Remarks at the House Republican Conference Member Retreat Dinner in Baltimore, Maryland
The President. Thank you very much. Thank you, everybody. That's some group. Some group. Thank you. [Applause] Winning is a good thing, isn't it? Winning. It's a good thing.
Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
The President. Thank you very much. Thank you. That's fantastic. A lot of power in this room. Wow. Lot of power.
Thank you, Kevin, for your friendship and for your devotion to our Nation.
I'm delighted to be here with so many terrific Republican Members of Congress. You really are terrific people. I especially want to thank our amazing leadership team: Republican whip, and one of the bravest men I know, Steve Scalise. Steve, thank you very much. Conference Chair Liz Cheney. Thank you, Liz. NRCC Chair Tom Emmer. Tom. Thank you, Tom. Thank you, Tom. And Chief Deputy Whip Drew Ferguson. Great job. Thank you, Drew. Great job.
I also want to proudly welcome our newest Republican Congressmen, two people that fought a big fight for the last number of months, and they're winners. They reacted so incredibly under pressure. The whole world was watching. A lot of people were hoping for the opposite outcome, but many more people were hoping for the outcome that we had. A man who wasn't expected necessarily to win, and then he got in gear, and he was brutal and brilliant, and he did a great job. Now, soon to be, and now Congressman Dan Bishop—for many years. Thank you, Dan. Dan, thank you. What a great job. What a great job, Dan.
And another man who fought so hard, and he was supposed to win by a little tiny bit, a couple of points, and he won by a lot of points. That was a big victory, and I want to just congratulate you. Greg Murphy is going to be with you folks for a long time. These two people are special people.
North Carolina—thank you, North Carolina. They were some crowds that turned out. They turned out, and they turned out like people never expected. And they were—that was just a great evening of television. I wouldn't say the fake news was too happy with the outcome, but that's okay. That's okay. We did it. And we worked together as a team, and it was very inspirational for a lot of people to watch.
Everyone here tonight has a critical role to play at the vital crossroads of our Nation. Democrats in Congress have embraced an extreme, destructive, and dangerous agenda: radical socialism and open borders. Democrats are determined to replicate the most catastrophic failures of world history right here in the United States. They've never learned. They haven't watched.
Each of you in the House Republican Conference is on the frontlines defending American freedom, American security, American prosperity, and the American way of life. You're the ones—you're doing the defense. Hundreds of millions of our fellow citizens are counting on us, and, so help us God, we will never, ever let them down. Together, we're going to fight historic battles, and we have historic battles ahead of us. Going to make our country even greater. And we're going to win overwhelming victories for the American people. The spirit that we have in the Republican Party I don't believe has ever been this high. Over the past 2½ years, we've already delivered unprecedented progress for citizens of every background and every walk of life. Now we must go directly to the American people to share the story of what we have achieved and to explain our bold vision for the future.
Working with Republicans in Congress, we slashed 30,000 pages of regulations from the Federal Register. And that is an alltime record, and we did that in a lot less years. That's an alltime record, no matter how long a President served. We saved an average American household $3,000. Earlier today my administration formally repealed the horrible, dangerous, anti-everything "Waters of the United States" Rule. Thank you, Louie. Thank you, Louie. [Applause] Thank you. I would say the only thing that had going for it that was good was the title. [Laughter] That was—I said, "I'm the only one that would sign this." But it was a good thing we did. Right, Louie? It was a good thing we did. Government will no longer try to micromanage every rain puddle and every drainage ditch on private land. They took your land away from you.
Together, we enacted the VA Accountability Act so that anyone who mistreats or abuses our great veterans can be promptly fired. [Laughter] There was a time you couldn't fire anyone, no matter how they treated our veterans, whether they stole or they were sadists. And we had some of them too. You couldn't fire them, and now we can do it very, very quickly and easily. They don't treat our veterans well. We get them out. Since then, we've removed more than 7,600 employees who failed to give our vets the care that they so richly deserve.
We're also very proud to tell you that the Veterans Choice, which is something special—so special; they've been trying to get it for decades and decades—Choice—so that more veterans have the right to see a private doctor, if they have to wait on line, instead of waiting for 2 weeks or 3 weeks or 5 weeks, or numbers that you wouldn't even believe. Think of it. You're sick, you're not feeling well, and they tell you, "Come back in 4 weeks."
Now you go outside, you go to a local doctor that you—of your choice, by the way—unlike somebody else, where they said, "You can have your doctor and you can have your plan" 28 times. That didn't work out too well. [Laughter] You go out and you see a doctor of your choice. We pay the bill. And it's been an incredible thing. I'll tell you, what's happening at the VA has been really something special. If you look and—you just see it. All you used to see and read about is how bad the VA was run, how horrible it was. And you don't hear those stories anymore.
Now, you know, what we'll go is, these people will run out, and they'll start trying to find somebody. "Who is unhappy?" Thousands and hundreds of thousands of people? "Who's unhappy? Please call us immediately." And that's the problem. But I will tell you, people are really happy. What we've done there is incredible.
We achieved record funding to restore the awesome might of the American military: $700 billion last year; $716 billion this year; and now, just approved—thank you very much—$738 billion next year. More money, by far, than ever before. And remember, that's all money; it's built in the U.S.A. We build it right here.
America, I will tell you, is respected again. Our Nation is stronger today than ever before. We have the greatest equipment. We have people with spirit like they haven't had. But we now have the greatest equipment. When I came in 2½ years ago, our equipment was old and tired. Our ammunition was low. Our planes didn't fly well. Many of them didn't fly at all. Now we have beautiful, new planes and jets and fighter jets and bombers. And we have everything. And hopefully, we don't have to use them too much, and maybe we don't have to use them at all. But we have the greatest military we've ever had.
And together, so importantly, we ended the last administration's heartless war on American energy. For all of the folks in Texas—we've got a lot of you tonight—you're very happy. And plenty of other places. But you're very happy. The United States is now the number-one energy producer anywhere in the world, by far. For the first time in more than 60 years—this just happened—we are now a net exporter of American natural gas. And we're ending decades of foreign energy reliance to unleash the blessings of American energy independence. We are really—if you look at what's going on in certain countries in the Middle East, and you look at the Straits, and you see the ships, and they're being taken, and they're being—not too often, by the way, because frankly, Iran is a much different country than it was 2½ years ago.
But they were saying, "We don't see any American ships." There are no American—number one, they wouldn't take them. They'd better not take them. And number two, we don't have too many there. We used to be flooded. We used to get everything there. And now it's a whole different story. We're very energy independent.
We've invested billions of dollars to combat the opioid crisis and those struggling with addiction to find access to treatment, education, and employment, a tremendous problem. We've had tremendous success with opioid. Not that it goes away, but we're looking very strongly for something that can really take away the pain—just take away the pain—without being addictive. And we're getting very close. This is a brutal—people go into the hospital for a week, and they come out drug addicts. They come out addicted. It's a terrible thing. But we're working very hard, and we're getting very close, finding a painkiller that's not addictive.
For the first time in three decades, drug overdose deaths have declined. Think of that. Over 30 years. First time.
Thanks to the entire Republican team in Congress, we passed the biggest tax cut and reform in American history. And we're now working on a middle tax—we're working on a tax cut for the middle-income people. That is going to be very, very inspirational. It's going to be something that I think it's what everyone is really looking for. And we'll be announcing it sometime in the next year. But it will be a very, very substantial tax cut for middle-income folks who work so hard. And we look forward to that. We're going to work on it all together.
And you see what the other tax cut has done. And frankly, I'm not sure, but I would say that the regulation cuts—those massive cuts in regulation—still have plenty of regulation—but those massive cuts probably equal the tax cuts in terms of jobs and in terms of businesses. So the combination of everything really worked, because we probably have, right now, the strongest economy in the history of our Nation.
And where the media is trying to—begging. Oh, they want a recession so badly. Oh. [Laughter] The word. And every time they go after us, you notice the market goes up? It's the craziest thing. You're going to have to explain this one to me. But we're doing great. We're very close to having another stock market record. It went up again today. And we had—I think it's over a hundred records, in other words, days where the stock market hit, in the history of our country, alltime highs. I think it's over a hundred. I'll get the exact number, but it is really something. And we are very close. And about 3 weeks ago, if you listened, it was like "doom and gloom." I don't think they believed it, but that's okay.
I will tell you, we're doing very well with China, because China would like to do something. We're taking in billions and billions of tariffs. And they're eating the cost. This is not being borne very much by us. They're eating the costs. But we're taking in billions and billions, money flowing in. We've never taken in 10 cents from China. And they want to do something, because their supply lines, their supply chains, are being broken like toys. And people are leaving, and people are—millions of jobs in China are being lost. And we don't want that, but we want a fair deal. We lowered our business tax from one of the highest in the world to one of the most competitive. Since that law was passed, nearly $1 trillion have returned to our shores. One trillion dollars. It was part of what we did.
We doubled the child tax credit. Thank you to a number of people for that, but especially Ivanka Trump. That was so important to her to make sure that she understood. Jared is here, but she understood exactly what that meant. She worked so hard on that.
We created Opportunity Zones to revitalize distressed communities. Tim Scott was fantastic and so many other Senators. They worked with us so hard on that. But Tim Scott in particular really worked hard. South Carolina. And we thanked him. But they are doing numbers that nobody believed possible, the Opportunity Zones. So much money is going to into areas where it would never seen—see money, and it hasn't seen it in a long time.
We eliminated Obamacare's cruel and unpopular individual mandate.
Since our election in 2016, we've created more than 6 million new jobs, including over 1 million manufacturing, energy, and construction jobs. Remember when President Obama said, "No, no, forget the manufacturing; not going to happen"? Well, we have almost 600,000, just in terms of manufacturing jobs. And nobody thought that was possible.
And frankly, as soon as we get the trade stuff, perfect, just the way we want it—we'll only sign it when it's good, really good—wait till you see what happens with this economy. We are ready to really rock it even more. We've done very well. You go from election night, the day after—take November 9—and you look at the numbers on stock markets, over 50 percent; 401k(s) are through the roof. People come up to me all the time: "Thank you, sir. My 401(k) is up 72 percent." It's up—whatever it may be. Numbers that they've never had before. Nobody has ever seen anything like it.
And this is when we're fighting people on trade, when we have this great military, and we defend countries that are immensely wealthy, and they don't help us out; they don't pay us for almost anything. And we're talking to those countries. They're our friends; they're our allies. Sometimes, our allies treat us worse than anybody else. But we can't let that happen, and they don't want to let that happen.
It just takes a little getting used to, because nobody has ever asked them. "Look, we're defending your country, you're rich as can be. You've got to help us out. You've got to pay a little bit." And they go, "No, no." I say, "No, no, no, King. You've got to pay." "No, no, Mr. President." "Mr. Prime Minister, you've got to pay. You've got to pay." And the answer is, "But, uh, nobody has ever asked us to do that before." I said: "That's why I'm different. That's why I'm different. I'm asking you to do it."
I always say, "You know, tell me, why are we defending you free?" Or "Why are we defending you for a tiny fraction of what it costs? And then, you take advantage of the United States for many years on trade?" So we get killed with trade, we get killed with defending your nation. "Tell me, Mr. President, tell me, Mr. Prime Minister, tell me, King or Queen, why are we protecting your country and you take advantage of us, really, of us on trade?" And they go, "But nobody has ever asked me that question before." I said, "Tell me why." They can't think of an answer. The only thing they say all the time, "Because it has always been that way." I said: "Well, it's not going to be that way any longer. You've got to pay." It's true. Not going to be that way any longer.
Last month alone, nearly 600,000 people joined our workforce. For the first time ever, most new hires are minorities and women. Nobody knows that, because the media doesn't get that across. More than 7 million Americans have been lifted off of food stamps. And we now have a—13 straight months of wage gains of at least 3 percent. Think of that. Remember, during the campaign, I used to say that people would go back 21 years—that was when I was running—21 years. And they made more money 21 years ago than they were making 2½ years ago. They were making more money. And I said, "Isn't that terrible?" And they had two jobs and even three jobs, and they made more money 21 years before. Not anymore.
African American and Hispanic American unemployment have reached the lowest rates ever recorded in the history of our country. I wonder if that will be mentioned tonight during the debate. [Laughter] I don't know, I have a feeling. What do you think, Steve? I don't think so. Kevin, you think they'll be talking about that? I don't think so. That's a good debate point. As they hit me left and right, I'll say, African American unemployment is the lowest it's ever been. And just leave the stage, say: "Thank you very much. Good luck." [Laughter] But another good one is that African American and Hispanic American poverty rates have also reached the alltime, in our history, record lows. I mean, how do you lose this debate? How do you lose the debate? That's a tough one to beat also.
Our Pledge to the American Worker has already secured commitments for 13 million employment and training opportunities for American citizens. We have these great companies—greatest companies in the world—and they're training people. Government can't really train them. We're training people through these incredible programs where we're going to these unbelievable—Walmart, as an example, and so many others. We're going to the companies, and they're taking people and training them. We could never train them for that. Nobody can train them for that; only the company itself. Thirteen million people, and it's something beautiful to see.
We gather tonight to celebrate these extraordinary gains. We've done things that I don't think any administration has even come close in the first 2½ years. We have done things that very, very few have even thought about doing. But we also meet to prepare for the coming fight, because the traditions and beliefs that have made the American Dream possible are under attack like never before. You've never seen anything like it; I've never seen anything like it.
House Democrats are pursuing the most radical far-left program ever put forward in that historic Chamber. It's the Democrats, and it's the media. We're fighting two battles. The Democrats and the media, it's as if they're one. Because they are one. They're working together. They're colluding. [Laughter] And they're obstructing.
With the grim specter of socialism descending on the Democrat Party, it's up to all of us to ensure the survival of American liberty. We have a big task. We have a very big task. Don't forget, people say, "Oh, you're going to beat this one or that one," and "they're so far left." It's very hard to beat a Socialist when you have a very wealthy country. We have a very wealthy country. And when they say: "We're going to give away your health care. We're going to do free education. We're going to cut student loan debt down to nothing, $1.6 trillion out the window. We're going to do this, we're going to do that." Everything is given away. And then, they say, "Oh, we don't have to raise your taxes too much." If you paid five times what people are paying right now, you wouldn't come close.
And you know, we're working very hard on a place called Venezuela. Fifteen years ago, it was one of the wealthiest countries in the world. And today, they don't have food. They don't have water. They don't have anything. They don't have anything. We're sending things to help them—we have to—on a humanitarian basis. And we're working with Colombia and other nations to help the people that have been able to essentially escape. But that was socialism. And look what happened to them in a short period of time. On issue after issue, Americans must choose between two fundamentally different visions that will define our Nation for many generations to come. More than 130 Democrats in Congress have signed up for the Bernie Sanders total Government takeover of health care—[laughter]—Crazy Bernie; he is a crazy guy—which would dramatically raise middle class taxes, eliminate private health insurance for 180 million Americans, and destroy Medicare forever.
Republicans will always protect Medicare for our great seniors who earned it, and they paid for it. And we will always protect patients with preexisting conditions.
Two hundred and twenty-eight House Democrats voted to put America back into the disastrous Paris climate accord. How's that working out for Paris? How's that one working out for France? The yellow vests. They didn't like all that money being sent to people that they never heard of the country from which they came. And it hasn't been working out well.
But that would have been a disaster for us. It would have cost us a tremendous fortune. They were going to take away our wealth. They were going to say we can't do certain businesses. We can't take the oil and gas. We can't do anything. This would have been one of the great travesties.
And you know, incredibly, that and the Clean Waters Act, which didn't give you clean waters. By the way, today, we have the cleanest air, we have the cleanest water that we've ever had in the history of our country. Right, Louie?
And just for the press—because they'll get me on that one, I'm thinking—let's say, the history of our country over the last 25 years. You know, I would say that the first few years, they probably had cleaner air and cleaner water, because there was nobody here. [Laughter] So I have to be very accurate. But they'll put it on anyway. They won't put—right, Louie? They won't put the second part on. They won't put the explanation on. But we do. We have clean air; we have clean water.
The Paris accord would do nothing to improve our environment. It would only punish our country while foreign polluters operate with impunity. Isn't it incredible? You look at China, you look at India, you look at Russia, you look at so many other places, their smokestacks are pouring out. Everything is pouring out. And I want to be clean. And we're going to be clean.
But isn't it, sort of, naïve? And then, they talk about plastic straws. I say: "What about the plate? What about the wrapper that's made out of a much tougher plastic? What about all the other plastic?" "Well, we haven't gotten to that. Just straws. That's the only thing we're worried about." Someday, you'll explain that to me, Louie. I'm sure you're not—you're a big environmentalist. Can you explain the straw? No, I don't think so. Nobody else can either. By the way, you know who else can't? They can't. [Laughter] They can't explain it.
We did a couple of things. We're working on cars, because for a virtually just insignificant amount of energy, we're going to be able to produce cars that are substantially—by $3,500 or so—cheaper, less expensive, that are much, much safer—because they're heavier, they're stronger. They're not made out of papier-mâché. [Laughter] They're heavier, stronger, and they'll cost a lot less money. And you saw that.
The lightbulb. People said, "What's with the lightbulb?" I said, "Here's the story"—and I looked at it—the bulb that we're being forced to use—number one, to me, most importantly, the light is no good. I always look orange. [Laughter] And so do you. The light is the worst. But number two, it's many times more expensive than that old incandescent bulb that worked very well. And very importantly—I don't know if you know this—they have warnings. If it breaks, it's considered a hazardous waste site, its gasses inside.
And read what they say: "If it breaks, bring it to your local whatever. Have it wrapped, have it this." What are we doing? What are we doing? And I said to one of the top people today, "Well, they break a lot. Don't they?" "Yes, sir." "What do they do?" "They just throw them away. They don't care." But they call it "hazardous waste." But it's many times more expensive. And the light is not as good. I mean, frankly, the light is not as good.
So we're going to sell that. But we're also going to sell incandescent bulbs. And people are so happy about it. It's really been pretty amazing. People don't tell you why. All they do is say, "Oh, he's getting rid of an energy-efficient bulb." Well, they don't tell you about the dangers of the bulb, and they don't tell you about the cost of that bulb.
Over 100 Democrats have signed up to support the $100 trillion Green New Deal. [Laughter] That's a beauty. No more cows. No more planes. I guess, no more people, right? [Laughter] Because Kevin is just like a cow, he's just smaller. [Laughter] I had to pick somebody for that one, Kevin, and I just looked at that beautiful, political face of yours, you know? [Laughter] There's a little truth to that.
But this Green New Deal is crazy. Now, they're talking about it tonight. I see hardened Democrat politicians that are—you know, have been smart. And I say: "It's incredible. They're standing behind A.O.C."—I call her "Cortez," because you don't have enough time to go through the whole name. I just call—[laughter]—"Cortez." They don't like that, when you call her Cortez, but her name is Cortez. Too—too long. Or I call her "A.O.C." Then I call the others "A.O.C. plus 3." [Laughter] They don't like that. A.O.C. plus 3—that's the definition.
But you know, I see her, and I see what's she's talking. She's—she's going through this deal. It's so insane. But I don't want to talk about it. It's too early. I hit Pocahontas way too early. [Laughter] I thought she was gone. She's emerged from the ashes. And now it looks like she could beat Sleepy Joe. He's fallen asleep. He has no idea what the hell he's doing or saying. [Laughter]
And President Xi of China, he is tough. Oh, boy, he's a furious kind of a guy. Great guy, but he's dying to see—he wants Sleepy Joe. Can you imagine those two guys in a room? Here's Xi: "Hwah!" And here's Sleepy Joe, "What?" [Laughter] "Where am I? Where am I?" "Just sign here, Sleepy Joe. Just sign here." [Laughter] "Like you guys have been doing for the last 25 years. Let us keep taking $500 billion out of your account. Let's keep rebuilding China with America's money." That's stopping. A lot of things are stopping that are bad and foolish, crazy.
But we won't let Democrats obliterate domestic industry and cripple working-class families with sky-high energy prices.
Democrats are proposing to pack the courts with lawless activist judges. We have one. We have many. Look at some of these rulings. But lately, we're doing well. Lately, we're doing well. And today I signed the 150th judge.
Audience member. Yes!
The President. Federal judge. Think of it: One hundred and fifty, including court of appeals and two great Supreme Court Justices. Think of that.
And yesterday, coincidentally, we just won the asylum case. The big one. The big one. And we won it in a vote of 7 to 2. So that wasn't a very close one, Kevin. Seven to two. And to me—so importantly—because we want to build that wall, we're going to build that wall, and we are building that wall. Because 3 months ago, we won the case on the wall, so that wall is being built, and it's being built rapidly. And we hope to have as much as 500 miles of wall built by the end of next year. Five hundred miles. That's a lot. That's about what we want. And that's being built despite the most obstructive group of people I've ever seen. And let me tell you, if they want to run their campaign on open borders, and if they want to run their campaign on some of the things they're saying—Green New Deal and all it entails—I just say, let them go. Don't criticize it too much, please.
Because one thing I've learned about politics: You can say something one day that's just absolutely insane like they're saying, and then, about 2 weeks later, say the exact opposite. And nobody will ever even call you on it. It's the craziest business.
You're in the craziest business I've ever seen. [Laughter] It's crazy. You can do whatever you want, and then, 2 weeks later, they'll say something different. So I want to bring them way down the pike before we start criticizing the Green New Deal.
So I just want to say, because we've got a lot of television watching tonight, even though, I guess, they should be watching the debate, but they're probably watching us. [Laughter] But we have a lot. See those cameras back there. We kept the reporters out. But we have those cameras. See those red bulbs? That means we're on live.
But I will tell you this: The Green New Deal, we just want that thing to go as long as it can. Because anybody that can win office, promoting the Green New Deal, they deserve to win. [Laughter] They've got to be really good. They've got to have the greatest line of crap anybody has ever had in the history of politics. [Laughter] Their delivery has to be perfect. Sometimes, unfortunately, delivery is more important than what you say. And theirs has to be.
And I've always said about the Democrats, they're lousy politicians, but they have one thing that's incredible: They stick together. And you people have to stick together. And you do. I know you. We have more spirit with our Congress men and women than we've ever had—that, I see. And you're in a small—you're just a little short of taking the majority. And you're going to take it. You're going to take the majority.
And Dan—Dan Bishop and Greg Murphy, they'll tell you, because they saw what happened. We went into those communities, and they went out to vote like nobody has ever seen before. And I'm going to stop at every community that I can. We're going to make a list of 50 or so, and we'll stop there. I've got a lot of energy. That's good. If you don't have the energy, you can forget that one.
Hillary, she'd make two stops, and she'd say, "I got to rest for a couple of weeks." [Laughter] "Let me rest for a couple of weeks." No, she didn't like stairs. She didn't like airplanes. She didn't like a lot. She said, "I don't have to go to Wisconsin to campaign." Her husband Bill, who is a pro, said: "You know, I saw what they're doing in Wisconsin. I don't like it. There's a lot of those 'Trump' and 'Trump/Pence' signs out there. There's a lot of them. I don't like it." "Don't worry about it, darling. Wisconsin is going to be just fine."
"The winner of Wisconsin is Donald Trump." [Laughter] "There's a lot of signs," he said. "In Michigan, there's a lot of signs on the lawns. I was there. There's signs all over the place. You've got to go back to Michigan more often." "No, no, no. You don't understand. Michigan hasn't been won for decades by a Republican. My people tell me we're great."
I don't know who her people were. Now, that's called—if they ever threatened me with that—that I colluded with her people—that I could understand. [Laughter] That I could—because they told her: "Don't go back to Michigan, darling. You're okay. Don't go back." [Laughter] "Donald Trump has won the great State of Michigan." [Laughter] "Donald Trump has won the great State of Pennsylvania, great State of North Carolina, the great State of Florida, the great State of South Carolina."
Remember they said we were going to lose Texas? They didn't say that. You know, look, they're crooked as hell. [Laughter] But they did say—remember? They said, "Texas is in play." [Laughter] So being somewhat new to the game—like having done it for about 3 months—I said: "Let me ask you a question. What does it mean when they say it's in play?" "Sir, that means it's too close to call."
Well, I'm, like, 6 or 7 months out, they're saying Texas is in play. So I said, "I don't think so." I went to make a speech. We had a line that was miles long. I don't think so. And everybody else was telling me—a great guy got on in Texas, and he's wearing this big cowboy hat, this beautiful hat. I wish we could wear them. [Laughter] Nobody would ever look at my hair and criticize me. [Laughter] I'd wear that hat—I'd never take it off.
Do you ever notice, in Texas, they sit down and have breakfast here—they're wearing the hat? I like that. I would do that. [Laughter] I don't have to worry about hairspray. I don't have to worry about my hair blowing—[laughter]—beautifully blowing in the wind. [Laughter]
And this guy is on television, a big, strong Texas guy. And they asked him about the race being so close. This is like 5 months before the election. He said: "I don't know where you come from, but I come from Texas. And I'll tell you a couple of things, but one of the things I'll tell you for real: This race ain't close at all." [Laughter] "Trump is going to win by a lot."
So we get to the evening, and they're saying: "Texas is in play. It's too close. It's"—the polls close at 8 o'clock. Now, unless you have a huge, commanding lead, you know, it's takes an hour, 2 hours, 3 hours before they predict, right? Before they say who won.
And the polls closed. "The polls have closed in Texas. Donald Trump has won the State of Texas." [Laughter] This was—and for like 6 months—and then, today, I heard it again. I think it was Buttigieg. [Laughter] Buttigieg. They said, "Think of it as 'boot' and then 'edge-edge.'" Because nobody can pronounce this guy's name. [Laughter] Nobody. Butt-i-gieg.
They say, "Buttigieg"—[laughter]—"and Trump." [Laughter] On what I've done for energy, if anybody beat me in Texas—I don't think anybody can beat me. I don't think Rockefeller can beat me in Texas—the real Rockefeller, the first Rockefeller. I think he'd have a hard time beating me in Texas.
But anyway, they said, "Buttigieg." [Laughter] Can you believe this guy? He's doing a rotten job running his own city. Lousy job. But they say, "Buttigieg is two points up in the State of Texas against President Trump." I said: "I don't think so. I don't think so." No, I don't worry about that too much. What do you think, Louie? Who's winning Texas? Think Buttigieg is winning Texas? [Laughter] I've had him up to here. [Laughter]
Democrats care more about illegal aliens than their own constituents. Republicans know our duty is to represent American citizens. Democrats voted against Kate's Law. How about—what's Kate's Law—how about this? And now they even threw out the charge about gun possession, which was like the smallest—he got away with murder. He got away—can you imagine?
But it's not over yet. It's not over yet. What a horrible thing took place in San Francisco with that incredible, beautiful young woman, holding her father's hand and saying, "Daddy, Daddy, what happened?" Can you imagine the shock of it? That's just incredible. And this low-life gets out. Gets out. And people all over the world see that, and they say, "What the hell is wrong with the United States of America?"—when they see that.
Last year, more than 80 percent of House Democrats refused to support our heroes, ICE. And nearly every House Democrat voted in favor of sanctuary cities, allowing illegal aliens with severe criminal records to terrorize innocent communities. And these two guys were tremendously successful in North Carolina, because all we kept doing is saying the Governor and all of these Democrats—right, Dan?—all of the Democrats want sanctuary cities. And they let somebody out fairly recently, and that somebody wreaked havoc. Wreaked havoc. I won't even tell you, it was so horrible. But wreaked havoc in a community. Instead of taking him and giving him to ICE, and we would have done what you had to do. But I'll tell you, the folks of ICE—at ICE—and Border Patrol and law enforcement, they're not treated properly. And we respect them. Most Americans really respect them. [Applause] Yes.
You know, we have MS-13 coming in. These are the toughest people you've ever seen, but they're not as tough as ICE. And ICE runs into their nests. You know, they call them a "nest." This is—these are people that don't even like guns, because they're not painful enough. They take young women, and they slice them up with a knife. They slice them up—beautiful, young—in a case, two 16-year-old young girls walking home from school. They took them, and they sliced them up, because it was more painful. They killed them. Animals.
And then, if you use the term "animal"—I mean, look, you know, Nancy Pelosi attacked me because I called them "animals." Remember that? She said: "They're not animals. They're human beings." Well, I don't think so. But ICE will go into a nest. They call it a "nest"—where you have a lot of them congregating, up to no good. And ICE will run into that nest like it's—like they're having breakfast with their family on Monday morning. They're tough. And they're patriots, and they love our country.
And we're throwing out MS-13 by the thousands. We're throwing them—we're getting them the hell out of our country. And even tough sheriffs say, "You know, sir, better that they do it." I—and I agree with them. [Laughter] Better that they do it. And the sheriffs are great, but they say, "Better that they do it."
And then you have the Democrats. They want to keep them around. And they want to actually take care of them and protect them. And I don't know, if you tell me that's good politics. And I don't even care about the politics. But it's so bad for our country. But if you tell me you can win with that—with open borders, with no ICE. You don't have ICE, this country would be overridden. We take out thousands of people, bad people. Really bad people.
Public servants make a sacred pledge to defend the Nation and its people. Politicians who support sanctuary cities have forsaken this solemn vow. Instead of making a shameful pact to shield and harbor criminal fugitives at any cost—they will do it at any cost.
But I'll tell you, people in California—and I see it more and more—they don't want sanctuary cities; it's the politicians that want them. A lot of the people are revolting in different communities. They don't want sanctuary cities. They want to be safe. They can't be safe with sanctuary cities. They're protecting, in many cases, criminals.
In July, Montgomery County, Maryland, declared itself a sanctuary city for criminal aliens, forcing local jails to release these dangerous inmates, instead of safely handing them over to ICE. Just hand them over to ICE. ICE will take care of the rest.
Less than 2 months later, eight illegal aliens have already been arrested for rape, for sexual assault of a minor. Last month, local officials in Montgomery County released an accused criminal alien rapist back onto the streets, defying ICE's very powerful request to turn him over to them. In March, local officials in Durham County, North Carolina, ignored ICE and released an illegal alien arrested on felony robbery charges. A short time later, that same illegal alien was charged with murder of a 19-year-old woman in Georgia.
This is happening, by the way, in over—these are stories I could—I could give you these stories all day long. I love the "angel" moms. I just love those women. I got—women and families—but I got to know a lot of them, what they've suffered and how they've suffered. And they're scorned by the radical left. They're scorned. Who could scorn a person who lost their daughter put in an ashcan and burned? Stuffed into an ashcan and burned. And they find the person and it's like—who can—who can even—who could endure what they've been through? And it happens a lot. A few stories. It happens a lot. Far worse than what I'm telling you tonight. Far, far worse.
Democrats believe our cities should be sanctuaries for violent criminal aliens. Republicans believe our cities should be sanctuaries for law-abiding Americans. Democrats also believe any illegally alien who merely sets foot on U.S. soil should be automatically released into the interior of the United States and then given free health care for life. These craven policies impoverish U.S. communities while enriching human smugglers, traffickers, and vicious criminal cartels.
Two hundred and eight House Democrats, nearly 90 percent of the Democrat caucus, also voted against notifying ICE whenever an illegal alien tries to buy a gun. Meanwhile, Democrats want to confiscate guns from law-abiding Americans, so they're totally defenseless when somebody walks into their house with a gun. It's like: "Whatever you want. Whatever you want. I'm defenseless. Whatever you want." How crazy is this? Republicans will forever uphold the fundamental right to keep and bear arms. Thank you.
The agenda of the Democrat Party is the demolition of the American middle class, because that's what happens. Our Republican agenda is to make our neighborhoods safer, our families stronger, and our middle class bigger and more prosperous than ever before. And we're on our way to doing it, but we have to win this next election.
You know, I said the other day—and I don't know if anyone said it before, but it sounds like it should have been said many times before—but it's like a plant. You grow the plant. You put the plant in, but it hasn't really grabbed on yet. And it won't grab on; it needs a little time. We need a little time. We've done tremendous changes in our country. Tremendous changes. And we're going to do other changes, a lot of really great other changes.
But we need that additional time to let it grab on, because they will destroy so much of what we've done, and we can't let that happen. You won't have energy. You won't have business. You won't have jobs. You won't have income. It will be a disaster. So you have to fight like hell.
I tell the story of a man who hates me, one of the most successful businesspeople, always hated me, and I've always hated him. I can't stand that guy. [Laughter] And I meet him recently, and I see him, and he's working with my people on helping us out with fundraisers and everything. I say, "What are you doing here?" "I'm trying to help you get elected." I said, "You've got to be kidding me." And then, I looked at him, and I said, "But actually, you do have no choice." Isn't it true? You don't have a choice.
He said, "No, I really respect what you've done over the last 3 years"—almost 3 years now—"and I really respect, and it's been great for business, and it's been great for jobs. I have many more people working for me than I had when you became President. And it's really incredible what's happened." And for the first time in my entire life, I really like this guy. [Laughter] Although, he's a tough guy. He's a bad guy. I don't—but no, he's one of many.
I go to audiences—I was joking one time recently. I walked up to them, right? I said: "Listen, I don't have to make a very long speech. You really have to elect me. Whether you like me or not, it makes no difference, because our country will go to hell. If any of these people get in, it will go to hell. So I'm going to leave now. Goodbye, everybody." And I joked. And then, I came back, and I talked.
But I said: "You know, I was joking, but I'm really not joking. You have no choice." Because whoever they put in, the saner they are, the worse they're doing. And whoever they put in—and it looks like it's going to be a revolution to the left—they're going to take your money. They're going to take—and very much hurt your families. I just don't think people can allow that to happen.
We have a country that's doing, I think, better than ever before. The economy is the strongest it's ever been. Most powerful, our military—all of the things we've discussed. You have to fight so hard that we win this election. You have to fight so hard.
I had a big meeting today on ethanol and the farmers, and it was an incredible meeting. And I sat around, and Chuck Grassley was there and Joni Ernst and John Thune and Mike Pounds [Rounds; White House correction.] and so many—just a whole group of great people. And just sitting around the room. Ben Sasse, who's actually become very good over the last year—we had a little arguments before, but doesn't matter—Ben Sasse was there. We had just a great group of people.
And as were sitting in the Oval Office talking about farmers, I realized that all of these people have to make sure that we win, because the farmers will be totally put out of business. Many businesses will be put out of business. I just don't even know what they're thinking. What are they doing? What are they doing?
And I said to some of the people around the table, strong Republicans, but really people that just love the country. I said, "You really have to make sure that we win, because if you don't, this country is in such trouble." So I used to talk about 2016 as being a very important election, and it was. But in its own way, this is—I'll never say "of"—of, you know, "more important," but I can almost say "of equal importance," because everything that we've done, everything that we've gained—and the biggest gains are to come because the hard work of getting it approved.
You people were involved with so much of it. It was so hard, and we got things done. I mean, those tax cuts—all the things we did are so hard. We would have had health care done, and we will get it done if we get back the House and if we keep the Senate and keep the Presidency, we'll get it done. We would have had health care done except for—[applause]—we had one little surprising vote late in the evening. But we would have had it done. We would have had it done, and we'll get it done. If we get back the House, we're going to get it done, as sure as you can be. But even on health care, we've done such a good job, and with the individual mandate and all of the other things we've been able to do.
We're fighting for everyday citizens who work hard, pay their taxes, raise their children, follow our laws, serve our communities, respect our police, and believe in America with their every ounce, really, of their heart and their soul. We're fighting to protect their jobs, to defend their families, and to ensure their children can live the American Dream.
You know, the Republican Party is actually loved in this country. And I think, in a certain way, loved like never before, because we they see that we're fighting for this country. We're fighting for what we grew up with. What—the values that we want. The Republican Party—you know, some people probably take it a little bit for granted, but you really are; you're loved out there. I see it. I see it all the time.
Whenever I went—I saw it in North Carolina the other day. I'm backstage waiting to go on, and so many people have come up to me, and they say, "Sir, thank you for saving our Nation." Well, you're equal to me. What you—what you've done is incredible. Some of the things that you've done in a short period of time is pretty damn incredible.
A nation's first duty is to care for its own citizens, and that is why we're working to give the American people a high-quality, low-cost—and this is what's going to happen—we want a low-cost health care system with more transparency and more choice. You know, we're doing transparency. I think you've all seen that. And a man came in who's an expert—he's a tremendous, tremendous man who I have a lot of respect for—and he said, "Transparency." I said, "Explain transparency." Sounds very simple. And I got it done. This is where people can go to hospitals and price, and they can pick their doctor. He said: "Sir, this is bigger than any health care you can do. You watch." And it will be put into effect—Secretary Azar, who's doing an incredible job—it will be put into effect fairly soon. We signed it about 4 months ago. It's being worked out. People are able to go in and negotiate the prices.
You know, you have these horror stories where a woman will cut her hand and go into a hospital. You don't ask how much. But they'll go into a hospital and have the hand, and then they'll get billed $5,000. And they don't have $5,000. The horror stories are unbelievable.
And we went through it. And some of you were in the room when I did signings. But we're having transparency, where you can have lists of prices. When you have some problem, they list it. You can go and negotiate prices. You can go to the drug store and say, "Well, we want to see, how much is that? How much"—you know, right now you can't even do that. They don't let you do that. But now we do. And we've opened that up too.
We've done a lot. "Right to try" is something we've done a great job—you people have. You have to see the results on "right to try." But a person can be terminally ill in the old system, and we could have a drug that we know works, but is still going to take another year or two of testing, and we tell the person, "I'm sorry, we can't let you use that drug because it may hurt you." Well, you're going to die within 3 weeks or 4 weeks. You're terminally ill.
They've wanted to do this for 45 years. And it's not as easy as all that. The country was worried that they'll sue the country. The doctors were worried they'd sue the doctors through the insurance companies, sue the pharmaceutical companies. I got everybody into a room. I said, "Listen, what we do is, we sign an agreement where we guarantee"—and a tough agreement—"where you guarantee that we have no liability, the doctor has no liability, the pharmaceutical company has no liability, and various other things." I said, "And everybody's happy."
Then, they said, "Well, we don't want them on the list." If a person is terminally ill, the pharmaceutical companies—I understood that. "We don't want them on our list." Because they do a list of success. "And when a person is very, very sick—maybe toward the end of their life, terminally ill—we don't want that person on our list as a sample, as a test sample." I said: "I understand that. So we're not going to have that person on your list. When you do this, we're not going to have that person on your list. We create a separate list of very, very sick, terminally ill people. But for the—your list, we're not going to put it." They said, "Wow, we like that." And we got it signed.
And you have to see the success. People used to go to Asia. They'd go to Europe. They'd go all over the world—if they had money. Most people didn't have the money, so they'd go home, and they'd die. Now they have the "right to try." And I congratulate you on that, because you were the ones that really did a job. And Greg was great—wherever Greg may be. Is Greg here? Greg? Where's Greg? Oh, boy, you stood up fast. That's good. Thank you, Greg.
I'd call Greg, and I'd say, "Man, you've got to get it done." And it wasn't easy like people would've thought. Do you agree with that? That was not easy. We had more people coming at us. Thank you very much, Greg. It was a fantastic job. And a lot of other folks in the room.
That's why we're ending years of economic surrender and we're confronting China's chronic trading abuses. For years, past leaders let China freely loot our economy, racking up trillions and trillions of dollars in costly trade deficits. Now the world is on notice that people aren't going to be able to do that to the United States anymore. They're not doing it anymore, and they know it. They know it. They get it. They come to me, and they see me, the leaders. I know them all now, pretty much. Some I have great respect for. Some I don't get along with as well.
You know, there was a poll recently that Obama is much more popular in Germany than I am. I said, "Of course, he is." He's not saying to Germany, "You've got to pay us for the military." He's not saying to Germany, "Why are you paying billions and billions of dollars to Russia for a pipeline coming in?" And then, we defend—how about that one? We pay billions of dollars to Russia, and then we defend Germany from Russia. Figure—does that work, right? [Laughter] Does that work? Give Russia billions, and then we defend you. Oh, that's a wonderful deal. We've got plenty of those deals. That's one of the better ones.
With your help, we will also achieve a historic victory for the American farmer, rancher, and workers by replacing the horrible disaster—to me, one of the worst deals ever—NAFTA. And we're replacing it with the USMCA, which really is incredible. Got to get it up for a vote. They've got to put it up for a vote.
By the way, the Democrats are going to vote for it. Unions love it. Farmers love it. I would say unions like it. But they like it. They hate NAFTA. It's their alltime least. Manufacturers love it. The farmers are desperate for it; it's so important. And let it be bipartisan.
I told Nancy Pelosi: "Nancy, put it up for a vote. It's going to bipartisan. You can have all the credit you want. You have to do something other than try and impeach somebody that didn't do anything wrong. You have to." [Laughter] I said, "It's hard to impeach somebody who didn't do anything wrong."
The Mueller report is out—"There's no collusion"—after 2½ years. Think of it. How ridiculous: I collude with Russia. In fact, Russia said, "You know, if we really did pick him, we made a real bad choice." [Laughter] Think of it. Even tonight I'm talking about we have the strongest military. We're spending billions and billions. We're the strongest military, right?
We have the strongest energy. Hillary wanted windmills. [Laughter] She wanted solar. Solar is fine—you know, small potatoes, compared to what we're talking about. It doesn't have the power that you need. And someday, good. I love solar. I think solar is good, but it's limited.
The wind is very expensive, because you put up those windmills—I know it very well. First of all, they're made in Germany, and they're made in China. Think of the pollutants that go on the air when they're making these massive steel things. If it's anywhere near your house, your house is way down in value. Try dropping a windmill someplace close to your house. Try selling your house.
They make noise. They kill all the birds. [Laughter] The energy is intermittent. If you happen to be watching the Democrat debate and the wind isn't blowing, you're not going to the see the debate. "Charlie, what the hell happened to this debate?" [Laughter] He says: "Darling, the wind isn't blowing. The goddamn windmill stopped. That windmill stopped." [Laughter]
Republicans know that American families are the true backbone of America. That is why I was the first President to propose nationwide paid family leave in my budget. Very important. Women want it.
Our goal is to ensure that every American family enjoys an amazing quality of life. Together, we are going to fix our housing finance system. We're working on that very hard—to protect the dream of ownership for the next generation. We're going to make new cars more affordable and much safer. My administration will soon issue standards that will save families thousands and thousands, as I've said, of dollars per car.
We're going to fight for the future of cities like Baltimore that have been destroyed by decades of failed and corrupt rule. The left-wing agenda of total government domination, crushing regulation, crippling taxes, unrestricted migration, and I mean, think of this—it's undermining all law enforcement. They undermine law enforcement, and they devastate America's inner cities. They've been devastated.
And even the cities like Los Angeles—look at what's happening. It's like—look at what's happening. San Francisco. Take a look at what's going on. And we're going to have to step in and do something about it, because we can't allow that to happen to our great cities. Los Angeles is a great city. We can't allow it.
And in the not-too-distant future, you're going to see. We're going to step in. We're not going to allow it to happen, where major, major companies are leaving their cities. They're leaving our country when they see that.
You walk in. They pay a lot of rent. They walk into a beautiful building, the best street in California. And you have a site that nobody even can believe. Nobody can believe. And we're going to have to do something about it. And we will do something about it. We're going to give them notice. In fact, we gave them a notice a today: Clean it up. You've got to do something. You can't have it. These are our great American cities, and they're an embarrassment, what the Democrats have let happen.
Republicans want to rebuild our inner cities and provide a future of limitless opportunity for all Americans. And Republicans believe that parents should have the right to send their kids to the school of their choice.
So, just in concluding, in everything we do, Republicans are fighting for the values that bring us together as one Nation, under God. We support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. We stand up for the heroes of law enforcement. We reject globalism, and we embrace patriotism. We believe that there is no treasure on Earth more valuable than our American citizenship.
We believe that children should be taught to love our country, honor our history, cherish our heroes, and always respect our great American flag. These are the values that unite us tonight. These are the values that bind our country. These are the values the American people share, deep in their souls. And these are the values that Republicans will champion all across the land. And that's what's happening. And that's why people love what you're doing. That's why people are loving the Republican Party again.
Our task is to be confident in these truths, certain of this vision, bold in our actions, and forever loyal to the citizens we serve. If we stay true to our mission—and we have to, and we have to stick together like they do. They've got nothing else on us, but like I said, they stick together. If we remain firm in our convictions, if we always put America first, then there will be no limit to the progress that we will make, no bounds to the good that we will do, no ceiling on the heights that we will reach, and no end to the victories we will achieve.
We will win, win, win. And we will keep on winning. You know, I tell that story, and some people love it, and probably some don't, but I think they all love it. I'm going to win a place like—here we go. I'm going to use Dan as an example. I'm in North Carolina, and I'm going to say: "We're going to win again. We're going to win so much." Right, Dan? We're going to so much. We're going to win, win, win.
And our country—you go back, and we haven't been doing so much winning with trade and with all of these different things. And I'm going to go—I'm going to go to Dan Bishop, and I'm going to say, "Dan, we're going to win."
And they're going to come in to see Dan. They're going to say: "Please, please, stop the President from winning. We're winning so much. Dan, go visit. You're our new Congressman. Go to the Oval Office. He respects you, because a—unlike these other people, he doesn't know you so well. So you are still respected." [Laughter] "And please, see the President and talk to the President. Tell him to stop winning so much. We don't want to win so much in the great State of North Carolina."
And I'm going to say: "Dan, I'm sorry. I'm not doing that. We're going to keep winning, winning, winning." Right, Dan? We're going to keep winning, winning, winning. Congratulations.
After all we've achieved and after everything that we've accomplished, our message is simple: The best is yet to come. The best is yet to come.
Together, we will make America stronger and safer and prouder and greater than ever before. And I want to thank everybody for being tonight. You are a terrific group and I know almost all of you. I like most of you. I know all of you. [Laughter] No, you are. You're a terrific group, and I think we're going to have a terrific, long time together. And, Kevin, and everybody, I want to thank you. This was an incredible evening.
Thank you very much. Great job. Thank you. Thank you.
NOTE: The President spoke at 8:02 p.m. at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel. In his remarks, he referred to House Minority Leader Kevin O. McCarthy; Reps. Louis B. Gohmert, Jr., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna S. Pressley, Ilhan A. Omar, Rashida H. Tlaib, and Gregory P. Walden; Adviser to the President Ivanka M. Trump; White House Senior Adviser Jared C. Kushner; Sens. Bernard Sanders, Elizabeth A. Warren, Charles E. Grassley, Joni K. Ernst, John R. Thune, M. Michael Rounds, and Benjamin E. Sasse; former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.; Supreme Court Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh; 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton; former President William J. Clinton; Mayor Peter P.M. Buttigieg of South Bend, IN; Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, also known as "Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez," who was accused in the murder of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco, CA, on July 1, 2015, and acquitted of murder and involuntary manslaughter charges on November 30, 2017; Jim Steinle, father of Ms. Steinle; Gov. Roy A. Cooper III of North Carolina; Speaker of the House of Representative Nancy Pelosi; Rodrigo Castro-Montejo, a Salvadoran national who was arrested August 10 in Montgomery County, MD, and charged with second-degree rape; and former Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III. The transcript was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on September 13.
Donald J. Trump, Remarks at the House Republican Conference Member Retreat Dinner in Baltimore, Maryland Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/333852