Salus University
Elkins Park, Pennsylvania

2:23 P.M. EDT
     MS. RALPH:  Hello, everyone.  Oh, my goodness.  Before I start, I want to say something about this woman right here.  I know this woman, I love this woman, and I like this woman.  (Applause.)

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  (Laughs.)

     MS. RALPH:  But I wanted to be clear to let you know, and I thought it was important to write these things down. 
     But wait a minute.  I’m putting these on not because I need them — (laughter) — but because I look good in them.  (Laughter and applause.)  Yes, thank you.

     So, I wrote this down —

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Oh, Sheryl Lee —

     MS. RALPH:  I said, “No matter what you think about class, culture, color, or gender, we are about to talk with one of the most capable, influential, bold, and fearless thinkers ever.”  (Applause.)

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you.

     MS. RALPH:  This human right here isn’t out to connect some of us.  She is here to connect all of us.  (Applause.)  And this human being just happens to be a woman.  (Applause.)

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  (Laughs.)

     MS. RALPH:  Wooo!

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Oh, my goodness.

     MS. RALPH:  Madam Vice President, Kamala Harris.

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Sheryl Lee Ralph —

     MS. RALPH:  Girl!

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — the one and only.  (Laughs.)

     MS. RALPH:  What a wonderful journey we have had together, because I’ll never forget South Carolina.  But when we think about South Carolina to this moment, tell me, how do you see and feel about this moment, this reelection moment?

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Sheryl Lee Ralph.  Thank you so very much.  You are such an extroar- — we have known each other a long time.  You are an extraordinary artist, and you are a — just a phenomenal leader.  And you are a girl’s girl, and we love girl’s girls.

     MS. RALPH:  Thank you.  (Laughs.)  Thank you.  (Laughter.)  Thank you.  Thank you.

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  If I may, I’d like to just start by acknowledging Karen, who you just heard from.

     MS. RALPH:  Yes.  (Applause.)

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  You know, in these last two years, I’ve met some phenomenal women.  And you just witnessed one of those women, Karen, who, borne out of such personal tragedy, decided that they would take a stage in front of a national audience to share something so personal and — and so hurtful in terms of the experience and what it meant, and doing it so selflessly so that the world can understand what this really means —

     MS. RALPH:  That’s right.

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — for so many women who are not in this room and so many women who have been made to feel alone and been made to feel as though they should be quiet and not share or talk about their fears and their experiences.

     And so, can we please again applaud Karen — (applause) –for her courage — her courage. 

     I said to her: What she is doing by speaking about her experience is going to impact women she may never meet, women who may never know her name, but because of her ability — and your ability, everyone here — to understand what’s at stake and then to be here and to be engaged and be active, it’s going to make a difference for a lot of people.
     So, I want to thank everyone for being here, and starting with Karen.

     MS. RALPH:  Yes.

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

     MS. RALPH:  Thank you.  (Applause.)

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  So, this moment — so, this is the moment we are in.  We witnessed, about two years ago, the highest court in our land — the court of Thurgood and RBG — take a constitutional right that had been recognized — had been recognized — from the people of America, from the women of America.

     And thereafter, we have witnessed, in state after state, laws being proposed and passed that criminalize healthcare providers.  A state, in particular, that I have in mind — Texas — would provide for prison for life for a healthcare provider, a doctor or nurse, just doing their job.  States that make no exception even for rape and incest.

     Now, many of you know I started my career as a prosecutor, but you may not know why. 

     So, when I was in high school, I learned that one of my best friends was being molested by her stepfather.  And when I learned that, I said to her, “You have to come and stay with us.”  And I called my mother.  And my mother said, “Of course, she has to come stay with us.”  And she did.

     So, at a young age, I decided I wanted to take on harms against women and children.  And for the majority of my career as a prosecutor, I actually specialized in those kinds of cases. 

     So, the idea that these so-called leaders would say even no exception for rape or incest; to say to a survivor of a crime of violence to their body, a violation to their body, that you, the survivor of that, don’t have a right to make a decision about what happens to your body next, that’s immoral.

     These are the kinds of things that are happening in our country.

     I think about it in the context of our daughter, who is 24 and, as of today, has fewer rights than my mother-in-law.

     MS. RALPH:  Okay.

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I think of it in the context of the idea that we are a nation that was founded on certain fundamental principles, including that which is we believe in freedom, the freedom of individuals to make decisions, in particular, about what I call “heart and home.”

     And I think we all agree one does not have to abandon their faith or deeply held beliefs to agree the government should not be telling her what to do with her body.  (Applause.) 

     If she chooses, she will talk with her priest or her pastor.  She will talk with her rabbi or her imam.  But not the government.

     MS. RALPH:  That’s right.

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  And, my goodness, I’m going to tell you, these states, some of them — I was just recently in Florida — six-week — six-week ban, which makes very clear, by the way, that these very important so-called leaders are not very clear about how a woman’s body works — (laughter and applause) —

     MS. RALPH:  Oh —

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — since most women don’t even know they’re pregnant at six weeks.  So, either they don’t know or they don’t care.

     This is what’s happening in our country in this year, 2024.

     And so, we have to, all of us — and I’m preaching to the choir with this group who’s here — we have to be active.  And we have to stand for these fundamental points that are about freedom and also, hopefully, that we all, as Americans, have a sense of empathy and concern about the suffering of other people.

     You know?  So, that’s where we are.

     MS. RALPH:  Why is it important to you?

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I — listen, I — first of all, I — I am a daughter of a mother who had two goals in her life.  My mother, her two goals were to raise her two daughters and to end breast cancer.  My mother was a breast cancer researcher.  And she was one of the very few women and women of color.

     And my mother, since the earliest days of my memory, fought for the dignity of women in the healthcare system and with the knowledge that we still have some work to do around how women are treated in the healthcare system —
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — and we still have some work to do for people to recognize, in — in particular, the importance of — of women having dignity and access to reproductive healthcare in every way.

     MS. RALPH:  In every way.

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  In every way.  In every way.

     In fact, I have the — I didn’t realize I did, but I have the distinction of being the first president or vice president to ever visit a reproductive health clinic. 

     And — (applause) — and to your point about “in every way” — so, since these laws have been passed, reproductive health clinics around our country have been closing.

     MS. RALPH:  That’s right.

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  And what many of us probably know is that those clinics are the same ones that provide breast cancer screenings —
     MS. RALPH:  That’s right.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — contraceptive care, Paps. 
     You know, I — I’m so fed up with this sometimes, because you know I’m on the road full time talking about this and other issues.  When I went to that reproductive clinic, it was — it was a long day, and the press was there.  And I said, “Let me just tell you — and you guys are going to have to be ready for this, ready for certain language.”  And I said very loudly, “Ovaries.”  (Laughter.) 

     MS. RALPH:  “Fallopian tubes!”

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  And “fallopian tubes.”  (Laughs.)  Right?

     MS. RALPH:  “Uterus!”

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  “Fibroids!”

     MS. RALPH:  Thank you!

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  (Laughs.)  And it was the funniest thing, for me at least.  The women reporters started laughing.  All the men reporters looked down.  (Laughter.)

     MS. RALPH:  But we’ve got to have these conversations —


     MS. RALPH:  — out loud.

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Absolutely.

     MS. RALPH:  Being a woman is not something to be ashamed of.

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Absolutely right.

     MS. RALPH:  Listen, if a man can get Viagra, I need healthcare too.  (Laughter and applause.)

     And when we talk about reproductive clinics, understand that — and it’s another one of these words people don’t want to say out loud — abortion is the very least that they do.  (Applause.)


     MS. RALPH:  The very least.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  That’s right.  That’s right.

     MS. RALPH:  If you were to take Planned Parenthood away from some communities, there would be no place for the women or the men to go for healthcare.

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  That’s right.

     MS. RALPH:  People need to —

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  That’s right.

     MS. RALPH:  — understand this.  (Applause.)

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  That’s right.  That’s right.
     MS. RALPH:  They’ve got to understand that they don’t go to these clinics just because they’ve been a bad girl —
     MS. RALPH:  — or a naughty lady.  You go to clinics like this because you need healthcare.  (Applause.)  
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  That’s right.  But — and, Sheryl Lee, I’ll say you touched on something that I think is very important to acknowledge, as you’ve done.  There’s also something that has happened and been happening in this environment, which is to judge women — to judge women as though they’ve done something wrong —
     MS. RALPH:  Right.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — as though they should be embarrassed, which, of course, has the effect and sometimes, I think, the intended effect of disempowering women. 
     MS. RALPH:  Yes. 
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  And, you know, that’s why it is also so important that everyone, regardless of your gender, that we show up and use every method we have, whether it’s our friends network or our social media, to say, “No, these women are not alone.  We stand with them.  And we trust women” —
     MS. RALPH:  Yes. 
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — “to know what’s in their own best interest.”  (Applause.)
     You know, because that is — that is — that undergirds a lot of this.  Like, we have to just call it for what it is: Do you not trust women to know what is in their own best interest?  You, some — some legislator in some state capitol, the majority of whom are not women, are in a better position to tell her what she should do? 
     Well, and — but, see, we’re go- — we’re going to vote.  (Applause.)  And we’re going to show them —
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — that we see what’s happening.  And we’re not going to sit silent, and we’re not going to let it happen. 
     And — and on the issue of voting, be clear that from the midterms, after the Dobbs decision came down that undid the protections of Roe, through elections at the end of last year, Kansas to California, from Ohio to Montana, in so-called red and blue states, when this issue was on the ballot, the American people voted for freedom — (applause) — voted for freedom. 
     MS. RALPH:  And when we talk about freedom, why is it that we are still having to have a conversation over and over and over again about how important it is to trust women?  (Applause.) 
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Yeah.  Yeah.
     MS. RALPH:  Why do we have to keep talking about the choices that women must make for themselves?  And why are we having to talk to so many women to let them know how important they are in this reelection on this subject and how important it is to vote for your own best interest?  (Applause.)
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Yeah, yeah. 
     So, here is what I would say.  I often paraphrase — I think it’s such a lovely, important saying from Coretta Scott King.  And she famously said the fight for civil rights — and you can insert there the fight for equality and freedom — must be fought and won with each generation. 
     And when she said that, I think she had two points in mind.  One is that it is the nature of these fights that whatever we gain will not be permanent.  It’s the nature of it.  Therefore, the second point, we must be vigilant and not be overwhelmed when these moments happen, because the nature of it — the very nature of it is we must be vigilant to hold on to these rights. 
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  You know, I think of this when we talk about this fight for our freedoms — be it the freedom to make decisions about your own body, the freedom to have access to the ballot, the freedom to be free from the fear of gun violence, the freedom to love who you love openly and with pride — freedom for us, as Americans, is very much about one of the essential and important pillars of — of a democracy. 
     And, you know, as Vice President, I have now met with over 150 world leaders — presidents, prime ministers, chancellors, and kings.  And when I travel around the world or they visit with us here, one thing has become very clear to me: When we, as Americans, walk in those rooms, we walk in those rooms with our chin up and our shoulders back with the self-appointed and earned authority to talk about the importance of democracy. 
     My — one of my fears is that in some country where some women are fighting for their right to have an education, that some autocrat is looking at them and saying, “Well, you look at what the United States is doing right now to women.  You be quiet.” 
     There’s a lot about what we are fighting for right now as Americans that is about all that we are discussing and will have an impact on people around the world.  And let that be a reminder of many things but, most importantly, our power with our voice to have impact —
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — through our vote.  (Applause.)
     MS. RALPH:  I stood backstage and I was listening to Karen tell her story, and I thought about my own story.  And you don’t know this.  I have two children, a son and a daughter, Etienne and Ivy.  And when my son was born, it almost didn’t happen. 
     I had lost my amniotic fluid.  And most of us know in here, that’s the fluid that surrounds the baby in the womb.  I had lost it all.  And I was about ready to have what they called a “dry birth,” which is complicated — my God, I haven’t thought about this — which is complicated, and the survival of the child is — wow.  So, I was in a moment —
     MS. RALPH:  — where I was so close to birth and death at the same time. 
     And this doctor says to me, “You have one chance right now for a viable delivery.”  I’m listening to this as I’m trying to deliver my child.  Suppose my child was not viable, and in that moment, you’re going — now, you know what it looks like.  (Laughter.)  In that moment, if that doctor were to deliver and excavate the child from my womb, they would have gone to prison? 
     These are the kind of things we have got to think about.  That happened to me.  But that was 30 years ago.  I had more rights 30 years ago.  (Applause.) 
     MS. RALPH:  When we talk about health justice — and I just want to ask you your thoughts.  When you look at what’s happening with Black women and Black women and fertility —
     MS. RALPH: — you know —
     MS. RALPH:  — the numbers are going so sky high, not only is the mother dying, the baby is dying at three times —
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  That’s right.
     MS. RALPH:  — the national rate.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Mm-hmm, yeah.
     MS. RALPH:  So, how did we get here?
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  So, let’s talk about that.  This is an issue I’ve been working on for a long time, since I was in the Senate and now as Vice President.  We have the very sad distinction as the United States of having one of the highest rates of maternal mortality of any so-called developed or wealthy country in the world.  How could this be?
     MS. RALPH:  How?
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  We — for Black women, three times more likely to die in connection with childbirth; for Native women, twice as likely; for rural women, one and a half times more likely. 
     And now, let’s — let’s layer this with also what’s happening in terms of abortion bans.  In the states with the 10 top rates of maternal mortality, they all have abortion bans. 
     Let’s add the point about race and Black women.  That includes — the majority of Black women in America live in the South.  Every Southern state except Virginia has an abortion ban.
     Let me I add some more information.  When I became Vice President, I was looking into what are we doing — because this is a related issue — around resources for postpartum care.  And I looked at the numbers, and only three states in our country had extended for Me- — for women on Medicaid postpartum care from 2 months to 12 months — only three states. 
     So not being above shaming people, I decided to call out all the other states — (laughter) — and say, “You need to extend postpartum coverage to 12 months.”  As of today, 46 states have done it.  (Applause.)  Right?
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  But, again, we — you know, this is where we can’t be overwhelmed or despondent.  We have to just say, “Okay, this is what it is.”  And we’re going to continue to fight because how is it, then, when we came in office in 2021, only three states were doing that?  Coverage for postpartum care for only two months, right?  Understanding what is needed in terms of still — medical care, whatever is needed in terms of emotional support, mental health support. 
     So, there’s still a lot of work to be done.  And I think that we are — if you think about movements as being kind of like relay races, there are the men and women who fought this fought — fight to — to get Roe v. Wade decided.  And then for, you know, half a century, we had it. 
     And I think that those great leaders have now passed the baton to each of us.  And the question is: What are we going to do in our time in the race while we’re carrying the baton?  And I think everyone here has decided to answer that question, which is to say we’re going to fight.  (Applause.) 
     MS. RALPH:  That’s right.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  We’re going to fight. 
     MS. RALPH:  And when you say “we’re going to fight,” you mean that?
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Oh, I do.  Oh, yes.  (Laughs.)
     MS. RALPH:  Because we all know, there is an enemy of Roe vs. Wade at the door. 
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, let’s just get right into that, shall we?
     MS. RALPH:  Hey, hey, hey.  (Laughter.)
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  And I see Sharif Street, who is here, who runs the Democratic Party in the state. 
     Listen, if you want to know who is to blame for where we are right now, a finger can be directly pointed at the former President.  The former President made it very clear, and — and then did what he intended to do —
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — that he would pick three members of the United States Supreme Court with the intention that they would undo the protections of Roe.  And they did exactly as he intended.
     And then we see the laws being passed.  Most recently, you’ve heard him say and talk about the fact that he is proud.   Proud, I ask, that doctors and nurses can be jailed?  Proud that our daughters have fewer rights than ourselves and our mothers? 
     Proud that people are suffering, such as a — you know, a woman I met who I think I’m going to be with tonight and — at an event later, who, suffering a miscarriage, went to an emergency room to receive care, was denied because the health professionals there were afraid they could be jailed for helping her. 
     MS. RALPH:  That’s right.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  She went back.  Again, denied.  Not until she developed sepsis was she treated. 
     So, understand, again, the significance of elections.  They matter.
     MS. RALPH:  That’s right.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Elections matter.  (Applause.)
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  And, by the way, it’s not only — it is who sits in the White House, and it is who is your United States senator.  Reelect Bob Casey.  (Applause.)
     MS. RALPH:  That’s right.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  And check out what his opponent says about these issues if you need any guidance on what the difference is going to be.  Look at what happened in terms of Josh Shapiro being governor —
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — and being able to ensure — (applause) —
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — that this state would maintain its protections.  The state legislature, I believe, hangs in the balance of one vote.  And what that means: Elections matter.
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  And we want to remind people of their power to make determinations about the direction of where you live, in terms of your neighborhood, your state, and your country, on this and so many other issues. 
     And so, let’s, you know — and our young people, let’s remind our young leaders.  You know, I started, last fall, a college tour.  And I visited — it was really for college-aged young people, so it was colleges, universities, community colleges, and trade schools. 
     And I’ll have to tell you, I love Gen Z.
     MS. RALPH:  (Laughs.)
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I know for some of us who have Gen Zs in our life, it may be complicated.  (Laughter.)  But let me just tell you, I love Gen Z.  I mean, this is a population of young people who have the distinction of so many of the issues that are on the ballot, it’s a lived experience for them.
     The climate crisis — they’ve only known the climate crisis.  They’ve coined a term “climate anxiety.”  I was just talking with our daughter yesterday about this.  Climate anxiety: They’re afraid to have children or that they should even aspire to buy a home for fear of extreme weather could take it out.
     MS. RALPH:  That’s right.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  They — they lost substantial phases of their education and socialization in the pandemic. 
     I would ask everywhere I go — and there was a packed room every time.  And I’d asked these young people, “Raise your hand if at any point between kindergarten and 12th grade, you had to endure an active shooter drill.”  It was bone-chilling.  Almost every hand went up.
     Think about our babies.  I — there was a — a younger student who once, when I was having this conversation, said to me, “Yeah” — on this subject, you know, “That’s why I don’t like going to fifth period.”  I said, “Why, sweetheart?  Why don’t you like going to fifth period?”  “Because in fifth period, there’s no closet,” in which to hide.
     And then, of course, during the height of their reproductive years, the Court took this right.
     This — this generation of young leaders, when they start voting in their numbers, I predict a sea change, because this stuff is not theoretical.  This is not ideological.  It’s a lived experience for them.
     And I — what I love about them most is they’re not sitting around waiting for us to figure it out.  (Laughter.)  Right?  And I love that.  I love that.  (Applause.)  I love that.
     So, we just have to encourage them.
     MS. RALPH:  Absolutely.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  We have to encourage them.
     MS. RALPH:  So much encouragement.
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Yes, yes.  (Laughter.)  That’s what we, as parents, do.  Exactly.
     MS. RALPH:  Talking about parents —
     MS. RALPH:  — we’ve got so many women here today — mothers in the audience.  All the mothers give yourselves a nice round of applause.  (Applause.)  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  And the aunts and the sisters and the grandmothers —
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — and everyone.
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.  Yes.  Tell them about what you and the administration have done for them.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, there’s —
     MS. RALPH:  What have you done for me lately?  (Laughter.)
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, you know, here’s the thing I would say, is that every issue is a woman’s issue. 
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Right?  And women’s issues should be everyone’s issues.  And — and that would, you know, include the topic of today, this issue of — of reproductive freedom.
     You know, my husband I were just talking about this last night, actually.  This is an issue which anyone, regardless of their gender — I — your government is taking freedoms from people.  How does that make you feel?  Right?  Like, it’s just a foundational and fundamental point.
     What have we done?  We’ve been doing a lot of work, of course, on maternal mortality.  The work that we have done on gun violence is the fir- — you know, mothers and fathers know this experience of saying a silent prayer when you drop your kid off at school bus or drop them off at school: “Please, God, let my child come home tonight.”
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  What we have done — we’ve passed the first significant piece of gun safety legislation in 30 years.  
     The work we’ve done on — on prescription medication.  (Applause.)  So many of our seniors have had to make awful decisions if they have diabetes, about whether they could afford their insulin or afford their rent.  We have now finally capped the cost of insulin at $35 a month for our seniors.  (Applause.)
     It’s a very big deal.  We took on Pharma around saying, “Hey, Medicare should be able to negotiate drug prices.”  (Applause.)  And so, we have now capped the cost of prescription medication on an annual basis for seniors at $2,000 — $2,000 a year.  (Applause.)
     These are some of the various issues that we have taken on, including what we have done around dealing with, for example, health- — we’re talking about healthcare; let’s talk about an issue that holds so many Americans down: medical debt.  Medical debt, which, for most people — many people, comes out of facing an amed- — medical emergency for which you were not prepared, in terms of just — 
     MS. RALPH:  That’s right.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — financially not prepared.  Right? 
     So, we have passed a rule that says now that medical debt cannot be accounted in your credit score.  (Applause.)  Think about what that means. 
     MS. RALPH:  Thank you. 
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Right?  And that medical debt cannot be calculated in — in terms of issuing you credit, be that for a car loan, a credit card loan. 
     MS. RALPH:  Thank you.  (Applause.)
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Again, understanding we want people to not just — you know, the President and I feel very strongly, and this is probably part of our just philosophy in terms of our administration.  We have been doing things with the sincere belief that people shouldn’t just be able to get by but should be able to get ahead.  You know?  (Applause.)
     And —
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  And so, a lot of what we have done, these are all women’s issues and — and everyone’s issues.  The work we have done that is now about — we’ve created over 15 million new jobs since we came in.  (Applause.)  And remember, we came in during the height of —
     MS. RALPH:  15 million.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — a pandemic.  What we have done — we’ve created over 850 new manufacturing jobs, and we’re manufacturing right here in America — (applause) —
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — creating these jobs right here.  Right? 
     Investing in, you know, new industries, too, and that’s been exciting.  And it’s — I think what we have accomplished has been — and history will show has been actually historic, and historians are saying that. 
     If you compare what we’ve done even to the Eisenhower years, what we have done to invest in infrastructure, what we have done to invest in manufacturing, to invest in the American workforce, to address healthcare is exceptional. 
     And — and, listen, I’ll just cut to the chase.  We have an election coming up in 181 days.  And while —
     MS. RALPH:  One hundred and eight.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Eighty-one.
     MS. RALPH:  Eighty-one —
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Might as well be eight —
     MS. RALPH:  — days.  Thank you.  (Laughter.)
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — days, given how we need to hustle.  (Laughs.)
     MS. RALPH:  Right.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Listen, in the — in the context every- — of everything we have discussed and understanding the complexity and the nuance of so many issues, November of ‘24 is binary.  It’s two choices.
     I would throw up a split screen.  On the one hand and on the one side, in Joe Biden, in our administration, you have competence, you have compassion, and we’ve actually accomplished things on behalf of the American people.  (Applause.)
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.  Yes.  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  On the other side, you have the former President, who openly admires dictators and has said he’ll be a dictator on day one; has said, essentially, that he will weaponize the Department of Justice against his political enemies; has said he is proud of things like taking this constitutional right from the women of America. 
     And I do believe the course of our country for generations will be impacted by this election.
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I’ll also say this — (applause).  Thank you. 
     I’ll also say this, and this will be my final point.  You know, I think there’s something, frankly, quite perverse that has happened over the last several years, which is for some people to suggest that the measure of strength is based on who you beat down, instead of what we know: that the true measure of one’s strength is based on who you lift up.  (Applause.)
     MS. RALPH:  That’s right.
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Right?  And — and the — the strength of character in real leaders is also measured by the kind of character that has some level of concern and care about the suffering of other people and then takes it upon themselves to do something about that. 
     And as much as anything, that’s the contrast in the split screen that is before us now that really does extend to the character of who we are as a nation.  And all of that is at stake.
     And let me tell you all something.  We’re going to win.  (Applause.)  We’re going to win.
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  We are going to win.
     MS. RALPH:  Yes.  We are going to win.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  We are going to win.  We are not playing around.
     MS. RALPH:  Yes. 
     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  (Laughs.)
     MS. RALPH:  Yes. 
     Ladies and gentlemen, trust women.  Trust our Vice President, Madam Vice President, Kamala Harris.  (Applause.)
     END                       2:59 P.M. EDT

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