Sen. Bernie Sanders and Vice President Joe Biden Meet
WASHINGTON – Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., and Sen. Bernie Sanders met Thursday for about one hour at the vice president’s residence to discuss critical issues facing the country.
Among the many issues they discussed was the need to address campaign finance reform so that the wealthy and powerful cannot wield undue influence in the political process. They also spoke about the need to extend public education in the United States through college so every young person in America, regardless of income, will be able to get a college education.
“Under the leadership of President Obama and Vice President Biden, this country has come a long way economically since President Bush left office and we were losing 800,000 jobs every month and the world economy was on the brink of financial collapse,” Sanders said. “Nevertheless,” he added, “we still have a long way to go to create the kind of economy that works for all Americans and not just the top 1 percent.
“I look forward to working with President Obama and Vice President Biden to tackle some to the major issues facing our country,” Sanders said.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Good morning, folks. Please, please, sit down.
Mr. President, thank you for lending me the Rose Garden for a minute.
THE PRESIDENT: It's a pretty nice place. (Laughter.)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: As my family and I have worked through the grieving process, I’ve said all along what I've said time and again to others, that it may very well be that that process, by the time we get through it, closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for President, that it might close. I've concluded it has closed.
I know from previous experience that there is no timetable for this process. The process doesn’t respect or much care about things like filing deadlines or debates and primaries and caucuses. But I also know that I could do this if -- I couldn't do this if the family wasn’t ready. The good news is the family has reached that point. But as I've said many times, my family has suffered a loss and I hope there would come a time -- and I've said this to many other families -- that sooner rather than later, when you think of your loved one it brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eyes. Well, that's where the Bidens are today -- thank God. Beau is our inspiration.
Unfortunately, I believe we're out of time -- the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination. But while I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent. I intend to speak out clearly and forcefully, to influence as much as I can where we stand as a party and where we need to go as a nation.
And this is what I believe. I believe that President Obama has led this nation from crisis to recovery, and we're now on the cusp of resurgence. I'm proud to have played a part in that. This party, our nation will be making a tragic mistake if we walk away or attempt to undo the Obama legacy. The American people have worked too hard and we've come too far for that. Democrats should not only defend this record and protect this record, they should run on the record.
We've got a lot of work to get done over the next 15 months, and there’s a lot that the President will have to get done. But let me be clear that we'll be building on a really solid foundation. But it all starts with giving the middle class a fighting chance.
I know you in the press love to call me “Middle-Class Joe” and I know in Washington that's not usually meant as a compliment -- it means you're not that sophisticated. But it is about the middle class. It isn't just a matter of fairness or economic growth. It's a matter of social stability for this nation. We cannot sustain the current levels of inequality that exist in this country.
I believe the huge sums of unlimited and often secret money pouring into our politics is a fundamental threat to our democracy. And I really mean that. I think it's a fundamental threat. Because the middle class will never have a fighting chance in this country as long as just several hundred families, the wealthiest families, control the process. It's just that simple.
And I believe we have to level the playing field for the American people. And that's going to take access to education and opportunity to work. We need to commit -- we're fighting for 14 years -- we need to commit to 16 years of free public education for all our children. We all know that 12 years of public education is not enough. As a nation, let’s make the same commitment to a college education today that we made to a high school education a hundred years ago.
Children and child care is the one, biggest barrier for working families. We need, as the President proposed, to triple the child care tax credit. That alone will lead to a dramatic increase in the number of women able to be in the workforce and will raise our economic standards. There are many equitable ways to pay for this. Often you hear, well, how do you pay for this? There are many equitable ways to pay for this. We could pay for all of this with one simple step -- by limiting the deductions in the tax code to 28 percent of income. Wealthy folks will end up paying a little bit more. But it's my guess -- and I mean this sincerely -- it's my guess they’ll be happy to help build a stronger economy and a better educated America.
I believe we need to lead more by the power of our example, as the President has, than merely by the example of our power. We've learned some very hard lessons from more than a decade of large-scale, open-ended military invasions. We have to accept the fact that we can't solve all the world’s problems -- we can't solve many of them -- alone. The argument that we just have to do something when bad people do bad things isn't good enough. It's not a good enough reason for American intervention and to put our sons’ and daughters’ lives on the line, put them at risk.
I believe we have to end the divisive partisan politics that is ripping this country apart. And I think we can. It's mean-spirited. It's petty. And it's gone on for much too long. I don’t believe, like some do, that it’s naïve to talk to Republicans. I don’t think we should look at Republicans as our enemies. They are our opposition; they’re not our enemies. And for the sake of the country, we have to work together.
As the President said many times, compromise is not a dirty word. Look at it this way, folks -- how does this country function without consensus? How can we move forward without being able to arrive at consensus? Four more years of this kind of pitched battle may be more than this country can take. We have to change it. We have to change it.
And I believe we need a moonshot in this country to cure cancer. It’s personal. But I know we can do this. The President and I have already been working hard on increasing funding for research and development -- because there are so many breakthroughs just on the horizon in science and medicine. The things that are just about to happen, we can make them real with an absolute national commitment to end cancer as we know it today. And I’m going to spend the next 15 months in this office pushing as hard as I can to accomplish this. Because I know there are Democrats and Republicans on the Hill who share our passion -- our passion to silence this deadly disease. If I could be anything, I would want it to be the President that ended cancer, because it’s possible.
I also believe we need to keep moving forward in the arc of this nation toward justice -- the rights of the LGBT community, immigration reform, equal pay for women and protecting their safety from violence, rooting out institutional racism. At their core, every one of these things -- every one of these things is about the same thing. It’s about equality. It’s about fairness. It’s about respect. As my dad used to say, it’s about affording every single person dignity. It’s not complicated. Every single one of these issues is about dignity.
And the ugly forces of hate and division, they won’t let up, but they do not represent the American people. They do not represent the heart of this country. They represent a small fraction of the political elite. And the next President is going to have to take it on.
Most of all, I believe there’s unlimited possibilities for this country. I don’t know how many of the White House staff and personnel have heard me say repeatedly that we are so much better positioned than any country in the world. I’ve been doing this for a long time. When I got elected as a 29-year-old kid, I was called the optimist. I am more optimistic about the possibilities, the incredible possibilities to leap forward than I have been at any time in my career. And I believe in my core that there’s not country on the face of the Earth better positioned to lead the world in the 21st century than the United States of America.
Washington just has to begin to function again. Instead of being the problem, it has to become part of the solution -- again. We have to be one America -- again.
And at our core, I’ve always believed that what sets America apart from every other nation is that we, ordinary Americans, believe in possibilities -- unlimited possibilities. Possibilities for a kid growing up in a poor inner-city neighborhood, or a Spanish-speaking home, or a kid from Mayfield in Delaware, or Willow Grove in Pennsylvania -- like Jill and I. To be able to be anything we want it to be; to do anything -- anything -- that we want, that’s what we were both taught. That’s what the President was taught. It was real. That’s what I grew up believing. And, you know, it’s always been true in this country. And if we ever lose that, we’ve lost something very special. We’ll have lost the very soul of this country.
When I was growing up, my parents, in tough times, looked at me and would say to me and my brothers and sister, “Honey, it’s going to be okay.” And they meant it. They meant it. It was going to be okay. But some of you who cover me, I say go back to your old neighborhoods. Talk to your contemporaries who aren’t as successful as you’ve been. There are too many people in America today, too many parents who don’t believe they can look their kid in the eye and say with certitude, “Honey, it’s going to be okay.” That’s what we need to change. It’s not complicated.
That will be the true measure of our success. And we’ll not have met it until every parent out there can look at their kid in tough times and say, “Honey, it’s going to be okay” -- and mean it. That’s our responsibility. And I believe it’s totally within our power. The nation has done it before in difficult times.
I’ve had the very great, good fortune and privilege of being in public service most of my adult life, since I’ve been 25 years old. And through personal triumphs and tragedies, my entire family -- my son Beau, my son Hunter, my daughter Ashley, Jill -- our whole family -- and this sounds corny -- but we found purpose in public life. We found purpose in public life. So we intend, the whole family -- not just me -- we intend to spend the next 15 months fighting for what we’ve always cared about, what my family has always care about, with every ounce of our being. And working alongside the President and members of Congress and our future nominee, I am absolutely certain we are fully capable of accomplishing extraordinary things.
We can do this. And when we do, America won’t just win the future, we will own the finish line.
Thank you for all being so gracious to Jill and me for the last six or eight months -- and for our whole career, for that matter. But I’m telling you, we can do so much more. And I’m looking forward to continuing to work with this man to get it done.
Hillary Clinton Statement on Vice President Joe Biden
“Joe Biden is a good man and a great Vice President. Serving alongside him in the Senate and then the administration, I saw first-hand his passion for our country and our people. Like millions of others, I admire his devotion to family, his grace in grief, his grit and determination on behalf of the middle class, and his unyielding faith in America’s promise. As Vice President, Joe has been by President Obama’s side for every pivotal decision. He helped save the auto industry and pull our economy back from the brink of depression. He continues to fight for higher wages, safer communities, and a more peaceful world. It’s a record to be proud of, defend, and build on. And I am confident that history isn’t finished with Joe Biden. As he said today, there is more work to do. And if I know Joe, he will always be on the front-lines, always fighting for all of us.”
Martin O'Malley on Vice President Joe Biden's Decision
BALTIMORE, MD — The following statement can be attributed to Governor O'Malley regarding Vice President Biden's decision not to enter the Democratic race for President:
"Vice President Joe Biden is a very good and decent man who has served our country nobly, and his experience would have been a welcome addition to the Democratic race. I will always admire his strength in the face of adversity and his passion for bettering our country. I respect Vice President Biden's decision today and wish the Vice President and his family well."
Bernie Sanders Statement on Vice President Joe Biden
PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday issued the following statement on the announcement by Vice President Joseph Biden that he will not run for president in 2016:
“Joe Biden, a good friend, has made the decision that he feels is best for himself, his family and the country. I thank the vice president for a lifetime of public service and for all that he has done for our nation. I look forward to continuing to work with him to address the major crises we face. He understands the need to rebuild the middle class; and to address income and wealth inequality, a corrupt campaign finance system, climate change, racial justice, immigration reform and the need for publicly-funded higher education.”
NHDP Chair Responds to Vice President Biden's Decision
CONCORD, N.H. - Following Vice President Biden's announcement that he will not run for President, NHDP Chair made the following decision:
“Vice President Joe Biden’s decision today was a deeply personal one and I respect his decision. Joe Biden has devoted his life to public service, fighting for the middle class on issues like like health care and worker’s rights and making sure we continue to move all Americans forward, not just a select few. Vice President Biden’s voice will be instrumental in making sure we continue to build on the progress we’ve made into the years to come.
The New Hampshire Democratic Party has been a great friend of Joe Biden since the 1970s and we look forward to continue to work with him in the future.”
DNC Chair Statement on Vice President Joe Biden’s Announcement
Washington, D.C. – In response to Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement that he will not run for president in 2016, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:
“I appreciate Vice President Joe Biden giving thoughtful consideration to seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. While Vice President Biden will not be a candidate next year, his unwavering commitment to America’s working families is a legacy each of our candidates will proudly carry forward.
“There are few people in Washington over the last four decades who have been a greater champion for middle class Americans than Joe Biden. For the last seven years, Vice President Biden has served as one of President Obama’s closest advisers and played a critical role in advancing middle-class economics that brought our country back from a severe recession that was costing our economy 750,000 jobs a month. Prior to joining the Obama ticket in 2008, Senator Biden was one of the Senate’s most respected voices. His voice and support in the upcoming presidential election for whoever emerges as our nominee will be a powerful reminder of how much is at stake for hard working Americans.
“I was proud to work on then Senator Biden's campaign for president as a college student during the 1988 election cycle. The confidence in his leadership that inspired me then, when I did not know him personally, was affirmed as I sponsored legislation with him in Congress and came to know him well, while serving as the Chair of the Democratic National Committee.
“I know that Joe Biden’s service to his country will not end when he leaves office, and I look forward to seeing what challenges the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden choose to take on after our next Democratic president assumes office in January 2017.”
On Thursday, February 12 from 11:00am-12:00 pm, Vice President Joe Biden will be speaking to the Drake University community in Sheslow Auditorium.
Doors will open for the event at 9:30 am and will close at 10:45 am. Attendees will need to go through airport-like security outside before entering the building.
Please read the ticketing process information carefully and be mindful of the security requirements for attendees.
All tickets are free and you must have a ticket to attend. All ticket-holders must show their Drake-authorized ID with their ticket in order to be admitted to the event.
Ticketing for Drake University students opens at 8:30 pm on Monday, February 9.
•Only students will be eligible for ticketing for the first 24 hours.
•Each student may request one ticket.
•Ticketing will remain open until Wednesday February 11 at 5:00pm.
•Students MUST request a ticket through this system.
Important Security Information •All attendees will go through airport-like security outside before entering the building. Attendees should bring as few personal items as possible. No bags, brief cases, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids, or signs will be allowed in the venue. Small cameras are permitted (no extended lenses). Cell phones are permitted but must be on silent.
•Ticket does not guarantee admission. Please arrive early as seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
•No food or drink allowed.
•At 10:30 am on Thursday, February 12, if seats are available individuals with a Drake-authorized ID may be given a day-of ticket on a first-come-first-served basis.
*Ticketing for Drake faculty and staff will open at 8:30 pm on Tuesday, February 10.
Vice President Joe Biden to Headline Iowa Democratic Party Grassroots Event in Davenport Event Concludes IDP’s #99in24 Tour—Unprecedented Tour of All 99 Counties in 24 Hours
Davenport, IA— Vice President Joe Biden will join Bruce Braley and Dave Loebsack for an Iowa Democratic Party grassroots event at the Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport on Monday, October 27.
The event will conclude the Iowa Democratic Party’s “99 in 24” tour – Democratic candidates, officials, and supporters throughout the state will hold an unprecedented 99 events — one in each Iowa county — during a 24 hour period beginning this Sunday, October 26.
DATE: October 27, 2014
LOCATION: Modern Woodmen Park, Champions Club, 209 S. Gaines Street, Davenport, IA
Statement from the Vice President on His Holiness Pope Francis
Jill and I want to offer our congratulations to His Holiness Pope Francis, and extend our prayers as he takes on this holy responsibility. I am happy to have the chance to personally relay my well wishes, and those of the American people, when I travel to Rome for his Inaugural Mass. The Catholic Church plays an essential role in my life and the lives of more than a billion people in America and around the world, not just in matters of our faith, but in pursuit of peace and human dignity for all faiths. I look forward to our work together in the coming years on many important issues.