From: Daniel Bush
Date: June 27, 2023 at 7:56:17 PM EDT
Subject: [EXTERNAL] [WH Pool] In-town pool report #13 Remarks at second fundraiser
President Biden began speaking at 7:06 p.m.
"I'm more optimistic today about America than I have been my entire career," Biden said.
The president told the story about defining America to Xi Jinping with one word: "possibilities."
He then explained at length his reason for running for president in 2020, and realizing how "ugly it would be" to run against Donald Trump, though he didn't refer to the former president by name.
Biden said he ran to restore the soul of the country, to rebuild the economy from the ground up and the middle out, and to unite the country.
In office, Biden said he remains convinced it's possible to "unite this country in a way it hasn't been united in a long, long time."
On foreign policy Biden said he's spent 180 hours talking to NATO and EU leaders to "hold the West together" on a range of issues including backing Ukraine.
The president said he's also worked closely with Japan and South Korea on security issues in Asia, and on strengthening relations between the U.S. and India.
Biden turned to climate change and touched on his efforts to work with allies to reduce carbon emissions.
"We can change the dynamic in the world right now. It's in our power to act," Biden said.
The president shifted to domestic issues. Since he took office, Biden said, the U.S. economy has added 13.6 million new jobs, which drew the first applause of the speech.
Biden touted his efforts to protect Medicare and Social Security, and cited his exchange with Republicans during his State of the Union address.
On abortion, Biden said: "I'm a practicing Catholic. I'm not big on abortion, but guess what? Roe vs. Wade got it right."
The president criticized states that have passed laws restricting access to abortion, as well as laws that ban books.
From there Biden touched on gun violence and his support for an assault weapons ban and universal background checks.
"Think about the number of mass murders that occur. It's at a historic high. We can stop it," Biden said. He added, "We have to have some rational basis for gun ownership."
Biden also called for more investment in education, from pre-K to college. He wrapped up by recalling his years riding Amtrak, then tied train travel to getting more cars off the road and also mentioned the infrastructure law.
"I think we can do great things, I really do," Biden said.
Biden concluded his remarks at 7:53 p.m.
Pool was ushered out and is heading back to the press vans.
Daniel Bush | White House Correspondent
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In-town pool report #13 Remarks at second fundraiser
From: Daniel Bush