Biden on the Record: Progressive Governance Conference

To be able to do all we need to do all at one time is not likely. We’ve only been in office now a couple months, and we’ve made some fairly significant changes. But the most important one I want you all to keep in mind, as we really, genuinely — we genuinely want to be collaborative. We genuinely want to engage in consultation. We genuinely want to know what others think.

We do not look to ourselves as the engine to solve the problems; we only look to ourselves in joining you to jointly solve the problems. But I will end with where my friend from Argentina began, that we do need rules of the road. We acknowledge that. And we will play by the rules. But one of the things I would say to all of us is when the rules are broken don’t just expect us to enforce the rules. Let me say that again — when the rules are broken, as they repeatedly are, we are reluctant, as an international community, to enforce the rules, whether they be in Iran or whether they be in other countries in the world.

So we are going to join — once the rules are set, we will abide by them as part of the effort to draft them, but when they’re broken there’s a need for all of us to step up.

And so the good news is there’s a change. The bad news is, for you all, there’s a change. (Laughter.) as I said to one of you — and I will not — we were joking — I said, the very good news is that we’re willing to, and want to collaborate. The bad news is that you don’t have the last administration to use as an excuse — I use this phrase editorially, not “you” particularly — the last administration as an excuse for non-action.

So we look forward to working with you. I’m delighted to be here and I truly am flattered, as Vice President, to be here and given the same privileges as the Presidents of these great countries — and Prime Ministers. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

(Source: White House)

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