< White House Pool

Travel Pool #13: POTUS remarks

From: Jonathan Lemire
Date: September 20, 2023 at 4:36:21 PM EDT
To: Wranglers
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Travel Pool #13: POTUS remarks

POTUS began speaking at 4:09 pm.
His remarks were given in a well-appointed living room after an introduction by the event's host, Amy Goldman Fowler. About two dozen people were in attendance.
After briefly touting his economic record, POTUS reflected on his decision to seek the presidency. He told the story about the events of Charlottesville in 2017 as the reason for his campaign. A few minutes later, he told the story again, nearly word for word.
Reading mostly from prepared notes, he declared than that "our democracy was at risk." He evoked the 2020 election and the insurrection and recalled the trying times when he took office. He joked about his age - saying that though he looked 30, he knew why people talked about it - and said he believed that the nation could still be united.
He mostly stuck to familiar campaign points, adding: "I am running because we made progress, and that's good, but I believe our democracy is still at risk"
He declared that "democracy was on the ballot again" in 2024 and feels like his predecessor - whom he said seemed near certain to win the GOP nomination - wanted to dismantle the nation's institutions.
He also recited a number of other reasons to run: abortion rights, mass shootings, book burnings, and more. And while he never used Trump's name, he alluded repeatedly to the threat he believed his predecessor posed.
Telling the audience that he appreciated "letting me take another shot at this," POTUS concluded at 4:29 pm and pool was shown out. A familiar face in the audience: the actor Richard Schiff, whom POTUS acknowledged at one point.
From the WH on behalf of the Biden-Harris campaign:
The President is attending a fundraiser hosted by Amy Goldman Fowler benefiting the Biden Victory Fund.
Speaking Program
Amy Goldman Fowler
The President
Jonathan Lemire
Politico: White House Bureau Chief
MSNBC: Host of Way Too Early
Twitter: @JonLemire