Remarks at a "Make America Great Again" Rally in Nashville, Tennessee
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you. Wow. Do we love Nashville, do we love Tennessee. We love Tennessee. Thank you.
What a crowd. What a crowd. I want to thank you. I want to thank Trace Adkins; he was incredible. And, you know, Trace won The Apprentice. Trace is a winner. [applause]
And I want to thank you very much, Trace. That was fantastic. [applause]
I'm thrilled to be here in the great state of Tennessee, and that's what it is; it is a great state. It's the heart of American music, and I mean incredible music. I love country music and culture, joined by thousands of hardworking American patriots. [applause]
So joining us this evening are many of your wonderful Tennessee Republican leaders. Boy, this feels just like before our election. This is a big crowd of people, a lot of people, a lot of people, with bad weather and bad everything. And they're still coming in. We love you. We love you. Thank you. [applause]
And we're producing for you. We're really producing. You know, people are saying that we made certain promises and I'm the only politician—can you imagine, the word "politician"—I never thought that was going to happen, I don't even like it—but I'm the only politician that produced more than I said I was going to produce, and we're only 1 1/2 years in. [applause]
But, before we begin, we have some great people. State Republican Party chairman who's done an incredible job, Scott Golden. [applause]
And Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally. [applause]
Randy, thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Randy.
Thank you, Scott.
From your House delegation we have David Kustoff. Where's David? David? Thank you, David. David Kustoff.
Scott DesJarlais, the most beautiful name in politics. Thank you.
Diane Black? Diane? Where's Diane? [applause]
She's in a big race. Good luck, Diane.
And Jimmy Duncan, right, Jimmy. First time I met Jimmy Duncan, I was in Pennsylvania doing a speech with a good friend of his, Lou Barletta, who's now running for the Senate in the great State of Pennsylvania and I think he's going to do really well. He's an incredible guy.
But they're good friends. So I was making a speech and Jimmy Duncan comes in. I didn't know Jimmy at the time. This is before the election. And Tennessee has early voting, right, very early. And this is like three weeks before the election.
And he comes up and he goes, "You know, Mr. Trump"—see, then, it wasn't Mr. President; it was just Mr. Trump—and he goes, "You know, I've never seen anything like it, but I love the State of Tennessee. And those people were coming from the hills, from the valleys, from the mountains, they were coming from everywhere." He said, "I've never seen anything like it." [applause]
Really early voting in Tennessee. He said, "All I can say is you're going to win Tennessee in a landslide," which we did. But he said, "If the rest of the country is like Tennessee," right, Jimmy, "If it's like Tennessee, you're going to win this election very easily." [applause]
But we all kept hearing, "he can't get to 270." Remember, you need 270 Electoral College. "There is no way to 270." And they were right: 306. [applause]
There is no way to 270. I went to Maine. I love Maine, but I went there four times, because I needed one, I had to find one because I believed the fake news. They were wrong. There they are right back there. [booing]
They're fake. They are fake. Look how many of them. Look how many, oh, boy. That's a lot of people back there. That's a lot of people. Fake news.
We're also very grateful to be joined by Senator Lamar Alexander. Lamar? [applause]
And Senator Bob Corker. And, finally, the person we are all here tonight to support, the next United States senator from the great State of Tennessee, a very, very early supporter of ours and a really wonderful woman—she loves your state, she loves your country, she's going to win—Marsha Blackburn.
Come up, Marsha, for a second. Marsha? [applause]
MARSHA BLACKBURN: Thank you so much, Mr. President. We are absolutely thrilled that you are here and I'm glad all of you are here. Thank you for everything you've done to elect so many Republicans and thank you for everything that you are doing for President Donald Trump. [applause]
I've got to tell you, he has had an amazing 18 months—a Supreme Court justice, 40 federal judges, repealing record number of regulations, tax cuts, decreasing illegal immigration, standing up to China and North Korea, defeating ISIS in Syria. Let me tell you, that is what you call getting the job done. [applause]
And I'm going to tell you right now, Tennessee needs a Senator who is going to support President Donald Trump, and I am going to be there to stand with President Donald Trump and take your Tennessee values to Washington, D.C. to fight with him to get the job done. Thank you all so much. [applause]
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Marsha.
She is a great woman. She is a great woman. So we need Marsha in the Senate to continue the amazing progress and work that we've done over the last year and a half. There has never been an administration—and even some of our enemies are begrudgingly admitting this—that has done what we've done in the first year and a half. Think of it. [applause]
We've created 3.3 million new jobs since Election Day. Now, if we would have said that before the election, that I'm going to create 3.3 million new jobs, we would never have survived the onslaught from the fake news. They would have not accepted it. They wouldn't have accepted it.
They would have said, "There's no way you can do that." Unemployment is at its lowest level since the turn of the century. Now, the actual number is 19 years, but I said, "Let's see, 19 years—that brings us into the last century." I love the sound of "the turn of the century," right? So I said, "Let's not use 19; let's say the turn of the century." But that's a long time.
African-American unemployment and Hispanic-American unemployment are at their lowest levels in history—in history. [applause]
Unemployment among women is at its lowest level in almost 20 years. [applause]
And wages, for the first time in many, many years, are finally going up. Wages are going up. I used to talk about it on the campaign trail. People were making less money working two and three jobs than they were making 20 years ago.
Well, now, wage—it's going up, folks. What can I say? They're just going up. Wages going up, and they're going up fast. The forgotten men and women of our country are no longer forgotten. They are forgotten no more, no more. [applause]
We're reasserting American strength and confidence and talent. We have tremendous talent in this country, tremendous talent in this room, a big room, this stadium, this arena. We have tremendous talent, and our talent and our strength is being respected again. [applause]
Prosperity is booming. Optimism is surging and America is winning. We're winning. We truly are making America great again. Look at all those hats. [applause]
But, most importantly, our country is respected again all over the world. We're not making apologies. We're not making excuses. We're respected again as a country. [applause]
No more apologies. But, to keep this momentum going, to continue this incredible progress, to keep on winning, you have to vote Republican in November. You see what's happening with the Democrats.
So Marsha's very liberal Democrat opponent, Phil Bredesen—I've never heard of this guy. [booing]
Who is he? Who is he? He's an absolute, total tool of Chuck, of Chuck Schumer. He's a tool of Chuck Schumer and, of course, the MS-13 lover, Nancy Pelosi.
She loves MS-13. Can you imagine? Remember? I said they're animals, and she said, "How dare you say that? How dare you say that?" Have you seen what they've done? Have you seen what they are doing to us? And we're taking them out of our country by the thousands—out, out--by the thousands. [applause]
So Philbert was recruited by Schumer to run for the Senate. He had to get Pelosi's approval—can you believe this? And, if Bredesen were ever to get elected, he'd do whatever Chuck and Nancy—remember the term, "Chuck-and-Nancy." They don't want the wall. They want open borders. They're more interested in taking care of criminals than they are in taking care of you.
Bredesen donated a lot of money to the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton—Crooked Hillary. So how do you like the fact they had people infiltrating our campaign? Can you imagine? Can you imagine? Can you imagine people infiltrating our campaign? Is there anybody in this big, beautiful arena right now that's infiltrating our campaign? Would you please raise your hand? That would take courage.
Now, look, you take a look at what's going on. Never in the history of our country has something taken place like took place during this election. In all fairness, I'm no fan of Crazy Bernie Sanders. I'm no fan. But I want to tell you, he got screwed. He did. He did.
Crazy Bernie—he still doesn't know what happened. No, he doesn't know. I saw him on television. I don't know what happened. Me, too. I thought he was winning.
But it helped me, because we were very, very cautious and we worked hard—many, many speeches a day. That last month of campaigning—and some of the polls got it right. But I'll tell you what, I'd see the crowds, crowds like this. I'd go one to another to another all over the country.
She'd go there. The only way she filled up the arena was to get Jay-Z. And his language was so filthy that it made me, like, the most clean-cut human being on earth. [applause]
He'd stand up there before those crowds—and, by the way, without any musical instruments, I had much bigger crowds than he was drawing—but he'd stand up before those crowds and he'd use the F-word and Hillary would sit back and—"I'm in trouble. I'm in trouble. Please, don't have him use that kind of language anymore."
And then he'd finish and everybody would leave and she'd be standing up making a speech to 400 people.
But Phil Bredesen supported her. And he supported her ideas. He opposes the border wall. We need a wall. We're going to get the wall. We've already started doing it. [applause]
So we've already started. We got $1.6 billion in the last approval. Now, remember this: We had to take care of our military folks, OK? We had to take care.
I got $700 billion for our military and next year I got $716 billion. And our enemies look at us much differently now than they looked at us two years ago. [applause]
We also, by the way—very important to all of us—we got $6 billion—that's "B" billion—$700 "B" billion, but we got $6 billion for opioid and getting rid of that scourge that's taking over our country. [applause]
And the numbers are way down. We're getting the word out—bad. Bad stuff. You go to the hospital, you have a broken arm; you come out, you're a drug addict with this crap. It's way down. We're doing a good job with it.
But we got $6 billion to help us with opioid. So, if you want strong borders—and again, we started that wall. We have $1.6 billion for the wall. We've started the wall. And, in San Diego, they came to us—they wanted the wall in California. And you heard the story.
I said, "Don't give it to them, because we lose a lot of energy." They wanted it so badly. They got tired of illegal immigrants walking across their front lawn. Can you understand that? Isn't that terrible that they got tired?
Why shouldn't they have people walking through their living room? Why? So they wanted the wall. So I said, "No, let's wait." And they said, "Go ahead and build it, we got a good price." So we started to build it. Then I had second thoughts because of the governor of California, who loves sanctuary cities and other things.
So he didn't want the wall. But they were putting so much pressure, so I decided to do it. Then, in the middle of doing it—it's beautiful. It's big. Nobody is crossing it very easily. Not one of those that you can just scoot to the top. This is a real wall.
So what happened is, in the middle, like, I sort of had second thoughts. You ever have second thoughts about something? I said, "You know, let's stop building the wall, because we get more pressure put on this crazy governor where the taxes are high and the crime is high." Other than that, he's doing a fantastic job, OK?
In California—I have property in California that I don't care about anymore. When you do this job, there's only one thing that matters. That's getting it done properly. It doesn't matter—getting it done. Who cares? Who cares if you have property? Big deal. [applause]
So I said, "Let's stop building the wall." I said, "How much would it cost?" Because I know too much about contractors. I think half the room is contractors. Look at these people. I can tell a contractor. I can smell a contractor, believe it or not. There are a lot of contractors in this room.
So I said, "Find out how much it would cost to stop." And one of the generals said, "Sir, it wouldn't cost anything to stop." I said, "Really? Find out. When he came to me, he said, "It's $7 million to stop."
I'd said, "All right, keep building it, OK? I'm not going to stop it for that, right? We got to get it done. So we're doing the wall. We started the wall. But we want to do—we need about 700 miles of wall. It's 2,000 miles. We need about 700 miles of wall. We're getting it. We have a lot of natural barriers that are better than any wall you could build.
But we're getting it. And, for those people—remember I used to say, "And who's going to pay for the wall?" And these guys all think, "Wow, we finally have them." Because Mexico said they're not going to pay for the wall.
What does that mean? What does that mean? We're renegotiating NAFTA. Remember what I said. We are having—we are having—you remember I said to Tennessee, I said to everyone—we have such a bad deal with Mexico. We have such a bad deal with Canada. We lose with Mexico over $100 billion a year with this crazy NAFTA deal.
One—think of it. It's impossible. We lose $100 billion a year, and that doesn't include the billions of dollars of drugs that flow into our country. That's not included. That's probably another $100 billion, probably more than that. And it's really destroying our youth. We're going to stop it and we have been stopping it.
And immigration is down much, but we need border wall. We need—we got to have a change in our laws. Our laws are the worst laws of any country anywhere in the world—catch and release. Did you ever hear?
You catch, you take their name and you release. Great. Wonderful. Then they are supposed to show up to a court. There's only one problem: They never show up. So we're working on it. We're having a real problem.
The Democrats want to use it as a campaign issue. And I keep saying, "I hope they do." The fact is the Democrats are lousy politicians. They are lousy on policy.
I happen to think them allowing open borders, which we don't allow anyway—but they make it very difficult—but them allowing open borders—that's a good issue for us, not to them. I really—but the one thing they do—the one thing they do is they stick together. It's always like 48, 49. Nobody leaves in the Senate.
They stick together. They always vote, like, 100 percent. OK? So we need more Republicans. We're going to get them. We're going to get the wall done anyway.
Mexico, I don't want to cause a problem. I don't want to cause it. But, in the end—in the end, Mexico is going to pay for the wall. I'm just telling you. I'm just telling you. [applause]
All right. I don't want to cause any problem. But in the end Mexico is paying for the wall. They make all of this money and they do absolutely nothing to stop people from going through Mexico from Honduras and all these other countries—the caravan, all of this stuff—they do nothing to help us. Nothing.
They're going to pay for the wall and they're going to enjoy it. OK? [applause]
They're going to enjoy it. They do nothing for us. So, if you want strong voters, and if you want—not only that; we have to do something with the lottery. We have to do something with chain migration.
We have a guy in New York a year ago—he ran over and killed eight people, right? Eight people, and nobody ever talks about the people who were injured. Do you ever notice? They say, "eight people who died," well, about 12 are just horribly injured. They lose an arm. They lose a leg.
These are people that are running alongside of the Hudson River, which I know so well. And they are running. And this maniac takes his car, he's driving fast, he goes, he knocks off as many people as he can. Eight people killed, many people badly injured—missing a leg, missing an arm. Can you imagine?
These are people different from me in the sense that they want to run. I don't want to run. They want to run. And they go and they work hard. And they want to look good. And they come home because of this maniac and others like them. Look at what's going on all over the world. Look at what's going on—look at what's happening to Europe.
So they go. And they take this man, right? And he got here and he's got 22 people that came in—his mother, his father, his grandmother, his uncle, his brother, his sister. He got—22 people come in for this one guy. That's called chain migration—22 people.
And then, of course, you have the wonderful lottery system that was started by Chuck Schumer, or—sometimes referred to as "Crying Chuck Schumer," right? I know him for so many years. I know him from New York so long.
Crying Chuck—remember, he was crying. He was so sad. He got up, he was crying. He was working those tears. He was trying so hard. He was trying so hard that, actually, they weren't tears. It was sweat. He was sweating.
So Crying Chuck wanted to have a lottery system. Think of it, a lottery. You pick people. Now, let me ask you. So these countries that are sending people in—do you think they are sending us their finest? Do you think they are sending us—so we got the lottery.
So they put names, and we pick the names, and they come in, and then we wonder why we have problems. We're not going to be a stupid country anymore. We've stopped it. We're not going to be. [applause]
And you can say what you want, but I think border security and security in general is a great issue for the Republican Party. I think it's a great issue. Not a bad issue.
So, if you want the strong voters, if you want crime to stop—and, by the way, as a country, we have it way down. But then you take a look at a place like Chicago. What the hell is that mayor doing? What is he doing?
But we have—crime is down in the country. But we need Republicans, and we need to get out and vote for Marsha. [applause]
If you want your communities to be safe, if you want your schools to be safe, if you want your country to be safe, then you must go out and get the Democrats the hell out of office, because there's no common sense. [applause]
And we're going to defend our borders, and we're going to fight hard on crime. We're not going to let what's happened over the last long period of time—been going on for a long time. We have borders down 40 percent, and it's tough because our economy is doing so well. More people try and get in, so it makes it even tougher.
But the other thing is we are going to protect your Second Amendment. You won't have a Second Amendment if the Democrats take over. [applause]
You won't have a Second Amendment. You won't have a Second Amendment.
So, last week, I visited a place where—I essentially grew up right next to it—to discuss the menace of MS-13. This vicious gang has transformed once peaceful, beautiful communities that I know so well—I know them all—into bloodstained killing fields, savagely murdering, raping and mutilating their victims.
And they don't even want to do it with a gun. They talk about gun control. They don't want to do it with a gun. They want to do it with knives. They want to cut people up into little pieces because it's more painful.
And then I have to listen to Pelosi and these people saying, "We have to respect them. They are human beings." They are not human beings. They're not human beings. And this is why we call the bloodthirsty MS-13 gang members exactly the name that I used last week. What was the name?
THE PRESIDENT: Animals. MS-13 takes advantage of glaring loopholes in our immigration laws to infiltrate our country.
That's what they do. Think of it. We're bringing them out by the thousands, but they come in. We're bringing them out by the thousands. In Long Island, we have guys in border patrol. And we have guys in ICE—and women, fantastic women and brave and tough and strong—but we have the people in ICE.
They go around and grab MS-13. And the beauty is, they are much tougher than these gang members. And they see these people. And they say, "Man," and they throw them into the paddy wagons. And the towns—this is Long Island, where I grew up.
You have the same kind of communities. But, for some reason, so many in Long Island—it's like they've been liberated, like from a war. It's like the enemy has been taken out and the people are dancing and they're waving and they are looking out their windows and they are waving to the ICE people. Those people are incredible, brave, tough people. They've been liberated. [applause]
Terrible. If you would have told me 30 years ago, 20 years ago, that could happen to Long Island, I would have said, "No way." But that's what happened. But think of it. It's like these towns have been liberated.
Yet, in the face of MS-13 and its threat, Washington, Democrats voted against legislation to remove these criminal aliens. They voted against Kate's Law. And they voted in favor of sanctuary cities that protect criminals. And they voted in favor catch and release. OK?
So Democrats have opposed every common-sense measure necessary to stop this horrendous scourge of crime, to dismantle MS-13 and to stop illegal immigration. That's why we have to go in November. You have to work with Marsha. We have to get the votes. We need the votes. They stick together. They'll always vote.
Phil—whatever the hell his name is—this guy will 100 percent vote against us every single time. I have Democrats come up to me. "I love you, President. I love the job. I'm with you, President." Some of these states, I won by 44 points. And they're afraid that, if I go there, which I will—so they're telling me all sorts. They're actually saying good things.
Democrats running for office—many of them are saying great things about me. In fact, I think they're Republicans. But here is the problem: They're not going to vote for us. No matter what they say, doesn't matter.
The only thing that matters—they don't have to say anything. The only thing that matters is will they raise their hand. They will never raise their hand, because I told you, they are bad at everything, but they are good at sticking together.
They are good at sticking—I give them respect for that. They are good at sticking together. It's the only thing they are good at. We support the rule of law and we support the heroes of law enforcement. Thank you. [applause]
And we defend our Constitution. And we have confirmed—we've gotten now through confirmation a record number of judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, as written. [applause]
We have pride in our history. And we have respect for our great American flag. We put our hands on our hearts for the Pledge of Allegiance. Put our hands on our hearts. And we always proudly stand for our national anthem. Thank you. [applause]
What's that all about?
Guided by these shared values, we've already accomplished more than anyone ever dreamed possible. A year and a half—that's all it is. We have not let you down. I'll never let you down, never. We passed the largest tax cuts and reform in American history. [applause]
Larger than Ronald Reagan, many years ago. And you know? When I got involved, I said, "You got to help me with this, because why have you never been able to pass tax cuts?" You might have heard the story. And they said to me, "Sir, I don't know. We just can't pass them."
I said, "Can I see a few of these bills over the years?" I looked at one from 20 years ago, 10 years ago, 30 years ago. But it doesn't say "Tax cut." It says "the Tax Reform Act of 1994," tax reform. It says things—what does "reform" mean? It might mean you pay more taxes.
It didn't say "cuts." So I meet with the politicians, and they've been doing it much longer than me. Remember that I've only been doing it for a couple of years, right? But we have common sense.
I said, "Wait a minute. When you pass the tax reform act of whatever year, nobody knows it's tax cuts." "Well, I think they do." Great, let's give everybody an education. We're going to give 350 million people an education. You got to call it the Tax Cut Act. The Tax Cut Act. [applause]
And then they said—good people—well-meaning; they want to pass it—really good people—Kevin Brady, a lot of great people, knowledgeable—they said, "Sir, what would you like to name it?" I said, "I'll tell you, and I'm being serious about it. I want it to be called the Tax Cut, Cut, Cut, Cut Plan. Four cuts."
And we all agreed that was a little bit hokey, so we decided not to do that. But we call it the Tax Cut Act, OK? And it was—and I don't say easy. I don't say easy—and then, of course, repeal and replace Obamacare. [applause]
But what—we had it done, folks. It was done, and then, early in the morning, somebody turned the hand in the wrong direction. That cost our country a lot. That was a very, very terrible thing that happened that night. That was a very terrible thing.
That cost our country $1 trillion in entitlement saving that nobody would have known. It would have given us a good health care plan and that cost us a lot. And nobody knew that was going to happen, because we had it done.
Repeal and replace. And the person that voted that way only talked repeal and replace. He campaigned on it. So I'll tell you this. I'll tell you this. To get that, we are coming up with great health care.
Our secretary of labor is coming out with a plan in two weeks—association plan. Going to be great. Our secretary of health, Alex—we have Alex Acosta, you know that. I have my two Alexes.
Both my Alexes are coming out with plans that are phenomenal plans, phenomenal plans, Alex Azar, Alex Acosta. And they'll be out over the next four weeks.
It's going to cover a tremendous amount of territory. Plus, in the tax cuts, what did we get? The individual mandate is out the window. That was the most unpopular part of Obamacare. [applause]
So unconstitutional. That was where you have the privilege of paying a lot of money so that you don't have to pay for health care because you're not going to get it, OK? So you pay not to have to pay for health care, in other words, you're not going to get health care. You pay for the privilege, they give it.
You pay for the—every time I think of this, you pay for the privilege of not getting health care—great. That's a great one. I love that. That was an Obama special. Who would think of that? Who would think of it? So we got rid of the individual mandate.
We also got ANWR in Alaska in the tax cut plan. Friend of mine called, they said, "You know, that's amazing, ANWR." He's in the oil business. Successful guy. He goes, "I can't believe it. They've been trying to get ANWR. That's a massive find."
It's been for years and years they haven't been able to get it approved. And I wasn't pushing it too hard, to be honest with you, because I was more focused on the tax cuts. He called up, he goes, "Is it true that you're trying to get ANWR and you'll maybe get it?" I said, "Yes. Who cares?" "It's the biggest, like, the biggest find. It's like phenomenal."
I said, "Why do you ask? He said, "Well, you know, every president"—Bush. Bush—$7 trillion in the Middle East—great, great, great investment. A lot of death, death and blood and money—horrible, Bush. Everybody tried to get—so he said, "People have been trying to get that approved since Ronald Reagan."
I said, "What about Reagan?" He tried also. They failed. When I heard that, I said, "You got to get ANWR approved." And we got it approved as part of the—I never knew it was such a big deal. It's actually a big deal. And the people of Alaska, who are great—they're working on it right now. They're moving it along.
Last week, we passed new landmark legislation to give choice to our great veterans. It's going through. We're going to have it. It's going to be incredible. We're going for choice. Haven't finished the process yet, but it's happening—choice.
You know, before I knew too much about the V.A., I used to say, We're going to take care—these are our great people. They are, in many cases, in pretty rough shape. They'd have to wait for a doctor for three weeks, four weeks, for 16 days, for a week, sometimes for months. They go on to line with something that could be easily cured; three months later, they haven't seen a doctor and they're terminally ill. OK?
And I said, "We have to help." And I didn't know too much about it. But I said, "You know what makes sense to me? They wait for the doctors, they can't get in. You know what makes sense to me? Let them go out to a private doctor who's looking for business, and let the government pay." Right?
And I went to the so-called experts and they said, "Yes, we've been trying to do that for years." I said, "I see. So it's not like an odd idea." "No, we've been trying, but we can't get it passed. We're very close to getting it fully passed." Choice. Choice. [applause]
We also did something else. For the V.A.—our veterans—we got the V.A. Accountability Act. Do you know what that is? Do you know what that is? Now, we all love the unions. We all love civil service. But the power that they have—you couldn't get it.
For years and decades, they've tried to get accountability, so people would [sic] treat our vets badly. You had sadists. You had people that would—would be terrible to our vets, and you couldn't fire them.
You had people that would steal, they'd rob. You'd catch them, you couldn't fire them. And I had what's called the V.A. Accountability Act. Nobody thought I could get it through—nobody—because of the unions. Hey, I understand—and because of civil service, which is very powerful.
We got it through. I signed it a couple of months ago. Right? And now, when somebody steals or when some sicko hurts our great veterans, we look them in the eye and we say, "Jim, you're fired. Get out of here. Get out." [applause]
And they're gone. They're gone. They're gone. V.A. Accountability Act—I'm proud of that one. Nobody talks about it. By the way, these guys don't talk about it. They never talked about it.
They never talk. They don't even talk about it. Something good happened—they don't want it. And it's mostly good, I will tell you. They don't want to talk about it.
This month, just like I promised during the campaign, the United States officially opened the American Embassy in Jerusalem. [applause]
Good. That's good. Here's just a quick story. I really understand now why it was never approved by everybody that ran for office—every president, both parties in running. They said, "We're going to open the embassy in Jerusalem. We're going to recognize Jerusalem as the capital. We're opening the"—OK, this was their campaign, the politicians. This is their campaign over and over. Many, many presidents.
But not one—because you're fired, yes. They got fired. I guess you're right. They're not here. But not one did it. And I thought that was terrible, because you see them campaigning—it's one of their many points. But we're going to open the embassy in Jerusalem, over and over and over. Now it comes time—one of them wins. They never do it, right? They never did it. And now I know why.
Because, two weeks out, when people sort of started to think that we're going to open up the embassy, I was called by every leader in the world. "Don't do it. Don't do it. We don't want it. Don't do it. Don't"—and I understood. The pressure not to open it was tremendous, and we did it, and we did the right thing. We did the right thing. [applause]
And, after—I'll tell you a little business story, fast one. But, after it was approved, I told the generals—and John Bolton is here someplace. Where's John Bolton? Great John Bolton. They think he's so nasty and so tough that I have to hold him back, OK? It's pretty great.
And he's doing a great job. You better get some rest, because we have pretty good negotiations coming up. He's here with his daughter, who lives, by the way, in Tennessee—so happy.
So I say, "I want to build it. We just got it approved. It was a big deal. I want to build it." And they said, "Yes, sir." So I get this, you know, executive order—this big, beautiful piece of paper. It must have cost, like, a fortune.
Like, even—look, for my speech, I haven't used it yet, but (inaudible). So beautiful. Leather—most expensive leather money can buy, you know. Thing probably cost $2,000. Look, it's got the seal. Remind me to take it when I leave. It's so beautiful.
But I have this executive—and I'm getting ready to sign it. I signed "Donald." I say, "What is this, general? I'm signing so much stuff. What is this, general?" "Sir"—because they're—I love these generals. They're much better fighters of wars, believe me, than they are negotiators for money. "Sir, this is the new embassy in Israel. It's for your approval, sir. The cost will be $1 billion."
I said, "Wait a minute. What? What?" $1 billion. I said, "$1 billion? How can it cost $1 billion? It's like a one-story building." "Sir, we estimate the cost to be $1 billion. We're going out to buy land. We're going to do this."
Well, in the meantime, it won't open for 30 years, you know, they all say. So I called my head, my great diplomat, my representative, David Friedman, right? To Israel, from the United States. Our ambassador, David Friedman. I say, "Hey, David. David, I got a problem. I can't spend a billion dollars on building an embassy. I just can't—not that the country can't. I just can't do it up here, you know, mentally. I can't do it.
It's like a one-story building. They want to go out and overpay for a piece of land that's in a bad location, like they did, by the way, in London before I got there. I said, "David, I can't do it." Now, David was a great lawyer, great businessman, very successful, one of the most successful lawyers.
He said, "Let me look into it. He calls me back two days later, says, "Sir." "What?" "Sir, we can build the embassy for $150,000." Now you got to understand. Ok, that's a big difference. I said, "What are you talking about, $150,000?
He said, "We can build the embassy, sir, for $150,000. We have the best piece of land that we already own. We have a building on that piece of land. It's set back, it's a very big piece. Many acres. It's in the best location. And what I want to do, sir, is take the corner of that big, beautiful building and carve it up, and we can build an embassy for $150,000."
So you know what I told him? I got a little extravagant. I said, "David, make it for $400,000." OK. So think of it. So we opened up—and here's the other thing. "And, sir, we can have the embassy built in about three months." I said three months, as opposed to 20 years.
So here's the deal. $1 billion, land we don't own, will take forever to get it open. It'll never open. And then, in addition to all of the people who will try and stop you—and that's a billion dollars as opposed to a better location for $400,000. I said, "Spend more, please.
You know, sometimes something can cost so little, it's ridiculous, right? So we opened it. It is totally beautiful. The finest stones, the finest marbles, the best location.
It's open. It opened in four months after we started building. We had the dedication ceremony. But that's government. By the way, I could tell you a hundred stories like that. These stories are crazy.
So, instead of spending $1 billion and not having it for 20 years, we spent 400,000 bucks and it opened up in a few months. Is that good? Is that a good story? [applause]
And I think it probably is better. Somebody said, "Well, it won't be. I said, "Yes, I think the big difference—it's probably better, OK?" So that was the story.
But, in order to ensure the other big move—the Iranian regime never obtains nuclear weapons. I withdrew the United States from the horrible one-sided Iran nuclear deal three weeks ago. Instead of apologizing for America, which we always do, we are finally standing up for our great country. [applause]
And that's why, in November, we will reverse a trend. When you win the presidency, for some reason, you always end up losing the House, losing the—it happens like 90 percent of time, makes absolutely no sense.
But I think what happens is you get complacent. You work—all of you people in this room—some of you are friends of mine, some of you I recognize. But you worked so hard in Tennessee. They're working hard all over the country. And you win.
And now you sit back and you relax. That's the worst thing that can happen because, all of a sudden, you have another election. And this election is a very important one. This is a really important election, so you have to get out. We need Marsha Blackburn to win. [applause]
And it's going to be a very special time. So we'll deliver all of our citizens—we'll deliver all of our promises. Together, we will lift up our country. We'll lift up millions and millions of Americans from welfare to work, from dependence to independence and from poverty to prosperity. And that's what we're doing. That's what we're doing. [applause]
Remember when I'd make a speech and I'd talk about African American—and I'd say, "Highest crime rate, bad education"—I go up like 10 points.
And they're always voting—African Americans vote for Democrats for the most part. You know, vast majority. They've been doing it for over a hundred years. And I said, "Highest crime, bad education, bad this, bad that." And what did I say? "What the hell do you have to lose?" And, now, we have numbers coming out that are so fantastic... [applause]
... for Hispanic, for African American. Thank you. Right? Right?
And I fulfilled—but we have just started. We have just started. Because we're going to build new airports. We've become like a third world country. You look at our airports.
You go to places like Saudi Arabia and other places, or China—go to some of these countries, and you'll see things that you've never seen before. We used to be the leader. We're going to build new airports. We're going to build new highways.
We're going to build new dams. We're going to build infrastructure. We just had approved recently—we just had approved—we're fixing up all of our airports. Billions of dollars just got approved, and I'm signing it shortly. [applause]
We will build new strength into our country. We will breathe new hope into our communities. And we will do it all with these big, beautiful hands. Look at these hands. Because we've got more capability, we've got more grit, and we've got a thing called American pride, and nobody has it like us. [applause]
Loyal citizens like you, the people of Tennessee, helped build this country. And, together, we are taking back our country. We're returning the power back to our great American patriots. [applause]
This great state was forged through the sweat and courage of tough frontier men and strong frontier women who braved the elements and defied the dangers to carve out a home in the wilderness. Not easy.
Generations of proud patriotic Tennessee pioneers—these are incredible people. Your relatives, who love their families, love their country, and love their God, made this beautiful state into their beloved home. [applause]
This is the state of country music, of Nashville legends we love—we love those legends—and of Memphis blues. It's the state of Andrew Jackson, a great president and a great general, by the way. [applause]
It's the state of Davy Crockett and Sergeant York. And, this November, this is the state where America's comeback will continue full speed ahead. [applause]
We stand on the shoulders of American heroes who have—what we have done—what we have done.
We have beaten empires. We have tamed continents. We've triumphed over the worst evils in history. We have triumphed over evil like nobody's ever seen before. Our ancestors—they crossed the oceans. They blazed the trails. They climbed the mountains and created the modern world with their own two hands.
We're the nation that built the Empire State Building in less than one year and the Golden Gate Bridge and the incredible Panama Canal, which we gave away—which we gave away—we won two world wars. We defeated communism and fascism. [applause]
And we put a man on the face of the moon. And you see what's happening with NASA, see those rocket ships starting to go up again. A lot of jobs, a lot of great stuff happening with NASA.
As long as we are proud of who we are and what we are fighting for, we will never, ever fail—never fail. I say it, and I say it all the time. [applause]
We are so respected again. I can't even tell you the—really, the degree to which people respect our country again. It's amazing. It's amazing. [applause]
With your help, with your voice and with your vote, we will win, win, win. We will achieve victory for our magnificent land, the land that we love, because we are Americans and our hearts bleed red, white, and blue. We will never give in. [applause]
We will never give up. And we will never stop fighting for our country, for our flag, and for our great, beautiful freedom. We are one people. We are one family and one glorious nation under God. Without a question, without a doubt, we will make America wealthy again. We will make America strong again. We will make America safe again. And we will make America great again. [applause]
Thank you very much. God bless you. We love you. Thank you. God bless you everybody.
NOTE: President Trump spoke at Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, TN. Also speaking was Representative Marsha Blackburn (TN 7th), candidate for the U.S. Senate.
Transcript prepared for APP by Maryam Eapen.
Donald J. Trump, Remarks at a "Make America Great Again" Rally in Nashville, Tennessee Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/332437