Remarks at a “Make America Great Again" Rally, West Columbia South Carolina.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Hello, everyone. Hi. Hi, everybody. [applause]
Hello, everybody. It was a little rocky up in the sky tonight, I have to be honest. They said, "Sir, would you mind going back? Would you mind if we didn't stop?" I said, "There's no way. We cannot stop," right? [applause]
No, we're not going to do that. We're not going to do that for a man named Henry McMaster. We're not going to do that. [applause]
I wouldn't have the courage to call Henry. Henry, I said I was coming, but I'm only kidding. It's raining out real bad and we're not showing up. I wouldn't do it to you, so thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. [applause]
And also it is the Air Force One. I said let's just go through and it does. Listen, it is great, it is great to be with you. It's a very special state. I love this state with so many incredible, hardworking American patriots at [?]--American patriots.
Before we begin, let's all take a moment to send our love to Katie Arrington, who was badly hurt in a terrible car accident. And somebody going the wrong way and Katie really badly hurt along with a friend of hers and somebody else killed frankly in the other car. And Katie is a very special person. She was out there right from the beginning. And here's the good news, she's going to be 100 percent. That's the good news. She's going to be 100 percent. [applause]
So, Katie, we're all pulling for you and we're praying for your very swift recovery. She's going to be back very soon. And she was with us, boy, she was out there campaigning against a guy I've never liked too much. [applause]
Never liked him too much. I wasn't a big fan. The Tallahassee Trail must be a beautiful place. Unfortunately, he didn't go there. [applause]
So I want to thank all of our South Carolina GOP leaders in attendance. We have a man who has become a friend of mine. It's shocking, isn't it? It's shocking. We went at it and he said, "I'll defeat him in South Carolina." I said, "I don't think so. I don't think so." But I'll tell you what, he has become a friend and he's a good man, Lindsey Graham. [applause]
Lindsey. That's pretty good I think, Lindsey. That's pretty good.
No, he has, he's been great. Congressman Joe Wilson and Tom Rice. South Carolina attorney general, a very close personal relationship to Joe, Alan Wilson. [applause]
Good job, Alan. He's looking good. South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond. [applause]
Thank you, Mark. And candidate for lieutenant governor Pamela Evette. [applause]
Pamela. Thanks, Pamela.
And finally the person we are all here for today, a man who truly was with me from the beginning. There was no doubt about it. He was there right from the beginning. You know, we won the state of South Carolina by a lot both in the primaries, both in the primaries and in the general election. We won it. We had to run the whole east coast and we got South Carolina and we got North Carolina. We love North Carolina. [applause]
We got Pennsylvania and we got Florida. We started off that night. Donald Trump has won the State of Florida, right? And they go, whoa, whoa, they just lost Florida. And you know what they said? Don't worry about it, North Carolina--they said North Carolina is our firewall. South Carolina we have no chance, but North Carolina. And so we won South Carolina, thank you very much. [applause]
And the firewall wasn't much of a firewall in North Carolina. So I want to thank the incredible people of South Carolina for everything you've done. And right from day one when I came down here, Henry McMaster, I said, "So why are you with me?" He said, "Because I like what you're saying. I agree. We need strong borders." We're talking about it now and we have. [applause]
CROWD: Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall!
THE PRESIDENT: So he said we need strong borders, we have to stop crime, we want lower taxes, we love our military, we love our vets and we love our second amendment. Other than that, I don't know what he said. [applause]
I don't know what else he told me, but you know what, that was enough, right? And he was sort of this like handsome guy with a wonderful wife, Peggy. Where's Peggy? [applause]
So Henry was for me from the beginning. There was nobody else. It wasn't like I supported Trump. Somebody says I supported Donald Trump very early, yes, after seven other people. After the defeat of nine people, they were with me and they never let you forget it. But Henry was there at the beginning. He's a fighter, he's tough, he's strong and he's a gentleman. He's a gentleman. [applause]
The thing with Henry because I really got to know him, I tell you what, he was up early in the morning, he left late at night. I said, "You really are a fighter." The beautiful thing with Henry is you don't even know it. He does it in a very elegant manner, but he is a fighter. He's been here with us. And, Henry, I'd like to ask you just to come on up. This has been an interesting voyage over here. I have never--I have never taken a longer trip. I have never taken a longer trip ever to South Carolina. [applause]
Come here, Henry.
HENRY MCMASTER: Thank you, Mr. President.
South Carolina loves Donald Trump. You all, we were at the airport waiting, and we were watching these forces of nature, and there was lightening and there was the thunder and the storm and the rain. And then it cleared and Air Force One landed, and the real force of nature got off the plane and stepped into South Carolina. [applause]
Donald Trump has kept every promise that he's made. We love him. We follow him. He's going to make America great again. We will help him do it. We're going to do it right in South Carolina. Thank you so much. [applause]
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Henry. Now, you know we have a lot of fake news back there, these fakers. [booing]
And you know that if a horrible thing happened and we weren't lucky enough to have Henry win, you know they won't talk about it, they will say Donald Trump suffered a major, major defeat in the great state of South Carolina. It was a humiliating defeat for Donald Trump. So please get your asses out tomorrow and vote. [applause]
You got to get out there and vote. And, honestly, not for that reason, you want to get out. He's a great man. He's a wonderful person. He loves the people of South Carolina. He loves the people of our country. You got a good man or I wouldn't be here, believe me, I wouldn't be here.
You know, the last time I endorsed somebody, as you know, was Katie and I was in Singapore. There's like this massive difference in time. Who knows? I said, "Let me ask you, we have a situation that's very interesting. I'm turning on the television, I see the race and I say, what time is it right now in South Carolina?" They said, "Sir, it's almost four o'clock." I said, "Oh, I've got to endorse Katie." I said, "How many hours are left?" They said like three and a half. I said, "Maybe I shouldn't do it because I won't have enough." And what happened, I did. I said I don't care. I can't stand that guy. [applause]
I don't care. I don't care. And I like her. She was another one right from the beginning. She didn't talk about other people, right? So I said OK. So we had like three hours, three and a half hours left something. I'm just lifting off from Singapore far away. It was a 22-hour flight. Do you think that's fun? That's not even fun in Air Force One, OK? "When are we landing?" "Sir, we're almost there, seven more hours." Oh, good. When they tell you you're almost there, you only have seven hours left. And, by the way, we had a great success, North Korea. Chairman Kim, great, great success. [applause]
We're not looking up in the air. Any rockets up there? Any rockets? Japan is very happy, they haven't had a rocket shot over them in seven months. There's been no rocket tests. There's been no nuclear tests. There's been no ballistic missiles. They've blown up their site. Today, it got no coverage because fake news doesn't cover it. [booing]
But today, look at all those fake newsers back there. Look at them. That's a lot. That's a lot of people. That's a lot of people. And you want to see a lot of people, go outside, this is a gymnasium. I said, "Henry, I don't work gymnasiums anymore." He said, "Please." I said, "OK, I'll be there." Go outside and take a look outside. You won't believe what's going on out there. So you people understand real estate well. [laughing]
But we have a call and I had numerous calls with Prime Minister Abe, so happy for the people of Japan. They're happy for the people of China. They're happy for the people especially of South Korea and we’re happy. And you know what, we did something that was wonderful and the world is soon going to be and right now it is already, we have good chemistry, but the world is going to be a much safer place. And North Korea is going to be a much better place, so it was really something, really something. [applause]
And they've agreed to denuclearization. They've agreed to no more testing, no more of this. They agreed. By the way, we got our hostages back. [applause]
We got our hostages. I got them back even before we left. We're getting the remains of our great heroes back. [applause]
And when I first made the announcement that we're getting together, this was five, six months ago, it was in the Oval Office. I'll never forget it and these guys were saying unbelievable, unbelievable. Do you believe this?
South Korea, remember, they came over from South Korea, they stopped, North Korea, South Korea, the Olympics, and it started with the Olympics which Chairman Kim said, "We want to go to the Olympics." I said, "Yes, that's nice." That's a big difference from the dialogue we were having, right? Slight, slight. They want to go to the Olympics. And the Olympics would have been a massive failure and it turned out to be a massive success. And President Moon of South Korea gives us the credit. They were not selling. People did not want to be nuked in stadium as they watched the opening ceremonies. They don't want to be watching the opening ceremonies and at the same time looking at up the skies, how long will this last? They were not exactly selling tickets, the minute that happened and he said, "We'd like to be part of the Olympics" out of nowhere. The minute that happened, the Olympics became a fantastic success. It was a great Olympics. It was a great Olympics. [applause]
And we now have a good chemistry. We have a good chemistry. I think it's going to work out. And it's a period of time, takes a while, takes a long time, not easy, not easy. They've been doing this for many, many decades and not that easy, but they took down signs, anti-United States sign, all over North Korea down. [applause]
They took them down, anti-U.S. signs like I put up anti-media signs all over the place. [booing]
You're worse than I am. No, we just want honesty. We want a little fairness. We want a little fairness, right? We want that. We don't get very much of it.
But, you know, it's sort of interesting, so we make the deal. And we signed a piece of paper and it was a beautiful piece of paper, it said we will de-nuke, we will this, we will that, we will get the remains back, we will do all of these things, a lot of things. We will not test, we will abandon our uh-- they have an engine site for, these are not engines like for your car. These are engines for ballistic missiles. They got to rip that down. So point after point after, but it starts off first sentence,, we will denuclearize North Korea, OK.
So you know what the fake news said? Donald Trump has suffered a humiliating defeat because I agreed to meet, I said I agreed to meet. In other words, because I agreed to meet they couldn't think of anything else. So I will say this, at the beginning they couldn't believe it was happening. Two days later, they were saying Hillary Clinton could have done that. I don't think so. I don't think so. [laughing] [applause]
CROWD: Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!
THE PRESIDENT: Ah, they oh boy--did you ever see anybody so protected in your life? Did you ever see that? Point after point after point, and I did nothing and it just never ends, never ends. No collusion, no nothing. But you go point and you know what after the election I said, OK, let's go, come on, who cares? Let's go. We got to make America great again. And then she writes a book and she does the tour, and how many--how many reasons that she give for losing the election, like every week there was a different reason, right? She blamed everybody for losing the election except for one person, herself. [applause]
And the funny thing is so, look, Lindsey was just telling me every other Republican it would have been very tough. They all lost. I won. I won when I won South Carolina, but to win all up and down the east coast, to win Wisconsin, which hasn't been won in many years, like 1972 I think, that's a long time, to win Michigan, which hasn't been won in a long time, and they give her, they say she was a bad candidate, I mean, honestly she was a tough candidate. She wasn't a bad candidate, but they refused to say that I was a good candidate. They refused.
You know it's very interesting, I just pick this out. Sometimes you have to toot your own horn because nobody else is going to do it. Certainly, they're not going to do it. No, no, certainly they're not. [applause]
Certainly, they're not going to do it so sometimes you have to do it, right? That's why when the polls are good, you remember during the campaign, when the polls were good I would always talk about it. When they weren't so good, I wouldn't mention it, right? I didn't talk polls. But they were good, for a lot of time they were good.
And, by the way, Georgetown Steel just opened their plant yesterday. [applause]
They're spending a lot of money after many years of being closed, Georgetown Steel in South Carolina. So here's a story that just came out. David Lynch, the great filmmaker, David Lynch, he puts down headline, "Trump could go down. . . " He's a Hollywood guy. The reason I do this is you don't hear this, and plenty of them voted for me. Plenty of them voted for me.
David Lynch, could go down as one of the greatest presidents in history, of course there goes his career, right, in Hollywood. Veteran filmmaker, David Lynch, believes President Donald Trump could be remembered as one of the greatest presidents in American history because of the way he has shaken up the political establishment because of what I've done.
However, he now appears to believe because he was a Democrat or is a Democrat or something, he actually voted for Obama. And here it says he voted for Bernie Sanders, OK, but he now says, however, he now appears to believe that Trump may have been the right choice after all. [applause]
He goes on to say that Trump could go down as one the greatest presidents in history because he has disrupted this thing so much. No one has been able to counter this guy in an intelligent way. And, by the way--you know-- they call them the elites, right, the elites. You know what you are? You're the super elites. I'm changing titles. I'm changing. I'm changing. No, no. [applause]
Look, everybody here makes money, works hard, pays taxes, does a great job. You're smarter, you're better, you're more loyal. We have the greatest face in the history of politics. They interviewed 10 women on one of the opposing networks, the enemy, the enemy of the people I call them. And they said to these women, these were about 10 really great women, these are none political women that had Trump here, Trump there, wearing Trump hats. Badges--so this announcer said, "What can he do?" And you've heard me say this because this happens a lot. "What can he do where you won't be with him? What can he do when you're going to drop Donald Trump?" And one of these women stood out, perhaps the leader, perhaps not, but she came forward and she said, "There's absolutely nothing he can do." Can you believe that? There is nothing he can do. [applause]
And she said he has done a great job so we're working on it. But there's David Lynch, enjoy it because his career is Hollywood is officially over. Did you see Jimmy Fallon? Jimmy Fallon. [booing]
The guy screws up my hair. He's going back and forth. He was so disappointed to find out it was real. He couldn't believe it. Well, that's one of the great things I got. Everybody used to say my hair is phony, it's not my hair, I'm wearing a hair piece. Anybody here wearing a hair piece now? But the one thing, they never say that anymore because I've been caught in rainstorms. I've been caught in winds that are like 60 miles an hour getting off. If it's not your hair, don't run for office, folks. Don't run. Do not run for office because the gig would be up.
So Jimmy Fallon apologized. He apologized for humanizing me, the poor guy because now he's going to lose all of us. Now, he's going to lose all of us. If somebody would open a talk show at night because the guy on CBS is--what a low life, what a low life. I mean, honestly, are these people funny? And I can laugh at myself and frankly if I couldn't I’d be in big trouble. But there's no talent, they're not talented people.
Johnny Carson was talented. Some of these guys, no, seriously. I mean, this guy on CBS, has no talent. Jimmy Kimmel would meet me before the election. I'm telling you a true story. I don't even think he'd deny it. No talent, but I go to his studio to do a shot, to a do a thing, he would stand outside on the sidewalk waiting for me. "Oh, here he comes, Donald Trump, oh." He opens my door. I said does he do this to everybody, to his people? He does it for nobody. Now, who knows? Maybe that was just--but he's waited for me two or three times I did a show before this. Now, he wouldn't do his show. That guy's terrible.
But I do a show and he's standing out on Hollywood, whatever, Boulevard and he's standing there opening up the door like, "Hello." I wasn't president. I was just like a guy, right? A guy with potential, right? [applause]
Good potential. And he's there, here he is. "Oh, sorry, how are you? Hi. So thank you so much for doing. . . " And I always got higher ratings than other people so that was always good.
But Jimmy--Jimmy Fallon calls me up and he's like a nice guy. He's lost. He looks like a lost soul, right? He gets out there, "Hey, hey, hi, oh." But you know what, he's a nice guy. I agreed to do a show and because I guess I was running at that time, I think I was, it was he got tremendous ratings on that show, killed everybody, right? He should be thankful. He shouldn't be upset and angry, when you apologize because you got somebody else that didn't go on the other shows.
So I go on the show, I agree, do whatever you want with my hair, go ahead, let's go, and that was it. He woke up like what is it, a year and a half, two years later he's now apologizing because he humanized me and he really hurt himself.
So I said, "Jimmy, you called me up after the show and you said thank you for the incredible--you called them monster ratings, they were very big ratings." I said, "Thank you, Jimmy, that's very nice." I said, "Don't hurt yourself by apologizing." So I said to him today on social media, I said, "Jimmy, be a man. Just relax. Just relax." It's incredible. [applause]
But if somebody had said to these guys that CBS, NBC, I made a fortune for NBC on The Apprentice, they treat me horribly. I think they're worse actually than CNN. I think NBC. . . [booing]
And they wanted to renew my contract. They wanted to renew my contract and they were doing everything. They had the top man at Comcast came up to see me in my office with a whole group of people, please, please renew your contract for The Apprentice. I said that's what I knew I was going to run so I turned it down. You know it's a primetime show doing well, 14 seasons, did great. Hey, Arnold Schwarzenegger, big movie star, took my place, it bombed in about two shows it was over. It actually bombed in one show. It was so bad they didn't believe it so they let it go a little bit longer. [laughing]
And the one who knew it was my wife, my wife. [applause]
She said, you know--she's very smart. She said, "You know there's nobody that can take your place, don't you?" I said, "Thank you, darling. I appreciate it." How smart is that? Now, I don't know if she believes it, but she said there is nobody that can take your place. He will not be successful. I said it’s Arnold Schwarzenegger--he's doing no shows. "He will not be successful. There is nobody, darling, that can take your place." How smart is she? How smart, right? How smart. [applause]
And she has got a great style. We greeted today the king of Jordan and the queen of Jordan and it was like a picture. I watched the three of them, the queen, the king and the first lady, and I stood back and I watched. I didn't want to destroy that picture. And I will tell you, she has done a tremendous job as first lady. [applause]
And you know, she had an operation a few a weeks ago, kidney operation, and she's going to be great. She's fine. But they had all kinds of projections. They said she got a facelift. No. I would let you know. They couldn't hide that one for long, right? They said she left me and moved to Virginia. They said she left me and, all right, moved to New York. So she moved to Virginia, she moved to New York. The only thing they wouldn't say is what happened and that's OK. And she's private, she doesn't want to talk about things, right? But really unfair stuff, but you know what, we've never done better than we're doing now. We've never had a time like we're having. We've never had. We've never had higher polls than we have now. [applause]
Even Gallup, Gallup, who treats me horribly, you know polls are fake news also. What they do is called suppression. They put out these horrible polls and then they hope that everyone's going to say, "Hey, look, I like Trump, but he's got no chance of winning." Suppression, it should be illegal actually. You want to check these pollsters, where they're coming from, they knew.
We had one with ABC, I think it was ABC Washington Post just before the election, like a week before we're down 12. Now, if you're down 12, OK, if you're down 12 it's over if the polls are real. But I said it can't be real, we just went to Michigan, we had 30,000 people, we just went to other places. Excuse me, we went to South Carolina, but I didn't come here that often, you know why? Because we were leading by a lot. So, I said--I said, if you don't mind--I said, "If you don't mind, do you mind if I don't come back here? I got to go to places like that we have it a little bit closer?" And nobody said, "Don't worry about it," they said, "You stay out of here, Mr. President, almost to be, Mr. President." But--but it really has been an incredible journey for all of us. We are the super elite, we are the super elite. [applause]
It is true. We are and we're going to call ourselves that. I said the other day because as you saw in my last speech, it's in Minnesota, great place, unbelievable crowd. It seated nine thousand and they had 15,000 or 20,000 people outside couldn't get in, it was incredible, just like you have a lot of people outside, you just can't.
If I ever come into an arena, and it's got empty seats, I think that's the end. I don't know I'll be able to take it, right? I don't know, Henry, what I'm going to do if that happens, huh? I don't think we'll be able to take it. Well, it's not going to happen. Because remember what I said, we're going to start winning again, we're winning, we're winning now. Like we haven't won before. Like we have not won before. [applause]
We're winning with our military, our military is now being built up like you wouldn't believe. We're winning with our military, we're winning on trade, we're winning on trade. We're defending our borders, because if you don't have borders, you don't have a country, you don't have it. [applause]
CROWD: Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, it's happening. That's happening. Oh, it's happening. It's not build that wall anymore, it's continue building that wall, because we're building it. We're building it, we're fixing it miles and miles, we've got $1.6 billion, we're fixing the wall, we're building wall in San Diego, it's incredible how nobody wants the wall until it's in their backyard, do you mind building us? They didn't like people walking across their front lawns in San Diego.
So, we're building the wall, we're fixing the wall, we're spending a lot of money, and we're going for more, and we'll get it done. But Democrats, they want open borders, and they don't mind crime. Think of it. [booing]
So last week they thought, "Oh, they have a great issue," and, you know, I get credit, I don't know if it's true or not, but they're saying I have good political instincts, who does?
In fact, some people have said, I have the greatest political instinct in 50 years. I don't think so. I don't think so. I don't think so. But I have my own feeling. And when I heard them talking about the children, first of all they were using pictures taken in 2014 when Barack Obama was president. I wasn't president. [booing]
And what I learned is one thing, our facilities are cleaner, better kept, and better run, that's the one thing I learned, OK? I saw that. But what we have is two extremes. You know, I liked it, I said, "Hey, this is fine for us." The Democrats want to open borders, they want anybody they wanted including MS-13 pouring into the country. And the Democrats don't like ICE, these are great, brave, tough people.
These people are much tougher than MS-13. They don't like Border Patrol, they don't like your police, they don't like anybody. The Democrats want to protect illegals coming into this country, some of whom are not good, some of whom cause lots of problems in the worst possible way, they want to protect illegals coming into the country, much more so than they want to protect you, and that's not where we're coming from, OK? [applause]
So, I defined it today, the Democrats want open borders and they don't mind crime. We want very tight, very strict borders, and by the way, you saw a 70 year or low, with all the complaining I'm doing, we've done a very good job, and we have taken thousands, we have taken--we got to get that wall built all the way across, and they don't want it, that's like a symbol.
They're only good at one thing--what's that term? Resist. It's the party of Maxine Waters, do you believe her? [booing]
No, no. No, no. This has become the party of Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi, that's who it is. So they don't mind crime, they want open borders, we one really tough borders, and we want people to come in, we want people to come in through the legal process, what about the thousands of people? What about the thousands of people that have gone through this process, that are waiting on line to come into our country, and then we're going to let these people pour in?
We have no idea who they are, and they came to me three days ago. Sir, we'd like you to sign this order. What is the order? We need five thousand judges on the border. I said, "Judges?" What other country has judges? I said, "How many do we have now?" They didn't even know. So we have thousands of judges and now we're going to have five thousand. Now, I've done a good job with judges, Judge Gorsuch, Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch. [applause]
And we have many judges, we will set the record I believe for the most judges appointed, which is a very important thing, we're putting great talented people who see the Constitution the way it's written, they don't make up the Constitution. [applause]
But they come up, and this was an order, this was--sir, we need five thousand judges, I said, five thousand? So, we put a judge on like on the bench, federal, it takes us weeks to vet, it takes us a long time to get the judges, one--we're talking about one person. And they want five thousand, I said, "Where are you going to find five thousand people to be judges? How many do we have now?" I don't know the number. They don't even know the number, even though they're in charge, OK? Nobody knows the number. We have thousands of judges already.
So, if a person comes into our country, steps one foot, they take their name, they bring them to court, they then release them, they go into the country, you never see them again. It's the craziest thing I've ever seen. [booing]
So, I said today, I said today, I don't want judges, I want ICE and Border Patrol Agents, that's what I want. [applause]
I want it, that's all. And we want to tell people, I'm sorry, you're coming into the country illegally, we don't want you in the country, that's it, it's now over. You know that I heard a number today which is hard to believe, we have 700,000 people waiting to go on trial, 700, this isn't from Trump, it was a disaster for Bush, although we very much appreciated Laura Bush's lovely letter, it was a disaster for Bush, it was a disaster for Obama, in fact, the head of his homeland was on over the weekend, and he--honestly, he was very honest about it. He said it was a tough thing, it was a tough time for them. But we're going to straighten it out. Hey look. I got a bad hand, I got the job, and trade deals were bad. I mean, how bad were trade deals?
Trade deals were bad. North Korea, they thought they were going to war, you go to war with North Korea, you're going to lose anywhere from 30 to 50 million people. Seoul is a city with 28 million people, 28 million people. So, you go, and you go to war, you lose 30, 40, 50, who knows? Millions of people, and I'm not even talking about nuclear, they have thousands of cannons aimed right at Seoul.
And I said, huh, I'm telling you before I got--took over this office, there was a really good chance that we were going to war with North Korea, you could have lost millions, and millions of people. So, I got a bad hand with North Korea because that's should've been done years ago.
I got a bad hand with all these horrible trade deals, NAFTA is a disaster, Mexico is going to make over one hundred billion dollars in the United States this year, Canada, you know, Canada, nice guy, nice guy, Prime Minister Justin, I said, "Justin, what's your problem, Justin?" So, Canada, "Oh, Canada," I love their national anthem, "Oh, Canada," I like ours better, however. [applause]
So, you know, Canada is great, I love Canada, but--and we had a wonderful understanding, you know that story, we hugged, we kissed, everybody was happy, I made some changes in this ridiculous thing that everybody agreed to sign, so it was meaningless, but I made some changes. I left everybody was happy, Prime Minister Abe said, "President Trump was right, everybody was in love." They took the picture with Merkel, but if they showed the picture of like two minutes later, I had a big smile, she had a big smile, we were friendly, everybody.
I get onto Air Force One, and he doesn't understand that Air Force One has 22 televisions. So, I come on, they have televisions in closets, they have televisions in areas that no place has--unlimited budget, Air Force One, huh?
So I get onto the plane, and I see Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada saying, Canada will not be bullied by the United States, I said, "So, what are we doing here?" The fact is, that Canada has a 275 percent tariff on dairy products, little thing called dairy products. Their lumber is a disaster with us, I say, why aren't we using our own lumber? Because now we're actually allowed to take lumber from our fields and regrow it, but take lumber from under our environmental system, in the old days you couldn't do that, we had to go to other countries, but we--so lumber is a disaster, energy is a disaster, and, you know, I see Justin saying, "We fought World War I together, fought World War II together," that's true, we love Canada.
But Canada is charging almost 300 percent tariffs on dairy products and many other things, it's all working out great. It's all working out great. But I said, "Look, if you want to do that, we're going to put a little tariff when your cars are coming in," you know, cars are the biggie. Cars are the biggie. European Union, we lost $151 billion last year with the European Union. Sounds nice, many of us originally came from somewhere in the European Union. I had two parents, European Union.
So, it sounds wonderful, our country lost 151 billion. They send a Mercedes, they send BMW's, they send everything, we tax them practically nothing, we can't send our cars, and if we do, they charge many, many times the tax that we stupidly don't charge. So I told them, "Here's what we're going to do, we're going to charge a tariff on steel, until such time as you straighten out your act and you let us have fair." They don't. . . [applause]
They don't let our farmers into the European Union, it's very hard. So we have farmers that want to sell, you don't hear these stories, this is why, with these people, they don't tell you these stories. The European Union has what they call trade barriers, the European Union doesn't allow our farmers to go and trade, it's very hard for them to go to trade. And if they do, it's very expensive, same like Canada.
Essentially, when you're paying a 275 percent tax and now I'm understanding it's higher, but at 275, that's essentially a trade barrier, you can't trade. How can we trade? We can't pay that kind of a tax. So, I want the barriers taken down, I want our farmers to be able to trade, I want to be able to sell cars in there just like they sell cars in here. [applause]
And it's all going to work out, it's all going to work out. Remember this, remember this, it's all going to work out, because we're the piggy bank that they like to take from, whether it's military protection, you look at NATO, NATO, we're spending 90 percent of NATO, now it's all wonderful, and we like to help out, but it helps them, they're in Europe, it helps them a lot more than it helps us, we're very far away.
So we have this incredible--Germany is paying one percent of a much smaller GDP. We're paying close to four percent of a much larger GDP. Now, that doesn't work, folks. It doesn't work. So, I think we should pay the same as Germany, I just think we should pay the same as Germany. [applause]
So we're working all of these things, but the fact is, we were given somewhat of a bad hand, because we came in they had all these problems, but I love it, I'm loving what we're doing, you people are loving what we're doing. [applause]
We have the great Peter Navarro. I'll tell you one thing, Peter Navarro does like tariffs, he probably likes them more than I do, there's Peter Navarro right there, raise your hand, Peter. [applause]
So, they're all calling. They all want to make deals, before I did this, they weren't calling the Obama administration, but the Obama administration--and in all fairness, the Bush Administration didn't care, it wasn't their thing. Last year on trade, our country lost $817 billion with a B, billion dollars, 817. We lost $817 billion, who the hell can do that? I mean, we don't have to be perfect, we don't even have to get it down to zero, but we can't lose 800--and so, because you feel like sort of stupid, don't you? Don't you feel stupid?
And the biggest, of course, was China, China made anywhere depending on the way you count from $375 billion, we built China, and I really like President Xi, but we built China. And they did help us on the border with North Korea, they might not be helping us anymore, and that would be too bad. But, that would be too bad.
And I've been as nice as I can as long as I can, but we've got to get some balance, and it doesn't have to be perfect, but there's got to be some fairness, you know, I'm a believer in free trade, but I'm really a believer in fair trade. This is--this is ridiculous. [applause]
And I said to a man in China, how did it get so bad? Because they know the gig is up. How did it get so bad? And remember this, you know, we picked up since I got elected, we picked up tremendous worth, we've picked up anywhere from nine to seven, to seven to nine trillion dollars. We're almost twice the size of China's economy, nobody knows that. Nobody knows that. [applause]
Nobody knows that. So I said, how did it get so bad? He said, well, what happened is we would put on a tax on cars, you know, in China, if you sell a car into China from the United States, they charge you a 25 percent tax, if China sells a car into the United States, we charge them two and a half percent. So it's two and a half percent versus 25 percent, somehow I'm looking at this rich guy right over here, that doesn't work too well, do you agree? That's not a big worker, right? I bet you're a very successful guy. I could see. I can see the eyes, you know, big success.
But that doesn't work too well, sir, does it? And we have many, many cases like that. We have many cases like that, so we're going to straighten it out, and they all want to negotiate, because they have to negotiate, I mean, honestly they have to negotiate.
It has to happen, it's not like--that's not a threat, it's like the Iran Deal, we're so bad, we paid $150 billion to sign a horrible agreement, we gave $1.8 billion in cash to pick up four hostages. [booing]
They're the wealthiest hostages in the world. They have the highest net worth of any hostage in history. We paid nothing, nothing to North Korea, and he did a very smart thing, because it was goodwill, it was good. We did it before I even left. So, you know, there are a lot of good things, and a lot of good things are happening, folks. And it's all going to work out, and it's going to work out because we have a big advantage. Because remember, we're the bank and they're taking money from us hand over fist, but at some point that's got to stop. It's got to stop. We can lower your taxes which we did, we gave you the greatest tax cut in the history of our country. [applause]
Right? We have some incredible things happening with health care. We got very badly hurt, we had all the votes, and then one gentleman early in the morning, like 2:00 in the morning, he went, "No," well he campaigned on repealing and replace, we had all the votes, and perhaps he was grandstanding, who knows what he was doing? But you know what? He said, "No, no." Everybody said, "What the hell happened?" He's been campaigning for eight years repeal and replace, and he didn't do that, but now, what we've done in the tax cut is we've gotten rid of the individual mandate, the individual mandate. [applause]
We've gotten rid of it. And by the way, I have these stupid teleprompters, you don't mind that I haven't used them all night, do you? Every once in a while--every once in a while I look at it, I mean, it's so boring, we don't want it. America's back, bigger, and better, and stronger than ever. You've heard that before. [applause]
No, I, you know, I'm looking, I keep looking, I just see things, and just--they're true, but they're not quite as exciting. So, we are doing so well, we are lifting millions and millions of Americans from welfare to work. [applause]
From dependence to independence. And from poverty to prosperity, right? We're putting new American steel into the spine of our country and breathing new hope into our beautiful communities. True. The forgotten men and women of our country, our forgotten, where they're still trying to figure out who the hell were all these people that came and voted two years ago? Who are they? Who are they? Yeah. [applause]
All of us. They're trying to find, how do we get to the forgotten men and women? I said, I think you've lost them for a long time. Because just like this producer from Hollywood said, we're doing a real job, I don't believe, so now it's 511 days. I don't believe any administration--and you're with us, we're partners in this whole deal, you know, when we came out, we're partners, this is not me. This is a whole group of people. I don't believe and I don't even think it's close that any president has done what we've done in 500 days. [applause]
Not only the judges, not only the biggest tax cuts, not only ANWR in Alaska. You know all about ANWR, one of the great drilling sites in the world, but nobody could get oil and gas, that nobody could get approved. Ronald Reagan couldn't get it. Nobody could. I didn't even want it until I heard everybody else wanted it and I said, "It's like a freebie. That's part of our tax cuts", tax cut and reform, right? We want cut. Please give me the word "cut", right?
You've heard that story. I want the word "cut". So, we cut regulations more than any president in history whether it's four years, eight years, 16 years. [applause]
And we have more cutting to do. And by the way, we want regulation. We want crystal clean water. We want beautiful, clean air. We want it more than anybody and our air and our water now is better than it ever has been, and we're going to keep it that way. It's important. It's very important.
So, as long as we are proud of who we are and we are very proud of who we are and what we're fighting for, we as a country will never ever fail. We'll never fail. [applause]
We have 3.4 million new jobs since Election Day. [applause]
If I would have said during the campaign that I was going to create 3.4 million new jobs, that countries--you have no idea what we're going through. Countries are trying to hold back their companies that used to be our companies from leaving and moving back to the United States. We have companies, Chrysler, so many companies coming back in to the United States. They want to be where the action is, not only because of the tax cuts, but for a lot of other reasons including frankly those regulation cuts.
But we have more jobs. We have higher stats. The manufacturers of the United States voted, they said "This is the single most optimism that manufacturers of this country have ever had", small business owners, the same thing. It's the most optimistic that they've ever been. They've never been this optimistic. [applause]
And I'll tell you something. I'd like to take the credit for this, but I can't because it's Henry. South Carolina is doing unbelievable business. Companies are pouring in. New jobs are way up. Your numbers are through the roof. You're a real leader. All over the country, they're looking at South Carolina. Well, your governor is a man named Henry McMaster. You're doing unbelievable numbers. [applause]
I didn't want to say that, Henry. I didn't want to say that, Henry. I wanted to take the credit for myself, but I figured South Carolina would understand, right? But we're standing on the shoulders of true American patriots who put down the railroads, built up the highways and dug out a thing called the Panama Canal and lost many lives doing it--mosquitoes, lost many, many lives.
They crossed oceans. They trekked deserts. They scaled mountains and built the most incredible nation the world has ever seen, but our nation was going badly in the wrong direction for a long period of time. We have $7 trillion invested in the Middle East. What do we have? What do we have other than death and destruction? What do we have? What a decision that was to go in.
I believe it was the worst decision in the history of our country, and the way we got out was horrible. If you look at Iraq, the way we got out was horrible. Truly one of the worst decisions ever made in this country. $7 trillion and thousands of lives--we count the lives on both sides, folks, millions of lives in my opinion, millions. You don't hear that, millions of lives. Our ancestors won two world wars, defeated fascism and communism, and put a man on the face of the moon. And by the way, NASA is now open for business. [applause]
And I put a great man, a wonderful human being and a great leader, just a friend, Mike Pence, Vice President, in charge. And I had a meeting with Mike and a lot of the people running NASA. And I said, "Listen. You got rich guys. For whatever reason, they love rockets. We don't have to put up so much money. Let them put up the money and build." And you got all these guys sending rockets all over the place. We'll get the credit.
I said, "Lease them the land. Charge them a lot, but let's do it that way." That's a lot better. We're like a landlord. So, we're also doing our thing, but we do. You have all these rich guys. I don't know what it is. They love rockets. I said "this is great" because you can't send rockets up like down the street, right? You can't take the local plot, the local Walmart, the local store, and send the rocket.
So, we have these incredible big sites that are meant exactly for this with the gantries, will all of this infrastructure. Much of it hasn't been used in a long time. And we're back in business. But I said to them and I think the business people, "let the rich guys pay for it. We got the site. We got the real estate. Let them put their rockets up." You saw Elon the other day. He put a rocket. I never saw anything like it. Yes. I've been watching rockets go up my whole life. OK. After a while, it's like--but what I thought was incredible was when the engines came back down.
Did you see that? The engines, they came back down. Now, they're only two. The third one is missing someplace, but that's OK. No. But I thought that was incredible. But you have all these rich guys, they are worth billions of dollars, they want to spend money on rocketry. I think it's great. And I told my people, "Let them do it because if they reach the moon with their money, we're going to take all the credit, OK?" They're going to forget about it. Nobody is going to remember their name, but they're going to remember our names. So, let them do it. Let them do it.
But to keep this momentum going, we need more Republicans in Washington and we need Governor Henry McMaster as a continuation in South Carolina. It's very important. [applause]
Come here, Henry--because with your help, we're going to continue to win. Do you remember in the campaign? Henry, you remember, I'd come to South Carolina. I'd say, "we're going to win so much. You people are going to get so tired of winning." You're going to say, "Governor McMaster, please we can't stand winning anymore. Governor McMaster, go to Washington, talk to the president. We can't win anymore."
We're going to win. Remember I said we're going to win at trade. We're going to win at space. By the way, Henry, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force, right, Air Force, and what are we going to do, Space Force. People love that. [applause]
You know-- it's going to be--we talk about rockets going up, but, Henry, defense is now largely based with the satellites and everything else in space. And the problem is when you have the Air Force, I don't think they're going to really sort of--they want those planes flying. They want it. But I don't think they're going to be focusing on space maybe like they should.
So, we're going to create a Space Force and it's going to be great. And we need that militarily and in many other ways, but we do need it militarily also. So, this week, it is so important to go out and vote for country, vote for family, vote for values. It's been values. Vote for victory and vote for Henry. He is a great, great gentleman. He's a great gentleman.
Because as a group, together, we will make America wealthy again, we will make America strong again. We will make America safe again, Henry. And we will make America great again. [applause]
Thank you, South Carolina. Thank you. Thank you. [applause]
The President spoke at Airport High School, West Columbia, South Carolina. Also speaking was South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, candidate for reelection.
This transcript was prepared for the American Presidency Project by Matthew Danaher.
Donald J. Trump, Remarks at a “Make America Great Again" Rally, West Columbia South Carolina. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/332467