Laborers’ Training and Learning Center

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Okay, so, first of all, I came by to say thank you, because what you guys are doing here in Pennsylvania is going to impact the whole country.  So I came by on behalf of the President and myself to say thank you, because it’s going to require a whole lot of you, over the course of the next 115 days, to elect Josh Shapiro as the next governor of Pennsylvania.  (Applause.)  (Inaudible.)

It’s going to be a lot of work.  How many of you have been involved in a campaign before?  Let me see hands.  Yeah.  You love our country.  You love our country.  And you’re prepared to fight for the best of who we are.

I am here to thank you, because I’m so clear, as I travel the country, about what’s at stake and how all of it is going to be decided, based on what happens on the ground in places like right here.

What you all will do to remind your neighbors and your friends; the people you work with; folks at the grocery store; perfect strangers — you’re going to go up to them and ask them to talk to you, and some of them may and some of them may not.  (Laughter.)

We’ve all campaigned.  (Inaudible.)  (Laughter.)

But we’ve got to talk with folks to remind them that they matter and that we see them.

Think about this environment we’re in for the purposes of what you all are here to do on a Saturday — a beautiful Saturday.  You’re here to put aside all the other obligations, of which you have many in your life, to fight for the principles that we hold dear: the principles of freedom, the principles of liberty, of equality, of fairness, of justice.

You’re here to do all that.  You’re doing it, also — you know, we could go on TV.  We’ll do all that, right?  But you’re doing it one-on-one with the folks you know and the folks you meet, in a way that empowers people.

You know, we just came through many, many, many months — two years — of people feeling alone and isolated.  And the power that you each have is to lift people up and remind them they’re not alone and that we’re all in this together, and that our democracy matters, and our democracy will be as strong as the number of people that participate.

You all are doing that.  I was just meeting with your state legislature, with the Democratic caucus of the state legislature, House and Senate members.  And I was saying to them, you know, when we look at what’s happening here in Pennsylvania on issues like choice, voting, there’s so much at stake in terms of basic democratic principles that are about an expansion of freedoms, not a restriction of freedoms; that are about concepts that were grounded right here in this city about freedom and liberty.  All that’s at stake.

What’s at stake right now is whether we (inaudible) to say that we are a nation that cares about human rights, civil rights.

What’s at stake right now in Pennsylvania is a legislature that is trying to restrict a woman’s ability and right to make a decision about her own body and her own life.  And those same people who are doing that are attempting to restrict freedom to vote.

The same people who are doing around our nation are attempting to restrict the rights of LGBTQ people in America. 

The same people who are doing this are, as their ideological foundation, trying to gain power instead of uplift the people of America based on their basic needs and desires.

There is so much at stake.  We have 115 days.  Elections matter.  Who is governor of this state will matter.

In terms of Josh Shapiro’s ability to stand for these principles and defend them against great odds, elections matter.  The General Assembly on the House — Senate side, got to turn it and elect a majority pro-choice General Assembly.  (Applause.)

Who is senator matters.  (Applause.)  (Inaudible)  matters.

Listen, I spent four years in the United States Senate representing the state of California.  I’m now Vice President, and let me tell you something: I spend time there as the President of the Senate as Vice President. 

Not a single Republican in the Senate, after Joe Biden and I took office, voted to extend the Child Tax Credit, which, in its first year, reduced child poverty by 40 percent.

Not a single Republican in the United States Senate voted for the tax cut for parents of up to $8,000 a year to put more money in your pocket to pay for school supplies and food and medication.  Not one.

We’re trying to get the John Lewis Voting Rights Act passed, the Freedom to Vote Act passed.  (Applause.)

(Inaudible) legislation, they did it in the House, but we need the Senate to act to codify, which means put into law, a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body.

Because you see — remember, we constructed a government with three co-equal branches of government, right?  Well, the Court acted and just took a constitutional right from the women of America.  The Court acted, and we now need Congress to act.  They’re doing the right thing on the House side.  We need John Fetterman in the Senate (inaudible).  (Applause.) 

When you look at what’s happening to our country — you know, we were talking about — Josh and I have so much in common, and we became lawyers, I think, for the same reasons: that the heroes who were (inaudible) like Thurgood Marshall, who fought for equality, who believed in the power of the rule of law to do justice.

But we have a Court that has done a grave injustice to the women of America.  So now women have to count on our elected leaders to do the right thing.  Elections matter.

So I’m here to thank you and to ask you to pull everybody you know into this movement, because it is a movement that is for the wellbeing of our democracy and the strength of our nation.

 I’m going to tell you, as Vice President, I have met or talked with, I don’t know, probably 80 presidents and prime ministers in countries around the world.  Our President is right now overseas.  One of the great strengths of the United States of America has been that we can walk into those rooms, chin up, shoulders back, and talk about human rights, democracy, and what we are as a role model.

 Do you think these countries aren’t there watching what just happened and asking, “Who are the American people,” and “What do you stand for?”

And herein lies the power of each one of you, which is the power to answer that question: “What do we stand for?”  Because when we know what we stand for — freedom, equality, liberty, fairness, a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body, a worker’s ability to collectively bargain, the importance of treating all people as equals under the law — when we know what we stand for, then we know what we fight for.  (Applause.) 

So, in 115 days — and I’m counting on you because we can’t get these 115 days back, okay?  Look at all that’s at stake.  We will not be able to get these days back, and every day will matter. 

Just like Josh said, the next governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania — (applause) — 80,000 votes made a difference in 2020 — when you all do the work that you’re doing now.  Eighty thousand votes.  And it’s because of what you did then.

So I’m here to ask you to do what you know how to do, because when you do what you do, on all of these issues, the American people win.  Thank you all very much.  (Applause.)                                END

Stay Connected

Sign Up

We'll be in touch with the latest information on how President Biden and his administration are working for the American people, as well as ways you can get involved and help our country build back better.

Opt in to send and receive text messages from President Biden.

Scroll to Top Scroll to Top