Joe Biden

former U.S. vice president, 2020 Democratic presidential nominee

Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden, Jr. (born 20 November 1942) was the 47th Vice President of the United States of America, who was jointly elected twice with President Barack Obama. A lawyer and politician from the Delawarean city of Wilmington, Biden is a member of the Democratic Party, and the Democratic presidential nominee for the 2020 United States presidential election.

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.



  • 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.
  • 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)
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.



  • 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 


  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Russert: Everything.

    Biden: Everything. You've got to.

  • 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)


  • 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. [2]
  • 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.
  • No Barrack 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 Barrack Obama support Gay marriage.” Biden-Palin Vice Presidential debates, October 2, 2008
Promises to Keep (2008)Edit
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.
  • 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.
  • 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
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.
  • 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
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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, 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.
  • I think you're a damn war criminal and you should be tried as one.
  • 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
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.
  • 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.
    • [3] Remarks] while administering oath of office for White House senior staff; poking fun at memorable incident in which John G. Roberts misplaced words while swearing-in President Obama at the presidential inauguration the previous day (January 21, 2009)




  • ISIS has nothing to do with Islam.
    Let me tell you one or two things about Islam.


  • 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!
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.
  • 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'.
  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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."
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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'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.
  • 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.
  • 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!"
  • 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... I said the first! I said the first African-American elected! The first African... so my point is...



  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.



  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

Quotes about BidenEdit

  • Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders received the most votes in the first three primary elections. After centrist Joe Biden scored his first primary win, the DNC consolidated the Democratic Party establishment around him. Candidates... immediately dropped out of the race and endorsed Biden... The party bosses likely wanted to ensure that Sanders would not upend the corporate order... At the March 15 debate with Biden, Sanders asked the rhetorical question: Where is the power in America? He then answered, “Who owns the media? Who owns the economy? Who owns the legislative process? Why do we give tax breaks to billionaires and not raise the minimum wage? Why do we pump up the oil industry while a half a million people are homeless in America?” ... Biden confronted Sanders about his praise for Fidel Castro’s literacy campaign... Sanders replied that he opposed authoritarian governments but “it is incorrect to say they never do anything positive.” He cited China’s reduction in poverty... Biden said it’s one thing to occasionally mention something positive a country has done, but, he added, “the idea of praising a country that is violating human rights…” It is unlikely Biden was referring to the United States, whose officials are being investigated by the International Criminal Court for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity during the “war on terror.” Biden, who was instrumental in securing congressional approval for Bush’s Iraq War, will be a good steward of the empire.
  • As embarrassing and awful as Trump is, he serves corporate power just like Joe Biden. The big corporate Democratic Party donors made it clear that if Bernie Sanders became the presidential nominee, they would support Trump. The donor class has created a system where they cannot fail. If it's Trump or Biden, Goldman Sachs doesn't lose, ExxonMobil doesn't lose, Raytheon doesn't lose, Citibank doesn't lose. There is no way that they can lose. They have rigged the system so that their interests are always served....The elites are not responding rationally to the coronavirus pandemic... One would think that America's elites would respond in a smarter way, if even for their own self-preservation. If elected president, Joe Biden certainly isn't going to respond properly.
  • Labor’s cur­rent focus is get­ting Joe Biden elect­ed, who, accord­ing to his ads, has the ​“most ambi­tious” cli­mate plan of any major party’s pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee ever. His plat­form includes achiev­ing net zero emis­sions no lat­er than 2050, con­serv­ing 30% of the country’s lands and waters by 2030, and mak­ing a fed­er­al invest­ment of $1.7 tril­lion in the fight against cli­mate change. He promis­es to ​“ful­fill our oblig­a­tion to work­ers… who pow­ered our indus­tri­al rev­o­lu­tion and decades of eco­nom­ic growth” by secur­ing coal min­ers’ pen­sions and ben­e­fits. And he also promis­es to ​“put peo­ple to work by enlist­ing them to help fight the pan­dem­ic, includ­ing through a Pub­lic Health Jobs Corps.” But unlike the Green New Deal leg­is­la­tion, his plat­form has no explic­it promise of a job for all who want one. It also makes no men­tion of frack­ing or a dras­tic reduc­tion in fos­sil fuels, per­haps because his cli­mate advi­sors may sup­port frack­ing. Brax­ton says, ​“What we need to do is pres­sure Biden into a Jobs for All pro­gram, and the green is not in the head­line, but it’s incor­po­rat­ed into it. The envi­ron­men­tal­ists will read the fine print, and maybe labor can look at it and say, this is what we need.”
  • So far ahead of the pack that he can only see Donald Trump, former vice president Joe Biden kept his sights on the president Monday night and warned during a private Coral Gables fundraiser that the greatest threat to the future of America — world peace, even — is currently occupying the White House... Trump’s first term will “go down as an aberration, an anomaly. But eight years will fundamentally change the nature of who we are,” Biden told a crowd of about 200 who donated to Biden’s campaign to see him speak at the Gables Club, 10 Edgewater Dr., along the Coral Gables Waterway. “The rest of the world is wondering what’s going on,” he said. “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 that really are the things that maintain peace.” Biden, 76, flew into Miami Monday after a stop in Nashville, and will be in Orlando Tuesday as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination tours the country. He stopped in Coral Gables to attend a fundraiser hosted by developer Michael Adler, who was the national finance chairman of Biden’s 2008 presidential campaign.
  • Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden unveiled a $2 trillion energy plan Tuesday with a heavy focus on the Green New Deal agenda being pushed by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the far-left flank of his party. Speaking in Wilmington, Del., Biden promised a “clean energy revolution,” which he said would deliver millions of jobs, as he attacked President Trump for calling climate change a “hoax.” Biden detailed what he called a pro-union platform that would replace the US government’s car fleet with American-made electric vehicles and includes a pledge to create a “carbon pollution-free electric sector by the year 2025.”
    Biden’s announcement comes as the presidential wannabe courts idols on the left of his party including Bronx-Queens Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the hope that they will support him and steer young voters his way in November. In May, AOC announced she had been selected to co-chair Biden’s climate change panel along with former Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. The former veep on Tuesday promised to “create millions of high-paying union jobs by building a modern infrastructure and a clean energy future” and described his vision of a US covered in 500,000 electric car charging stations and thriving factories producing green products.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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