Joe Biden in 2020 Conventions


On Tax Reform: FactCheck: tax hike on top 1%, not on all American families

Trump claimed that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden "has pledged a $4 trillion tax hike on almost all American families."

FactCheck: "The Biden tax plan is highly progressive, increasing taxes for the top 1 percent of earners by 13 to 18 percent of after-tax income, while indirectly increasing taxes for most other groups by 0.2 to 0.6 percent," wrote the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, an independent bipartisan nonprofit, in a recent report.

Source: CNN Fact-Check on 2020 Republican Convention speech Aug 28, 2020

On Civil Rights: Government should look like the country, by gender & race

Q: Did you select a woman of color to rally your base, or did you feel pressure?

BIDEN: I didn't feel pressure to select a Black woman but I think that the government should look like the people, look like the country. 51% of the people in this country are women. In order to be able to succeed, you've got to be dealt in across the board. I cannot understand and fully appreciate what it means to walk in her shoes.

HARRIS:˙Joe and I have talked about the state of Black America. He has a deep sense of awareness and knowledge about systematic racism. And Joe actually knows how to say the words "Black Lives Matter."

BIDEN: I was asked about voting for Trump, and I said, "How can a Black man vote for him?" I shouldn't have said that. I was trying to make the point that this is a man who spent his entire career denigrating African Americans. But the truth is, there's a fundamental difference between Donald Trump and me on the issue of race across the board.

Source: ABC This Week 2020 National Convention Biden/Harris Q&A Aug 23, 2020

On Civil Rights: COVID: Mask mandate is about saving lives

Q: Are you going to force people to wear a mask for coronavirus?

BIDEN: I'm going to ask every governor to step up. This isn't about freedom; it's about freedom for your neighbors. It's about a patriotic responsibility to protect your neighbors. The only way you can do that is to be socially distanced and wearing a mask when you're in public, when you're outside. This is the first time I've ever heard people say that doing something patriotic you can save other people's lives, impacts on their freedom. Give me a break; this is about saving lives.

Q: Would you be prepared to shut this country down again?

BIDEN: I will be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot get the country moving until we control the virus. That is the fundamental flaw of this administration's thinking. In order to keep the economy growing, and people employed, you have to fix the virus, you have to deal with the virus. I would shut it down, I would listen to the scientists.

Source: ABC This Week 2020 National Convention David Muir Q&A Aug 23, 2020

On Crime: Vast majority of police are ashamed of what they've seen

Q: Trump says that you want to defund the police. Do you?

BIDEN: No, I don't. There has to be national standards that apply to every police department. The other side is that we have in the African American community the desire to have police who will protect them and know them, community policing. I don't want to defund police departments. I think they need more help, The vast majority of the police, they're ashamed of what they saw. You have to take action, and it has to be national.

Source: ABC This Week 2020 National Convention Biden/Harris Q&A Aug 23, 2020

On Drugs: No one should be going to jail because they're drug addicts

Q: What will a Biden administration do to truly bring about lasting change?

BIDEN: We're going to make sure that we change the entire system in the way in which we deal with criminal justice from punishment to rehabilitate. No one should be going to jail because they have a drug addiction. They should be going into mandatory drug treatment that's why I set up drug courts.

Source: ABC This Week 2020 National Convention Biden/Harris Q&A Aug 23, 2020

On Drugs: Will fight for policy of decriminalizing marijuana

BIDEN: No one should be going to jail because they have a drug addiction. They should be going into mandatory drug treatment that's why I set up drug courts.

HARRIS: That's part of the policy and the platform, that a Biden-Harris administration is going to fight for. A Department of Justice, unlike what Bill Barr is under Donald Trump, that is actually investigating these cases and enforcing consent decrees. A policy that is going to be about decriminalizing marijuana. Having a policy that is about looking at having a centralized database in our country that tracks police officers that have been found to break the rules or break the law.

Source: ABC This Week 2020 National Convention Biden/Harris Q&A Aug 23, 2020

On Education: Triple money to Title One schools; provide early education

BIDEN: We have to root out to systemic racism. That's why we have to triple the money we're spending on Title One schools, those schools that come from low tax base areas, so that we can in fact provide the kind of early education for three and four and five year-olds because we know when you do that, you increase exponentially the prospects of success, no matter what you-- where you come from, Black, white, Hispanic, Asian American and so there's so much we can do.
Source: ABC This Week 2020 National Convention Biden/Harris Q&A Aug 23, 2020

On Health Care: We can beat cancer: invest more money in research

BIDEN: We can beat cancer. The president allowed me to run the Cancer Moonshot. I visited virtually every major cancer research facility in the world. One of the things that came out of that was that there are a number of brilliant researchers and clinicians, but they didn't talk to each other very much. They didn't share data very much. I truly believe we're going to invest considerably more money in research and NIH and make a major, major effort, because we can fundamentally change cancer.
Source: ABC This Week 2020 National Convention Biden/Harris Q&A Aug 23, 2020

On Health Care: Coronavirus: Listen to science; step out of the way

Q: Do you blame President Trump for lives lost?

BIDEN: I don't blame him for the COVID crisis. I blame him for walking away and not dealing with the solutions. Columbia University Medical School said if he had acted just one week earlier, he would have saved over 37,000 lives, 37,000 fewer people would have not passed away. Two weeks earlier over 50,000 people. This is about telling the American people the truth, letting the scientists speak, listening to the science and stepping out of the way.

Source: ABC This Week 2020 National Convention David Muir Q&A Aug 23, 2020

On Principles & Values: VP should be the last one in the room on major decisions

Q: What would you ask of Vice President Harris?

BIDEN: I asked her what Barack asked of me. I want you to be the last person in the room on every major decision because I know she'll not be intimidated by the Oval Office. I know she'll not be reluctant to tell me exactly what she thinks. And I know she'll have a perspective--different in many cases than mine just by nature of who we are and our backgrounds and that's why I thought it was so important as well to have a woman as vice president.

Source: ABC This Week 2020 National Convention Biden/Harris Q&A Aug 23, 2020

On Principles & Values: Expect government to understand people's problems

BIDEN: My dad used to say, "I don't expect the government to solve my problem, but I expect them to understand my problem." Yes, and I think the background we both come from, although very different. It's all about understanding. Ordinary people, given half a chance, not a joke, half a chance, can do extraordinary things. They've never, ever, ever let the country down, given a chance.
Source: ABC This Week 2020 National Convention Biden/Harris Q&A Aug 23, 2020

On Principles & Values: Asking if 70+ year old is fit is legitimate question

Q: Trump's campaign has called you "diminished." How do you respond?

BIDEN: Watch me. Mr. President, watch me. Look at us both, what we say, what we do, what we control, what we know, what kind of shape we're in. Come on. I think it's a legitimate question to ask anybody over 70 years old whether or not they're fit and whether they're ready. But I just, only thing I can say to the American people, it's a legitimate question to ask anybody. Watch me.

Q: You have said that you are a transition candidate. Does that mean a one-term president?

BIDEN: I want to make sure when this is over, we have a new Senate, we won back statehouses, we're in a position where we transition to a period of bringing people up to the visibility that they need to get to be able to lead nationally. And that's about raising people up. And that's what I'm about.

Q: So you're leaving open the possibility you'll serve eight years if elected?

BIDEN: Absolutely.

Source: ABC This Week 2020 National Convention David Muir Q&A Aug 23, 2020

On Principles & Values: President's job is to heal; country needs healing

BIDEN: The president's job is to heal. This country needs healing. I'll be a president who tells the truth, who takes responsibility and who in fact invites the opposition to come to the Oval Office and settle problems together. The words of a president matters, no matter who he is. And it's about time we start to hear from a president that it's about uniting the country, bringing together-- it's going to be hard, nothing easy about it.
Source: ABC This Week 2020 National Convention David Muir Q&A Aug 23, 2020

On Tax Reform: Raise taxes for anybody making over $400K, not mom & pop

Q: Is it smart to tax businesses during a recovery?

BIDEN: It's smart to tax businesses that are in fact are making excessive amounts of money and paying no taxes.

Q: Will you raise taxes on small businesses?

BIDEN: No. You have 90% of the businesses--mom and pop businesses--that employ less than 50 people. There will be no raising taxes on them. We have to provide them with the ability to reopen. We have to provide more help for them, not less help.

Q: Will you raise income taxes?

BIDEN: I will raise taxes for anybody making over $400,000. It's about time they start paying a fair share of the economic responsibility we have. The very wealthy should pay fair share, corporations should pay a fair share. The fact is, there are corporations making close to a trillion dollars that pay no tax at all. I'm not punishing anybody. This is about everybody paying their fair share.

Q: No new taxes $400,000 and down?

BIDEN: No new taxes, there would be no need.

Source: ABC This Week 2020 National Convention David Muir Q&A Aug 23, 2020

On Welfare & Poverty: Help minorities buy homes, start businesses, amass wealth

BIDEN: We're going to see that 23% of the money that goes into government contracts should go to minority firms. We're going to provide for a $15,000 tax credit for anyone buying the first term homebuyer, designed to allow African Americans and minorities to be able to get into the market to build wealth. We're going to provide for a significant increase in what Barack & I started for entrepreneurs and minority entrepreneurs. It's about putting people in a position where they can amass wealth.
Source: ABC This Week 2020 National Convention Biden/Harris Q&A Aug 23, 2020

On Foreign Policy: The days of cozying up to dictators is over

[Excerpts of DNC speech]: "What we know about this president is that if he's a president who takes no responsibility. Refuses to lead. Blames others," Biden said. "Cozies up to dictators and fans the flames of hate and division."

"I take very personally and the profound responsibility of serving as commander in chief," Biden said. "I'll be a president who will stand with our allies and friends and make it clear to our adversaries the days of cozying up to dictators is over."

Source: D.Brennan/Newsweek on 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 21, 2020

On Free Trade: Won't be at the mercy of other countries to protect our own

Biden has been trying to fortify his message on China, and suggested he would pursue the kind of "decoupling" being pushed by leading Republicans. "We'll make the medical supplies and protective equipment that our country needs," he said, while discussing the pandemic. "We'll make them here in America so we will never again be at the mercy of China or other foreign countries in order to protect our own people."
Source: D.Brennan/Newsweek on 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 21, 2020

On Health Care: Trump's looking for coronavirus miracle; no miracle coming

Biden said, "Just judge this president on the facts. Five million Americans infected by COVID-19. More than 170,000 Americans have died. By far the worst performance of any nation on earth." Biden said the president had been "looking for a miracle" when he could have helped stem the tide of the virus. "The tragedy that we face today is that it didn't have to be this bad. The president keeps waiting around, looking for a miracle. Well, I have news for him: Mr. President, no miracle is coming."
Source: B.Shepherd on Yahoo.com: 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 21, 2020

On Homeland Security: Don't turn a blind eye to Russian bounties on US soldiers

One of Trump's more recent foreign policy scandals was the suggestion that Russia had been paying bounties to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan for dead U.S. troops, which is believed to be linked to several American deaths in Afghanistan. "Under President Biden, America will not turn a blind eye to Russian bounties on the heads of American soldiers," the former vice president said. "Nor will I put up with foreign interference in our most sacred democratic exercise: voting."
Source: D.Brennan/Newsweek on 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 21, 2020

On Principles & Values: President's job is to represent all of us, not just his base

[Excerpts of DNC speech]: "While I'll be a Democratic candidate, I'll be an American president," the former vice president said in accepting the presidential nomination. "That's the job of the president -- to represent all of us, not just our base or our party."
Source: ABC News analysis of 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 21, 2020

On Principles & Values: Best way through pain and loss and grief is to find purpose

[Excerpts of DNC speech]: "I know how mean and cruel and unfair life can be sometimes. But I've learned two things: first, your loved one may have left this earth, but they'll never leave your heart. They'll always be with you. You'll always hear them. And second, I found the best way through pain and loss and grief is to find purpose."
Source: B.Shepherd on Yahoo.com: 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 21, 2020

On Principles & Values: I will be an ally of the light, not the darkness

[Nomination acceptance speech at DNC]: "The current president has cloaked America in darkness for much too long," Biden said. "If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. I will be an ally of the light, not the darkness."

"In this dark moment, I believe we're poised to make great progress again. That we can find the light once more," Biden later continued. "This is a battle we will win, and we'll do it together."

Source: C. Linton on CBS News on 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 21, 2020

On Principles & Values: I believe America ready to face difficult crises

[Excerpts of DNC speech]: "History has delivered us to one of the most difficult moments America has ever faced," he said. "The worst pandemic in over 100 years. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The most compelling call for racial justice since the 60s. And the undeniable realities and accelerating threats of climate change. So, the question for us is simple: are we ready? I believe we are."
Source: D.Strauss/The Guardian on 2020 Dem. National Convention Aug 21, 2020

On Principles & Values: Member of the same club: those who stutter

Perhaps the most moving moment of the night came when Brayden Harrington, a 13-year-old child with a stutter, described Biden's kindness to him. "A few months ago, I met him in New Hampshire," Harrington said. "He told me that we were members of the same club. We stutter." Biden liked Harrington, shared with him the book of poems he himself had used to practice his speech. The comparison with Trump, who has publicly mocked people for their weight, their disabilities, their height, was sharp.
Source: Ezra Klein on Vox.com: 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 21, 2020

On Social Security: Protect Social Security & Medicare: "You have my word"

Sen. Elizabeth Warren [introduced the topic with] "Joe Biden has some really good plans--Plans to increase Social Security benefits, cancel billions in student loan debt, and make our bankruptcy laws work for families instead of the creditors who cheat them."

Biden pointed his finger at the camera when he called Social Security a sacred promise. "If I'm your president, we're going to protect Social Security and Medicare, you have my word," he said.

Source: B.Jansen in USA Today: 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 21, 2020

On Tax Reform: Tax code shouldn't reward wealth more than work

[Excerpts of DNC speech]: "More mom and pop businesses will close their doors and this time for good. Working families will struggle to get by, and yet the wealthiest 1% will get tens of billions of dollars in new tax breaks," Biden warned. "We don't need a tax code that rewards wealth more than it rewards work," he warned later.
Source: Vox.com analysis of 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 21, 2020

On Budget & Economy: We will rebuild economy & build it back better

That's why my economic plan is all about jobs, dignity, respect, and community. Together, we can, and we will, rebuild our economy. And when we do, we'll not only build it back, we'll build it back better. With modern roads, bridges, highways, broadband, ports and airports as a new foundation for economic growth. With pipes that transport clean water to every community. With 5 million new manufacturing and technology jobs so the future is made in America.
Source: Acceptance speech at 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 20, 2020

On Civil Rights: My father taught us that silence was complicity

Just a week ago was the third anniversary of the events in Charlottesville. Remember seeing those neo-Nazis and Klansmen and white supremacists coming out of the fields with lighted torches? Veins bulging? Spewing the same anti-Semitic bile heard across Europe in the '30s? Remember what the president said? There were, quote, "very fine people on both sides."

At that moment, I knew I'd have to run. My father taught us that silence was complicity. And I could not remain silent or complicit.

Maybe George Floyd's murder was the breaking point. Maybe John Lewis's passing, the inspiration. However it has come to be, America is ready to, in John's words, to lay down "the heavy burdens of hate at last," and to do the hard work of rooting out our systemic racism.

Source: Acceptance speech at 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 20, 2020

On Education: Student debt should not crush young college graduates

An education system that trains our people for the best jobs of the 21st century, where cost doesn't prevent young people from going to college, and student debt doesn't crush them when they get out.
Source: Acceptance speech at 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 20, 2020

On Energy & Oil: Climate change not only a crisis but an enormous opportunity

We can, and we will, deal with climate change. It's not only a crisis, it's an enormous opportunity. An opportunity for America to lead the world in clean energy and create millions of new good-paying jobs in the process.
Source: Acceptance speech at 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 20, 2020

On Health Care: I'll do what we should've done from beginning of coronavirus

We'll develop and deploy rapid tests with results available immediately. We'll make the medical supplies and protective equipment our country needs. We'll make sure our schools have the resources they need to be open, safe, and effective. We'll take the muzzle off our experts so the public gets the information they need and deserve. We'll have a national mandate to wear a mask--not as a burden, but to protect each other. In short, I will do what we should have done from the very beginning

If this president is reelected we know what will happen. The assault on the Affordable Care Act will continue until it's destroyed, taking insurance away from more than 20 million people--including more than 15 million people on Medicaid--and getting rid of the protections that President Obama and I passed for people who suffer from a preexisting condition.

Source: Acceptance speech at 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 20, 2020

On Jobs: Newly empowered labor unions; equal pay for women

With child care and elder care that make it possible for parents to go to work and for the elderly to stay in their homes with dignity. With an immigration system that powers our economy and reflects our values. With newly empowered labor unions. With equal pay for women. With rising wages you can raise a family on. Yes, we're going to do more than praise our essential workers. We're finally going to pay them.
Source: Acceptance speech at 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 20, 2020

On Principles & Values: Four historic crises, all at the same time: a perfect storm

History has delivered us to one of the most difficult moments America has ever faced. Four historic crises. All at the same time. A perfect storm. The worst pandemic in over 100 years. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The most compelling call for racial justice since the '60s. And the undeniable realities and accelerating threats of climate change. So, the question for us is simple: Are we ready? I believe we are. We must be.

I will be a Democratic candidate, I will be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn't support me as I will for those who did. That's the job of a president. To represent all of us, not just our base or our party. This is not a partisan moment. This must be an American moment. America isn't just a collection of clashing interests of red states or blue states. We're so much bigger than that. We're so much better than that.

Source: Acceptance speech at 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 20, 2020

On Principles & Values: We have a great purpose: to be a light to the world again

We have a great purpose as a nation: To open the doors of opportunity to all Americans. To save our democracy. To be a light to the world once again. To finally live up to and make real the words written in the sacred documents that founded this nation, that all men and women are created equal. Endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. Among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Source: Acceptance speech at 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 20, 2020

On Social Security: Social Security is a sacred obligation

For our seniors, Social Security is a sacred obligation, a sacred promise made. The current president is threatening to break that promise. He's proposing to eliminate the tax that pays for almost half of Social Security without any way of making up for that lost revenue. I will not let it happen. If I'm your president, we're going to protect Social Security and Medicare. You have my word.
Source: Acceptance speech at 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 20, 2020

On Tax Reform: Past time for wealthy & corporations to pay their fair share

We can pay for these investments by ending loopholes and the president's $1.3 trillion tax giveaway to the wealthiest 1 percent and the biggest, most profitable corporations, some of which pay no tax at all. Because we don't need a tax code that rewards wealth more than it rewards work. I'm not looking to punish anyone. Far from it. But it's long past time the wealthiest people and the biggest corporations in this country paid their fair share.
Source: Acceptance speech at 2020 Democratic National Convention Aug 20, 2020

The above quotations are from 2020 Democratic and Republican Conventions.
Click here for other excerpts from 2020 Democratic and Republican Conventions.
Click here for other excerpts by Joe Biden.
Click here for a profile of Joe Biden.
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Page last updated: Aug 29, 2020