“I want you to remember, notwithstanding the fact that one guy absolutely denigrated an entire group of people, appealing to the baser side of human nature, working on this notion of xenophobia in a way that hasn’t occurred in a long time. Since the Know Nothing party at the end of the 19th century.
“Folks the American people are with us. I know it doesn’t feel that way. But I’m telling you. I’m telling you. The American people agree with us.
“I walked out of the house just as Trump was talking on the television. Folks, this will not prevail. This will not prevail. And in the meantime, let’s not take our eye off the ball. Let’s not take our eye off the ball. Continue to fight,” Biden said.
Here are Biden's remarks via the pool report:
A few additional notes, and a better transcript to close out tonight’s adventure
The annual Hispanic Heritage Month event took place at the Naval Observatory.
As a fellow White House reporter noted, Pedro Martinez is not just any former MLB player, he’s in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The VP was talking about a “stepped up basis” not stepped up bases, as I thought previously. Your pooler has obviously never worked in finance.
A BETTER, NON-RUSH TRANSCRIPT OF THE VP’S OTHER REMARKS:
As the VP took over for his wife, he said he wanted to “get a couple things straight at the outset.”
“When she said all of us who of Hispanic or Irish or Italian heritage, she doesn’t think they’re all equal. She thinks that Italians are first.”
“At least relative to the Irish,” he said to laughter.
The VP said his wife gets “ very angry” at him when he points out there are no Irish Catholics in her ancestry that “I’m not allowed to say that anymore.”
Switching gears, he said:
“I don’t want anybody to be down right now about what’s going on in the Republican Party.”
“I want you to remember, notwithstanding the fact that one guy absolutely denigrated an entire group of people, appealing to the baser side of human nature, working on this notion of xenophobia in a way that hasn’t occurred in a long time. Since the Know Nothing party at the end of the 19th century.”
“Folks the American people are with us,” he said, encouraging them. “I know it doesn’t feel that way. But I’m telling you. I’m telling you. The American people agree with us.”
“Look, You’re talking about somebody who’s talking about a minority within a minority party within a minority.”
“The American people are decent. They’re basically, basically decent.”
Telling a story about Chinese President Xi Jinping, Biden said the foreign leader once asked him to define America in one word. The VP said he chose “possibilities.”
“What America’s all about is possibilities. And whenever you give anyone in this country, regardless of where they come from, they struggled to get here or born here, they are for looking for a simple proposition – what are my possibilities? If I work I can do anything. Anything at all.”
“Given a chance, given a chance, there is not a single person fighting to get here, particularly Latinos and Hispanics, who aren’t capable of taking advantage of the possibilities here.”
Talking about education, he said what we should be focusing on as a country is how to guarantee that possibilities in America remain.
He said by making sure the wealthy and the “trust fund babies” don’t get a “stepped up basis” the government could take in another 11 billion a year and then 9 million kids and adults would have the opportunity to get a college education.
Back on the GOP primary for president, he said, “So many of you I’ve talked to, and you’re just down with what’s going on with the other side.”
“I walked out of the house just as Trump was talking on the television,” he said. ‘Folks, this will not prevail. This will not prevail. And in the meantime, let’s not take our eye off the ball. Let’s not take our eye off the ball. Continue to fight.”
The point the VP said he wanted to make:
Shortly after the GOP debate, “the most popular man in the world is about to come to the United States of America.”
“The single most popular man in the world” - not just among Catholics, but among Muslims, Protestants, Atheists and “people of all faiths or no faith.”
“Why is he so popular?”
Because he says in different ways and nations: ‘Whatever you do unto the least of my brethren you do unto me,’ Biden said, paraphrasing.
“That’s where people are. That’s what they’re lookin’ for.”
“This will pass. The Trump and that stuff you’re hearing on the other team” - this isn’t about Democrat- Republican – “it’s about a sick message. This message has been tried on America many times before. We always, always, always, always, always overcome.
“But in the meantime, focus on, watch the response that Pope Francis gets,” Biden said. “Watch the response he gets. Because what’s he saying?”
He told a story, as he likes to do, about meeting the Pope at the Vatican, at which time he says the Pope told him, “Mr. Vice President, you are always, always welcome here.”
“That’s what we gotta do. Reach out. Reach out to the rest of the world, and say to those people who are struggling, ‘You are always welcome here.’ “
“That’s what’s made us. That’s who we are. That’s the core of us.”
He wound down with, “And so folks, don’t be down. This is going to be a fight. But don’t be down.”
“You’re all very successful people,” he told his audience. “You gotta straighten us out, guys. A lot of you are wealthy. A lot of you are successful. Everybody’s gotta do their fair share here.”
MORE ON MARTINEZ:
“I get certain privileges as vice president,” Biden said as he called him up to the front. “I know I’m holdin’ us up.”
“Come here, man. Me and my dog wanna meet you.”
“You’re one of my heroes, pal. You’re one of my heroes,” the VP said. “I sat there and said, ‘God, if I could do that.’ “
“Welcome to our home,” he said.
“Thank you for having me,” Martinez said. “All Latinos, we appreciate [it].”