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Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters Prior to Departure for Macon, Georgia

November 04, 2018

Q. [Inaudible]

The President. I'm now leaving for Georgia. I'll be doing a rally. We have a tremendous number of people, as you know—as you probably know—standing outside, trying to get in. It's for Brian Kemp; he's running for Governor of Georgia.

We're then going to Tennessee, where we have a tremendous crowd. We're having a lot of crowds. I don't know what that means, I but I guess we always have a lot of crowds. But I think that it really portends something that's very interesting.

In Tennessee, it's Marsha Blackburn, and she's doing tremendously well. She's a great candidate. She'll be a great Senator from Tennessee. But I will be—that will be the second stop. First stop is Georgia. So we're going to have a very busy day. Tremendous crowds.

2018 Congressional Elections

Q. [Inaudible]—the House? Are you expecting Republicans——

The President. I think we're going to do well with the House. I think that my primary focus, of course, has been on the Senate, because there are so many people in the House, and that's a lot of stops. But I have done some House work also. But I think we're going to do well in the House. But as you know, my primary focus has been on the Senate, and I think we're doing really well in the Senate.

If you look at early returns, the early returns are very positive. So, you know, with so many people in Congress, with so many people in the House, it's very hard to make those stops. But I've made a number. I think we're going to do well in the House. I think we're going to do really well in the Senate.

And there is something going on out there, and I think you know what I mean. There's something going on.

Q. What are you referring to?

The President. There's something that's very interesting that's happening.

2018 Congressional Elections

Q. What? What are you referring to?

The President. The level of fervor, the level of fever is very strong in the Republican side. So I can't speak to the blue, but I can speak to the red. There's a lot of energy out there. They want to see border security. They don't want people pouring into our country. They don't want open borders. They don't want to pay for other people's health care.

There's a lot of enthusiasm on the Republican side.

Q. [Inaudible]—out there? [Inaudible] The President. I haven't seen it really—I haven't seen it really since our big election victory in '16. It's tremendous. There's a tremendous spirit out there.

Georgia Gubernatorial Election

Q. Mr. President, have you been briefed on the—[inaudible]—in Georgia, and—[inaudible]—Secretary of State running for Governor?

The President. I haven't been briefed, no. I don't know anything about it. I know that Brian Kemp is running a great campaign, and I think he's going to be a fantastic Governor of Georgia. That's why I'm going. But he's run a really great campaign. He's very—he's really—I mean, he studied for this job for a long time. He will be a great executive, and he will keep Georgia going on the path that it's going, which is up. He's going to do a great job.

Q. [Inaudible]—Saudi Arabia, sir? On Saudi Arabia?

Q. [Inaudible]—for the economy?

The President. We'll make a statement about that at the appropriate time.

2018 Congressional Elections/National Economy

Q. Why not focus more on the economy instead of immigration?

The President. Well, I do focus on the economy, but you people don't like to cover that. I mean, we have the greatest economy.

Q. We cover it all the time.

The President. We have the greatest economy in the history of our country. The jobs report that came out on Friday—250,000 added jobs in just October—it was incredible. Wages going up 3.1 percent. You look at every single element of that report was a 10. It was perfect.

And we have the greatest economy ever, but you people don't want to cover that.

Q. We cover it all the time.

The President. You would much rather cover illegal immigration, which is okay for me too, because frankly, we are doing a great job at the border. Nobody else could do the job that we're doing. And as you know, the Democrats want to have open borders and all of those tens of thousands of people pour into our country. That's not going to happen.

Q. [Inaudible]—not true.

2018 Congressional Elections

Q. [Inaudible]—say that a vote for Republicans is a vote for you. So if Democrats end up winning the House, is that a rebuke of you and your policies?

The President. No, I don't view this as for myself. You can. I mean, I see headlines in the New York Times that it's really about me, and it's not really. But I'll accept that. I think we're going to do very well in the Senate. I think we're going to do well in the House. The difference is, I can't campaign for all of those House members; there's so many of them. But I can go out and help Senators, and I think I've made a big difference. I think I've made a difference of five or six or seven. That's a big difference.

And everywhere I've gone, we've had, you know, massive crowds. Q. Mr. President, where is the tax cut you were promising? Where's the tax cut you were promising?

2018 Congressional Elections

Q. Are you worried your rallies have turned people against the Republicans, some of what you said?

The President. No, these rallies are the best thing we've done. I think that the rallies have really been the thing that's caused this whole big fervor to start and to continue. I have never seen such excitement. Maybe back in '16, during the Presidential, right around the vote.

But I have never seen such a enthusiastic Republican Party. They're enthusiastic about how well the economy is doing, and they're enthusiastic about security. They're enthusiastic about taxes being lowered and getting lower again. They're really enthusiastic about the border.

Q. Mr. President——

The President. They're really seeing something very, very good at the border.

Q. [Inaudible]—from the election?

Tax Relief

Q. Mr. President, where's the tax cut you were talking about? Where's the tax cut you were talking about?

The President. We're going to work on the tax cut. We already started. I've been working with Kevin Brady. We're working with the House. We're doing a 10-percent tax cut. Now, it could be that if we lose control of the House, that's not going to happen. But we're going to be doing a 10-percent tax cut for the middle class. We're starting the process already with Kevin Brady, and we're very well along on it. We'll be submitting when they come back.

Q. So if Democrats win the House, you'll work with them?

U.S. Sanctions Against Iran

Q. [Inaudible]—tell us why you decided to give waivers to those eight countries?

The President. I don't know what you're——

Q. Iran sanctions. Can you talk about them, and why you're giving waivers to eight countries?

The President. Well, the Iran sanctions are very strong. They're the strongest sanctions we've ever imposed. And we'll see what happens with Iran, but they're not doing very well, I can tell you. Iran is not going very well. It's a big difference since I've been in office. When I came to office, if you go a day before, it looked like Iran was going to take over the Middle East. It was a question of literally less than years, very quickly. And now nobody is talking about that. So we'll see what happens.

But the Iran sanctions have gone into effect. They're the strongest sanctions that our country has ever issued.

Q. Mr. President——

Georgia Gubernatorial Election Q. Are you worried about voter suppression in Georgia?

The President. Say it?

Q. Are you worried about voter suppression in Georgia?

The President. No. I think that, from what I understand, the Georgia campaign of Brian Kemp has been extraordinary. A lot of people are voting, and I think a lot of Republicans are voting, because they want to see Georgia go forward, not go backward. If she gets in, Georgia is going backward. If he gets in, Georgia goes forward. And that's what people want.

Thank you. Thank you.

Q. Mr. President, is Stacey Abrams——

NOTE: The President spoke at 1:41 p.m. on the South Lawn at the White House prior to boarding Marine One. In his remarks, he referred to Georgia Secretary of State Brian B. Kemp; Rep. Marsha Wedgeworth Blackburn; and Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters Prior to Departure for Macon, Georgia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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