Former Vice President and current Democratic Presidential nominee candidate Joe Biden made an appearance at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College on Thursday.
While Biden has made several recent appearances before in California, Thursday’s speech finally revealed why he was running, as well as what he planned to do with California specifically if he is the 2020 presidential winner.
Biden’s message to California was very clear during his visit to the LATTC. Early speakers included a union firefighter and a student covered under DACA, which set the tone for the speech. Many unions were also in attendance, with AFL-CIO and Firefighter’s unions, the latter of which was giving out shirts to regular listeners in an attempt to boost their numbers there.
Los Angeles County Supervisor and former Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis introduced the former Vice President, saying that Biden understands the unions, the immigrant community, and how to get things done. She also said that, unlike Trump, it will not take 100 days to figure out what to do, and that some issues, like job creation and the environment, can work together on issues he supports.
“As a former Labor Secretary, I traveled with Joe Biden not only to California, but to Ohio and Michigan and Pennsylvania to bring green jobs and to create green auto jobs,” stated Supervisor Solis. “I watched him in Congress support healthcare, immigrant, and environmental laws. He can do it.”
Biden on the Santa Clarita school shooting, NRA, and gun laws
In response to the Santa Clarita school shooting, Biden began his speech by giving condolences to the three students killed before going after the NRA and the gun laws in the United States.
“I’m so tired of people talking about prayers. Damn it we have to protect these kids. Words don’t mean anything if we don’t give effort to change things,” said former Vice President Biden from the podium. “I’m the only one running who has taken on the NRA successfully and won. In fact, I did it twice.”
“After Sandy Hook, I was up in Connecticut where I saw that even the police needed psychiatric help because of how devastated they were. I helped lead the effort on increasing gun laws to not only protect children and others from being killed and injured but to protect those who would go through mental anguish as well.”
“They’re afraid of me because they know I’ll beat them again.”
Biden’s stance on immigration and DACA
Biden also reaffirmed his stance on immigration and issues such as DACA/Dreamer laws.
“He talks of Latinos and Hispanics as if a plague is on the way. A president needs to speak maturely not with hate. And we can’t keep children in cages along our border.”
“Hate doesn’t go away, it only hides. We can’t get rid of it.”
Also outlined was one of Biden’s plans to lessen illegal immigration, a plan of which would send $750 million in aid to Central American countries to help solve issues there so there would be no need to migrate to the United States.
Biden on U.S. foreign relations
After highlighting other plans to bring high paying union jobs to California, Biden also pushed for better relationships with allied countries.
“The next president of the United States will have no choice but to work with our allies again.” said Biden on stage. “Our alliances are at stake. I’ve known every major world leader for the past 40 years.”
“People want a president who can keep his word. Unity? NATO? Alliances in Asia? All of these are currently at stake. President Macron in France has even said they need to work closer with Russia because they can’t rely on us.”
Biden tells the Globe his goals for California
Biden ended his speech by clarifying why he was running for President. For months Biden hasn’t nailed down a singular reason, but on Thursday he bluntly explained why.
“We don’t need another president who needs 100 days to figure out the office. There are so many issues that we need a president who doesn’t need on the job training. I’m the only candidate who has passed anything really big, both in the Senate and as a Vice President.”
“I’m the one.”
Biden is pushing in California based on his union, international relations, and pro-immigrant strengths, as well as promoting education and selling his age as experience. While he also did push for more measures against firearms, compared to other speeches, he likely only added that after news of the Santa Clarita shootings. Biden also confirmed why he was running in the first place, with his age being a primary concern for many.
While the speech was at times vague on some issues, his personal connection to California through his wife showed through, and compared to other candidates, Biden spent less time attacking the current administration and talking about his history and more time on the issues themselves. It wasn’t an entirely gaffe-free speech either, as at one point he mixed up previous presidents and said that Andrew Johnson was president before the Civil War.
Biden also talked about what he wants to do for California. After the speech, Biden answered a question from the Globe about what he would do for California as president.
“I want to give California a better future. We need to help those trying to achieve a better tomorrow. We need more attention to schools and higher education. We need better jobs with higher pay here.”
“As president I want to make this happen for California.”
With less than three months to go before the Iowa Caucus, and less than four months before the California primary, Biden, as well as other candidates, continue to make more and more of a push in highly contested states.