The Blog

Biden: Beheading Won't Alter U.S. Approach to ISIS

5:02 PM, Aug 20, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

"The press that's here, they know that better than anything, it takes an incredible amount of physical courage to do the work your colleagues do overseas. So many, so many journalists put their lives on the line. Our hearts go out to his family."

He then got back to the topic at hand.

"Louis, if you keep on, maybe we'll canonize you," he said.

He said he'd make a few comments about why we're here today.

"I don't have to remind anybody we went through a godawful recession," he said. He said the country lost nearly 9 million jobs. "The recession clobbered the middle class. The previous eight to ten years, the middle class was already losing ground. But things have begun to change." He said the United States has added 9.9 million new jobs.

American workers are three times more productive than Chinese workers. He said during the 1990s, the conventional wisdom was "We can no longer be in manufacturing."

"But here's the deal. Your children all heard the phrase outsourcing. Your grandchildren are going to hear the phrase insourcing. Manufacturing is coming back to the United States of America."

He said the manufacturing jobs that aren't the same jobs that left.

"What's coming back requires different skills than before."

He said that 60 percent of new jobs will require more education than a high school degree.

He said the United States economy and political stability have been built on a prosperous middle class, and four months ago, Canada overtook the United States as the country with the richest middle class.

"It's the glue that holds the system together."

"There's a lot we have to do to restore the middle class," he said. He said his father used to say "A job's a lot more than a paycheck. It's about your self respect. It's about your place in the community. It's about dignity." He said the government needs to do its part to make "sure they have jobs that are worthwhile."

He said, "Pratt & Whitney is one of the great companies in the world. It's a different company than it was 20 years ago." Chenevert nodded in agreement.

"The thing that I came here to see is that you all have figured it out before we nationally have figured it out."

"We can, we can, we can have the most educated, the most sophisticated workforce in the world. The federal government's not going to do this, the state government's not going to do this. It's the free enterprise system. But what we can do is connect the dots."

Biden talked about the need for IT workers, dental hygienists, registered nurses, psychiatric nurses -- "The list goes on."

"The folks are here, the companies, they're saying, 'Hey, send me some qualified people."

"This is not rocket science, no pun intended. This is serious business. I'm going to get a chance to hear from the students that are here, and what their expectations are."

Then the press was ushered out of the room. Biden spoke for about 25 minutes.

At the end of the luncheon, the press returned.

Biden said: "This initiative here, at this community college [sic] is actually the thing that's needed all across America."

He said, "It takes a lot of courage if you're 42 years old, you lost your job: Am I going to go back to school? It's intimidating."

"I want to compliment the Senator, the Congressman, the Governor for pulling together the college, the business community, the labor community in one room [and asking] 'How do we get this done?'"

Malloy said: "I have not visited, in the last year, a single manufacturer that wasn't looking for additional people. Something we thought would never happen in the state of Connecticut again."

Your pool reporter asked the Vice President why it was important for him to come to Connecticut to raise money for Malloy's re-election. "I think it's important to keep really good men and women in office. This is not your father's Republican party."

He said there used to be areas where Democrats and Republicans could work together in Washington, such as infrastructure. He said everyone used to believe that workers should share in the rising profitability of their employers. "That's not happening today. I don't know the governor's opponent. He doesn't seem to share that view."

He praised Malloy as an incredibly innovative governor.

"I'm prejudiced, he's my friend. He's a Democrat. I'm a Democrat," he said. "I acknowledge that. But by any standard, this guy has done more." How can we be arguing about whether the minimum wage should go up? Sixty seven percent of the American people think the minimum wage should go up."

He said Malloy was one of the few governors who got it done, and Malloy jumped in and noted he was the first.

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 18 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers