Home » Campus » Joe Biden surprises students at Sloopy’s to campaign for Richard Cordray

Joe Biden surprises students at Sloopy’s to campaign for Richard Cordray

Former Vice President Joe Biden takes a selfie with students in Sloopy’s Diner at the Ohio Union on Oct. 29. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

There normally isn’t a ton of pressure in making a milkshake.

Sure, it’s important to make sure the order is correct and the instructions are followed, but college students won’t often complain about the quality.

However, on Monday, the patrons were different. Instead of a student donning scarlet and gray, it was a 75-year-old man in a white dress shirt with rolled-up sleeves, black pants held up by an American flag-covered belt and purple tie. Accompanying him, another man with a navy blue suit, red tie and blue shirt.

The pair — former Vice President Joe Biden and Democratic candidate for Ohio governor Richard Cordray — wanted milkshakes.

“I was literally saying to Harley, ‘I hope he likes my milkshake. I made it with all my love,’” fourth-year Lee Cormany said while with her co-worker, Harley Hamilton.

On a surprise campaign stop at Ohio State to support his fellow Democrat, Biden entered through the conference room attached to the back of Sloopy’s and made his way around the diner.

The former vice president talked to everyone: students grabbing lunch, cooks, dishwashers, managers, cashiers. Everything seemed to halt as he made his rounds, with Tapingo orders piling up and guests waiting for a seat either standing or sitting out on the stools and in red and white striped booths.

“It was wild. He was so nice,” Hamilton, a fourth-year in biology, said. “He was much more personable and touchy than I was expecting, but I appreciated it.”

Biden and Cordray claimed their milkshakes — black and white for Biden, chocolate for Cordray — and returned to the middle of the campus diner, with Biden sitting on a stool by the counter and Cordray standing feet behind.

For the next 15 minutes, the pair fielded questions from the half-circle of students, encouraging people to vote for the Democratic candidate for governor, though not directly addressing Cordray’s Republican opponent, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. According to a recent poll, Cordray, who was director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under former President Barack Obama, is ahead of DeWine 46-40 with a margin of error of 4.4.

DeWine’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

“If you just eliminated that one loophole, you could pay for every single solitary student in America to go to community college free, cut in half the cost of their four years of college and increase productivity by two-tenths of 1 percent a year.”—former Vice President Joe Biden

Chief among student concerns were questions addressing student loan debt and mental health services.

Biden said his three kids — all of whom have gone to both private universities and then on to graduate school — left with significant student debt, ranging between $96,000 and $140,000. It is because of this, he said, he’s passionate about reducing student loans.

He provided a pair of recommendations for how to reduce, if not altogether eliminate, student debt: Lowering interest rates on student loans so they are as low as possible and giving students free tuition at a state university if their family income is under $100,000.

There are also several tax loopholes Biden said could be eliminated to save the government money that instead could be invested in free tuition for students, adding that the cost of community college for every qualified student in America would cost just $6 billion a year. One loophole he cited would reduce government spending by $17 billion per year.

“You buy $100,000 in stock and sell it for [$200,000], you pay capital gains on [$100,000]. But if God forbid you get hit by a truck on the way to selling them, you leave it to your daughter or son, you pay nothing,” Biden said. “It’s not an inheritance tax, it’s a tax owed 12 seconds earlier. If you just eliminated that one loophole, you could pay for every single solitary student in America to go to community college free, cut in half the cost of their four years of college and increase productivity by two-tenths of 1 percent a year.”

The discussion immediately turned to addressing mental health services in the state, an issue that has been prevalent on Ohio State’s campus in recent years.

Cordray said he hopes to implement wraparound services — mental health treatment that focuses on getting to know the families and patients in particular and develop individualized plans — in all states, something that has begun to be established in Cincinnati and Cuyahoga County.

Biden then bridged the discussions on mental health and tuition costs, saying that he and Cordray discussed post-traumatic stress disorder training for nurses at universities and community colleges to help veterans with treatment.

“Nurses are badly needed, and by the way, for a guy who’s spent seven months in the hospital and lost a son who spent a year in the hospital, if there’s any angels in heaven, they’re all nurses,” Biden said. “They’re incredible. Most incredible, underrated profession in the world.”

Asked about the difference between Cordray and DeWine, Biden said he likes DeWine, but doesn’t believe the Republican candidate will take a firm stance against his GOP colleagues or President Donald Trump even if he disagrees with their position.

“I think there’s a need for my Republican friends in Congress and the Republican governors around the country to stand up and begin to speak out on some of the things that I can’t believe they think the president is doing that makes sense,” Biden said.

Of course, Biden was again asked to address his 2020 plans, when the Democrats will be seeking a presidential nominee. He has been considered among the potential frontrunners for the nomination should he run in 2020, but has yet to confirm his plans one way or another.

“I know I have to make up my mind at the beginning of the year,” Biden said. “I will do it then and it will be a family decision. We’re trying to put things back together after the loss of my son.”


  1. Vote this election for candidates who prioritize citizens over illegal aliens (bet you thought that was a given …not anymore.) Those candidates who oppose sanctuary cities, open borders, non citizens voting, amnesty for millions of illegal aliens and taxpayer funded in state college tuition discounts. That means NO Democrats.

    SHERROD BROWN and RICHARD CORDRAY are running for Senate & Governor respectively. Brown / Cordray both proudly supports “restructuring or “abolishing” ICE, sanctuary cities, amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, using taxpayer funds for illegal aliens & DACA. In addition, both are weak on border security and national defense. Both supported by both La Raza & MALDEF which says it all.

    If you OPPOSE illegal immigration, taxpayer funds used for illegal aliens, sanctuary cities, amnesty for millions of illegal aliens Please VOTE NO for SHERROD BROWN & RICHARD CORDRAY this November….we can’t afford anymore Democrats. VOTE for Jim Renacci for Senate and Troy Balderson Congress.

    Recent Gallup poll- almost 60% of Democrats now view socialism positively, little changed from 2010 survey.

    To Democrats programs like (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA) and (Temporary Protective Status, TPS.) are permanent programs. There is nothing temporary about these programs to the left. The goal for Democrats is to flood/lure the country with illegal aliens & refugees, then fight against / eliminate deportations. Democrats want to encourage, reward, protect illegal aliens with jobs, amnesty, drivers licenses, discounts for college tuition, scholarships, then after they’re here….protect them from deportation. This creates MORE illegal entry and the Democrats know this.

    The current migration at our southern border is costing taxpayers a Kings Ransom. Fleeing persecution? or fleeing for freebies? they sure don’t stay in Mexico when they reach “safety” or ask for political asylum in Mexico. Why? because Mexico will give them NOTHING. So they make the long journey to our border, our generous Democrats and our tax dollars. Just debating DACA in congress is costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars….. thank the parents.

    Just a few examples of the more outrageous costs associated with illegal immigration, we will pass this burden on to our children and grand children as has been passed on to us.

    *The cost of educating illegal aliens children is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student. This does not include the billions spent on bilingual education for illegal aliens.

    *Taxpayers in numerous states are funding in state college tuition discounts for illegal aliens. Cost to taxpayers over a billion dollars annually.

    *30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens.Does not include local jails and State Prisons. At $21,000 per year expense per inmate in Federal Prison U do the math.

    *$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate, process Illegal aliens in the Criminal justice system. I repeat 3 MILLION a DAY.

    *$2.2Billion dollars a year is spent on is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps) WIC, & free school lunches.

    If you OPPOSE illegal immigration, taxpayer funds used for illegal aliens, sanctuary cities, non citizens voting, open borders, amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, weak border security, tax increases. VOTE NO for ALL Democrats this November.

  2. Obama and the DNC were not supportive of the Jewish Community.
    Kerry and Obama help pass that Israeli UN Resolution.
    Obama also supported the 911 Ground Zero Mosque.
    Obama tried to sneak millions the last day in office to the Palestinians.
    Obama also made deals with Iran.

    Biden should be embarrased to even show himself.

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