Fw: VPOTUS Local Pool Report #3

From: Mazzei, Patricia
Sent: Friday, August 5, 2016 18:45
To: Goodman, Meghan Hays K. EOP/OVP; Dubyak, Meghan M. EOP/OVP
Subject: VPOTUS Local Pool Report #3

Transcript of VPOTUS gaggle, separated by subject.

Motorcade departed for DWS fundraiser at 5:38 p.m. Pooler and press van rode separately to airport.

VPOTUS kicked off gaggle by offering cupcakes to press: "You guys can each have one of these if you want -- though I'll probably get 'Biden attempts to bribe press.'" A VPOTUS aide grabbed the box instead.

On Zika:

"The Congress can act. We have laid out in detail what we think needs to be done -- not just for here -- in this first case, here, in South Florida -- but for the whole country, and it's just absolutely, I think, irresponsible for the Republican Congress to refuse to vote on it."

"Now, look, we're able to take the money we have now leftover from the fund we put together to deal with Ebola, but we need new legislation. One of the reasons why it’s so important that Debbie is on the appropriations committee is that it's really -- I don’t get it. I truly don’t get it. It's almost unconscionable. And you know, we've offered your governor everything that is available, urged him to urge his Republican colleagues to support this. It's just – this is probably not the last we've seen of this."

On why campaigning in Florida and for DWS:

"She's my favorite person," he said of DWS.

"Florida is a critically important race. It always is. The last five presidential elections, it's always an important -- that’s number one. Number two, Debbie has been a vital partner to the president and me. I don’t know how many times I asked her down to the White House, and the president has, to deal with everything from how we're going to work on foreign policy in the Middle East to making sure that we’re in a position here were going to protect Social Security. I mean these are real.

"Now, admittedly, I’m in love with her daughter," he said, unprompted, as DWS chuckled. "I wanted to go to her bat mitzvah. Couldn’t go so I sent a film. I probably ruined everything."

"No, no, not at all," DWS said, laughing.

"So, Shelby, she's a great kid, good kid," he continued. "Shelby is a great kid. So her mother didn’t have -- too busy voting to take her over to my house -- so I just went and got her. And took her over. So this is part -- this is another way for me to make sure I can kidnap her kid. But all kidding aside," he said.

"There’s a lot of really important things that the Congress has not acted on that we think are essential. And our go-to person in the Congress -- there are four people -- and Debbie's one of them. So it's really important that we take nothing for granted this year."

"Right, exactly," DWS said.

"Nothing for granted," VPOTUS continued. "If we win Florida, I don’t see any path whatsoever for Mr. Trump to be able to make it." ("Exactly," DWS said.) "And besides, it's nice to campaign here. All kidding aside."

"Thank you, Mr. Vice President," DWS said.

On Trump not endorsing Ryan earlier:

"I can’t figure out Mr. Trump. I've known him a while, not well. You know, it's true that when you’ve never run for public office before, going out there and, you know, getting on the biggest stage in the world, you're bound to make mistakes. But some of the things that -- which is understandable -- but it's just -- some of the things that he does and says sort of defy logic for me. Especially his comments on nuclearization, nuclear weapons, Russia – I mean, it borders on – I don’t think he intentionally wants to undermine our security. But, you know, I've spent – presumptuous to say – but I've spent more time working on NATO and U.S.-Russia relationships than anybody, literally, left in the United States Congress. And it's been Putin's objective from day one to prevent a Europe -- which we've agreed is our goal -- a Europe whole, free and secure, and he's been going out of his way to try to break up the EU and break up NATO.

"And the stuff that Mr. Trump is saying, the greatest military alliance in all fo human history -- NATO -- and after almost 70 years, and he's talking about he's not sure he's going to honor our commitment?

"You know, we all here go, well, that’s Trump, and you know, he's a showman, he's this -- let me tell you something: that’s not how he's viewed overseas. We are the most powerful and most respected nation in the world, and I've traveled distances since I've been vice president, over a million, one hundred thousand miles around the world, and I usually go -- I'm the go-to guy for world leaders because of my relationship with the president. And I promise you, everywhere I go, I spend at least 20 percent of my time beginning or ending my conversation: 'This can't happen, can it? Is it real? I mean, what's he doing? I mean, what's this all about?' And so this is deadly earnest stuff."

DWS on Trump:

"We can't let Donald Trump get anywhere near the White House. When it comes to issues that are important in Florida, when you’ve got a candidate like Donald Trump who starts out insulting an entire people by declaring Mexicans rapists and drug dealers, then says he's going to ban an entire religion from coming into this country, has made the most mysoginistic and outrageous statements, and then denigrates the service of a military family whose son gave their life for this country -- he's proven time and again that he's not fit to serve. He's not fit to shine the shoes of the people who work in the White House, never mind get anywhere near it and have his finger near the nuclear button.

VPOTUS on campaigning so far from DWS' district:

"I wanted to stop and I didn’t want – I did not want to shut down the highway and lose her an election by saying, 'Oh, what are they doing at Friday afternoon at five o'clock shutting down the highway?'

DWS on the bat mitzvah tape:

"I said that I didn't ask him to do it."

VPOTUS: "She didn't. I give you my word."

"I was invited -- of course why wouldn’t I? I'm her close friend and I had planned on coming. The president gave me another assignment, so I asked -- which is the reason I asked about the video. It's usually not something that people would want to have a video, you know what I mean. A video at a mat mitzvah is like a video at a first Holy Communion. I mean, come on! But I just wanted Shelby to know how much I care about her. And it's real. This is family, guys. For me, this is family."

Patricia Mazzei
Political Writer
The Miami Herald
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