At 2:16 pm, President Biden and Democratic nominee for governor Tina Kotek, who is in danger of losing the governor’s mansion for her party for the first time in four decades, walked onto the stage at the Pacific Northwest Carpenter’s Institute, which bills itself as the “premier educational institution in Oregon, Southwest Washington and Idaho for carpenters and the affiliated trades.”
The President spoke from a small stage at the front of the room. There were roughly 200 people, most of whom were seated in chairs, and some stood on the sides of the room. In the back, stood a table with platters of Vietnamese food and jugs of coffee. Senator Ron Wyden, Senator Jeff Merkley, and Rep. Bonamici were in attendance.
Kotek introduced Biden, praising his legislative accomplishments and his record of creating new jobs and fighting for working families.
The President opened by thanking Kotek as “governor” then quickly saying he knew he was being premature.
“You’re going to be our next governor,” he said.
“You got one of the best senators in the last four or five generations: Ron Wyden.”
Speaking of Kotek’s race, he said, “It’s a race that matters well beyond the state of Oregon.”
Biden’s first day at the White House
Biden spoke extensively about his first day at the White House and setting up the Oval Office. He said the outgoing President was supposed to leave by 10 am and he was not allowed to arrive until 2 pm.
“The good news is my guy never showed up anyway,” he said.
Biden spoke about the Oval Office decorations, saying he asked his brother, Jimmy, to set them up.
Jimmy worked with historian Jon Meacham, and Biden said he was struck when he noticed a portrait of FDR, not George Washington, hung over the fireplace. Previous presidents, he said, kept a portrait of George Washington there.
Meacham told Biden he selected Roosevelt because of the historic challenges he faced. Meacham also chose a portrait of Lincoln, Biden said, because the nation had not been so divided since the Civil War.
The President also criticized the number of election deniers running for elected office: “That’s never happened before. Never in American history.” He expressed shock that candidates have to be asked if they will accept the outcome of elections.
“The role of governors in America is increasing exponentially in terms of how the state’s functioning.”
“The reason I’m here is because Tina is a serious, serious consequential person.”
“Think about who you elect governor. Are they prepared for the state to be pro-choice?”
“You have an articulate, tough, committed woman.”
“It’s up to the states now to make these judgments. You have a bunch of MAGA Republicans running.”
“The only thing that puts us in fundamental jeopardy for real is global warming”
Putin’s “tundra is melting”… and warned of the methane that is being emitted from Russia.
Biden went on to praise Kotek as someone who would be an ally in combatting climate change. “She’s very practical. She knows what needs to be done,” he said.
“I think we should be funding police more, not less… we need more social workers.”
Biden criticized Republicans for saying they support the police but defend Jan. 6 rioters. “They think they support police and democracy,” he said.
“As long as Trump controls the Republican Party,” said Biden, “he’s going to have an incredible impact on state legislative bodies” and state government.
Biden said the following policies were on the ballot this year: Right to choose. Right to privacy. Right to vote. Social security. Climate and Democracy
He said Republicans’ number one priority if they take control of Congress is to “do away with the Inflation Reduction Act.”
Biden said Kotek has “the heart of a lion.”
On the infrastructure law, Biden said, “It took a long time to get that sucker passed.”
He said his proposals were doubted when he campaigned on them, but whispered, “they all passed.”
“You’re a progressive state, you’ve always been ahead of the curve. Stay ahead of the curve and elect Tina.”
Biden completed his remarks at 2:45 and started to greet attendees as the pool was ushered out.