Manchester Field Office
Manchester, New Hampshire
(March 11, 2024)

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, first of all, personally, thank you.  Thank you.  And you — you got a good little training with a, you know, United States senator.  (Laughter.)

Hey, folks, thanks an awful lot.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. 

Look, it stunned me, the write-in campaign you all did.  No, it really did.  I was very careful not to be here — (laughter) — sir.

But really, I was stunned.  And I was really pleased.

By the way, the national Black organizations and Hispanic organizations just endorsed me, as well as — (applause) — AARP.  They had a meeting down in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Pronounced in a Southern accent.)  (Laughter.)  Yeah, they did.

Anyway.  But thank you very, very much.  Look, I — I’m optimistic, not just about winning, but I’m — I’m optimistic about the country.  I think the country is just wondering — look, people have really been banged around for a while now. 

And we’ve — with the help of your delegation — and that’s not hyperbole; that’s a fact — with the help of your delegation, we got things passed that no one thought we could get passed, from the — from the — everything from the infrastructure bill to veterans bills, all — all the stuff we got passed, and much of it without a single, solitary Republican vote — not one.

And — and it’s — but we knew it’s going to take a little time for people to begin to see the benefits of it because it’s just a big, big country and there’s a lot —

Hi, how are you?  (Laughter.)  How doing?  (Laughter.)

I’ll keep going.  Don’t stop because of me.  (Laughter.)

What’s your name?


THE PRESIDENT:  Rosie, my name is Joe.  Is this your big brother?  Is he okay? 

Hey, man, you know what my dad used to say?  “You’ve got one job: Keep the boys away from your sister.”  (Laughter.)

That’ll — but all kidding aside.  Look, I think we have enormous opportunities — enormous opportunities.  The country is ready to get up and go.  And everything from what we’ve been able to do in a general sense — you know, 15 million new jobs, that’s good, but it doesn’t — it doesn’t really connect you to people, even though they’re benefitting from it; inflation down from 9 percent to 3 percent; eight hundred thou- — eight hundred thousand manufacturing jobs. 

But my dad used to have an expression.  He’d say, “Joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck.  It’s about your integrity.  It’s about your dignity.  It’s about being able to be — look your kid in the eye and say, ‘Honey, it’s going to be okay.’”

And one of the main things I try to do — and I’m going to continue to do, God willing, if we get reelected — is finish the job by continuing to focus on the middle class, because when the middle class does well, the poor have a way up, and the wealthy still do very well.  They still do very well. 

But they got to start paying their fair share.  (Applause.)

And I drive my staff crazy because I say: How can we be the finest nation or the greatest nation in the world if we have a second-rate education system?  How can we be the finest nation in the world if we don’t invest in research and development?  How can we be the finest nation without the best education system?  I mean, just — just across the board.  Healthcare system — how can we do that?

And, you know, I think the American people get it.  If you take a look at — I know the press is here, and they’re all wonderful people.  (Laughter.)  I don’t know why they don’t like me a lot more than Trump, but they — (laughter) — the way he — the way he talks about you guys.  But any rate. 

That’s a joke.  I’m kidding.  I shouldn’t even be kidding with you.  (Laughter.)  Shouldn’t even be — I’ll pay a price for having said that.  (Laughter.)

But, look, you know, everything we’ve done, if you take a look at it — and none — none of the polling matters much more now.  It’s way out.  But, number two, polling has kind of changed a lot too.  It’s not nearly as accurate.  It’s not nearly as capable as it was before because you got to make six zillion calls to get one person on their cell phone, et cetera.

But one of the things is that there’s three things I want to do.  One, I want to restore the soul of this country.  When I ran the first time, I meant it.  (Applause.)

Well, and that sounds like — that sounds like hyperbole, but I just mean basic dignity, basic — just — just basic sense of dignity and just treating people with respect. 

I mean, we’ve — I’ve been ar- — I know I don’t look it, but I’ve been around a long while.  (Laughter.)  But all kidding aside, think about it.  I’ve doubt whether those of you who have been around half the time I’ve been around thought it would ever get to this point in the way we treat one another in politics.  It’s just not healthy.

I — I — the reason Barack asked me to be his vice president was because of my background in foreign policy, and I had spent a lot of — an awful lot of time traveling the world and knew almost every major world leader and know them all now as well. 

And they’re wondering about us, wh- — they’re wondering about whether we — we are the same country we are — have advertised ourselves to be since the end of World War Two.  There’s a lot at stake.  And it’s about protecting us, not just them.

So, when I talk about — everybody wonders why I talk in the middle of a campaign about — about dealing with making sure that Ukraine is — is taken care of.  Well, you know, the message that the President says when he says to Putin, “Come on, if we — if they don’t pay their dues, you just come in and do whatever the hell you want.”  You know, you have — I mean, there’s things that — anyway.

The same thing with regard to dealing with the border.  The border — I — the first bill I ever introduced as a — as the President of the United States was essentially what got passed this time out, led by Republican- — by the conservative Republicans, who they’re vilifying now for having worked out this deal. 

But, look, what we need is we need — is we need to just — an orderly process at the border, not to keep — they’re not vermin.  They’re not scum.  They’re not people who are all criminals coming.  It’s just — (applause). 

And — and, you know, it’s — I think the American people get it, but the way it’s being run now is just not — well, I’m going on too long.

But, look, healthcare is critically important.  I’ve been fighting from the time I was a kid in the Senate to take on — to take on the Big Pharma companies.  The idea that it costs $10 to make insulin, $13 to package it all told, and they’re selling it for 400 bucks is crazy.  It’s a rip-off.

If you got on Air Force One with me, flew out of here, and I flew you to Toronto, to Berlin, to — to Rome, to any place in the world and you brought your prescription with you — whatever it is, for whatever product — you’re going to pay 40 to 60 percent less in any country you land in for — made by the same company. 

So, it’s just about being fair.  And the process is it also cuts the deficit. 

What we did so far, just reducing the cost of insulin from an average of somewhere around 400 bucks a month to 35 bucks a month — (applause) — well, it’s not — it doesn’t just help — it doesn’t just help the patient.  It saved the country $160 billion — $160 billion they’re paying out less because Medicare didn’t have to pay it.

And the same way with — regarding the Affordable Care Act.  You know, 800 bucks, if you ha- — you have thousands of people here in your state qualifying for it, over — well over 100,000 across the country doing it — more than that, quite frankly — significant more.

And the end result of it is that if you didn’t have that Affordable Care Act and you had a preexisting condition, you couldn’t afford any insurance.  So, it’s just about basic fairness, just basic decency. 

By the way — I’ll stop talking and I’ll take questions, if you want me to.  But one of the things that I found interesting is Trump keeps talking about the deficit.  Well, he raised the deficit more in four years than any president in American history. 

We’ve cut it.  We’ve cut — we’ve done all this, and we cut the deficit.  (Applause.)

But it’s just about — you know, we’ve never lived up to “We hold these truths to be self-evident, all men and women are created equal, endowed by their Creator,” et cetera.  We’ve never fully lived up to it, but we’ve never walked away from it.

This guy wants to walk away from it.  Listen to what he’s saying.  Listen to what he wants to do.

While I was down in Georgia working on healthcare and making sure that we had the support of all the minority organizations in the country that we support so strongly, he was with Viktor Orbán, who talked about democracy being a problem, and telling him how much he understood him and agreed with him.  Come on.  I mean —

So, this is not who we are.  We got to make sure that — that we communicate that.  I’m going to be working like the devil.  And I’m looking forward to doing more and more of these events than the big events because this is how I used to campaign. 

You’ve campaigned with me before.  (Laughter.) 

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  A few times.

THE PRESIDENT:  A few times. 

But really, it’s about — it’s just getting to look people in the eye, get their feelings.  They tell you the truth when you’re talking to them.  Anyway.


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