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NAACP SPEECH BY VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN

 

Road Sign: Travelers, below are excerpts from Vice President Biden's speech made before the NAACP Convention held in Houston, Texas on Thursday, July 12, 2012.

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CHICAGO, IL – On Thursday, Vice President Biden delivered remarks to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP].

 

Below are remarks from the event:

 

“But it wasn’t until later -- folks, it wasn’t until later that we learned that this was a plan -- obstruction was the plan from the outset.  According to a recent book by a respected author, Robert Draper, he stated in a meeting the night of inauguration -- according to Draper, Republican leaders from Paul Ryan to Eric Cantor to Kevin McCarthy, they gathered.  McCarthy, in the book, is reported to have said, if you act like you’re a minority, you’re going to stay a minority; we’ve got to challenge them on every single bill and challenge them on every single campaign.  Newt Gingrich, who was also there, said -- and he was prophetic -- you will remember this as the day the seas of 2012 were sown.  Well, they were seeds of obstruction.  Later, Mitch McConnell just said it out loud -- when talking about lessons he’d learned from history, he said, “the single-most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term President.”  Not to get us out of this recession; not to promote jobs; not to do the things that needed to be done, but make Barack Obama a one-term President.”

 

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“Look, education doesn’t play a central role in the Romney and Republican vision of the future of America.  It’s on the back burner.  It’s not a priority.  You doubt me, just look at their budget for the future -- massive cuts in early education, the one thing all educators agree on is the central, most important initiative to deal right up front with the achievement gap; elimination of the tuition tax credit for families; cuts in Pell Grant scholarships for children of low-income families; cuts in Title I funding for a lowest-performing school -- cut of $2.7 billion.  Cuts in special education funding.  In my view, backing away from the proposition we’ve held for years and years, that children should be educated to the degree to which they are educable.”

 

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“The best way to sum up the President's view, my view, and I think your view is we see America where in the words of scripture, ‘what you do unto the least of my brethren you do unto me.’  (Applause.)  As President Barack Obama says, we are our brother's keeper.  We are our sister's keeper.  We have an obligation.

 

“More than any other office in the land, the presidency is about character, the character of your convictions.  Whether you put country above politics, from the very moment that Barack Obama took his hand off that Bible on that cold, January day on the Mall, he’s done just that.  He has put country first. 

 

“When the economy was about to go over the cliff, I watched him make some of the toughest decisions any President has had to make since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  He saved the nation’s financial system, and in doing so he prevented a worldwide depression.  It wasn’t a popular decision, but it was an essential decision.  And he was right.”

 

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“This is a man, this is a President who has the character of his convictions.  And almost never, since we’ve taken office, during this entire time, did the Republican Congress reach across the aisle to help.  …  But it wasn’t until later that we learned that this was a plan -- obstruction was the plan from the outset. … Their discipline is amazing.  They have never let up.  But neither has my guy.  Neither has President Barack Obama.  He has not given up. He continues to be driven by the character of his convictions. In the end, that’s what the presidency is all about -- your character, your convictions.  And one more important thing, it’s about your vision for the future of America.  And here the candidates for President have fundamentally different visions for the future of this country.”

 

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“They see a different future where voting is made harder not easier, where the Justice Department is even prohibited from challenging any of those efforts to suppress votes.  No, no, look, I know you know it.  But I’m not sure everybody does -- the House of Representatives, Republicans, voted affirmatively to prevent the Justice Department from even investigating whether or not there was voter suppression? … Just close your eyes and imagine -- imagine what the Romney Justice Department will look like.  Imagine when his senior advisor on constitutional issues is Robert Bork.  Imagine the recommendations for who is likely to be picked as Attorney General or the head of the Civil Rights Division, or those other incredibly important positions of justice.  Imagine. … This to me is one of the most critical issues in this election.  Imagine what the Supreme Court will look like after four years of a Romney presidency. … This election in my view is a fight for the heart and soul of America. These guys aren't bad guys.  They just have a fundamentally different view.”

 

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“I believe this election will come down to character, conviction and vision.  And it will not surprise you I don't think it's even a close call.  So it's time.  It's time for the NAACP to do what it's always done, what it did for me -- a young kid in Wilmington, Delaware -- inspire a generation to stand up, make our case, stand our ground, and make real our vision for America.”

 

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