National Agenda 2017: “Bridging the Divides” with Joe Biden and John Kasich


MS. KARIBJANIAN: Please welcome University of
Delaware President Dennis Assanis; Director Director of National Agenda, Lindsay Hoffman; Ohio
Governor John Kasich; and the 47th Vice President of the United States,
Joe Biden. FORMER VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Thank you. PRESIDENT ASSANIS: Ladies and gentlemen, good
afternoon. Thank you for joining us. This is a very special day for the University
of Delaware. Today we have the fourth part of our series,
the National Agenda series. The series is organized by our Center for
Political Communication which is directed by Nancy Karibjanian. Today’s event is a joint venture with the
Biden Institute which is directed by Cathy McLaughlin and Mike Donilon. For today’s event we have two very special
guests. You recognize them already but let me officially
welcome here the 69th and current governor of the state of Ohio, Governor John Kasich,
and the 47th Vice President of the United States and a Delaware alum, Joe Biden. BIDEN: Thank you. ASSANIS: I know you’re all looking forward
to hearing their perspectives on this very special topic. In fact, today’s event was sold out within
10 minutes of the announcement. We really need to build a bigger Mitchell
Hall. So, indeed bridging political divide and partisan
divides is perhaps the biggest challenge that the United States of America faces today. The problem is not that we have different
opinions, different ideas, and different perspectives. In our history this has always been the case
and as a matter of fact, believe me, honestly, this is not going to ever change. But the problem is that today we’re so much
focused on our differences that we forget our common goals and that’s the problem. So many of the Americans today, unfortunately,
have grown to believe that compromise and reaching consensus it’s just not right. That this is a sign of defeat. And, really, the only way to succeed is by
trashing your opponent. And that’s, that’s the problem that we
face today. And in today’s world our country needs all
of us to work together, it needs all of us to talk to each other and listen. We have some major issues out there. Issues related to the economy, healthcare
reform, immigration, national security, education, and so many other topics. We have to work with each other and we have
to work together. And, this is so wonderful about these two
gentlemen that we have here today with us, they have been serving the country so well
over the decades, they’re, they’re true servants of the people and the country, and
they have proven that they can cross national divides. As a matter of fact, if those two gentlemen
can’t bridge the national divide nobody can. So, with this, I’m going to welcome here
Joe Biden to introduce Lindsay Hoffman. BIDEN: Thank you, [indiscernible]. Thank you. John, welcome to my campus. Yes, I’m, I’m a proud graduate here. I; two-thirds of my staff is from Ohio State
where he went. I just wanted him to see a really beautiful
campus here but. The; John, because of Dr. Assanis and the
faculty here, they’ve been kind enough to give me a platform here to work with, in this
case, the, the Center for Political Communication, and be part of their series, The National
Agenda Series. But, we’re working at the Biden Institute
because again Dr. Assanis and the Board have been generous in allowing me to bring, as
I was explaining to you earlier, some major serious staff people from Washington who worked
with me and know you and you know them, and to, to work together to produce some genuinely
— we have two objectives, one is to produce serious academic material that sheds light
on the issues of the day, and two, to, to bring to the campus, expose to my fellow Blue
Hens, expose them to some of the best minds and leaders in the country in all fields but
mainly in this case politics. And, and so, Dr. Hoffman, thank you for letting
us join your operation and thank you for being willing to moderate it. And Nancy Karibjanian who is a, I’ve known
for years since she’s been a child, she reminded me she started interviewing me when
my daughter Ashley who is now 35 years old was four years old. She said she was peeking out from behind the
desk at that time. But, um, Nancy has done a great job here,
outfit that Frank Bedletter [sp.] began in this, this school. And so, I, I just wanted you to know that,
you know, it’s not that hard for John and I to get along. We never had trouble because we come from
the same background. We have slightly different political perspectives
on the role of government but John’s, John’s father was a, a, I think he was a milkman,
wasn’t he John? KASICH: Mail. BIDEN: A mailman. And John came from a working class neighborhood
like I did in Scranton and then Claymont and, you know, we, we grew up with people and in
believing in people that were ordinary people like us. Our parents told us there wasn’t a damn
thing we couldn’t do even though we didn’t have the, the, you know, the wild pedigrees
that are and the incredible credentials. And, and we both, we both believe strongly
in the, in the capacity of the American people. And, John and I have worked together on, on
issues together on the same side and we’ve occasionally disagreed. But, I think, and I’ll end with this and
turn it over to you Dr., one of the things that matters and we got a chance to speak
to some of the class that is sponsoring this today, is that personal relationships matter. Every time I’m here you hear me talk about
that. But getting to know someone, getting to know
what they think, getting to know their background, getting to know their family, getting to know
how they act and what they care about really matters even when you fundamentally disagree. And we don’t fundamentally disagree but
even when you do because this system is built in a way that, that you have to be able to
reach compromise. You have to get to go to be able to make this
place work. So, I just want to tell you, John, how, you
know, when I asked who, who they wanted, who they wanted me to reach out to it was you. It was you. I mean, it wasn’t like it was a big contest. There were a lot of people that we were going
to bring to campus but the first person they wanted was you. And that’s because of your leadership, buddy,
and thanks again Gov for being here. And Doc, it’s all yours. DR. HOFFMAN: Thank you. Thank you so much. So, this is our
Seventh Annual National Agenda Series and I think what we do here is really; serve a
really important purpose which is to demonstrate civil dialogue. I think in 2017 we’re seeing a greater discord,
more racism, and violence than we’ve seen in many years and I think that this program
serves as a great resource for demonstrating and having discussions about how do we get
across these divides. How do we communicate more effectively? So our mission here is to kind of lower the
heat, recede from hate, and really provide good models for communication. So, I’ll skip, I’ll skip my introductory
remarks since we’re a little behind but I do want to say that today we’re, we’re
featuring two leading voices in bridging partisan divides. And, a recent study from the Pew Research
Center showed that Republicans and Democrats since they’ve been measuring this have never
been further away from each other in their ideological approach than they are in 2017. So, it’s time to talk partisan divides. So, Governor Kasich is after leaving Congress
in 2000 and running for President he worked as Managing Director in the investment banking
division of Lehman Brothers. He was previously a commentator at Fox News
and a Presidential Fellow at his alma mater The Ohio State University. AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] HOFFMAN: I should mention here that as a proud
Buckeye myself we reserve the right to say The Ohio University. So, let’s give another round of applause
for Governor Kasich. AUDIENCE: [Applause.] HOFFMAN: And we know Delaware’s own Vice
President Joe Biden was at age 29 one of the youngest people ever elected to the United
States Senate. He served as Senator from Delaware for 36
years and most recently as the 47th Vice President. BIDEN: Yeah. HOFFMAN: Please, again, join us in welcoming
Joe back to campus. BIDEN: Thank you [indiscernible]. HOFFMAN: So —
BIDEN: A couple of days — HOFFMAN: Can I interrupt? KASICH: After that introduction let’s go. HOFFMAN: All right, here we go. So, here’s, here’s what I want you guys
to address. You’ve both written recently, Governor Kasich
in your book, and Vice President Biden after the rally and protest in Charlottesville,
about the state of our nation’s soul and the need for a shared moral compass. Our country has been at these crossroads before. What does that soul or shared moral compass
look like in 2017? How do we get there? And since the Vice President has the home
field advantage, I’ll toss this to you first. BIDEN: Well, first of all, I think we, it’s
going to sound trite, but leadership matters. Leadership matters. And I think what you saw at Charlottesville
was seeing these people come out from under rocks and out of fields carrying torches and
Nazi flags and the same rhetoric that occurred at Kristallnacht in Germany in, in the 30s. I mean, this is, the idea you’d see that
again was just beyond comprehension. And, the failure for America’s voice, the
President of the United States to condemn it and not be — we’re talking about it
in relative term — emboldens people to think they can do this kind of thing. And you see it in every walk of life, and
you see it in every circumstance where bad things happen. So, that’s number one. Number two, it does not represent the America;
it’s not America’s soul. We know that’s not America but 300 million
Americans who take overwhelming objection to both political parties to what they saw
down there. And one of the things that I think we have
to, we have to remember is this, this is a time of real crisis in America and the world
where there’s, a change is taking place economically. We’re in the midst of this digital revolution. This Moore’s Law continues to escalate in
ways that a lot of ordinary people see their future as being in, in the horizon. They don’t, I mean not on the horizon in
the rearview mirror. They wonder what they’re, what jobs they’re
going to have, what, what are they going to do? John and I were talking at lunch. You know, the highest rate of suicide, the
highest rate of divorce, the highest rate of opioid abuse, the only cadre where life
expectancy is diminishing where white males between 40 and 48 years old because there’s
a sense of hopelessness. And that always generates demagogues and demagogues
do two things, one, first of all they appeal, appeal to fears, and they appeal to a fear
in order to get the aggrandizement of power. And one of the things, and I’ll end with
this because there’s so much more to say and I want to hear John, last night I had
the great honor as Chairman of the Constitution Center up in Philadelphia to award another
great friend to both of us — KASICH: Um-hum. BIDEN: — one of my closest friends, John
McCain. And, unlike this John and I, John McCain and
I have hollered at each other and gone at each other but we’re genuinely —
KASICH: Nothing more fun than that, Joe, right? BIDEN: That’s true, yeah. And, the bottom line is that, one of things
that we talked about is you all have to know the constitution better. And by that I mean, you know, we, you know,
we say we hold these truths self-evident that all men are created equal, endowed by the
creator. We all believe that but this thing that makes
us unique about America, other countries have said that, we set up a political system that
guaranteed you could assert that and guarantee it and it’s called the Madisonian notion
of counter-majoritarian instincts built into our constitution. There are certain things for which a majority
rule does not pertain. We are not a pure democracy. We are a republic. There are certain things that are so consequential
to us in terms of basic human rights that it doesn’t matter whether 99 percent of
the people wanted to do away with it. It’s called the counter-majoritarian element
built into the constitution so that we, the reason why we have been the light for the
world is not just what we said but we built the institutions that guarantee it. And the guarantees that are in that constitution
are one’s that people are walking away from now. And so, what do you see now? You see these demagogues talking about how
it’s just about whatever the majority thinks. You have riling up people, finding the other,
every time there’s a problem why don’t, why doesn’t the guy in coal country have
a job in, in Ohio? Well, an immigrant. What the hell’s an immigrant have to do
with the coal problem in southern, southeastern Ohio? It has nothing to do with it. Why people don’t have a job here in the
United States, in Delaware, well, that, you know, you’re, you’re catering to blacks, you
are, you’re giving them special preference. And it goes on and on. They need a target to pick. But we have to start to reinvigorate and remind
people what is the unique element of this country. And I’ll end with this. It is; we are uniquely a product of our political
institutions. You can’t define an America based on ethnicity,
race, religion, culture, background but you can in saying I adhere to the notion that
there are certain inalienable rights that cannot be overruled by anyone — the government,
the majority — it cannot be there. And so what’s happened here. What, what have you seen — and the, and the
result is Charlotte in my view — you’ve seen a direct attack for a year and a half
on the courts, the illegitimate courts coming from some quarters in our government now. And the second thing you’ve seen is you’ve
seen this direct attack on the free press. What are the two things to protect and prevent
the abuse of power? The courts and the press? So you guys have to get engaged. You’ve got to get engaged and remember why
we are who we are it’s because we built institutional structures to guarantee that
all men and women are treated equally. It’s the structures. We don’t have enough people informed. HOFFMAN: Thank you. Governor Kasich? KASICH: You know, I’ve never thought I’d
ever see the advantages of, of getting older, and, don’t get me wrong last night after
dinner one of my daughters and I and, and my wife and the other were kind of, you know,
we were listening to Linkin Park so don’t think I’m an old fogy okay —
AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] KASICH: — and I don’t, there’s not many
songs better than Numb so just so you know I’m not making it up, okay? And, you see, I’m changing as I’m aging. And Joe, I think part of it is, you know,
as a governor I have 11 and a half million people. I see people that hurt. I see people that need help. I see the whole jobs issue. There’s, there’s sort of a weight that falls
on you when you have that level of responsibility. I don’t want to talk so much about; I mean,
what Joe said about the constitution, you know, I’m, I think it’s really important,
but I think there’s two things that I think we are somehow forgetting and those are two
great commandments. Now I know that in our society today that
the minute I mention the word God we all have thought bubbles about oh my goodness, what’s
he going to do now? Who, you know, look, I don’t care who you’re
sleeping with, I, it, it means nothing to me. That’s not what God’s all about. God is about love, connectiveness, togetherness,
forgiveness, grace, patience. And the two great commandments that we have
— and look if you’re a humanist I’m, I’m cool with that, you know, you don’t have
to believe what I believe — but the first commandment is love God. What is that about? That’s about humility. And what’s humility? I know I don’t have as much of it as I need. But what is humility? Well, I need to listen to somebody. I’m not, you know, really what some of the
great theologians say is I’m not as worthy as you are. I fall short of you. It’s really important. The second one, and the one that we have increasingly
been forgetting, is love your neighbor as you want your neighbor to love you. When I think of the gnashing of teeth, the,
the elements of hatred, of viciousness, of division, what happened to that commandment? Have we just forgotten it? Have we written it off? You see I think that if you love your neighbor
as you want your neighbor to love you and if you practice humility you kind of have
an obligation to live your life a little differently. Now, it’s popular today to talk about the
failure of government. I, I’ll tell you Joe, I’ve never seen
anything like what we see in Washington. The dysfunction is, and the willingness to
just care about my own election — which that gets back to well maybe that’s a, another
moral purpose — because, you know, we’re all heading out of this world at some point
and my goal is to have at least 80 percent of what they say about me be true when I’m
dead, okay? AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] KASICH: We see the failures in government. The inability to put the good of our society
above the good of my reelection. Easy for me to say. I think Joe and I both practiced that for
a long time. We, we have, Joe. I remember when you pushed the President into
some difficult positions. It wasn’t easy. But I think we’ve been pretty good on that. But then I look around at the rest of our
culture. I mean, I look at Equifax. I look at Wells Fargo. By the way, they’re not doing state business
in my state. I banned them. You can’t be taking advantage of people
— AUDIENCE: [Applause.] KASICH: No, I, I mean, seriously, but then
I look, I look at these companies and I say is about profit without value? Because some of the great theologians have
said that free enterprise with, not underlain by a set of values is bankrupt. Michael, one of the, one of the great, great
Catholic theologians said that and I, I happen to agree with that. Hollywood. I’m not saying another word. AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] KASICH: Okay? No, only from the standpoint of if you think
that’s the only place where these things exist we’re crazy. I mean what are people thinking? If we think about sports, I see where they’re
now going to appeal Ezekiel Elliot. They want him to play football on Sunday. What, what are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? The guy should go and, and play? We look at; we look at the matters of faith
and so many of these, of these, of these Evangelicals now deciding that politics should be interspersed
with religion. And it has no place unless you’re talking
morality like, like Martin Luther King did. But when I look across our culture and I begin
to wonder have we all lost our way? And so where does it come down to? Well, you know, it comes down to you. I, I can remember being — and I’ll, I’ll
wrap up here because I know you have a lot of questions — I was out in Utah and I was
at a Town Hall and there was a young lady standing behind me and I said, you know, no
one’s ever been made like you before and no one will ever be made like you again. Do you understand what a big purpose you have? And she started to cry. And I told my wife about it, she said you
probably scared her, John. AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] KASICH: Um, but do you understand, and I don’t
mean this just like politically, you all matter very much. The power of our country does not rest in
Presidents, governors, senators. The power, the power of our country rests
in you and us as people and how we behave in class, how we behave out of class, how
the business executives behave, how the theologians behave, how the sports figures behave. Was there anything that was more uplifting
than to see, see J.T. Watt (sic) raise all that money for those
flood victims in, in Houston? I mean, these are powerful things where we
can see heroes and we look at Houston, we look at Florida, we look at Puerto Rico, and
we say, wow there are heroes emerging. We’ve got to be a little bit, not saints,
none of us are going to get there but maybe a little bit better heroes every day to somebody
else. And so the power is in us. So don’t be yelling and screaming, you know,
don’t be blaming them when you’re doing the same thing. Be patient. Embrace people. Tell them you care about them. Give them a hug. You’ll feel ten times better. That’s the strength of our country is you. And Joe’s right about that. You. Not somebody else. So —
HOFFMAN: Thank you. AUDIENCE: [Applause.] HOFFMAN: Let’s stick with the Governor for
a moment and travel back in time to 2016 and the campaign for President. I —
KASICH: Do we really have to? HOFFMAN: Well, it’s the, it’s the only
— KASICH: Come on, come on that’s not fair. I came here as a guest. HOFFMAN: — only one question. KASICH: [Laughter.] AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] HOFFMAN: Only one question. KASICH: Yeah, no, that’s fine. HOFFMAN: Because I study the intersection
of technology and politics I’m always fascinated by how every four years, you know, there’s
a Facebook or there’s a Twitter or there’s a new medium that’s, that’s tracking things. And so what I was really fascinated by during
the, the Presidential debates and the primary was Facebook had, you could say, click an
emoji as to what you were feeling and I monitored this throughout the debate, that was before
the March 1st primary, and people were angry. And they got more angry as the debate went
on. I think these debates are historically one
of the best models for civil dialogue. What, in your opinion —
KASICH: Which debates were you watching? AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] KASICH: I wish I had been invited to those. Let me tell you something about the debates. Okay, a couple of just —
HOFFMAN: These did not exemplify that. KASICH: — just a couple of stream of consciousness
here. HOFFMAN: Yeah. KASICH: First of all, the debates were the
craziest thing you said, figure out what you can say so you can get on the morning news. Okay? I’m going to rip up the Iran deal. Okay. I’m going to kick 15 million people out
of the country. What’s got the press? If you said, well, you know, we ought to consider
what we do with Iran by the, when we get there before, do you think anybody was for you? No, it didn’t work that way. The debates didn’t work because it was all
about the, the, what’s the biggest thing you can do. It was not about a discussion like we’re
going to have here today. You know why? Because most people wouldn’t watch. Well, you’d, you’d get maybe 7 or 8 million,
but you’ve got 25 million, and remember when it comes to the networks money matters. Some of them made a billion dollars doing
all of this stuff, okay? And now they’re like going crazy because of
the result. So, that’s the —
AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] KASICH: — that’s the, that’s the first
thing. The second thing I want to tell you is this
is really, really interesting. You know it’s like no good deed goes unpunished. So, I didn’t go to the convention in Ohio. People are still furious with me about it. I’d never endorsed Donald Trump. People in my party still angry at me about
it. I’ve just gotten together with John Hickenlooper
to put together a bipartisan proposal on healthcare and you know what everybody says? There’s something in it for him. I don’t think that today, we’ve become
so cynical that if Joe and I are sitting here on this stage and we get along somebody figures
out there’s some ulterior motive behind it all. Do you know that people actually do nice things
and good things because it’s the right thing to do? And it’s so hard for people —
AUDIENCE: [Applause.] KASICH: — to understand it. So —
HOFFMAN: Thank you so much. Well, I’m wondering if either of you ever
played the “what would I do” game. If you were President in this period right
now today. AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] BIDEN: Look, let, let, let me go back for
a second and I’ll, and I’ll answer that question directly. I’ll answer that question directly. John and I both have a bad habit of answering
the questions we’re asked. Sometimes it gets us in trouble. Look, number one, the press bears some responsibility,
you guys, school communications. I don’t think you’re teaching the right
things all of the time. No, I’m not being facetious now and, and
I mean this sincerely. Think about it now. If in fact there was an actual debate that
didn’t include Donald Trump groping a woman’s crotch or the — and I’m not being facetious. Look there, there was a study done by the
Shorenstein Institute [sp.] and the communications people probably know this. Of all the words spoken in the debates and
on the campaign only four percent, it was covered, involved issues. Do you hear me now? Four percent. Four percent. Now, the press is going through an overwhelming
–they’re really the brightest people I have known in my career, I count among them the
press people. I mean I really mean it, academically, intellectually
— KASICH: Yup. BIDEN: And, but think about what’s going
on now. You’re, if a newspaper is going to survive
they’re not quite sure how they’re going to do it. It’s changed incredibly. There’s very little editorial comment or,
there’s, there’s very little editorial filter on about anything that goes out. Thirdly, you find yourself that if in fact
you are going to respond to something that is substantively important but you can elevate
it like John said by taking an extreme position; you know it’s going to be carried the next
day on the news. And so, it’s all about, and that’s why
we’re going to get to it probably somewhere along the line here, that’s why the new
technology is both incredibly liberating and also dangerous because there’s no editorial
filter on anything at all out there now. And so, with regard to the question of whether
or not do I sit and do I think to myself what I would do. One of the great advantages, and there’s
no power in the Vice Presidency, it’s all reflective. You’ve heard me; students have heard me
before say that it literally as Benjamin Franklin said we should refer to the Vice President
as his superfluous excellency. AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] BIDEN: Okay? There is no power. You’re standby equipment as one former Vice
President said and you break a tie unless you have a relationship with the President
that’s real and I was lucky to have that. And one of the things you get to do when you’re
a Governor, I never have been, and when you’re a Vice President, which I have, is you get
to, because I got to be the last guy in the room in every major decision. He made that commitment to me and he kept
it. That I could make my case as to what I thought
we should do. You’re able to judge whether or not the advice
you gave and your President that, the position you took whether it turned out to be correct
or not correct. So you have a sense, you have a scorecard. He knows what the things he did that succeeded
and what the things he did that didn’t succeed. He didn’t have to guess about it. He’s done it. He’s done it. And one of the things that I found that, it
doesn’t mean the recommendation you had which was different would’ve worked, it
just means if you said don’t do what you’re about to do didn’t work you knew it increases
you’re confidence in your judgment for guys like, you know, like John and I have been
around for a long time. And, so, what I was able to do for eight years
is not second guess but make absolutely directly clear in private to the President when I thought
he was right and when I thought he was wrong and what I thought he should do. The fact that I’m no longer Vice President
doesn’t mean that I no longer have those thoughts. I do. No, no, I, I, I, I’m not trying to be funny
here. The point is though that there has been a
tradition, and it’s been sorely tested by this President, a tradition that the outgoing
President and Vice President give a grace period to an administration to get their feet
on the ground. One of the things, John, I use as an excuse
and I look on in, in reverse now is that they didn’t expect to win. They weren’t prepared at all to govern. They had not anybody in place. They didn’t even have what every major campaign
has; they didn’t have a committee working on exactly what they’d do in transition. There was no transition group. So, I said let’s give them a chance to put
people in place and see what they do. But what has really happened here is that
we have a President who does not understand governance. Forget his policies for a minute. He doesn’t understand how the government
functions and as George Will recently said, he spoke up at the, for the Center — I’m
the chairman of it — up at the Constitution Center — he talked about the fact that or
the reason why we have certain basic norms, certain basic political norms. They are the thing which, they are the, the
ballast which keeps differing opinions and conflicts floating so that we can deal with
them. And he came along and said he’s going to
breakdown all the norms. It’s like breaking down the norms on a campus. We don’t walk by and someone says hello
to you and you don’t say hello. Well, guess what, if that, you break down
that norm it becomes not a very friendly place to, to work off a little bit about what John
was talking about. There’s certain basic norms. And he doesn’t understand them and the one’s
he understands he tries to break down. And secondly, this penchant for self-aggrandizement
and this penchant for tweeting, this penchant to focus so specifically and internally on,
on what he does or doesn’t do even if he was right about everything is sending a message
to all of you and sending a message to your younger siblings that is just totally inappropriate. We talked about this, John, when you and John
Boehner and, and Barack and I were playing golf last time, and you guys won, and —
AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] BIDEN: — and, but, but all kidding aside,
you know, we saw the beginning of the demise of the nature of the discourse when the Gingrich
revolution started to occur. When on the floor of the United States Senate
a senator would refer to a sitting President as Bubba, when, when someone — forget Democrat
and Republican — when someone would yell at a State of the Union liar. These are basic norms. There’s a reason why we have certain basic
social norms. KASICH: Yeah. BIDEN: They’re the arbiter of how we work
together. So the thing that I find the most debilitating
about what’s going on now is the destruction of these norms and its generating chaos. It’s generating chaos internally. I don’t want to see the Chief of Staff quit. I don’t want to see the Secretary of Defense
or the Secretary of State quit. I don’t want — all of the people who were
in our administration who are still there, they call me all the time, I say, please stay. Please stay. There has to be some competence and normalcy. But again, it’s not even about the issues. It’s about the norms. I’ll conclude by saying, you don’t say,
you don’t say to a foreign leader even someone as difficult, dangerous and against U.S. interests
as the President of North Korea, you don’t refer to him as a little guy. You don’t stand — I was recently with a
head of state. I, John, I’ve had fourteen heads of state
contact me, that they want to see me to get me to explain what’s going on. And —
AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] BIDEN: No, I’m not being facetious now. This is deadly earnest. And I’m very careful about making sure — I’m
not in power, I don’t set foreign policy, and I never speak ill of an American President
abroad. That’s an absolute rule of mine. But I was recently with one Prime Minister
in Europe — I went over to speak at a conference — and he wanted to see me and so I thought
it was a courtesy call and I thought it was going to last ten minutes. It lasted two and a half hours. And at one point this Prime Minister said,
and did you see what he did? We were sitting on the same side of a conference
table sort of as close as you and I are, and he said, he stood up and he said he took the
President of Montenegro and he shoved him aside and stuck his chest out and his chin
and all I could think of was Il Duce. AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] BIDEN: Not a joke. Not a joke. That’s what people are thinking. That’s what people are thinking. Violating the norms of personal conduct generates
more anxiety and fear than any policy prescription that this President has enunciated. Sending his Secretary of State to talk with
North Korea and saying he’s on a fool’s errand. It is absolutely bizarre. This, this bizarre conduct. And let me ask you professors out there. If I said to you two months after this election,
why are you fundamentally worried about things in a fundamental way getting out of hand,
democracy being questioned, or foreign policy maybe ending up in a war, my guess is 90 percent
of you would have said no, I, I, look this is a bad period and. But let me ask you today, I just spoke to,
did a major speech, I was, got the Brzezinski award by the, the Council for International
Security Studies in Washington. Every foreign policy Pulbah and both parties
were there. I asked the question. How many of you today are concerned for the
first time in your career a genuine possibility of a nuclear war? In January it would have been about one percent
and they would’ve thought it would occur if only if ISIS got a hold of a nuclear weapon
or an accident occurred. Folks, this breaking down of international
and national norms is the glue that holds the, the world order together and holds together
our system. That is what is being attacked now and that’s
what’s most dangerous. HOFFMAN: Can it be reversed? Can it —
BIDEN: Yes. HOFFMAN: — get back on track and what are
some suggestions for doing that? KASICH: Well, first of all let me, let me
say a couple of things. What’s really pretty amazing is that when
you look at polls the country’s divided about the President. Now, not 50-50 but there’s still strong
support for the President in some quarters. There was an article yesterday the front page
that Flake in Arizona may be in trouble because he’s criticized the President. See, it’s become about base politics. It’s the base politics of Republicans and
it’s the base politics of Democrats. Look, I’ve been involved in, with, with
a, with a great Democrat John Hickenlooper trying to resolve the health issue. The minute that the Republican proposal went
down Democrats went out the window. See, I, I think that what, what, what we’re
seeing and why did Trump get elected — I mean can, I’ve written a book about it,
you know buy it, it’s great — AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] KASICH: — but, but look, and I, I —
BIDEN: Give them the title. KASICH: — I don’t want to get in; I don’t
want to get into — HOFFMAN: It’s out in the lobby anyway. KASICH: — you know, I’ve said all that
I frankly need to say about temperament, how you conduct yourself, you’ve seen me on
television do it. I try to stick on, on these issues of which
I have profound differences in many cases with the administration. But what was really behind it in many respects
is people felt that — you said it earlier, Joe — they felt hopeless. They thought that the current political system
doesn’t work for them. They’re unemployed, they have nowhere to go,
and they thought, you know what all these politicians, ah, forget it; I’m just going
to try something different. I’m going to try something new. I think that’s part of the reason why all,
we have this result. But to some degree the politics today is a
manifestation of the politics that’s been brewing for a long time. BIDEN: Exactly. KASICH: I mean, I remember the Bork hearings. I remember, you were on the, on the committee,
you saw how — BIDEN: I remember. KASICH: — raucous and how they were and then
we went through an impeachment and then we went through a, you know, the, the Republican
revolution and we saw Jim Wright be driven out in Foley be driven out and then we, we
saw the Republicans win the House for the, you know, the first time in 40 years and the
Democrats kind of said no, you’d never won. I mean, we’re going to just fight you. We’re not — it, it’s a, it’s a, it’s
really a pox on both Houses and you were right about that guy that yelled at the President,
you lie, and here’s the ironic thing the next day he put out a fundraising letter to
raise money off of it. So, the system itself has been breaking down
because of base politics. Why’d the Democrats go out of the window
on healthcare? Well because if you don’t stand behind Obamacare
Bernie and the boys will come and get you. And if you’re a Republican and you, you
try to cross the, the base of the Republican Party they come get you in a primary. See, we’re just, the whole system is polarizing
and we have a manifestation of, of what has been happening over a long period of time
and therefore we are more divided. And how do you fix it? Well, I can remember, I was chairman of the
Budget Committee, you know, that was one of the most partisan committees, and I got along
with everybody, the Democrats on the committee. It was really good and Republicans would say
well let’s just come in for a couple of hours and then we’ll shut them down and
I said whoa, whoa, whoa wait a minute here. You can’t do that. I mean, what are you kidding? Not only are we not going to shut them down,
I want to know what amendments we’re going to accept. It doesn’t exist anymore in the Congress. Nobody is telling anybody what they’re behavior
ought to be. The grownups have somehow disappeared. And when that happens there are no rules. And, Joe, it’s interesting what you stay
because there are some fundamental rules of human behavior that have been violated, that
cannot be violated, and that’s back to respect and humility and all these other things. So, when I look at the political system I’m,
do I think it can be fixed? Absolutely. You say what would I do if I were President? Well, let me tell you what I do. I’m Governor. So I have a big job. And so what are we about? We’re about economic growth and we’re
growing up 479,000 jobs since I came in. We were down 350,000. Jobs; did you read the article in The New
York Times yesterday, the lady that lost her steel job to Mexico? She said this was my identity. And now we have people who are working in
these, in these jobs where they work for Uber one minute then they work for Amazon. They have no job. They’re contract employees. What’s their identity? What we are seeing is an inability of people
to feel their purpose. That’s what we need to reach out to. So in my state, more jobs. But that’s not enough because if people
at the bottom don’t feel the opportunity and they don’t feel the wind of change blowing
their way positively it won’t work. So we created the first earned income tax
credit in Ohio, in Ohio’s history. We do, we do set asides for minorities. We, we have addressed the issue of race in
my state. I’ve expanded Medicaid so the mentally ill,
the drug addicted, and the chronically ill can get help. I mean this is a —
AUDIENCE: [Applause.] KASICH: — and my goal, my goal along with
Joe — look I saw Joe at the Pella Hotel in Columbus, he said would you come to Delaware,
I said of course, where do you want me to go? I’ll go wherever you want me to go. You know why? Oh, people will go home and they’ll go crazy
when they see this at home. There’s not a lot of the difference between
these two human beings who grew up in blue-collar families. Oh yeah, there’s going to be a difference
on this issue and that issue on essential health but you know what the bottom line is? We want to look at a problem and say what
is the most practical way to fix it? My idea is government as a last resort not
as a first resort. Joe is saying, you know, government could
be more involved. So, so what? So what. Was that, is that enough to cause us to have
a war? Because most of the wars that are going on
today are not caused by philosophy, they are caused by politics. BIDEN: Bingo. KASICH: They’re not about philosophy. They’re about the politics of how I can get
ahead. BIDEN: That’s it. KASICH: And the same is true for everybody
in this room. Inherit the earth and lose your soul. That’s what we have to be careful about. So —
BIDEN: I [indiscernible] — KASICH: Yeah, absolutely. BIDEN: [Indiscernible]. KASICH: Why not? BIDEN: No, no, no. KASICH: We’re on a roll now. We need two more hours of this. BIDEN: No, no. AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] BIDEN: I tell you what, the point John is
making, when I sat where you’re sitting in these very seats in 1965 graduating all, from
that period until I graduated from law school in ’68 the mantra was dropout, disengage. We were more divided as a nation then than
we are today on substance. The Vietnam War was ripping us apart, families
and friends who didn’t talk to one another on this campus. KASICH: Yeah. BIDEN: We were ripping each other apart on,
when I was involved in promoting on women’s issues I was viewed as some, I had to be gay,
there must be something wrong — not I’m not a joke. When we talked about the environment it was
Biden and others were just talking about going after corporate America. This is because they had the war. I mean, the civil rights cases —
KASICH: Hum. BIDEN: — were still not settled by any stretch
of the imagination. But when I walked across that stage at Syracuse
University the day the only political hero I ever had Robert Kennedy was shot I was damned
determined that me and my generation could change things. Today what you face is a totally different
problem and John’s the only one I’ve heard talk about it. It’s not the substance on every major issue
from gay marriage to infrastructure to immigration, a majority of the American people agree from
53 percent to 68 percent. There’s not one major issue out there, substantive
issue, that the public disagrees on unlike my generation when there was no disagree,
no agreement. But the political system is broken. The political system is broken. We used to be even when John got, I got there
before John but not, not a lot before, when I got there, there were 10 segregationists
in my party, in the caucus — John Stennis from Mississippi, the meanest son of a gun
in the world I ever worked with; McClellan from Arkansas; you know, Strom Thurman, etcetera. But guess what? We’d argue like hell but the system still
worked, we resolved it. We resolved it. Today, the political system is broken. And let me tell you, and John and I talked
about this at our lunch and the reason we were late we would have stayed there for another
two hours probably, is what he, the work he’s doing on gerrymandering in his state and the
money in politics. What’s happening today is —
AUDIENCE: [Applause.] BIDEN: And I’ll let John speak to the gerrymandering,
but, look, here you go, what’s happened now. Nobody worries about getting defeated by the
other guy. There’s only 44 of the 435 districts in
the House only 44 or 45 are actually tossup based on, on, on registration. So what do you worry about? You worry about in the Democratic side; you
worry about coming at you on the left and losing a primary. And you worry about on the Republican side
coming at you on the right. So what’s happening? Both political parties are moving more to
the extremes. KASICH: Yeah. BIDEN: The center is shrinking. And it doesn’t mean the center per se is
good, but God, how can you run this country without reaching a consensus. The system is built in a way it’s not possible. Not possible for this country to function
unless you reach a consensus. KASICH: That’s right. BIDEN: And so, tell them what you’re doing
about Gerry– KASICH: But you know what, it, it’s the
middle out. Look, here’s the problem. We’ve got extremes. You solve problems from the middle out. Do you know why? When people have a competitive race they’ve
got to watch, they’ve got to listen to both sides. If, if you were in a safe district and you’re
a Democrat they’re going to come get you if you try to work with those evil Republicans. And if you’re a Republican and you don’t,
you, you try to say something about Barack Obama that might be positive forget you hug
him, oh my goodness. You know? AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] KASICH: So, it’s, but it’s both. It’s both. Now how does it get fixed? That’s what we’re trying to do in Ohio. I mean, I get criticized from Republicans
in Ohio. Okay, do I like that? No. Does it bother me? Not in the least. I’m trying to create a model that everybody
ought to have a chance to rise. And you don’t do it on the base of partisanship
or who’s giving you money. Everybody gets a chance to live their dream. And if I can do that and Joe can do that and
we can do that in increasing numbers and stop the attacks on everybody may, maybe we’ll
make gains. Remember something, nothing has been torn
down over night, and nothing will be rebuilt over night. It’s going to have to be rebuilt one block
at a time. And you know, Joe, you think about those,
you were talking about the, the debate over the war. I mean, there’s something worth debating. BIDEN: I agree. KASICH: Like civil rights, that’s something
worth debating. But I don’t know what the debate is about
this healthcare law. I don’t, frankly I, it’s, it’s all political. So we get away from the political wars we
can deal with issues then we’ve got something to fight about and that’ll be fine. BIDEN: One, one, one more thing and then the
poor moderator here is going nuts I’m sure. KASICH: Yeah. HOFFMAN: I’m, I’m enjoying this [indiscernible]. BIDEN: Last night I introduced John McCain
who’s been my friend for over 44 years and I presented him with the medal that the, of
the people who’ve gotten that medal, six have gone on to win the Nobel Prize. So it’s a serious prestigious award. And I was reminding the audience of several
thousand people sitting out there that the first time John and I realized how things
were beginning to change, John, was in 1997 John and I used to when there was a big debate
going on we’d sit next to each other on the floor. I’d go on the Republican side and sit next
to him. I disagreed with him but I’d sit next to
him or he’d sit next to me. Coincidentally we have what they call party
caucuses where you go in and have lunch and you discuss policy with your, with your, Democrats
and Republicans. The same day that I got this he got it in
the Republican caucus. The leadership in my caucus actually asked
me, and I was so senior no one could screw around with me, and not a, not a joke, I mean,
to be very blunt about it, and they said why are you sitting next to McCain during the
debate? It’s a bad image for us. A bad image for the party. And the Republican Party told him to stop
sitting next to Biden during debates. Not a joke. KASICH: When I get home, Joe, they’re going
to ask me why I was sitting next to you here today. AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] BIDEN: Look, look, by the way —
KASICH: And if I could go back in time — BIDEN: — by, by the way, it started then. KASICH: [Laughter.] BIDEN: And by the way, I’ve sat in, in the
White House sitting in that, you know, those two chairs around the fireplace the President
and the Vice President when two leading Republicans in the United States Congress today, well
one’s now gone, looked at the President and the President was asking — and I’m
not saying the President was always right — but the President was asking about could
we work on such and such a thing and they looked at him and said do you realize how
difficult it is to be even sitting here with you. And I looked at them — I swear to God, my
word as a Biden — and the response was, I am taking a real political risk even being
here with you. The President of the United States. And I don’t care who the hell it is. As we’re walking out the door — I’m always
the last guy out the door and the President, you know, when we, in the Oval — and so I
start out the door first after this one particular congressman. I get this grab, my, and he grabs my shoulder,
pulls me back, the President and he said where are you going and I said I got to talk to
that son — that guy. AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] BIDEN: And he looked at me and he said don’t,
Joe. Don’t. And I said I’m not going to let anybody
to a President of the United States like that in front of me. And interesting guy, he said, Joe, look you
take the good with bad and I said no, that’s bad, that’s just not good manners. Just that, not good manners. That’s how, but it started. As you said John, it goes back. These things incrementally build. Character is made of a thousand little things
you do. No one thing, thousands of little things. And so is the political system. And when you take out these normal, these
things that are the basic normal procedures and the way in which you operate you just
weaken the whole foundation. DR. HOFFMAN: So, what advice can you offer young
people in, in, in my classrooms who were woken up in a lot of ways by, by the politics of
the past year and a half, two years? What can you offer them to encourage them
to help rebuild what you’re describing? KASICH: Well, I, I think you’ve got to go
get an education is what I think you ought to do. Figure out what you want to do in your life. One of my daughters is probably, she wouldn’t
admit it, but she’s probably inclined to politics and I always say to her, hey sweetheart
do you want to run for office? Not until I made my money, Daddy. You know I think, I think Joe and I were lucky. I was elected to the legislature when I was
26. No relatives at all in Ohio. No support. No, except a couple of my buddies —
BIDEN: [Indiscernible]. KASICH: — and Joe goes to the United States
Senate at 29. I went to Congress at the age of 30. Joe was there for a long time and becomes,
becomes Vice President. We were, we made the NBA, Joe. You know, all these kids you ask them, what
do you want to be? I want to play in the NBA or I want to be
a soccer player. Well, some make it but most don’t. And so I think the most important thing for
young people to do is to go and carve out your career while at the same time, you know,
being as, as, as strong as you can be about the things that you believe and the things
that we’ve talked about here already and if later you want to dip into politics or
be involved in a movement I think, I think that’s good. But, but I wouldn’t right as a young person;
I wouldn’t make it the center of my life. I would get on with my career, I’d make
something and then if you want to dip in, and you can dip in by the way while you’re
getting your career. So there’s never a more important thing now
for women to do than to stand together. I mean, you know, it’s just, look; I mean
it goes without saying exactly why. There are movements around, around race, or
movements around the environment, fine, but get yourself established. Get yourself something that where you’re
strong yourself and then dip in and then if you want to be in politics, you want to run
for office, or you want to go work in Washington, fine. Whenever I hear a young person’s going to
Washington — this is, this is really not politics — I say okay, when you go when are
you leaving? Okay? AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] KASICH: No, I’ll tell you why. How many staffers do you know, Joe, that went
down and devoted a lifetime and a career to a politician and the politician walked out
the door and the staffer was left with not much? So, you know, just don’t be seduced by that
but make a difference. I mean, I’m, I guess I’m being contradictory
in a way but I want you to get your degrees, I want you to become something, I want you
to stand on your own two legs, I don’t want you to have to depend on somebody else and
involve yourself. But don’t disrupt that, that specific mission
that you feel you were created to perform. That’s my —
HOFFMAN: Vice President? BIDEN: I don’t, I don’t disagree in any
fundamental way. I, I, I view it slightly differently but it
starts with the same premise. My dad used to have an expression, for real,
he’d say it’s a lucky person who gets up in the morning, puts both feet on the floor,
knows what they’re about to do, and thinks it still matters. Think of your parent’s generation, how many
people they know who are very successful and at age 50, 55 and no longer think what they
does [sic] really matters. So it’s a really lucky person who figures
out what they really want to do and what they really want to be. It’s a hard, hard thing and it doesn’t
come for most people when they’re in high school and college, it comes after exposure
to other opportunities. The second thing is that I think that you,
you can serve the country without being involved in public life, without being engaged in the
public process. You know, I, I did the commencement at Yale
and I was making the case that, you know, there, there, there was a professor I had
here was a, had a gigantic impact on me. He was in the political science department. His name was David Ingersoll [sp.], one of
the brightest. He taught political philosophy. He was; he was one of the guys who had the
most impact on me in my career. And, I remember what he’d say. He’d always quote, he’d quote Plato. And Plato said the penalty good people pay
for not being involved in politics is being governed by people worse than themselves. Because the truth of the matter is that’s
deadly earnest and true. So, you think about this. You have, if you go out and you do very well,
and I hope you do financially and professionally. One of the things that’s happening today
is that a lot of the elite college graduates, Democrat and Republican, coming from middle
class backgrounds as well as wealthy backgrounds, are self-isolated. You tend to marry the people who have the
same taste and education you have. You tend to want to be with people, it’s
natural, that are the people who share the same values, who care about the same kind
of entertainment, art, recreation, etcetera. And, for example, there was a study done,
all the people who graduated from Harvard from 1992 to 2002, they checked where they
moved. They lived in 42 zip codes, over 65 percent
of them. I can tell you almost where every senior staff
person that lives in Washington. They live in their own gated -communities
figuratively speaking. There was a test done by a book that was recently
rewritten and it drove my two sons crazy, I had them take the test. They’re grown me when, when Beau was still
alive. Did you grow up in a neighborhood where over
70 percent of the people did not have a college degree? If you’re going to stop; have you ever been
on a factory floor? Have you ever, if you have, do you have whole
milk in your refrigerator? Not a joke. Think about it. If you get a chance to buy a, a Starbucks
or a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee where do you go? Who are your friends? The truth of the matter is the middle class
is being increasingly isolated because even the people coming from the middle class, in
fact, are self-isolated. There’s a new elite in America and the new
elite is not based on your pedigree where you were born, it’s based upon cognitive
capability. But there’s not much engagement anymore. There’s not much engagement. And so, for example, I, you know, I, I have
a guy who was with me here at the University of Delaware, Mike Donilon. Mike’s mom, I think, was she the president,
Mike, in the janitor’s union in Rhode Island or she held an office there. And he comes from a modest background like
I do. He and his brother are great successes. His brother was a National Security advisor. He’s been one of the leading people in terms
of public policy in the, in, in the United States of America. He’s here now. But I asked the President, John, when we got
elected, he said well what, what do you want? I said, I want you to allow me to set up a
middle class task force. So, I called all of the Cabinet, I called
19 Cabinet meetings. He gave me authority to do it. And the first, the first Cabinet meeting I
said I want each of you members of the Cabinet within the next month go out and hire someone
who answers directly to you, have no obligation other than figure out what can they do administratively
in this department to ease the burden on the middle class in the middle of this, this recession. One Cabinet member seated next to me said,
I don’t think that’s a good idea. I said, let’s get something straight, Charlie,
do exactly what the hell I tell you, or go talk to the President. AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] BIDEN: No, no, no. No, no, no, it was because I, I’m, you know,
I wanted to make sure he understood. KASICH: Huh. BIDEN: So, the first guy that came to me was
Geithner. A smart guy, Geithner’s a smart guy and
a decent guy and he said I’ve got this great idea and he brought in the Secretary, he brought
in two senior people in the Treasury Department. We know how to plus-up 528’s, those programs
you’re, you’re parent’s have to save for, for college that’s tax free, and we went
through this great idea. And I had a guy named Jared Bernstein, a labor
economist you see on television. I had all the people with, with me; Ron Klain
— KASICH: Yeah. BIDEN: — whose father owned, I think it was
a hardware store in Indiana. I mean, all people of modest means. And they all said that’s a great idea. I said, I don’t know anybody who has a 528
and I wasn’t being facetious. I don’t know anybody who has a 5 — but
all of you have 528’s. You all have 528’s. I said I don’t know anybody who has a 528. And people where I come from and me when I
was making 42 grand a year and a kid at Yale, a kid at Penn and a kid at Tulane that I,
I, I had no money to save for a 528. So I said, I don’t get that. I said, I, I asked the following question. I said, what percentage of people who qualify
do you think have a 528? And it ranged from 40 to 20 percent. And it was right after the Washington Post
came out with a headline saying, it’s probably after my financial disclosure, it’s probable
no man has ever assumed the office of Vice President with fewer assets than Joe Biden. KASICH: [Laughter.] AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] BIDEN: My net worth between 50 and 175,000
dollars. So I said, I’ll tell you what, I’ll bet
you no more than 10 percent call, have them because they don’t have any money to save. And I said, if I’m wrong then I’ll take
each of you to lunch at whatever restaurant you pick once a month. All of you together. Well guess how many people have them? Seven percent. The point is, we’re not much back in the
neighborhoods. We’re not, we’re not, we’re not remembering
where an awful lot of people are, where an awful lot of people are. And so, when you think about you’re getting
engaged, if you don’t get engaged you can put yourself behind that gated community and
doing well — KASICH: Hum. BIDEN: — but guess what? You can’t hide from the ozone layer being
eliminated. No place to hide. You can’t hide from the drinking water being
polluted. You can’t hide from your brother being profiled
because he’s black and stopped on the street. You can’t hide from your sister’s being
denied being able to marry her female partner. You can’t hide. There’s no place to hide. So, whether you end up being a successful
investment banker or that you end up being a professor, a teacher, a salesperson, or
involved in public policy, you have an obligation to be involved in public policy. You have no place to hide no matter how much
money you make. No matter what happens. And I’m not discouraging you from making
money. I should have raised a couple of Republicans
kids, you know? I mean —
AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] BIDEN: — all my kids did the wrong thing. My one son goes to war and then becomes Attorney
General and gives up $800,000 in income as a lawyer. My other son leaves MBNA and ends up deciding
to be a, go to the, go to the Treasury Department and then ends up heading up the World Food
Program USA and my daughter goes to Tulane and graduates from Penn Graduate School with
honors and she’s not making her tuition and she runs the largest non-profit in the
state. I needed one kid to go out and make some money
— HOFFMAN: [Laughter.] AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] BIDEN: — so when they put me in the home
at least I’d have a window with a view, you know? AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] BIDEN: But folks, I’ve said too much but
you’ve got to get involved and don’t tell me there is no opportunity. It is wide open. It is wide open. You can drive a Mack truck through the opportunities
if you want to go run. I’m serious. Last point. Shorenstein School. When I did Harvard’s commencement this year. Shorenstein School put out a study, how many
of that graduating class had any interest in being involved in public life. And when they started it was about 40 percent,
now it’s down to 14 percent. I think the number is 14 percent. HOFFMAN: I think that’s a good transition
to our class which is here. One, one of the things about —
KASICH: Yeah, and oh and I just, I’m sorry, this is an un —
HOFFMAN: Please. KASICH: — I’m going to just, I’ve got
to — HOFFMAN: And then —
KASICH: — tell you one thing. HOFFMAN: I’ll just ask my volunteers to
get — KASICH: Joe’s touching it, we’re all touching
it. HOFFMAN: — the microphones. KASICH: Because I want to talk to you about,
about politics in education. You all know that we are entering the fastest
–we’re in, we’re not entering, we’re already in — the fastest changing economy
in the history of, of the world and the number one occupation in America is driving and when
self-driving vehicles, self autonomous vehicles come, which is probably 10 or 11 years down
the road, you tell me what’s going to happen to people who have those occupations. K through 12 education —
BIDEN: I know. KASICH: — in many cases are not preparing
young people for college. And you graduate from college and you’re not
being prepared for work. Any of you graduate from here and go to work
for Amazon or, or Google or Microsoft? You know what the first thing they’ll do? They’ll train you. We have to realize that it’s the skills
that give people the power and the power gives them the money, it gives them the income,
it gives them the hope. We need a complete reengineering of our K
through 12 system that is not based on 100 years ago or longer where people are in touch
with the real business world, where the skills that they need are going to be imparted to
them based on the things they want to do and what the jobs are. And the same thing is true for higher education. The two year community colleges have done
a great job of being able to respond; the four year schools not so much. And I don’t know enough about Delaware but
I can say by and large we are not preparing people for the jobs of the future. The one thing we have to do — and why don’t
we change it? It’s too hard. I’m a principal and I’m a superintendent
and you know what my goal is tomorrow, I want to be a superintendent. Okay. I’m the President of a university. Do you know what I want to be tomorrow? President of a university. If you think that politics is the only place
where people don’t have courage, you need, it’s not true. And what I’m suggesting to you is, this
issue of workforce training and connecting people with the skills that are required in
the future to me is, well, there’s a lot of very important issues, it’s at the very
top of the list because when people get left behind, and they’re in Youngstown, Ohio and
they don’t have a job and they don’t have work, and they don’t have a skill, what
do you think happens to them? And so, we have to figure, we have to reengineer
the entire education system. Competency based education, online education
put up by businesses. There’s a multitude of things that can be
done. And it needs to be done. I, I know that Google has just, Joe, offered
a billion dollars to train people in IT. Well that’s not the only place you need
to be trained but God bless them. You and I will both be out there talking to
them. But this workforce issue is something that
can take somebody who has nothing and give them the power and the opportunity to become
powerful in their own right and do much good in the world. I needed to say that. Thank you. AUDIENCE: [Applause.] HOFFMAN: Thank you. Well, in the time that we have left I’d
like to feature another component of National Agenda which I think a lot of you who come
to these events don’t really see the behind the scenes component of it where the speakers
actually get to meet with the students and answer some questions. And so, I thought I’d ask if our National
Agenda students can stand up so we can say hi and say thank you for all you’re doing. AUDIENCE: [Applause.] HOFFMAN: So, what I’d like to do now is
actually toss the, the Q&A to start with these National Agenda students so you can kind of
get an inside peak at what our speakers go through. We, these students come up with very thoughtful
questions. And so you can kind of see what we do in the
classroom except only now we’re in an auditorium with like 650 people. So no pressure. But, let’s start with a question from Sarah
[sp.]. MS. SARAH: Hi. Thank you both for being here. So this is a question for both of you. So, last semester I was in a Congress simulation
class and we picked a party, we picked a district and at first we wanted everything to be bipartisan. And we were, we were going to pass as much
as possible. And slowly that competitive nature that was
kind of innately within all of us came out, suddenly nothing got done, we couldn’t agree
on anything and it was very frustrating and disappointing. So my question for you is, what, how can my
generation keep the mindset of getting along, and do you think that sometimes winning comes
in the form of letting things go that you wanted and finding something in between? BIDEN: You know, one of the things that my
staff used to always., my staff used to always be upset with me about is when I would do
things, and John will remember this, like when we were passing the Violence Against
Women Act I went out there and I said why don’t you introduce this amendment — I
had already written the whole thing — why don’t you introduce this amendment, why
don’t you do this, why don’t you do that, and my staff said you’re never going to get
any credit for that so you shouldn’t do that. You should go out and say it’s your idea. Guess what? The best way to become well known and well
respected is the yield to other people and give them the opportunity to present the ideas. It’s called human nature. Human nature. And there’s so much self-serving today across
the board, including in your generation, including in your generation although you represent
the most open, tolerant and giving generation in American history, but it’s about being
able to decide what is better for the group than what’s the best for me. And, but, it’s interesting, it’s again,
think about it, you all figure out who the one among you is, who really is the most generous
and who is the brightest and who is, does the most. It’s not because they tell you. You figure it out. You don’t have to wonder. It’s the same way on sports teams. It’s the same way in everything we do. It’s human nature. And, right now John makes the point. This culture, there’s been a dumbing of
the culture that it’s about me. It’s about me. I want to be the star. The best way to become a start, make other
people the star. You notice, every — if I can make a football
analogy in the season — you notice the halfbacks who, and, and the running backs and the quarterbacks
who are the most revered when they score a touchdown and they walk back and hug the linemen. Not a joke. And guess what? The linemen will bust their ass for them the
next time. HOFFMAN: Did you want to respond, Governor? KASICH: I, I think Joe, Joe did, did great. Just, you know, you want to come out of there
doing something, not just fighting all the time and, you know, you know how to do it. Did you do better at the end? MS. SARAH: Um, we started to get along after the
— KASICH: Yeah. MS. SARAH: — [indiscernible]. KASICH: [Laughter.] AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] KASICH: You know, the other, the, one, one
thing I will tell you is, you know — AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] KASICH: The one thing I, I, I will — they
walked out, that’s, that’s, here’s the thing that I will tell you. See we’re all; we all absorb that that we
agree with. You know, so what we need to do is stop just
absorbing that that we agree with and absorb something that we don’t agree with because
we might find out that some of what’s being said would be deeply appreciated. I’ll tell you a funny thing that happened
a couple of days ago. I was talking to this lady, she’s a preacher
and in fact I had my daughter’s principal with me because I figured if he’s here I’d
get points for them, and all, we were laughing this morning because we found out, this is
a stunning thing, Colin Kaepernick is a devoted and serious Christian. And nobody knew that. Isn’t that interesting? And people are going to hear that and they’re
going to go, well that can’t be true. Well, I mean, the point is, you know, absorb
something that you don’t agree with and it’s, it’s hard to do but it’s, I think
it’s worth doing. HOFFMAN: That’s excellent. Thank you. Let’s take a question now from Jordan. We are actually in the middle of Free Speech
Week and this is a question that has to do with —
KASICH: Oh, free speech — HOFFMAN: — free speech. KASICH: — on a college campus. Yes! MS. JORDAN: Vice President Biden, recently we’ve
seen divides on college campuses throughout the nation with protests of various conservative
speakers. These protests sometimes shutdown the speakers
all together or end in violence. My question for you is, what is your take
on these protests and how they’ve affected free speech on college campuses, and how would
you encourage people to be more accepting of opposing viewpoints? BIDEN: You know, it’s interesting. When I was coming up through college and graduate
school free speech was the big issue but it was the opposite, it was liberals were shouted
down when they spoke. And liberals have very short memories. AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] BIDEN: No, no, I mean this sincerely. It’s the demonstration that what, what’s
been lost here. The First Amendment means what it says. You’re not allowed to stand up and yell
fire in this auditorium. But you are allowed to stand up and say Biden
I think you’re an absolute jerk and Biden I think whatever, and by the way, I think
we should do away with, or I believe that race is the problem in America and — I mean,
look, what we do is you, we hurt ourselves badly when we don’t allow the speech to
take place. Now, speech can move to the point of incitement,
inciting riots, inciting. But the truth of the matter is the incitement
that occurs before the person even speaks, that’s falls on those who are engaged in
that violence, not on the speaker. And so, I got in trouble, as predicted by,
by the Gov, because when that first effort at Berkeley rose I went public and said I
thought they were absolutely wrong denying the ability of the various people to go out
and speak. I mean look, if your idea is big enough it
should be able to compete. And you should be able to listen to another
point of view as virulent as it may be and reject it, expose it. The best thing to do is let this stuff be
exposed. Don’t be like these other people. Don’t give the Trump’s of the world the
ability to compare you to the Nazis, or you to the racists, or you to — because you’re
doing the same thing. You’re silencing. The, we mean what we say. I taught Constitutional Law at Widener Law
School for 22 years. The First Amendment is one of the defining
features of who we are in the Bill of Rights. And to shut it down in the name of what is
appropriate is simply wrong. It’s wrong. HOFFMAN: Thank you. I think we have time for one more student
question — KASICH: I’m glad she didn’t ask me. HOFFMAN: [Laughter.] AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] KASICH: This would be an area where I would
disagree with Joe. If I were president of a university and I
had some hate speech person coming I wouldn’t let them come. I just wouldn’t. And if people didn’t like it I guess they
could go transfer to somewhere else. I don’t know. AUDIENCE: [Applause.] KASICH: And here’s what I mean by that. I mean hate speech. I mean hate speech because we had one of those
quote hate speech speakers wanted to come to Ohio State, the president called me and
said we’re not going to let them come. I said, okay, good with me. So, I think there’s a common sense element. Joe is not, well you see, I’m, we’re not
talking now about people who have very diverse ideas. Okay. We’re not talking about that. Somebody who’s, you know, whether, whether
its left wing or right wing, we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about somebody who is there
for the explicit purpose of trying to — BIDEN: Incite. KASICH: Yes. And, and that’s just nonsense and you shouldn’t,
you shouldn’t have it and I think that’s kind of how I feel about it. If people like it great, if they don’t then,
you know, they won’t make me President of, and I don’t mean the United States but of
any university. HOFFMAN: [Laughter.] AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] HOFFMAN: Thank you. KASICH: They didn’t, they didn’t, they
didn’t choose the first one either, so. AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] HOFFMAN: Thank you. Um, so we do have time for one more question
from one of the students in the National Agenda class. So, Sirandou, would you like to ask your question? This is —
MS. SIRANDOU: I want to thank —
HOFFMAN: — for both speakers. MS. SIRANDOU: — I want to thank both of you guys
for being here today. And my question is for Governor Kasich. President Trump often use fake news when a
news story doesn’t go along with his narrative. Do you believe that calling the news fake
is harmful to the country as a whole — because most of us, outsider like people who are living
in Washington, D.C., that’s how we get our news from — or do you believe that the media
doesn’t cover politics fairly and accurately? KASICH: Well, I, I think we, we kind of talked
about this earlier. I think if you’re all about the eyeballs and
all about the money and all, you know, then, you know, you’re not; you’re not doing your
job. I mean, there’s ethics required of journalists
too. And, no, I, I, I don’t think I’ve ever
used the word or the term fake news that I can think of. I mean, I think Joe, Joe’s right, journalists
are critical. I mean, I have great respect and admiration
for them. Do I agree with them all? No. But how do I, how do I do the news? I read all kinds of stuff, stuff I don’t
agree with, stuff I do agree with and I just try to figure out what the truth is because
you know what I figured out in my life, there’s three sides to every story. There’s your story, somebody else’s story,
and, frankly at the end what the truth is. So, I don’t want to disparage them, but
I do tell you they have, they carry responsibility. And when the election was over I called an
executive who runs a big media operation and I said, so you made a billion dollars and
now they’re going to tell you to make another billion and my question is, is if you make
the other billion are you going to be able to look yourself in the mirror. So, it’s not always about the shiny object
I don’t think in life. So, my view is that we respect them. Joe and I work with them. We’ve been slammed by them. We’ve been praised by them. It’s just all part of, of, of what it is
in a life in politics but for all of you, don’t narrowcast. Don’t do that because then you just get
reinforced your opinions and that’s not healthy because the growing experience is
to open your mind to things that you never thought you would experience and guess what? When you do it you find out you grow and you’re,
you’re more satisfied in life. So, I wouldn’t use that term. I don’t like that term. HOFFMAN: Thank you. Vice President, did you have any final comments
on fake news? BIDEN: The —
AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] BIDEN: — I’m trying to do this as quickly
as I can. The, the first attack that occurs on freedom
of expression and, um, the limitation on the ability to abuse power is to attack the press
as illegitimate. If you, if that sinks in enough then what
happens is you can do an awful lot of things if you’re in power that allow you to accumulate
power and then abuse the power. And, I think it’s been a concerted effort
on the part of Breitbart and others to try to so discredit the press that then when you
do things that are the flat abuse of power they are characterized as not you doing anything
but it’s fake news. I really didn’t do that. Think of the things, the bald-faced lies that
have been asserted just in the last eight months. I’m not holding any water in my hand. Who says I’m holding water in my hand? It’s fake news. I mean, things as blatant as what I just did. As blatant as what I just did. And when you delegitimize the press to the
degree that they are not believable at all then, you know, KD-bar the door. It’s all about abusing power. Accumulating it and using it for your own
purposes. And, I, I — and by the way though, one of
the things you’re going to have to figure out, your generation — every generation has
had to deal with it in some form — you know, radio changed the way politics worked, television
changed the way politics worked and the social media is changing the way politics works. KASICH: Um-hum. BIDEN: It’s a great liberating tool. But how do you, it’s a rhetorical question,
how do you determine what you get on the social media that you in fact — I thought I had
my phone here — what, what, what do you determine. How do you determine whether or not what you’re
seeing on the internet is accurate or not? How do you make that judgment? It’s awful hard. And recently you’ve seen the ability on
the internet and the social media to actually superimpose my voice on another image and
see the image and looking like Biden is saying I love those Nazis. Not a joke. It’s happening now. That capacity exists. And so, you’re going to have to figure out,
your generation, what is the filter, what is the filter you use to determine whether
or not what you’re not, not a like or a dislike that you get, but what you read on, what you
see on social media and or on the internet to determine whether or not it’s true. KASICH: Um-hum. BIDEN: How do you do it? It’s hard. And one of the things I predict is going to
happen. There is going to have to be some rules for
the road — and I have been wide open on not restraining internet at all, my whole career
— but think of what’s just happened on Facebook. Think of what’s happened on Google. You have a foreign power paying hundreds of
thousands if not millions of dollars to run unidentified ads going after a candidate to
try to change the outcome of an American election. And Facebook, over simplifying, saying until
recently, well, that’s not our responsibility. What would you do if the local newspaper allowed
ads to be put in the paper without any identification of who took out the ad? John Doe is a rapist; he hasn’t been convicted
of rape. You just don’t know it, don’t vote for
him. With no one, no, nobody’s name on it. You’d think it outrageous right? What in the hell is going on? And by the way, there’s only one thing I
do know a whole lot about, and John served on the Defense Committee for ten years, I
know a whole lot about our foreign policy and our national security system. And I’m telling you, there’s a full-blown,
unadulterated assault on the openness of our electoral system that is in fact frightening. It’s not just happening here. It happened in France, Germany, Moldova. It’s happening all over. What’s it designed to do? Break down, fundamentally breakdown those
elements in our governance that prevent the accumulation and abuse of power. That’s what it’s about. And by the way, I promise you, I promise you,
you’re going to soon see how extensive it’s been. So for somebody heading up Facebook to say
I have no responsibility to put out ads that are sophisticated where they’re making hundreds
of thousands of dollars and millions of dollars with no identification. It turns out its Russian planted, government
sponsored ads to try to affect the outcome of an election. And it maybe the Democrats today, the Republicans
tomorrow are the target. It doesn’t matter. So, it’s one of the things that I predict
you’re going to have to negotiate what are the legitimate, if there are any legitimate
constraints, as it relates to the dissemination of, of, of information and those entities
that are, are, are within the United States jurisdiction. It’s a really, I think, you guys are going
to be spending more time in the next ten years on that than on most anything else —
HOFFMAN: Absolutely. BIDEN: — without curtailing opportunity to
speak and yet at the same time giving some reasonable prospect that at least, at least
you know who is paying to have the message put out. HOFFMAN: Well, thank you so much. I think we could continue this conversation
all — KASICH: [Indiscernible] — one other thing. This isn’t, no —
AUDIENCE: [Laughter.] KASICH: No, this is really important because
I’ll tell you why. You see Joe’s hitting on an issue and if
you put, you know, ten people in a room they may come at it in different ways but it’s
a problem. So then the question is can you get people
of good will, not representing the, their party club, but could you get people of good
will to sit down and figure this out. It’s like unlocking the information inside
of an iPhone. Reasonable people who love their country put
country first can sit down and work their way through so many of the vexing issues. Maybe can’t solve everything but can work
their way through vexing issues if they’re of good will and they work together. I believe that most of these things can be
fixed. And I need to tell you —
BIDEN: [Indiscernible.] KASICH: — thank you for allowing me to be
here. You have a beautiful campus. I had a chance to walk into the middle of
your campus. I, I, I mean, I, it’s fantastic. You should be really, really proud of it. And I think you couldn’t have done any better
than to have Joe Biden associated with the University of, of Delaware Blue Hens. God bless you. Okay? AUDIENCE: [Applause.] HOFFMAN: Thank you. KASICH: Thank you. BIDEN: You made it hard for [indiscernible.] HOFFMAN: [Indiscernible.] KASICH: [Indiscernible.] AUDIENCE: [Applause.] BIDEN: [Indiscernible.] # # #

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