Oglebay Resort and Conference Center
Wheeling, West Virginia
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, hello, West Virginia! (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
THE VICE PRESIDENT: It is great to be back in Coal Country USA. (Applause.) “Wild and Wonderful West Virginia” where “Mountaineers Are Always Free.” Is that right? (Applause.)
I want to thank — I want to thank the governor for that very kind introduction, and thank him for his leadership. More on that in a minute.
But before I get started, let me bring greetings from the man he was just talking about, and a man who loves the good people of the Mountain State who he’s actually called the “absolute backbone of America.” And the man that West Virginia voted to make the 45th President of the United States of America. I bring greetings from President Donald Trump. (Applause.) He loves West Virginia and he sure wanted me to say “hi.”
I’m also really grateful be joined by some great West Virginia leaders today. And I know you just heard from him. He’s a farmer. As President Trump has said, he’s “a great businessman.” He’s a fighter who’s delivering results for hardworking men and women across the Mountain State. Join me in a big round of applause for West Virginia’s great governor, Jim Justice. Thank you, Governor, again. (Applause.) Thanks for your leadership and your friendship.
And I want to say thanks to the strong leaders in Congress from West Virginia who have been standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our President, putting West Virginia first. You’ve got a great Senator in Shelly Moore Capito. (Applause.) And she’s a great partner. We also want to thank Congressmen Alex Mooney and Evan Jenkins, and a friend of mine who flew out here just to be with us today, and a great champion of the President’s agenda, Congressman David McKinley. (Applause.) Thank you for your leadership and your support.
And let me thank briefly one more strong Mountain State leader who’s here today for all he’s done for this state’s coal workers — all the hardworking men and women of this sate — he’s a tireless leader, past, present, and future — your attorney general and our great friend, Patrick Morrisey. Thank you for being here. (Applause.) And thanks for those great words from this podium today.
And finally join me thanking our host today, America First Policies. And also join me in thanking the emcee of today’s event who’s been a great champion of the President’s MAGA agenda, Kimberly Guilfoyle. Where is she? Is she still in the house? (Applause.)
Really great to be with you all. It’s great to be back in West Virginia.
You know, last week marked 18 months, a year and half total, since President Trump and I raised our right hands and took the oath of office at that Inauguration in January of 2017. And I think you look back on this last 18 months, there’s only way you can sum it all up: It’s been 18 months of action. It’s been 18 months of results. (Applause.) It’s been 18 months of promises made and promises kept! (Applause.) And we’re just getting started, West Virginia. It’s true.
I mean, think about it. I mean, think about it for a minute. President Trump promised to rebuild our military and restore the arsenal of democracy. And with the strong support of West Virginia’s conservative leaders in the Congress, earlier this year, President Donald Trump signed the largest increase in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan. (Applause.) We did it.
I’ll tell you, under this Commander-in-Chief, with this strong Republican majority in the Congress, we are once again giving our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard the resources and the training that they need and deserve to accomplish their mission and come home safe. (Applause.) We’re doing it. We’re doing it.
And I got to tell you, I couldn’t be more proud. Couldn’t be more proud to serve alongside a President who cares so deeply about the men and women of our armed forces and the men and women who’ve worn the uniform of the United States of America. This President has fought for our veterans like no other President in my lifetime. He’s brought about reforms and accountability to the VA, and now we have finally given veterans access to the real-time world-class healthcare that you earned in the uniform of the United States. (Applause.) Veterans Choice has arrived.
You know, before I go any further — I see more than a few veterans in the audience — would you all, if you’re able, would you just stand up if you’ve worn the uniform of the United States and allow us to thank you one more time for serving this great country. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you for your service.
It’s about supporting those who’ve been defending our freedom and defending our country — the past, the present, and the future.
But here at home, President Trump also promised to enforce our laws and secure our borders. And from the first day of this administration, I’m proud to say, this President has been giving law enforcement at every level the resources and the respect that our law enforcement community deserves every day. (Applause.)
You know, there’s a lot of members of law enforcement at this event today. They tend to be around a lot when I’m — (laughter) — and God bless every one of them. You know, it’s been a tough couple of years in law enforcement. Seems like people in public life are too often willing to blame the people on the Thin Blue Line first when things go wrong. Now, we believe in accountability and the public’s right to know. But would you all mind getting on your feet and just showing all these law enforcement officers how much we appreciate the sacrifices that they and their families make to defend our families? (Applause.) God bless them all. Thank you. Thanks everybody.
And this President stood without apology for the men and women who serve in law enforcement at every level. And, by the way, that includes the dedicated and courageous public servants of the United States Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency. (Applause.)
Let me tell you, the men and women of ICE are remarkable law enforcement officers. And while there’s actually some liberal politicians in Washington, D.C. and around the country that are actually calling — calling for us to abolish ICE.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Let me tell you, the men and women of ICE deserve the support of every American. They will always have the support of this administration. And under President Donald Trump, we will never abolish ICE. (Applause.) I promise you.
And with that renewed commitment to immigration enforcement, President Trump has also been working with this Congress and he actually signed the largest increase in border security in nearly 10 years. And we got a down payment, and we’ve already started to build that wall on the southern border of the United States. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Oh, we’re building it. (Laughter.)
So it’s promises made and promises kept. But this President also promised to appoint strong conservatives to our federal courts at every level. And it was just about a week ago that the President set a record for the most court of appeal judges confirmed in the first two years of any administration in American history, and they’re all conservatives. (Applause.) And that doesn’t even count Justice Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, or the next justice to the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh! (Applause.) Isn’t that something? Isn’t that something?
Let me say a word. Judge Kavanaugh is a man of integrity and principle. He has a proven record of support for limited government, for our Second Amendment, and for religious liberty. And Judge Brett Kavanaugh deserves the support of every member of the United States Senate. (Applause.)
So it’s promises made and promises kept. But what brings us here today is this President made one promise in particular. And it was promise to get this economy moving again. You know, it’s amazing to think, during the last eight years of the last administration, the most powerful economy in the history of the world never grew by more than 2 percent. It’s incredible.
But I can tell you, since the very first day of this administration — actually, since the morning after the election, President Trump has been working to get this economy moving again. (Applause.)
And if you haven’t noticed, confidence is back, jobs are coming back. In a word: America is back. And we’re just getting started, West Virginia. (Applause.)
It’s not just happened by accident. I’m here to tell you, we’ve been working it, with this President’s leadership. He promised to roll back the heavy hand of government. In fact, I’m proud to report to you, President Trump has signed more laws repealing federal regulations than any President in American history. (Applause.) We are cutting red tape at a record pace.
We promised to unleash American energy. Right out of the gate President Trump 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.)
And if you haven’t noticed, Trump digs coal. (Applause.) And under this administration, the war on coal is over! (Applause.) We’re developing all the resources of our land and calling forth its power. And it’s driving this growing American economy.
Thanks to these actions, the leadership of our President, and, frankly, the strong efforts of your great Attorney General, Patrick Morrisey, I’m happy to report to you that, in 2017, coal production in the Mountain State jumped by over 16 percent compared to the previous year. (Applause.) Coal is coming back right here in the heartland of America. That’s promises made and promises kept.
Another thing — this President promised to confront countries that, frankly, have been taking advantage of America and the American economy for far too long on trade. This President took decisive action to defend our lumber industries, our steel and aluminum industries — the backbone of our economy and our security.
And this President also promised to deliver for America’s farmers, just like they deliver for us every day. And just yesterday, in case you hadn’t seen the newspaper, the President announced that because of the strong steps that he has taken, the European Union has agreed to “work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers… zero subsidies on non-auto… goods” — (applause) — and they’re going to start buying a lot of soybeans right away. That’s real results.
You know, I promise you, in this administration, this White House, this President — we’re always going to fight for trade that’s free and fair, and works for American workers and American jobs.
But finally, what brings us all here today is this President promised, back on the campaign trail in 2016, that if elected, we’re going to cut taxes across the board for working families and business large and small. And right before Christmas — and it was right before Christmas — he kept that promise, when President Trump signed the largest tax cuts and tax reform in American history. (Applause.) That’s promises made and promises kept.
You know, we cut taxes for working families. The typical family of four here in West Virginia, we think, is going to save nearly $2,000 a year on their taxes once they fully — these tax cuts take effect.
We cut taxes for businesses large and small so that companies here in West Virginia can compete and win and create jobs against companies anywhere in the world. (Applause.)
We also repealed the death tax for nearly every American family farmer so the family farm can stay right where it belongs, in the American family. (Applause.)
And, by the way, when we cut taxes, we also cut out the core of Obamacare. The individual mandate is gone. (Applause.) It’s off the books.
But, frankly, we’ve been able to do all of this because of the strong support of Republican majorities in the Congress and West Virginia’s strong conservative leaders. But the people of West Virginia deserve to know, everything that I just described to you, everything that we’ve been able to accomplish, has been done in face of unprecedented obstruction by Democrats in Washington, D.C. And, frankly, we’ve done it all despite the consistent opposition of Senator Chuck Schumer and your Senator, Joe Manchin.
You know, last year, Joe Manchin said that he, quote, “believed in tax cuts.” But when he actually had the opportunity to vote to cut your taxes, Joe voted no. When the time came to cut taxes on West Virginia’s farmers and energy producers, and businesses large and small, Joe voted no.
And it’s not just tax cuts. When the time came to cut federal red tape for West Virginia’s job creators to repeal and replace Obamacare, even when the (audio drops) states like West Virginia the authoity to defund Planned Parenthood, Joe voted no.
The truth is, Joe Manchin just doesn’t represent the values the people of West Virginia cherish most. (Applause.) But it’s a pretty long list. When it came to that wall we were just talking about a minute ago, to secure the southern border, Senator Joe Manchin actually told the people of West Virginia, “I’m not voting for the wall, either.”
You know, President Trump was right when he said West Virginia isn’t getting any “help right now” with Joe Manchin because as the President said, he just about vote against everything.
But the truth is, Senator Joe Manchin hadn’t supported the President’s agenda. And I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think West Virginia deserves better. (Applause.) I think West Virginia deserves a senator who will stand with this President and fight for the priorities of the people of West Virginia every single day.
You know, the good news is, despite an opposition from people like Joe Manchin, we’ve still been delivering for West Virginia. The results have been amazing. I mean, think about it.
Since Election Day 2016, businesses large and small have created nearly 3.7 million new jobs. Since Inauguration Day, we’ve seen 5,700 new jobs created right here in the Mountain State.
Last week, nationwide unemployment claims hit a nearly 50-year low. I mean, it really is incredible to think about it. You know, there are more jobs openings in America today than there are Americans looking for jobs today. (Applause.) That’s what winning looks like, West Virginia.
And the President and I couldn’t be more proud that because of the agenda that you all have supported, and the leadership that you all supported, 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, as you know, Senator Joe Manchin — as I mentioned before — said cutting taxes for working families and businesses was, quote, “not good for West Virginia.” But I think the people of West Virginia know better. Since our President signed our historic tax cuts into law, more than 6 million Americans have actually received bonuses, pay raises, or bigger benefits, including more than 14,800 workers right here in West Virginia.
In White Sulphur Springs, Worldwide Equipment is using more than $8 million of its tax-cut savings to grow its operation. It’s already given a bonus to every single one of its more than 1,100 employees.
West Virginia’s own Doss Enterprises announced plans to hire at least 30 new workers thanks to our tax cuts. And I just heard that Walmart handed out $5 million in bonuses to 12,000 employees across West Virginia. Let’s just hear it for all these great companies that are investing. (Applause.)
You know, we’ve been able to get all this done because of your support — your steadfast support since Election Day, and your steadfast support of the leaders who have been standing with us: people like Senator Capito, Congressmen McKinley, Mooney, and Jenkins. And we’ve all done it, I’m here to tell you, with the unwavering support of West Virginia’s great attorney general, Patrick Morrisey. And I want to thank you (inaudible). (Applause.)
You know, Patrick Morrisey is a principled conservative who the President and I both know embodies West Virginia values and fights every day for West Virginia’s working families.
As your Attorney General, Patrick Morrisey led the fight, all the way to the Supreme Court, to stop the Clean Power Plan and defend West Virginia’s coal miners and energy producers. (Applause.) I think that deserves a round of applause.
And your attorney general has been standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our President to crack down on sanctuary cities. And he’s a tireless champion of all the God-given liberties enshrined in our Constitution, including the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights. (Applause.)
He’s a proven leader who’s dedicated to fighting for conservative policies and principles. And I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think we could use a conservative fighter like Patrick Morrisey in Washington, D.C. (Applause.)
You know, the truth is, because of the support of great leaders like this, the American people are more optimistic today than they’ve been in many years. Consumer confidence has hit a 17-year high. Small business confidence is setting historic records. And manufacturers have never been this confident.
Americans are standing tall in the world again. Can you feel it? I mean, we’re proud again. The pride is back in America. We’re waving that flag and we’re standing for that National Anthem. (Applause.) I feel it.
You know, I read all my mail. I get a fair amount of mail, and I like toread through a stack of it. I read a meaningful letter the other day somebody just wrote to me and said, “I just want to thank the President and y’all for everything you’re doing for the country.” He said, “Up here in my small town in Michigan, I have noticed a distinct increase in the number of American flags being displayed on my hometown main street.” (Applause.) And it just touched my heart. Touched my heart.
I mean, you do feel that pride is back. I mean, as I stand before you today, I really do believe that faith in America is rising; faith in our ideals, faith in our future, in that confident belief that our children’s future and our children’s opportunities are even going to be better than our own. That’s that core American ideal that some of the pollsters told us was starting to fade in recent years. People were starting to tell the experts that they weren’t really sure that their kids were going to have all the same opportunities that they had. And I really think that’s starting to change.
So I want to leave you here today, based on that confidence and enthusiasm, with a little bit of a challenge. First and foremost, West Virginia, keep standing with all the great leaders that we’ve talked about here today.
Keep standing with all the courageous men and women at the state and federal level who’ve been standing with this President. From your governor to your attorney general, with Senator Capito and these great congressmen. They’re doing a great job for West Virginia and they’re standing for an agenda that’s moving this state forward. (Applause.)
But secondly, after you keep standing with and for all these good people, I want you to make sure in this pivotal year of 2018 to let your voice be heard. I mean, you know, leave here today and talk about what you heard from this great panel. And wasn’t that a great panel that we had up here today? Can you give them another round of applause? (Applause.)
I mean, go talk to your family and your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers. Talk to people at worship, at work, about the agenda that you’ve supported, the leaders you’ve supported and how it’s turning this country around.
You know, I’ll always believe that all the talking heads on television, all the TV and radio commercials in the world, all the mail, all the Internet and websites, are not to be compared to when someone who knows you and trusts you hears from you about an issue of importance to their family, to their community, their state, and our nation.
So I encourage you to leave here today, and, you know, just stop your friends — stop your friends, you know, outside worship this weekend, outside a grocery store or backyard fence. Pop into DiCarlo’s pizza — (laughter and applause) — or go by Coleman’s fish market and say, “I ran into Mike” — (applause) — “I ran into Mike the other day in Wheeling, and I heard this great panel.” And just tell them, “You know, it took Mike the better part of a half hour just to go through the top lines of everything that we’ve been able to accomplish as a nation in just 18 months.” I mean, basically, you know, tell them — tell them what’s happening. Tell them all the great things that are happening in this country about a stronger, more prosperous America.
I mean, tell them what they don’t hear on most of their major cable news networks every day. (Applause.) Right? How about that? (Inaudible.) I mean, here’s the thing, West Virginia, tell them we cut their taxes, all right? So they can keep more of what they earned. (Applause.) Because we did! I mean, tell them we’re restoring American strength at home and abroad. We’re supporting our soldiers, we’re supporting law enforcement so their safety and security is met and our freedom is secured. Go tell them. (Applause.)
Here’s the thing: Tell them we’re putting Washington back to work for them instead of the other way around. And, West Virginia — (applause) — here’s the thing: Tell them, under President Donald Trump, the forgotten men and women are forgotten no more. (Applause.) You get out after today, you tell them that. Because it’s the God’s-honest truth.
Just tell them — tell them you sense that faith in America is rising, that you feel it, with the leadership of this President, the confident leadership he provides and the strong support that we get from conservatives in West Virginia. Talk to them about that.
You know, sometimes I like to say that America might just be the second greatest story ever told. (Applause.)
So on that count, let me — let me mention another kind of faith. Not only do I think that faith in America is rising, but I think and I sense every day that faith is rising in America once again. (Applause.) I really do. I sense it. I sense it.
And I got to tell you, I see it. I feel it. I hear it everywhere I go. I was in Montana yesterday, I was in North Dakota. The President is out in Iowa today. I can tell you, the sweetest words we ever hear, and we hear them a lot, are when people that reach out and grab a hand and just say, “I’m praying for you.” (Applause.) It means the world.
And for all of you that are so inclined, I just encourage you to turn that attention to all of America. You know, in these challenging times, I truly believe, as the ancient words were inscribed so long ago, words Americans have clung to in much more challenging times than we could even imagine, are still true today. 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 great nation. He’ll hear from heaven, and He’ll heal this land — (applause) — this one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all. So pray for America, because prayer makes a difference. (Applause.)
So thank you all for coming out today. I’m really — I’m really very humbled by it. I’m very grateful.
Governor, thank you for that warm hospitality and thank all these great leaders who are out with us today.
I have to tell you, for this small-town boy from southern Indiana, it is the greatest honor of my life to serve as your Vice President. And, West Virginia, I want to thank you — (applause) — thank you for the privilege to serve. I’m truly grateful.
And on that, I’m really grateful you would come out today. I look forward to meeting as many of you as time permits before I head back to Washington, D.C. But I got to tell you, I leave here like I always do when I come to West Virginia, with renewed confidence and enthusiasm to be among you great people. (Applause.) It’s a privilege.
And I say with confidence: With the continued, strong support of the hardworking people of West Virginia, with the support of your great, conservative leaders in Washington, D.C. and at the statehouse, with President Donald Trump in the White House, and with God’s help, I know we will make America safe again. We will make America prosperous again. (Applause.) And to borrow a phrase — (laughter) — we will make America great again.
Thank you West Virginia, God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.