Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden, Jr. (born 20 November 1942) was the 47th Vice President of the United States of America, who was jointly elected twice with President Barack Obama. A lawyer and politician from the Delawarean city of Wilmington, Biden is a member of the Democratic Party.
- (W)hen it comes to issues like abortion, amnesty, and acid, I'm about as liberal as your grandmother. I don't like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far. I don't think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body. I support a limited amnesty, and I don't think marijuana should be legalized.
- I don't want anybody to give me credit for sharing any point of view George Wallace has. There are some people who oppose busing because they are racist, but the vast majority of the American people — the people of Delaware — oppose it for the same reason that the architect of the concept now opposes it. Professor Coleman, an educator, first suggested the possible benefits of busing in a 1966 report. Now in 1975 Coleman says, "Guess what? I was wrong. Busing doesn't accomplish its goal." We should be concentrating on things other than busing to provide for the educational and cultural needs of the deprived segment of our population. But we've lost our bearings since the 1954 "Brown vs. School Board" desegregation case. To "desegregate" is different than to "integrate." I got into trouble with Democratic liberals in 1972 when I refused to support a quota-system for the Democratic National Convention. I am philosophically opposed to quota-systems; they insure mediocrity. The new integration plans being offered are really just quota-systems to assure a certain number of blacks, Chicanos, or whatever in each school. That, to me, is the most racist concept you can come up with; what it says is, "in order for your child, with curly black hair, brown eyes, and dark skin to be able to learn anything, he needs to sit next to my blond-haired, blue-eyed son." That's racist! Who the hell do we think we are, that the only way a black man or woman can learn is if they rub shoulders with my white child? The point is that if we look beyond the "old" left to the "New Left," almost all the new liberal leaders and civil rights leaders oppose busing.
- Farley, Joe (September 20-26, 1975). An Interview with Senator Joseph R. Biden. People Paper / Congressional Record.
- I think the Democratic Party could stand a liberal George Wallace—someone who's not afraid to stand up and offend people, someone who wouldn't pander but would say what the American people know in their gut is right.
- Philadelphia Enquirer (Oct. 12, 1975) Alana Goodman, “Joe Biden once said Democrats needed ‘a liberal George Wallace’”, Washington Examiner (Feb. 7, 2019)
- For too long in this society, we have celebrated unrestrained individualism over common community. For too long as a nation, we have been lulled by the anthem of self-interest. For a decade, led by Ronald Reagan, self-aggrandizement has been the full-throated cry of this society: 'I've got mine, so why don't you get yours' and 'What's in it for me?'
- Speech announcing entry into 1988 presidential race, Wilmington, Delaware (June 10, 1987)
- We must rekindle the fire of idealism in our society, for nothing suffocates the promise of America more than unbounded cynicism and indifference.
- Speech announcing entry into 1988 presidential race, Wilmington, Delaware (June 10, 1987)
- The standard of judgment is no longer results but the flickering image of seriousness, skillfully crafted to squeeze into 30 seconds on the nightly news. In this world, emotion has become suspect - the accepted style is smooth, antiseptic and passionless.
- On the national debate, Speech announcing entry into 1988 presidential race, Wilmington, Delaware (June 10, 1987)
- It is an exciting and dangerous time, for this generation of Americans has the opportunity so rarely granted to others by fate and history. We literally have the chance to shape the future - to put our own stamp on the face and character of America, to bend history just a little bit.
- On the national debate, Speech announcing entry into 1988 presidential race, Wilmington, Delaware (June 10, 1987)
- During the '60s, I was in fact very concerned about the civil rights movement. I was not an activist. I worked at an all-black swimming pool in the east side of Wilmington, Delaware. I was involved. I was involved in what they were thinking, what they were feeling. I was involved, but I was not out marching. I was not down in Selma, I was not anywhere else. I was a suburbanite kid who got a dose of exposure to what was happening to black Americans in my own city.
- News conference, 1987-09-17, quoted in Robert Mackey (14 February 2020), "Ahead of South Carolina Vote, Joe Biden Faces Questions Over Claims of Civil Rights Activism", The Intercept
- Let me tell you what is in the bill, and I'll let you all decide whether or not this is "weak". [...] It provides 53 death penalty offenses. Weak as can be, you know? We do everything but hang people for jaywalking in this bill. That's weak stuff.
- Regarding the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which he wrote
- Senate, 1992-05-14, quoted in Beth Baumann (23 July 2019), "Biden Walks Back His Previous Tough On Crime Stance Now That Criminal Justice Reform Is Popular", Town Hall
- When I introduced the budget freeze years ago, the liberals in my party said, "It's an awful thing you’re doing, Joe. All the programs we care about, you're freezing them— money for the blind, the disabled, education, and so on." And my argument then is the one I make now, which is the strongest, most compelling reason to be for this amendment or an amendment. And that is that "if we don't do that, all the things I care about are going to be gone."
- When I argued that we should freeze federal spending, I meant Social Security as well. I meant Medicare and Medicaid. I meant veterans' benefits. I meant every single, solitary thing in the government. And I not only tried it once, I tried it twice, I tried it a third time and I tried it a fourth time. Somebody has to tell me in here, how we're going to do this hard work without dealing with any of those sacred cows.
- Senate, 1995-01-31, quoted with video in Walker Bragman (20 May 2019), "Watch: Joe Biden Once Boasted About Wanting to Cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans’ Benefits", Paste Magazine
- You and I both know, and all of us here really know, and it's a thing we have to face, that the only way, the only way we're going to get rid of Saddam Hussein is we're going to end up having to start it alone — start it alone — and it's going to require guys like you in uniform to be back on foot in the desert taking this son of a — taking Saddam down. You know it and I know it.
- But I respectfully suggest, Major, that the responsibility is slightly above your pay grade, to decide whether to take the nation to war alone, or to take the nation to war part way, or to take the Nation to work half-way. That is a real tough decision.
- To Scott Ritter, in hearings about the disarmament process, before the Senate Committee on Armed Services (September 1998), quoted in Ryan Grim (7 January 2020), "Joe Biden, five years before invasion, said the only way of disarming Iraq is "taking Saddam down"", The Intercept
- Alan Cranston understood power not as a reflection of status but as a tool with a purpose.
- Meet the Press (2000-12-31)
- Saddam Hussein's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, in my view, is one of those clear dangers. Even if the right response to his pursuit is not so crystal clear, one thing is clear. These weapons must be dislodged from Saddam Hussein, or Saddam Hussein must be dislodged from power.
- US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, 2002-07-31, quoted in Tara Golshan and Alex Ward (15 October 2019), "Joe Biden’s Iraq problem", Vox
- Hell, I might be president now if it weren't for the fact I said I had an uncle who was a coal miner. Turns out I didn't have anybody in the coal mines, you know what I mean? I tried that crap — it didn't work.
- The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (2004-07-28)
- Mr. President, today, in his speech to the National Endowment for Democracy, President Bush gave a vivid and, I believe, compelling description of the threat to America and to freedom from radical Islamic fundamentalism. He made, in my view, a powerful case for what is at stake for every American. Simply put, the radical fundamentalists seek to kill our citizens in great numbers, to disrupt our economy, and to reshape the international order. They would take the world backwards, replacing freedom with fear and hope with hatred. If they were to acquire a nuclear weapon, the threat they would pose to America would be literally existential. The President said it well. The President is right that we cannot and will not retreat. We will defend ourselves and defeat the enemies of freedom and progress.
- It's going to be very difficult. I do not view abortion as a choice and a right. I think it's always a tragedy, and I think that it should be rare and safe, and I think we should be focusing on how to limit the number of abortions. There ought to be able to have a common ground and consensus as to do that.
- Texas Monthly interview, 2006, quoted in Clark Mindock (14 June 2019), "Joe Biden says he does not view ‘abortion as a choice and a right’ in unearthed video", The Independent (UK)
- I voted for a fence, I voted, unlike most Democrats — and some of you won't like it — I voted for 700 miles of fence,… And the reason why I add that parenthetically, why I believe the fence is needed does not have anything to do with immigration as much as drugs. And let me tell you something folks, people are driving across that border with tons, tons, hear me, tons of everything from byproducts for methamphetamine to cocaine to heroin and it's all coming up through corrupt Mexico.
- South Carolina rotary club (November 27, 2006), quoted in Andrew Kaczynski (10 May 2019), "Joe Biden once said a fence was needed to stop 'tons' of drugs from Mexico", CNN Politics 
- You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent … I'm not joking.
- remember, no guys 'til you're thirty
- 1 October 2006 page 121 of "A Governor's Story" by Jennifer Granhol published 20 September 2011
- I'm running for president because I think that, with a lot of help, I can stem the tide of this slide and restore America’s leadership in the world and change our priorities. I will argue that my experience and my track record — both on the foreign and domestic side — put me in a position to be able to do that.
I would respectfully suggest to you that the Democrats out there understand I am the only person with a plan that can get out of Iraq without our interests in the region not falling apart.
- Conference call with reporters after announcing candidacy for the 2008 Democratic president nomination (January 30, 2007)
- I'm not exploring. I'm in. And this is the beginning of a marathon
- Referring to his choice not to set up an "exploratory committee" and instead enter the race directly; interview on ABC News after announcing candidacy for the 2008 Democratic president nomination (January 30, 2007)
- There's good reason to be excited. You have the first woman running who is qualified, and a very attractive African-American who has demonstrated crossover appeal. I got involved in politics 40 years ago during the civil rights movement, so yes, it's an exciting thing.
- The average voter out there understands that the next president is going to have to be prepared to immediately step in without hesitation and end our involvement in Iraq. It's very difficult to figure out how to move on to broader foreign policy concerns without fixing Iraq first.
- People ask if I can compete with the money of Hillary and Barack. I hope at the end of the day, they can compete with my ideas and my experience.
- "Biden officially running for president", NBC News, 31 January 2007, retrieved on 2007-02-01
- I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.
- Speaking of Presidential candidate Barack Obama
- "Biden Unbound: Lays Into Clinton, Obama, Edwards". The New York Observer. February 1, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-02-01.
- I don't think John Edwards knows what the heck he is talking about. John Edwards wants you and all the Democrats to think, ‘I want us out of there,’ but when you come back and you say, ‘O.K., John. What about the chaos that will ensue? Do we have any interest, John, left in the region?’ Well, John will have to answer yes or no. If he says yes, what are they? What are those interests, John? How do you protect those interests, John, if you are completely withdrawn? Are you withdrawn from the region, John? Are you withdrawn from Iraq, John? In what period? So all this stuff is like so much Fluffernutter out there. So for me, what I think you have to do is have a strategic notion. And they may have it—they are just smart enough not to enunciate it.
- Speaking on Edwards' position for immediate withdrawal of about 40,000 American troops from Iraq (February 5, 2007), reported in the New York Observer
- Tim Russert: But, senator, we have a deficit. We have Social Security and Medicare looming. The number of people on Social Security and Medicare is now 40 million people. It's going to be 80 million in 15 years. Would you consider looking at those programs, age of eligibility—
Joe Biden: Absolutely.
Russert: —cost of living, put it all on the table?
Biden: The answer is absolutely. You have to. You know, it's— one of the things that my, you know, the political advisers say to me is, "Whoa, don't touch that third—" Look, the American people aren't stupid. It's a real simple proposition. [...] Social Security's not the hard one to solve. Medicare, that is the gorilla in the room, and you've got to put all of it on the table.
Biden: Everything. You've got to.
- Meet the Press, 2007-04-29
- Rudy Giuliani — there's only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun, a verb, and 9/11.
- Democratic primary debate (October 30, 2007)
- The one thing I want my kids to remember about me is that I was an athlete. The hell with the rest of this stuff.
- "Barack Obama Reveals How He Popped the Question to Joe Biden". People Magazine. August 25, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-08-26.
- When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'
- Interview with CBS Evening News. CBS Evening News, September 22, 2008
- Like millions of Americans, they're asking questions as profound as they are ordinary. Questions they never thought they would have to ask: Should mom move in with us now that dad is gone? Fifty, sixty, seventy dollars to fill up the car? Winter's coming. How we gonna pay the heating bills? Another year and no raise? Did you hear the company may be cutting our health care? Now, we owe more on the house than it's worth. How are we going to send the kids to college? How are we gonna be able to retire? That's the America that George Bush has left us, and that's the America that George -- excuse me, if John McCain is elected president of the United States.
- Joe Biden's vice presidential candidacy acceptance speech at the DNC, 2008. 
- When we kicked — along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, "Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don’t know — if you don’t, Hezbollah will control it." Now what’s happened? Hezbollah is a legitimate part of the government in the country immediately to the north of Israel.
- Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history. The idea he doesn't realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that. And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit. The only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote. He has no authority relative to the Congress.
- Biden at the 2008 Vice Presidential debate. Biden-Palin Vice Presidential debates, October 2, 2008
Promises to Keep (2008)
- He wanted me to understand two big things: First, that nobody, no group, is above others. Public servants are obliged to level with everybody, whether or not they'll like what he has to say. And second, that politics was a matter of personal honor. A man's word is his bond. You give your word, you keep it. For as long as I can remember, I've had a sort of romantic notion of what politics should be- and can be. If you do politics the right way, I believe, you can actually make people's lives better. And integrity is the minimum ante to get into the game. Nearly forty years after I first got involved, I remain captivated by the possibilities of politics and public service. In fact, I believe- as I know my grandpop did- that my chosen profession is a noble calling.
- Pages xv-xvi
- We all know- or at least we are told continually- that we are a divided people. And we know there's a degree of truth in it. We have too often allowed our differences to prevail among us. We have too often allowed ambitious men to play off those differences for political gain. We have too often retreated behind our differences when no one really tried to lead us beyond them. But all our differences hardly measure up to the values we all hold in common... I am running for the Senate because... I want to make the system work again, and I am convinced that is what all Americans really want.
- Pages xvi-xvii
- Full disclosure: I do not have absolute faith in the judgment and wisdom of the American people. We're all human, and we can all be misled. When leaders don't level with citizens, we can't expect them to make good judgments. But I do have absolute faith in the heart of the American people. The greatest resource in this country is the grit, the resolve, the courage, the basic decency, and the stubborn pride of its citizens.
- Page xx
- I wasn't built to look the other way because the law demanded it. The law might be wrong.
- Page 42
- I had no place to go. It was up or out.
- Page 58
- I knew I had to be sure-footed about the issues I was talking about. When you're twenty-nine years old, who the hell is going to think you're credible? It wasn't enough to have ideas; I had to know my facts. I had to demonstrate command from the minute I started running. I understood that was the test I had to pass.
- Page 63
- The fabric of our complex society is woven too tightly to permit any part of it to be damaged without damaging the whole.
- Page 64
- I didn't argue that the war in Vietnam was immoral; it was merely stupid and a horrendous waste of time, money, and lives based on a flawed premise.
- Pages 65-66
- When seagull droppings landed on my head at a campaign event at Bowers Beach two days before Election Day, I chose to read it as a sign of a coming success.
- Page 73
- The first few days I felt trapped in a constant twilight of vertigo, like in the dream where you're suddenly falling... only I was constantly falling. In moments of fitful sleep I was aware of the dim possibility that I would wake up, truly wake up, and this would not have happened.
- Page 80
- Most of all I was numb, but there were moments when the pain cut through like a shard of broken glass. I began to understand how despair led people to just cash it in; how suicide wasn't just an option but a rational option.
- Page 80
- I liked to go at night when I thought there was a better chance of finding a fight. I was always looking for a fight. I had not known I was capable of such rage. I knew I had been cheated of a future, but I felt I'd been cheated of a past, too. The underpinnings of my life had been kicked out from under me... and it wasn't just the loss of Neilia and Naomi. All my life I'd been taught about our benevolent God. This is a forgiving God, a just God, a God who knows people make mistakes. This is a God who is tolerant. This is a God who gave us free will to be able to doubt. This was a loving God, a God of comfort. Well, I didn't want to hear anything about a merciful God. No words, no prayer, no sermon gave me ease. I felt God had played a horrible trick on me, and I was angry. I found no comfort in the Church. So I kept walking the dark streets to try to exhaust the rage.
- Page 81
- I kept trying to tell people that just because I was young didn't mean I could speak for all young people.
- Page 84
- A better man might have handled the situation with more grace than I did. A better man would have been able to separate his personal life from his career.
- Page 87
- There is a great deal of pressure, in the one particular area at least, to prostitute our ideas, if not our integrity.
- Page 93
- Sleep was like a phantom I was too tired to chase.
- Page 96
- A convicted felon who had strong family ties, a stake in the community, and an education might get probation, while a man who had few family ties, little stake in the community, and little education might draw a ten-year sentence for the same crime.
- Page 122
- The system wasn't working, and I thought it was time to err on the side of a new model. What might work, I thought, was a system that promoted personal accountability, consistency, and certainty. Congress could say people who committed the same federal crime, under the same circumstances, were going to jail for the same amount of time. We could give judges a narrower set of sentencing guidelines to work with, and felons would be required to pay the same price. We'd be judging the crime, not the person.
- Page 123
- I think I instinctively understood that my most important duty was to be a target. People were desperate to vent their anger, and if they could yell at a united States senator, all the better. Part of being a public servant, I came to understand in 1978, was absorbing the anger of people who don't know where to turn. If I couldn't solve the problem for them, I had to at least be an outlet.
- Page 127
- As I pushed through to the podium, I could hear people murmuring under their breath: "There he is... Goddam Biden.... Kill the sonofabitch." And these were my voters- working-class Democrats.
- Page 127
- It required a lot less energy, intelligence, and competence to run against government than to try to make government work.
- Page 134
- Just because our political heroes were murdered does not mean that the dream does not still live, buried deep in our broken hearts.
- Page 141
- No matter how well intended our country is, we cannot expect other nations to trust us as much as we trust ourselves.
- Page 145
- I, too, believe there are natural rights that predate any written political or legal documents; we have these rights merely because we're children of God.
- Page 178
- I believe all Americans are born with certain inalienable rights. As a child of God, I believe my rights are not derived from the Constitution. My rights are not derived from any government. My rights are not denied by any majority. My rights are because I exist. They were given to me and each of my fellow citizens by our creator, and they represent the essence of human dignity....
- Page 194
- My own father had always said the measure of a man wasn't how many times or how hard he got knocked down, but how fast he got back up.
- Page 208
- I think you're a damn war criminal and you should be tried as one.
- To Slobodan Milosevic. Page 266.
- There is never a time when a president can act to stop a tragedy from occurring without being held politically accountable one way or the other. If he does it and fails, he's wrong. If he does it and succeeds, he was never right because it didn't happen. If we go in and stop an act of genocide, we can't prove what we stopped.
- Page 281
- I learned later that the surgeon who put Dole back together after he was so badly injured in World War II was an Armenian whose family had deep memories of the genocidal campaign the Turks had waged against them.
- Page 281
- The carnage was over, but there was still a bitter taste in my mouth.
- Page 284
- In spite of the president's phone call, I remained a vocal critic of the Bush administration's foreign policy priorities through that summer because I didn't trust most of the people he had around him. The civilians in the Department of Defense were unlike any I'd ever seen. They seemed to think our nation was so powerful that we could simply impose our will on the rest of the world with almost no ill consequence. It seemed to me that Rumsfeld and his chief deputy at Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, were so totally in thrall to that conservative think-tank-generated ideology that they were steering the president down a dangerous path. And they were so intent on overturning President Clinton's foreign policy initiatives that they were losing sight of the bigger goal, which was keeping America safe at home and engaged in doing good in the world.
- Page 298
- These were al-Qaeda fighters, the first I'd ever seen up close, and they looked like badasses. As I passed on the outskirts of the grid, many of the prisoners stared directly at me. None of them cowered. I've been in a lot of prisons, but these guys showed a ferocity and a hatred unlike any I'd ever seen.
- Page 321
- Given Iraq's strategic location, its large oil reserves, and the suffering of the Iraqi people, we cannot afford to replace a despot with chaos. It would be a tragedy if we removed a tyrant in Iraq only to leave chaos in its wake.
- Page 335
- I made a mistake. I underestimated the influence of Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, and the rest of the neocons; I vastly underestimated their disingenuousness and incompetence. So George W. Bush went to war again, and just the way the neocons wanted him to- without significant international backing.
- Page 342
- Things never got better, and Rumsfeld and Cheney never got any wiser. It became increasingly clear that those two men had eroded our country's claim to any moral high ground by flouting the Geneva Conventions. They forced policy decisions that allowed the hideous prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib in Iraq and encouraged the mistreatment of Muslim prisoners at our facility in Guantánamo in Cuba. I wasn't shy about hammering Rumsfeld.
- Page 351
- It was that hard; I still feel that way. But I believe that President Bush failed to lead. History will judge him harshly not for the mistakes he made- we all make mistakes- but for the opportunities he squandered.
- Page 352
- For the world to follow, we must do more than rattle our sabers and demand allegienace to our vision simply because we believe we are right. We must provide a reason for others to aspire to that vision. And that reason must come with more than the repetition of a bumper-sticker phrase about freedom and democracy. It must come with more than the restatement of failed policy. It must come with the wisdom to admit when we are wrong and resolve to change course and get it right.
- Page 353
- My memory is not as good as... Chief Justice Roberts.
- Ties between our two countries are literally, literally unbreakable.
- addressing the 2010 General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America on relations between the United States of America and the State of Israel, 2010-11-07, in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America
- "Israel Resumption of Building Settlements Could Derail Peace Talks". PBS Newshour. 2010-11-08. Retrieved on 2012-07-01.
- "Israel Resumption of Building Settlements Could Derail Peace Talks". PBS Newshour. 2010-11-08. Retrieved on 2012-07-01.
- "Biden reaffirms U.S. support for Israel in speech to Jewish group". CNN. 2010-11-07. Retrieved on 2012-07-01. (Misquotation omits the second utterance of the word “literally”.)
- No President of the United States could represent the United States were he not committed to human rights. If you don't understand this, you can't deal with us. President Barack Obama would not be able to stay in power if he did not speak of it. So look at it as a political imperative. It doesn't make us better or worse. It's who we are. You make your decisions. We'll make ours.
- To Jinping Xi (2011-2012), as quoted in "Born Red: How Xi Jinping, an unremarkable provincial administrator, became China’s most authoritarian leader since Mao." (6 April 2015), by Evan Osnos, The New Yorker.
- ISIS has nothing to do with Islam.
Let me tell you one or two things about Islam.
- As quoted in "Notable & Quotable" (23 November 2014), The Wall Street Journal.
- Look, I am Vice President of the United States of America. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don't see much of a distinction beyond that.
- In response to the question, "You're comfortable with same-sex marriage now?" Meet the Press (May 6, 2012)
- I resent when they talk about families like mine that I grew up in. I resent the fact that they think we're talking about envy: it's job envy, it's wealthy envy; that we don't dream. My mother believed and my father believed that if I wanted to be president of the United States, that I could be, I could be vice president! My mother and father believed that if my brother or sister wanted to be a millionaire, they could be a millionaire! My mother and father dreamed as much as any rich guy dreams! They don't get us! They don't get who we are!
- Make sure of two things. Be careful — microphones are always hot, and understand that in Washington, D.C., a gaffe is when you tell the truth. So, be careful.
- Even the oil companies don't need an incentive of $4 billion to go out and explore. As my grandpop would say, 'They’re doing just fine, thank you'.
- Speech to national conference of the National Association of Black Journalists, Washington, D.C. (June 20, 2012), quoted in Talia Buford (20 June 2012), "Biden: 'A gaffe is when you tell the truth'", Politico
- We got a real clear picture of what they all value. Every Republican's voted for it. Look at what they value and look at their budget and what they're proposing. Romney wants to let the — he said in the first hundred days he’s going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, 'unchain Wall Street'. They're going to put y'all back in chains.
- Campaign speech in Danville, Virginia, criticizing Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and the Republican speech, quoted in Jake Tapper (14 August 2012), "VP Biden Says Republicans Are 'Going to Put Y'all Back in Chains'", ABC News
- No dates until you're thirty.
- Alexandra Petri (10 September 2012), "Joe Biden gets cosy with bikers", Washington Post
- You can’t talk about the civil rights movement in this country without talking about Jewish freedom riders and Jack Greenberg. You can’t talk about the women’s movement without talking about Betty Friedan. I believe what affects the movements in America, what affects our attitudes in America are as much the culture and the arts as anything else. [...] It wasn’t anything we legislatively did. It was ‘Will and Grace,’ it was the social media. Literally. That’s what changed peoples’ attitudes. That’s why I was so certain that the vast majority of people would embrace and rapidly embrace. Think behind of all that, I bet you 85 percent of those changes, whether it’s in Hollywood or social media are a consequence of Jewish leaders in the industry. The influence is immense, the influence is immense. And, I might add, it is all to the good.
- The Jewish people have contributed greatly to America. No group has had such an outsized influence per capita as all of you standing before you, and all of those who went before me and all of those who went before you … You make up 11 percent of the seats in the United States Congress. You make up one-third of all Nobel laureates … I think you, as usual, underestimate the impact of Jewish heritage. I really mean that. I think you vastly underestimate the impact you’ve had on the development of this nation.
- Jennifer Epstein (21 May 2013), "Biden: 'Jewish heritage is American heritage'", Politico and Jonathan Chait (22 May 2013), "Biden Praises Jews, Goes Too Far, Accidentally Thrills Anti-Semites", Intelligencer (New York Magazine)
- Remember—no serious guys till you're thirty!
- To young women at swearing-in ceremony for new senators, quoted in Evan Osnos (28 July 2014), "The Biden Agenda", The New Yorker
- When these barbarians replicated with Steven what they did with Foley, who is from New Hampshire, they somehow think that it's going to lessen US resolve, frighten us, intimidate us. But if they think the American people will be intimidated, they don't know us very well. We came back after 9/11, we dusted ourselves off and we made sure that Osama Bin Ladin would never ever again threaten the American people. We came back Boston strong, blaming no one, but resolve to be certain that this didn't happen again. Today America may be still grieving from Jim Foley, a native from New Hampshire as I said he grew up in Rochester, but the American people are so much stronger, so much more resolved than any enemy can fully understand. As a nation, we are united. And when people harm Americans, we don't retreat, we don't forget, we take care of those grieving. And when that's finished, they should know [that] we follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice, because hell is where they will reside.
- Speech at Portsmouth Naval Yard, quoted in "Joe Biden Speech Transcript: We Will Follow Them to the Gates of Hell", Crossmap, 3 September 2014
- Good morning everyone. This past week we've seen the best and the worst of humanity. The heinous terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut, in Iraq and Nigeria. They showed us once again the depths of the terrorist's depravity.And at the same time we saw the world come together in solidarity. Parisians opening their doors to anyone trapped in the street, taxi drivers turning off their meters to get people home safety, people lining up to donate blood. These simple human acts are a powerful reminder that we cannot be broken and in the face of terror we stand as one. In the wake of these terrible events, I understand the anxiety that many Americans feel. I really do. I don't dismiss the fear of a terrorist bomb going off. There's nothing President Obama and I take more seriously though, than keeping the American people safe.In the past few weeks though, we've heard an awful lot of people suggest that the best way to keep America safe is to prevent any Syrian refugee from gaining asylum in the United States.So let's set the record straight how it works for a refugee to get asylum. Refugees face the most rigorous screening of anyone who comes to the United States. First they are finger printed, then they undergo a thorough background check, then they are interviewed by the Department of Homeland Security. And after that the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Center, the Department of Defense and the Department of State, they all have to sign off on access.And to address the specific terrorism concerns we are talking about now, we've instituted another layer of checks just for Syrian refugees. There is no possibility of being overwhelmed by a flood of refugees landing on our doorstep tomorrow. Right now, refugees wait 18 to 24 months while the screening process is completed. And unlike in Europe, refugees don't set foot in the United States until they are thoroughly vetted.Let's also remember who the vast majority of these refugees are: women, children, orphans, survivors of torture, people desperately in need medical help.To turn them away and say there is no way you can ever get here would play right into the terrorists' hands. We know what ISIL - we know what they hope to accomplish. They flat-out told us.Earlier this year, the top ISIL leader al-Baghdadi revealed the true goal of their attacks. Here's what he said: "Compel the crusaders to actively destroy the gray zone themselves. Muslims in the West will quickly find themselves between one and two choices. Either apostatize or emigrate to the Islamic State and thereby escape persecution." So it's clear. It's clear what ISIL wants. They want to manufacture a clash between civilizations. They want frightened people to think in terms of "us versus them."They want us to turn our backs on Muslims victimized by terrorism. But this gang of thugs peddling a warped ideology, they will never prevail. The world is united in our resolve to end their evil. And the only thing ISIL can do is spread terror in hopes that we will in turn, turn on ourselves. We will betray our ideals and take actions, actions motivated by fear that will drive more recruits into the arms of ISIL. That's how they win. We win by prioritizing our security as we've been doing. Refusing to compromise our fundamental American values: freedom, openness, tolerance. That's who we are. That's how we win .May God continue to bless the United States of America and God bless our troops.
- Weekly presidential address (21 November 2015).
- In the 21st century, nations cannot; and we cannot allow them to redraw borders by force. These are the ground rules. And if we fail to uphold them, we will rue the day. Russia has violated these ground rules and continues to violate them. Today Russia is occupying sovereign Ukrainian territory. Let me be crystal clear: The United States does not, will not, never will recognize Russia’s attempt to annex the Crimea. (Applause.) It’s that saying -- that simple. There is no justification.
- Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden to The Ukrainian Rada (9 December 2015).
- Israel will not get everything it asks for
I firmly believe that the actions that Israel's government has taken over the past several years -- the steady and systematic expansion of settlements, the legalization of outposts, land seizures -- they're moving us, and, more importantly, they're moving Israel in the wrong direction
- "US feels 'overwhelming frustration' with Israeli government, says Biden", The Guardian, 19 April 2016
- This was the diving board area, and I was one of the guards, and they weren't allowed to -- it was a 3-meter board. And if you fell off sideways, you landed on the damn, er, darn cement over there ... And Corn Pop was a bad dude. And he ran a bunch of bad boys. And back in those days -- to show how things have changed -- one of the things you had to use, if you used Pomade in your hair, you had to wear a baby cap. And so he was up on the board and wouldn't listen to me. I said, "Hey, Esther, you! Off the board, or I'll come up and drag you off." Well, he came off, and he said, "I'll meet you outside" ... My car was mostly, these were all public housing behind us, My car - there was a gate on here. I parked my car outside the gate. And he said, "I'll be waiting for you." He was waiting for me with three guys with straight razors. Not a joke. There was a guy named Bill Wright the only white guy and he did all the pools. He was a mechanic. And I said, "What am I gonna do?" And he said. "Come down here in the basement, where all the mechanics - where all the pool builder is." You know the chain, there used to be a chain that went across the deep end. And he cut off a six-foot length of chain, and folded it up and he said, "You walk out with that chain, and you walk to the car and say, 'you may cut me man, but I'm gonna wrap this chain around your head.'" I said, "You're kidding me." He said, "No if you don't, don't come back." And he was right. So I walked out with the chain. And I walked up to my car. And in those days, you remember the straight razors, you had to bang 'em on the curb, gettin' em rusty, puttin' em in the rain barrel, gettin' em rusty? And I looked at him, but I was smart, then. I said, "First of all," I said, "when I tell you to get off the board, you get off the board, and I'll kick you out again, but I shouldn't have called you Esther Williams, and I apologize for that. I apologize." But I didn't know that apology was gonna work. He said, "you apologize to me?" I said, "I apologize but not for throwing you out, but I apologize for what I said." He said, "OK," closed that straight razor, and my heart began to beat again.
- You know, shortly after I graduated in '68, Kent State, 17 kids shot dead. And so, the younger generation now tells me how tough things are — give me a break! No, no, I have no empathy for it. Give me a break. Because here's the deal, guys — we decided we were going to change the world, and we did. We did. We finished the civil rights movement to the first stage. The women's movement came into being. So my message is "Get involved."
- "Ideas Exchange" at Orpheum Theatre, Los Angeles, 2018-01-10, quoted in Dan MacGuill (7 May 2019), "Did U.S. Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Say He Had ‘No Empathy’ for the Plight of Younger People?", Snopes.com
- I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn't… So they said they had—they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I'm not going to—or, we're not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You're not the president. The president said—I said, call him. I said, I'm telling you, you're not getting the billion dollars. I said, you're not getting the billion. I'm going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.
- Speech at the Council on Foreign Relations (Jan. 23, 2018), quoted in Bethania Palma (9 October 2019), "Does a C-SPAN Video Show Joe Biden ‘Confessing to Bribery’?", Snopes.com, retrieved on 2020-03-12
- Paul Ryan was correct when he did the tax code. What's the first thing he decided we needed to go after? Social Security and Medicare. We need to do something about Social Security and Medicare.
- Brookings Institution and Biden Foundation speech, 2018-05-08, quoted in Branko Marcetic (26 April 2019), "Biden Says He’s the Workers’ Candidate, But He Has Worked To Cut Medicare and Social Security", In These Times
- What happened today to @JussieSmollett must never be tolerated in this country. We must stand up and demand that we no longer give this hate safe harbor; that homophobia and racism have no place on our streets or in our hearts. We are with you, Jussie.
- Twitter, 2019-01-29, quoted in Larry Elder (21 February 2019), "Jussie Smollett Supporters: Rooting for a 'Modern Lynching'", RealClearPolitics, retrieved on 2020-03-12
- We have suppressed the black man for 300 years and the white man is now far ahead in the race for everything our society offers. In order to even the score, we must now give the black man a head start, or even hold the white man back, to even the race.’ I don’t buy that.
- Quoted in Norman Solomon (11 March 2019), "Here Comes Joe Biden and It's Worse Than You Thought", Common Dreams
- I'm sorry I didn’t understand more. I'm not sorry for any of my intentions. I'm not sorry for anything that I have ever done. I have never been disrespectful intentionally to a man or a woman. So that's not the reputation I've had since I was in high school, for God's sake.
- Regarding allegations that he inappropriately violated women's space
- Quoted in Brett Samuels (5 April 2019), "Biden: 'I'm not sorry for anything that I have ever done'", The Hill
- The rest of the world is wondering what’s going on... Eight years of this and I think we’ll have a phenomenal dislocation occur around the world. I think you’ll see the end of NATO and a whole range of other things...
- "Joe Biden in Florida: Another four years of Trump will ‘end NATO’", Miami Herald, 22 May 2019
- I mean, we may not want to demonize anybody who has made money. The truth of the matter is, you all, you all know, you all know in your gut what has to be done. We can disagree in the margins but the truth of the matter is it’s all within our wheelhouse and nobody has to be punished. No one's standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change.
- Manhattan, 2019-06-18, quoted in Igor Derysh (19 June 2019), "Joe Biden to rich donors: "Nothing would fundamentally change" if he's elected", Salon
- Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.
- Matt Stevens (9 August 2019), "Joe Biden Says ‘Poor Kids’ Are Just as Bright as ‘White Kids’", New York Times
- This guy climbed down a ravine, carried this guy up on his back, under fire, and the general wanted me to pin the Silver Star on him. I got up there- this is the God's honest truth, my word as a Biden. He stood at attention. I went to pin it on him. He said, "Sir, I don't want the damn thing. Do not pin it on me, sir. Please, sir. Do not do that. He died! He died!"
- Matt Viser and Greg Jaffe (29 August 2019), "As he campaigns for president, Joe Biden tells a moving but false war story", Washington Post
- You should vote for Trump. You should vote for Trump.
- Jeanine Santucci (22 November 2019), "Joe Biden tells activist, 'You should vote for Trump,' over criticism of Obama deportations", USA Today
- You ever been to a caucus? [audience member nods] No you haven't. You're a lying dog-faced pony soldier.
- Manchester, New Hampshire, 2020-02-09, quoted in Anna North, "Biden’s “lying dog-faced pony soldier” moment, explained", Vox
- I had the great honor of meeting him. I had the great honor of being arrested with our UN Ambassador on the streets of Soweto, trying to get to see him on Robbens Island.
- Regarding Nelson Mandela
- campaign event, 2020-02-11, quoted in Amy Sherman (4 March 2020), "Joe Biden’s Pants on Fire claim about his arrest in South Africa", Politifact
- We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women created ... by the — you know — you know, the thing.
- Texas, quoted in Dominick Mastrangelo (2 March 2020), "'You know, the thing': Biden botches Declaration of Independence quote during campaign stop", Washington Examiner
- This guy can change the face of what we're dealing with, with regard to guns, assault weapons, with regard to dealing with climate change. And I'm just warning Amy: If I win, I'm coming for him.
- Referring to Beto O'Rourke
- Whataburger, Dallas, Texas, quoted in Madlin Mekelburg (13 March 2020), "Video doesn't show Joe Biden promising to 'take away Americans’ guns'", PolitiFact
- Lawrence O'Donnell: Let's flash forward. You're president. Bernie Sanders is still active in the Senate. He manages to get Medicare for All through the Senate, in some compromise version, the Elizabeth Warren version or other version. Nancy Pelosi gets a version of it through the House of Representatives. It comes to your desk. Do you veto it?
Joe Biden: I would veto anything that delays providing the security and the certainty of healthcare being available now. If they got that through and by some miracle, there was an epiphany that occurred, and some miracle occurred that said OK, it's passed, then you got to look at the cost. And I want to know how did they find the $35 trillion? What is that doing?
- The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 9 March 2020
- Jerry Wayne: You are actively trying to end our Second Amendment right and take away our guns.
Joe Biden: You're full of shit. Now shush, shush. I support the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment — just like right now, if you yelled "fire", that's not free speech. And from the very beginning — I have a shotgun, I have a 20-gauge, a 12-gauge. My sons hunt. Guess what? You're not allowed to own any weapon. I'm not taking your gun away, at all. You need 100 rounds?
Wayne: There's a video of you saying you'll take our guns.
Biden: I didn't not say that. That's not— I did not say that.
Wayne: It's a viral video.
Biden: It's a viral video like the other ones they're putting out that are simply a lie.
- Biden: [pointing at Wayne's face] Wait. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. AR, the AR-14—
Wayne: This is not OK, all right?
Biden: Don't tell me that, pal, or I'm going to go outside with you, man.
Wayne: You're working for me, man.
Biden: I'm not working for you. Don't be such a horse's ass.
- Detroit, Michigan, 2020-03-10, quoted in Bo Erickson (10 March 2020), "Joe Biden, accused of wanting to end 2nd Amendment, responds: "You're full of sh**"", CBS News
- One of the things that I did early on in my career as a U.S. Senator was I was one of the sponsors of the Endangered Species Act. And one of the other things we’ve done is we in the state of Delaware set up the coastal zone legislation which means that they can’t build any factories or anything within one mile of the estuary of the Delaware River and the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake.
- Virtual town hall, 2020-03-13, quoted in Jerry Lambe (14 March 2020), "Joe Biden Falsely Says He Sponsored the Endangered Species Act", Law & Crime
- We have to take care of the cure. That will make the problem worse, no matter what. No matter what. We know what has to be done. We know you have to — you're tired of hearing the phrase, you got to flatten that curve where it's going up like this, people getting it, and then it comes down.
- The View, 2020-03-24, quoted in Johnathan Jones (24 March 2020), "Biden Claims Twice That 'No Matter What' the COVID Cure Will Make Things Worse", The Western Journal
- We cannot let this, we've never allowed any crisis from the Civil War straight through to the pandemic of 17, all the way around, 16, we have never, never let our democracy sakes second fiddle, way they, we can both have a democracy and elections and, at the same time, correct the public health.
- This Week with George Stephanopoulos, ABC, 2020-04-05
- I think it's close to criminal the way they're dealing with this guy. Not his conduct. The idea that this man stood up and said what had to be said, got it out that his troops, his Navy personnel were in danger. Look how many had the virus. I think he should have a commendation rather than be fired.
- Regarding the firing of Brett Crozier
- This Week with George Stephanopoulos, ABC, 2020-04-05, quoted in Justine Coleman (5 April 2020), "Biden says dismissal of aircraft carrier captain is 'close to criminal'", The Hill
- There are people who support the president because they like the fact that he is engaged in the politics of division. They really support the notion that, you know, all Mexicans are rapists and all Muslims are bad and ... dividing this nation based on ethnicity, race. This is the one of the few presidents who succeeded by deliberately trying to divide the country, not unite the country.
- The people who voted Republican last time ... who don't want to vote for Trump, whether they want to vote for me or not is a different story, but they don't want to vote for Trump, they're looking for an alternative and I think, I hope to God, I can provide that alternative ... I really mean it. I think there's a chance.
- Fundraiser, 2020-04-15, quoted in Jonathan Easley (16 April 2020), "Biden on if he can reach Trump's base: 'Probably not'", The Hill
- If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black.
- Interview with African American radio host Charlamagne tha God on "The Breakfast Club", as quoted in Nicholas Wu (22 May 2020), "Joe Biden, in testy interview, says 'you ain’t black’ if you're undecided over him vs. Trump", USA TODAY
Quotes about Biden
- I've asked Vice President Biden to lead a tough, unprecedented oversight effort, because nobody messes with Joe. Am I right? They don't mess with him.
- Mr. Vice President, there's a saying in my community that you're dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don't even know the flavor.
- Cory Booker in Democratic debate (2019-07-31), quoted in Tara Golshan (1 August 2019), "“You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don’t even know the flavor”: Cory Booker hits Biden on criminal justice reform", Vox
- So far ahead of the pack that he can only see Donald Trump, former vice president Joe Biden kept his sights on the president Monday night and warned during a private Coral Gables fundraiser that the greatest threat to the future of America — world peace, even — is currently occupying the White House... Trump’s first term will “go down as an aberration, an anomaly. But eight years will fundamentally change the nature of who we are,” Biden told a crowd of about 200 who donated to Biden’s campaign to see him speak at the Gables Club, 10 Edgewater Dr., along the Coral Gables Waterway. “The rest of the world is wondering what’s going on,” he said. “Eight years of this and I think we’ll have a phenomenal dislocation occur around the world. I think you’ll see the end of NATO and a whole range of other things that really are the things that maintain peace.” Biden, 76, flew into Miami Monday after a stop in Nashville, and will be in Orlando Tuesday as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination tours the country. He stopped in Coral Gables to attend a fundraiser hosted by developer Michael Adler, who was the national finance chairman of Biden’s 2008 presidential campaign.
- Miami Herald, "Joe Biden in Florida: Another four years of Trump will ‘end NATO’", Miami Herald, 22 May 2019