(CNN)Read former Vice President Joe Biden's remarks as prepared for delivery in Iowa:
It's great to be in Iowa.
I'm sorry I couldn't attend the Hall of Fame events over the weekend -- but it was my daughter's birthday and my granddaughter's graduation from High School.
I guess some folks were surprised I made that choice -- but I don't know why. There are some things more important than running for president -- and my daughter and granddaughter are two of them. So I'll make the same decision every time.
You know, Donald Trump and I are both in Iowa today. It wasn't planned that way, but I hope Trump's presence here will be a clarifying event.
America's farmers have been crushed by his tariff war with China.
No one knows that better than Iowa.
He thinks he's being tough.
Well, it's easy to be tough when someone else is feeling the pain.
How many farmers across this state and across this nation have had to face the prospect of losing their business, of losing their farm because of Trump's tariffs?
How many have had to stare at the ceiling at night wondering how they're going to make it?
How many sleepless nights do you think Trump has had over what he's doing to America's farmers?
Here's the answer: Just as many as he had when he stiffed the construction workers and electricians and plumbers who built his hotels and casinos. Zero.
And how about manufacturing? Trump's tariffs and trade wars are hitting a lot of American manufacturing -- especially the American automobile industry -- Choking it to within an inch of its life.
One of my proudest moments in the White House was when President Obama and I led the rescue of the American auto industry.
We knew what it meant to the millions of jobs in the auto companies and the supply chain.
We also knew what it meant to the pride of the nation.
Now I'm watching Trump destroy the industry President Obama and I helped save.
Do you think he just backed off his tariff threat with Mexico because he got some tough new deal? Maybe there's some secret development yet to be revealed — But based on what we know, it seems more like old wine in new bottles.
And the truth is he's scared -- his economic folks told him his tough talk was about to cost to him Michigan and Ohio and Iowa.
But don't kid yourself -- another bad news story -- and he'll be back with tariffs to change the subject. And the people who will get hurt are just pawns in his game.
Trump doesn't get the basics.
He thinks his tariffs are being paid by China. Any beginning econ student at Iowa or Iowa State
could tell you that the American people are paying his tariffs. The cashiers at Target see what's going on -- they know more about economics than Trump.
And let me take one additional moment to talk about this — because it's important, and I don't want anyone to misunderstand what I mean.
We are in a competition with China.
We need to get tough with China.
They are a serious challenge to us, and in some areas a real threat.
And every single step that Donald Trump is taking is only exacerbating the challenge.
While Trump is tweeting, China is making massive investments in technologies of the future.
While Trump is name-calling, China is building roads, bridges, and high-speed rail.
While Trump is pursuing a damaging and erratic trade war, without any real strategy, China is positioning itself to lead the world in renewable energy.
While Trump is attacking our friends, China is pressing its advantage all over the world.
So you bet I'm worried about China — if we keep following Trump's path.
But the reason I'm optimistic, and the point I've been making for years is—
IF we do what we need to do here at home,
IF we stand up for American interests,
IF we invest in our people, live our values, and work with our partners — We can out-compete anyone.
I have absolute confidence in the productivity of our workers, the ingenuity of our researchers and innovators, and the capacity of the American people to continue to lead the world in the 21st century.
When the United States of America sets out to achieve something, we have never failed to do it — as long as we do it together.
So when it comes to taking on China, First, let's invest in ourselves — that's why I've proposed a historic initiative in scientific research, cutting-edge infrastructure, and a modern workforce that will help American workers and entrepreneurs compete and win.
Second, let's build a united front of allies to challenge China's abusive behavior. Trump is attacking the very partners we need with us to deal with China. We need to rally more than half the world's economy to hold China to account for their cheating. And get a chorus of voices speaking out on China's repression.
Third, let's tighten up our defenses so that American companies don't have to keep giving away technology to China, or having it stolen. In the Obama-Biden administration, we got China to curb its cyber-theft -- it's gotten worse under Trump.
Finally, let's find areas to cooperate where it's in our interest. We got the Chinese to agree for the first time to limit their carbon pollution. There's a lot more we can do on climate change, and nuclear weapons, and other issues where our interests converge.
But time and time again, on issue after issue, Trump makes the wrong choices. He is motivated by the wrong thing.
We're seeing devastating floods all across America — right here in Davenport. You've gone through it. Farmers all across Iowa can't plant their fields. Record flood levels, millions of dollars in damage and cleanup. And still Trump denies climate change.
What did he tell Piers Morgan in that interview? "Well the weather goes both ways".
It reminds me of when he tweeted in the winter that since it was cold outside there was no climate warming. Or how about when he said the way to deal with California's fires was to rake the leaves? It would be funny if it wasn't so serious.
If he was just another rich guy sitting in his gold-plated apartment in Manhattan tweeting about how those pointy-headed scientists don't know anything, it wouldn't matter. But he's President.
We need to be doing everything in our power to confront the climate threat:
• investing in clean energy innovation;
• partnering with farmers and ranchers to develop the next generation of biofuels;
• building clean energy infrastructure, from a nationwide network of charging stations for electric vehicles to a 21st century railroad system;
• putting America on course to becoming a net-zero emissions, clean energy economy by 2050.
Instead, Trump pulled America out of the Paris Agreement. He just tried to put a muzzle on a State Department analyst to prevent him from discussing climate science in testimony to Congress. He thinks windmills cause cancer.
And how about health care? Remember when Trump's Justice Department decided to argue that the Affordable Care Act in its entirety is unconstitutional just a few months ago?
Now he's got his tail between his legs and barely mentions it -- doesn't even tweet about it -- because he knows the American people will give him a thrashing in 2020 just like they gave the Republicans in 2018 for trying to get rid of it.
Well -- guess what? If I become the nominee of this party, I'm going to give Trump a thrashing every day on health care.
I'm not going to let the American people forget Trump is trying to take away your protections for pre-existing conditions.
I'm not going to let the American people forget it's because of the Affordable Care Act that their kid gets to stay on their parents' health insurance until the age of 26.
I'm not going to let the American people forget that it's because of the Affordable Care Act that millions of people gained health coverage.
And one more thing. Trump may think Wall Street and the Super Rich built this country. I don't.
I think this country was built by you -- by the working people of this nation -- by America's great middle class.
And the tax cut he passed for the multi-millionaires and billionaires? When I'm President -- Gone.
When I'm president we're going to have a fairer tax code. We're going to get rid of hundreds of billions of dollars in tax loopholes that have no economic or societal rationale.