Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown
2:46 P.M. EDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, hello, Pennsylvania! (Applause.) It is great to be back in the Keystone State with men and women who elected a President and a Congress that elect — that enacted historic tax cuts that are putting America first once again. Give yourselves a round of applause. (Applause.)
I want to thank my friend, Lou, for those great words and that introduction, and say it is great to be back in the Commonwealth, home to the national champion Villanova Wildcats and the world champion Philadelphia Eagles! (Applause.)
And speaking of champions, I bring greetings from a man I just left the Oval Office from a few minutes ago. I told him I was headed your way and he wanted me to be sure and give you his very best. A man who loves the state of Pennsylvania and a man that Pennsylvania voted to make the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump. (Applause.)
Well, I’m here today on the President’s behalf and on behalf of our entire administration, just, first and foremost, just to say “thank you.” Thanks to all the good people of Pennsylvania. Thank you for your support not just in 2016, but every day since, as we’ve advanced a great, great agenda that has really turned this country around.
Let me also thank some great leaders from the Keystone State who are here with us today. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am a big fan of Lou Barletta. (Applause.) Lou, thank you, not just for being here today, but thanks for being there every step of the way supporting this President, supporting this administration, and always putting Pennsylvania first.
Also, let me thank a couple other folks that you’ve heard from today as well. A great Congressman who was just on the stage, Congressman Lloyd Smucker is here, who is a great, great champion of this administration. (Applause.) Lloyd, thank you so much. Great job today. And from across the river, a New Jersey Congressman who has been fighting for the people of New Jersey and fighting to put America first, Tom MacArthur is in the house. Tom, thank you. (Applause.) Great job.
And I also want to thank that gal who calls Pennsylvania home. She said she lived on both ends of the state. You just heard from her a minute ago. I can tell you she’s a tireless champion of American jobs, our Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Karen Dunn Kelley. Thank you, Karen. Thanks for being here. (Applause.)
And how about a big round of applause for America First Policies that brought us together today on a Monday. (Applause.) What a great group.
You know, I checked the calendar, and late last week marked one-and-a-half years to the day since President Trump and I raised our right hands and took office. Now, I think there’s only way — one way you can sum up this administration over the last 18 months: It’s been a year and a half of action. It’s been a year and a half of results. It’s been a year and a half of promises made and promises kept. (Applause.) And we’re just getting started.
I mean, think about it. Before I get to the main topic of the day, just think about it. This President promised to rebuild our military and restore the arsenal of democracy. And with the strong support of these members of Congress, earlier this year President Trump signed the largest increase in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan. (Applause.)
You know, would all of those that are in the room that are able — those of you that have worn the uniform of the United States, would you all mind just standing up and letting us thank you one more time for answering the call to serve this country? (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you for your service. Thank you for your service.
I got to tell you, as the father of a United States Marine, I couldn’t be more proud to serve alongside a President who cares so deeply about our men and women in uniform and has been fighting every day to give our veterans access to the world-class healthcare that they earned in the uniform of the United States. (Applause.)
You know, with this President, we are once again, I’m proud to report, giving our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard the resources and the training they need to accomplish their mission and come home safe. (Applause.) It’s true.
Now, closer to home we promised to make America safe again, to enforce our laws, and secure our borders. And from the first day of this administration, this President has been giving law enforcement at every level the resources and the respect that they deserve every day. (Applause.)
And that includes the dedicated public servants of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE. (Applause.) These are great men and women. These are great men and women, and they’re courageous law enforcement officers. It’s amazing to think that some leading Democrats across this country are actually calling on us to abolish ICE.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I’ll make you a promise: With President Donald Trump in the White House and these strong Republican majorities in Congress, we will never abolish ICE. (Applause.) We will stand by them and give them the support they deserve. (Applause.)
Because you got to know, despite all the irresponsible rhetoric by many leading liberal Democrats, here are the numbers. You deserve to hear them, Philadelphia. Last year alone, ICE agents arrested more than 127,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records — (applause) — including nearly 5,000 arrests right here in Philadelphia.
ICE agents took the fight to vicious gangs like MS-13 and removed nearly 5,000 gang members off the streets of America. (Applause.) And ICE agents also rescued 1,000 people from child exploitation and human traffickers. (Applause.)
The courageous men and women of ICE deserve the support of every American, and they will always have the support of this administration. (Applause.) I promise you.
And with our renewed commitment to enforcing immigration laws, I’m proud to report to you that President Trump signed the largest increase in border security funding in nearly 10 years. And we got a down payment, and we already started building that wall. (Applause.)
Speaking of the rule of law, this President also promised to appoint strong conservatives to our federal courts at every level. And standing here in the city that was home to Independence Hall, where the Constitution was written, I couldn’t be more proud to report to you that, last year, President Trump set a record for the most court of appeals judges confirmed in the first year of any administration in American history. And they are all men and women who will uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. (Applause.) And that doesn’t even include Justice Neil Gorsuch or the next Supreme Court justice, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. (Applause.)
You know, and with a stronger and safer America at home, this President has also stood without apology as leader of the free world. As a result of the President’s leadership, as I stand before you today, our NATO Allies are paying more for our common defense than ever before. (Applause.) North Korea is no longer testing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons, and has come to the table to discuss peace. (Applause.)
And thanks to the courage of our armed forces and the determination of their Commander-in-Chief, ISIS is on the run, their caliphate has crumbled, and we will soon destroy ISIS from the face of the Earth so it can no longer threaten our people, or our way of life. (Applause.)
And while the Iranian people have been standing up in the streets — standing up to their dictators in Tehran — this President put Iran on notice. He canceled the Iran nuclear deal. And as he made clear again last night, we will no longer tolerate Iran’s sowing violence or terror across the world, and we will not tolerate threats against the United States of America. (Applause.)
So it’s about promises made and promises kept, everybody. And I’m happy to report to you that since the first day of this administration, we’ve been working to keep the promise of making America prosperous again. And in case you haven’t noticed — just like Lou Barletta just said, laying out some of those great statistics — confidence is back, jobs are coming back. In a word: America is back. (Applause.) And we’re just getting started.
But it’s no accident. This President promised to roll back the heavy hand of government. And as I stand before you today with the strong support of these partners in Congress, President Trump signed more laws repealing federal regulations than any President in American history. (Applause.) It’s true.
We promised to unleash American energy. He approved the Keystone and Dakota Pipelines. We rolled back the Clean Power Plan. And this President put America first when he withdrew the United States from the job-killing Paris Climate Accord. (Applause.) Under President Donald Trump, American energy is back and coal is back. (Applause.)
We also promised to confront countries that have been, frankly, taking advantage — taking advantage of the American economy for too long. President Trump took decisive action to defend our steel and aluminum industries, the backbone of a growing economy. And we’re making real progress renegotiating deals with countries around the world that will put American jobs and American workers first. (Applause.)
And finally — finally, what brings us all here today is, this President promised to cut taxes across the board for working families, small businesses, family farmers. And with the support of these Republicans in Congress from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, just before Christmas — I was there — President Donald Trump signed the largest tax cut and tax reform in American history. It’s promises made and promises kept. (Applause.)
In that bill, we’ve cut taxes for working families. The typical family of four in Philadelphia is probably going to save about $2,500 every year on their taxes after this bill is fully in effect.
We cut taxes for businesses large and small so that companies across Pennsylvania can compete with companies anywhere in the world, and create jobs right here in the USA. (Applause.)
And when we cut taxes, I’m also proud to report we cut out the core of Obamacare. The individual mandate is gone. (Applause.)
The results of these tax cuts, and all of this agenda I just described, have been nothing short of amazing. Since Election Day 2016, businesses large and small have created 3.7 million new jobs all across America, including nearly 120,000 jobs right here in Pennsylvania. Under our administration, Philadelphia’s unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level ever recorded.
And the President and I couldn’t be more proud than under this administration we have set a new record: the lowest unemployment ever recorded for African Americans and Hispanic Americans. (Applause.) The American Dream is working again for every American.
You know, under the last administration, America lost more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs. But under this administration, factories across this country have added more than 340,000 new good-paying manufacturing jobs, more than 10,000 of them right here in Pennsylvania. “Made in the USA” is coming back. (Applause.)
And since the President signed those historic tax cuts into law — you just heard about this a minute ago, but it really is an amazing number — I mean, after he signed it into law, just literally within weeks, and now up to this point, more than 6 million Americans have already received pay raises, bonuses, or bigger benefits, including more than 73,000 workers across Pennsylvania.
Couple of examples: The Almo Corporation, based right here in Philadelphia, gave out a thousand-dollar bonus to its workers and announced plans to upgrade its facilities.
Philadelphia-based PECO Energy Company announced that it’s passing on its savings to customers so that 1.6 million Pennsylvanians will save more money every month on their utility bills. (Applause.)
And Philly’s own Comcast is giving out thousand-dollar bonuses to more than 100,000 workers nationwide. And that company announced they’re going to invest more than $50 billion in America in the next five years. Let’s hear it for all these companies investing in American workers and investing in our country. (Applause.)
I got to tell you, a thousand dollars in your paycheck at the end of the year, I think — you know, that you weren’t expecting — I think that’s pretty good news. You know? But not everybody agrees. (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 those thousand-dollar bonuses were all making it in the news, right? Right before Christmas, Nancy Pelosi said that was nothing more than “crumbs.” Remember that?
Now, let me remind all of you today in Philadelphia, Karen and I come from what we call the Walmart wing of the West Wing of the White House. (Laughter and applause.) You with me on that? Okay? I mean, we’ve lived on a budget our whole lives. Still do now, to be quite honest about it.
You know, when our kids were little, we had a term for another thousand dollars in my paycheck at the end of the year that we weren’t expecting: Christmas. (Applause.) Anybody with me that? All right?
Let me say from the heart, any leader who says that a thousand dollars in the pockets of working Americans is nothing more than crumbs is out of touch with the American people and should never lead the American Congress again. (Applause.)
I mean, I don’t know about the rest of you — I don’t know if you remember the last time these liberals ran the Congress, but I sure do. I was there. They nearly ran the American economy into the ground, truthfully. Instead of cutting taxes, they raised taxes. Instead of increasing military funding, they were busy cutting military spending. They tried to pass cap-and-trade, and they gave us the nightmare of Obamacare, and an economy that just wouldn’t budge above 2 percent for years.
Today, nearly a decade later, the truth is Democrats in Washington have even become more liberal. And you only have to look at Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey for proof.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: You know, I remember when Bob Casey ran for the Senate for the first time 12 years ago. He was supposed to be a moderate, right? The reality is, his record over the last 12 years — he actually — he votes more like Bernie Sanders than like Pennsylvania.
The men and women of Pennsylvania deserve to know, when the time came to cut your taxes, Bob Casey voted no. When the time came to cut taxes on businesses large and small across Pennsylvania, Bob Casey voted no. When the time came to repeal the disaster of Obamacare, to defund sanctuary cities, he voted no again and again. And even though Senator Bob Casey calls himself a pro-life Democrat, when he had the opportunity to vote to give states like Pennsylvania the authority to defund Planned Parenthood, Bob Casey voted no.
And when it came to the Supreme Court, Bob Casey voted against Justice Neil Gorsuch. And even before the President announced Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Senator Bob Casey already announced that he was going to vote no, no matter who it was.
Now, let me be clear: Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a man of integrity, with a proven record — (applause) — a proven record of support for limited government, the Second Amendment, and religious liberty.
So today, I call on Senator Bob Casey to set politics aside, give our nominee a fair hearing and the support he deserves. And, Pennsylvania, if Bob Casey won’t vote to confirm a judge like Brett Kavanaugh, you need to give the Keystone State a senator who will. (Applause.)
Truth is, while Bob Casey and his fellow liberals have been busy voting no, I’m glad — glad to tell you your Republican leaders in Congress have been voting yes again and again.
And let me say, President Trump and I couldn’t be more grateful for the strong conservative leadership of Senator Pat Toomey. (Applause.) He has been a partner in prosperity for the people of this state and this nation.
We’re also grateful to the congressmen who are here today, time and again willing to take the tough votes. Congressman Tom MacArthur and Congressman Lloyd Smucker, you have stood with this administration and with the American people to cut taxes and lift the burden of big government. (Applause.) And you have our thanks.
And finally, let me just say, Pennsylvania is also blessed to have another strong conservative leader in our nation’s capital. I mentioned him before, but he’s getting talked about a lot here these days, all across Pennsylvania, and that’s my friend Lou Barletta. (Applause.)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: The President and I love Lou. We really do. And Lou has got a great American story. This is a man who never thought he’d get into politics. I heard that he tried out for Major League Baseball instead. (Laughter.) When he couldn’t hit a curve ball, he tried his hand — he started his own business.
It’s remarkable: Lou and his wife, Mary Grace, I’m told, spent $30 to buy the very first supplies for their new line-painting business. And by the time they were done, they’d turned that little operation into the sixth largest of its kind, anywhere in America. (Applause.) Lou Barletta has lived the American Dream.
But he wanted to give back, so he answered the call to public service. As mayor of his hometown, Lou turned around the city of Hazleton. And in just two years, he transformed a budget shortfall into a surplus. And for the past eight years — and I was there with him for a few of them — Lou Barletta has fought relentlessly to turn this country around and deliver for the hardworking men and women and values of the people of Pennsylvania. (Applause.) He’s done it.
Working with Lou, we cut taxes for working families, we rolled back red tape on job creators. And Lou has been fighting in particular to end the opiate crisis in our time, to give your children opportunities that they need and the resources to break that scourge. (Applause.)
The truth is, Congressman Lou Barletta always puts Pennsylvania first. He’s made Pennsylvania stronger and more prosperous. And I am grateful for his service in the past and the present and the future. (Applause.) Thank you, Lou.
So I’m here today to talk to you about what we’ve accomplished together. It’s truly been remarkable over the last 18 months, hasn’t it? (Applause.) And let me emphasize, every time someone comes up to the President and thanks him for what he’s done for the country, he always very quickly says, “It’s what we’ve done.” The President looks out at the support across this room and across this country, not just in the election year but every day since. And I know the both of us are very humbled by it and very grateful for it.
Because of the leadership of this President, your support, and the support of these great conservative leaders, the truth is we’ve made great progress. But we have more work to do.
So as I close, I want to challenge you today. I really appreciate you coming out on a Monday afternoon. I truly am humbled by it and I’m grateful. It’s the greatest honor of my life to serve as your Vice President. (Applause.) And I want to thank you.
But I want to challenge you to leave here today — I hope you didn’t just come here to hear a great panel. Although, give them a round of applause. That was a great panel, wasn’t it? (Applause.) Hear from some great leaders.
I hope you leave here today with a little bit of a burden on your heart, to go out and talk about what you heard today. In what remains of this year, I hope you’ll exercise all of your rights as citizens. But I really do hope you’ll also go out and talk to your families and your friends and your neighbors about the leaders that I just talked about, about what they’ve done in support of this President’s agenda, and what we’ve really done to turn this country around.
You know, I’ll always believe that all the TV talking heads in the world, all the morning talk TV shows and panels at night, all the television commercials and radio ads in the world are not to be compared to when someone who knows you and respects you hears from you about something that’s important, or a candidate that’s worth supporting.
So I encourage you to just let your voice be heard. Leave here today, talk to your friends at work or at worship, outside a grocery store, or over a backyard fence. I mean, just tell them what you heard here today. Say, “You know what, I was in downtown Philadelphia the other day, and I ran into Mike” — (laughter) — “and it took him the better part of a half-hour just to give me the top lines on everything we’ve accomplished together for this country in the last year and a half.” (Applause.)
And I want you to go tell them. I mean, tell them what they’re not hearing about on most of their major cable television news networks every day, all right? Tell them about the progress that we’re making. I mean, tell them we cut their taxes so they can keep more of what they earn. All right? (Applause.) I mean, tell them we’re restoring American strength at home and abroad, we’re supporting our military and our law enforcement so they and their families can be safe and free. I mean, tell them that we’re putting Washington back to work for them, not the other way around.
Tell them that under President Donald Trump, the forgotten men and women are forgotten no more. Get out there and tell them! (Applause.) Let your voice be heard, because your voice matters. It’s what got us here. I really believe that.
I really believe that 2016, and every day since, against an oftentimes gale-force wind of opposition from many — many in the political class and in the media — it’s been the voice of the American people speaking to one another about what we’ve done that’s made the difference. So keep letting your voice be heard.
And in these times of widening challenges at home and abroad, of steady progress with more work to do, but a time of just too much division, it seems, among our people — if you’re of a mind, there’s one more thing I’d encourage you to do. You know, this is a good time to bow the head and bend the knee, and pray for America. (Applause.)
And on this one, I’m not talking about an agenda, I’m not talking about candidates or campaigns. I’m just talking about my firm belief that prayer matters. So just pray for America, for all the people of the United States of America. (Applause.)
And when you pray, pray with confidence because I’ll always believe those ancient words are every bit as true today, words that Americans have clung to in much more challenging times than we can even imagine: That if His people, who are called by His name, will humble themselves and pray, He’ll do like He’s always done through the long and storied history of this nation. He’ll hear from heaven, He’ll heal this land, this one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. (Applause.)
So pray for America, pray for all the American people because prayer matters. (Applause.) Thank you.
So thanks for the opportunity to address you today. It’s been a lot of fun. I look forward to having a chance to meet as many of you as we can before we run off to our next event. But I leave here today, and I know these other leaders do, with renewed confidence that with the continued support of the good people of Pennsylvania, with these great conservative leaders in the Congress of the United States representing this great state, with President Donald Trump in the White House, and with God’s help, I know in my heart we will make America safe again. We will make America prosperous again. And to borrow a phrase — (laughter) — we will make America great again. (Applause.)
Thank you very much. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America. (Applause.) Thanks, everybody.
3:15 P.M. EDT