Photo of Donald Trump

Remarks at the Young Black Leadership Conference

October 26, 2018

The President. Thank you. What a group! What a group. Thank you very much. What a great honor to have you. Thank you. It is a great, great honor to have you in the White House. Thank you very much.

Audience members. Thank you, Mr. President.

The President. They call this, as you know—this is Young Black Leadership, and it's the summit. And to have you here is truly my privilege. And we're going to have a lot of fun. We're going to talk. We're going to meet.

But before I do, I'd like to begin—-

Audience member. We're leaders!

The President. And you are leaders. That's a—you're real leaders.

Attempted Mail Bomb Attacks Against Public Figures and CNN

I'd like to begin today's remarks by providing an update on the packages and devices that have been mailed to high-profile figures throughout our country and a media organization. I am pleased to inform you that law enforcement has apprehended the suspect and taken him into custody. It's an incredible job by law enforcement.

We've carried out a far-reaching Federal, State, and local investigation to find the person or persons responsible for these events. These terrorizing acts are despicable and have no place in our country.

Audience members. No.

The President. No place. I've instructed authorities to spare no resource or expense in finding those responsible and bringing them to swift and certain justice, and we will prosecute them—him, her, whoever it may be—to the fullest extent of the law.

We must never allow political violence to take root in America. Cannot let it happen. And I'm committed to doing everything in my power as President to stop it and to stop it now. To stop it now.

I have just concluded a briefing with the Department of Justice following the apprehension of the suspect. I want to applaud the FBI, Secret Service, the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, the NYPD, and all law enforcement throughout the entire country—incredible partners. These people have worked so hard. And to have done it so quickly, it's looking like a—you're looking—it's a needle in a haystack. How do you do this so quickly? They've done an incredible, incredible job, and I want to congratulate them.

But a bottom line is that Americans must unify, and we must show the world that we are united together in peace and love and harmony as fellow American citizens. There is no country like our country. And every day we are showing the world just how truly great we are. So you are, really, very special people. I wanted to say that before our little talk. And I appreciate the time you've given me. And, boy, one of—one day, one of you is going to be standing. It could be three or four of you, actually. But you're going to be standing right here. [Applause] You're going to be standing right here. I have no doubt. I have no doubt.

Who in this room—who in this room wants to be President someday? [Applause] So it's an ambitious group. [Laughter] It's an ambitious group. That's great.

Anyway, thank you all very much. I really appreciate it. For the media, thank you very much. I thought I'd do that. And we feel very strongly. Again, congratulations to all law enforcement. We have the best in the world, and they just showed it. Thank you very much.

Young Black Leadership Conference

Now to the subject at hand. [Laughter] Right? And it is my great honor to be with so many brilliant—and that's what you are: brilliant, courageous, patriotic, and proud Americans. Seeing all of you here today fills me with an extraordinary confidence in America's future and the great, great future of our country. Each of you is taking part in the Young Black Leadership Summit because you are true leaders on your campuses, in your churches, and in your communities. You are leaders—of the future. You're leaders of the present also. Remember that. You're leaders of youth.

But it's—it's really something to be your age and where you're standing, in the White House. Not bad. Not bad. Not bad. And each of you is playing a historic role in making America great again for all Americans. [Applause] Right?

We're proudly joined by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson. Where's Ben? Come here. Come up here, Ben. This guy was so tough. You know, I had to run against him. I want to tell you, it was—[laughter]—he was brutal. He was tough. And he's my friend. He's my friend. Amazing the way you can respect somebody——

Audience members. We all are. We're all your friends.

The President. You are. You are. You are.

But it's incredible, when you run against somebody and you're fighting and fighting, and you're doing everything you can, and you want to win. And then, it sort of works, and you call up and say: "Who'd be a great guy for the Cabinet? And I say, what about Ben Carson?" And Dr. Ben. He's one of the greats. And he's our friend. He was some tough customer though. I don't want to have to go through that again, Ben, right?

I also want to thank my friend Charlie Kirk from Turning Point USA. What a great person, works so hard. And Charlie has done a very special job. You know why? He found somebody who's an incredible person: Candace Owens. An incredible person. Like, Charlie may go down—his greatest achievement may have been finding Candace Owens. [Laughter] I don't know. That's not bad, Charlie. [Laughter] That's not bad. Anyway, two incredible people. Thank you very much, Candace and Charlie. Thank you. Thank you, man.

Each of you represents the future of our Nation. You know that. You are not afraid to stand up for your beliefs or stand against injustice. You refuse to be told by the same failed voices how to think or what to believe. You understand it.

And you see what's happening with our country, how great it is and how well—how well different groups of people are doing. I mean, nobody would believe this. The Democrats are very nervous, I will tell you. They're very—they're, you know—it's supposed to be automatic. They do nothing for you, and that was supposed to be automatic. Not anymore. Not anymore, right?

But you're not intimidated by the forces of political correctness, because you embrace your own right to free thought and to free speech. History is fashioned by those, like you, who step up to the plate and get into the game and get the grand-slam homerun. I was going to say "homerun." Let's go for the "grand-slam homerun," Right? That's what you're doing. That's what you're doing, man. That's what you're doing.

Audience member. No more plantations.

The President. [Laughter] I can live with that. That's—[laughter]. I was never a fan. You know what, right? [Laughter] I don't know. Not everybody is going to understand. I was never a fan; I guess I proved to be right. [Laughter]

But you are demanding a better kind of politics in America—you really are—one where those who have the courage to speak are not attacked, but instead, really, applauded for what you're doing and what you're saying and how you're helping people. For example, we are grateful to Kanye West. How about Kanye? I don't know. And you know, Kanye—it was very interesting, because we get these poll numbers, and a lot of them are fake polls. I call them fake polls. And one of the polls just comes; Kanye leaves. And Kanye is really a great guy. He's a little different. Do we say? He's a little different. But he is. He's a smart guy and a good guy. And Kanye came up, and he hugged me, and he's wearing the "Make America Great Again" cap, and he said, "This cap, I feel like Superman." But he understands. He's really something very, very special and interesting. And I see why people like him.

But he came up. And a couple of days go by, and the pollsters come in. You know, you're falling asleep, they're giving you the same numbers that they've been for—"Sir, uh, what's happened with African American community?" I said: "I don't know, tell me. What's happening? I don't know." I wasn't thinking. They said, "Your numbers have gone up like 26 points," which is unheard of in—[applause]. So I think Kanye, he may be the most powerful man in all of politics, right?

But Jim Brown—you don't know; most of you are too young. So I think if Jim Brown were playing football today—and you know, I don't know if you know—does anybody know what lacrosse is? Lacrosse is a tough game. It's a great game; it's a tough game. He may have been the greatest running back of all time, may have been the greatest football player, Jim Brown. They say he was an even better lacrosse player. Have you—you've heard that? He's a little bit older. He's half my age. [Laughter] But they say that Jim Brown may have even been a better lacrosse player than he was a football player, if that's possible. In other words, a serious athlete, right? Big Jim. [Laughter]

If Jim were playing today, take the highest salary of the NFL and double it. That's how great he was. He would run through them, preferably around them. [Laughter] You know, doesn't need to get slugged. But he would run through them; he'd run around them. He'd run any way you could. But you couldn't stop him. He was something really special. And what a great guy. And he's been there for a long time. He's been with us for a long time. And he sat, and he watched Kanye, and I watched Kanye, and Jim is going, "Man, I've never heard anybody like this." [Laughter] You know, Jim is the strong, silent type, and that's good too.

But that was a great day. Having the two of them together—very different—but they both believe in us, they both believe in what we're doing, as do many others. Many, many others. Audience member. We believe in you!

The President. Thank you. Thank you. And many of you have been attacked and called vicious names for being willing to speak out for what we all believe in. The conservative movement—and, Candace, you and Charlie and so many, and Ben, by the way—Ben, Dr. Ben, has done so much for the movement. People are seeing—they see what's happened. They see what happens to their lives. It's a movement of tolerance and unity and progress. And a lot of people don't understand that, but they're finding it out.

They're attacking us because we are speaking the truth, changing people's minds, and proving every day that our policies work, and that we are really doing what's right and what's good. And I get attacked also. You get attacked. I get attacked all the time. [Laughter] In fact, I'm just thinking—come to think of it, who gets attacked more than me? Ben, does anybody get attacked?

Audience member. They do!

The President. I am—I get attacked. I get attacked. I think maybe more.

Audience member. [Inaudible]—attacked!

The President. Maybe more than anybody. [Laughter]

I can do the greatest thing for our country, and on the networks and on different things, it will show bad. They will take it back——

Audience member. Fake news.

The President. [Laughter] He goes "fake news." [Laughter]

But they will—no matter what, if it's—I won't use examples. And today is just sort of a very special day, because we caught somebody that—hopefully, that will all pan out to be a hundred percent, but it probably will. But today is a special day for that reason.

But you know, we all get attacked. And we're smart, and we understand where they're all coming from. And there's another word that—I could just look at these incredible, beautiful, and handsome faces. See, today—[applause]—and today, you're not allowed to use those terms, because, you know, they'll say, "Oh, you"—but you know what? I'll use it anyway: beautiful, handsome. Oh, look at all these handsome faces. I'll use it anyway. Candace, I'll take my chances on that. Okay?

It's not politically correct. We have to bring that back into the world of being okay. Right? Don't you agree? We're going to take—we're going bring that back.

But I see it. I see it. You really understand what's happening. You've got it. You know, you're very special. You've got it. And that's why you're here and other people aren't. But there's a word: A lot of people are jealous of you. They're very jealous. And jealousy is a very bad thing. It's mean. It's nasty.

But people that are jealous, they never make it. You know? They're jealous—they never make it. They'll be looking at you in 20 years, and you'll be at this plateau that they just will be so angry, and it's just—but remember, there's a word—there's a word called "jealous." And you have a lot of people that are very jealous of you and how far you've come and how quickly you've come. So I just want to—it's an unfortunate thing. Probably will be with us for a while. But that's a word that we have to understand, because it's used against us very much. The word "jealous." Jealousy.

The worst tendency in our politics is to tell people what they should believe based on their race or religion or color or creed. [Applause] Right? Such a setback. We reject the politics of division, and we embrace the unity of being American. It's really great. We are one people, one family, and we are one Nation saluting one great American flag.

And by the way, the way Jim Brown talked about the flag the other day, it was great. I said, "I hope we have that." Because it was beautiful. What he was saying was just incredible. As well I've heard anybody say it. I've heard everybody talking different views, different everything, about the kneeling or the not kneeling.

Jim Brown—the greatest of them all—Jim Brown talked about the American flag. And we have it, and it was incredible. And these folks have it. And I wish they'd put it on, because it was—actually, it was incredible.

Our agenda of America first belongs to every citizen. And we will put America first. You know, we haven't been doing that. And we've been taking care of countries. They don't even vote for us at the United Nations. You know? We give—Charlie, we give tremendous amounts of aid to countries that don't need it. We take care of military protection for countries that are rich.

By the way, they're starting to pay up. They're starting to pay up. If you folks don't mind, they're starting to pay up. Beautiful.

So—and then, they don't take care of us. They don't even vote for us. We had a case with Israel where we needed some help, and we had, like, two votes. And then, I said, "You know, all these countries, we give billions and billions and billions of dollars in aid." And I just made a statement. I said: "I want you to know that we are watching you, and we are watching you vote today on Israel. And we don't like what we're seeing. We've backed you, and we need this vote." And—because Israel has been a great ally. We've done a lot for them, but they've done a lot for us. And in the Middle East, it's nice to have somebody that you can rely on.

And so what happens is, we end up getting 68 votes. So we went from 2 to 68 because we said "aid"—you're not going to get it, or maybe you're not going to get it, or we're watching. You have to watch. And amazing how that changes the vote. Isn't it amazing? [Laughter]

But whether you're African American or Hispanic American or any American—really, any American at all—you have the right to live in a country that puts your needs first. So we're—[inaudible].

Because people said—I mean, I heard this one a couple of weeks ago. I said, "Give me a break." They said, "America first, that could be racist." I said: "Racist? Racist? Why is that racist?" Here we are. I think—does everybody in this room agree? You're living in America. America first, right? You're here. Racist?

Audience members. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

The President. That's beautiful. That is really beautiful. This is a beautiful meeting. I have to be honest with you. I go to a lot of them. Some of them, I'm, you know, a little bored. [Laughter] I do my thing, I say my words, I say "Bye, everybody." [Laughter] And I go, and I say, you know, "It was all right." But this is a very exciting—to me, this is a very exciting group. Every citizen benefits from tax cuts, regulation cuts, and millions more of great-paying jobs. Look at jobs. Every citizen benefits from lower crime, safer communities, and school choice.

Every citizen benefits from reducing the price of prescription drugs, which we did yesterday; it got very little coverage. You know, I was told by a very prominent, actually, congressman. I must say, a few of them—one was a Democrat, very strong—said the reduction of drug prices is more important than health care. And we're doing great on health care. But I've always wanted—it's been really a thing—and we set it up, so it's so good. And we had a big, big announcement yesterday, and we are reducing drug prices tremendously. Tremendously.

And it didn't get the kind of coverage it should have, because it was a big thing. But you know, they also were competing with this story that took place that now our law enforcement has done such a good job, so maybe that can start to disappear rapidly, because we don't like those stories.

But we're going to be reducing the prices of drugs and lowering the cost of health care very, very significantly. You're seeing that, and a lot of people are seeing it already. So it's a big thing. Thank you.

Every citizen benefits when we stop foreign countries from cheating our workers. That's what they've been doing. You know? They're called "globalists." They like the globe. I like the globe too. I like the globe too. But we have to take care of our people. We have to.

Audience member. Lock 'em up!

The President. [Laughter] "Lock 'em up."

By demanding trade and—you know, when we have trade deals, we have to make good trade deals for our country. So when I took office, trade—we lost $807 billion that year on trade. Think of it: $807 billion. Nobody even knows what it is. What does that mean? It's so much. It's like, what does it mean? [Laughter] You know, if you said you lost $12 million—we lost $807 billion.

We want our trade with other countries to be fair and reciprocal. The "reciprocal" is very important. Because we have other countries charging us tariffs of 100 percent and more, and we don't charge them anything. And now we're charging them, folks. Now we're charging them. It's going to be—you're seeing a big difference.

And every citizen benefits when we have a strong, beautiful border.

Audience members. Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!

The President. Thank you. Thank you. And that's happening. And we have a big—as you know, we have—they call it the "caravan." [Laughter] It's a big caravan.

Audience members. Boo!

The President. And I called up the military—this is the military, greatest military in the world. I called up the military. We're not letting them in. They ought to go back now, because we're not——

Now, do we want them to apply and come in legally? Absolutely. And millions of people are right now waiting, and they've been working this process for, in some cases, 10 years. And they're almost ready to come in. And then, they look on television, and they see people just walking in? Not going to happen. It's not going to happen. And we also want people to come in on merit. We need people to help us with all the companies that are moving back to the United States. We have tremendous amounts of companies moving back in.

We want people to come in on merit, not people that come in and have no chance of ever loving our country, loving our people. We want people to come in and help us with those companies. Because the companies, really, they—we have the lowest employment rate we've had in 50 years. We want to be able to get great people to help those companies.

But we have tremendous opportunities. Tremendous, big, powerful, beautiful companies moving in and coming back. And when you were a little bit younger, like maybe—well, for a long time. [Laughter] I could say this. I could actually go, how about 2 years ago? Companies were moving out like you wouldn't believe, and now they're moving back in, and they're all moving back in.

Illegal immigration has been especially harmful to African American communities and also to Hispanic American communities by depressing wages and replacing workers. That's been happening, and it's been very unfair. All Americans have the right to have their laws enforced and their borders protected. We don't have borders, we don't have a country. [Applause] Right?

For decades, policies advanced by Democrats have eliminated opportunity and wiped out good-paying jobs, and even great-paying jobs for the Black community. You know that. Think of it. Their policies are absolutely adverse to the Black community. When I ran for President, I asked Black Americans to give me a chance with your vote by saying, "What the hell do you have to lose?"

Audience members. What the hell do you have to lose?

The President. Remember? Remember? Ben remembers that one. No, I'm making a speech, and I'm—I literally had like 20 points about how badly Black Americans are being treated, African Americans are being treated. And it was point after point: highest crime rate, highest this, worst household ownership, worst education—I'm reading these points—I'm reading them. And I had never seen them before; they were so bad. The crime was horrible in the African American communities.

So I'm reading these points. Every one of them is run by the Democrats, every one of those—every one. And so I'm reading: crime, worst education, worst median income—everything. Just point after point. Highest employment rate in the whole country by far. By the way, African American youth unemployment rate, like, 58 percent. Fifty-eight percent.

So I'm reading these numbers, and I just looked up. I say: "Vote for me. What the hell do you have to lose?" Now, I'm going to be honest with you. So I finish the speech, and I got a big applause. But I finish speech, I walk back, and my people tell me, "Sir"—[laughter]—I say, "What?" "You shouldn't have said that. That's disrespectful." I said: "What's disrespectful? 'What the hell do you have to lose?'" I said, "What's disrespectful?" And then, I said it over and over at every speech.

And you know what? My poll numbers—you saw—with African American went up, up, up. Because they started saying: "He's right. He's right." Hey, so much for so-called "handlers," folks. Right? [Laughter] My handler said, "Sir, we don't like that." And I said: "You know what? People like it." And a lot of people have come up to me, and they said, "Thank you for saying that." Because it made a lot of people think on every side of the equation. It made them start thinking. So I appreciate that very much. Now I want to talk about what we have done, and more importantly, what you have really gained. You've gained a lot. And we've all gained a lot. I promised to be a President for all Americans. And the amazing results that we've all achieved, you've achieved—you've helped us so much in your communities. Incredible. But the results speak for themselves.

It was just announced, last quarter, that the economy beat all expectations, growing at 3 percent—3.5 percent. And now they think it could be well in to the fours. They just announced an estimate of 3.5. And these are numbers that were not even thought about.

In fact, if during the process of going against the—in the primaries—and, Ben, you understand this: If I would've ever said "3.5 or 4 percent." Last quarter, it was 4.2 percent, it was 4.1; they elevated it to 4.2. People would've said that is the most dishonest statement for somebody to say that. [Laughter] So 3.5.

And consumer spending is surging. Surging like they haven't seen. The African American unemployment rate has hit the lowest level ever recorded in the history of our country. And that was really—that took a big, beautiful—I mean, the change has been so incredible just in the 2 years. But think of that. That's in history—in history.

That's a tough soundbite for my opponent when we run—whoever that opponent is going to be. By the way, African American unemployment is the lowest in history. I don't know how you beat that soundbite. [Laughter] And we're going to do better and better and better. But now we'll just make it better and better.

Audience member. Why vote Democrat again?

The President. You're right. [Laughter]

The unemployment rate for African American women has also reached the lowest number ever recorded. Congratulations. Congratulations. African American youth unemployment, which was really in terrible shape—those numbers—is the lowest level ever recorded, history. The African American poverty rate is now at its lowest level in history. So the poverty rate is at the lowest level.

I think this is awfully tough for the Democrats to beat. [Laughter] Let's say we're debating and I throw a couple of these numbers. What are they—how do they—how do they get us, right? How do they get us? Candace, this is a tough number to beat, right?

Businesses owned by African American and Hispanic women are growing at a faster rate than any other kind of business or business-type ownership. Think of that. African American women entrepreneurs. That's fantastic. That's a great number right there. Think of it: growing faster than any other business or business group. But——

Audience member. Winning.

The President. It's called winning, right? Winning. There's a guy.

But we still have a lot to do. The Democrats' policies—and you notice I never say the "Democratic," like, "Party." You know, the word is "Democrat." But when you say "Democratic," it's much nicer sounding, right? They should change their name, actually, but I'm not going to tell them that. I don't—you see all those cameras? I don't want to tell them that. [Laughter]

But they say, the "Democratic Party." It's not—it's called the "Democrat Party." Doesn't sound good, right? I hate it. I hate to say it. You know, you're making a speech, and then you say, the "Democrat Party," and a lot of people say, "Oh, it should be the Democrat"—because it sounds so much better. They should actually change their name. I'm giving them free advice: Change the name. Because we'll still beat them. Their policies are no good, so it doesn't matter, right?

But Democrat policies have led to unsafe communities, failing schools, overincarceration, which is a big thing that Jared Kushner is working on. And there's Jared. Look at Jared. Hi, Jared. He talks about that—the prisoners. And they get out, and they couldn't get jobs now. You know, it's one stat that I wasn't going to even mention today. It wasn't part of it. But we're very proud. Jared Kushner has worked so hard on this, and—beyond anything you can believe. Maybe he feels more strongly about this than any other thing you're working on. He's working on some very exciting things.

But now, for the first time ever—think of this: Prisoners—because the economy is so strong, for the first time prisoners are getting jobs. And you know what's happening? They're getting a second chance. And I think, frankly, the African American community—it's not a point I ever bring up because, you know, you don't associate it with anything, but—except for the prisoners themselves.

But the African American community appreciates that maybe more than anything we've done. And I—maybe I should start bringing it up. What has happened is, the economy is now so strong that people are hiring people that got out of prison and giving them a second chance. And giving them a third chance, really. And giving them a lot of chances, in some cases.

But I'll tell you what, I've spoken to friends of mine who would have never—it wasn't even on their radar—and now they're hiring people getting out of prison. And one of my friends said: "You wouldn't believe it. They're, like, incredible. They're incredible." And I don't mean everyone, because there's no—even in this room, we probably have a couple of bad ones, right? What do you think? [Laughter] Are there any bad ones, huh? [Laughter] No bad ones?

But you know, some of them won't work out. Right? Some of them won't work. But I'm hearing from people that it's incredible how good they are. And they are really—the employers are really appreciated by the people that come out, because they've giving them that chance.

I have this one friend who is beyond. He's doing it more and more and more. And he's had tremendous success. Now, that's a little artificial, because it's done because the economy is so good, it's hard to get people. But we've started a whole trend. Because not only are they getting the people, but they're doing a fantastic job. So I'm so honored by that. It's something nobody talks about. And to a certain extent, it's because of the economy. But now it's going to carry over beyond the economy, and it's really something. We're all—we should all be proud of that one.

Too many Black Americans are trapped in failing communities. We understand that. And I talk about this. In the past, the Black community has been promised everything from the Democrats, by the Democrats, and they've gotten nothing. They've gotten nothing. And there's been no incentive. You know, "incentive" is an important word. Like you have an "incentive" to be great. You know, you see the incentive. You feel it. Like just being in the room today. There's no incentive. It's like you're giving, but ultimately, that becomes a trap. It's all a big trap.

While the Democrat Party—see? "Democrat"—[laughter]—is obsessed with resistance, we are focused on results. We want results. It's what we're doing. And where the Democrat Party has failed, Republicans have delivered. And we have really delivered big. And you know, I've only had—it's not even 2 years. It's actually not even that close to 2 years. It will be January 20. So we have a long way to go.

And I can say, and I say it all the time—and I have to be careful because they'll always correct me if I'm slightly wrong—[laughter]—but no other President, no other administration has done, in its first 2 years, anything near what we've done with regulations, with the big tax cuts, with choice for our veterans, with what we've said about prisoners and coming out. It's, I mean, hundreds of things. We've done so many things. And the economy, of course.

And remember one thing, because I always consider him to be a true great, and people never give us credit for this. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, right? Right? I was having arguments with people. We were talking about what the Republicans were doing and, I don't know, I wasn't doing—I wasn't probably on my game, and I wasn't doing so well. And I just blurted out, but—and I said it's strong. I said, "But Abraham Lincoln was a Republican." And I won the argument. I just said that. [Laughter] Abraham. Honest Abe. I wonder if he was really that honest. [Laughter] But you know what? Let's assume "Honest Abe" was Honest Abe, right? [Laughter] But he was a Republican.

Your leadership helps our entire country see that the Republican Party is growing. And it's true. It's becoming a vibrant party because of you. Because of you. And youth, all over. But because of you. And it's growing like never before. It's a party of opportunity; it's a party for all Americans, regardless of race or religion or gender.

And we're fighting for the right of every American child to grow up in a safe community. So important. You know, sometimes, you'll say: "We want strong action. We want safety." And they'll say: "Well, is that a racial comment? Is that a racist comment?" You know, we want safety. We don't want people hurt when they go and buy bread. And I've been with too many people—they've lost their sons, they've lost their daughters to just bad, bad policy. And they're devastated. And they're devastated. And then, they go out, and they vote for Democrats, and it just doesn't makes sense. Never made sense to me, so—and I think the people in this room probably understand it even better than I understand it. Never made sense.

But you have the right to attend great schools and to graduate with access to a rewarding job and a lifelong career. You want to—you know, like, I think this room, 95 percent of this room probably gets up in the morning, and you can't even sleep, you're excited by life. I'm excited by life. I am. [Applause] You're excited, right? You're excited.

But you know—and it's true. You want to—and you want that. You want to run to your job—if you like your job. By the way, if you don't like your job, if you don't like where—get something else. The nice thing is—see, now you have the choice. Before, people had to hold onto their job, because it was not the same. Now, you can really go look at 7 jobs, 10 jobs. You pick the one, and if you don't like it, you go to another one. But now you really do. Because there's nothing like wanting to go to the job because—and you'll do better because you like it.

Each of you here today are very special people, through your voice, your engagement, and your activism can help to make the future of this country even better. Even better. As great as it is, as great as it's becoming, we've made such progress over the last 2 years, you're going to make it much better.

You're doing something very important. You're really at the forefront of something unbelievably important. And you know what I mean. It's historic. It is historic. It really is. It's historic, what you're doing. And that goes for you too. And, Ben, I don't know. You're from a different age, Ben. [Laughter] Hey, Ben has been at the forefront, though, when you think. You know, he's a great doctor. Great, great doctor. I've had friends that had difficulty, and they called me, and they said—and I sent them to Ben. They said—even though he's now in charge of Housing, and he figured it out quick. I said, "Do you know much about Housing?" He said, "Not that much." I said: "Yes, but you're as smart a guy as there is. You'll figure it out." He's all figured it out. You figured it out, Ben. Huh?

But he was a great brain surgeon. And I've actually sent people to, just for reference—you know, like, they have a problem, and you have given them great advice. You sent them to the right people, just as thing to do. People that were in big trouble. Ben Carson is a special person.

So you are all the future of this Nation. I have to say that. And there's nothing you cannot do. There's nothing you cannot do. And you're not alone. You're giving courage to others. You're opening up their minds. And to start fighting—you're really fighting for real change. This is real change. And you're not even fighting for it. You're doing it just—it's like, you're just doing it. We don't even have to fight for it. Once you're on the right path, you don't have to fight for it. You're just doing it. It's just happening. And it's happening, again, because you love what you're doing. You love; you see it.

Audience member. We love you!

The President. Well, thank you. [Laughter] And you have a clear—and I love you, too. But you have a clear vision. You know, it's a clear vision. When you do that, you don't even have to fight. But if you meet every day with optimism—I say it all the time—if you confront every obstacle with determination—never quit. Do we have any quitters in this room? Anybody quit?

Audience members. No!

The President. Not one hand? [Laughter] She—are you raising your hand? [Laughter] I don't—[laughter]—you don't look like a quitter to me. She's waving to me. Not—[laughter]—thank you, honey.

If you face every challenge with confidence and pride—really, like, Candace has done. I mean, I have—I saw Candace, originally with Kanye again. This Kanye is something, right? But just unrelated. And I said, "Who is that?" Right? [Laughter] But you. And here we are, look how—look how she—she's like a rocket ship, right? Boom.

Then there's really no goal you cannot achieve, and no dream beyond your reach. Nothing. Nothing. And you will. They'll be people in this audience, I really believe, that will be standing here someday.

So do what you love, look out for your neighbors, care for your fellow citizens, and always keep the courage of your convictions. And you've got that courage.

Never, ever stop fighting. Always do something you believe in. But never, ever quit. Never, ever give up. You know, I know a lot of people over the years, and I went to a great school, a business school, the Wharton School of Finance, a great school, one of the really great schools. And we graduated, and I watched the smartest and the less smart—[laughter]—they're all smart. But they were a little less smart. [Laughter] And some of the really great geniuses, they didn't make it nearly as big as others because they didn't know how to win. They didn't fight as hard. They tended to quit a little bit sooner. Never, ever give up. Never—it's the biggest thing—never quit. Make sure your vision is right. Your vision is right. [Laughter] Make sure—no, it is right. I mean, other people have a wrong vision. Never going to happen. They're never going to make it. I mean, I can tell you right now, the forces are too strong. They're never going to make it. Your vision is incredible. But never give up. Never. I've seen so many people, such talent, great geniuses, they don't have that little extra kick. You see it in sports all the time. That's the great thing about sports: the metaphors. You see it, where somebody is this great champion, and you don't know why is that person just better than others. Because it's this, the heart. It's the heart.

So you're Americans, and the future belongs to you. You're great Americans. And I have to say, it's my honor to have all of you at the White House. It's a very special place. Think of it: Started in, really, about 1792. Now, that's an old—but you know, when I left China, I said, "Man." They consider this a modern building, right? [Laughter] I was with President Xi, because we were making a very good trade thing. They want to make a deal so badly—[laughter]—and I said, "You're not ready yet." [Laughter] "No, you're not ready." No, I told him, "You're not ready yet." I did say that. They've never heard that before, but I said "You're not ready." [Laughter]

But you know, when they have—when they see a building that's, you know, a 1790-type-version building, what they say to themselves, you know, it's like a new building. [Laughter] So—but for this country, this is in 1790. If you remember number six—I'm 45—number six. President number six. You know who that was. President number six was the first occupant of the White House. But the history here is incredible. And anybody, to make it to the White House at your age—most of you are so young, it's incredible—you are really on an incredible path.

I just want to thank you all for being here. It's my honor. And God bless you all. And we're with you. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 12:31 p.m. in the East Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Cesar A. Sayoc, Jr., suspect in the attempted mail bomb attacks against public figures and CNN, who was arrested in Plantation, FL, on October 27; Charlie Kirk, founder and executive director, and Candace Owens, spokeswoman and director of communications, Turning Point USA; musician Kanye O. West; former National Football League Player Jim Brown; Rep. Elijah E. Cummings; and White House Senior Adviser Jared C. Kushner.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks at the Young Black Leadership Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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