Minneapolis Convention Center
10:32 A.M. CDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Wow. Well, hello, Minnesota! (Applause.) It is great to be back in the Twin Cities with men and women who supported the election of a President and a Congress that passed tax cuts to put America first. (Applause.) Thank you for being here.
And I bring greetings. I bring greetings from a friend of mine, and a man who loves Minnesota, and a man who’s fighting every day to keep the promises that he made to the people of Minnesota. I bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America — President Donald Trump. (Applause.)
And I want to say thanks to a few folks you’ve already heard from today. First and foremost, thank you to Congressman Erik Paulsen. Thank you for his leadership. Thanks for those overly generous words in your introduction and thank you for your tireless efforts.
And Congressman Paulsen works on the Ways and Means Committee, and he worked to pass these tax cuts into law. And I want to tell the people of Minnesota, Congressman Paulsen has been fighting every day, shoulder-to-shoulder with President Trump, to make good on all the promises that we made to the people of Minnesota. And we couldn’t be more grateful. (Applause.)
And with us today, as you may know, are two more friends of mine. Great members of Congress. Fellow conservatives who, actually, like me, started their careers in radio. They’re strong allies of our President in the House of Representatives. Join me in thanking Congressman Jason Lewis and Congressman Tom Emmer. (Applause.)
And I got to tell you, Congressman Jason Lewis has supported our President from the very start. He’s been fighting alongside every step of the way to advance an agenda that’s putting hardworking men and women of Minnesota first.
And Tom Emmer is a fighter who’s working every day for Minnesota miners and working families to protect your right to explore and to mine the precious metal deposits in Minnesota’s Iron Range all across this state. Join me in thanking both of these great members of Congress one more time, will you? (Applause.)
I’m also honored to be joined today by a great leader — a great leader who’s long been a champion of American prosperity. He’s actually traveling with me today. He’s been fighting for American jobs and American workers, and making incredible progress. Join me in thanking Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross who joins us in Minnesota today. (Applause.)
And lastly, let me just take a moment to say thanks to our host today. It’s an organization that’s promoting the policies that are making a real difference in the life of businesses and families all across Minnesota. Let’s say thanks to America First Policies for bringing us all together. (Applause.)
But really, I just — I came here today, mostly, to say thanks, first and foremost, to all of you. Thanks to the good people of Minnesota for all you’ve done to not only stand with us in the campaign in 2016, but to stand with our administration every day since. Because of your support, I’m here to tell you, you look over the last year and a few months, it’s been a year of action. A year of results. It’s been a year of promises made and promises kept. (Applause.) It’s true.
You know, and it all starts with providing for the common defense. You know, the first priority of our national government has been — since our nation’s inception — is protection of the American people. And I’m proud to say, Minnesota is home to many great American patriots serving in the Armed Forces of the United States of America and we couldn’t be more proud. (Applause.)
In fact, I’m very honored to be joined today by a group of these heroes from the 934th Airlift Wing of the United States Air Force Reserves. Would you just show these great Americans just how much we appreciate what they do to protect our country every day? (Applause.)
Now, I’m pleased to report to these heroes and to all of you gathered here today, President Trump promised to rebuild our military and restore the arsenal of democracy. (Applause) And five days ago, he did just that when he signed the largest investment in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan. (Applause.)
In fact, the Commander-in-Chief just gave our troops the biggest pay raise in nearly 10 years. And under President Trump, the era of budget cuts of our armed forces is over. (Applause.)
Our President has also pledged — he’s also pledged to stand with those who serve in the uniform of the United States. If you’re able to stand, would you mind, if you served in one of the armed forces of this country, would you just mind standing on your feet and giving us one more chance to say thank you for your service? (Applause.) Thank you for your service.
President Trump and I have been working hard with these great leaders in the Congress to make sure that we give our veterans access to the world-class healthcare that they earned in the uniform of the United States of America, and we’re doing just that. (Applause.)
President Trump also promised to stand with the men and women who serve on the Thin Blue Line of law enforcement. (Applause.) And I’m proud to report to you that we are once again — we’re giving the men and women in law enforcement the resources and the respect that they earn and deserve as they protect our families every day. (Applause.)
Our President promised to secure our borders and enforce our laws for the citizens of this country. And I’m pleased to report to you, illegal crossings at our southern border have been cut by nearly 50 percent. And just last week, President Trump signed into law $1.6 billion of border wall funding that will provide nearly 100 miles of border wall. And when it comes to the wall, make no mistake about it — we’re going to build it all. (Applause.)
You know, our President also promised to appoint strong conservatives to our federal courts at every level, and we’ve been busy doing just that. (Applause.) The President appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States. (Applause.) And last year he set a record for the most court of appeal judges confirmed in a single year for any administration in American history. And they’re conservatives all. (Applause.)
Closer to home, you know, the President promised to do more than has ever been done to combat the scourge of opiate addiction that’s ravaging families here in Minnesota and all across the country. You know, when I was Governor of Indiana, I saw the impact of opiate addiction firsthand. I sat in the kitchen with families still grieving the loss of a loved one, and I sat with recovering addicts and heard about the stranglehold of addiction on their lives that they’d only recently broken free from.
I’m proud to report to you that thanks to the President’s leadership, the strong support of these leaders in Congress, we’re on track to partner with states and law enforcement as never before to invest nearly $6 billion to combat opiate addiction. And working with these leaders in Congress, we will make this the generation that ends the opiate crisis in America. (Applause.)
Finally, in the wake of deadly shootings across our country, our President promised, after Parkland, Florida, that this time, America would take action. And last week, the President took decisive action to improve school safety when he signed legislation to strengthen background checks and give parents, and schools, and law enforcement new tools and new resources to keep our kids safe, because no child should ever be in danger in an American school. And we will continue to make school safety the top national priority of this administration. (Applause.)
So as I report to you what we’ve done together, I’m telling you, in this White House, it’s been about renewed American strength. It’s about security. It’s about safety in our communities, in our schools.
But what brings us here today is it’s also about restoring growth and prosperity for the American people. And since day one of this administration, this President has been keeping his promises to rev the engine of the American economy, and it’s working. (Applause.)
The President promised to roll back the heavy hand of government. Some of you may remember, back on the campaign trail, the President promised to repeal two federal regulations for every new federal rule put on the book. And to be perfectly honest with you, we didn’t do that. Working with Congressmen Paulsen, Lewis, Emmer, we actually have repealed 22 federal regulations for every new rule put on the federal code — (applause) — including when we repealed the disastrous Waters of the U.S.A. rule. (Applause.)
We promised to unleash American energy. And early on in this administration, we approved the Keystone and Dakota Pipelines, we rolled back the Clean Power Plan, and President Trump put America first when he withdrew the United States from the job-killing Paris Climate Accord. (Applause.)
The President also promised to rebuild American infrastructure. If you haven’t noticed, you elected a builder to be President of the United States. And just last week, we got a down payment, with the support of these members of Congress — $21 billion for our plan to give Minnesota and America the best roads and bridges and best future we’ve ever had. (Applause.)
But in the midst of it all, the President has been working to put America first. I’m pleased to report to you, this President has been fighting every day for free, and fair, and reciprocal trade. He’s been holding our trading partners accountable for agreements. We’ve been renegotiating deals. I’m pleased to report to you we’re making great progress on NAFTA. And just yesterday, the White House announced we have reached an agreement, in principle, on a renegotiated free trade agreement with South Korea that will put American jobs and American workers first. (Applause.)
And, finally, what brings us here today. Our President, on that campaign trail, promised to cut taxes across the board for working families, businesses large and small, in the city and on the farm. And just more than three months ago, with the strong support of these leaders in the Congress, President Donald Trump signed the largest tax cuts and tax reform in American history. That’s promises made and promises kept. (Applause.)
You know, it’s amazing to think, we’re just one year into this administration, and, frankly, for all that I’ve just reported to you, all the progress that we’ve made together with the strong support of these members of Congress you’ve heard from today and heard about today, the results have been nothing short of remarkable.
Since Election Day, American businesses have actually created nearly 3 million new jobs, including more than 22,000 new jobs in the Twin Cities area alone. (Applause.)
The unemployment rate in this country hasn’t been this low in 17 years. And in 2017, unemployment in the Minneapolis area fell by nearly 20 percent.
And while Minnesota — (applause) — get this: While Minnesota lost over a thousand manufacturing jobs in the last year of the previous administration, under President Trump, Minnesota’s factories have bounced back, are booming once again. And since Election Day, businesses across this state have created 7,600 new good-paying manufacturing and construction jobs all across this state. (Applause.) That’s just 14 months.
I mean, the truth is, with rolling back regulation, with making the right investments in a growing American economy, with cutting taxes for working families and businesses — bottom line: Growth is back, confidence is back. Under President Donald Trump, America is back. And we’re just getting started. (Applause.) It’s true.
But you know, I work with him every day. And I can tell you, for all I just reported to you, that’s what this President calls a good start. (Laughter and applause.) He is relentless.
And the truth is, we believe the best days for American growth are yet to come. Because the truth is, most of the tax cuts are just starting to make a difference.
I mean, we cut taxes for Minnesota’s working families so you can keep more of your hard-earned money.
We cut taxes for Minnesota’s businesses, so businesses in this state can now compete and win against businesses anywhere in the world with a lower tax rate. (Applause.)
If you didn’t notice it, we also cut out the cornerstone of Obamacare. The individual mandate is gone. It’s off the books. (Applause.)
You know, when you add it all together, all told, we think these tax cuts will save the typical family of four here in Minnesota about $3,000 a year in your taxes. And we think they’ll unlock new opportunities for businesses to reward employees with higher wages, bigger bonuses, and better benefits.
The truth is, they already are. In fact, we think once all our tax cuts go into effect, that workers here in Minnesota are going to see raises of more than $4,500 a year in the years ahead. (Applause.) Amazing.
And, you know, we’re already on our way. Because in just the past three months, thousands of Minnesota workers have seen bonuses as high as $2,000.
Now folks, that’s great news for working families. But not everybody thinks that. (Laughter.) I mean, you might have heard that the person that wants to be Speaker of the House again –- Nancy Pelosi –-
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: — when she heard about families getting $1,000 at the end of last year, after the President signed those tax cuts, she actually said a $1,000 bonus for working families was nothing more than “crumbs.” Did you hear it that?
Now, let me remind all of you that Karen and I come from the Joseph A. Bank wing of the West Wing. (Laughter and applause.) You with me on that? Okay. (Applause.)
I mean, really, we’ve lived on a budget our whole lives. And when our kids were little, we had a term for another $1,000 in the paycheck at the end of the year: Christmas. (Applause.) Am I right?
I mean, the truth is, these bonuses and the pay raises that are already happening all across Minnesota are making a real difference in the lives of families in the Twin Cities and all across this state. And I want to say very seriously: Any leader who says $1,000 in the pockets of working families is crumbs is out of touch with the American people. (Applause.) Okay?
So let me take a moment to thank some leaders that are in touch with the people of Minnesota. These are great leaders in Congress, and I mentioned them before, but I got to mention it again because they were champions of everything that I just described, most especially those tax cuts.
Congressman Erik Paulsen, Congressman Jason Lewis, and Congressman Tom Emmer have been standing with this administration every step of the way. They have been putting America first, and they have been putting Minnesota first. And everything I just described happened because of their leadership and support. (Applause.)
They helped rebuild our military, they helped roll back the reams of federal red tape that I talked about, and they passed these historic tax cuts that are making a difference here in Minnesota. And I know you are as grateful as the President and I are for these extraordinary leaders.
You know, but President Trump and I know, for all of the strong leaders that we work with every day in Washington, D.C., we know that the real strength of this country is not to be found in our nation’s capital. The real strength of this country is not found in the marbled halls of government. But really, the strength and the greatness of this nation has always been found in the hearts and in the character, in the faith, in the work ethic, and the resilience of the American people. And Minnesota is proof of that every single day. (Applause.) It’s true.
I mean, the hardworking people of Minnesota have always embodied the American spirit -– from the pioneers who carved a home out of the wilderness, to the patriots who were the first to volunteer to fight for freedom in our nation’s Civil War, to the innovators of every new generation who carry this great state onward and upward.
Minnesota has long been, and is today, America’s “Star of the North.” (Applause.) And that star is helping to lead our nation to a better and brighter future. Today, Minnesota is at the forefront of a great American comeback. You really are.
But, folks, that comeback has only just begun. And I came here today not just to say thanks, not just to give you a report, but also to tell you that we need your continued support to move the President’s agenda forward. (Applause.)
So as I close — as I close, let me say I’m very humbled that you would take time to come out today to see me. And I want to thank each and every one of you for being out.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you! (Applause.)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. I mean, you know, I’m just a small-town boy from Southern Indiana. I dreamed one day of maybe representing my hometown in the Congress. I had the opportunity to serve my state as governor, but I never imagined — never imagined this grandson of an immigrant would have the opportunity to stand before you as Vice President of the United States of America. And I thank you for your support. (Applause.) And thank you. Thank you.
But I want to encourage you today, before we leave, to take what you’ve heard here today, keep doing what you did when you made the decision to come out on a Wednesday afternoon — or morning. (Laughter.) Stay engaged as citizens. Take the energy that, frankly, I’ve seen in this room this morning, and carry that out from here.
Because the truth is that we’ve got — we got our work cut out for us in the days ahead to continue to move this agenda forward. I mean, in every real sense, I encourage you to let your voice be heard.
You know, I’ll always believe that, you know, all the cable television networks in the world, all the Internet websites in the world, all the mail pieces, and TV commercials don’t matter a hill of beans when somebody who knows you and trusts you hears from you about how important it is to support this President, support this agenda, and support the people that are working with us every day. So go tell somebody. (Applause.) Leave here and tell somebody.
I mean, reach out to coworkers and neighbors, friends at your place of work, and places of worship. And I truly do believe that word of mouth is now, and will always be, the most powerful medium in America.
So I just encourage you to go out and tell somebody what you heard. I mean, say, “I ran into Mike the other day” — (laughter and applause) — “and he was telling me all the stuff we’ve gotten done. And not what the President has gotten done, and not what the Republican majorities in the Congress. What we have gotten done together.” And the people who are gathered in this room, people all across Minnesota and across America, stood with this President, stood with these great leaders, and gave us a government that could, in every real sense, turn this country back in the direction of what’s always made this country safe and prosperous and strong.
So go tell the story of what’s happening in America, among your families, and your friends, and your loved ones. Tell them what they’re not hearing on most of their cable television networks. (Laughter.) Tell them about these great congressional leaders; how important it is that we see them continue to have the opportunity to serve and lead. Tell them what we’ve accomplished, and tell them about the difference that it’s making here in Minnesota and all across the country.
I mean, tell them we cut their taxes so they can keep more of what they earn. Tell them we’re restoring American strength at home and abroad, standing with our allies, standing up to our enemies. And tell them — tell them we’re once again — we’re once again taking the steps necessary to protect our families in new and in renewed ways.
In a word, tell them we’re putting Washington back to work for them — not the other way around. (Applause.) Tell them President Donald Trump, under this administration, the forgotten men and women of America are forgotten no more. You go tell them that when you leave here today. (Applause.) Because it’s true. You tell them that. It’s true.
And there’s one more thing I might encourage you to do if you’re of a mind. In these challenging times, where there seems to be widening threats abroad and too much division here at home, if you’re inclined, from time to time to bow the head and bend the knee, and pray for America, I encourage you to do it. (Applause.) I truly do.
And when you pray, I’m not so much saying pray for a cause or pray for any particular candidate or party. I’m just saying, pray for America, because America matters. Far beyond our shores, the last best hope of Earth. And pray for this great nation, all of its people, and all those who serve her every day.
I truly do believe — I truly do believe if you continue to do that, if you continue to support this agenda going forward, with your time and your voice, and in every way as good citizens, with these great leaders in the Congress that we’ve talked about today, with President Donald Trump in the White House, and with God’s help, I know we will make America prosperous again. We will make America safe again. And to borrow a phrase, we will make America great again. (Applause.)
Thank you very much, Minnesota. (Applause.) God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.
11:00 A.M. CDT