6:59 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Reid, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for hosting this event and for your generous support. I might note that — I was saying to you when I got to speak to you a few minutes earlier that, you know, you haven’t even — we haven’t even sat down with each other. You know, anybody who contributed and raised as much funds as you did, everybody expects to be knocking on my door for — you never asked me for a single thing. You’ve raised an enormous amount of money, and you said, “The reason why we haven’t gotten together, Mr. President, is because we didn’t want to distract you. We want you to keep going.” And I’m like — I really mean it. I hope everybody understands that about almost all of you on this call. And I want to thank you for your incredible support.
And, Jaime, I think that Leader Clyburn was correct: You’re the right choice for this job. You’ve been doing outstanding leadership. And let me just say that you’re part of something special. We’re bound together in one of the most consequential campaigns in the history of this country. It really was a battle for the soul of America.
And I just got back, by the way, from Europe after being there for, I guess, 13 days. I don’t — I forget how many days. And I met for five days with the G7 nations. I also — and then there were four others that were there — India, Australia. And I won’t go through all the detail; it’d be too boring for you. And then I went to a NATO meeting with all the — all the NATO representatives there and the heads of state. And then I went to meet with Putin. Actually, in between, I did the EU.
And here’s the bottom line: I — I think — I know you all understood it: the incredible damage done to us, internationally, by the last outfit that sat in this seat. And I have to say, sitting here tonight, I’ve lived through what we’ve lived through. We know just how important it was. It turns out it was even more important than I thought it was.
Think about the last 150 days: The American Rescue Plan delivered shots in the arms. And, by the way, we are in a position where we’re getting close to making sure that 70 percent of all the people in America will have been fully vaccinated, or at least get one shot by the — by Independence Day. We’re way ahead. No one thought we could ever do that.
And I’m in the process of being able to announce very shortly that we’re going to generate — half a billion doses we’re going to give away between — after taking care of every single American. Half a billion doses give away to the poorest countries in the world. And that’s what you do when you want to really help and influence people around the world.
And we put — and — but beyond that, they — you know, the act put shots in arms and checks in pockets for hundreds of millions of Americans who are on the edge. It’s keeping food on the table, a roof over their heads. And maybe the thing I’m proudest of is it’s putting us back on track to cut child poverty in half.
A hundred and fifty million Americans are fully vaccinated now. The fastest job growth in the first four months, I’m told — not because of me, but because of all of you — of any previous presidency. Projected economic growth at nearly 7 percent — the highest in four decades.
And just last week, I announced a bipartisan agreement in the Senate asking to make one of the biggest investments ever in infrastructure, ever — rebuilding our roads and bridges; delivering high-speed Internet to every American family, rural and as well as in urban areas; delivering every clean water, getting rid of those lead pipes to every American; building a more resilient power grid; installing electric vehicle charging stations — over half a million of them. This is the largest investment in public transit ever and the largest investment in rail since the creation of Amtrak 50 years ago. It’s about creating millions of good-paying jobs, and it’s about our economic competitiveness.
You all know better than I, because you’re all successful people, that we’re in a race in the 21st century to — who’s going to have a strongest economy in the 21st century. And the rest of the world is not waiting around. We have more to do, and we have to move fast and move quickly.
This is a — and this agreement, this infrastructure bill that — you know, it signals in the world that we can function, we can deliver. We can do significant things and show that America is back. That’s the message I delivered and received during the trip in Europe. I announced that America is going to help vaccinate the world, because that’s who we are. That’s what we can do.
I also rallied our European allies to holding China to the same rules of the road in a global economy in the 21st century.
I made clear to President Putin and Russia that the relationship between America and Russia should be stable and predictable. We should be able to cooperate where we have our interests, on nuclear non-proliferation and climate change. And where we have differences, I made it clear to President Putin that I understand why — we have to understand what exists, and whether it’s on cyberattacks or interference in our economy, I will respond. I will respond. And I know we’ll respond to specific kinds of actions that harm U.S. interests.
The bottom line of all this at home and abroad: We’re proving that our democracy can deliver for the people when autocrats are betting we can’t.
But we’ve got a lot more to do. As we invest in our physical infrastructure, we also have to invest in our human infrastructure, the so-called Biden Family Plan bill. We’re going to move on the American Family Plan that will deliver childcare, paid leave, universal pre-K, two years of community college, and so much more.
And I will take the case to the American people on the need to protect the sacred right to vote. It’s under assault in ways that I haven’t seen in my entire career, and that’s what got me involved in the first place. It’s about who gets to vote and whether the vote counts. And we have a system that does both with integrity and independence. But the Republicans want to do what no political party has ever tried to do: get to decide if your vote counts. It’s outrageous. We’re going to fight like hell to make sure that doesn’t happen.
There’s so much to say on all of these subjects. I’m sorry (inaudible) such shorthand.
But to work — the work has not been easy, and I’m going to need all of you to help do that work. The DNC is going to need you, because here’s the deal: We won in 2020 as a unified party, and we need to stay unified and keep doing the big consequential things.
If we make the right decisions in the next four — (inaudible) years, in 50 years, people will look back and say this was the moment that America won the future. But we can’t do it without you. And it’s not hyperbole to suggest what I said — that America won the future.
So, look, there’s so much more to say, but the bottom line is that there’s so much at stake. But I promise you — I promise you, I’ve heard from almost every major world leader — I’ve heard from every major world leader: We can do this. So we can, in the process, be helping the rest of the world by doing well for ourselves.
May God bless America, and may God protect our troops. And I look forward to meeting you all in a virtual photo line, which I guess is going to begin very shortly.
7:08 P.M. EDT