Puerto Princesa, Philippines
THE VICE PRESIDENT: (In progress.) …related to economic issues and also security issues. And as I’ve said previously, it is based on the foundation that has been established over many years and includes people-to-people ties and a shared commitment to the Indo-Pacific and to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Today has also been important to be here in Palawan. Palawan is a — is a place where, as you’ve seen, generations of families and individuals have invested in the fisheries that are here. They have demonstrated an incredible strength in terms of building community, building coalitions around the industries that are dependent on these fisheries to stand up and speak out about sustainable fishing and about the importance of speaking up against illegal activities as it relates to maritime law.
So, it has been important for us, as the United States, to demonstrate our commitment to the Philippines as a whole, but understanding also the nuances and complexities that the people of the Philippines face when it comes to not only what we need to do to ensure security and prosperity for the region, but also what we must do to address the climate crisis, be smart about that, highlight examples and models of how we can empower communities, and also speak about the importance of recognizing where this island, in particular, exists in the context of the South China Sea.
So, it has been a good trip for that reason.
Q Madam Vice President, would you support the new House Speaker — U.S. House Speaker visiting Taiwan?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Oh, I’m not going to speak to that. I think that — first of all, I don’t think that we have actually made a decision yet about who is the House Speaker? Or did that happen while I’ve been here?
Q It did not yet happen.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Okay.
Q Madam Vice President, a little (inaudible). The former President Trump, while we were about to come here, announced that he would be running again for the presidency. I wonder if you have a response to that announcement and whether or not you and President Biden on the ticket will beat him.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, as the President said, he intends to run. And if he does, I will be running with him. And I have no doubt about the strength of the work that we have done over these past two years.
We have delivered unprecedented relief for the American people through the height of the pandemic.
We have passed an infrastructure law that many have talked about, but we actually did it.
We just recently, with the Inflation Reduction Act, did a number of things, including bringing down the cost of healthcare — not to mention $370 billion in the climate crisis, which is one of the reasons that I’m here in the Philippines, because the climate crisis is an issue that requires leadership around the globe and, in particular, I would say, America’s leadership.
Q But do you think a President Trump — former President Trump candidacy is good for the country, good for America?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I am thinking about, right now, what we need to do in the Indo-Pacific. Thank you for the question.
Q Madam Vice President, two questions for you. When do you and the President plan to — to campaign in Georgia?
And my second question is: Do you have any reaction to the deaths of five people in Colorado?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I haven’t made any decision yet on the first thing. I’m basically still trying to figure out what I’m doing tomorrow — (laughs) — in terms of plans.
But let’s talk about Colorado. It’s — again, it is — it is just tragic that these killings keep happening, that these shootings keep happening.
And in particular, you know, we’ve seen this before, where — where people should have an expectation and a right to be in a safe place and to be able to be themselves and enjoy each other’s company and celebrate a moment together without fear of violence, much less death.
And this is what we are seeing continuously. My heart goes out for those families and for that whole community. And I think we all — we all have speak out. We all have to speak out about what this kind of violence does and what it means and that it is not reflective of who we are, who we believe ourselves to be as Americans.