The Wisconsin Center
4:37 P.M. CDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, hello, Wisconsin! (Applause.) It is great to be back in the great city of Milwaukee, with men and women who voted to elect a President and leadership in the Congress that have enacted tax cuts that are putting America first. (Applause.)
And as I get started, let me begin by bringing greetings from a man who loves the Badger State, a man Wisconsin voted to make the 45th President of the United States of America. I bring greetings from your President, President Donald Trump. (Applause.) The President was excited I was going to be here today to talk about all of what you’ve heard about the difference these tax cuts are making here in Wisconsin and all across the country.
And I want to thank this Governor. I want to thank Governor Walker for that kind introduction. I’ll tell you, it is always great to be with a governor who knows about winning — winning for Wisconsin and winning just like the Milwaukee Bucks are going to do tomorrow night at the Bradley Center. Right? (Applause.)
And I came here today to talk about the difference — the difference that this administration, with your support, is making all across America. But first and foremost, let me take a minute to talk about the difference this Governor has made over the past eight years, right here in Wisconsin.
Just like our President, your Governor is a man of his word and he’s a man of action. Governor Scott Walker promised to cut your taxes, and this year, your income and property taxes will be lower than they were when you elected him in 2010. He promised to bring jobs back, and today, as you just heard, the unemployment rate in Wisconsin is at its lowest level in the history of this state. (Applause.)
And thanks to the leadership of your Governor, as you just heard in this panel, the great manufacturer Foxconn announced the largest private-sector investment in Wisconsin history: $10 billion that will create 13,000 new, good-paying jobs right here in the Badger State. It’s amazing. (Applause.)
I mean, under the leadership of this Governor, Wisconsin is working, Wisconsin is winning. So would you all just take one more chance here to say thanks to a man who I believe is one of the most successful governors in the history of Wisconsin, and one of the most effective governors in America, Governor Scott Walker. (Applause.)
I’m want to recognize a couple other people before we get started. You all can sit down if you want. (Laughter.) A Wisconsin native is with us here today. A leader who, I can tell you, has been standing shoulder-to-shoulder with President Trump and our whole team as we’ve advanced an agenda that’s making America great again. Would you join me in thanking Congressman Glenn Grothman, who is with us here today and is our great friend. Congressman, thank you. (Applause.)
And you just heard a few minutes ago from a lifelong champion of American prosperity, somebody who’s working every day for American jobs and a more prosperous future. Join me in thanking Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta one more time, will you? He is a champion of jobs and working Americans. (Applause.)
And lastly, I want to thank the host for today’s event, an organization that’s promoting policies that are making a real difference in the life of Wisconsin, including these historic tax cuts. Would you just join me in thanking my friend Corey Lewandowski and America First Policies for bringing us all together today. (Applause.)
I’m really here today, first and foremost, just to say thanks. Because of your support, because of your partnership and the support of Wisconsin’s leaders in the Congress and in the State House, and because of the tireless leadership of our President, the last year and a few months can be summed up, I think, in one simple phrase: It’s been promises made and promises kept under President Donald Trump. (Applause.)
I mean, think about it. Back in that campaign in 2016, we promised to rebuild our military and end the era of budget cuts to our armed forces. And last month, President Trump signed into law the largest investment in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan. (Applause.)
And with that renewed American strength, this President has been keeping the promise of America on the world stage, as well, standing with our allies and standing up to our enemies.
Thanks to the leadership of our Commander-in-Chief, and the courage of our armed forces, I’m proud to report to you the ISIS caliphate has crumbled, and very soon we will drive that terrorist group from the face of the Earth. (Applause.)
And as the world witnessed just a short time ago, at the Commander-in-Chief’s direction, the Armed Forces of the United States, together with our allies, launched precision strikes against the chemical weapons program of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
Our armed forces conducted what President Trump called “a perfectly executed strike.” And on behalf of this President and the American people, I say to the members of our armed forces, many who are with us today: We are proud of you. Job well done. (Applause.)
You know, this President has not just been standing with the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States today. He’s also been — he’s been working to stand with those who have worn the uniform in previous days in their lives. We’ve been working every day to make the VA more effective and accountable. We’ve given it the resources it needs to end the backlog for veterans once and for all. And I promise you, under President Donald Trump, we will not relent until every hero who has served in uniform has access to the real-time, world-class healthcare that they earned in the uniform of the United States. (Applause.) We’re going to take care of our veterans.
And this President also promised to stand with the men and women who serve on the Thin Blue Line of law enforcement. And I’ll make you a promise: With heartbreaking headlines just a few days ago of more law enforcement officers falling in the line of duty, in this administration we’re going to continue to stand without apology for the men and women of law enforcement who risk their lives to protect our families. And we will give them the resources and the respect that they deserve every single day. (Applause.)
Our President also promised to secure our borders and enforce our laws. And I’m proud to report to you that, as I stand before you today, illegal crossings at our southern border have been cut by over 40 percent. And just last month, we started to build the first 100 miles of the border wall. (Applause.) And when it comes to the wall, we’re going to build it all. It’s promises made and promises kept.
In fact, this President promises to appoint strong conservatives to our federal courts at every level. And one year ago this month, Justice Neil Gorsuch took his seat on the Supreme Court of the United States. And in our first year, this President set a record for the most court of appeals judges appointed and confirmed in a single year in American history, and they are conservatives all. (Applause.)
So it’s about security. It’s about prosperity. It’s about the rule of law. It’s about seeing to the safety and security of our families and our communities. But at the end of the day, what brought us here today is really that, since the first day of this administration, this President and our administration have been working with our great partners in the Congress, with great leaders like your governor, and we’ve been keeping our promise to get this economy moving again.
And it’s not just about passing “Tax Cuts to Put America First.” I’m going to get to that in a minute. I mean, we promised to roll back the heavy hand of government. And working with Wisconsin’s conservatives in Congress, this President has actually signed more laws rolling back federal red tape than any President in American history. (Applause.) I mean, some of you might remember that campaign. The President actually promised that we’d repeal two regulations for every one new federal rule put on the books.
But I’m here to tell you, as I stand before you today, this President has actually repealed 22 federal regulations for every new rule put in the Code of Federal Regulations. (Applause.)
I mean, we promised to unleash American energy. This President 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 Paris Climate Accord. (Applause.)
We promised to crack down on unfair trade practices that cost jobs all across the heartland. And President Trump has taken decisive action to protect our steel, aluminum, and lumber industries. And we’re fighting for trade deals that are free and fair and reciprocal. I mean, bottom line: Harley Davidson shouldn’t face a 42 percent tariff in China while the Chinese motorcycle industry pays no tariffs at all to sell in the United States of America. (Applause.) We’re going to have free and fair and reciprocal trade that puts American jobs and American workers first. (Applause.)
And finally — and finally, as you heard from this great panel — and you can give the panel another round of applause. They just did a phenomenal job. (Applause.) What brought us here today is we promised to cut taxes across the board for working families, small businesses, and family farms. And nearly four months ago, with the strong support of your leaders and the Republican majorities in the Congress, and with the strong support of your governor and people all across this country, President Donald Trump signed the largest tax cuts and tax reform in American history. That’s promises made and promises kept. (Applause.)
And the truth is — the truth is, all of these actions combined have been making a remarkable difference. I mean, optimism is soaring all across America. Consumer confidence is at an all-time high. Since Election Day, businesses large and small have created nearly 3 million new jobs across this country, including more than 36,000 new jobs right here in Wisconsin. (Applause.)
The unemployment rate hasn’t been this low in 17 years. And in Wisconsin it’s fallen by nearly 25 percent in the last year-and-a-half. And when it comes to manufacturing — the backbone of the Badger State — I’m pleased to report that Wisconsin factories have already added more than 16,000 new good-paying jobs since Election Day. The truth is, jobs are coming back, confidence is back, and under President Donald Trump, America is back. And we’re just getting started. (Applause.)
But, you know, the President and I really believe the best days for American prosperity and opportunity are yet to come, because these tax cuts are really just starting to make a difference.
Tax Day was last week — and I’m glad it’s over. (Laughter.) In fact, I’m pleased to report to you that’s the last time you’re ever going to have to pay taxes under that old, broken, complicated system — (applause) — because new tax laws and tax simplification and lower taxes are on the way. (Applause.)
I mean, we cut taxes for Wisconsin’s working families so you can keep more of the paycheck every single month. And millions of people across this country already are.
We cut taxes for job creators and employees so that companies here in Wisconsin can compete and win against companies anywhere in the world. (Applause.) And if you didn’t notice it, we also cut out the cornerstone of Obamacare. (Applause.) And I’m pleased to report Obamacare’s individual mandate is gone. It’s off the books. (Applause.)
It’s amazing to think, years ago I was in the Congress when Obamacare was signed into law; the fact that the American people had to pay a tax for the privilege of not having health insurance. And it’s off the books. And as a result of that, Americans have more money in their pockets.
You know, the truth is that tax cuts wouldn’t have happened — they wouldn’t have happened without your strong support and without the leadership of President Donald Trump. But they also wouldn’t have happened without the tireless advocacy of another one of Wisconsin’s own — Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. (Applause.) It’s true.
You know, Paul and I served together all through the 12 years that I was in the House of Representatives. He’s my friend, he’s a true patriot, and I believe that few Americans — few Americans have done more to advance the cause of growth and opportunity in this country for every American than Paul Ryan over the last 20 years. And it’s been my great privilege, as I know it has been to the President, to work with him to advance the agenda that’s making America great again.
He’s had a career of consequence. And I know I speak for people all across Wisconsin and all across the country when I say we’ll miss his leadership when he retires from Congress at the end of this year. Would you just join me in showing how much you are proud of and appreciate the strong leadership of Wisconsin’s own, Speaker Paul Ryan. (Applause.) He’s a very special guy, and I know the best way to honor Paul Ryan is to make sure that those big shoes are filled in his congressional district and that Janesville has another strong conservative representing it in Washington, D.C. And I know that’s just what Wisconsin is going to do. (Applause.)
You know, all told, these tax cuts, as you just heard the Governor say, are going to save the typical family of four in Wisconsin more than $2,500 a year on their taxes. And 90 percent of working families are going to see a tax cut reflected in their paychecks before the year is out, if you haven’t already.
But, you know, that’s only half the story. You’ll also see more money in your pockets because of what our tax cuts have meant to job creators here in this state and all over the country.
It’s a simple truth born out of the history of this country and the economic history of our nation, that a tax cut for business ultimately results in a pay raise for workers. And in the years ahead, as businesses respond to the unprecedented tax relief that we gave them, we truly know and expect that the average Wisconsin worker is going to see a pay raise. When all these tax cuts take effect, the average Wisconsin worker is going to see a pay raise of more than $4,000 a year. Wages are already on the rise because tax cuts mean more income for working Americans. (Applause.)
And help is on the way. Over the past four months, more than 500 companies across America have announced raises, better benefits, tax cuts, bonuses. I mean, 5.5 million Americans have already benefitted from the President’s tax cuts. And that includes at least 28,000 people all across Wisconsin.
Now, you know, $1,000 in the pockets of a working family at the end of last year is — I think it’s kind of a big deal. But not everybody thinks that. (Laughter.) Right? I mean, the person that wants to be Speaker of the House again, Nancy Pelosi —
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Did you hear about this? I mean, she actually said — she actually said that $1,000 at the end of the year in the pockets of working families was nothing more than “crumbs.”
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Now, let me remind everybody here: Karen and I, we come from the Joseph A. Bank’s wing of the West Wing of the White House. (Applause.) Are you with me on that? Thank you very much. (Applause.) Okay. All right.
I mean, when our kids were little — you know, I mean, when I was working in broadcasting and Karen was a schoolteacher, we had a term for an extra $1,000 in my paycheck at the end of the year that we weren’t expecting: Christmas. Right? (Applause.)
I mean, let me just tell you very sincerely: Any leader who says that $1,000 in the pockets of working families is “crumbs” is out of touch with the American people and should never lead the people’s Congress again. (Applause.)
I mean, the truth of the matter is, I remember the last time liberals ran Washington, D.C. I was actually there. They nearly ran the American economy into the ground. I mean, they raised taxes, they cut military spending, they tried to pass cap-and-trade, they gave us the disaster of Obamacare. I mean, literally, their majority believed then, and they still believe, that they could borrow, and spend, and bail our way back to prosperity.
The truth is, they haven’t changed a bit. You don’t need to look any further than, frankly, Wisconsin’s Senator Tammy Baldwin for proof of that.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I mean, time again, Senator Tammy Baldwin has voted against the policies that Wisconsin needs. And when the time came to cut your taxes, Tammy Baldwin voted “no.”
When it came time to letting Wisconsin families keep more than $2,500 of their hard-earned money, Senator Tammy Baldwin voted “no”. When it came time to giving Wisconsin job creators the kind of tax cuts they need to compete and win with companies all over the world, Tammy Baldwin voted “no”.
And Tammy Baldwin voted “no” because she actually said that tax cuts are not — are just “not right.” And she couldn’t have been more wrong. (Applause.)
But, you know, it’s not just tax cuts where Senator Baldwin voted against this administration and, we believe, the interests of the people of this state. She voted “no” on repealing and replacing Obamacare. She voted “no” on the wall, “no” on defunding sanctuary cities, “no” on imprisoning dangerous criminals who had come back after being deported. And Tammy Baldwin voted “no” on the overwhelming majority of President Trump’s Cabinet.
And just this week, it looks like she’s getting ready to — Senator Tammy Baldwin is actually getting ready to vote against Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State for the United States of America — a veteran of our armed forces and a dedicated public servant.
The truth of the matter is Senator Tammy Baldwin hasn’t been putting Wisconsin first. And I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think the Badger State deserves better. (Applause.)
The good news is, though, that while Senator Tammy Baldwin has been voting “no” on one thing after another in President Trump’s agenda, Wisconsin’s other senator has been voting “yes” and has been a great champion. Senator Ron Johnson is a strong partner of this administration and he always puts Wisconsin first. (Applause.)
In fact, Senator Ron Johnson was instrumental in passing our historic tax cuts — tax cuts for small businesses. I was in there. I got to tell you, he’s a tenacious guy and he was fighting every step of the way to make sure that when those tax cuts got done, they got done in a way that would work for men and women in small-business Wisconsin.
And as we speak, our President is working closely with Senator Johnson to pass right-to-try legislation — (applause) — that will give terminally ill patients across America access to life-saving treatments. Would you all join me in showing just how much you appreciate the strong, principled leadership of Senator Ron Johnson. (Applause.)
The truth is, I just want to thank all of Wisconsin’s great conservatives in Congress, including Congressman Grothman. And he and his colleagues have stood with our President to advance our agenda. It’s been a tremendous source of support and encouragement, and that’s exactly the kind of leadership that Wisconsin deserves.
Now, as I close, let me just say, I want to thank you for coming today. I really do. I’m very humbled that you would come out today and hear this great panel and hear from your Vice President.
But I hope you didn’t just come here to hear a speech. I want to leave you with a challenge, and I hope you leave here with a little bit of a burden on your heart.
The truth is, for all that you heard today about all that we have done together in a little more than a year of this administration, I want to challenge you to let your voice be heard here in Wisconsin in the days ahead. Exercise all of your rights in this pivotal year. Go out and tell the story of what’s happening in this country to your friends and your loved ones and your neighbors.
I mean, the truth of the matter is — you know, they don’t hear a lot of this good news on most of their local cable television stations. You know what I’m saying?
I mean, the truth is, I’ve always believed that every talk show in the world, every talking head on television, every mail piece, every website, it doesn’t matter a hill of beans than when someone that you know and trust reaches out to you at work, or at worship, or over a backyard fence and talks about what is important and the progress that we’re making.
And so I just want to challenge each and every one of you to that here today. I mean, leave from here today and go find a neighbor, and a friend, or a coworker. There’s people here that employ people here in Milwaukee. There’s people that have contacts of thousands of friends and neighbors. And say, “You know, I ran into Mike the other day in Milwaukee” — (laughter) — “and he was telling me about all of this incredible progress that we’ve been making to advance American security and prosperity, to see the way this economy is growing, to see all the things that we’ve done together.” So I want you to go out and tell them about it.
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 so their families can sleep safe at night.
I mean, in a word, tell them we’re putting Washington back to work for them, not the other way around. I mean, tell them under President Donald Trump, the forgotten men and women of America are forgotten no more. (Applause.) Go tell them. Go tell them that we’re making America great again. (Applause.) Because we are. And you’re the reason why.
You know, serving alongside this President has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. It really has. We’ve gotten to be very close. And I have to tell you, it’s — I’ve never met anybody that loved this country more than our President, or that love the American people more than him.
And if he was standing here today, I promise you he wouldn’t be talking about what our administration had done. I hope you’ve heard in my voice what this past — what we’ve done. Not just on Election Day, but every day since. And telling that story to our neighbors and friends is what I want you to leave here to do today and in the days ahead.
Tell them about the progress that we’ve made all across this country. Tell them about the progress we’ve made here in Wisconsin. And tell them we’re just getting started. (Applause.)
And lastly, in these times where there just seems to be too much division here at home, it seems like every issue gets divided almost immediately, upon traditional partisan lines, I just ask you to do one more thing. With widening threats abroad, with too much division at home — you know, if you’re of a mind to bow the head and bend the knee, I encourage you to do it. I encourage you to pray for this country; pray for America. (Applause.)
And when you pray, pray with confidence. For I truly believe those ancient words written millennia ago that Americans have clung to throughout our history — through much more challenging times than we’ve faced in recent years — are still true today. That if His people, who are called by His name, will humble themselves and pray, He will do as He has always done through the long and storied history of this land. He will hear from heaven and He’ll heal this land, this one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. (Applause.)
So I’m going to let you all get to the rest of your day. I hope to have a chance to meet as many of you as we’ve got time. But thank you for coming today. Thank you for the opportunity to talk about all that we’ve accomplished together.
And I leave here today with renewed confidence — (applause) — that with the support of the good people of Wisconsin; with the Badger State’s great conservative leaders in the Congress; with your great governor, Scott Walker, leading this state; with President Donald Trump in the White House; and with God’s help, I know we will make America safe again. (Applause.) We will make America prosperous again. And to borrow a phrase, we will make America great again. (Applause.)
Thank you very much. God bless you. God bless Wisconsin. And God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
5:09 P.M. CDT