First Baptist Church of Scottsdale
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you all for coming out. It’s great to be in Phoenix at a time when this city, this state, and this nation are experiencing an economic boom, the likes of which the American people haven’t seen for a very long time.
Thanks to the policies that Senator McSally has supported throughout her career and Governor Ducey has been advancing here in Arizona, we’ve seen over the last two and a half years, 6.3 million jobs created. Hundreds of thousands of jobs created here in Arizona.
And as we started today celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, it was a special joy to be able to reflect on the fact that more than 2 million of those jobs have gone to Hispanic Americans. And particularly, Hispanic women have been winning in this economy almost more than any other individual group.
Talking about the fact that under President Trump’s leadership, with our strong allies in the Senate and also at state capitols around the country, we’ve been able to cut taxes, roll back regulations at a historic level, unleash American energy, fight for the kind of free and fair trade deals that’ll expand jobs and opportunity in this country. And the results really speak for themselves.
But as the President often says, for all of the progress that we’ve made — 6 million new jobs, a booming economy — that’s just what President Trump calls “a good start.” And so I’ll be traveling with the Governor and Senator McSally down to Tucson today to make one more case for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. And while we see Congress once again heading down the pathway of controversy and endless investigations, we believe the time has come for Congress to set aside politics and pass the USMCA.
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement was negotiated and finished roughly a year ago. And ever since that time, Congress has been looking at it, studying it, discussing it. Yet all the while, Mexico and Canada have both taken decisive steps to put what will be the largest trade deal in American history into effect.
A conservative estimate of the impact on our economy is that USMCA will create more than 175,000 good-paying jobs all across this country. And we really believe, in a very real sense, it also ends the incentive of American businesses to move south of the border, and also it protects intellectual property rights and deals with issues, even including the environment that previous trade agreements have never done in a significant way.
The USMCA is a win for American jobs. It’s a win for American workers. And I specifically want to thank Governor Ducey for being a national voice in support of the USMCA. And we’ll be traveling to Tucson to make that case because we have tremendous momentum in this economy. We’ve seen manufacturing come roaring back. And in every aspect of this economy, we know the USMCA is going to continue to build on that momentum.
So it’s great to be here in Arizona. We look forward to being back again and again. And it’s also, finally, especially great to be here with Senator Martha McSally who is, in her own right, an American hero, a woman who made history in the Armed Forces of the United States, served with great distinction in the House of Representatives working with this administration, and, I can tell you, has already emerged as a preeminent leader in the Republican majority in the United States Senate. And she has President Trump and my full support. We look forward to standing with her all the way through a great day a year from this November in Arizona and around the country.
Q Mr. Vice President, sir, you alluded to a politics of endless investigations. Perhaps you’ll forgive me for asking about it. Can you say what you spoke about with President Zelensky when you met with him in Poland, and whether the Bidens came up — whether you mentioned the Bidens at all with him?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, as I said the day after that meeting, we focused entirely, in my meeting with President Zelensky of Ukraine, on the issues that President Trump has raised as a concern, namely the lack of support from European partners for Ukraine and real issues of corruption in Ukraine.
But the American people have every right to ensure that when we’re investing hundreds of millions of dollars to support the territorial integrity and the sovereignty and the security of Ukraine, that those dollars are being spent in a way that’s honest and represents a government free of corruption.
The good news is President Zelensky was elected last spring on an anti-corruption message. And before the summer was out, he elected a large majority in his parliament also on a message of anti-corruption. And when we spoke roughly a month ago in Poland, President Zelensky reported to me the literally hundreds of bills on corruption reform that his party was introducing and moving; the steps that he was taking to deal with corruption in Ukraine. And also committed to me that he would work with the United States to call on our European partners to do more, to push back on Russian aggression — the Russian aggression that essentially took over Crimea and also has fomented war in the Donbass area of Ukraine now for years. And those were the topics that we discussed. That was all we discussed.
But the simple truth is that those are the same issues that the President raised with President Zelensky in their call. Now, the President spoke about lack of European support, he spoke about corruption, and he tasked me to go and to meet with the President of Ukraine and carry our concerns about those issues.
And anyone that looks at the President’s transcript will see that the President was raising issues that were appropriate, that were of genuine interest to the American people.
And as more facts come out of this, as people take time to read the transcript of the President’s call and reflect on these facts, I think they’ll come to realize this is just more of the same of what we’ve seen from Democrats for the last two and a half years.
They’ve literally spent two and a half years pushing an impeachment of this administration and this President on a theory of Russian collusion and obstruction. And when that didn’t pan out, they briefly tried to talk about impeaching Justice Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court. And over the last 10 days, we’re back to talking impeachment.
I think the people of America are saying enough is enough. I mean, people of this country want us to focus on issues that matter most to them. These endless investigations should end in Washington, D.C. And Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats ought to be focusing on issues of security, of prosperity, of infrastructure, the USMCA, lowering drug prices, and whatever they want to fight about in Washington, D.C. I promise you: President Trump and I are going to keep fighting for the issues that matter most for the American people.
Q What was your biggest takeaway from today’s meeting? What was your biggest takeaway?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: My biggest takeaway is how proud the Hispanic American community is here in Arizona and in this country. I mean, when you look at the growth and the prosperity that’s happened since 2016 in the state of Arizona, and you understand the role that Hispanic Americans have played in that, it was a real cause for celebration today.
And we’re going to take this whole month — Hispanic Heritage Month — to talk about the incredible cultural contributions, community contributions, but economic contributions that Hispanic Americans make every day.
My big message was: As we see an economy that’s created 6.3 million new jobs, it’s been Hispanic Americans, Hispanic small businesses, Hispanic entrepreneurs that have been driving that economic renaissance. And there was a lot of optimism in the room and a lot of appreciation for the policies that are really making this economy great again.
Q Is it appropriate, as the President did this morning and in a phone call with Ukraine, to ask foreign governments to investigate his political rival?
Q China, for example.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, let me say that, I’m Vice President of the United States, and I was elected to this job, along with President Trump for many reasons. One was to re- — excuse me. We were elected for many reasons. One was to rebuild our military. One was to revive our economy. Another was to see conservatives appointed to our courts. Another was to secure our borders. But one of the main reasons we were elected to Washington, D.C. was to drain the swamp.
And I think the American people have a right to know if the Vice President of the United States or his family profited from this position as Vice President during the last administration. That’s about looking backwards and understanding what really happened. I mean, the fact that my predecessor had a son who was paid $50,000 a month to be on a Ukrainian board at the time that Vice President Biden was leading the Obama administration’s efforts in Ukraine — I think is worth looking into.
And the President made it very clear that he believes — he believes our other nations around the world should look into it as well. I mean, the simple fact is that, you know, when you hold the second highest office in the land, it comes with unique responsibilities — not just to be above impropriety, but to be above the appearance of impropriety. And clearly, in this case, there are legitimate questions that ought to be asked. And we’re going to continue to ask them since the American people have a right to know whether or not the Vice President of the United States or his family profited from his position.
I mean, you look at the video of Vice President Biden and you see there was clearly a quid pro quo. He said, if a prosecutor was not fired — who, among other things, was investigating the company his son sat on the board of — that he was going to withhold a billion dollars. Contrast that with the President’s — the transcript of the President’s phone call with President Zelensky where there was no quid pro quo. There was no pressure. And I think it’s why most Americans want to get answers about what — what was going on. And to have Ukraine, particularly, as the President said, to get to the bottom of it. And I think that’s what the American people would expect and anticipate.
But this administration is going to continue to advance the polices and the agenda we were elected to advance. That includes draining the swamp, and that includes demanding that our allies operate honest government in an upright way as well.
Q Any indications that the administration is (inaudible) with Hispanic voters?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, let me say, we’re going to be in and out of Arizona a lot, because we’ve got a winning message. Hispanic Americans here in Arizona are winning under the policies of President Trump and the policies that Martha McSally supported and Governor Ducey has advanced in this state. I mean, our economy is growing. Our military is stronger than ever before.
And let me also say that I think the values of this administration have stood for — of faith, and family, and the sanctity of life, and freedom — those are all values that are synonymous with the Hispanic American community. So we’re going to come here, and we’re going to talk about the progress that we’ve made for security, for prosperity. But we’re also going to speak about the values that Hispanic Americans cherish, that this President has championed. And I know we’re going to bring home a great victory for Senator McSally and President Donald Trump in November of 2020.