Jim Graham Building
Raleigh, North Carolina

1:16 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, North Carolina!  And I’ll get in trouble with my mom looking down in Heaven if I don’t say please excuse my back, I apologize.  (Applause.)  (Inaudible.)

It’s good knowing you — it’s good knowing you have my back.  (Applause.)

Eric, thank you for that introduction.  We had a wonderful time spending time with your sons, Christian and Carter.  They’re going to grow up to be incredible young men.  You would have been really impressed the way they talked about their dad, how informed they were about what was going on.  I was truly impressed.  And I ate two hamburgers.  (Laughter and applause.)

And a special thanks to Roy and Kristin Cooper.  Roy, you’ve been a great governor — (applause) — which makes it all the more important that North Carolina elect a great governor to replace you, Josh Stein.  (Applause.)

And when I’m reelected again with your help, I want you to know that I’m not promising not to take Roy away from North Carolina.  (Applause.)  Whether he’ll come or not, I don’t know.  (Applause.)

And thanks to all the state and local leaders here today, and the great musicians and entertainers who performed earlier.

Folks, let me tell you why I’m here in North Carolina.  I’m here for one —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible.)

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

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s okay. 

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

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s okay.

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

THE PRESIDENT:  I’m here in North Carolina for one reason: Because I intend to win this state in November — (applause) — and we’re going to see that ha- — I think we are.

And Roy is right.  We win here, we win the election.  (Applause.)

And here’s how we’re going to do it.  We’re going to stand up for the women of America.  (Applause.)  We’re going to restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land.  (Applause.)  We’re going to stand up for the right to vote.  (Applause.)  And we’re going to stand up for Medicare and Social Security.  (Applause.)  And we’re going to fight for childcare, paid leave, and eldercare.  (Applause.) 

And we’re going to keep lowering the cost of prescription drugs, not just for seniors but for every single American.  (Applause.)  We’re going to keep protecting the Affordable Care Act — (applause) — which is why more than 40 million Americans have health insurance today that didn’t before.  (Applause)

We’re going to protect our children and get the weapons of war off our streets.  (Applause.)  We’re going to provide clean drinking water, affordable high-speed Internet, quality education for every child in America.  (Applause.)

We’re going to secure our border and protect legal immigration.  (Applause.)

And unlike the other guy, we’re going to stand up to dictators like Putin, because — (applause) — America bows to no one — no one — no one ever.  (Applause.)

Folks — and we’re going to keep dealing with the climate crisis.

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

THE PRESIDENT:  Look, and more than — and more than anything, we’re going to preserve, protect, and defend our democracy.  (Applause.)  Because more than anything else, that is what is at stake in America this election — (applause) — your freedom, your democracy.  America itself is at stake.  (Applause.)

Now, folks, I don’t know what you did last night, but I spent 90 stages — 90 minutes on the stage debating the guy who has the morals of an alley cat.  (Laughter and applause.)

Did you see Trump last night?  My guess he set — and I mean this sincerely — a new record for the most lies told in a single debate.  (Applause.) 

He lied about the great economy he created.  He lied about the pandemic he botched, killing millions of people.  (Applause.)  He closed businesses.  He closed schools.  Losing their homes — people all over this country. 

America was flat on its back.  So, I told Trump that he was just one of two presidents in American history who left office with fewer jobs than he started.  Herbert Hoover was the other one.  (Laughter.)  That’s why I call him Donald “Herbert Hoover” Trump.  (Applause.) 

And then he lied about how great he was for veterans.


THE PRESIDENT:  But then I told him how he had called a veteran who had given their lives in the country in World War I — he refused to go to the gravesites — he called them “suckers” and “losers.”


THE PRESIDENT:  He tried to deny it.  But let me ask you, are you going to believe a four-star Marine general, his own former chief of staff, John Kelly, who said he said that or the disgraced, defeated, and lying Donald Trump?  (Applause.)

My son was one of those people — not in World War I but in the v- —

Folks, look, how about the fact that 44 —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible.)

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

THE PRESIDENT:  How about the fact —

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

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s okay.

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

THE PRESIDENT:  How about the fact that 40 out of his 44 top advisors, including the vice president, aren’t supporting him this time around?  The people who know him best — 40 of them said, “I will not support the man I worked for this time around.”  It tells you a lot about — the person who knows him.

Look, he lied about how great he was on crime.  I had to remind him that he oversaw a record increase of murder rates in 2020.  And on my watch, violent crime has hit a 50-year low.  There’s more to do, but 50-year low.  (Applause.)

And then, I pointed out that the only convicted criminal on the stage last night was Donald Trump.  (Applause.)

When I’ve thought about his 34 felony convictions, his sexual assault on a woman in a public place, his being fined $400 million for business fraud, I thought to myself, “Donald Trump isn’t just a convicted felon.  Donald Trump is a one-man crime wave.”  (Applause.)  And he’s got more trials — he’s got more trials coming up. 

AUDIENCE:  Lock him up!  Lock him up!  Lock him up!

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, the time for that — (laughs). 

AUDIENCE:  Lock him up!  Lock him up!  Lock him up!

THE PRESIDENT:  Look, the thing that bothers me maybe most about him: He has no respect for women or the law.  He doesn’t. 

And then, his biggest lie.  He lied about how he had nothing to do with the insurrection on January the 6th. 


THE PRESIDENT:  We all saw with our own eyes.  We watched it on television.  We saw thousands of insurrection attack the Capitol.  We saw police being attacked, the Capitol being ransacked, the mob hunting for Speaker Pelosi, gallows literally set up for Mike Pence.  And then, he told them as he sat in the dining room — the one di- — one — the private dining one door off my Oval Office.  He sat there for three hours watching the TV.  He did not a single thing to stop it — nothing, nothing at all. 

And now —


THE PRESIDENT:  And now, he wants to pardon all those convicted criminals. 


THE PRESIDENT:  But, folks, for all his lies, we did learn some- — we learned some important truths about Donald Trump last night.  We learned he’s still proud of being the person who killed Roe v. Wade. 

We learned —


THE PRESIDENT:  No.  We learned he’s still proud about the pain and cruelty he’s inflicted on America’s women.


THE PRESIDENT:  We learned he still believes that politicians, not doctors and women, should make decisions about a woman’s health. 


THE PRESIDENT:  We learned that if he’s elected again and the MAGA Republicans pass a national ban on abortion, he will sign it. 


THE PRESIDENT:  Donald Trump says he thinks Roe v. Wo- — Roe — overturning Roe v. Wade was a beautiful thing. 


THE PRESIDENT:  I think it was a nightmare.  (Applause.)  No, I really mean it.  A nightmare. 

And I made it clear again last night: If you elect me and Kamala and you give us a Democratic Congress, we will make Roe v. Wade the law of the land again.  (Applause.) 

He continued to lie.  He said I quadrupled taxes — where the hell has he been? — (laughter) — which is a simple lie.  I didn’t raise the tax on anyone in America that made less than $400,000 a year, and I won’t in my second term either. 

We learned that Trump — (applause) — who had the largest deficit of any president in four years because of the $2 trillion tax cut to the super wealthy — we learned that Trump wants to give another giant tax cut for the very wealthy and the biggest corporations.  This time, $5 trillion — not a joke — $5 trillion.  To pay for it, he’s going to cut Medicare and Social Security.  He’ll cut health care.  They’ll do it all, with millions of working middle-class Americans all paying for another tax cut for the very wealthy. 

Then, to add insult to injury, he wants to raise taxes on the average family $2,500 a year.  What amounts to a new 10 percent sales tax on all products imported in America — that’s his new plan — for food, coffee, candy bars, and so much more.  It’s going to raise the tax on the average family $2,500 a year.

And most dangerously, though, we learned that Donald Trump will not respect this year’s election outcome.  He’s still not — he rejected the last time out. 


THE PRESIDENT:  No, think about it.  Every court in the nand [land] ruled that it was a fair election.  He’s still denying it, still telling lies.

Three times, Trump was asked last night by the moderators: Would he respect the election results if he lost this time?  Three times, he refused to answer.  Three times. 

Folks, Donald Trump refused to accept the results in 2020, and we all saw what happened on January the 6th.  It’s a direct consequence of that.  It was an international embarrassment. 

By the way, as I go these international meetings — I know every major world leader — I literally — because I’ve been around, as you might have noticed.  (Laughter.)  But they ask, “Does he really mean this?” “Is that — was this real?”  It caused a constitutional crisis and international embarrassment. 

Now, Trump is making it clear that if he doesn’t win this time, there will be, in his words, bloodshed — blood-


THE PRESIDENT:  No president has ever said anything like that.  No president.  His words, not mine. 

Are we going to let Donald Trump attack our democracy again? 


THE PRESIDENT:  I don’t think so. 

Folks —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible.)

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

THE PRESIDENT:  Folks, we’ve come a long way.   We’ve come a long way from the mess that Donald Trump left us.  We came out of the pandemic.  We’re a long way from where — Donald Trump telling us to inject bleach in our skin, that COVID is not that dangerous. 

Today, we have the strongest economy in the world without exception — (applause) — 15 million new jobs; 800,000 manufacturing jobs; unemployment under 4 percent for a record two years in a row — (applause) — historic Black and Hispanic unemployment down; historic creation of small businesses — Black and all communities across the nation, particularly in rural areas; historic economic growth; inflation has dropped from 9 percent to 3, and it’s still going down.  (Applause.)

I know we have more to do to get prices down.  We have to take on corporate greed.  They’re making twice the profit they were before the pandemic.

We got to make housing more affordable — (applause); provide childcare — (applause); make the tax code fair — (applause). 

Sixteen Nobel winners of the economic mo- — Nobel Prize have looked at my economy — economic plan.  This week, they’ve i- — issued a report.  And on Trump’s plan.

Here’s what they concluded.  They said that my plan would continue to grow the economy and bring down inflation.  (Applause.)  Sixteen Nobel laureates.  And that Trump’s plan would send the nation into recession and inflation soaring through the roof.


THE PRESIDENT:  Don’t take my word for it.

Folks, let me close with this.  I know I’m not a young man — (laughter) — to state the obvious.   

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I know.  (Applause.)   

AUDIENCE:  Joe!  Joe!  Joe!

THE PRESIDENT:  Well — I don’t —

AUDIENCE:  Joe!  Joe!  Joe!

THE PRESIDENT:  Folks, I don’t walk as easy as I used to.  I don’t speak as smoothly as I used to.  I don’t deba- — debate as well as I used to.  But I know what I do know: I know how to tell the truth.  (Applause.) 

I know — I know — I know right from wrong.  (Applause.)  And I know how to do this job.  (Applause.)  I know how to get things done.  (Applause.)  And I know like millions of Americans know: When you get knocked down, you get back up.  (Applause.)

I know what it took to take our economy from the depths of pandemic to where it is today: the strongest economy in the world.  I know what it’ll take to bring this economy to everybody.  I know what it’ll take to rally the world to stand up against Putin and defend freedom, not yield to him.  (Applause.)  And I know what it’ll take to keep the world safe and free for the years ahead.

Folks, I give you my word as a Biden.  I would not be running again if I didn’t believe with all my heart and soul I can do this job.  (Applause.)  Because, quite frankly, the stakes are too high. 

AUDIENCE:  Yes, you can!  Yes, you can!  Yes, you can!

THE PRESIDENT:  The stakes are too high.

AUDIENCE:  Yes, you can!  Yes, you can!  Yes, you can!

THE PRESIDENT:  Donald Trump — Donald Trump is a genuine threat to this nation. 


THE PRESIDENT:  He is a threat to our freedom.


THE PRESIDENT:  He is a threat to our democracy.


THE PRESIDENT:  He’s literally a threat for everything America stands for.


THE PRESIDENT:  Look, he doesn’t understand what I think all of you do.  America is the finest, the most unique nation in the world.  (Applause.) 

We’re the only nation in the world — and I mean this sincerely.  It’s a fact statement, not a hyper- — hyperbolic statement.  It’s fact.  We’re the only nation in the world built on an idea.  All other nations are built on ethnicity, geography, and other — religion.  But we’re built on an idea that we’re all created equal — (applause) — and deserve to be treated equally throughout our lives.  (Applause.) 

We’ve never fully lived up, but I’ll be damned in the year 2024, just two years — just two years before the 250th anniversary of our Declaration of Independence that I’ll let Donald Trump walk away from it.  (Applause.)

I give you my word — I give you my word as a Biden.  We’re still a nation — I believe our civilization believes in honesty, in decency, and treating people with respect.  I still believe we’re a nation that gives everyone a fair shot and leaves nobody behind.  (Applause.)

We are still a nation that gives hate no safe harbor.  (Applause.)  And we’re still the beacon to the world.  We can never give up what makes America America.  (Applause.) 

Donald Trump is motivated by revenge and retribution.  But revenge and retribution never built a damn thing.  (Applause.) 

You and I, we Americans are a nation of hope, optimism, and possibilities.  (Applause.)  That’s what always built America, and that’s going to continue to build America today.  (Applause.)

The choice in this election is simple.  Donald Trump will destroy our democracy; I will defend it.  (Applause.) 

Well, folks, are you with me?  (Applause.)

Donald Trump is the first president I’ve heard of that stood up there and running for president having been one — one term, saying, “America is a failing nation.”  Where the hell does he think he is?


THE PRESIDENT:  No, I’m serious.  A failing — I don’t know a president who wouldn’t trade places with America in a heartbeat.  He’s dead wrong.  America is not a losing nation.  America is winning.  (Applause.)

As I stand here today, I can honestly say I’ve never been more optimistic about America’s future in my whole career.  We just have to remember who we are.  We are the United States of America.  (Applause.)  And there is — there is nothing, nothing beyond our capacity — nothing — when we act together.


THE PRESIDENT:  You’ve got it.


THE PRESIDENT:  So, may God bless you all.  And may God protect our troops.  Let’s go get them, North Carolina.  (Applause.)  

(Referring to the First Lady.)  She finally did marry me.  (Applause.)

1:37 P.M. EDT

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