From: Sabrina Siddiqui
Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2016 5:11 PM
To: Dubyak, Meghan M. EOP/OVP
Subject: VPOTUS Pool Report #4
The motorcade rolled up to the headquarters of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream in the Arena District of Columbus, Ohio, at 2:20 p.m.
The pool was escorted through a separate entrance, so your pooler did not catch a glimpse of VP Biden's arrival. The pool was ushered into an open space next to a kitchen where roughly 55 people were seated, a mix of employees and workers' advocates, according to the VP's office. A giant chalkboard with ice cream cones drawn alongside American flags served as the backdrop for the podium.
The event was open press, so please refer to the transcript for quotes. But a general outline of the proceedings is below:
Sen. Sherrod Brown and Sec. Tom Perez took the stage at 2:30 p.m., with Brown addressing the crowd first and deeming the announcement of the Obama administration's overtime rule as maybe "the single best day" of his life apart from the birth of his five grandchildren.
"Plain and simple, in the United States of America, when you work extra hours, you should earn extra pay," he said.
Perez said he was pleased to unveil the new rule in "the heartland of America," while showering praise upon the founder and CEO of Jeni's ice cream -- Jeni Britton Bauer -- for taking steps to provide her employees with overtime pay prior to the administration addressing this issue.
He also pushed back against Republican opponents who say the new rule would harm businesses.
"When you take care of your worker, you indeed fortify your bottom line," Perez said.
After concluding his own remarks, Perez introduced VP Biden at roughly 2:46 p.m. Biden was accompanied by Jeni herself, along with an employee who goes by 'Tee' but is named TeeShanee Johnson. Jeni and TeeShanee spoke briefly before Biden began his remarks, which ran about 20 minutes.
Again, please check the official transcript since it was open press. But he reflected on the importance of the middle class, recounting how his father left Scranton because "there were no jobs, it was folding up."
And how Biden's father would tell him: "Joe, your job's about a lot more than a paycheck. It's about your dignity. It's about self-respect. It's about your place in the community."
"You understand," Biden told the crowd. "I can see you nodding your hands. It's about your dignity. It matters. It's more than a paycheck."
"The vast majority of the American people, they're not looking for a handout. They're just saying, 'Hey man, give me a shot," he added.
Noting that today's CEO makes 380 times the average employee, Biden said: "So folks, we've got to right this ship. And this is a very important piece of doing it. Because millions of people are going to start to get paid what they deserve."
Biden also recalled a conversation with President Xi of China, while the two were in Chengdu.
"He turned to me and he said, 'Can you define for me what America is?'" Biden said of the Xi. "And I said, I can do it in one word: It's about possibilities. Possibilities."
Following his speech, Biden did a local interview in a separate room while the pool held in place. The motorcade then rolled at 3:58 p.m. just down the street to North Market. More on that to come.
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