Delaware Public Media

Biden urges Americans to repair country's moral fabric in chamber speech

Jan 8, 2018

Former Vice President Joe Biden addressed Delaware’s business community Monday - speaking at the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner.

Biden and his wife Jill were awarded the Chamber’s Josiah Marvel Cup at last night’s event. It’s given annually to a Delawarean who has made an outstanding contribution to the state, community, or society.

Biden took time off of his book tour to speak to hundreds of chamber dinner attendees. Biden released a memoir last year celebrating the life of his son and former Delaware Attorney General Beau - an Iraq War veteran who died in 2015 from brain cancer.

He calls on Americans to reject nationalism, which breaks the world into us and them. He argues the U.S. is better positioned than other countries to dominate the global economy if we take back our moral fabric.

“Unlike any other nation in the world," he said. "Not hyperbole. Unlike any other nation in the world. We believe in possibilities. Anything’s possible in America. Where has that gone?”

Biden said members of Congress used to be able to work in a bipartisan basis on economic policies. But things have changed. He said we’re starting to rally around tribes instead of ideals.

“From same sex marriage to infrastructure to foreign policy, there’s a consensus of Americans between 54 percent and 68 percent agree on every major issue," he said. "So why is it not working? The political system is broken.”

He said our foreign policy has become a zero sum game. He calls the populist movement that elected President Donald Trump phony and urges people to reject nationalism.

Biden is critical of President Donald Trump’s first year in office. He says Trump’s travel ban and dealings with North Korea and Iran have hurt the example America used to set for other countries.

He adds there’s nothing beyond the country’s capacity, but says it’s time to stand up and take back the ideals that used to guide us.

As recently as last week, Biden said he’s currently focused on helping elect Democrats to Congress this year, but hasn’t ruled out a future presidential run.