Girard College
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

2:17 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, Philadelphia. (Applause.) Good afternoon. Good afternoon. Good afternoon.

I want to thank Robert Nix for your leadership and for those very kind words and all you do for our country.

And I want to thank all the incredible leaders who are here with us today, in particular our young leaders. It is so good to see you all. (Applause.)

I also want to thank the members of the Congressional Black Caucus who are with us this afternoon. (Applause.)

And, everyone else, thank you for being here.

So, in 2020, Black voters in Philadelphia and across our nation helped President Biden and me win the White House. (Applause.) Yes, you did. And in 2024, with your voice and your power, we will win again. (Applause.)

Philadelphia, in Joe Biden, we have a fighter; a leader with skill, vision, determination, and compassion; a leader who keeps his promises.

As a candidate for president, Joe Biden gave his word that we would fight to address some of the biggest issues facing the Black community, and we have delivered. (Applause.)

In 2020, Joe Biden and I vowed that we would lower the cost of healthcare, like insulin.

For far too many years, too many of our seniors with diabetes had to make the awful decision about either filling their prescription or paying their rent, and Black Americans are 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes. So, we capped the cost of insulin for seniors at $35 a month. (Applause.)

And under Joe Biden’s leadership, finally, we took on Big Pharma and finally gave Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices. (Applause.)

We also took on the issue of debt, which makes so many people feel like they can never get ahead.

Take, for example, medical debt. We are now making it so medical debt can no longer be included on your credit score — (applause) — so that medical debt cannot impact a person’s ability to get a car loan, an apartment lease, or a home loan. (Applause.)

In 2020, we promised to forgive student loan debt. (Applause.)

Do I see people testifying? (Laughs.) Can I get a witness? (Laughs.)

And I’ll tell you, I — I have a unique position as Vice President to spend a lot of time with our president. And on this subject, I remember sitting in the Oval Office with our president, Joe Biden, shortly after the United States Supreme Court struck down our initial plan to forgive billions of dollars in student loan debt.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: A different leader — a different kind of leader would have thrown in the towel. Not Joe Biden. (Applause.) Not Joe Biden.

And I’m going to tell you what he said that day. I’m going to tell you what he said that day: “This is not over.” (Applause.)

So, we kept fighting. And so far, we have forgiven over $165 billion in student loan debt for over 5 million Americans. (Applause.) On average, more than 30 dollar — $30,000 per person and $70,000 for our public servants, like nurses, firefighters, and teachers. (Applause.)

In 2020, we promised to take on the issue of the epidemic of gun violence, knowing that today, in America, gun violence is the number-one cause of the death of the children of America — not car accidents, not cancer — gun violence.

We took on the issue knowing Black Americans are 10 times as likely to be the victim of gun homicide.

And I’ll tell you, I have personally held too many hands of mothers and fathers as I attempted to comfort them after their child was killed by gun violence.

So, to address this crisis, under the President’s leadership, we passed the first major gun safety law in nearly 30 years — (applause) — a bipartisan law to strengthen background checks.

And, again, I sat in the Oval Office with the President, where he sat down with Democrats and Republicans and appealed to their better selves. And that’s why, for the first time in 30 years, it happened as a bipartisan deal.

We created the first White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, which I lead and has now invested $1 billion to hire mental health — (applause) — mental health counselors in public schools to help heal the mental trauma of gun violence.

And, Philadelphia, in all of our work, the President has been guided by a fundamental belief: We work for you, the American people — (applause) — not the special interests, not the billionaires or the big corporations, but the people.

And in November, all the victories we have won and everything we fight for every day is on the line.

You know, Donald Trump once asked Black Americans — I’m going to quote, excuse the language — “What the hell do you have to lose from a Trump presidency?” And sadly, we all know too well.

When he was president, Donald Trump tried over and over to get rid of the Affordable Care Act and to take healthcare, then, from millions of Black Americans.

Year after year, he proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare so that so many of our seniors would be deprived on what they rely on to live with dignity.

And then he handpicked three members of the United States Supreme Court — the court of Thurgood —


THE VICE PRESIDENT: — with the intention that they would overturn Roe v. Wade. And as he intended, they did.

And today, one in three women and more than half of Black women of reproductive age live in a state with an abortion ban — a Trump abortion ban. And if he wins a second term, I promise you: He’s going to go even further.

So, all of this is to say, who sits in the White House matters. It matters for — (applause) — it matters for the people of America and for people around the world.

As vice president, I’ve now met with over 150 world leaders: presidents, prime ministers, chancellors, and kings. And I cannot tell you how many times one of those leaders has pulled me aside and talked about how much the world relies on us and on Joe Biden’s leadership — (applause) — his defense of democracy, his commitment to the ideals of freedom and liberty and equality, and his willingness to fight for these ideals.

And as the people of Pennsylvania know, our president does not only know how to fight, he knows how to win. (Applause.)

We beat Donald Trump once, and we going to beat him again. (Applause.)

And now it is my honor to introduce our President, Joe Biden. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Philadelphia! (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!


AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

It’s good — it’s good to be —

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT: (Laughs.) It’s good to be almost home. (Applause.) I just live down the road a little bit.

Thank you, Kamala, for your partnership. And it is a partnership. And how about another round of applause for our great Vice President. Isn’t she something else? (Applause.)

It’s great to see so many friends, including my fellow Scrantonian Senator Bobby Casey. Bobby, where are — where are you? (Applause.) There you are. There you are.

Mayor Parker; Lieutenant Governor Davis — (applause); and Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Steve Horsford — (applause); and members of the CBC who are here tonight, I’m a — if I introduced everybody, I’ll be here all night.

But, look, while he couldn’t be here, we’re thinking of our dear friend Congressman Dwight Evans. He’s recovering. And he’s going to recover. He’s doing well. (Applause.)

And joining us are so many state and local officials from across the country, including a guy for my father’s hometown, where he was born, Baltimore, Maryland. They say it down in Baltimore, not Baltimore. (Pronounced in an accent.) I want to — I want to introduce you to the mayor of — the mayor — the governor of the great state of Maryland. Where are you, Gov? (Applause.)

In case you haven’t noticed, he looks like he can still play too. (Laughter.) It’s great to be with you, Gov.

Civil rights and community leaders from all across the country.

Folks, if anyone wothers — wonders whether their vote matters, remember this: Because Black America voted in 2020, I’m —

Please, have — have a seat, if you can, if you have a seat.

Because Black Americans voted, Kamala and I are President and Vice President of the United States — because of you. That’s not hyperbole. Because you voted, Donald Trump is a defeated former president. (Applause.)

And with your vote — with your vote in 2024, we’re going to make Donald Trump a loser again. (Applause.)

In 2020 and throughout my career — I know a lot of Philadelphians know this because I got so much help when I was running for the Senate in Delaware from Philly — Black voters placed enormous faith in me. I’ve tried to do my best to honor that trust, staying true to the value set that we share — it got me involved as a kid in the first place: Everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect, faith and family are everything, and we leave no one behind. (Applause.)

But, folks, I know it’s natural to wonder if democracy — the democracy you hear about actually works for you. When justice is denied, how can it be working for you? When promises are broken, how can it be working for you? When you have to be 10 times better than everyone else to get the same shot, how can it be working for you?

I get it. And I know there’s a lot of misinformation out there. So, I came today to speak the truth — (applause) — the truth about promises made and promises kept.

Do you remember when the pandemic hit — when 20 million people were out of work, when businesses and schools shut down, emergency rooms were overwhelmed, and Black folks were hit harder than anyone? When Trump was president, he said — and he said this — he took responsibility for none of it — said, “It’s none of my responsibility.”

When I came into office, I promised we’d do everything we can to get us through that pandemic. And that’s what we did. That, folks, was a promise made and a promise kept. (Applause.)

I promised to put racial equality at the center of everything I do because I vowed I would have an administration that looked like America. Because you voted, we’re invested more money than ever in the Black families and communities. A promise made and a promise kept.

I promised we’d start to reconnect Black and brown and overlooked neighborhoods cut off by highways in the ‘60s and decades of disinvestment as a consequence of it, including here in Philly. But we’re — changed that with the Recovery Act of — with the — in the — right now you see all the construction going on on the highways around here. A promise made and a promise kept. (Applause.)

Look, I said I’d remove every lead pipe in America so every child can drink clean water without fear of brain damage. We’re doing it. A promise made and a promise kept. (Applause.)

I promised we’d also take the most significant action on environmental justice ever to remove the legacy of pollution that smothers fence-line communities, because every child, every American deserves to breathe clean and fresh air. We’re doing it. A promise made and a promise kept. (Applause.)

I promised to access affordable high-speed Internet because now Internet is just as important as it was in the days of Franklin Roosevelt — electricity was generations ago. We’re delivering now because no child should have to do their homework at McDonald’s when things are shut down, sit in the parking lot with their parent to get it done. Another promise made and another promise kept.

I promised to protect your healthcare. I protected and expanded the Affordable Healthcare Act that was Obamacare — is still Obamacare — (applause) — saving — saving millions of Americans an additional $800 a year in premiums.

And, folks, the Affordable Care Act is still a big deal. (Applause.)

As Kamala just explained, senators with — debated this, but we finally got it done — we debated — seniors with diabetes are now paying $35 for insulin instead of $400. I’m determined to make that apply to every American, not just seniors, in the second term. (Applause.)

We’re capping — the bill we’ve already passed, we capped total out-of-pocket costs for drugs for seniors beginning next year at $2,000 a year total, exclud- — including cancer drugs that cost $10-, $12-, $14,000 a year. You pay no more than $2,000 a year. (Applause.) A promise made and a promise kept.

And, by the way, it not only saves people money, it saves the taxpayers — guess what? — $160 billion cut in the def- — because Medicare doesn’t have to pay those exorbitant prices. (Applause.)

Folks, one of the reasons I got started and won the first time and subsequent times in Delaware is because of the best HBCU in America, Delaware State. (Applause.) Kamala — Kamala says it’s some school down in Washington. (Laughter.)

Anyway, HBCUs are incredible institutions, but they don’t have the same endowments as other universities to fund research centers and do so much more. Because you voted, I kept my commitment, and we’re investing $16 billion — (applause) — the most ever in the history of America — $16 billion. It will grow America. It will save America money. A promise made and a promise kept.

I’m keeping my promises that no one should be in jail merely for using or possessing marijuana. (Applause.) I pardoned thousands of people incarcerated for the mere possession of marijuana — thousands. A promise made and a promise kept. And for — their records should be expunged as well, I might add. (Applause.)

Folks, it wasn’t easy to get a lot of this done. In fact, obstacles every step of the way, we faced. For example, Senate Republicans blocked the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. But it didn’t stop me from signing a historic executive order requiring key elements of that bill for federal enforcement. That is banning choke holds, greatly restricting no-knock warrants, creating databases for police misconduct, and so much more. (Applause.) But we’re still — and we did it with the support of George Floyd’s family, and we’re going to finally get it all done. A promise made and a promise kept.

I promised we’d beat the NRA. And we did. (Applause.) As Kamala mentioned, I signed the most significant gun safety law in nearly 30 years. A promise made and a promise kept.

And, by the way, I’m going to go back and once again ban assault weapons in America. (Applause.) I did it once; I’ll do it again.

The Supreme Court blocked me from relieving student debt, but they didn’t stop me.

So far, I’ve relieved student debt for nearly 5 million Americans — (applause) — a significant number are Black borrowers — so you can chase your dreams, start a family, buy a first home, start a business, and so much more.

And guess what? It grows the economy. It strengthens the economy.

I’m going to keep it going. A promise made is a promise kept.

But we’re — speaking of the —


THE PRESIDENT: — speaking of the courts, because you voted, I was able to keep my commitment to appoint the first Black woman on the United States Supreme Court — (applause) — Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. A promise made and a promise kept.

And I appointed more Black women to the federal circuit courts than every other president in American history combined. (Applause.) Every single president combined.

And overall, we’ve appointed 200 Black judges to the federal — I mean, judges to the federal bench.

And guess what? The next president — they’re going to be able to appoint a couple of justices, and I’ll be damned if they’re not going to — (applause) —

Look, if, in fact, we’re able to change some of the justices when they retire and put in re- — really progressive judges like we’ve always had, tell me that won’t change your life when jus- — Trump justices are already gutting voting rights, overturning Roe, decimating affirmative action, and so much more. Are we going to let that happen? We can’t.


THE PRESIDENT: No, we — we really can’t.

Now, let’s talk about Trump’s MAGA lies. I don’t have an hour, but (inaudible) it. (Laughter.)

Trump takes credit for sending all the pandemic relief checks alone. It’s a lie. The truth is the Congressional Black Caucus got that money passed. (Applause.)

And when Kamala and I came to office, with the help of the CBC, passed legislation to deliver more checks in the pockets to millions of Americans, including Black Americans — $1,400 checks from the American Rescue Plan we passed, and then $300 a month per child per family through the Child Tax Credit, which cut child poverty in half for Black families. (Applause.) And I’m going to get it reinstated in the second term.

Folks, Trump continues to lie by saying Black unemployment was at a record low on his watch. The fact is the record low unemployment happened on my watch, and we’re going to keep it going. (Applause.)

Black small businesses are starting up at a faster rate in 30 years because of what we’ve done. The racial wea- — wealth gap is the lowest it’s been in 20 years because of our efforts. A promise made and a promise kept.

I announced signif- — the most significant housing plan in 50 years that includes first-time homebuyer’s tax credit, building millions of affordable housing to bring rents down. New data shows a 40 percent cut in the gap between home appraisals in majority white communities versus those of color — in communities of color.

You know, the same exact builder on av- — either — on either side of 95, build the same houses — if it’s a Black community, it’s lower — the value, from the very day it’s built, ends up being lower than the exact same house across the highway in the white community.

We’re doing everything we can to right that wrong.

And guess what? We’re talking on corporate greed — (applause) — to bring down the price of gas, food, and rent; eliminating junk fees. Instead of getting charged 35 bucks for an overdraft, it’s $3 now, not $35. (Applause.)

The bottom line is we’ve invested more in Black America than any previous administration in history has. We’re opening more doors for economic opportunity, including access to capital, entrepreneurship, workforce training so you can build a life of financial freedom and create generational wealth, all — all while being the providers and leaders of your families and community. Another promise made and a promise kept.

We’re just getting started. In a second term, we want to keep it going to level the playing field by making the wealthy begin to pay their fair tax. (Applause.) It ain’t even close.

I said I’d not increase the tax of anybody making less than $400,000 a year. Well, guess who — how much — guess how much the average federal tax rate is for a billionaire? We’ve got a thousand of them. 8.3 percent. 8.3 percent. It’s outrageous. If the billionaires only had to pay 25 percent, it would raise 40 — $400 billion. We’d be able to do everything we’re doing now and still reduce the debt.

Look, billionaires pay their fair share, not only would it sa- — not only reduce the deficit, but it could provide childcare, eldercare, paid leave, and so much more to change the lives of millions of Americans, as well as grow our economy.

But, folks, all progress, all freedom, all opportunities are at risk. Trump is trying to make the country forget just how dark and unsettling things were when he was president. But we’ll never forget lying around and him — how he and — and us — him — him lying around, actually. (Laughter.) And lying about how serious the pandemic was and say he had no responsibility for it. And telling Americans, “Just inject a little bleach.” Remember that?

The way he’s acting, I think he injected a hell of a lot of bleach in himself. (Laughter.)

Trump —


THE PRESIDENT: (Laughs.) You got it, kid. (Laughter.)

Trump and his MAGA extremists want to give power back to Big Pharma to char- — continue to charge exorbitant fees. Trump is still determined, in his own words, quote, to “terminate” the Affordable Care Act, which would deny 3 million Black Americans health insurance, deny protections for preexisting conditions for millions more.

During his presidency, Trump enacted a $2 trillion tax cut overwhelmingly benefitting the very wealthy and the biggest corporations and exploded the federal deficit. He racked up more federal debt than any president did in any presidential term in history. Tell me about the Republicans and balancing budgets. And now he wants to do it again.

At the same time, he is determined to cut Social Security and Medicare.


THE PRESIDENT: I have a better idea: Let’s protect Social Security and Medicare and make the very wealthy begin to pay for it. (Applause.)

As Kamala said, Trump brags about gutting Roe v. Wade — standing there, “I did this” — while he openly encourages voter suppression and election subversion.

Folks, reelect Kamala and me and a Democratic Congress, and I will sign the John Lewis Voting Right Act and the Freedom to Vote Act tomorrow — (applause) — and we will make Roe v. Wade the law of the land again. (Applause.) It’s within our power to do this.

MAGA extremists ban books. Did you ever think — if you’re anybody over 30 years old — you’d go through a period where we’re banning books in America? They’re trying to erase Black history. We’re going to write Black history, because it’s American history. (Applause.) It’s American history.

Together, we make history, not erase it.

To me, the values of diversity, equality, inclusion are literally — and this is not kidding — the core strengths of America. That’s why I’m proud to have the most diverse administration in history that taps into the full talents of our country. And it starts at the top with the Vice President.

On Memorial Day, I proudly stood with a Black man — the highest order — the first Black Secretary of Defense; second Black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Black woman heads of military units who are overseeing the most diverse, strongest fighting force in the history of the world. (Applause.)

And, folks, the threat that Trump poses is greater in his second term than his first. It’s clear that when he lost in 2020, something literally snapped in this guy. No, I’m serious. That’s why January 6th happened, when he unleashed an insurrection.

Now, he’s running again, and he’s clearly unhinged. He calls the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol “patriots” — “patriots.” If reelected, he wants to pardon, quote, “every one” of them.


THE PRESIDENT: Let me ask you, what do you think he would’ve done on January the 6th if Black Americans had stormed it — think about this: What do you think would have happened if Black Americans had stormed the Capitol? I don’t think he’d be talking about pardons.

This is the same guy who wanted to tear gas you as you peacefully protested George Floyd’s murder. The same guy who still calls the Central Park Five “guilty,” even though they were exonerated.

He’s that landlord who denies housing applications because of the color of your skin.

He’s that guy who won’t say “Black lives matter” and invokes neo-Nazi, Third Reich terms.

And we all remember Trump is the same guy who unleashed birthism — the birtherism lie against Barack.

And then Trump tells you he’s the greatest president — I love this one. He says he’s the greatest president for Bl- — Black people in the history of America, including more than Abraham Lincoln. (Makes sign of the cross.)


THE PRESIDENT: I mean, can you fathom that? Where in the hell — (applause) — like I said, I think he injected too much of that bleach in his skin — into his brain. (Laughter.) I think it affected his brain.

Some lies are so foolish that you don’t have to say anything about them at all.

Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are” —

AUDIENCE: Believe them!

THE PRESIDENT: — “believe them the first time.” You got it, kid. (Laughter.) You got it.

I’ve shown you who I am, and Trump has shown you who he is. And today, Donald Trump is pandering and peddling lies and stereotypes for your votes so he can win for himself, not for you.

Well, Donald Trump, I have a message for you: Not in our house and not on our watch. (Applause.)

Let me close with this. Let me close with this. And, folks, I know we have a lot more to do. When the full promise of America is not available to every person in this country regardless of race, we’ve got work to do. But let’s not lose sight of how far we’ve come. And the reason is you.

The stakes in this election couldn’t be higher. What’s at stake is nothing less than the fundamental ideal of America — it defines America: that we’re all created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, and should be treated that way throughout our lives. We’ve never lived up to it, but we’ve never, ever before completely walked away from it, either.

And I’ll be damned if I’m going to let Donald Trump be the reason we stopped being America. (Applause.)

I’ll be damned if I’m going to let Donald Trump — (applause) — we’re not going to let Donald Trump turn America into a place that doesn’t believe in honesty, decency, and treating people with respect. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to let Donald Trump turn America into a place filled with anger and resentment and hate. (Applause.)

Folks, America has always been a place where we’ve worked toward a more perfect Union, where those who were excluded in the past are included in the promise in the country today. I still believe that. I’m still optimistic. But I need you.

So, my question for you is simple — a simple one: Are you with me?

AUDIENCE: Yes! (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Talk to your family.

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT: Spread the word.

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT: As the gospel song goes, “We’ve come too far from where we started. Nobody told me the road would be easy. I don’t believe He brought me this far, though, to leave me.” (Applause.)

My fellow Americans, I don’t think the good Lord brought us this far to leave us behind. We just have to remember who we are. We’re the United States of America, and there is nothing — nothing, nothing — beyond our capacity when we act together.

God bless you all. And may God protect our troops. (Applause.)

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Every time — every time I walked out of my Grandfather Finnegan’s house up in Scranton, he’d yell, “Joey, keep the faith.” And my grandmother would yell, “No, Joey, spread it.”

Go spread the faith. (Applause.)

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