little stake in the community, and little education might draw a ten-year sentence for the same crime.
- Page 122
- The system wasn't working, and I thought it was time to err on the side of a new model. What might work, I thought, was a system that promoted personal accountability, consistency, and certainty. Congress could say people who committed the same federal crime, under the same circumstances, were going to jail for the same amount of time. We could give judges a narrower set of sentencing guidelines to work with, and felons would be required to pay the same price. We'd be judging the crime, not the person.
- Page 123
- I think I instinctively understood that my most important duty was to be a target. People were desperate to vent their anger, and if they could yell at a united States senator, all the better. Part of being a public servant, I came to understand in 1978, was absorbing the anger of people who don't know where to turn. If I couldn't solve the problem for them, I had to at least be an outlet.
- Page 127
- As I pushed through to the podium, I could hear people murmuring under their breath: "There he is... Goddam Biden.... Kill the sonofabitch." And these were my voters- working-class Democrats.
- Page 127
- It required a lot less energy, intelligence, and competence to run against government than to try to make government work.
- Page 134
- Just because our political heroes were murdered does not mean that the dream does not still live, buried deep in our broken hearts.
- Page 141
- No matter how well intended our country is, we cannot expect other nations to trust us as much as we trust ourselves.
- Page 145
- I, too, believe there are natural rights that predate any written political or legal documents; we have these rights merely because we're children of God.
- Page 178
- I believe all Americans are born with certain inalienable rights. As a child of God, I believe my rights are not derived from the Constitution. My rights are not derived from any government. My rights are not denied by any majority. My rights are because I exist. They were given to me and each of my fellow citizens by our creator, and they represent the essence of human dignity....
- Page 194
- My own father had always said the measure of a man wasn't how many times or how hard he got knocked down, but how fast he got back up.
- Page 208
- I think you're a damn war criminal and you should be tried as one.
- To Slobodan Milosevic. Page 266.
- There is never a time when a president can act to stop a tragedy from occurring without being held politically accountable one way or the other. If he does it and fails, he's wrong. If he does it and succeeds, he was never right because it didn't happen. If we go in and stop an act of genocide, we can't prove what we stopped.
- Page 281
- I learned later that the surgeon who put Dole back together after he was so badly injured in World War II was an Armenian whose family had deep memories of the genocidal campaign the Turks had waged against them.
- Page 281
- The carnage was over, but there was still a bitter taste in my mouth.
- Page 284
- In spite of the president's phone call, I remained a vocal critic of the Bush administration's foreign policy priorities through that summer because I didn't trust most of the people he had around him. The civilians in the Department of Defense were unlike any I'd ever seen. They seemed to think our nation was so powerful that we could simply impose our will on the rest of the world with almost no ill consequence. It seemed to me that Rumsfeld and his chief deputy at Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, were so totally in thrall to that conservative think-tank-generated ideology that they were steering the president down a dangerous path. And they were so intent on overturning President Clinton's foreign policy initiatives that they were losing sight of the bigger goal, which was keeping America safe at home and engaged in doing good in the world.
- Page 298
- These were al-Qaeda fighters, the first I'd ever seen up close, and they looked like badasses. As I passed on the outskirts of the grid, many of the prisoners stared directly at me. None of them cowered. I've been in a lot of prisons, but these guys showed a ferocity and a hatred unlike any I'd ever seen.
- Page 321
- Given Iraq's strategic location, its large oil reserves, and the suffering of the Iraqi people, we cannot afford to replace a despot with chaos. It would be a tragedy if we removed a tyrant in Iraq only to leave chaos in its wake.
- Page 335
- I made a mistake. I underestimated the influence of Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, and the rest of the neocons; I vastly underestimated their disingenuousness and incompetence. So George W. Bush went to war again, and just the way the neocons wanted him to- without significant international backing.
- Page 342
- Things never got better, and Rumsfeld and Cheney never got any wiser. It became increasingly clear that those two men had eroded our country's claim to any moral high ground by flouting the Geneva Conventions. They forced policy decisions that allowed the hideous prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib in Iraq and encouraged the mistreatment of Muslim prisoners at our facility in Guantánamo in Cuba. I wasn't shy about hammering Rumsfeld.
- Page 351
- It was that hard; I still feel that way. But I believe that President Bush failed to lead. History will judge him harshly not for the mistakes he made- we all make mistakes- but for the opportunities he squandered.
- Page 352
- For the world to follow, we must do more than rattle our sabers and demand allegienace to our vision simply because we believe we are right. We must provide a reason for others to aspire to that vision. And that reason must come with more than the repetition of a bumper-sticker phrase about freedom and democracy. It must come with more than the restatement of failed policy. It must come with the wisdom to admit when we are wrong and resolve to change course and get it right.
- Page 353
- My memory is not as good as... Chief Justice Roberts.
- Ties between our two countries are literally, literally unbreakable.
- addressing the 2010 General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America on relations between the United States of America and the State of Israel, 2010-11-07, in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America
- "Israel Resumption of Building Settlements Could Derail Peace Talks". PBS Newshour. 2010-11-08. Retrieved on 2012-07-01.
- "Israel Resumption of Building Settlements Could Derail Peace Talks". PBS Newshour. 2010-11-08. Retrieved on 2012-07-01.
- "Biden reaffirms U.S. support for Israel in speech to Jewish group". CNN. 2010-11-07. Retrieved on 2012-07-01. (Misquotation omits the second utterance of the word “literally”.)
- No President of the United States could represent the United States were he not committed to human rights. If you don't understand this, you can't deal with us. President Barack Obama would not be able to stay in power if he did not speak of it. So look at it as a political imperative. It doesn't make us better or worse. It's who we are. You make your decisions. We'll make ours.
- To Jinping Xi (2011-2012), as quoted in "Born Red: How Xi Jinping, an unremarkable provincial administrator, became China’s most authoritarian leader since Mao." (6 April 2015), by Evan Osnos, The New Yorker.
- ISIS has nothing to do with Islam.
Let me tell you one or two things about Islam.
- As quoted in "Notable & Quotable" (23 November 2014), The Wall Street Journal.
- Look, I am Vice President of the United States of America. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don't see much of a distinction beyond that.
- In response to the question, "You're comfortable with same-sex marriage now?" Meet the Press (May 6, 2012)
- I resent when they talk about families like mine that I grew up in. I resent the fact that they think we're talking about envy: it's job envy, it's wealthy envy; that we don't dream. My mother believed and my father believed that if I wanted to be president of the United States, that I could be, I could be vice president! My mother and father believed that if my brother or sister wanted to be a millionaire, they could be a millionaire! My mother and father dreamed as much as any rich guy dreams! They don't get us! They don't get who we are!
- Make sure of two things. Be careful — microphones are always hot, and understand that in Washington, D.C., a gaffe is when you tell the truth. So, be careful.
- Even the oil companies don't need an incentive of $4 billion to go out and explore. As my grandpop would say, 'They’re doing just fine, thank you'.
- Speech to national conference of the National Association of Black Journalists, Washington, D.C. (June 20, 2012), quoted in Talia Buford (20 June 2012), "Biden: 'A gaffe is when you tell the truth'", Politico
- We got a real clear picture of what they all value. Every Republican's voted for it. Look at what they value and look at their budget and what they're proposing. Romney wants to let the — he said in the first hundred days he’s going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, 'unchain Wall Street'. They're going to put y'all back in chains.
- Campaign speech in Danville, Virginia, criticizing Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and the Republican speech, quoted in Jake Tapper (14 August 2012), "VP Biden Says Republicans Are 'Going to Put Y'all Back in Chains'", ABC News
- No dates until you're thirty.
- Alexandra Petri (10 September 2012), "Joe Biden gets cosy with bikers", Washington Post
- You can’t talk about the civil rights movement in this country without talking about Jewish freedom riders and Jack Greenberg. You can’t talk about the women’s movement without talking about Betty Friedan. I believe what affects the movements in America, what affects our attitudes in America are as much the culture and the arts as anything else. [...] It wasn’t anything we legislatively did. It was ‘Will and Grace,’ it was the social media. Literally. That’s what changed peoples’ attitudes. That’s why I was so certain that the vast majority of people would embrace and rapidly embrace. Think behind of all that, I bet you 85 percent of those changes, whether it’s in Hollywood or social media are a consequence of Jewish leaders in the industry. The influence is immense, the influence is immense. And, I might add, it is all to the good.
- The Jewish people have contributed greatly to America. No group has had such an outsized influence per capita as all of you standing before you, and all of those who went before me and all of those who went before you … You make up 11 percent of the seats in the United States Congress. You make up one-third of all Nobel laureates … I think you, as usual, underestimate the impact of Jewish heritage. I really mean that. I think you vastly underestimate the impact you’ve had on the development of this nation.
- Jennifer Epstein (21 May 2013), "Biden: 'Jewish heritage is American heritage'", Politico and Jonathan Chait (22 May 2013), "Biden Praises Jews, Goes Too Far, Accidentally Thrills Anti-Semites", Intelligencer (New York Magazine)
- Remember—no serious guys till you're thirty!
- To young women at swearing-in ceremony for new senators, quoted in Evan Osnos (28 July 2014), "The Biden Agenda", The New Yorker
- When these barbarians replicated with Steven what they did with Foley, who is from New Hampshire, they somehow think that it's going to lessen US resolve, frighten us, intimidate us. But if they think the American people will be intimidated, they don't know us very well. We came back after 9/11, we dusted ourselves off and we made sure that Osama Bin Ladin would never ever again threaten the American people. We came back Boston strong, blaming no one, but resolve to be certain that this didn't happen again. Today America may be still grieving from Jim Foley, a native from New Hampshire as I said he grew up in Rochester, but the American people are so much stronger, so much more resolved than any enemy can fully understand. As a nation, we are united. And when people harm Americans, we don't retreat, we don't forget, we take care of those grieving. And when that's finished, they should know [that] we follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice, because hell is where they will reside.
- Speech at Portsmouth Naval Yard, quoted in "Joe Biden Speech Transcript: We Will Follow Them to the Gates of Hell", Crossmap, 3 September 2014
- Good morning everyone. This past week we've seen the best and the worst of humanity. The heinous terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut, in Iraq and Nigeria. They showed us once again the depths of the terrorist's depravity.And at the same time we saw the world come together in solidarity. Parisians opening their doors to anyone trapped in the street, taxi drivers turning off their meters to get people home safety, people lining up to donate blood. These simple human acts are a powerful reminder that we cannot be broken and in the face of terror we stand as one. In the wake of these terrible events, I understand the anxiety that many Americans feel. I really do. I don't dismiss the fear of a terrorist bomb going off. There's nothing President Obama and I take more seriously though, than keeping the American people safe.In the past few weeks though, we've heard an awful lot of people suggest that the best way to keep America safe is to prevent any Syrian refugee from gaining asylum in the United States.So let's set the record straight how it works for a refugee to get asylum. Refugees face the most rigorous screening of anyone who comes to the United States. First they are finger printed, then they undergo a thorough background check, then they are interviewed by the Department of Homeland Security. And after that the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Center, the Department of Defense and the Department of State, they all have to sign off on access.And to address the specific terrorism concerns we are talking about now, we've instituted another layer of checks just for Syrian refugees. There is no possibility of being overwhelmed by a flood of refugees landing on our doorstep tomorrow. Right now, refugees wait 18 to 24 months while the screening process is completed. And unlike in Europe, refugees don't set foot in the United States until they are thoroughly vetted.Let's also remember who the vast majority of these refugees are: women, children, orphans, survivors of torture, people desperately in need medical help.To turn them away and say there is no way you can ever get here would play right into the terrorists' hands. We know what ISIL - we know what they hope to accomplish. They flat-out told us.Earlier this year, the top ISIL leader al-Baghdadi revealed the true goal of their attacks. Here's what he said: "Compel the crusaders to actively destroy the gray zone themselves. Muslims in the West will quickly find themselves between one and two choices. Either apostatize or emigrate to the Islamic State and thereby escape persecution." So it's clear. It's clear what ISIL wants. They want to manufacture a clash between civilizations. They want frightened people to think in terms of "us versus them."They want us to turn our backs on Muslims victimized by terrorism. But this gang of thugs peddling a warped ideology, they will never prevail. The world is united in our resolve to end their evil. And the only thing ISIL can do is spread terror in hopes that we will in turn, turn on ourselves. We will betray our ideals and take actions, actions motivated by fear that will drive more recruits into the arms of ISIL. That's how they win. We win by prioritizing our security as we've been doing. Refusing to compromise our fundamental American values: freedom, openness, tolerance. That's who we are. That's how we win .May God continue to bless the United States of America and God bless our troops.
- Weekly presidential address (21 November 2015).
- In the 21st century, nations cannot; and we cannot allow them to redraw borders by force. These are the ground rules. And if we fail to uphold them, we will rue the day. Russia has violated these ground rules and continues to violate them. Today Russia is occupying sovereign Ukrainian territory. Let me be crystal clear: The United States does not, will not, never will recognize Russia’s attempt to annex the Crimea. (Applause.) It’s that saying -- that simple. There is no justification.
- Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden to The Ukrainian Rada (9 December 2015).
- Article Two of the Constitution clearly states, whenever there is a vacancy in one of the Court's created by the Constitution itself, the Supreme Court of the United States, the president shall – not may – the president shall appoint someone to fill the vacancy with the advice and consent of the United States Senate. And advice and consent includes consulting and voting!
- Israel will not get everything it asks for
I firmly believe that the actions that Israel's government has taken over the past several years -- the steady and systematic expansion of settlements, the legalization of outposts, land seizures -- they're moving us, and, more importantly, they're moving Israel in the wrong direction
- "US feels 'overwhelming frustration' with Israeli government, says Biden", The Guardian, 19 April 2016
- This was the diving board area, and I was one of the guards, and they weren't allowed to—it was a 3-meter board. And if you fell off sideways, you landed on the damn, er, darn cement over there ... And Corn Pop was a bad dude. And he ran a bunch of bad boys. And back in those days—to show how things have changed—one of the things you had to use, if you used Pomade in your hair, you had to wear a baby cap. And so he was up on the board and wouldn't listen to me. I said, "Hey, Esther, you! Off the board, or I'll come up and drag you off." Well, he came off, and he said, "I'll meet you outside" ... My car was mostly, these were all public housing behind us, My car—there was a gate on here. I parked my car outside the gate. And he said, "I'll be waiting for you." He was waiting for me with three guys with straight razors. Not a joke. There was a guy named Bill Wright the only white guy and he did all the pools. He was a mechanic. And I said, "What am I gonna do?" And he said. "Come down here in the basement, where all the mechanics—where all the pool builder is." You know the chain, there used to be a chain that went across the deep end. And he cut off a six-foot length of chain, and folded it up and he said, "You walk out with that chain, and you walk to the car and say, 'you may cut me man, but I'm gonna wrap this chain around your head.'" I said, "You're kidding me." He said, "No if you don't, don't come back." And he was right. So I walked out with the chain. And I walked up to my car. And in those days, you remember the straight razors, you had to bang 'em on the curb, gettin' em rusty, puttin' em in the rain barrel, gettin' em rusty? And I looked at him, but I was smart, then. I said, "First of all," I said, "when I tell you to get off the board, you get off the board, and I'll kick you out again, but I shouldn't have called you Esther Williams, and I apologize for that. I apologize." But I didn't know that apology was gonna work. He said, "you apologize to me?" I said, "I apologize but not for throwing you out, but I apologize for what I said." He said, "OK," closed that straight razor, and my heart began to beat again.
- You know, shortly after I graduated in '68, Kent State, 17 kids shot dead. And so, the younger generation now tells me how tough things are—give me a break! No, no, I have no empathy for it. Give me a break. Because here's the deal, guys—we decided we were going to change the world, and we did. We did. We finished the civil rights movement to the first stage. The women's movement came into being. So my message is "Get involved."
- "Ideas Exchange" at Orpheum Theatre, Los Angeles, 2018-01-10, quoted in Dan MacGuill (7 May 2019), "Did U.S. Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Say He Had ‘No Empathy’ for the Plight of Younger People?", Snopes.com
- I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn't… So they said they had—they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I'm not going to—or, we're not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You're not the president. The president said—I said, call him. I said, I'm telling you, you're not getting the billion dollars. I said, you're not getting the billion. I'm going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.
- Speech at the Council on Foreign Relations (Jan. 23, 2018), quoted in Bethania Palma (9 October 2019), "Does a C-SPAN Video Show Joe Biden ‘Confessing to Bribery’?", Snopes.com, retrieved on 2020-03-12
- Paul Ryan was correct when he did the tax code. What's the first thing he decided we needed to go after? Social Security and Medicare. We need to do something about Social Security and Medicare.
- Brookings Institution and Biden Foundation speech, 2018-05-08, quoted in Branko Marcetic (26 April 2019), "Biden Says He’s the Workers’ Candidate, But He Has Worked To Cut Medicare and Social Security", In These Times
- What happened today to @JussieSmollett must never be tolerated in this country. We must stand up and demand that we no longer give this hate safe harbor; that homophobia and racism have no place on our streets or in our hearts. We are with you, Jussie.
- Twitter, 29 January 2019, quoted in Larry Elder (21 February 2019), "Jussie Smollett Supporters: Rooting for a 'Modern Lynching'", RealClearPolitics, retrieved on 2020-03-12
- I'm sorry I didn’t understand more. I'm not sorry for any of my intentions. I'm not sorry for anything that I have ever done. I have never been disrespectful intentionally to a man or a woman. So that's not the reputation I've had since I was in high school, for God's sake.
- Regarding allegations that he inappropriately violated women's space
- Quoted in Brett Samuels (5 April 2019), "Biden: 'I'm not sorry for anything that I have ever done'", The Hill
- The rest of the world is wondering what’s going on... Eight years of this and I think we’ll have a phenomenal dislocation occur around the world. I think you’ll see the end of NATO and a whole range of other things...
- "Joe Biden in Florida: Another four years of Trump will ‘end NATO’", Miami Herald, 22 May 2019
- I mean, we may not want to demonize anybody who has made money. The truth of the matter is, you all, you all know, you all know in your gut what has to be done. We can disagree in the margins but the truth of the matter is it’s all within our wheelhouse and nobody has to be punished. No one's standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change.
- Manhattan, 18 June 2019, quoted in Igor Derysh (19 June 2019), "Joe Biden to rich donors: "Nothing would fundamentally change" if he's elected", Salon
- Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.
- Matt Stevens (9 August 2019), "Joe Biden Says ‘Poor Kids’ Are Just as Bright as ‘White Kids’", New York Times
- This guy climbed down a ravine, carried this guy up on his back, under fire, and the general wanted me to pin the Silver Star on him. I got up there- this is the God's honest truth, my word as a Biden. He stood at attention. I went to pin it on him. He said, "Sir, I don't want the damn thing. Do not pin it on me, sir. Please, sir. Do not do that. He died! He died!"
- Matt Viser and Greg Jaffe (29 August 2019), "As he campaigns for president, Joe Biden tells a moving but false war story", Washington Post
- Corn Pop was a bad dude, and he ran with a bunch of bad boys.
- Adam Gabbatt (16 September 2019), Why is everyone talking about Biden confronting a man called 'CornPop'?
- You get a tax break for a racehorse, why in God's name couldn't we provide an $8,000 tax credit for everybody who has childcare costs? It would put 720 million women back in the workforce. It would increase the GDP, to sound like a wonk here, by about eight-tenths of one percent. It would grow the economy.
- Joseph Wulfsohn (17 September 2019), "Biden vows tax credit will put '720 million women' back in workforce", Fox News
- If you notice, I have more people supporting me in the black community that have announced for me, because they know me
the only bl– African-American woman that ever been elected to the United States Senate...
...no I said the first! I said the first African-American elected! The first African... so my point is...
- You should vote for Trump. You should vote for Trump.
- Jeanine Santucci (22 November 2019), "Joe Biden tells activist, 'You should vote for Trump,' over criticism of Obama deportations", USA Today
- Joe Biden: You have to go vote for someone else. You're not going to vote for me in the primary.
Ed Fallon: I'm going to vote for you in the general if you treat me right.
Joe Biden: Yeah, I know. Well, I'm not.
- Iowa campaign appearance, 2020-01-29, quoted in Austin Boatright (20 May 2020), "Joe Biden, We Don’t Owe You Our Vote", Medium
- 150 million people have been killed [by guns] since 2007 when Bernie voted to exempt the gun manufacturers from liability. More than all the wars including Vietnam from that point on.
- 2020 South Carolina Democratic debate, 2020-02-25, quoted in Jeffrey Martin (25 February 2020), "Biden Says Over 150 Million Americans Killed by Gun Violence Since 2007, Which Would Be Half of U.S. Population", Newsweek
- This is a guy (Chinese leader Xi Jinping) who doesn’t have a democratic — with a small d — bone is his body. This is a guy who is a thug.
- 2020 Democratic Party presidential debates, 2020-02-25, quoted in Steven Lee Myers and Javier C. Hernández (22 September 2020), "In Biden, China Sees an ‘Old Friend’ and Possible Foe", The New York Times
- You ever been to a caucus? [audience member nods] No you haven't. You're a lying dog-faced pony soldier.
- Manchester, New Hampshire, 2020-02-09, quoted in Anna North, "Biden’s “lying dog-faced pony soldier” moment, explained", Vox
- I had the great honor of meeting him. I had the great honor of being arrested with our UN Ambassador on the streets of Soweto, trying to get to see him on Robbens Island.
- Regarding Nelson Mandela
- campaign event, 2020-02-11, quoted in Amy Sherman (4 March 2020), "Joe Biden’s Pants on Fire claim about his arrest in South Africa", Politifact
- We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women created ... by the — you know — you know, the thing.
- Texas, quoted in Dominick Mastrangelo (2 March 2020), "'You know, the thing': Biden botches Declaration of Independence quote during campaign stop", Washington Examiner
- This guy can change the face of what we're dealing with, with regard to guns, assault weapons, with regard to dealing with climate change. And I'm just warning Amy: If I win, I'm coming for him.
- Referring to Beto O'Rourke
- Whataburger, Dallas, Texas, quoted in Madlin Mekelburg (13 March 2020), "Video doesn't show Joe Biden promising to 'take away Americans’ guns'", PolitiFact
- Lawrence O'Donnell: Let's flash forward. You're president. Bernie Sanders is still active in the Senate. He manages to get Medicare for All through the Senate, in some compromise version, the Elizabeth Warren version or other version. Nancy Pelosi gets a version of it through the House of Representatives. It comes to your desk. Do you veto it?
Joe Biden: I would veto anything that delays providing the security and the certainty of healthcare being available now. If they got that through and by some miracle, there was an epiphany that occurred, and some miracle occurred that said OK, it's passed, then you got to look at the cost. And I want to know how did they find the $35 trillion? What is that doing?
- The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 9 March 2020
- Jerry Wayne: You are actively trying to end our Second Amendment right and take away our guns.
Joe Biden: You're full of shit. Now shush, shush. I support the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment — just like right now, if you yelled "fire", that's not free speech. And from the very beginning — I have a shotgun, I have a 20-gauge, a 12-gauge. My sons hunt. Guess what? You're not allowed to own any weapon. I'm not taking your gun away, at all. You need 100 rounds?
Wayne: There's a video of you saying you'll take our guns.
Biden: I didn't not say that. That's not— I did not say that.
Wayne: It's a viral video.
Biden: It's a viral video like the other ones they're putting out that are simply a lie.
- Biden: [pointing at Wayne's face] Wait. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. AR, the AR-14—
Wayne: This is not OK, all right?
Biden: Don't tell me that, pal, or I'm going to go outside with you, man.
Wayne: You're working for me, man.
Biden: I'm not working for you. Don't be such a horse's ass.
- Detroit, Michigan, 2020-03-10, quoted in Bo Erickson (10 March 2020), "Joe Biden, accused of wanting to end 2nd Amendment, responds: "You're full of sh**"", CBS News
- One of the things that I did early on in my career as a U.S. Senator was I was one of the sponsors of the Endangered Species Act. And one of the other things we’ve done is we in the state of Delaware set up the coastal zone legislation which means that they can’t build any factories or anything within one mile of the estuary of the Delaware River and the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake.
- Virtual town hall, 2020-03-13, quoted in Jerry Lambe (14 March 2020), "Joe Biden Falsely Says He Sponsored the Endangered Species Act", Law & Crime
- We have to take care of the cure. That will make the problem worse, no matter what. No matter what. We know what has to be done. We know you have to — you're tired of hearing the phrase, you got to flatten that curve where it's going up like this, people getting it, and then it comes down.
- The View, 2020-03-24, quoted in Johnathan Jones (24 March 2020), "Biden Claims Twice That 'No Matter What' the COVID Cure Will Make Things Worse", The Western Journal
- We cannot let this, we've never allowed any crisis from the Civil War straight through to the pandemic of 17, all the way around, 16, we have never, never let our democracy sakes second fiddle, way they, we can both have a democracy and elections and, at the same time, correct the public health.
- This Week with George Stephanopoulos, ABC, 2020-04-05
- I think it's close to criminal the way they're dealing with this guy. Not his conduct. The idea that this man stood up and said what had to be said, got it out that his troops, his Navy personnel were in danger. Look how many had the virus. I think he should have a commendation rather than be fired.
- Regarding the firing of Brett Crozier
- This Week with George Stephanopoulos, ABC, 2020-04-05, quoted in Justine Coleman (5 April 2020), "Biden says dismissal of aircraft carrier captain is 'close to criminal'", The Hill
- There are people who support the president because they like the fact that he is engaged in the politics of division. They really support the notion that, you know, all Mexicans are rapists and all Muslims are bad and ... dividing this nation based on ethnicity, race. This is the one of the few presidents who succeeded by deliberately trying to divide the country, not unite the country.
- The people who voted Republican last time ... who don't want to vote for Trump, whether they want to vote for me or not is a different story, but they don't want to vote for Trump, they're looking for an alternative and I think, I hope to God, I can provide that alternative ... I really mean it. I think there's a chance.
- Fundraiser, 2020-04-15, quoted in Jonathan Easley (16 April 2020), "Biden on if he can reach Trump's base: 'Probably not'", The Hill
- I wouldn't vote for me if I believed Tara Reade.
- Interview on the sexual assault allegation regarding former staff worker Tara Reade, as quoted in Elena Moore (15 May 2020), "Biden Says Voters Who Believe Tara Reade 'Probably Shouldn't Vote For Me'", Associated Press
- If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black.
- Interview with African American radio host Charlamagne tha God on "The Breakfast Club", as quoted in Nicholas Wu (22 May 2020), "Joe Biden, in testy interview, says 'you ain’t black’ if you're undecided over him vs. Trump", USA TODAY
- Because we also have to fundamentally change the way police are trained. [...] And the idea that instead of standing there and teaching a cop when there's an unarmed person coming at 'em with a knife or something, shoot 'em in the leg instead of in the heart. It's a very different thing. There's a lot of different things that can change.
- Bethel AME Church, Wilmington, Delaware, 2020-06-01, quoted in Emily Jacobs (2 June 2020), "Biden: Officers should train to shoot attackers ‘in the leg instead of the heart’", New York Post
- There is no more consequential challenge that we must meet in the next decade than the onrushing climate crisis. Left unchecked, it is literally an existential threat to the health of our planet and to our very survival... We are an economy in crisis but with an incredible opportunity: To not just rebuild back to where we were before, but better, stronger, more resilient and more prepared to the challenges that lie ahead... These aren’t pie-in-the-sky dreams. These are actionable policies that we can get to work on right away... Nothing’s a hoax. Nothing’s a hoax about that. It’s a very serious subject. I want clean air. I want clean water. I want the cleanest air, want the cleanest water. The environment is very important to me.
- Quoted in Ebony Bowden (14 July 2020), "Joe Biden unveils his $2T AOC-fueled Green New Deal energy agenda", New York Post
- Trump and Pence are running on this and I find it fascinating, quote, "You won't be safe in Joe Biden's America". And what's their proof? The violence we're seeing in Donald Trump's America. These are not images of some imagined "Joe Biden America" in the future. These are images of Donald Trump's America today. He keeps telling you if only he was president, it wouldn't happen, if he was president. He keeps telling us that if he was president, you'd feel safe. Well, he is president whether he knows it or not. And it is happening. It's getting worse and you know why. Because Donald Trump adds fuel to every fire.
- Campaign speech, Pittsburgh, 2020-08-31, quoted in Averi Harper, Beatrice Peterson, and Libby Cathey (31 August 2020), "Biden paints Trump as someone who 'sows chaos rather than providing order'", ABC News
- He talked about how nothing was going to defeat him. How whether he walked again or not, he was not going to give up.
- If Donald Trump has his way, the complications from COVID-19, which are well beyond what they should be — it’s estimated that 200 million people have died — probably by the time I finish this talk.
- Yaron Steinbuch (21 September 2020), "Joe Biden mistakenly says 200 million people have died from COVID-19 in US" New York Post
- And, by the way, the 20, the 200 mil- the 200,000 people that have died on his watch, how many of those have survived?
- During the first presidential debate (29 September 2020), "Donald Trump & Joe Biden 1st Presidential Debate Transcript 2020" Rev
- We're in a situation where we have put together, and you guys did it for President Obama's administration before this, we have put together, I think, the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.
- Video interview with Crooked Media (24 October 2020), as quoted in 'RIGGED ELECTION?' Biden blasted by Trump after bragging in interview about having ‘the most extensive voter FRAUD organization in history’ by Jessica Kwong, The US Sun (25 October 2020)
- I know how deep and hard the opposing views are in our country on so many things. But I also know this as well. To make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies. We are not enemies. What brings us together as Americans is so much stronger than anything that can tear us apart. So let me be clear. I, we, are campaigning as a Democrats, but I will govern as an American president. The presidency itself is not a partisan institution. It’s the one office in this nation that represents everyone and it demands a duty of care for all Americans. That is precisely what I will do. I will work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me as I will for those who did vote for me. Now, every vote must be counted. No one’s going to take our democracy away from us, not now, not ever. America’s come too far. America’s fought too many battles. America’s endured too much to ever let that happen.
We the people will not be silenced. We the people will not be bullied. We the people will not surrender. My friends, I’m confident we’ll emerge victorious. But this will not be my victory alone or our victory alone. It’ll be a victory for the American people, for our democracy, for America. And there will be no blue states and red states when we win, just the United States of America, God bless you all and may God protect our troops. Thank you.
Victory speech as US President-elect
- Victory speech as US President-elect (7 November 2020), as quoted in "Hope, Healing And 'Better Angels': Biden Declares Victory And Vows Unity", NPR (7 November 2020)
- My fellow Americans, the people of this nation have spoken.
They have delivered us a clear victory. A convincing victory.
A victory for "We the People."
We have won with the most votes ever cast for a presidential ticket in the history of this nation — 74 million.
I am humbled by the trust and confidence you have placed in me.
I pledge to be a President who seeks not to divide, but to unify.
Who doesn't see Red and Blue states, but a United States.
And who will work with all my heart to win the confidence of the whole people.
For that is what America is about: The people.
And that is what our Administration will be about.
I sought this office to restore the soul of America.
To rebuild the backbone of the nation — the middle class.
To make America respected around the world again and to unite us here at home.
It is the honor of my lifetime that so many millions of Americans have voted for this vision.
And now the work of making this vision real is the task of our time.
- I am proud of the campaign we built and ran. I am proud of the coalition we put together, the broadest and most diverse in history.
Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
Progressives, moderates and conservatives.
Young and old.
Urban, suburban and rural.
Gay, straight, transgender.
White. Latino. Asian. Native American.
And especially for those moments when this campaign was at its lowest — the African American community stood up again for me. They always have my back, and I'll have yours.
I said from the outset I wanted a campaign that represented America, and I think we did that. Now that's what I want the administration to look like.
And to those who voted for President Trump, I understand your disappointment tonight.
I've lost a couple of elections myself.
But now, let's give each other a chance.
It's time to put away the harsh rhetoric.
To lower the temperature.
To see each other again.
To listen to each other again.
To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy.
We are not enemies. We are Americans.
The Bible tells us that to everything there is a season — a time to build, a time to reap, a time to sow. And a time to heal.
This is the time to heal in America.
- Americans have called on us to marshal the forces of decency and the forces of fairness. To marshal the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time.
The battle to control the virus.
The battle to build prosperity.
The battle to secure your family's health care.
The battle to achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism in this country.
The battle to save the climate.
The battle to restore decency, defend democracy, and give everybody in this country a fair shot.
Our work begins with getting COVID under control.
We cannot repair the economy, restore our vitality, or relish life's most precious moments — hugging a grandchild, birthdays, weddings, graduations, all the moments that matter most to us — until we get this virus under control.
- I ran as a proud Democrat. I will now be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn't vote for me — as those who did.
Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end — here and now.
The refusal of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with one another is not due to some mysterious force beyond our control.
It's a decision. It's a choice we make.
And if we can decide not to cooperate, then we can decide to cooperate. And I believe that this is part of the mandate from the American people. They want us to cooperate.
That's the choice I'll make. And I call on the Congress — Democrats and Republicans alike — to make that choice with me.
The American story is about the slow, yet steady widening of opportunity.
Make no mistake: Too many dreams have been deferred for too long.
We must make the promise of the country real for everybody — no matter their race, their ethnicity, their faith, their identity, or their disability.
- We stand again at an inflection point.
We have the opportunity to defeat despair and to build a nation of prosperity and purpose.
We can do it. I know we can.
I've long talked about the battle for the soul of America.
We must restore the soul of America.
Our nation is shaped by the constant battle between our better angels and our darkest impulses.
It is time for our better angels to prevail.
Tonight, the whole world is watching America. I believe at our best America is a beacon for the globe.
And we lead not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.
- Now, together — on eagle's wings — we embark on the work that God and history have called upon us to do.
With full hearts and steady hands, with faith in America and in each other, with a love of country — and a thirst for justice — let us be the nation that we know we can be.
A nation united.
A nation strengthened.
A nation healed.
The United States of America.
God bless you.
And may God protect our troops.
- My dad used to say, “Joey, I don’t expect the government to solve my problems. But I expect it to understand my problems.”
Folks out there aren’t looking for a handout — they just need help. They’re in trouble through no fault of their own, and they need us to understand.
- Official Twitter account of Joe Biden, 5 December 2020
- If we cannot make significant progress on racial equity, this country is doomed. It's doomed not just because of African Americans, but because by 2040, this country is going to be minority white European. You hear me? ... And you guys are going to have to starting [sic] working more with Hispanics.
- I also don’t think we should get too far ahead ourselves on dealing with police reform in that, because they’ve already labeled us as being ‘defund the police’ anything we put forward in terms of the organizational structure to change policing — which I promise you, will occur.
- That’s how they beat the living hell out of us across the country, saying that we’re talking about defunding the police. We’re not. We’re talking about holding them accountable. We’re talking about giving them money to do the right things. We’re talking about putting more psychologists and psychiatrists on the telephones when the 911 calls through. We’re talking about spending money to enable them to do their jobs better, not with more force, with less force and more understanding.
- Biden on a call with Civil Rights leaders on December 8, 2020. Inside Biden's Meeting with Civil Rights Leaders (December 10, 2020). Fact check: Biden's 'country is doomed' quote is being taken out of context on social media (December 23, 2020).
- At this hour, our democracy's under unprecedented assault. Unlike anything we've seen in modern times. An assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself. An assault on the people's representatives and the Capitol Hill police, sworn to protect them. And the public servants who work at the heart of our Republic... Let me be very clear. The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America. Do not represent who we are. What we're seeing are a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent. It's disorder. It's chaos. It borders on sedition. And it must end now.
- , CNN.com (January 6, 2021)
- The words of a president matter, no matter how good or bad that president is. At their best, the words of a president can inspire. At their worst, they can incite. Therefore, I call on President Trump to go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege...Threatening the safety of elected officials, it’s no protest. It's insurrection. The world's watching. Like so many other Americans, I am shocked and saddened that our nation, so long the beacon of light and hope for democracy, has come to such a dark moment...President Trump: Step up.
- , CNN.com (January 6, 2021)
- We expect these additional 200 million doses to be delivered this summer. And some of it will come as early — begin to come in early summer, but by the mid- — by the mid-summer, that this vaccine will be there. And the order — and that increases the total vaccine order in the United States by 50 percent — from 400 million ordered to 600 million. This is enough vaccine to fully vaccinate 300 Americans by the end of the summer, beginning of the fall. But we want to make — look, that’s — I want to repeat: It’ll be enough to fully vaccinate 300 Americans to beat this pandemic — 300 million Americans.
- Biden speaking on vaccine distribution; as quoted in "Remarks by President Biden on the Fight to Contain the COVID-19 Pandemic", whitehouse.org, 26 January 2021
Presidential Inaugural Address (2021)
- [T]his is America′s day. This is democracy′s day, a day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve. Through a crucible for the ages, America has been tested anew. And America has risen to the challenge. Today we celebrate the triumph, not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy. The people, the will of the people, has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded.
We′ve learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.
- As quoted by "This Is Democracy's Day": Joe Biden Sworn In as 46th President of the United States. Common Dreams (2021-01-20). Retrieved on 2021-01-20. and ‘This is democracy’s day’: Joe Biden urges unity in inaugural address – video. Guardian Media Group (2021-01-20). Retrieved on 2021-01-20., among others.
- [T]he American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us, on we the people, who seek a more perfect union. This is a great nation. We are good people. And over the centuries, through storm and strife, in peace and in war, we′ve come so far, but we still have far to go.
We′ll press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities. Much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build, and much to gain. Few people in our nation′s history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we′re in now.
- In another January, on New Year′s Day in 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation. When he put pen to paper, the president said, and I quote, “if my name ever goes down into history, it′ll be for this act, and my whole soul is in it.”
“My whole soul is in it.” Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause.
Uniting to fight the foes we face, anger, resentment and hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness. With unity, we can do great things, important things.
- I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know that the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. But I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we all are created equal, and the harsh ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, demonization have long torn us apart.
The battle is perennial, and victory is never assured. Through civil war, the great depression, World War, 9/11, through struggle, sacrifices, and setbacks, our better angels have always prevailed. In each of these moments, enough of us have come together to carry all of us forward, and we can do that now.
- History, faith, and reason show the way, the way of unity. We can see each other, not as adversaries, but as neighbors. We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature. For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury.
No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America. If we do that, I guarantee you, we will not fail. We have never, ever, ever, ever failed in America when we′ve acted together.
And so today, at this time, in this place, let′s start afresh, all of us. Let′s begin to listen to one another again.
- Hear one another. See one another. Show respect to one another. Politics doesn′t have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn′t have to be a cause for total war. And we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated, and even manufactured.
- My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this. America has to be better than this, and I believe America is so much better than this. Just look around. Here we stand, in the shadow of the Capitol dome, as it was mentioned earlier, completed amid the civil war, when the union itself was literally hanging in the balance. Yet, we endured. We prevailed.
- Look—I understand that many of my fellow Americans view the future with fear and trepidation. I understand they worry about their jobs. I understand like my dad, they lay in bed wondering, can I keep my health care, can I pay my mortgage. Thinking about their families, about what comes next. I promise you, I get it.
But the answer is not to turn inward, to retreat into competing factions, distrusting those who don′t look like you or worship the way you do or don′t get their news from the same source as you do. We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts.
If we show a little tolerance and humility, and if we are willing to stand in the other person′s shoes—as my mom would say—just for a moment, stand in their shoes. Because here′s the thing about life: there′s no accounting for what fate will deal you.
- We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation, one nation. And I promise you this. As the Bible says, “weep, ye may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” We will get through this together. Together. Look, folks, all my colleagues that I served with in the house and the senate up here, we all understand, the world is watching, watching all of us today. So here′s my message to those beyond our borders.
America has been tested, and we′ve come out stronger for it. We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again. Not to meet yesterday′s challenges, but today′s and tomorrow′s challenges.
And we′ll lead not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example. We′ll be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security.
- Folks, this is a time of testing. We face an attack on our democracy and on truth. A raging virus, growing inequity, the sting of systemic racism, a climate in crisis. America′s role in the world. Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways. But the fact is, we face them all at once. Presenting this nation with one of the gravest responsibilities we′ve had. Now we′re going to be tested.
Are we going to step up, all of us? It′s time for boldness, for there is so much to do. And this is certain. I promise you, we will be judged, you and I, by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era. We will rise to the occasion, is the question. Will we master this rare and difficult hour?
- [T]ogether we shall write an American story of hope, not fear. Of unity, not division. Of light, not darkness. A story of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness.
May this be the story that guides us, the story that inspires us, and the story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history, we met the moment. Democracy and hope, truth and justice, did not die on our watch, but thrived, that America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world. That is what we owe our forebears, one another, and generations to follow.
So, with purpose and resolve, we turn to those tasked of our time, sustained by faith, driven by conviction, and devoted to one another and the country we love with all our hearts. May God bless America and may God protect our troops. Thank you, America.
Remarks by President Biden to Department of Defense Personnel, February 10, 2021
- President Joe Biden remarks to the US Defense Department, as quoted in "Remarks by President Biden to Department of Defense Personnel", WhiteHouse.gov (10 February 2021)
- So often, our Armed Forces and the Department of Defense staff are how the rest of the world encounters America. And you all know as well as anyone that our country is safer and stronger when we lead not just with the example of our power, but with the power of our example.
- As your Commander-in-Chief, I will never hesitate to use force to defend the vital interests of the American people and our allies around the world when necessary. The central, indispensable mission of the Department of Defense is to deter aggression from our enemies and, if required, to fight and win wars to keep America safe.
- I believe force should be a tool of last resort, not first. I understand the full weight of what it means to ask young, proud Americans to stand in the breach. As was referenced by the Secretary, my son Beau served in Iraq for a year. I’m the first President in 40 years, I’m told, who had a son or daughter who served in a warzone. So I know what it’s like. Being Commander-in-Chief is an enormous responsibility and one that I will never take lightly or easily.
- I also know that you are essential to the work of our diplomacy — not only as the ultimate guarantor of our security, but as diplomats yourselves.
- You know, to the incredible individuals who serve in our Armed Forces: You are unquestionably part of the finest fighting force in the history of the world. You’re warriors. The work you do each and every day is vital to ensuring the American people — your families, friends, and loved ones — are able to live in peace and security and growing prosperity. And for those of you who raise your hands and sign up to wear the uniform of the United States: We owe you an incredible debt.
- I’ve said for many years, less than one percent of Americans do what you do: put yourself on the line for the rest of the 99 percent of the Americans you represent. The 99 percent of us owe you. We owe it to you to keep the faith with our sacred obligation to properly prepare and equip you when we send you into harm’s way, and to care for you and your families, both while you are deployed and after you return home. You’re incredible heroes and incredible patriots. I will never, ever dishonest you — dishonor you. I will never disrespect you. I will never politicize the work you do. That goes for our civilian professionals as well as the career military.
- February is Black History Month, as the Vice President pointed out. Before we leave today, Vice President Harris and I are going to visit the hall honoring the long history of black Americans fighting for this country, even when their contributions were not always recognized or honored appropriately. But those contributions have nevertheless helped push our country toward greater equality. From the bravery of the free and enslaved descendants of Africans who fought with the colonial forces in our revolution; to the black regiments that joined to fight for the Union and for their own freedom in the Civil War; to the Buffalo soldiers, including Henry O. Flipper, the first African American graduate of West Point; and Cathay Williams, the first African American woman — Cathay — who enlisted in the United States Army.
- It’s on all of us to stand up, to speak out when you see someone being abused. This is an organization that’s defined American — excuse me, defeated American enemies on land, sea, and air, and been defined by the way we treat others.
- I know this is the honor of my lifetime. The honor of my lifetime is to serve as your Commander-in-Chief.
Quotes about Biden
- One of the things I like about the fact of the Biden-Harris plan is that they are, number one, not talking about taking people’s healthcare.... The Biden-Harris plan is talking about raising people’s living wages, $15 an hour. The Trump-Pence plan is talking about giving more money to the wealthy. In fact, the Trump-Pence-McConnell plan, they refuse to pass a stimulus because they want another $200 billion in tax cuts, they want money for a fighter jet, and they want to protect corporations from liability when those corporations didn’t protect their people from coronavirus. So, what we have is two different worlds operating.... So, on the one hand, while Pence and — while Biden and Harris may not be every, fully where the Poor People’s Campaign are, they are in the world of wanting to do more. They’re in the sphere of wanting to increase. They’re in the sphere of wanting to make sure that the people have what they need, as opposed to wanting to only secure the wealthy and the greedy.
- I think my father would make an incredible president, I really do. I think he is a brilliant negotiator.
- Ashley Biden on Women Rule Keynote: Vice President Joe Biden (video) posted Dec 18, 2014
- My Dad cried on the phone saying he has the debate in a week + "Now has to worry about you." And he cried.
- Ashley Biden, (July 22, 2019), page 83 of her diary
- Everything was upside-down
There was this lovely wife, who was just as much a part of the Senate win as he was, and she was gone.
Joe went into himself for a time
I spent a year with him. We traveled together, we skied in Vermont.
His sense of frustration was intense
- Mr. Vice President, there's a saying in my community that you're dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don't even know the flavor.
- Cory Booker in Democratic debate (2019-07-31), quoted in Golshan, Tara (1 August 2019), "“You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don’t even know the flavor”: Cory Booker hits Biden on criminal justice reform", Vox
- For decades, he has been my loyal and dedicated friend. Joe has the experience, character, and decency to bring us together and restore America’s greatness. We deserve a person with integrity and judgment, someone who is honest and fair, someone who is committed to what is best for the American people.
- Jimmy Carter formally endorsing Biden at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, August 18, 2020. Retrieved from "Jimmy Carter: Biden is "the right person for this moment in our nation’s history"". CNN. (August 18, 2020).
- Julian Castro: But the difference between what I support and what you support, Vice President Biden, is that you require them to opt in, and I would not require them to opt in. They would automatically be enrolled. They wouldn’t have to buy-in. That’s a big difference, because Barack Obama’s vision was not to leave 10 million people uncovered. He wanted every single person in this country covered. My plan would do that. Your plan would not.
Biden: They do not have to buy in. They do not have to buy in.
Castro: You just said that. You just said that two minutes ago. You just said two minutes ago that they would have to buy in.
Biden: I said if they can’t afford it … If you qualify for Medicaid, you’d automatically be …
Castro: You said they would have to buy in. Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago? Are you forgetting already what you said just two minutes ago?
- Julian Castro and Biden during the September 12, 2019 Democratic presidential primary debate, as quoted in Amber Phillips (12 September 2019), "Julián Castro goes there on Joe Biden’s age: ‘Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?’", The Washington Post
- Biden’s an empty vessel. I don’t think he has any firm principles.
- Noam Chomsky, as quoted in "Noam Chomsky: ‘White Supremacy Is a Deep Principle in U.S. Society – and Jews Are Familiar With That’". Haaretz. (November 16, 2020)
- It was very obvious that Vice President Biden cared, as he extended to Jacob Jr. a sense of humanity, treating him as a person worthy of consideration and prayer
- There are media reports that the bust of Winston Churchill has been removed from the Oval Office. If true, this is a slap in the face to the British and any prospects of good relations.
- Nigel Farage, as quoted in Adam Shaw (23 January 2021), "Biden administration defends removing Churchill statue from Oval Office", Fox News
- In Joe Biden, we'll have a leader who prioritizes common ground and civility over alienation, bullying, and scorched-earth tactics.
- Caroline Giuliani, daughter of Rudy Giuliani, as quoted by Veronica Stracqualursi (16 October 2020), "Rudy Giuliani's daughter says to vote for Biden and Harris to end Trump's 'reign of terror'", Miami Herald
- The civil rights struggle is nothing new to Joe. It's why he got into public service. It's why he helped reauthorise the Voting Rights Act and restore unemployment discrimination--and employment discrimination laws. And today, he takes his place in the ongoing story of America's march toward equality and justice as only--as the only, as the only who has served alongside the first black president and has chosen the first Black woman as his running mate.
- Biden is totally unprepared for that post [of president], which will lead the US into a crisis.
- You have the great fortune of being young, I remember I was two years older than you when I went to the House. But the main point is you can remember that she was there when you won a great victory, and you enjoyed it together. And now I’m sure that she’ll be watching you from now on. Good luck to you.
- Short, owlish, with a smooth Kentucky accent, McConnell seemed an unlikely Republican leader. He showed no aptitude for schmoozing, backslapping, or rousing oratory. As far as anyone could tell, he had no close friends even in his own caucus, nor did he appear to have any strong convictions beyond an almost religious opposition to any version of campaign finance reform. Joe told me of one run-in he'd had on the Senate floor after the Republican leader blocked a bill Joe was sponsoring; when Joe tried to explain the bill's merits, McConnell raised his hand like a traffic cop and said, "You must be under the mistaken impression that I care." But what McConnell lacked in charisma or interest in policy he more than made up for in discipline, shrewdness, and shamelessness- all of which he employed in the single-minded and dispassionate pursuit of power.
- Barack Obama, A Promised Land (2020), p. 245-246
- I remember in my childhood, when we argued in the courtyard, we used to say: it takes one to know one . . . What would I answer [to] him? I would say to him: Be healthy! I wish him health, without irony, no jokes.
- Vladimir Putin, after Biden had called him a "killer" in an interview. Retrieved from "Putin Wishes Biden ‘Good Health’ as Russia Lashes Out at New U.S. Pressure". U.S. News & World Report. (March 18, 2021).
- [There was] some talk about Sen. Biden — now candidate for Pres. I saw him on CNN last night speaking to the John F. Kennedy school at Harvard U. He’s smooth but pure demagog[ue] — out to save Am[erica] from the Reagan doctrine.
- Biden's a stupid person
- I think there’s probably—possibly—drugs involved, That’s what I hear. I mean, there’s possibly drugs. I don’t know how you can go from being so bad where you can’t even get out a sentence.
- Donald Trump, talking about Joe Biden according to "Trump two weeks away from claiming he saw Biden selling drugs outside the Washington Monument". Vanity Fair. (September 9, 2020).
- Running against the worst candidate in the history of presidential politics puts pressure on me . . . Could you imagine if I lose? My whole life, what am I going to do? I’m going to say, ‘I lost to the worst candidate in the history of politics.’ I’m not going to feel so good. Maybe I’ll have to leave the country?
- I've asked Vice President Biden to lead a tough, unprecedented oversight effort, because nobody messes with Joe. Am I right? They don't mess with him.
- Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up.
- Barack Obama, as quoted in "‘The President Was Not Encouraging’: What Obama Really Thought About Biden". Politico. (August 14, 2020)
- Ever since I received Joe's call [asking me to be his running mate], I've been thinking . . . about the first Biden that I really came to know. Beau was the kind of guy who inspired people to be a better version of themselves. He really was the best of us. And when I would ask him, "Where'd this come from?" he'd always talk about his dad.
- Kamala Harris, discussing her relationship with Beau Biden when they both served as state attorneys general, in "Harris, As Biden's Running Mate, Says Case Against Trump Is 'Open And Shut.'" National Public Radio's Morning Edition program. (August 12, 2020)
- Biden and Harris show where the nation is heading: a blend of ethnicities, lived experiences and worldviews that must find a way forward together if the American experiment is to survive.
- Edward Felsenthal, editor in chief of Time magazine, discussing the magazine's selection of both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the 2020 joint "Person of the Year." (December 21, 2020)