Remarks by the Vice President at a GOP Unity Rally in Kenner, Louisiana
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, hello, Louisiana! (Applause.) Thank you for that warm welcome.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Four more years!
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you! (Applause.)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you for the choice Louisiana made in 2016. And I know Louisiana is going to give President Donald Trump four more years in 2020. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you for that warm welcome. It's great to be here with so many friends. Thank you for that enthusiastic — enthusiastic response. But we're here to do some business, Louisiana. We're here to get some work done for the Republican cause, but let me thank a few people first.
Would you all just join me in thanking a principled conservative who's emerged as one of the most respected voices in the United States Senate? My great friend, Senator Bill Cassidy. (Applause.) And Bill and I are here. We're here as a part of this Louisiana Republican Unity Rally, because Republicans are unified in Louisiana. We're going to elect a Republican governor to Baton Rouge. (Applause.)
Now, we gather here because the time has come for every Republican in Louisiana to step up. The time has come for every Republican to step out and vote to send a Republican governor to the statehouse. After all, I ran into some great Republican women at the airport when I arrived and they were all wearing buttons that said, "Happiness is a Republican governor," Louisiana. (Applause.) (Laughs.) You guys are great.
It really is a joy to be with you today. Thanks for coming out on — even on an LSU football game day. (Laughter.) It really says a lot about your commitment to this state.
It's great to be here with so many friends. Let me mention a few. Another great conservative who represents this state with distinction every day, serves in the chamber I served in for 12 years, Congressman Garret Graves. Thank you so much for your strong stand. (Applause.) And another principled conservative who represents all the ideals that make Louisiana great, Congressman Mike Johnson. Thank you, Mike. (Applause.) You have a great delegation in Washington, D.C. And today, here, it's rounded out by Congressman Clay Higgins, who does a terrific job. (Applause.) Thank you, Clay. That's a strong team.
Let me also thank your Secretary of State, Kyle Ardoin. (Applause.) Mayor Ben Zahn, from here in Kenner. And also, I want to thank Chairman Louis Gurvich and the whole state party team. I think they had two days to put this thing together and got all these great people out. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Great job. (Applause.) We're on our way to victory.
But it's great to be in Louisiana. To be honest with you, this is such a special state. But next Friday, they'll be celebrating in Louisiana even just a little bit more when the Little League World Champion River Ridge team comes to the White House. (Applause.) Congratulations, River Ridge. Wow. How great is that?
But what brings us here today is a great opportunity for Louisiana and a great opportunity for the people of this state to vote today — to vote a week from today to make sure that you have strong Republican leadership, not just in the White House — like you voted in 2016 — but in the statehouse.
And so, it's my great honor to be here with two great Republican candidates, one of whom I know will be the next governor of Louisiana. Would you join me in thanking a successful businessman, a job creator, a strong advocate for limited government who stepped up to lead Louisiana: Eddie Rispone. Thank you so much, Eddie. Thanks for stepping up. (Applause.) Thank you, Eddie.
AUDIENCE: Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!
THE VICE PRESIDENT: And another good man — another good man vying for the same office: a strong conservative, lifelong Louisiana, a principled conservative who I've come to know personally. He's a member of the Army National Guard, and I can tell you, he's already emerged as one of the great champions for our armed forces on Capitol Hill. Join me in thanking congressman and doctor, Ralph Abraham. (Applause.) Thank you, Ralph.
I'm here because I'm for them. (Applause.) And give them both another big round of applause, will you? These are two outstanding men. (Applause.) Thank you so much, Eddie. Thank you, Ralph. Thanks for stepping up for the state you love. Thanks for stepping up.
And I'm here because they're both right for Louisiana. But before the polls close today, vote Republican, Louisiana. (Applause.) Louisiana deserves a Republican governor in the statehouse. (Applause.)
And while we're at it, let's make sure we reelect Billy Nungesser as your lieutenant governor. Thank you, Billy. (Applause.)
So I'm here with some great friends and here with all of you. But before I get started, let me — let me bring greetings from another friend of mine. I told him yesterday, after we finished up a great event in the East Room, that I was headed to Louisiana, and I think he looked just a little bit jealous. (Laughter.) So let me bring greetings from a man who loves the state of Louisiana and has been fighting to keep the promises that he's made to the people of this state. I bring greetings from President Donald Trump. (Applause.)
We love Louisiana. Louisiana said yes to President Donald Trump in 2016. (Applause.) And I'm here because President Trump and I need Louisiana to say to the same kind of strong conservative leadership in next week's election. We need Louisiana to send a Republican to the governor's office in 2019, and we need Louisiana to vote for four more years of President Donald Trump in 2020. (Applause.)
But it all starts here and it all starts now. You know, after two and a half years of endless investigations, where the Do-Nothing Democrats have tried to overturn the will of the American people, I can tell you firsthand, Louisiana: President Trump has never stopped fighting for the agenda the people of Louisiana voted for, and we never will. (Applause.)
In fact, if you look at the last two and a half years, I think there's only one way you can describe it, because of the confidence the people of Louisiana placed in us: It's been two and a half years of action. (Applause.) It's been two and a half years of results. (Applause.) It's been two and a half years of promises made and promises kept. But we're just getting started, Louisiana. (Applause.)
That's why we need strong Republican leadership in the governor's office and we need four more years of President Donald Trump. (Applause.) It all works together.
But think about the progress that we've all made together: After the weakest economic recovery since the Great Depression — eight years where the most powerful economy in the history of the world didn't grow by more than 2 percent — President Trump knew we could do better. He promised to cut taxes, roll back regulations, unleash American energy, fight for free and fair trade. And that's exactly what this President has done.
We passed the largest tax cuts in American history. (Applause.) This President has rolled back more federal red tape than any President in the history of this country. We launched an American energy renaissance. And this year, America will be a net exporter of oil for the first time in 75 years. (Applause.)
We opened markets around the world to U.S. goods. And this President put China on notice: The era of economic surrender is over. (Applause.) And soon, with the strong support of Senator Bill Cassidy, and your delegation in Congress, we're going to pass the largest trade deal in American history. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is ready to go. (Applause.)
And the result of all that: The American economy is booming. Just yesterday, we announced that since Election Day, businesses large and small, like those here in Louisiana, have created nearly 6.5 million new jobs, including 16,000 right here in your state.
The unemployment rate is at a 51-year low. And thanks to the leadership of President Donald Trump and our allies in the Congress, more Americans are working today than ever before in American history. (Applause.)
And this President also promised to rebuild our military, after years of budget cutbacks, to restore the arsenal of democracy. And I can tell you, as a proud father of a United States Marine — (applause) — I couldn't be more proud to serve alongside a Commander-in-Chief who cares so deeply about the men and women of our armed forces and their families. President Trump has signed the largest increase in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan. (Applause.)
As the President has said, thanks to the investments that we've been able to make with strong allies in Congress, "Our active-duty personnel are now the best-equipped, best-trained, and most...advanced fighting force in the history of the world." (Applause.)
We're finally giving our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard the resources and the support that they need to accomplish their mission, and we always will.
And with that renewed American strength, I'm proud to report, we're standing with our allies and standing up to our enemies. (Applause.)
We've brought the rogue regime in North Korea to the negotiating table. Our NATO Allies are contributing more to our common defense than ever before.
And our armed forces have taken the fight to radical Islamic terrorists on our terms, on their soil, and this year, captured the last inch of territory controlled by the terrorist, ISIS. (Applause.)
And under this President, we've not only stood with our military, but we've stood with all of you who served in our military. And this President worked with the Congress, and we are finally giving our veterans access to the real-time, world-class healthcare that you earned in the uniform of the United States. (Applause.) Veterans Choice is now available for every veteran. (Applause.)
In fact, I know there's an awful lot of people in Louisiana who served in our military. So if you have an opportunity, would you just mind — put your hand in the air if you served in our armed forces just so we can say thank-you one more time for your service to this country. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you for your service.
And this President promised to support the men and women of law enforcement at every level, and we've done just that. (Applause.) You know, you all have seen it on the news; it's — we live in a time when we're actually witnessing disgraceful acts of disrespect against law enforcement officers. But I'll promise you, this President, this Vice President, this party, and the American people will always stand with the men and women who serve on the Thin Blue Line. (Applause.)
You know, when I arrived in Louisiana earlier today, I was reminded of the risks and the sacrifices that men and women in uniform, and their families, face every day as they protect our families. I had the great privilege to meet the family of a local hero who fell in the line of duty on September 20th. He left behind his wonderful wife Tracy, their seven children, including three who serve in the United States Marine Corps.
The captain was a leader in law enforcement and in his community. He was deeply respected by all who served with him throughout his 30 years in law enforcement.
And as I told Tracy and his family today, America will never forget or fail to honor the service and sacrifice of Mandeville Police Department Captain Vincent Liberto, Jr. (Applause.)
I'm so honored when I arrived here at this event to hear that his family is with us today. Would you all just — would you all just show his family just how much we appreciate and love you and are grateful for all your husband and your father has done for this country? (Applause.) Thank you all for that. And, Vin, you honor us by your presence today.
This President also promised and recognized that a nation without borders is not a nation. The President prom- — President Trump promised to secure our border and end the crisis of illegal immigration. And President Donald Trump is delivering. We've made historic investments in border security, Mexico is doing more than ever before, apprehensions on or border are down by two thirds, and we've already started to build that wall on the southern border of the United States. (Applause.)
And in support of the rule of law, this President also promised, back in 2016, that he would appoint strong and principled conservatives to our federal courts at every level. And once again, President Donald Trump delivered. (Applause.)
As I stand before you today, this President has appointed more than 150 principled conservatives to our courts at every level, all of whom will uphold the God-given liberties enshrined in our Constitution — (applause) — like the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, and the right to keep and bear arms in the Second Amendment of the Constitution. (Applause.)
I've met the — I met a lot of these judges; they're incredible men and women. And I didn't even mention Justice Neil Gorsuch or Justice Brett Kavanaugh. (Applause.)
So we're standing for security and prosperity. We're standing for the rule of law and our constitutional liberties. And President Donald Trump has been delivering because we've had partners in the Congress and in statehouses around the country. And it's really why I jumped on a plane to come out and be with all of you today, because it matters. It matters for the issues that we care about and it matters for our values.
And I can't tell you — I couldn't be more proud to serve as Vice President to a President who stands without apology for the sanctity of human life. (Applause.) Am I right?
At a time when leading Democrats running for president advocate for late-term abortion and even defend infanticide — just yesterday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Louisiana's strong pro-life law, and they'll make the decision this year. Thank you, Louisiana. (Applause.) Thank you for your stand.
And I'll promise you, under this President and this Vice President, this party we will always stand for the unalienable right to life. (Applause.)
So in just two and a half years, America is winning again. And under President Donald Trump, we've made America great again. (Applause.)
But to keep America great, we've got work to do. And you all are about that right here in Louisiana, today. Early voting ends today and then you'll be back at it a week from today. And I'm grateful for the enthusiasm I see here and that I hear about all across the state.
I mean, we got work to do, men and women, but for starters, every Republican in Louisiana has to get out today, or a week from today, to send a Republican to the statehouse as your new governor. (Applause.) It's got to happen.
You got two great choices. And with strong Republican leadership at the helm in Louisiana, I know Louisiana is going to do your part. You can do your part this year to set the stage for a great victory next year when we give President Donald Trump four more years in the White House. (Applause.)
I mean, I can tell you all — you all get him, right? Isn't he something? He's really something. Some people think he and I are kind of different. (Laughter.) But I'll tell you what: We've become very close friends. And I can tell you firsthand, the man I serve with every day — we have a President who loves this country, who never quits, who never back downs. He believes in you. He fights for you. And President Donald Trump believes in freedom. (Applause.) It's what you got. Believe in freedom.
Then you've got these Do-Nothing Democrats who've spent the last two and a half years on endless investigations, and they're at it again. After two years of investigations, it found no collusion, no obstruction.
Last week — you all saw it in the news — the Do-Nothing Democrats — Do-Nothing Democrats launched a partisan impeachment inquiry in a blatant attempt to overturn the will of the American people in the last election. But I think you all see through it. The American people see through it.
And I'll make you a promise: Whatever the Democrats and their allies in the media want to spend their time doing, President Donald Trump and I are never going to stop fighting for the agenda that Louisiana voted for in 2016. (Applause.)
I mean, the choice — the choice here in Louisiana this week and next year couldn't be clearer, but the stakes couldn't be higher.
I mean, just look at all those Democrats running for President. I mean, I watched that last debate. I mean, those people were standing far on the Left, I thought that stage was going to tip over. (Laughter.) Didn't you? I mean, when they aren't talking about a government takeover of healthcare, they're talking about open borders. When they aren't talking about higher taxes, they're talking about taking firearms away from law-abiding citizens.
I mean, the truth is, the Democratic Party today is dominated by left-wing radicals who want policies like the Green New Deal and Medicare for All and sanctuary cities and free healthcare for illegal immigrants.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: And worst of all, they advocate an economic system that's impoverished millions of people around the world and robbed the liberties of generations. And that system is socialism.
You know, I never thought I'd live to see the day that one of the two major parties in this country actually openly advocated a system so antithetical to the principles — economic principles and liberties as socialism is.
But I think you all in Louisiana know: It was freedom, not socialism, that gave us the most prosperous nation in the history of the world. (Applause.)
It was freedom, not socialism, that ended slavery, won two World Wars, and stands today as a beacon of hope for all the world. (Applause.)
The moment America becomes a socialist country is the moment America ceases to be America. So it falls on all of us, on this occasion in Louisiana this year, and all of next year, to say as the President said in his State of the Union Address, with one voice: America will never be a socialist country! (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
THE VICE PRESIDENT: And you got an opportunity, folks, before the polls close today and a week from today. I mean, if you've had enough of the Do-Nothing Democrats, vote Republican. (Applause.)
Louisiana, if you want to send a message to Washington, D.C., send a Republican governor to Baton Rouge. (Applause.)
Men and women of Louisiana, you have a chance to send a message that Louisiana supports Republican leadership in the statehouse and Louisiana supports President Donald Trump. (Applause.) So let's do it. Let's send the message. That's what we got to get done, and it's going to take all of us to do it.
And, Louisiana, I know you got your work cut out for you, but there's still time left today. I mean, you got two great candidates for governor, but I need you to do just a couple of things and then I'm — I'm going to have a chance to meet as many of you as time permits.
And while I'm at it, can I just — on behalf on my wife Karen and our family, can I just say to all of you here in Louisiana, thank you for the privilege of being your Vice President. It is the greatest honor of my life. (Applause.) Thank you.
But before I leave, I'm going to give you an assignment, okay? So if you're taking notes, get ready.
Number one, vote, Louisiana. Vote Republican in the governor's race. (Applause.) I checked before I got off the plane; early voting ends today at 6:00 p.m. That means you got about three hours and three minutes. You could leave here, you could go to the Jefferson Registrar's Office, 408 Minor Street. Mayor, right here in Kenner, right? Not hard to find.
And when you vote, remember: Friends don't let friends vote alone. Grab a friend and head out to vote today, and vote Republican in the governor's race. (Applause.)
So, if you're taking notes, remember: Vote. All right? Bring a friend. Right?
And number three, every day between now and when the polls close a week from today, just go tell the story. Tell the story of what we've accomplished by having strong Republican leadership, from the White House to the Capitol, representing Louisiana. Tell people what more we can accomplish with strong Republican leadership in the statehouse. I mean, the simple truth of the matter is: Elections have consequences.
The people of Louisiana said "yes" to President Donald Trump in 2016, and you paved the way to make America great again. But now you have an opportunity to tell your neighbors and friends that Louisiana has an opportunity today and a week from today to vote Republican for governor in Louisiana and pave the way to keep America great! (Applause.)
So go tell your neighbors and friends. Tell them what they're not hearing on most of their major cable television stations every day. I mean, tell them we cut their taxes, right? Tell them we rebuilt the military. Tell them we're standing for all the God-given liberties that the people of Louisiana and America cherish. Tell them we put — tell them we're building that wall. (Applause.) Tell them we put Washington, D.C. back to work for them, not the other way around. Tell them that you need the same kind of leadership in Baton Rouge in the governor's office. So, vote Republican. (Applause.)
You know, because I'll always believe when I think back on 2016, Senator, I'll always believe that what made the difference was all of you, in this state and in states all across the union, that people were talking to one another.
You know, I hold the view that the most powerful media in this country is now, and always has been, not your television, your radio, not your mail pieces, not your social media, but it's word of mouth. It's when someone who knows you and respects you hears from you about a worthy candidate or a cause that's important to them.
So I want to encourage you to let your voice be heard and just tell them — say, "You know, I went out on Saturday afternoon. I watched the score on my phone. I attended this rally, I ran into Mike" — (laughter) — "and he told me it was absolutely vital that we have Republican leadership in the statehouse, and that by electing a Republican governor in 2019, Louisiana can do more than its share to set the stage for a great victory in America in 2020." So go tell them! (Applause.) Go tell them what we've done. (Applause.) Tell them that how they vote, Louisiana, this week will make a difference for this state and this nation.
And, finally, before I leave, I'd ask one other thing if you're of a mind. If you occasionally bow the head and bend the knee, I think the next week, the next year, would be a good time to do that. You know, it seems like — it seems like many in the media focus on more on what divides this country than what unites us. But I'll always believe that there will always be more that unites the people of these United States than will ever divide us. And chief among those things is faith.
And so I'd encourage you as I close: While I'm here to tell you you've got two great candidates and I need you to get out before the end of the day, or a week from today, and vote Republican for governor, I'd just encourage you to avail yourself of that wellspring of strength that Americans have always turned to in much more challenging times than we could ever imagine.
Because I always believe that those ancient words that Americans have clung to throughout our history are just as true today: that if His people, who are called by His name, will humble themselves and pray, He'll do like he's always done through the long and storied history of this great nation. He'll hear from heaven, He'll heal this land, this one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. (Applause.) So pray for America. Louisiana, pray for America, because it'll make a difference.
And as this campaign goes forward in the next week, I'm leaving here very encouraged and very excited. And I encourage each one of you to go out and do your thing today. If you haven't voted yet, I told you — Mayor, did I give them the right directions? Headed that way, open until six. Or make it happen a week from today.
But I'm absolutely convinced, if the people of Louisiana will all step up and elect the kind of strong and principled leadership to the governor's office in Baton Rouge, if we reelect great Republican leadership at every level across this country, that with President Donald Trump in the White House and with God's help, we're going to make Louisiana and America more prosperous than you could possibly imagine, we're going to make Louisiana and America safer than ever before, and we're going to keep America great. (Applause.)
Thank you very much. God bless Louisiana, and God bless America. And let's get out there and vote Republican! (Applause.)
Mike Pence, Remarks by the Vice President at a GOP Unity Rally in Kenner, Louisiana Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/334919