Biden on the Record: Recovery Act and Rural America

We recognize how important American workers are to our recovery, and we’re acting boldly to make towns like Faison as strong as they possibly can be.

Look, this — folks — and most of you know of my reputation for being fairly blunt — but I’m going to level with you, that it’s not secret that these times are tough. Throughout North Carolina, throughout my home state of Delaware — Iowa, North Dakota was referenced earlier — all across the country, times are really tough right now. And I get that. And every day I see communities like yours enduring the same struggles, asking the same questions of themselves and questions of their country.

But every single day, every day as I travel across the country — which I’ve tried to be out at least a couple days a week going around the country; I just got back from South America and Latin America — but I try to be out as much as I can. Every single day I see something that proves and provides hope, hope that not only we’re going to survive this current recession, but that the American people — I mean real hardworking folks, families like yours — will come out of this better off than they went into it.

We will recover, folks. There’s no question we’ll recover. But it’s not sufficient the economy just recovers. Barack and I said during our respective campaigns, and our joint campaign, that the measure of whether or not our administration is a success is not merely whether the economy is growing again, but whether the living standard of the middle class rises, and those aspiring to the middle-class have access. That will be the measure. The American people, working-class families, have to share in the increased productivity that’s going to take us out of this recession. That’s the measure.

And so it seems to me — as I said, I see all around everywhere I go, I see it here, that you all are in fact ready to join ranks and do everything that’s needed to be done to see that that’s happened. Because I tell you what, we feed — when we come out — we talk about it when we get back in the plane — we feed off of your hope. We feed off of your optimism. The feedback we get from all of you is the thing that keeps this cycle going. Because ladies and gentlemen, without question, the American Dream needs to be brought back within reach of an awful lot of people whose grasp it has slipped from over the last eight, 10, 12 years.

Every single American, whether in a big-city skyscraper or a small-town farmhouse: everyone is entitled to be able to pursue that dream. And we are committed — we’re committed to making that a reality again.

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