Photo of Donald Trump

Remarks at the Pueblo Convention Center in Pueblo, Colorado

October 03, 2016

This is such an amazing city. It's called "Home of the Heroes," because of your proud tradition of military service. Pueblo is home to Four Medal of Honor Recipients. As President Eisenhower said, there must be "something in the water out there in Pueblo" because "all you guys turn out to be heroes."

Colorado is home to six military bases. We are going to eliminate the defense sequester and rebuild our military.

Another great Colorado legacy is hunting and fishing. We are going to conserve your land for future generations, and we are going to save the 2nd amendment.

One other issue of such great importance in Colorado is energy. Hillary Clinton wants to shut down the mines, and shut down shale, oil, and natural gas. We are going to end the war on American energy, and we are going to put the miners back to work.

I have also made a center piece of my economic revitalization plan the largest middle class tax cut since Ronald Reagan –and the largest regulatory reform in American history. That is because I know how overtaxed and overregulated the working people of this country are.

A central issue I would like to address today is our broken tax code, an issue of concern to all Americans.

Along with securing our borders, rebuilding our military, keeping us safe from terrorism, redoing our trade deals and bringing back jobs, fixing the tax code is one of the main reasons I'm running for President.

I've been saying from the beginning of this campaign how ridiculous, complex and yes, unfair, our tax system is. This is not the fault of the IRS, but the political class that is owned outright by the special interests and lobbyists.

It is these politicians who wrote the tax code, and who are constantly adding, revising, and changing, an already over-complicated set of laws – all at the behest of their favored donors and special interests.

It's thousands of pages long, and almost no one understands it. The average American would need an army of accountants and lawyers to wade their way through it.

Many so-called experts, due to the sheer size and complexity of the code, don't have a clue what these pages represent.

The unfairness of the tax laws is unbelievable, it's something I've been talking about for a long time – despite being a beneficiary.

I understand the tax laws better than almost anyone, which is why I am the one who can fix them – and that is what I commit to doing.

As a businessman and real estate developer, I have legally used the tax laws to my benefit, and to the benefit of my company and my employees.

I have often said on the campaign trail, that I have a fiduciary responsibility to pay no more tax than legally required – or, put another way, to pay as little tax as legally possible.

As a major real estate developer in this country, and throughout the world, I face enormous taxes: city taxes, state taxes, sales and excise taxes, employee taxes, and federal taxes. It's my job to minimize the overall tax burden to the greatest extent possible – which allows me to reinvest in neighborhoods, workers, and build amazing properties which fuel tremendous growth in their communities – and always help our great providers of jobs, the small business.

The news media is now obsessed with an alleged tax filing from the 1990's, at the end of one of the most brutal economic downturns in our country's history.

The conditions facing real estate developers in the early nineties were almost as bad as the Great Depression of 1929 and far worse than the Great Recession of 2008.

What had been a booming economy in the era of Ronald Reagan changed dramatically – and the business landscape changed with it: Bank failures, the collapse of the Savings & Loan industry, and the implosion of the retail market, and real estate in general.

Many business people, including many of my competitors, were not able to survive. Companies, jobs, and opportunities were lost – and lives were destroyed, as tens of thousands of people were put out of work. Some of the biggest and strongest people and companies went bankrupt.

Yet today, my company is bigger, stronger, with far greater assets, and more premium properties, than ever before.

That did not happen by chance or luck – it happened by action, and talent.

I was able to use the tax laws of this country, and my business acumen, to dig out of this real estate depression when few others did. In those most difficult times, when so many had their backs to the wall, I reached within myself and delivered for my company, my employees, my family and the communities where my properties existed.

Those who spend their entire lives within the confines of government work, and who know virtually nothing of business, fail to understand the skill, dedication, and sheer grit it takes for a company to climb out of an economic depression of the scale we had in the early nineties. People like my opponent Hillary Clinton, whose only method of making money is by selling

government favors and granting access to special interests, know nothing about how businesses succeed and grow. Hillary Clinton has never created a single job in her entire life – or added a single dollar of value to the American economy. Hillary Clinton hasn't made an honest dollar in her entire life – all she does is take from you, from our country, and peddles influence to donors, special interests, and foreign actors – for astronomical dollars and like never before. It's corruption of the highest order.

While I made my money as a highly-successful private businessman following the law, Hillary Clinton made her money as a corrupt public official breaking the law and putting her government office up for sale.

By her own account, Hillary Clinton left the White House dead broke, and now she and her husband have made more than $200 million dollars – without building a company, or creating a single thing of value.

During the early nineties, as companies were collapsing left and right, the media and powers that be said Donald Trump could never make it back. They said I had billions of dollars in borrowing, and hundreds of millions in personal guarantees, and no pathway out.

But, I never had any doubts and never gave up.

That's because I knew in my heart that when the chips are down is when I perform at my very best. And when people make the mistake of underestimating me, that's when they are in for their biggest surprise.

Just look at what happened in the primary. Just look at what our incredible movement is doing right now.

The reason I never felt endangered during the real estate downturn, was that I knew myself, I knew my business, I knew the financial system, I knew the tax code and, most importantly, I knew how to fight. That's what I am – a fighter, and I am now going to fight for you.

With my knowledge, I knew that I would make a comeback in business.

That is why I am here today. That is why I have left private business for public life – because I

understand our country is in very bad shape. And now our country is in need of a major comeback – it needs one now more than ever.

We owe $20 trillion dollars in debt, but that's only part of the story – we have over $100 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, and we have a budget that's out of control with annual deficits. In addition, because of the incompetence of our leaders, we run massive trade deficits on an annual basis, now almost $800 billion a year.

Our country is broke.

We have decaying infrastructure, failing schools, rising crime, a depleted military, an open border, and an economy that can't create full-time high-paying jobs. We are a divided nation, and each week it seems we are getting more and more divided, with race riots in our streets on a

monthly basis.

This is not the America that was handed down to us, and it's not the America we want for our children. And it's certainly not the America we want to pass down to our grandchildren. But this is the America we will have if we don't turn things around – starting today.

What I say is not lost on the American people, because 70% of you believe our country is headed in the wrong direction.

We cannot have another 4 years of Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton will be worse.

We can turn this all around – but not if we don't make a change in leadership RIGHT NOW. The failed political establishment must go – it must go for the sake of your country, your future, and those you love the most.

In the early 90's, they splashed the front pages with stories about how I was finished. Everybody said that I was done – there were front page articles in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. They were thrilled and delighted to write these negative stories.

So they said I was finished. The only person who didn't think that I was in trouble was Donald Trump.

I started my company with a small loan and, as I grew, I borrowed money to grow the company. When the bottom fell out of the Real Estate market, I had all the debt, it stayed the same – but the value of the assets plummeted. But I knew how to use the tax code to rebuild my company when others did not.

My understanding of the tax code gave me a big advantage over those who didn't have a clue, including many of my competitors who lost everything they had, never to be heard from again.

Now, they're gone, and I'm here and I'm ready to turn things around for this country.

The early 90's was a very tough time for the world, but in tough times you need tough people.

These are tough times for America today, and we need tough leaders. Not people who tell you what you want to hear, but people who tell you what you need to hear: we must never allow corrupt career politicians, like the Clintons, ever back into the White House again.

These tough times were when I performed my very best. The economy and banks collapsing, the government was a mess – but I enjoyed waking up every day to go to battle. I enjoyed getting up every morning to take on the financial establishment on behalf of my company and win. That's the thinking we need for our country – that's the thinking we need when we are negotiating trade deals, and military deals, and economic deals on behalf of the American people.

Put me into the boardroom as YOUR representative, and I will deliver for you. Hillary Clinton is in it only for herself and her donors. I am here fighting for America.

Many people have said that I perform better under pressure than anyone they've ever seen – I've proven that over and over again.

That's what I do. When the pressure is on, when the odds are stacked against me, when people say it can't be done – that's when I am just getting started.

The thing that motivates me the most is when people tell me something is impossible. For me, impossible is just a starting point.

From the depths of that terrible real estate depression, I created a company worth billions and billions of dollars and created tens of thousands of jobs. Our company, and our employees, remade skylines, revitalized neighborhoods, rejuvenated communities, and hired thousands of workers.

On November 8th, America's comeback begins – and we are going to rise up from our present challenges bigger and better and stronger than ever before.

The people here in Pueblo know what it takes to rebuild this country.

This is a city with a rich immigrant history, and a rich Latino history, that has contributed so much to this country and this state. Though the people of Pueblo, and their families, have hailed from all regions of the world, you are united by this one thing: You are all Americans.

And, as Americans, you are entitled to the same protections as every other American. Everyone lawfully living inside of our borders are entitled to the same things: safe communities, a great education, and access to high-paying jobs.

This is the change I will deliver. Hillary Clinton has been there for 30 years and delivered nothing but failure. Her policies have brought death and destruction overseas, and poverty at home. She's brought massive poverty for everyone, but especially African-American and Hispanic Citizens.

She opposes school choice, and wants to trap poor African-American and Hispanic children in failing government schools. We are going to get poor minority children out of failing schools and into the public, private, charter or magnet school of their choice.

Hillary Clinton supports Obamacare, and wants to expand it – Obamacare is an absolute disaster. Premiums in Colorado are set to go up another 20 percent – the only way to stop this disaster is to vote Trump.

Hillary Clinton also supports the terrible trade deals, like Bill Clinton's NAFTA and China's entry into the World Trade Organization – and next she wants the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the deal she calls the "Gold Standard."

Colorado has lost more than 1 in 7 manufacturing jobs since the NAFTA and China deals.

But while you've lost out, Hillary Clinton has raked in cash from her contributors. She and Bill have made $150 million in speeches to special interests. They gave 39 speeches to Big Banks, including $2 million in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs. The Clintons received another $2 million from a Swiss Bank after Hillary negotiated a favorable settlement for them as Secretary of State.

To hide her corruption, Hillary Clinton put her emails on an illegal secret server open to foreign hacking. Then she deleted and bleached 33,000 emails – after a congressional subpoena -- to hide them from the public. She lies to Congress, under oath, and her ringleaders took the fifth amendment and got immunity deals. It's worse than Watergate.

The investigation of Hillary Clinton was rigged, and it's a shame, and it's one of the saddest things that have ever taken place in our nation.

We have become a Banana Republic.

Now, today, we learned, that the FBI made a side deal with Clinton's top aides to DESTROY

their laptops.

Let me repeat that: the FBI reportedly made a deal to DESTROY the laptops of government officials implicated in a massive criminal cover-up.

Hillary Clinton is the ringleader of a criminal enterprise that has corrupted our government at the highest levels, and the American people have one chance to stop it – by showing up and voting on November 8th.

People have had it with the years, the decades of Clinton Corruption.

This is the year the American people say: Enough is Enough.

The Clintons are the sordid past. We are the bright future.

Now, another issue I want to address today is immigration. As I mentioned, Pueblo is filled with wonderful hardworking immigrants. It is these hardworking immigrants who stand to lose the most from our open borders immigration policy.

Illegal immigration, and broken visa programs, take jobs directly from Hispanic workers living here lawfully today.

Illegal immigration also brings with it massive crime, and massive drugs – including a terrible heroin problem right here in Colorado.

We are going to build a border wall, and we are going to stop the drugs, gangs and the violence from pouring into Colorado.

We are going to shut down the Sanctuary Cities that have led to the preventable deaths of so many.

Cases like Kate Steinle, murdered in San Francisco by a 5-time deported illegal immigrant.

Or cases like Sarah Root, killed by an illegal immigrant released at the border by President Obama – and then released again after the killing.

There are over 2 million criminal aliens in this county, and we are going to get them out – and we are going to get them out quickly.

To the cartels, the gangs, the drug dealers, I have a simple message for you: your days are numbered, and your reign of crime will soon come crashing to an end.

We also have to keep our country safe from terrorism. The terrorists who planted the bombs in New York and Jersey, and who carried out the mall stabbing in Minnesota, were foreign nationals admitted into our country – as was the mall shooter in Washington.

Or look at cases like the Boston Bombers, here on asylum, or the San Bernardino Shooter, here on a fiancé visa from Saudi Arabia. Or the Orlando shooter, the son of a Taliban supporter from Afghanistan.

Terrorists are infiltrating our country.

Now, Hillary Clinton wants a 550% increase in Syrian refugees and countless more refugees

from across the Middle East.

I want to keep you and your family safe.

My job is not to represent foreign countries. My job is to represent the citizens of the United States of America – putting your jobs, your wages, and your security first.

If you are living in the United States today as a lawful resident or U.S. citizen, I will ensure you have a safe community, rising wages, and secure immigration system.

Immigration Security is National Security.

Here are some more things we will do starting in 2017 –

We are going to lower your taxes; eliminate every unnecessary regulation; repeal and replace job-killing Obamacare; make childcare more affordable; save the 2nd amendment; support the men and women of law enforcement; and appoint Justices to the Supreme Court who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.

We are going to rebuild America.

We are going to revitalize America.

And we are going to unite America.

Imagine what our country could accomplish if we started working together as One People, under One God, saluting One American Flag.

Together, we will make America wealthy again.

We will make America strong again.

We will make America safe again.

And we will make America great again.

Thank you, and God Bless!

NOTE: As prepared for delivery.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks at the Pueblo Convention Center in Pueblo, Colorado Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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