Remarks at a "Make America Great Again Rally" in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Audience members. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
The President. Thank you, everybody. It is great to be back in the incredible, beautiful, great State of Iowa, home of the greatest wrestlers in the world, including our friend, Dan Gable. Some of the great, great wrestlers of the world, right? We love those wrestlers.
It's always terrific to be able to leave that Washington swamp and spend time with the truly hard-working people. We call them American patriots, amazing people.
I want to also extend our congratulations this evening to Karen Handel of Georgia. And we can't forget Ralph Norman in South Carolina. He called me, and I called him. He said, you know, last night I felt like the forgotten man. But he won, and he won really beautifully, even though most people—a lot of people didn't show up because they thought he was going to win by so much. It's always dangerous to have those big leads. But he won very easily, and he is a terrific guy.
And I'll tell you what, Karen is going to be really incredible. She is going to be joining some wonderful people and doing some wonderful work, including major, major tax cuts and health care and lots of things. Going to be reducing crime, and we're securing that Second Amendment. I told you about that. And that looks like it's in good shape with Judge Gorsuch. That looks like it's in good shape.
I'd like to also take this moment to send our thoughts and prayers to our courageous friend, somebody that I've gotten to know very well, Steve Scalise, and everyone recovering from the assault.
[At this point, demonstrators began blowing whistles.]
Audience members. Boo!
The President. Never fails—[laughter]—never fails.
Audience members. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
Audience members. Boo!
Audience member. We love you, President Trump!
The President. Thank you.
Audience member. We've got your back, President Trump.
The President. Thank you. And we love our police. We love our police.
So to Steve, we say—and he's a great guy. He was in my office the day before—incredible. We're praying for you. We're pulling for you. You have our absolute support and our deepest admiration.
And our gratitude goes out tonight as well to the Capitol Police officers who saved so many lives. You know, they ran from the outfield in. They were being hit by rifle fire. They only had handguns, and they were able to get him. It was an amazing show of talent and bravery. So we want to thank all of the police officers who so bravely serve and protect us. Thank you very much. Thank you.
Hopefully, our Nation emerges from this ordeal—it was an ordeal, terrible—more unified and more determined than ever before. And I can see it and we are indeed more unified in our own way than ever before. You just have to take a look at what's happening here. Right?
If we set aside the cynics and the critics, we have a chance—and it's a great chance—it lies before us to do extraordinary things for our country in the years ahead. History is written by the dreamers, not the doubters. So while we are here tonight to celebrate the amazing progress that we've already made—and we have made amazing progress—we are also here to lay out the next steps in our incredible movement to make America great again.
Audience members. ——great again.
The President. Everyone gathered in this arena is bound together by common values. You love our country, you obey our laws, you honor our traditions, and you care for your families, and you love your communities. All you want is a government that shows you the same respect and loyalty in return. You believe that America must protect and defend its own citizens.
With that conviction deep in your hearts, you showed up on election day, November 8, and voted to put America first. About time. It's about time. And from the moment I took that solemn oath of office—and every single day since—that is exactly what I've done: put America first.
After years of sending our jobs and our wealth to other countries, we are finally standing up for our country. And you see it happening. You see it happening. You see what's going on. Jobs are just about the best they've ever been. We've created almost $4 trillion in wealth. If you look at your stock values, and you look at what's going on with our country. But we've created tremendous wealth. The enthusiasm and spirit on every single index is higher than it's ever been before for our manufacturers and for our companies.
After spending billions of dollars defending other people's borders, we are finally going to defend our borders.
Audience members. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
Audience members. Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!
The President. After decades of rebuilding foreign nations all over the world, we are now rebuilding our Nation. As of a few months ago, our country had spent $6 trillion in the Middle East—wasted. And the lives—the lives, thousands and thousands and thousands of lives—$6 trillion and thousands of young, beautiful lives. We started 16 years ago, and it's in far worse shape than it was 16 years ago, by many times over. So we spent all of this money, all of these lives, and let me tell you, I came in and took over a very, very difficult hand. But we're going to get it fixed. That's what you put me here for. We're going to get it fixed. [Applause] We'll get it fixed.
It's a shame. It's a shame. And then, you look at North Korea——
Audience member. We're praying for you.
The President. Thank you.
Audience member. We're praying for you. The President. Then, you look at your—[laughter].We're praying. And I'm praying for you. That's true. [Laughter] Thank you very much.
But you look at North Korea, what's going—look at Otto—beautiful Otto. Went over there a healthy, wonderful boy, and you see how he came back. You see how he came back.
So we've been given a bad hand. But we're going to take that bad hand, and it'll all be good. In addition to that, we're going to start taking care of our country. The people are the rulers of this country once again. One by one, we are keeping the promises we made to the people of Iowa and the people all over our country. We are not going to let the same failed and tired voices in Washington keep us from delivering the change you voted for and the change that you deserve. That you deserve.
I do not answer to any donors or financial contributors. I don't care about them. I am not beholden to any consultants or any of the very powerful special interests. I don't care about them. I have to do what's right. And if they're right, that's good. And we will never be intimidated by the dishonest media corporations who will say anything and do anything to get people to watch their screens or to get people to buy their failing papers.
Audience members. Boo!
The President. They are failing.
These entrenched forces are fighting only for themselves and, in many cases, for their survival. But I'm fighting for you. I'm fighting for you. Fighting for your hopes, because your hopes are my hopes. I've had a great time in this country. I've had a great run.
And it was time to do something. We all saw what was happening. It was time to do something. Your dreams are my dreams, and your future is what I'm focused on each and every day. We're going to make America great again, believe me. We're going to make America great again.
Here are just some of the historic accomplishments we've achieved in just a very short period of time. And I have to just preface it by saying——
Audience members. We love you!
The President. Thank you, darling. [Laughter]
I have to preface it by saying—you know, I've been watching—they're saying, "President Trump has not produced health care." You know, I've been there for 5 months. [Laughter] If you remember, during the Clinton period, they worked for years and year and years, and they never got health care. Obama——
Audience members. Boo!
The President. Although after listening to that testimony, I fully understand. [Laughter]
But President Obama, his whole administration pushing, pushing for Obamacare, which is now failed. In fact, I was just told by your great Governor and ex-Governor that your insurance companies have all fled the State of Iowa. Pretty sad, isn't it? Well, they're fleeing—I tell you what, they're going from every State. They're leaving all of the States. Obamacare is a disaster. It's over. And I there's nothing to compare what we're doing. I think, I hope—I hope—the Republican Senate—if we went and got the single greatest health care plan in the history of the world, we would not get one Democrat vote, because they're obstructionists. They're obstructionists. We wouldn't get one Democrat. If we came to you and said, "Here's your plan: You're going to have the greatest plan in history, and you're going pay nothing," they'd vote against it, folks. [Laughter] Every single vote.
So we have a very slim 52 to 48. That means we basically can't lose anybody. And I think—and I hope—I can't guarantee anything—but I hope we're going to surprise you with a really good plan. You know, I've been talking about a plan with heart—I said, add some money to it—a plan with heart. But Obamacare is dead. But it is interesting how they say, "Donald Trump is not producing health care, not producing." So we've produced so much—I don't think any President—it could be somebody; I have to be a little careful, because they'll say, "He lied." [Laughter] So, few Presidents—few—just have to be a little careful, because they'll say, "Headline: Donald Trump Lies to the People of Iowa." [Laughter] I don't want—[laughter].
But very few have done what we've done when you look at the regulations, when you look at all of—you know, they were saying, "But he didn't pass legislative bills." I think it's 38. And we're going to be talking about that—38. And they—if you listen to them—38. But, but, but—and some of them are really big, having to do with regulation, having to do with lots of different things. But we're working really hard on massive tax cuts.
It would be, if we get it the way I want it, the largest tax cut in the history of the United States of America. Because right now we are one of the highest taxed nations in the world. Really, on a large-scale basis, we are the highest taxed Nation in the world. And we're going to get it down really low, okay? I don't say the lowest, because there are couple that are really down there—[laughter]—but that doesn't mean you want to be there. [Laughter] But we're going to have one of the lowest taxes from the highest tax, and we're working hard on it. And I think it's going to happen. And I'll tell you, I think health care is going to happen, and infrastructure is going to happen. You're going to have a lot of exciting things over the next few months. And I look forward to being able to produce it. Let's see what happens.
And by the way, if we had even a little Democrat support—just a little, like a couple of votes—you'd have everything. And you could give us a lot of votes, and we'd even be willing to change it and move it around and try and make it even better. It's going to have good heart, but even better. But again, they just want to stop; they just want to obstruct. A few votes——
Audience members. Boo!
The President. Seriously. A few votes from the Democrats, it could be so easy and so beautiful, and you'd have cooperation. And their plan isn't working, because they thought they were going to win last night in Atlanta. They thought they were going to win. And they've been unbelievably nasty, really nasty. And they thought—they spent close to $30 million on this kid, who forgot to live in the community that he was in. I mean, you know. [Laughter]
Look, I'll tell you about the Democrats. I am making it a little bit hard to get their support, but who cares. [Laughter] But I'll tell you about the Democrats. They raised a fortune for them. They fought like hell. They said they were going to win. All of the television networks, other than Fox—which really has treated us fairly, by the way—they have. But they've built these studios—CNN.
Audience members. Boo!
The President. Oops! Hey, their camera just went off. [Laughter] I can't imagine. [Laughter] It's covered live. Their camera just went off. I can't imagine why. [Laughter] This phony NBC television network—— Audience members. Boo!
The President. They actually had one of the people say, you know, it was a little rainy last night, and maybe that was the difference in Karen's race. [Laughter] Can you believe that?
But they had these beautiful studios. And if Karen Handel had lost, they would have blamed it on me, which is fine. But if she had lost, they would have been there for weeks talking about this. This would have been the greatest defeat in the history of American politics.
When she won, when they said, "Projected winner is Karen Handel," then they said, "We switch to another program." Right? [Laughter] So—it was so short. They couldn't get out of there fast enough. [Laughter] And don't forget, this happened in Montana. Right? In Kansas. Last night, South Carolina, with Ralph—who was expected to win, and he won. California.
So—but it's been incredible. So we're five-and-oh. We're five-and-oh. And they thought they were going to win at least, like, three, right? Wouldn't you say? At least three. And it would be a devastating defeat. The truth is, people love us, all of us. They love us. They don't get it. They haven't figured it out yet. You know, they're still trying to figure where all of those voters came from. Those voters came out of the hills, they came—these are hard-working—we have the hardest working, the smartest people, the toughest people. They're very lucky that our people don't protest, believe me. Believe me. They've very lucky. [Applause]
Audience members. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
The President. See? We have them. We have the smart ones. We have the toughest ones. Great, great Americans. And Hillary said the "deplorables." These are just the opposite, believe me, of the deplorables. These are just the opposite.
We have a group, Bikers for Trump. You ever see them? They come by the thousands—oh. Oh! My man, look—how are you? Chris. We have the—I didn't know you were here. They're here. Now we know we're protected. That's great. Good to have you, man. These are great people. And when I see them, I say, now we're safe. [Laughter] And they like Trump, and I guess we're well into the nineties. What do you think? The nineties—ninety-fives.
But we love our people, and they love us. And more importantly, they love our policy; they love what we're doing. You see what we're doing, you see what we've already done. Homebuilders are starting to build again. We're not confiscating their land with ridiculous rules and regulations that don't make sense. Farmers are able to plow their fields. If they have a puddle in the middle of their field—a little puddle the size of this—it's considered a lake, and you can't touch it. [Laughter] And if you touch it, bad, bad things happen to you and your family. We got rid of that one too, okay?
Unemployment is at a 16-year low, and manufacturing is doing phenomenally. And we have companies moving back. They're coming back, back, back. You know, in the State of Michigan, which has just been like an exit pool, where car companies have left, I told them, you know what, you want to start leaving? You want to fire all these people? You watch what we're going to be doing. You watch what we're going to be doing. Not going to be too long.
We have the legendary Wall Street genius, Wilbur Ross, here. He's our Secretary of Commerce. We have Gary Cohn, who was the president of Goldman Sachs. In fact, somebody—he's the president of Goldman Sachs. He had to pay over $200 million in taxes to take the job, right? [Laughter] So somebody said, why did you appoint a rich person to be in charge of the economy? [Laughter] I said—no it's true. And Wilbur is a very rich person in charge of Commerce. I said, because that's the kind of thinking we want. I mean, you know, really, because they're representing the country. They don't want the money. They're representing the country. And they had to give up a lot to take these jobs. They gave up a lot. When you get the president—this is the president of Goldman Sachs—smart. Having him represent us—he went from massive paydays to peanuts, to little tiny—[laughter]—I'm waiting for them to accuse him of wanting that little amount of money. They wanted that. [Laughter]
But these are people that are great, brilliant business minds, and that's what we need. That's what we have to have so the world doesn't take advantages of us. We can't have the world taking advantage of us anymore.
And I love all people, rich or poor. But in those particular positions, I just don't want a poor person. Does that make sense? Does that make sense? If you insist, I'll do it. But I like it better this way, right?
So we've achieved a historic increase in defense spending, and we've created a new Office of Accountability at the VA—our veterans—to ensure our veterans get the care that they so richly deserve—our veterans.
We've eliminated restrictions on the production of American energy. They wanted to take away our wealth. The world wanted to take away our wealth. We happen to be lucky; under our feet, we have great wealth. Not only in the form of your kind of wealth, which is beautiful, fertile soil, but also in other locations in the form of energy. They wanted to take that power and that wealth away from us.
And we've ended the war on clean, beautiful coal, and we're putting our miners back to work. In fact—you read about it—last week, a brandnew coal mine just opened in the State of Pennsylvania, first time in decades—decades. We've reversed it. And 33,000 mining jobs have been added since my Inauguration. And again, we're going to have all forms of energy. But coal is something we have a tremendous advantage of. But we're going to have all—whether it's natural gas, whether it's alternative sources—we're going to have everything.
But a power is coal. It's a power for our electric—different plants and for our furnaces. It's a power. We use electric. We use wind. We use solar. We use coal. We use natural gas. We will use nuclear if the right opportunity presents itself. We're going to be strong for the future. We're going to be strong for the future. I don't want to just hope the wind blows—[laughter]—to light up your homes and your factories——
Audience member. We love you!
The President. ——as the birds fall to the ground. [Laughter]
But I like all of them. And that's what we need. And by the way, we are saving your ethanol industries in the State of Iowa, just like I promised I would do in my campaign. And believe me, they are under siege, folks. I don't know if you know it. But they are under siege.
We've approved—first day—the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline. First day. Day one. Thirty-eight thousand jobs.
Audience member. Drill, baby, drill!
The President. And better for the environment, by the way. Better—underground—better for the environment and safer. Can you imagine the executive for Keystone who, a year and half ago, was told it's dead? And they had billions invested. They'd bought half of the pipe. And somebody walks into his office, probably a consultant that charged him tens of millions of dollars: "Sir, the pipeline was just approved." And you know what he's going to do. He said: "I did a great job. I'm entitled to millions of dollars in consulting fees." It was just Trump approving the pipeline. We approved it. We approved it. It's good for the country. Right? My man.
And by the way, speaking of that, when I'm signing for the XL Pipeline and the Dakota, I said, by the way, who made the pipe? You don't want to know.
Audience member. U.S.A.!
The President. No, not the U.S.A., believe me. [Laughter] I said, who made the pipe? Now in all fairness to them, they bought a lot of their pipe already, so it's a little hard to say throw that away, we're giving you—you know. But I put a little clause—handwritten. It said, anybody builds a pipeline in the United States will use American steel and fabricate in America. No more taking it over on boats. Very simple.
We've signed 39 pieces of legislation. That means going through Congress, folks. Because you know, they tell you—these guys, the fake news—they tell you——
Audience members. Boo!
The President. It's fake news. It's fake. Not all of it. Some of it's good. And some of the people are great, actually, but some are real bad, and they're really fake. But if you listen to them, we didn't pass any—we passed 39—I'm not talking about Executive orders, which we've signed a lot. I mean, we have really signed a lot. And we've gotten rid of a lot of really bad pieces that were signed by President Obama, believe me.
But if you listen to the fake news, they say, like, he didn't pass any legislation. Everything is Executive—that's wrong. Thirty-nine pieces as of today, some of them very important.
Now, my biggest pieces are yet to come: hopefully, taxes; hopefully, health care; hopefully, infrastructure. And when they come——
Audience member. [Inaudible]
The President. That won't be good enough. [Laughter] See, you watch. But we've also done a record number of resolutions to eliminate the job-killing regulations on our workers, our companies, and our farmers. They're gone. They're gone.
We are ending the Federal intrusion into your family farms and your ranches. And we're also working very, very hard to get rid of the death tax so that you can pass your farms onto your children and onto your grandchildren. I don't know if we're going to pull that one off, but we're working very hard to do it. Right, Chris? This way, you can pass your motorcycle on, okay? Forget about the farm, right? [Laughter] That's not so bad either. I've seen what you ride. Not so bad.
But we're working on—I don't know if that one is going to get pulled off, but it should. Because you should have a right. Why should you be double-taxed? You should have a right to pass your farm on to your children and on to your grandchildren—you should have that right—without having them going out and borrowing a fortune, not being able to make payments, losing it to the banks. It's not fair. So we're working hard. Let's see if we pull it off. We're going to try very hard, I can tell you. I don't know, but we're going to try.
No longer will the EPA be telling you how to run your business or do your job or live your life. Instead, it will focus on its true mission: clean air and clean, beautiful, crystal water—nice, beautiful, clean water. That's what we want, right? Right? We are also ending the last administration's Federal land grab. We believe States, communities, and private landowners know best how to manage their own resources. We've made a lot of progress in that—Ryan Zinke.
We want to see local control. That also means we are not going to let foreign bureaucrats plan our economy or tell Americans how to run their country. You know what I mean.
When I campaigned for President, I promised to renegotiate or to leave any deal which fails to serve America's interests. And I'm not going to allow other countries to take advantage of the United States any longer. And for that reason, I totally cut off negotiations. I will not do our great—what is it? P—go ahead. P—do you know what it is? Huh? PPP. Yes? You guys weren't listening then, huh? [Laughter]
But for that reason, and that too—as you know, I've formally announced that the United States will withdraw from the disastrous Paris climate accord. It's a disaster. [Applause] It's a disaster.
And by the way, Trans-Pacific Partnership—we don't even talk about it anymore because that was done early. But Trans-Pacific Partnership, bye-bye. [Laughter] That was another NAFTA catastrophe that we're going to, by the way, renegotiate. You know, I announced I'm going to get rid of NAFTA. And I've always told you, I'll either renegotiate or terminate NAFTA. So I announced that essentially I was going to terminate, but I got a very, very nice call from Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada, from the President—a good guy—of Mexico asking me not to terminate it. Could we negotiate? And I'm always willing to negotiate. I'm always willing. So we'll see. We'll see how it works out.
But it's been very unfair to the United States. Now, all you have to do is look at all the empty buildings and all the empty plants and factories all over the country. NAFTA has been a disaster, so we're going to either renegotiate it successfully, which would be my first choice, or we're going to terminate it, and that's going to be that.
Now, the Paris Agreement—and it's amazing how the people of this country get it, because the press covers it so unfairly—the Paris Agreement would have cost America millions of lost jobs and billions and billions of lost dollars and put us at a permanent economic disadvantage. China doesn't kick in until 2030. [Laughter] I could tell you stories. I could give you stats. I could go on all day. It's a catastrophe if we would have agreed. And they all say it's nonbinding. Like hell it's nonbinding. When we get sued by everybody because we thought it was nonbinding, then you can tell me it was nonbinding.
I was elected to serve the citizens of Iowa and Pennsylvania and Ohio and Michigan and Wisconsin and Florida and all 50 States and all 320 million American citizens.
Audience members. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
The President. By the way, this is a big place. This place is——
Audience member. We love you!
The President. And you know, I used to say it during the campaign; I'm sure it hasn't changed. But we're not even campaigning, and look at this crowd. So you know, it's easier during the campaign. The place is packed with thousands of people trying to get in. Look at the size of this place. They'll never show the crowd.
Audience members. Boo! The President. They'll never show the crowd. They'll never show the crowd. That's the only good thing about the protestors—which we don't have very much of. I mean, this guy was blowing a whistle, you know. [Laughter] He's a Bernie Sanders guy. [Laughter] But—but—we don't have many—but when we do have one, the only good thing is, the cameras have to go, and they have to go sometimes up into—[inaudible]—that's the corners. Way up in that arena. Every seat is packed. Look at that. Every seat. Every corner is packed of this big, big arena. So it's an honor.
Wouldn't it be great if they showed—you know, it's funny. I'd go home and my wife would say—Melania, who, by the way, has become very popular. They're liking her. [Applause] They're liking her. But she'd say, I never saw the crowd, but it sounded like a lot of people. You know, you could tell. [Laughter] You can't imitate the sound of this many people. This is not like 500 people, 1,000—this is big stuff. You can't imitate that.
You know what they don't understand? They get these massive ratings. I hate to give it. They probably charge a fortune. I know they charge a fortune. But all those television cameras, all those live ones—and I hate to do this—but they'd get even better ratings if they'd show that. And I try and convince them. But that, they can't do. They just can't mentally handle that one. So it's, whatever. But it is—it's such a great crowd. To all of those people watching, it's an unbelievable place. It is a big, beautiful arena, and it is packed.
So as you may know, there is another absolutely terrible deal from the previous administration. See how nice I am? [Laughter]I say the previous administration, as opposed to the Obama administration.
Audience members. Boo!
The President. That I have recently rescinded. Last week, I announced that we are canceling the prior administration's completely one-sided deal with the Castro regime in Cuba.
Isn't it amazing? Obama can deal with Cuba—kills thousands of people, people in prison, horrible to women, horrible to every—can deal with Iran. You talk about bad. The gays, the women, the—bad to everybody. Killed. Brutal. I deal with anybody, it's like, "Donald Trump is a terrible human being." It's unbelievable, isn't it? Isn't it unbelievable? It's unbelievable.
But America will stand strong against Communist oppression. We will make a much better deal. I mean, the fact is, the deal with Cuba is a bad deal. We'll probably make a deal, and maybe we won't. Maybe we won't. But you know what, if we make a deal it's going to be a fair deal and a good deal for us. It's not going to be a one-sided giveaway.
We're also fighting every single day to achieve those fair trade deals for Americans' factories and your farmers and your ranchers. Heading up our effort to represent America's interest in China will be a man you know very well. I just left an event where I honored him, introduced him to a crowd of people that adore him, to discuss how to create—I mean, he's been doing this for years in Iowa—he's the longest serving Governor in American history, and now he carries the title of Ambassador to China, Terry Branstad.
He's a fantastic guy. You know, I told the story today. I said, I'd come here to make a speech, we'd have a big crowd in Iowa. And Terry would come and say—at that time, he didn't call me "Mr. President," he called me "Donald." [Laughter] I said, that's okay—I didn't think about it. Now, if he called me "Donald," I'd be very angry with him, right? [Laughter] Kidding. But he said: "Donald, could you do me a favor? Don't say anything bad about China. We do a lot of business with China. I like China a lot. I've known President Xi for a long time. I really like him." And he also, by the way, likes Terry a lot. "And just please don't say anything bad about China"—which is hard for me to do. [Laughter] And I wouldn't.
But then when I won, and we're looking for somebody to represent us with China—which is a very, very powerful country, and we've had a very good relationship with China, in all fairness. And I do like President Xi. I wish we would have a little more help with respect to North Korea from China, but that doesn't seem to be working out. But I do like the President a lot. So when I was thinking of who am I going to make the Ambassador to China, after having a good retentive mind—[laughter]—I said, you know, I remember about a year ago when Terry Branstad was saying all of these great things—your Governor. So I called him up. I said, listen, you've been doing this for 24 years. You want to do something else? Like, how would you like to be Ambassador to China? And I didn't think he'd really do it. [Laughter] It's a long trip. [Laughter] Twenty-one hours. That's a lot of plane time. But he wants to do what's right for the country.
And I said to him tonight, I said, I wasn't sure you were going to do it. He said, when my President calls me to help him with our great country, I do it. That's what he said to me. I thought it was nice. [Applause] Thought it was nice. Right?
So central to that economic agenda is a plan to restore America's crumbling infrastructure. We will rebuild not only America, but we will rebuild rural America. In this great national rebuilding, we will follow two simple rules: We will buy American, and we will hire American.
We want to get our people off of welfare and back to work. We also want to preserve our safety net for struggling Americans who truly need help. We want to help them. People that truly need help. Right, Chris? We want to help those people.
But others don't treat us fairly. That's why I believe the time has come for new immigration rules, which say that those seeking admission into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least 5 years. And we'll be putting in legislation to that effect very shortly.
Another core principle is that those coming to our country must embrace our values and love our people. And yes, we will build the wall. We've already started planning. It will be built.
Audience members. Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!
The President. We will build the wall. We need it. We need it. We have to stop the drugs from flowing in. You know, people don't realize we're already spending a lot of money on design. But I'll give you an idea that nobody has heard about yet. And I'm not sure, but I'm a builder—that's what I love to do. That's probably what I do best. I'm a builder. And we're thinking of something that's unique. We're talking about the southern border. Lots of sun, lots of heat. We're thinking about building the wall as a solar wall so it creates energy and pays for itself. And this way, Mexico will have to pay much less money. And that's good, right? [Laughter] Is that good?
You're the first group I've told that to. A solar wall. Makes sense. Let's see. We're working it out. We'll see. Solar wall—panels. Beautiful. I mean, actually, think of it, the higher it goes, the more valuable it is. It's like—[laughter]. Pretty good imagination, right? Good? My idea. So we have a good shot. That's one of the places that solar really does work. The tremendous sun and heat. It really does work there. So we'll see what happens with that. That would be great. And I think we could make it look beautiful too. It would really look beautiful. So that would be nice. We're also working night and day to restore law and order to our country. Law and order. You know that. We're reversing the last administration's soft-on-crime policies that helped enable a tragic rise in violent crime. You see what's happening. Look at Chicago. What the hell is going on in Chicago? [Laughter] What's that all about?
We have also issued new directives to protect our police officers and our sheriffs. And we'll always stand with the incredible men and women of law enforcement. All American children, no matter where they live, have the right to grow up in a safe community. No issue is more central to public safety than the issue of immigration and border security. After years of lawlessness, the United States is now enforcing our laws—first time in a long time—and protecting our workers, our schools, and our families.
Since I was elected, illegal border crossings—and this is without the wall, before the wall—have decreased by more than 75 percent, a historic and unprecedented achievement. So we're building the wall on the southern border. We've got the greatest security people in the world, I'll tell you. ICE and the Border Patrol folks, these are incredible people. You know, they endorsed me when I ran for President, knowing that if I win, they're going to have to work much, much harder. [Laughter] But they love this country, and they want the job done, and they want the job done right. They have to work harder, and it's much more dangerous.
The other thing that I have to tell you: You have a gang called MS-13——
Audience members. Boo!
The President. A friend of mine who's a very, very high-level police officer said to me, in describing them, they are the equivalent or worse than Al Qaida. I would say that's a bad statement. They don't like to shoot people; they like to cut people. They do things that nobody can believe. These are true animals. We are moving them out of the country by the thousands—by the thousands. And the people moving them are—guess what?—a hell of a lot tougher and meaner than they are. But they're on our side. We're getting them out, MS-13.
During my campaign for President, I met with the families of Americans killed by illegal immigrants—many, many families—including the parents of Sarah Root, a 21-year-old Iowa girl who was killed the day after she graduated from college with a 4.0 GPA. You know what that is? To those of you that don't know, that means solid A's, straight across, number-one student. Thousands of beautiful American lives like Sarah's have been stolen for the simple reason that our Government has refused to enforce already-existing laws.
The media—these people—like to talk about separating families. But the families they never talk about are the American families separated forever from the ones they love because we don't protect our borders and uphold the immigration laws of the United States.
These families and the victims had been ignored totally by the media. They were ignored by the consultants. They've been ignored by Washington. But these Americans were not ignored by me or by you, and we know who they are. And they rise now to the highest level. They rise to the highest level. I promised those families the deaths of their loved ones will not have been in vain and that we will take strong and forceful action to fulfill our sacred duty to save and protect American lives.
Every single day, we are finding these gang members, these drug dealers, thieves, robbers, predators, criminals, killers—horrible killers—and we are throwing them the hell out of our country. And when they're gone, our now very strong borders, especially with the wall, will never allow them back in. So we're doing a lot of things. We're very proud of what we've done. Justice Gorsuch was a big, big deal. Big deal. Somebody explained it to me beautifully. They said, when you pick a Supreme Court judge, you want great intellect, you want all of the things. But you also want youth because they'll be there for 40 years.
So if Judge Gorsuch—who I've gotten to know, who I think is a fantastic human being, aside from being a brilliant, brilliant student and person, and one of the great legal writers that exists in our country, probably in the world today—every time you see a decision written over the next 30 or 40 years, and especially if it's a 5-to-4 decision, like perhaps on Second Amendment or so many other things, you have done something that you can't value. It's so important.
Think of it: For a 30- to 40-year period, potentially, you've influenced this country. And I've always heard—long—that just about the most important thing you can do—I always say defense. But perhaps outside—because we are going to have a strong military and strong defense, and we need it now.
But I've always heard that the most important thing a President can do is pick a great Supreme Court Justice. So I've got one, probably have some more. But it is really important. And think of that: Over years and years, those decisions that are so important—values, great values. So I'm very, very proud of that pick. He's already been there now for almost 2 months, and people are saying, wow, that is a tremendous person and a tremendous intellect. So we're all very proud of that pick, and you made it possible.
So I began this campaign on June 16—a couple of days ago, 2 years. It's my birthday on June 14, Flag Day of all things. [Applause]
Audience members. Happy birthday!
The President. And we came down the escalator—that famous escalator ride, Melania, myself—and the place went nuts, hopefully, because they like me, but I think also they like the policies. I said the truth. I talked about immigration. I talked about what was happening on the borders. I talked about our military. I talked about the drug problems, which are tremendous—even in Iowa—tremendous problems beyond anything we've ever seen before.
I talked about all of it. And you know what? We were never off center stage in the debates. We stayed—you know what that means. We were number one all the way through—all the way through. We were number one all the way through because of people like you. Never off center. Seventeen people running. I kept looking up and down. I said, boy, that's a lot of people. [Laughter] Some of them very talented.
But 17 people running. We were never off center stage in those debates. And that's because of people like yourselves. Because you agree with me. And we are making such incredible progress. We are making progress like nobody can believe. These people are being driven crazy—crazy. [Laughter]
I mean, they have phony witch hunts going against me. They have everything going. And you know what, all we do is win, win, win. We won last night. They can't believe it. They're saying, what is going on? What is going on? We won last night. And even the worst of them said, that was a big win for Trump. I couldn't believe it actually. Thank you very much, folks. I appreciate it. [Laughter]
But we have made a journey together like no other, ever, in the history of this country and maybe beyond that. But you look in the history of this country; there's never been anything like this that's happened. We're straightening out, through common sense and through a good heart, we straightening out our country. We're straightening out our country.
No matter our beliefs, no matter our party, it's time for us to remember that we are all Americans and that we are in this together. And it would be great if the Republicans and the Democrats could come together and get really, really great legislation passed.
Some of the geniuses were saying this morning, you know, from the time he announced on June 16, 2 years ago, they've been hitting the hell out of him. Hillary took almost all negative ads. The problem was, when people went to vote, they didn't know what she stood for other than, she was saying bad things about me. And I almost became, like——
Audience members. Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!
The President. Jeez! Think of it. So from the time I announced, I've been hit, hit, hit. Then, from the time I got in, I said, oh, this is going to great. Finally, we're going to all come together. They hit me harder, harder, harder. They've now learned, I think, that that doesn't work. Five-and-oh, five-and-oh. Okay? It doesn't work.
They need to be positive. They can't continue to be obstructionists. That's all they have going. So they should come together. I don't think they will. But I will tell you, it would be a beautiful, beautiful thing if we could get together as two parties that love our country and come up with that great health care and come up with that great tax deal for our people and tax reform and infrastructure and so many other things.
Just think about what a unified American nation could achieve. Nobody could even come close to us. And by the way, even if we're not totally unified, nobody is coming close to us either. You—so don't worry about it.
Gleaming new roads and bridges that inspire awe and wonder all over the world. You know, we used to be the leader in airports. We'd have the most beautiful airports. Now we're like a third-world country. LaGuardia, Newark, LAX, Kennedy, they're like third-world airports. Take a look. Take a look.
We used to be the leader. Now you go to Saudi Arabia, where I just came back. A monumental, epic trip, because I said you cannot continue to fund terrorism. You cannot continue to fund terrorism. And the King of Saudi Arabia, who has really become just—he's a very special man. I mean that. He has taken it to heart. And now they're fighting with other countries that have been funding terrorism. And I think we had a huge impact. We will see. But I think we had a tremendous impact.
We cannot let these incredibly rich nations fund radical Islamic terror or terrorism of any kind. We cannot let it happen. Cannot let it happen. It was one of the great 2 days of my life. And I'm sure a lot of you watched it on television: 54 Muslim nations coming together, some immensely powerful, wealthy nations, and everybody in that room was unified. And the ones that weren't, they're trying to get them to be unified and to do the right thing. I think it could have a tremendous impact.
But not only that; I said, for me to go, I'm only going—we had to negotiate—if you spend billions of dollars—billions—on having things manufactured in our country with our jobs and our workers for your country. And hundreds of billions of dollars was spent and given to American companies who are going to make American products and send those products over to the wealthy countries of the Middle East. I mean, hundreds of billions of dollars. And people haven't talked about that, but to me that was very important, because we want those jobs. We want those jobs.
So they're making airplanes. They're making all sorts of things. Hundreds of billions of dollars, and it's going back. And I'm very proud of that. That's something people don't talk about, because the real purpose of my being there was to make sure these countries do not fund terror any longer.
So I just want to leave Iowa—I said that I'd come back.
Audience member. Don't go! Don't go!
The President. Oh, I love that you're not—look. Look at that. You don't want me to leave. I don't want to leave either. I don't—I don't want to leave either. I don't want to leave either. But I said I would come back. And I made lots of statements to your Governor and to your current Governor. Kim is going to be a fantastic Governor. She's here. She's going to be a fantastic Governor.
But I said that I was going to come back. I said that I was going to protect your ethanol for good reason. Only for good reason. And it was very important to me. I said that I was going to do things for the people of Iowa, and I want to let you know: I've done it for the people of Iowa, but I've really done it for the people of our country. Our country is getting stronger; it's getting better. We're going to be setting records in so many different ways. We're going to straighten out all of the mess that's happened over the last long period of time, where we went into other nations to tell them how to run their country, and we had no idea.
But I just want to thank all of the people that are here tonight. I want to thank the people of Iowa. You are incredible people. I want to thank you for your incredible support. And I just want to let you know that God blesses you. And I want to just say you are special in every way. God bless you and God bless America. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.
NOTE: The President spoke at 7:02 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Center. In his remarks, he referred to former Olympic wrestler and motivational speaker Dan Gable; Representatives-elect Karen Handel and Ralph Norman; House Majority Whip Stephen J. Scalise and U.S. Capitol Police Special Agents Crystal Griner and David Bailey, who were wounded in the shootings at the Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, VA, on June 14; Otto F. Warmbier, a University of Virginia student from Wyoming, OH, who was returned from 17 months of detention by North Korean authorities on June 13 and died on June 19; former President William J. Clinton; Gov. Kimberly K. Reynolds of Iowa; former Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff; former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in her capacity as the 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee; Chris Cox, founder, Bikers for Trump; National Economic Council Director Gary D. Cohn; Russell K. Girling, president and chief executive officer, TransCanada Corp.; Secretary of the Interior Ryan K. Zinke; President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico; Sen. Bernard Sanders, in his capacity as a 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate; President Raul Castro Ruz of Cuba; President Xi Jinping of China; Scott and Michelle Root, parents of Sarah Rae-Ann Root who was killed in Omaha, NE, on January 31, 2016; and King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia. The transcript, prepared for immediate release by the Office of the Press Secretary, was received by the Office of the Federal Register on July 27.
Donald J. Trump, Remarks at a "Make America Great Again Rally" in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/330936