In Las Vegas, Biden says his campaign unfazed by Trump’s Ukraine ploy

By: - September 27, 2019 5:04 pm
campaign stop

Former Vice President and 2020 contender Joe Biden at a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center. (Photo: Micheal Lyle)

During a campaign visit at the East Las Vegas Community Center, Vice President Joe Biden said he wasn’t focusing on reports that President Trump pressured a foreign government to target him and his family.

While Trump may have “used our tax dollars to sway a foreign leader to once again interfere with a presidential campaign,” Biden said he is more concerned with the state of American democracy.

“After several polls show me beating him, it’s not surprising that I’ve become the object of his attention,” he said.

“This (election) is not about me, it’s about the American people. My family can handle this. What I’m worried about is all the families and all the lives at stake in this election because of his failure to be a president of substance. He wants to hijack this election so we don’t focus on your lives.”

It is Congress’ job, Biden said, to look at the facts during the impeachment inquiry and make a determination.

“In the meantime my job, our job, above all else is to make sure we beat Donald Trump,” he said. “It’s up to you to make sure Donald Trump loses and you win.”

In a 20-minute speech, Biden said beating Trump was tantamount to restoring American democracy, which he said was at risk. Like in other speeches, Biden made the case of beating Trump as the first step toward healing the country.

“We have a president who has violated the oval office and put at risk our national security,” he said.

Even when a member of the audience holding a #MeToo sign interrupted the speech to scream “Biden is a predator” before being escorted out, Biden attributed it to the state of democracy.

“That’s just how far we’ve fallen,” he said.

Beyond beating Trump, Biden stressed the importance of rebuilding the “shrinking middle class,” which he called the backbone of the country. “Wall Street didn’t build America, you did,” he told the crowd.

Speaking briefly on policy, Biden reiterated arguments for strengthening the Affordable Care Act. “We have to finish what we started,” he said. “We have to make health care a right in this country.”

He didn’t call out opponents like U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren or U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders out by name, both of whom are promoting Medicare for All as their health care policy. However, he said he would challenge any Republican or Democrat who would “take it away.”

Biden also talked about the importance of lowering prescription drug prices, which is a priority among House Democrats who have proposed legislation allowing the government to directly negotiate prices with drug manufacturers.

While promoting the need for universal background checks as one solution to curbing gun violence, Biden argue the Second Amendment doesn’t allow people to have any weapon they want. “If you need weapons to protect yourself from the government, you better get yourself an F-15 or you better buy yourself a fighter jet or a bazooka,” he said.

Briefly, the former vice president talked about student debt, proposing if college students  earned less than $25,000 after they graduate they wouldn’t be responsible for their debt. He also mentioned cutting loan payments, reducing interest rates and increasing access to debt forgiveness through public service.

A week after the Climate Strikes, Biden called the climate crisis an existential threat saying, as president, he’d rejoin the Paris Agreement, provide tax credits for using electric vehicles and cut the carbon footprint in half by 2035. “We need to declare war like we are being invaded by climate change,” he said. “It’s not enough what’s being done now.”

But again, Biden stressed the only way to get to these issues is when Trump is out of office.

“Plans means nothing if you don’t beat Trump,” he said.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Michael Lyle
Michael Lyle

Michael Lyle (MJ to some) has been a journalist in Las Vegas for eight years. While he covers a range of topics from homelessness to the criminal justice system, he gravitates toward stories about race relations and LGBTQ issues.