Noticias Telemundo Interview: Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden (ENG. Text)

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Telemundo's José Díaz-Balart interviewed Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden, sparring with the former Vice-President over immigration and deportation polices during the Obama-Biden administration, his standing among Latino voters, DACA, ObamaCare, COVID-19 and a snapshot of a Biden Presidency.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Mr. Vice President, it's good to see you again.

JOE BIDEN: Good to see you again.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Thanks for being with us.

JOE BIDEN: Happy to be here.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: 49 days to the election. How do you feel?

JOE BIDEN: Good. I feel real good. You know, it's uh... it's uh... it's a long way. 49 days is a long time. A lot can happen. But, it feels good.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: You're here in Florida. An NBC-Marist poll in the state shows that you're actually tied with the President here. But he actually is ahead of you among Latino voters. Why do you think that...

JOE BIDEN: I didn't see that on the Marist poll. What poll are you talking about?

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: The NBC-Marist Poll says that actually the President among Latinos in the state of Florida has 50% to your 46% among Latino voters.

JOE BIDEN : That's the only poll that shows that. Did you see the Monmouth poll today? Same poll. How come you don't quote the good ones?

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Well, I'm just quoting the one that we have. We actually think it's a very solid poll.

JOE BIDEN: No, look...

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: But every poll, obviously, is a snapshot...

JOE BIDEN: Yeah.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: ...of the time and a place. But... having said that, as you know, Hillary Clinton got 62% of the Latino vote in 2016 here. Why do you think that is?


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JOE BIDEN: I don't believe it. Look, I want to work very hard for every vote here. And nationwide, we've been leading with the Hispanic Latino vote over Trump across this country and I think... I don't take anything for granted. I'm going to work very hard for every single vote.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Over the weekend, The Washington Post had an article about... including some top Latino activists. They're saying that they simply feel as though your campaign has been a little too late towards reaching out to the Latino population.

JOE BIDEN: Well, that's... that's not how we... We've advertised more in Latino stations than anybody else has. We've reached out... We have major political figures in the Latino community involved with us, we have high-ranking people. My administration is going to look like the country, look like my campaign with major Latino participation .. and... and so, but look, it's... you said there's 50-some days left. I'm just going to work like the devil to try to earn every single vote I can.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: You're here in Florida, there's a large Latino voting population, different parts of the state, different groups. For example, here in the I-4 corridor, there is a large Puerto Rican community that many times is going to be... possibly voting for the first time for president because they've come from the island over the past three years with Hurricane Maria. Do you see... do you have a position on Puerto Rico?

JOE BIDEN: I've had a position for a long time. There should be no second-class citizens in America, period. Nobody should be treated like a second-class citizen. And this president has treated Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rican citizens, and Puerto Ricans in the United States as second-class citizens. Going... you're going after the Hurricane Maria and throwing paper towels to people, making sure that they did not get the kind of reconstructive money that they were promised and needed to, they're still in tough shape. He doesn't pay any attention. He refers to Puerto Ricans in ways that are derogatory. I think that this is ... it's outrageous the way he's treated Puerto Rico and I think that, you know, like I said, there should be no second-class citizens.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: What does that mean?

JOE BIDEN: Well, what it means is... We gotta make sure that they have all the healthcare they need. Medicare and Medicaid. And make sure we have to keep the commitment we made to rebuild the country after it was devastated by Maria, ensure that we provide for education help in Puerto Rico. The University of Puerto Rico should get the same kind of assistance that historic black colleges and minority universities get. We should be doing so much more. Look, these are American citizens. He doesn't know that, but they are American citizens and they should be treated like American citizens.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: In the past just 24 hours, President Trump has gone out West. He's been on a campaign swing there. He said that it was a matter of defending the American dream if he wins, and if you win, it'd be the American "pesadilla", the American nightmare, that you would be surrendering to the extreme left.

JOE BIDEN: You know... I have supported my whole life basic fundamental American values: decency, honor, fairness... giving people an opportunity to work their way through processes, to work their way up. This President has done none of that. This President does everything, but... he embraces dictators, he's more like... he's more like Castro than he is like Churchill, - he keeps talking about -. He has no affinity whatsoever with... with what average Americans are worried about, and what they're concerned about. And he makes up the most outrageous assertions that you... but everybody knows he lies, so this is... I'm anxious to have a debate with him and anxious to get this moving.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: The debate is two weeks from today. As you know, the president has... well, when he talks about you he says all kinds of things, that's your mental competencies, says that you're taking possibly drugs to be up... How are you preparing for the debate? How do you see that debate turning out?

JOE BIDEN: Well, I'll let everybody decide after we see the debate, but I'm anxious to debate him.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: How are you preparing for it?

JOE BIDEN: Just to tell the truth. Lay out his record. You know, he likes to be in the mosh pit, you know, he likes to talk about things that are... you know, like he did with Secretary Clinton, you know? He wanted to talk about, you know... grab women and who does what, and all that stuff about Access Hollywood and all the rest.... I mean, I'm just going to talk about the facts. Talk about what he hasn't done, what needs to be done, and talk about what I want to do as President of the United States of America.


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JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: As a matter of fact, Bernie Sanders just on MSNBC over the weekend said it's more than just... to win, you need more than just to be anti-Trump, I'm paraphrasing. You have to also show what Joe Biden is for. What would you say is the main reason that you are running for president, and the main reason you should be elected?

JOE BIDEN: There's three reasons. One, to restore the soul of this country: decency, honor, making sure that we, in fact, mean what we say "We, the people..." When those folks came out of those fields down in Charlottesville carrying those torches, their veins bulging, screaming hate and carrying Nazi flags and white supremacists and a young woman gets killed and the president's asked to comment, he said what no president has ever said in American history. He said, "they're very fine people on both sides."

The second reason I'm running is to make sure that we make... that we rebuild the backbone of this country, the middle class.

The middle class has been getting killed. The middle class is getting crushed. This time, bring everybody along. Everybody along... regardless of their race, their background, their color.... period.

Just bring everybody along. Give people an even shot to be able to make it and make sure that everybody starts paying their fair share. I'm not going to raise taxes on anybody making less than $400,000 but guess what... Corporations are going to start to pay what they should be paying. They're making a billion dollars and you're paying no taxes? How's that.... How does that sit with you, you know? I mean, how you doing with that? How... you know, making sure that people making billions of dollars actually pay their fair share. It's about decency and honor and fairness, it's about uniting the country. From the day he rode down that golden escalator in his hotel announcing his candidacy, he said: "I'm going to go get those rapist Mexicans," the way he talks about Latinos, the way he talks about African Americans, the way he talks about Hispanics is degrading and so... that's not who we are. This is the United States of America. We're not like he preaches.

His own... his own former campaign manager and press secretary said what he looks for is division, chaos, and hate. That's what brings people together for him. That's what they're saying, to paraphrase that. And that's not who we are as America. Look, we are a nation of immigrants. We built this country because of the courage it took for people to get up on a boat, a car, or cross a border and say... leave everything they know for a better opportunity." It takes optimism, it takes determination, it takes courage, and that's who we are. And he's the antithesis of that.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Uh, we have... actually, when we announced that we were going to be speaking with you, Telemundo viewers were interested in asking you questions and I think it'd be great if they....

JOE BIDEN: Sure, I'd be happy to.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: ...address you and ask some of the first questions, and here's the first one, yeah?

JOE BIDEN: Okay.


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JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Mr. Biden, you and Obama are responsible for a record-breaking number of immigrants being deported. How can you guarantee us that this will not continue happening in our communities?

JOE BIDEN: It took much too long to get it right. That's the fact. Period. Number one. Number two, but... compared to where we are today, and look who you are. How are you feeling today in terms of this president? Everything he's done, separating thousands... there are still thousands of people who are being separated from their families. They're deporting people that are standing outside of church, waiting to come out after mass. There are going to be no deportation in the first 100 days of my campaign.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Let me get that right. You're going to freeze deportations?

JOE BIDEN: Freeze deportations for the first hundred days. And the only people who will be deported are people who committed a felony while here. That's number one. Ok. I lost that...

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Yeah, well, that's good because we can talk you and I on that. But...

JOE BIDEN: But, think about... think about where we are today.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: There were more than 2 and a half million deportations under the Obama Biden administration.

JOE BIDEN: I understand that.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Not 2.5 million all criminals and...

JOE BIDEN: I didn't say they were and... you've asked me this fifteen times.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Yeah, I'm probably going to ask you that...

JOE BIDEN: You love coming back to it. I wasn't president, number one. Number two, it took too long to get it right. But they finally got it right with DACA. They finally got it right by moving in the direction to try to...

We weren't prosecuting people at the process. Look, a lot of... look, I can only imagine what it's like, someone in your family deported.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: That's right.

JOE BIDEN: I can only imagine what that's like. And I... to me, it's all about family. Beginning, middle and end. It's about family. That's not gonna happen in my administration. It's simply not can happen. We are going to abide by the law. We are going to abide by the law. We're not going to... We're not going to continue this relentless assault on "they're coming up across the border, they're going to invade us. This is... these are all people... are bad people." I mean, come on! It's just terrible what's happening. The idea you can't even seek asylum on American soil? Can't take asylum on American soil? When did that happen? Trump. It's wrong.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: You going to change that?

JOE BIDEN: Yes, I am.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Ah, there's another question I think you'd be interesting in...

JOE BIDEN: Okay.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: .... because you actually mentioned DACA. Let's see this question.

Question: Mr. Joe Biden, my question is would you push to legalize DACA?

JOE BIDEN: Yes.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: What would that mean? Legalizing DACA because the President did it, uh, President Obama. He actually created DACA. 750,000 people have been able to come out from the shadows and yet, now, President Trump has cancelled DACA. What could or would you do?

JOE BIDEN: I'm going to reinstate it and then they're going to be part of what I'm going to send to the United States Congress. It's a total immigration bill to provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people in the United States of America. This is... this is... It makes no sense for us not to do that. And they're part of the reason why we're growing, they're part of the reason why... look, you have 24 out of every 100 kids in grade school today are Latinos, Spanish-speaking. It makes no sense. None whatsoever for us to walk away and not provide for access, not provide for education, not provide for healthcare. Look what's going on. And so... It's part of the strength of the country. It's not a weakness. It's a strength.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: As you know, Obamacare doesn't let the undocumented have access to... you would change that?

JOE BIDEN: No, no, what Obamacare says is, if, in fact, you can afford it, you can be part of it.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: The undocumented do not have access to it.

JOE BIDEN: Well, if you have a job and you can pay into it, you can purchase it. You'd be able to do it. But here's what we have to do. We have to provide for emergency to anybody who's in the country. So, there's... you're able to go to get help if you have a problem. And look what's happening in terms of COVID now. You have... in the United States of America, you are three times as likely to get COVID if, in fact, you are Hispanic or Latino, you're twice as likely to die if you get it, and you have a significant number of Latinos or Hispanics being denied... no longer... losing their insurance because they lost their jobs, their employers... and we got a president in the Supreme Court... in the Court, trying to eliminate the healthcare plan available under the Affordable Care Act, which in fact would require... eliminate the ability to be exempt because you have pre-existing conditions and not be able to deny insurance. We should be expanding that access.


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JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Dr. Fauci talks about this winter could actually be even worse as far as COVID is concerned in this country. 70-plus % of the deaths of children by COVID in this country are minorities. 70-plus%!

JOE BIDEN: Exactly right.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: So, are you ready in the winter to shut down the country again if that's....

JOE BIDEN: What I'm ready to do... We cannot open the country unless you deal with COVID. That's what this president doesn't get.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: What does that mean? You can't...

JOE BIDEN: You can't... look, you cannot open it unless you're able to begin to deal with reducing the access, reducing the danger of COVID in the country. And so, that requires just to do a number of things. First of all, I'm going to make sure if I am President of the United States, -I proposed back in March-, that we have testing available... same-day testing, so in 24 hours you can get the results, number one. Number two, make sure that we have a plan... a national plan... lay out how you can reopen a business or how you reopen a school, lay out what sanitary conditions are required, lay out in detail how to do it, sure we provide the PPE that is needed for all, not just first responders, but for the people opening businesses as well. There's so many things we could do that I laid out back... as far back as March. This presidents totally ignored it. Look what he did. This president knew... he knew the danger, he knew how deadly pandemic was and he denied it. He didn't... he didn't say a word to the American people about it. He kept saying it's going to go away when the heat comes... when the weather gets warmer. It's going to all disappear, it's going to be like a miracle. Or maybe you can inject bleach into your bloodstream and everything will be all right. It's been absolutely criminal the way in which he's... and the estimates are had he acted just one month earlier back in March, there would be 37,000 more people alive than have died. So this... it's been near criminal the way he's handled this. It's absolutely bizarre.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Uh, have you considered the possibility... 'cause I'm just thinking over the weekend; the President was saying the only way "Democrats can win is if they rig the election." That's an actual quote.

JOE BIDEN: How come every national poll shows the Democrats winning?

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Well, I remind you that in 2016 a lot of polls were wrong.

JOE BIDEN: No, I got you. I remind you that he doesn't know what he's talking about.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Okay.

JOE BIDEN: Have you ever heard him tell the truth?

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: My question to you, sir, is, have you considered the possibility that if he says that the only way you could win is through a rigged election, and you win 3 November, that he may not concede?

JOE BIDEN: By the way, when I said several months ago... that I predicted he's going to ask to postpone the elections, all you guys, -including you-, said, "nah, that's crazy." What did he do? What did he do? He ran... he put up a trial balloon, "maybe we should postpone the election." Now, why do you think he is talking like this if you so confident? He's doing so well. Why do you think he's going out there trying... look.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: What do you think?

JOE BIDEN: I think it's because he knows he is in trouble.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: So, what do you think he is going to do?

JOE BIDEN: I don't know what he's going to do. I know what I'm going to do. What I am going to do is I'm going to see to it that we make sure that we have... look, people are going to come out and vote. You're not going to stop people from voting. You're going to see the largest turnout of voters in modern history as a percentage of voters. They're not going to stay quiet. I put full faith in the ability of those people when they come out to pick the right person.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: And if he doesn't concede and you win?

JOE BIDEN: I don't think... if you watch the major military people in our... in his administration who've disassociated themselves with him talk about how reckless he is, in fact, I don't think we're going to have a problem. There are not going to be a lot of people standing behind him. But what is worrisome... it's worrisome now the way he talks about insurrection, he's talking about people taking up arms, have you ever, ever heard a democratic... not capital D, a democratic President of the United States ever talk... say anything like these things? Why do you think he is doing it? If he was so sure he was going to be able to win, this was going to... why would he be talking like this?

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: So, what do you think he's doing.... what do you think he's doing?

JOE BIDEN: I think he is trying to raise the issue that somehow there's something illegal about what's going to happen, so he claims he didn't lose. This guy is not, not... Not very straight.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: My final question and I like for someone to ask it instead of myself about racial justice in this country.

JOE BIDEN: Sure.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Ah, this is a Telemundo viewer and wanted to ask you that.

JOE BIDEN: Sure.

Question: Mr. Biden, there is a lot of racial tension in the United States with the Black Lives Matter movement. How are you going to solve it?

JOE BIDEN: Well, first of all, what I've done my whole career is try to unify people, bring them together. And the way to deal with this... there's institutional racism that exists for brown and black people, and Asian American.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Institutional racism?

JOE BIDEN: Institutional racism. Across the board. In jobs, education... across the board. And the American people have finally had the blinders taken off. They've realized what's happening in the middle of this COVID crisis. They've looked out who are the people who've kept everybody alive and working? All those essential workers. Who are those essential workers? Significantly minorities, making sure that the mail gets delivered, making sure that the drugstores are open, making sure the shelves are stacked, being nurse's aides, making sure they're.... working for people. That's the.... everybody's now realized that. And they've also realized the degree to which there's institutional racism. Look, if I can make an analogy, when I was a kid in high school, Bull Connors dogs were out there seeking their German shepherds on black women going to church in their Sunday best and fire hoses ripping the skin off of little kids and what happened was... everybody sat down in places where they didn't have large black populations and it was like they looked and said, "Oh, my God! That really happens?" Like Dr. King said, "That produced the second emancipation."

It produced the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act. Now we have these cell phones, I don't have mine with me. That young man who stood there for 8 minutes and 42 seconds and watched George Floyd get killed... killed! with a cop with his hand in his pocket and the rest of them not knowing what do to. The whole country saw it and said, "My God, this is still happening." And the way the President talks about Latinos and Hispanics, the way he talks about minorities, people are going, "that's not who we are. That's not who we are." They're not going to put up with it. Things are changing. They are changing already. And look at every one of the... anyway. They're changing. And there's a significant opportunity in the process to grow the economy. I remember you and I had a discussion several years ago about we know Social Security is going to go bankrupt because of immigrants from Latin America.

Come on! They are the people that kept us going. It's the reason why it's thriving; it's the reason why it's growing. There's also so much bad information out there. And... but the American people in their gut, they know, they know. Do you know many people who want their kid to grow up like the President of the United States? What do you think? You can't answer. I'm not supposed to interview you. But think about it. And so it matters a lot how you treat people. My dad used to have an expression, "everyone... -and he meant it, he practiced it-, everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity." He said, "Joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It's about your dignity. It's about your place in the community, it's about your honor, it's about being able to look your kid in the eye and say 'honey, it's going to be ok'." That's what it's all about. That's what it's all about for me.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Mr. Vice President let's agree you and I to meet again soon so we can continue this conversation with the Latino community through Telemundo.

JOE BIDEN: Thank you.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Thank you so much for your time.

JOE BIDEN: Thanks.

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: I appreciate it. Thank you, sir.


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