From: Edward-Isaac Dovere [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 09, 2015 07:57 PM
To: Goodman, Meghan K. EOP
Subject: VPOTUS pool report #3
On background from the vice president’s office:
Ahead of the Jewish New Year, Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden are hosting an annual reception at the Naval Observatory celebrating the Jewish community. The Vice President will use the opportunity to highlight the contributions that the Jewish community has provided our entire nation. He will also highlight the United States’ ironclad commitment to the security of Israel, and how the nuclear deal reached with Iran is in the national security interests of the United States, Israel, and the entire world.
Pool was allowed in just for the speech, which ran about 20 minutes
Biden gave the only remarks, since Dr. Biden wasn’t back yet from her day trip to Michigan with the president.
“The president has stolen my wife and I don’t like it,” Biden joked.
He introduced his in-laws—both the parents of his on Beau’s wife and the parents of his daughter Ashley’s husband (who are Jewish) as all his “mispacha.”
“Everybody always talks about this being a nice Catholic family—but I don’t think so,” he said.
Re the Iran deal, he said he respected people who vote against it as a matter of conscience, but “we are going to pass this. I know that disappoints some of you, but it’s a done deal.”
He said he’d spent the whole day in meetings reassuring people about enforcement of the deal, and was happy to meet with anyone else who wanted.
“I promise you, it will be enforced.”
“We are absolutely, unequivocally, completely omitted to the security of Israel.”
He made mention of upcoming meetings with Israelis that he asked staff if had been announced yet. They seemed to tell him that the announcement hadn’t been made, but went on to refer to conversations he expected to have with Israeli intelligence and security about what they feel like they need.
Re the Iran deal here he said: “I am absolutely confident that it enhances the security of Israel, the region and us,” he said.
Re Jews in America, he said:
“You’re the most incredible community I’ve ever dealt with … You’re the only outfit that looks out not only for every Jew in the nation and the world, but everyone else.”
Re the support he got from people in the room and other Jews after Beau Biden’s death, he said:
“The degree of compassion and understanding that so many of you expressed…you guys get it. It’s sort of baked into your DNA. You understand. You understand.
He choked up and paused for a moment as he started talking about Beau Biden’s death.
Just as he was seeming to wrap up his remarks, Biden shifted, took a step to the left of the podium and launched into an extended riff on infrastructure, energy and America’s place in the 21st Century—he used wishing a happy Jewish new year to the crowd to talk about the year ahead and the future.
“We are on the cusp,” he said.
“Raise your hand if you thought China was going to eat our lunch,” he said. “Raise your hand if you thought the EU was our problem.”
Among notables at the event:
Secretary of State John Kerry (who left before the remarks began)
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew “the most ardent Irish Catholic in the operation”
Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz “nobody is held in higher regard and with greater respect by the scientific community on nuclear physics… and that’s in spite of the fact that he went to MIT”
Reps. Steve Israel and Nita Lowey
Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer
Mark Cuban “if any of you want to do a little Shark Tank,” Biden said