Photo of Donald Trump

Remarks at a "Keep America Great" Rally in Charleston, South Carolina

February 28, 2020

The President. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. All I can say is that the fake news just doesn't get it, do they? [cheers and applause] They don't get it. They just don't get it. Hello Charleston, and I'm thrilled to be back in the great state of South Carolina—[cheers and applause]—with thousands of hardworking American patriots who believe in faith, family, God, and country. Thank you. [cheers and applause]

It's a phenomenal crowd, only topped by the number of people outside that didn't get in. If anybody would like to give up where you're standing or your seat, please raise your hand.

Crowd. No!

The President. All right. Then let's begin, right? Thank you all very much though. This is great. No, they don't get it. You know, down the road, they have a rally for one of the people that are gonna be running tomorrow. [booing] They're trying to get to a hundred, but they're not gonna to make it. [cheers and applause] So I think they're gonna set up a round table. Well, that's what they do. So people want to go to a rally, they end up sitting at a round table talking about their definition of impeachment. [laughter] Crazy.

No, it's crazy. [cheers and applause] Crazy! It's a crazy deal. No, the fake news media, they've been trying to figure this out for years. They still don't get it though. They don't get it. Look at all of those cameras. Look at all of those cameras. That's a lot of cameras. [booing] That's a lot of cameras, Lindsey and Tim, that's a lot of—They heard you guys were here. They heard Tim was here and that Lindsey was here and that—[cheers and applause] And they said, "We're not gonna attend that rally," but when we heard those two guys plus our great congressmen, they're here, great congressmen. But this is an incredible time for our nation. We're thrilled to be in the midst of what we call the great American comeback and that's what it is. [cheers and applause] Jobs are booming, incomes are soaring, factories are returning, poverty is plummeting, confidence is surging, and we have completely rebuilt the awesome power of the United States military. [cheers and applause] Our country is stronger than ever before.

We are stronger, we are better, but while we are building a great future, the radical left Democrats in Washington are trying to burn it all down. [booing] They have spent the last three years, and I can even go further than that, three years since the election, but we go before the election, working to erase your ballots and overthrow our democracy. But with your help, we have exposed the far left's corruption and defeated their sinister schemes and let's see what happens in the coming months. Let's watch. [cheers and applause] Let's just watch. Very dishonest people. Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus, you know that, right? [booing] Coronavirus, they're politicizing it. We did one of the great jobs. You say, "How's President Trump doing?" They go, "Oh, not good, not good." [laughter] They have no clue. They don't have any clue. They can't even count their votes in Iowa. They can't even count. [laughter] No, they can't. They can't count their votes. [shouting]

One of my people came up to me and said, "Mr. President, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia." That didn't work out too well. They couldn't do it. They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation. [booing] They tried anything. They tried it over and over. They've been doing it since you got in. It's all turning. They lost. It's all turning. Think of it. Think of it. And this is their new hoax. But, you know, we did something that's been pretty amazing. We have 15 people in this massive country and because of the fact that we went early. We went early, we could have had a lot more than that. We're doing great. Our country is doing so great. We are so unified. We are so unified. [cheers and applause]

The Republican party has never ever been unified like it is now. There has never been a movement in the history of our country like we have now. Never been a movement. [cheers and applause] So a statistic that we wanna talk about, go ahead. Say USA. It's okay. USA.

Crowd. [chanting] USA! USA! USA! USA!

The President. So a number that nobody heard of, that I heard of recently and I was shocked to hear it, 35,000 people on average die each year from the flu. Did anyone know that? Thirty-five thousand, that's a lot of people. It could go to 100,000, it could be 27,000. They say usually a minimum of 27, goes up to 100,000 people a year die. And so far we have lost nobody to coronavirus in the United States. [cheers and applause] Nobody. And it doesn't mean we won't and we are totally prepared. It doesn't mean we won't, but think of it. You hear 35 and 40,000 people and we've lost nobody and you wonder the press is in hysteria mode. CNN fake news and the camera just went off, the camera. [booing] The camera just went off. Turn it back on. Hey, by the way, hold it. Look, look at this, and honestly, all events are like this. It's about us. It's all about us. I wish they'd take the camera, show the arena please. Show the arena. They never do. They never do. [cheers and applause] They never do it. [cheers and applause]

Crowd. [chanting] USA! USA! USA! USA!

The President. They never show the arena. You can hear it because when you hear it, that's not 200 people. That's not a hundred people. That's thousands and thousands of people including people outside. [cheers and applause] You can hear it. They always show my face. See that face? [laughter] They show my face. I want them to show the arena, not my face, right? How many have you been to? How many rallies have you gone?

Crowd Member. Every one!

The President. Practically every one. Can you believe it? I'm sure your husbands are thrilled, right? They're thrilled. "Where are you going tonight?" "I'm going to another Trump rally." [cheers and applause] Cool. Number 114. What do your husbands say about that? This group up here. She said, "We don't care." [laughter] Thank you. Thank you.

Democrats will only say horrible things even though they know we're doing a great job. We're doing a great job with what we have to work with. It's incredible. The Democrats want us to fail so badly. Even if their actions, and you take a look, hurt the people of this country, they'll hurt the people themselves, their wealth, their everything. They're willing to hurt our country in order to say bad, even if they know it's not so. We made an unbelievable deal with Mexico, with Canada, with China, with South Korea, with Japan. [cheers and applause] And if you put a microphone with these people back there like the Academy Awards used to be, not anymore. Best movie of the year. It's made in South Korea. What's that all about? Best movie. I'm waiting to see the best movie of the year ...

Crowd Member. It's garbage!

The President. And it's made—He said, "It's garbage." [cheers and applause] Only in South Carolina can you say that. Only in South Carolina. [cheers and applause] You're gonna get us in trouble. No, I'm just repeating what he said for the fake news. I'm just—No, but seriously the Academy Awards has gone way, way down in ratings. Do you know why? Because they started attacking us and we don't believe in it anymore. That's why. [cheers and applause] No, but they had the best movie of the year made in South Korea. They make enough stuff for us, right? And they're good. They're our friends. [shouting] Take advantage of us, that's okay. Not so much anymore. We are magnifintly [sic]—Really, you take a look, magnificently organized with the best professionals in the world. We're prepared for the absolute worst. You have to be prepared for the worst, but hopefully it will all amount to very little. That's why I tell you when we have the flu with 35,000 people and this one is—We have to take it very, very seriously. That's what we're doing. We are preparing for the worst.

My administration has taken the most aggressive action in modern history to prevent the spread of this illness in the United States. We are ready. We are ready. Totally ready. [cheers and applause] On January 31st, I ordered the suspension of foreign nationals who have recently been in China from entering the United States. [cheers and applause] An action which the Democrats loudly criticized and protested and now everybody's complimenting me saying, "Thank you very much. You were 100% correct." Could've been a whole different story. [cheers and applause] But I say, so let's get this right. A virus starts in China, bleeds its way into various countries all around the world, doesn't spread widely at all in the United States because of the early actions that myself and my administration took against a lot of other wishes—[cheers and applause]—and the Democrats' single talking point, and you see it, is that it's Donald Trump's fault, right? It's Donald Trump's fault. [booing] No, just things that happened

But you know what this does show you? Things happen. Whoever thought of this two weeks ago? Who would've thought this could be going on four weeks ago? You wouldn't. But things happen in life and you have to be prepared and you have to be flexible and you have to be able to go out and get it. And my guys that—We have the best professionals in the world, the best in the world and we are so ready. At the same time that I initiated the first federally mandated quarantine in over 50 years. We had to quarantine some people. They weren't happy, they weren't happy about it. I wanna tell you, there are a lot of people that not so happy, but after two weeks they got happy. You know who got happy? The people around them got happy. That's who got happy. [cheers and applause]

I also created a White House virus task force. It's a big thing, a virus task force. I requested 2.5 billion dollars to ensure we have the resources we need. The Democrats said, "That's terrible. He's doing the wrong thing. He needs eight and a half billion, not two and a half." I've never had that before. I ask for two and a half, they wanna give me eight and a half, so I said, "I'll take it." Does that make me a bad—I'll take it. I'll take it. [cheers and applause] I never had that before. I never had it. "We want two and a half million. That's plenty." "We demand you take eight and a half. He doesn't know what he's doing. We want eight and a half." These people are crazy. We must understand that border security is also health security. [cheers and applause] And you've all seen the wall has gone up like magic. It's gone up like magic. [cheers and applause] You think that was an easy one? That was not an easy one. It's going up great and it's—We're up now 132 miles and this is the exact wall that border security wanted, everything.

This is everything they wanted, 132 miles already. We'll have 500 miles built by very early next year sometime, so—[cheers and applause] One of the reasons the numbers are so good. We will do everything in our power to keep the infection and those carrying the infection from entering our country. We have no choice. Whether it's the virus that we're talking about or many other public health threats, the Democrat policy of open borders is a direct threat to the health and well-being of all Americans. Now you see it with the coronavirus, you see it. [cheers and applause] You see it with the coronavirus. You know, you see that. When you have this virus or any other virus or any other problem coming in, it's not the only thing that comes in through the border. And we're setting records now at the border. We're setting records. And now, just using this, so important, right? So important. I'm doing well in the polls despite the worst fake news and worst presidential harassment in the history of the United States. We've got phenomenal numbers. [cheers and applause] Nah, it's true. The worst presidential harassment in history.

We had a great event yesterday, an event that was so beautiful, young African American leaders. One of the things I asked them, and I've been thinking about this for a long time—And great people, great people. Some of them are here tonight. Do you like the name African American or Black? And they said, "Black!" all at the same time. No, true. I tell you. Because you say, "African American or Black?" And they said almost, like, immediately, "Black." But we had an incredible group of people and what happened is NBC—It was such a love-fest. It was so incredible. It went on for 45 minutes. It was a love-fest. It was incredible. NBC turned down—There they are right there. They turned down—[booing] Comcast, which owns NBC—Actually NBC, I think, which is, we call it MSDNC, right? MSDNC. But NBC I think is worse than CNN. I actually do. And Comcast, a company that spends millions and millions of dollars on their image—I'll do everything possible to destroy their image because they are terrible. They are terrible. [cheers and applause] They are terrible. They're a terrible group of people.

And they paid me a fortune for years for the Apprentice. They paid me a fortune. And when I left the show, it was doing great. When I left the show, 14 seasons, think of that, they got a big movie star. I won't tell you his name. Nobody would know. Actually nobody will know his name because he was on for such a short period of time. [shouting] But the show went down the tubes very quickly after they had Trump. But the country in five years from now, of course you wanna upset them, five years or nine years or 13 years. [cheers and applause] Or 18 years! [cheers and applause]

Crowd. [chanting] Ten more years! Ten more years! Ten more years! Ten more years!

The President. Ten more years. Nah. Oh, they go crazy when you say it. [cheers and applause] When you say, when you to them five more years, so it's five, but you then say maybe nine, maybe 13, maybe 17, maybe 21, who knows. Maybe 21. [cheers and applause] Let's do this. Let's term limit ourselves at 25 years. No more than 25 years. No more. Okay. They'll pass something in the Senate. Tim, pass it in the Senate with Lindsey, a 25-year term limit please. [cheers and applause]

No, we're looking to do a great job. We need that extra five to get everything solidified. You know, it's like you take a tree and you plant it, it needs some time to grab on, right? And that's what we need. We've got incredible things that we've done. We have things we still can do, but we have done actually much, much more than we even promised we'd do. If you think all of it. [cheers and applause] While the extreme left has been wasting America's time with these vile hoaxes, we've been killing terrorists, creating jobs, raising wages, enacting fair trade deals, fir trade deals, securing our border, and lifting up citizens of every race, religion, color, and creed. We added another 225,000 jobs last month alone. [cheers and applause] And that makes seven million jobs since our election, seven million. The unemployment rate in the great state of South Carolina, you ever hear of that place? [cheers and applause]

Now Sleepy Joe would say, "The unemployment rate in the great state of Ohio ..." "No, no. You're in South Carolina. Joe! Joe, you're in South Carolina." Come up. You ever see the guy with the note, "No, no, it's South Carolina! It's not Ohio." Okay. Then he goes, "All right, Iowa. Did you say Iowa?" No. No. They did that seven times. If I did that once, it would be the end of the road, right? Be the end of the road. They'd say, "Trump has lost it." They like to say that anyway, I guess though. These people are bad people. Now, Sleepy Joe. Well, he's running tomorrow. No, but could you imagine if I said just a small fraction of the mistakes he makes, which are unbelievable? Every speech. I actually said the other night, I was watching him when he said about half the population wiped out with guns. [laughter] I said, I said, "That's a horrible thing. That's the end of his evening. That's the end of his political career." And then after the debate, they're revealing him and they said, "Joe Biden had a great night last night." [laughter] I don't get it, Tim. [shouting]

The unemployment rate here in South Carolina has fallen to 2.3%, the lowest rate in your state's history. [cheers and applause] it's the lowest rate in all of America. It's the lowest rate in all of America. I said to a friend of mine, a Democrat, "How's the race going tomorrow? Who's gonna win?" And he says, "Mr. President ..." No, it's very interesting. He said something. This guy's a real political pro too, in all fairness, even though he's a Democrat. But I said, "Who's gonna win?" He said, "Honestly, sir, it doesn't matter. You are so far ahead in South Carolina that it's meaningless." [cheers and applause] Meaningless. That's what they say. And in North Carolina too. In North Carolina.

We've destroyed the ISIS territorial caliphate. [cheers and applause] We killed the founder and leader of ISIS, al-Baghdadi is dead. He's dead! He's dead! [cheers and applause] And we recently took out the world's top terrorist, Qasem Soleimani, ending his evil reign of terror forever. [cheers and applause]

Crowd. [chanting] USA! USA! USA! USA!

The President. But as we keep on winning, Washington Democrats keep on losing their minds. They've gone crazy. [cheers and applause] I mean, Nervous Nancy, Crying Chuck Schumer, Crying Chuck, bunch of losers. The good citizens of South Carolina—[cheers and applause]—have had a front row seat to the extremism of the Democrat candidates. Whether it's this character that nobody ever heard of him. I'd never heard it. I thought I knew all the wealthy people. This guy Tom Steyer, Mr. Impeachment, how did that work out, Tom? [booing] Hey, he spent millions and millions of dollars in Iowa, right? Millions. He got less than 1%. He got one third of 1%. I wrote a little note. Did you see it? It said, "Tom, it's not so easy doing what I did, is it?" Not so easy. [cheers and applause] Not so easy.

All you have to do is ask Mini-Mike. He's in there for a fortune. Ay-ay, he wished he never started. [laughter] He wished he never—Mini-Mike, he wished he never started. [cheers and applause] He said, "Well, Trump can do it. I'm gonna do it too." Unfortunately it's not working out too well. [laughter] Was that the worst debate performance in history?

Crowd. Yeah!

The President. I turned on—'cause, you know, they had a big audience. Everybody wanted to see whether or not he was good at what we're supposed to be doing up here. He turned out to be a total catastrophe. They had 35 million people, can you believe that? That's a big audience. Very big. And what a killer. [laughter] But this guy Steyer, he spends all this money. He's not that wealthy. He spends all of this money and you shouldn't waste your vote on him tomorrow. I have to be honest. The people—By the way, are the Republicans allowed to vote anyway even though—Are you ready? You ready?

Crowd. Yeah!

The President. Let's do it together. I assume this is okay from a campaign finance standpoint, I assume. Lindsey, Tim, our great congressmen, are we allowed to do this? So am I allowed to request—First we have to figure out who would be the weakest candidate against President Trump. [shouting] And then if it's legal, I always say if it's permissible by law, because they have so many little booby traps, but they only like getting the Republicans. Democrats skirt, right? But we'll see what happens about that. The Democrats. But let me ask you this. Lindsey, Tim, you're pros. These are two of the greatest guys I know. So let me ask you this. [cheers and applause]

So I don't know what the record attendance is in this arena, but I was told that we broke it by a lot. [cheers and applause] And you got the people outside. Are we allowed to tell them who we would like them to vote for? Because you're allowed to skip. [shouting] All right, so wait a minute, let's do a poll. We do this for the fake news back there. Ready? Who would be the best candidate for us? Not for them. We're ready? Ready? So let's go through them just quickly. We won't include Steyer because he's a loser. He's out, okay? We won't include him. [cheers and applause] Who would be the best? This is a real poll. This isn't one of those fake polls taken by—In all fairness, I love you, Fox, taken by Fox, the worst pollster. This guy, this pollster hates Trump's guts. I was losing the last election by a fortune. They said, "He did great with women." Everything was wrong. And they never replaced this guy. But watch this. You ready?

So first we'll go, let's say Sleepy Joe, right? Right? Then we'll go Crazy Bernie. Then we'll go Mini-Mike. I think he's out of it. Should we include Mini-Mike or not?

Crowd. No!

The President. Mini-Mike is gone. Mini-Mike is gone. I think he's gone. He doesn't have a chance. So let's not talk—And he's not in your election anyways, so let's forget. So Mini-Mike, I hear Mini-Mike, by the way, has left. He's basically given up. That's what I hear. He gave up. He gave up. [cheers and applause] Now, I hope what I just said keeps him in. You know, he's the kind of a guy, he'll stay in because, "I don't wanna be wrong." Mike, it's time to go home. Go home, Mike, and enjoy your life. [laughter] Go home and spend some money on something.

So let's just go—We'll go—Okay. Do you agree? We'll go for the two—Look, Pocahontas, we can forget about her, right? Pocahontas. [cheers and applause] I came out with that name far too early—[cheers and applause]—because those burning embers, they got, you know little ind—she got so--horrible to people. They said, "She's not dumb, but she's just so damn mean. We can't vote for her." She's a mean one. She is mean. So Pocahontas, should we leave her in or out?

Crowd. Out!

The President. How about Klobuchar?

Crowd. Out!

The President. Not gonna happen. [shouting] So really we're down to two candidates, right? Sleepy Joe Biden and Crazy Bernie. So this is a poll. I guarantee you this. As much as they hate me, they hate me. They're gonna put this all over the place. We have a poll of like 30,000 people inside and out. They're doing it outside, too. We have a poll. Are you ready? Who do I—So in other words, who's the weaker of the two? I'm not interested in who does better. [shouting] No, no. I'm not interested—Wait. Ready? In other words, who do I wanna run against? Meaning, meaning—Very simple. We put it into nice, simple language. Who the hell is easier to beat? So who is easier for us? Not me. For us to beat. Ready? Crazy Bernie? [cheers and applause] Or Sleepy Joe? [cheers and applause] I don't know. I think maybe Crazy Bernie has it a little bit. [cheers and applause] Once more just quick. Ready?

He said, "It doesn't matter, you'll beat them all." [cheers and applause] I hope so. I hope so. So who is easier to beat, Crazy Bernie—[cheers and applause]—or Sleepy Joe? [cheers and applause] They think Bernie's easier to beat. [cheers and applause] They think Bernie's easier to beat. So whether it's Bernie Sanders's plan to eliminate private healthcare, Elizabeth Warren's plan—I told you that I had more Indian blood in me than her, even though I have none. I have none. Zero. I have none. I have none. I said I have more Indian blood in me than she has. And she choked. She said, "I'm gonna show, I'm gonna show ..." She hired this company and they went out and did a blood test. One thousand twenty-fourth, right? [laughter] So that means I probably won somewhere down the line a million years ago. [laughter]

I'm telling you, that was horrible. She choked. We don't want a person to win that chokes. We don't wanna choke artist, right? One thing you will say about me, I'm not a choker. With all these people for years, they're after me years. We can't have chokers. We can't have chokers as your president. So Elizabeth Warren's plan to eliminate America's borders. That's what she would—Or Mini-Mike's plan to eliminate your Second Amendment and take away your guns. How about that? [booing] Mini-Mike wants to take away your guns. The insanity of the Democrat party is why millions of registered Democrat voters are joining our movement. They are joining our great new Republican party. [cheers and applause] This November, we are going to take back the House, we are going to hold the Senate, and we are going to keep the White House. [cheers and applause]

I wonder what they say when they go down the road and they see these groups of 200 people. Seriously. I wonder what they say. They never talk about it. They'll say, "Joe Biden had a fabulous crowd today. Fabulous." So fabulous that there's like five people. [laughter] And they'll leave and they'll say, "President Trump had a smattering of applause." Smattering. They use the word "smattering" a lot. This is not—Let's let them hear it. This is not a—This is a big—This is not a smattering. It's not a smattering. Turn the cameras. That's not a smattering. [cheers and applause] That is not a smattering.

I hate it. They say "Donald Trump ..." You know, in India, I hate to say this to you, but—So they actually have a 129,000 seat stadium. Did you see it? The place was packed, and they did better than most. They gave me credit for 100,000. That was not bad. It's 129. The stadium holds 100. They had a field that's about three times—It's cricket. It's the biggest stadium. And they had 129. I was with the Prime Minister of India, Modi. Great guy, loved by the people of India. And we had an amazing thing. And I went in, and here's the problem. This is a big crowd. And normally I like talking about my crowds because I get the crowds like nobody, but I just got back from 140 or 50 or 60,000 people and now I'm coming here. What does this place hold, 15? [shouting] It's hard to be enthused. You understand that?

I may never be excited again about a crowd after going to India. But they have, think of this, they have 1.5 billion people. We have 350, so we're doing pretty well, I'll tell you what, but I love this crowd, and I love that crowd too. Tell you they have a great love for—[cheers and applause] They have a great love. They have a great leader, and they have a great love for the people of this country. That was really a worthwhile trip.

With us tonight are both of your incredible US Senators. Two incredible friends, two warriors. Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Tim Scott, come up here. [cheers and applause] And by the way, Tim's incredible mother is right here in the front row. [cheers and applause] You know, as they're doing that, they got this big—I was gonna almost do a poll on the two of them, but we're not doing that. [laughter] But Lindsey is a true fighter for South Carolina. Loves your state. And as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee—You know that, right? He's the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. So important. So important. [cheers and applause] Senator Graham has been leading the charge to help us confirm a record number of judges to uphold the Constitution as written. [cheers and applause] And Lindsey was amazing, you remember, for Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Remember how badly he was—Great job, Lindsey. Great job, man. Thank you.

Senator Scott is a leading—[cheers and applause]—superstar. [cheers and applause] He's a superstar. [cheers and applause] But he is a leader in lowering healthcare costs like nobody has done it. You know, people don't know, but in the last year, prescription drug prices came down for the first time in 51 years. [cheers and applause] And that was with no Democrat help. If we had the help, we could lower it by 50%. But we'll get their help. One of these days, they're gonna get smart. Senator Scott provides world-class care for our veterans. What he's done for our veterans is incredible. And bringing investment to distressed communities across our country through Opportunity Zones, including 135 right here in South Carolina. That's what it is. Tim Scott came to my office with an idea. He said, "Opportunity zone." I said, "Tim, what the hell is that?" What is it? Right, Tim?

Senator Tim Scott. Yes, sir.

The President. And he went through a whole big thing and I said, "This maybe could work," and we tried it. It is an incredible success, and what he's done for this country is incredible. [cheers and applause] It's incredible. Lindsey. We'll start with Lindsey. Say a few words, please. Thank you.

Lindsey Graham. Welcome to South Carolina, Mr. President. [cheers and applause] You know why you're gonna win? You've been a damn good president. [cheers and applause] Thank you for 200 conservative judges. [cheers and applause] Thank you for Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Gorsuch. [cheers and applause] Thank you for rebuilding the military and killing the terrorists. [cheers and applause] Thank you for the strongest economy of my lifetime. [cheers and applause] Thank you, more than anything else, for putting up with the never-ending bullshit you have to go through. [cheers and applause]

Scott. All right. USA!

Crowd. USA!

Scott. USA!

Crowd. [chanting] USA! USA! USA! USA!

Scott. USA!

Crowd. [chanting] USA! USA! USA! USA!

Scott. USA!

Crowd. [chanting] USA! USA! USA! USA!

Scott. If ...

Crowd Member. We love you!

Scott. If South Carolina—[cheers and applause] I said, if South Carolina is Trump country, let me hear you scream. [cheers and applause] If you have—If you have benefited from the Trump economy, let me hear you scream. [cheers and applause] Okay. One, one last thing. One last thing. One last thing. If you want four more years of President Trump, let me hear you scream. [cheers and applause]

Crowd. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

The President. Well, that was quite a display, wasn't it? [cheers and applause] Now there's a lot of love in this room. A lot of people say to me, friends of mine, they've very successful. They'll say, "How do you speak in front of 25,000 people and 10,000 people and all of this?" You know why? There's such love in the room it's easy. No, it's true. There is such—I explained, they don't understand it, because they're not for doing that, but I say there is such unbelievable love in the room that it's easy to do. [cheers and applause] Very easy. Right? It's sort of easy to do. We're also thrilled to be joined by many more great leaders from across the state. And some of you maybe know I liked this guy for a long time, Governor Henry McMaster. Come up, Henry. [cheers and applause] Come up, Henry. Representatives Joe Wilson, Jeff Duncan, William Timmons, Ralph Norman, Tom Rice, and the Chairman of the South Carolina Republican party, Drew McKissick. [cheers and applause] [Trump greets the politicians.] Hi, fellas... .Great job. [cheers and applause]

Politician. Thank you, Mr. President.

The President. As I introduce somebody, and I'll just say stay there because he was brave, but he got hit hard. He's a very special man, retired Marine Corps, major general, and most of you know he received the Congressional Medal of Honor, James E. Livingston. James, just relax. Where's James? [cheers and applause] He got hit hard. Thank you, James. Congressional Medal of Honor winner. Thank you, James. [cheers and applause]

They are great brave people. You know, we have the Congressional Medal of Honor and we have the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and they're both the highest awards. One's civilian, one is military. I always say getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom is much less painful because when I read them off, I'll read like with James or with so many of the Congressional Medal of Honors, many are not living, to be honest with you. And I'll read stories where one of them recently going up a hill, hit 19 times by gunfire, grabbing four people, bringing them down, getting onto a helicopter, falling out of the helicopter, hitting a tree on the way down. Hitting a tree. They went back and saved him, but he died later. I mean, those are tough deals. Those are tough deals. We have one right here who's living. We have one right here who's living. [cheers and applause] But they are tough. So thank you very much for being here. And maybe I could ask our governor, our great governor of this incredible state, to say a few words. Please, Henry. [cheers and applause]

Henry McMaster. Who is the greatest president in the whole world whom we love more than anybody in the world? [cheers and applause] [aside to Trump:] They love you.

And what is the name of the president who loves you?

Crowd. Trump!

McMaster. And whom are we gonna send back to the White House for four more glorious years?

Crowd. Trump!

McMaster. And what is the greatest country on the face of the Earth?

Crowd. [chanting] USA! USA! USA! USA!

The President. [as politicians leave the stage] Have a good time... thank you, fellas.

Politician. [to Trump] Attorney General Alan Wilson is here too, Alan Wilson.

The President. Thank you very much. And where's Alan? Is your son here? Your great son, Attorney General? Alan, thank you very much. Take good care of him, okay? Thank you. Thank you, Alan.

And thanks to Republicans all over America. We are now working on things that nobody ever thought possible. Since my election, over 121,000 new jobs have been created right here in South Carolina. [cheers and applause] We've lifted 10 million people off welfare, including seven million off of food stamps. [cheers and applause] And that's a good thing, not a bad thing. They're working and they have great jobs and they love getting up in the morning and they're making much more money and it costs our country nothing. We make money, they pay taxes. It's a whole different deal.

Median household income has reached the highest level in the history of our country. The unemployment rate nationwide has hit the lowest rate in over 50 years. The average unemployment rate from my administration is the lowest for any US president in recorded history. How about that one? It's a good one. That's a good one. The unemployment rate among African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans has reached record lows. [cheers and applause] Black youth unemployment has reached an all-time low. [cheers and applause] Black poverty levels are the lowest ever recorded in the history of our country. [cheers and applause]

For decades, Democrat politicians betrayed African Americans. They forced their children into failing schools. They shipped their jobs to foreign countries. They pushed their unfair sentencing policies. You know about—[shouting]— Alice? You know Alice? And they favored illegal aliens over their own constituents. You know that. That's been happening for a long time. My administration is reversing these failed policies and delivering record gains for African Americans. We are going to compete for every single vote in 2020, and we expect to win a historic share of the Black vote come election day. [cheers and applause]

We are supporting working families by fighting paid—We got something that nobody thought could happen: paid family leave. Reducing the cost of childcare and giving 40 million American families an average of 2,200 dollars more in their pocket thanks to the Republican Child Tax Credit. Republican, not Democrat. [cheers and applause] We are reversing decades of calamitous trade policies that decimated manufacturing all across your state and all across our country. For years, politicians sold you out to global special interests, enriching other countries at your expense. That ended. That ended. [cheers and applause] But I am not the president of the globe. I don't wanna be the president of the world. I am the President of the United States of America. [cheers and applause]

Last month, we finally ended the NAFTA catastrophe, and I signed the brand new U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement into law. [cheers and applause] The USMCA is a tremendous, giant, beautiful victory for South Carolina farmers, ranchers, manufacturers all across the state. Nothing like it, what you had to go through with NAFTA. Everybody was leaving. It was a disgrace that it was ever signed. You know it better than anybody. You had those empty hopes all over the—All over the country, all over this state. All around the world, we are demanding trade that is fair and my all-time favorite word: reciprocal. Reciprocal. Gotta be fair. [cheers and applause] After years of building up other countries, we are finally rebuilding our country. We are finally putting America first. [cheers and applause]

On no issue of Washington Democrats more thoroughly sold out the American people than the issue of immigration. Every Democrat running for president supports free federal welfare for illegal aliens funded by you, the American taxpayer. They wanna treat illegal aliens, people that come into our country illegally, better than they wanna treat our military and our veterans. [booing] Not only does illegal immigration drain our treasury, but it threatens innocent lives. I recently invited to the White House the granddaughter of a 92 year-old woman who was raped, beaten, brutalized, and murdered by an illegal alien who had previously been set free in New York City.

Here in Charleston County, an illegal alien was recently charged with sexually assaulting a young girl in the fourth grade. In Berkeley County, officers captured a previously deported MS-13 gang member who shot a man to death before dousing the body in gasoline and setting him on fire. And he should have never been in our country. He shouldn't have allowed—He shouldn't have been allowed. [cheers and applause]

Crowd. [chanting] Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!

The President. It's being built.

Crowd. Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!

The President. It's being built. And by the way, just in case you haven't heard, it is being built. That, you know. [cheers and applause] And, you know, they're gonna go nuts. They're gonna go nuts. They thought they got me. They said, "Okay." Have you heard them recently? "Okay. He's building the wall." And you think it's easy getting that kind of money to build a wall when I have a whole party and a deep state and some uh, never-Trumpers? They're a dying breed though. The good thing, they're on respirator. They're on respirator. [cheers and applause] They're on mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. You can do it. I'm not doing it. They're on mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, the never-Trumpers. But you think it's easy? It's not. But that's being built. But you know what they say now. "Okay. He's building the wall, but Mexico's not paying for it." Yes they are, actually. They are. They are. They are paying for it. [cheers and applause]

And some of the fake news knows that, but they refuse to report it, but that's okay. You'll see. You'll see what's going on. And I wanna thank Mexico because, by the way, right now they have 27,000 soldiers on our border protecting our border. We have Mexico protecting our border. [cheers and applause] And they only do that for Trump. They don't do that for Sleepy Joe. They don't do that for Crazy Bernie. And they don't do it for Mini-Mike, that's for sure. They're only doing that for Trump, right?

Crowd. Yeah!

The President. Twenty-seven thousand soldiers protecting our border. In this region of the country alone last year, ICE—Oh, they've been treated so badly, right? They are great. They're brave. They're tough. Any men? There are tough guys in here, but anybody wanna be an ICE officer? It's tough stuff, right? They go into those nests. They call them nests. That's where these guys get together and they knock the hell—I mean, if they have to. I have to be very careful. I don't wanna get them in trouble, because the press wants us to be very politically correct. So—[booing]—so let me change it around. They go into a nest of MS-13, and they say, "Oh, hello gentlemen. How are you?" [laughter] And on occasion, they have a fight. They never lose those fights. We need people like that. "Hello gentlemen. How are you? How many people did you kill last year? How many people did you get kill last year with a knife," because they like knives because it's more painful. This is the kind of people that we were letting into our country. ICE has taken them out of our country by the thousands. By the thousands. [cheers and applause]

Last year, ICE officers arrested 12,000 criminal aliens charged or convicted of dangerous offenses, including robbery, rape, and many for a thing called murder. On Wednesday we won the big case in federal court. Did you see that? Did you see that? [cheers and applause] We won the case unanimously. Unanimously. Federal appeals court, where we don't have to give money to sanctuary cities and states if they don't work with us, finally. Finally. [cheers and applause] Finally. Why should we?

Yet the Democrat candidates oppose all detention of illegal aliens. They want unfettered catch-and-release. We have ended that program. It was not easy. We have to go through courts. Everything is a court. Everything is a suit. We do anything. We turn to the right, they sue us. We turn to the left, they sue us. We win so, but we're winning. We have 218 judges now. It's, like, good. And let me just preface that by saying I know they give fair opinions. It bears no relationship to who appoints them, but I never win with an Obama-appointed judge ever. I don't win. No, we have great judges going onto the courts. Great judges. They're fair judges. They're judges that truly love our constitution. It's great. [cheers and applause]

And they're judges that if we feel it's right, they don't want to invite the world to trespass across our borders. Very simple. The Democrat field also supports deadly sanctuary cities that release violent criminal aliens. You know that. You've been reading. All you have to do is pick up a paper every day. They release these horrible criminals to terrorize our communities. We don't do that anymore. We won't let it happen, and now we don't have to give sanctuary cities and states the money that they're gonna want. It's a whole game changer. [cheers and applause]

They don't even wanna report it. "I don't know. I didn't see much." They keep talking about the virus. "Oh, the virus. Is Trump doing a good job? Oh, I don't think so. Gee, I don't think so." Chucky Schumer: "I don't think he's doing a good job." This guy doesn't know he's alive. [laughter] Oh, what bad people. Republicans believe America should be a sanctuary for law-abiding Americans, not for criminal aliens. [cheers and applause]

Thanks to our tireless efforts to secure the border, we have reduced illegal border crossings by a staggering 75% since last spring, and we have ended catch and release permanently. [cheers and applause] You know what catch and release is? We catch them, we grab them. We say, "Could we please have your address?" "Address? I don't know, what the hell is an address?" They don't have an address. "Could we have a number? Do you have a phone? Could we call your mother or your father and say in four years you have to come to court." So what they do is they catch him, they get some information that the guy has no idea where he lives, and, you know, it's one of those things in many cases, and then release. We release him into our country. We don't do that anymore. If you knew what it took ...

We catch them, and we take some information and we release them in, and we say, "Please report back in four years from now for your trial." And about 2% come back, and they're the ones that are the dumbest people I've ever seen. [laughter] 2%. Nobody comes back. It's crazy, but we're getting a change. It would be so easy. They call it loopholes. Loopholes. That word alone, they call it loopholes. It would be so easy if we had some Democrat support. We don't have any Democrat support. They want open borders. They don't care about crime. Border Patrol has seized the largest amount of deadly narcotics ever in the history of our country this last year. We have deported record numbers of gang members. We are building the wall faster than ever, and we will soon be building more than one mile a day. [cheers and applause]

Washington Democrats have never been more extreme. One hundred and thirty-two Congressional Democrats have signed up for Bernie Sanders's healthcare takeover. They wanna take away your healthcare. While the Washington Democrats are trying to destroy your healthcare and to destroy your Social Security, that's what's going to happen, my administration is protecting your Social Security, your Medicare, and is fighting to give you great healthcare. [cheers and applause] And we are defending your right to keep the doctor and to keep your plan of choice. You remember when President Obama would say, "You can keep your doctor. You could keep your plan," 28 times. [shouting] He said, "You can keep your doctor and you can keep your plan." Well, he lied. [shouting] We should impeach him. [cheers and applause] We should impeach him for that. He lied 28 times. "You'll keep your doctor, keep your plan. It's wonderful. Great." Went through the roof. We're doing a great job.

We killed the individual mandate, which is the most unbelievable, horrible. [cheers and applause] And it's not really Obamacare anymore, but we're running the hulk of it and we're trying to kill it entirely, and then we will put it back. You'll have great healthcare, and preexisting conditions will be totally protected. Preexisting conditions will be totally protected. [cheers and applause] We're making healthcare better and much cheaper. While premiums more than doubled in the five years before I took office, we are now offering plans already that are up to 60% less expensive than the old Obamacare. Think of that and better. And better. [cheers and applause]

We are stopping surprise medical billing, a disgrace. And I signed an executive order imposing price transparency, because when providers are required to show their prices, which they don't have to do, but now they do, those same prices fall very, very fast. We have approved a record number of affordable new generic drugs, which are just as good as the name-brand drugs, but at a tiny fraction of the cost. They're just as good. I always like a name brand. I mean, there's something. There's no difference. Probably sometimes they're better. We've totally transformed veterans' healthcare, getting long-sought VA Choice and VA Accountability passed after 50 years. [cheers and applause]

And hopefully nobody in this great arena needs it, but we have passed something that they said couldn't happen: the spectacular Right to Try. You know what that is? If you're terminally ill, you go all over the world. If you have no money, you can't. You go home and you die. You're terminally ill. They go all over the world. If they have money, they go to Asia, they go to Europe. They want it, they're searching. We have the greatest doctors in the world, the greatest labs in the world, greatest technicians in the world, and we have pipelines of drugs coming out for different problems. And now, you sign a piece of paper. We're not going to hold anybody liable. You get to use that drug, and the results have been unbelievable. Unbelievable. [cheers and applause]

Hopefully you don't need it, but now we have Right to Try. They've been trying for 51 years to get that approved, 51 years, and we got it approved. I guess I'm good at getting things approved, aren't I? [cheers and applause] Those people that I brought up here were the reason too, every one of them. They were incredible. Thank you. Thank you. Senators, Congressmen, they were the reasons.

We are combating the opioid epidemic. Drug overdose deaths have declined for the first time in nearly 32 years. [cheers and applause] And we have launched new initiatives combating kidney disease, which is a big deal. You know, kidney disease is so tough that people die literally because it's so much work. They die from overwork. It's just crazy. In theory, they could keep them going for a long time, but the work and the dialysis and all of the things they have to do. And we've done things that make it so much easier, and it's just such an honor to be involved. And also, Alzheimer's disease, we're really making strides. It's really a great thing. Great thing. [cheers and applause]

We're pursuing new advances in neonatal research to care for America's youngest patients and breaking all records in so doing. Virtually every Democrat candidate has declared their unlimited support for extreme late-term abortion, ripping babies straight from the mother's womb right up until the very moment of birth. That is why I've asked Congress to prohibit late-term abortion of babies, because Republicans believe that every child is a sacred gift of God. [cheers and applause] The Democrat Party is the party of high taxes, high crime, open borders, late-term abortion, socialism, blatant corruption, and the total obliteration of your Second Amendment. The Republican Party is the party of the American worker, the American family, the American dream, and of course the late, great Abraham Lincoln. [cheers and applause]

Republicans are fighting for citizens from every background, every community, and every walk of life. We are the party of boundless optimism, excitement, energy, and enthusiasm. We are a big tent. We are a big party. We are the party of big ideas for the future. This is where it is. This is where it is. [cheers and applause] This is not the old Republican Party. This is a very inclusive party. This is a great party. Republicans are proudly fighting for nationwide school choice, including right here in South Carolina. [cheers and applause] We wanna give school choice to every child in America who needs it, from kindergarten to 12th grade, because no parent should ever be forced to send their child to a failing government school. [cheers and applause]

And I passed criminal justice reform to give former prisoners a second chance at life. That's a big deal. This could not have been done by anyone but the Republican Party. They came to me, a group of people, and they wanted criminal justice reform. And I wasn't sure about the issue, but we had a lot of great Republicans, very much in favor of it, including people that happen to be right here today. And they were very much—And I started studying the issue, worked hard on the issue, and criminal justice reform. You saw Alice Johnson come out of prison, 22 years. She had another 20 years left. Think of it. For a phone call. For a phone call. A great woman, but we have many people coming out that shouldn't be there for anywhere near those terms. Not for those terms.

But they came to see me, a group. A group of people came. Van Jones, he came up. "Oh, thank you, sir." They needed four senators. They needed help. I called Lindsey, I called everybody. I called Tim, who's so great on everything. I called everybody. They needed four senators and maybe five, and they needed help with some of the ones that weren't moving in the right direction. And I gave it to them, and I got it, and it was not easy. And we get criminal justice reform, and then I signed it. And then this Van Jones has a program that gets no ratings absolutely at all. And they say, "Van Jones wants to thank everybody for criminal justice reform." So I called our great first lady over. I said, "Darling, please take a look. It's gonna be so nice, because honestly, look, they couldn't have done even close without me." I got all these people together, got them done. Got—It was impossible. Previous presidents couldn't even think about it. They couldn't even think about doing it, and they tried, although I don't think they tried too hard, bur they could have never done it.

So he gets up, and he starts by saying, "I wanna thank the Reverend Al Sharpton." [shouting] I knew Al when he was very heavy. He looked better when he was heavy. It's true. He's one of the few people, he really looked better when he was heavy. He looked much better when he was heavy. I gotta tell him. I have to explain, because I know him very well. He would admit that he has a lot of respect for your president, but he can't admit it on television." But he called and he said, "I wanna take the Reverend Al Sharpton," and then name after name after name of people that I never heard of. My wife said, "Are they gonna think about you, right? Are they gonna think about you?" I said, "Darling, of course." I said, "He's saving me 'til the end, because I was by far ..." It's true. This is true, Tim. Lindsey, this is true.

I said, "He's saving me 'til the end. It's gonna be such an honor to be recognized, because I don't get enough publicity. I need a little bit more." [laughter] He got to the end and he didn't say it, and she looked at me. She sort of smiled. I think she loved it in a certain way. [laughter] But she sort of smiled. She said, "That's too bad." I said, "Yeah, it is." Then he said, "I have one more thing to say. We must get out this year and fight and vote against this President of the United States." Can you believe that? [booing] It's true. It's a true story. Van Jones. I mean, these are just terrible that they could—So I was a little embarrassed in front of our great first lady, but I'll, I'll live through it somehow.

I recognized Israel's true capital and opened the American embassy in Jerusalem. [cheers and applause] We recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Fifty-two years. Fifty-two years, the Golan Heights, they've been fighting and fighting for it. I did it, and I did the true capital, Jerusalem, right? [cheers and applause] How many presidents promised that? Every president for many, many decades promised, "We're gonna do that." They never did it. I did it. We did a lot. We've invested more than two trillion dollars in the United States military, including more than 150 million dollars this year in Joint Base Charleston, Fort Jackson, and Paris Island. [cheers and applause] We created the sixth branch of the American Armed Forces, the Space Force. We have another branch, 72 years. [cheers and applause] Not for 72 years, the Air Force, have they done a new branch. We did the Space Force.

You know, when I first said it, everybody thought I was joking. I said, "I'm not joking." They thought it was from the comic strips or the future movies. I said, "No, it's all about space." In a number of years, people are gonna say, "I can't believe we didn't do this sooner." You know, we need a little vision. We need a little foresight. You know what? I mentioned Space Force. At arenas like this, it gets one of the biggest hands, because that's where it's at. That's where it's going, unfortunately, or fortunately. We needed it for defense. We needed it for offense. Sixth branch, 72 years.

For years, we watched as your politicians apologize for America. Now you have a president who is standing up for America, and we are standing up for the people of South Carolina. [cheers and applause] At stake in our present battle is the actual survival of our nation. I really believe that, it's the survival. You see these maniacs that we're dealing with. They wanna give away everything. We will end up being Venezuela, large-scale version. [booing] If you want your children to inherit the blessings that generations of Americans have fought and died for to secure, then we must devote everything we have towards a victory in November of 2020, November 3rd to be exact. [cheers and applause] Only this way can we save the America we love and drain the swamp. I never thought it was this deep. [cheers and applause]

Man. I talked about a swamp. You never told me it was this bad, fellas. That swamp is bad. You got dirty cops at the top of the FBI. You got a lot of dirty people, but you also have phenomenal people in the FBI and other places, but we're draining that swamp. I never knew it was gonna be this dirty, and we're getting a lot of help from a lot of great people. And with your help, we will lift millions more of our citizens from welfare to work, dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity. That's what's happening. Think of it. From poverty to prosperity. Look at some of the stories that you have over there. Look at some of the incredible stories. Look at Tim Scott. Look at that incredible story. No, really. It's an incredible story. [cheers and applause] Lindsey will say it. And I give about 99% of the credit to Tim Scott's mother. I do. [cheers and applause] I guarantee you, Tim, there was no games, right? There was no games in your household. It was, "Let's go to work," right? Great mother. Thank you very much. Thank you.

Together we will elect a Republican Congress to create a fair, safe, sane, and lawful system, finally, of immigration. We will continue to enact new trade deals that result in more products proudly stamped with beautiful phrase, "Made in the USA." We will achieve new breakthroughs in science and medicine, finding new cures for childhood cancer, infectious diseases like we're working on right now, and ending the AIDS epidemic, nobody thought this was possible, in less, now, than nine years, and it should have been started before. We will end the AIDS epidemic. Who would have thought we could have done that?

We will land the first woman on the moon and become the first nation in the world to plant our flag on Mars. You have to land on moon, and then you go to Mars. We will defend privacy, free speech, religious liberty, and the right to keep and bear arms. [cheers and applause] And above all, we will never stop fighting for the sacred values that bind us together as one America. We support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. [cheers and applause] We stand with the incredible heroes of law enforcement. We believe in the dignity of work and the sanctity of life. We believe that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the true American way. [cheers and applause] We believe that children should be taught to love our country, honor our history, and to always respect our great American flag. [cheers and applause] And we live by the words of our national motto, "In God we trust." [cheers and applause]

From Greenville to Columbia and from Myrtle Beach to Hilton Head to right here in Charleston—[cheers and applause]—this state is home to some of the toughest men and strongest women ever to walk on the face of the Earth. It's true. It's true. True. We stand on the shoulders of American patriots who have crossed the oceans, blazed the trails, settled the continent, tamed the wilderness, dug out the Panama Canal, lay down the railroads, revolutionized industry, liberated millions from poverty, hunger, and disease, won two world wars, defeated fascism and communism, and made America the single greatest nation in the history of the world, and we are making it greater every single day. [cheers and applause]

Crowd. [chanting] USA! USA! USA! USA!

The President. Proud citizens like you helped build this country, and together we are taking back our country. [cheers and applause] We are returning power to you, the American people. With your help, your devotion, and your drive, we are going to keep on working, we are going to keep on fighting, and we are going to keep on winning, winning, winning. [cheers and applause]

So you have the best year ever on record, right? Southeast, best year you've ever had, right? You have a great governor, you have two great senators, great congressmen, the greatest year you've ever had, but some people in South Carolina are getting a little tired, I'm surprised to hear this, of winning. I'm very surprised to hear this. [shouting] And some actually called in two great senators into a big meeting, a town hall, and they said, "Senator Scott, Senator Lindsey Graham, we're tired of winning in South Carolina. Can't do it anymore. It's too much. It's too much. We've had years where we weren't winning, and it was okay. We couldn't get jobs. We took it easy, but we, we just want you to go and see your friend, the president, and we want you to represent us. And we want you to say, 'Mr. President, South Carolina is tired of winning. We don't wanna win anymore. We are tired, sick, tired of winning.'"

And they're going to come in and say, "Sir, I hate to tell you, but the people of South Carolina don't wanna win anymore." I'll say, "Mr. Senators, let me tell you something. South Carolina does wanna win. They wanna win more than anybody, and we're not gonna change a thing, because we're winning like never before. And you know what? We're going to keep it that way. Sorry, senators. Go back to South Carolina, senators." Go back to South Carolina, because we are one movement, one people, one family, and one glorious nation under God. America is thriving like never before, and ladies and gentlemen of South Carolina, the best is yet to come. [cheers and applause]

The best is yet to come. The best is yet to come, because together we will make America wealthy again, we will make America strong again, we will make America proud again, we will make America safe again, and we will make America great again. Thank you, South Carolina. Thank you.

NOTE: The president spoke at the North Charleston Coliseum. Also speaking were Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham, Senators from South Carolina and Henry McMaster, South Carolina Governor. The president spoke for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

This transcript prepared for the American Presidency Project by UCSB student research assistant Katya Kiseleva.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks at a "Keep America Great" Rally in Charleston, South Carolina Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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