Dr. Jill Biden at Norelius Community Library

Dr. Jill Biden speaks at Norelius Community Library on Monday during a campaign stop for her husband, Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate. Photo by Gordon Wolf

When Dr. Jill Biden asked during a campaign stop at Norelius Community Library on Monday if anyone was sitting on the fence about supporting her husband, two people raised their hands. She gave them her full attention and three points why they should support former vice president Joe Biden in the Democratic caucuses this Monday.

No. 1: Independent voters. “Joe is the one who can attract independent voters because he’s not too far left, he’s not too far right; he’s right in the middle,” Dr. Biden said. She offered that at her campaign stops around Iowa, Republicans are telling her, although in a whisper, that they made a mistake in voting for Donald Trump in 2016 because he is not who he said he was. She said they can support her husband because he is a moderate.

No. 2: She claimed Joe Biden is the only one who can beat Trump in every single one of the swing states, like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Florida, and in Iowa. She said other candidates are beating Trump in the polls in one, two or maybe three swing states, but not all of them. “So that’s what matters if you want to beat Donald Trump,” Dr. Biden said.

No. 3: Achievable plans. “His plans, they are bold, they are progressive, but he knows how to pay for them,” she said. “He’s not going to be adding millions and trillions to the national debt.” She added he won’t offer things and not worry about the cost later and that he’s practical and pragmatic and has a plan and strategy.

“He’s a diplomat, and he’s not just going to be thinking about foreign policy at 3 in the morning and tweet it out,” she said. “He’ll have a plan and a strategy, and he knows all the other leaders.”

Questions asked at the campaign stop focused on Social Security and student loans for college.

Asked to clarify her husband’s position on Social Security, Dr. Biden said he wants to protect the entitlements and has always supported Social Security.

One person pointed out that Social Security is not an entitlement but something that people pay into.

One person said her daughter is in her third year of teaching and has now taken on a second part-time job to help pay off student loans.

Dr. Biden said her husband would base student debt on their discretionary income, what’s left after paying things like taxes and rent. She said a student at a four-year college will be automatically enrolled in her husband’s plan, and if they make $25,000 or above after leaving college, they will pay back student loans at a five-percent rate based on discretionary income. They will pay that for 20 years and then the debt is forgiven.

She added that her husband support a new system that funds education from pre-kindergarten through community college. That means a student could attend a two-year school for free and need loans only if they then transfer to a four-year school.

She said about 400 community colleges across the nation offer free education, either through state funding, corporate funding or private donations.

Funding for this system would come from increasing income taxes on the wealthiest residents of the United States.

More money must also be put into vocational training, said Dr. Biden.

“College isn’t for everybody. Some people want to go another way. Education should be for everyone if you decide you want a certificate or higher degree,” she said.

Asked what is different about her husband in 2020 compared to when he ran for president in 2007 and 2008, Dr. Biden told the Denison Bulletin and Review that he is the same person he’s always been.

“He has that same character and resilience and strength, and the thing that is different now is that he’s served eight years as vice president, so he’s had that experience,” she said. “President Obama chose him because of the strengths that he has, particularly in foreign relations, so I think that Joe’s ready to go Day One in the Oval Office.”

Lyons family in campaign ads

At the end of the campaign stop on Monday, Robert Lyons, a field organizer with Biden for President and his father, Don, were recorded in a short clip with Dr. Biden to encourage people to caucus for the former vice president this Monday.

Robert told people they needed to get the “Joe-mentum” going.

His mother, Jayne, is featured in a commercial for Biden. In it she talks about what she tells her Broadway Elementary fourth-grade students when they have active shooter drills and how she was excited when she heard Biden was running for president because she trusts him with gun issues.

Don Lyons is also featured briefly in a commercial that has a number of people telling why they support Biden for president.

Both are national advertisements.

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