Remarks by Vice President Harris at a Political Event
Remarks by Vice President Harris at a Political Event

Huntington Place Convention Center

Detroit, Michigan

6:54 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Good evening, Michigan!  (Applause.)  Good evening, Michigan Democrats!  Good evening.

Please have a seat.  Please have a seat.

But can we please, please applaud the extraordinary American leader that we have in Senator Debbie Stabenow?  (Applause.)  I could literally spend my entire time allotted for my speech to talk about Debbie Stabenow.  She is — I — I had the great honor of spending a lot of time with her when I was in the United States Senate, and I don’t need to tell Michigan who she is. 

She is a tireless fighter for the people of this state.  She is a tireless fighter for working people in America.  She did leadership work, yeoman’s work, when it relates to everything from workers’ rights to pushing to make sure the affordable healthcare was pushed through the United States Senate, her work on access to clean water, and on and on.

She has been a mentor to so many members of the United States Senate, and she has been an extraordinary friend to me.  And I thank you, Debbie Stabenow, for all that you are.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

I also want to thank the great governor of the state of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer.  (Applause.)  Where is she?  There she is. 

I thank the members of Congress who are here; Mayor Mike Duggan; UAW President Shawn Fain — (applause); Chair Lavora Barnes — (applause).  You are doing your thing.  And to all the leaders here, thank you for the work that you have been doing every day.

So, before I begin, I will say a few words about the war in Gaza, which I know weighs heavily on all of our hearts.  On October 7, Hamas committed a brutal massacre of 1,200 innocent people and abducted 250 hostages.  Thankfully, four of those hostages were reunited with their families tonight.  And we mourn all the innocent lives that have been lost in Gaza, including those tragically killed today. 

For the past eight months —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible) —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — President Biden and I have been working —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  — (inaudible) —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — every day to bring this conflict —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  — (inaudible) —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I’m speaking right now.  And I value and respect your voice, but I’m speaking right now.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  We have been working every day to bring this conflict to an end in a way that ensures Israel is secure, brings home all hostages, ends the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian people, and ensures that Palestinians can enjoy their right to self-determination, dignity, and freedom.  (Applause.)

Last week, because of the leadership of President Biden working closely with Qatar and Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries, Israel offered a proposal for a ceasefire that can bring an end to this conflict.  We have rallied the world to support this deal, which has by now been endorsed by 16 other nations that have citizens held in Gaza and all of the seven G7 countries. 

And I want folks to know what this deal offers.  The first phase of the deal would bring about a full ceasefire, including a withdrawal of the Israeli — (applause) — including a withdrawal of Israeli military from population centers in Gaza.  (Applause.)  In the second phase, the Israeli military would withdraw from Gaza entirely, and it would lead to a permanent end to the hostilities.

The deal — (applause) — the deal is now in the hands of Hamas, and Hamas needs to accept the deal. 

As President Biden said last week, it is time for this war to end — (applause) — and it is time for the day after to begin. 

And with that, I will get to the reason that we are here today.  So, as we all know, everything is at stake in this upcoming election.  Interesting fact: This is the first election in over 100 years where a former president and a current president are running against each other.

Which means, Michigan, by the way, no guesswork is required.  (Laughter and applause.)  You know what you’re getting.  You know what you’re getting.  And you know, then, who you can count on when it counts. 

Let’s look at the facts.  First, on the economy.  When Donald Trump was in office, he bragged that he created, quote, “one manufacturing miracle after another.”  You know that’s how he talks.  (Laughter.)  What actually happened is America lost 170,000 manufacturing jobs, including tens of thousands of auto jobs right here in Michigan. 

We, on the other hand, came in with a commitment — all of us — to act.  We created new jobs: over 15 million new jobs; nearly — (applause) — nearly 800,000 new manufacturing jobs and more than 250,000 new auto jobs.  (Applause.)  We did that together.

On healthcare, Trump tried to end the Affordable Care Act more than 60 times — let’s not forget — to take healthcare from millions of Americans, including those with preexisting conditions.  We defended the Affordable Care Act and made it stronger.  We took on Big Pharma and capped the cost of insulin for our seniors at $35 a month.  (Applause.)  And it is we who finally made it so that medical debt can no longer be counted on your credit score.  (Applause.)

Michigan, it’s just a fact: You know who to count on when it counts, and you know who you can count on to defend our democracy, our liberty, and our freedoms. 

Again, look at the facts.  Donald Trump openly tried to overturn the last election, and now he openly attacks the foundations of our justice system.  Following his conviction in New York last month, Trump has been claiming the whole trial was rigged.  False.  (Laughter and applause.) 

Just look at the facts.  Over the course of six weeks, a jury of 12 Americans reviewed the evidence.  His defense attorney actively participated in selecting that jury, and, actively, his attorney made decisions about which witnesses to call and how to cross-examine those witnesses.  And the jury came back with a unanimous decision: guilty on 34 counts.  (Applause.)  Those are the facts.

But you — you know why he complains?  He complains because the reality is cheaters don’t like getting caught.  (Applause.) 

And since the verdict, he attacks the judge and the witnesses.  He suggests the case could be a, quote, “breaking point” for his supporters, hinting at violence.  He spreads lies that our administration is controlling the case, when everyone knows it was a state prosecution.  And he says that he will use a second term for revenge.

So, what does all of this tell us?  Well, simply put, Donald Trump really thinks he’s above the law.  He really does.  And this should be disqualifying for anyone who wants to be President of the United States.  (Applause.) 

And consider this: Donald Trump openly vowed, if reelected, that he will be a dictator on “day one.”  Well, you know what dictators do?  They take people’s freedoms away — the freedom to vote, the freedom to love who you love openly and with pride, the freedom to live safe from the horror of gun violence and from the fear of bigotry and hate, and the freedom of a woman to make decisions about her own body and not have her government tell her what to do.  (Applause.)

As president, Donald Trump handpicked three members of the United States Supreme Court — the court of Thurgood and RBG — because he intended for them to overturn the protections of Roe v. Wade.  And as he intended, they did.  And now more than 20 states have what I call “Trump abortion bans,” some which make no exception even for rape and incest.

Many of you know I started my career as a prosecutor.  Well, I specialized as a prosecutor in crimes of violence against women and children.  And what you may not know is one of the reasons why. 

When I was in high school, I learned that one of my best friends was being molested by her stepfather.  And I said to her, “You’ve got to come and stay with us.”  I called my mother, and my mother said, “Of course, she does.”  And she did.

So, the idea that someone who survives a crime of violence to their body, a violation of their body would then be told they do not have the authority to make a decision about what happens to their body next, that’s immoral.  That’s immoral.

And a second Trump term — (applause) — a second Trump term would be even worse, because, you see, if Donald Trump gets the chance, be sure he will sign a national abortion ban that would outlaw abortion in every single state, including right here in Michigan.

But we are not going to let that happen.  (Applause.)  We are not going to let that happen. 

And when Congress — when Congress passes a law that restores the protections of Roe, our President, Joe Biden, will sign it into law. (Applause.)

So, Michigan, ultimately, in this election, I believe we each face a question.  The question being: What kind of country do we want to live in?  A country of freedom, compassion, and rule of law or a country of chaos, fear, and hate? 

We each have the power to answer this question with our vote and our voice.

So, today I ask, Michigan Democrats, are you ready to make your voices heard?  (Applause.)

Do we believe in freedom?  (Applause.)

Do we believe in opportunity? (Applause.)

Do we believe in the promise of America?  (Applause.)

And are we ready to fight for it?  (Applause.)

And when we fight, we win. 

God bless you.  And God bless the United States of America. 

Thank you all.  (Applause.) 

END                 7:09 P.M. EDT

Official news published at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2024/06/08/remarks-by-vice-president-harris-at-a-political-event-2/