The Democratic National Convention released a full transcript of Vice President Joe Biden's speech to the 2012 Democratic National Convention (as prepared for delivery). Read the full text below:
My fellow Democrats, and my favorite Democrat.
Jilly, I want you to know that Beau, Hunt, Ashley, and I are so proud of you. We admire the way you treat every single student who walks into your classroom. You not only teach them. You give them confidence. And the passion you bring to easing the burden on the families of our warriors. They know you understand what they're going through. It makes a difference. And I'm grateful. So grateful that you said Yes on that fifth try.
And Beau, thank you for placing my name in nomination to be Vice President of the United States. I accept.
My fellow Americans, four years ago, a battered nation turned away from the failed policies of the past—and turned to a leader—who they knew, could lift our nation out of crisis. Our journey isn’t finished. We still have more to do. But today, I say to you, my fellow citizens: In the face of the deepest economic crisis in our lifetimes-- this nation proved itself. We're as worthy as any generation that has gone before us. The same grit, the same determination, the same courage, that has always defined what it’s meant to be an American—is in you.
We're on a mission to move this nation forward—from doubt and downturn, to promise and prosperity. A mission we will continue and a mission we will complete.
Folks, tonight, I want to tell you about Barack Obama. The Barack Obama I’ve come to know. I want to show you the character of a leader—who had what it took, when the American people stood at the brink of a new Depression. A leader who has what it takes to lead us over the next four years--to a future as great as our people.
I want to take you inside the White House to see the President, as I see him every day. Because I don’t see him in sound bites. I walk down the hall, 30 steps to the Oval Office, and I see him in action.
Four years ago, middle class incomes were already falling. Then the bottom fell out. The financial crisis hit. You remember the headlines: “Markets Plummet Worldwide”, “Highest Job Losses in 60 Years”, and “Economy on the Brink”
From the moment President Obama sat behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office, he knew he had to restore the confidence not only of the nation-- but the whole world. He knew, that one false move could bring a run on the banks, or a credit collapse, that could throw millions out of work. America and the world needed a strong president with a steady hand, with the judgment and vision to see us through.
Day after day, night after night, I sat beside him, as he made one gutsy decision after another--to stop the slide and reverse it. I watched him stand up to intense pressure and stare down choices of enormous consequence. Most of all, I saw what drove him: His profound concern for the American people.
He knew, that no matter how tough the decisions he had to make in the Oval Office were, families all over America had to make decisions every bit as tough for them—as they sat around their kitchen tables. Barack and I have been through a lot together. And we’ve learned a lot about each other. I learned of the enormity of his heart. And he learned of the depth of my loyalty. And there was another thing that bound us. We both had a pretty good idea what these families were going through--in part because our own families had gone through similar struggles.
Barack had to sit at the end of his mom's hospital bed and watch her fight cancer and fight her insurance companies at the same time. I was a kid, but I can remember the day that my dad sat at the end of my bed, and said, things are going to be tough for a while. I have to go to Delaware to get a new job. But it's going to be better for us. The rest of my life, my dad never failed to remind me--that a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about being able to look your children in the eye—and say honey, it’s going to be okay, and believe it was going to be okay. When Barack and I were growing up, there was an implicit understanding. If you took responsibility, you’d get a fair shot at a better deal. The values behind that deal--were the values that shaped us both. And today, they are Barack’s guiding star.
Folks, I’ve watched him. He never wavers. He steps up. He asks the same thing over and over again: How is this going to work for ordinary families? Will it help them? And because of the decisions he’s made, and the strength the American people have demonstrated every day, America has turned the corner. After the worst job loss since the Great Depression, we’ve created 4.5 million private sector jobs in the past 29 months.