MASON CITY — Former Vice President Joe Biden stopped in Mason City this morning as he continues his eight-day bus tour of Iowa.

Biden says President Trump’s policies have had a negative impact on rural Iowa. “Farming…this trade war is devastating. It’s devastating to not only agriculture but manufacturing. I saw someone with a John Deere hat on. John Deere’s got a problem right now. People are being laid off. Look at the automobile industry. I take great pride in being one of the architects of putting it back on his feet, because I was the automobile guy in our administration. Look what’s happened now. The trade wars he’s engaged in are all the wrong wars.”

Biden says levying tariffs against China hasn’t been the best idea in trying to get them to be a fair trade partner with the rest of the world. “They make up 25% of the world’s economy. If in fact we join with the other 25% of our allies, we can make China play by the rules and don’t get to play, for real. Not a joke. Any way to get their attention, because they break the rules, not so much on agriculture, but they break the rules on stealing intellectual property. They break the rules on cybersecurity. They break the rules on dumping steel. They break the rules on a lot of things.”

Speaking on education, Biden wants to see children start school at the age of three so they can be successful in life. “What we’re going to be able to do is make sure that every single child, no matter what their background is, can start school, with daycare, school at age three, four and five. The studies of your great universities here in this state and others show the following, that a child with that opportunity has an exponentially greater chance of succeeding all the way through high school, staying out of trouble, being able to do well. It’s a gigantic impact for them, because they are able to catch up quickly.”

Biden says the nation’s education system needs to be tailored to ongoing challenges in the workforce. “I can make sure every single solitary person qualified for community college can go for free, including those who are older, who’ve lost their job because of because of artificial intelligence, because of the changes that have taken place, to come back and be retrained, as hard as it is. We’ve lost over 200,000 sales jobs in America, average age of a person losing the job 39, average salary $50,000. Why? It’s not bad, it’s not because somebody was evil, but Amazon came along.”

Biden’s wife Jill accompanied him during his Mason City stop. She later held a meet-and-greet at Old Central Coffee in Osage. Biden on Wednesday will take his bus tour to the Columbus Club in Charles City at 7:15 PM, with stops earlier in the day in Ames, Iowa Falls, and Waverly.

You can listen to Biden’s speech in full by clicking on the audio player below


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