Manchester Downtown Hotel Expo Center

Manchester, New Hampshire

4:36 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, hello, New Hampshire!  (Applause.)

I want to thank you, thank your Governor for those great and inspiring words and for his tireless leadership here in New Hampshire.

It is great to be back in the Granite State — (applause) — being able to join all of you hardworking men and women of the Queen City.  And it’s my great privilege today to bring warm greetings from a man that New Hampshire put on the path to the White House, a man who three months ago today signed historic tax cuts to put America first.  I bring greetings from President Donald Trump, a great friend of New Hampshire.  (Applause.)  As the President told you earlier this week, I can echo, it’s great to be back in this beautiful state.

So thanks to all of you.  Thanks for being here.  And to all of our honored guests and all of the great supporters who are gathered today, I’m excited to talk to you about the progress we’ve been making together.

But let me express thanks to someone who was elected on the very same day that the President and I were elected to our positions.  He’s a man who, like President Trump, is a man of action.  He’s a man of his word.  And his leadership, just like the President’s, is making a remarkable difference for the people of the Granite State.  Would you give me another big round of applause for the 82nd Governor of New Hampshire, Governor Chris Sununu, everybody.  Isn’t he something?  (Applause.)

And I appreciate the folks who were a part of the program earlier.  In fact, you heard from a great native of New Hampshire who fought for the hardworking men and women of this state in the United States Senate for six years and played a critical role in seeing Justice Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States.  Would you — (applause) — just stand up there, will you?  Senator Kelly Ayotte, thank you so much.  (Applause.)  Thanks for your service and thanks for your friendship.

I also want to recognize a special guest who’s here with us today.  You heard from him a few minutes ago.  He’s a veteran of the United States Army, he is a lifelong champion of American prosperity, and he’s the right-hand man of our great Energy Secretary Rick Perry.  Thank me, will you, with — join me in thanking Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette.  (Applause.)  Great guy.  Doing a great job.

And finally, I want to thank today’s host for bringing all of us together.  It’s an organization that’s fighting to promote the policies that are making a real difference in people’s lives here in New Hampshire and across our entire nation.  Join me in thanking America First Policies for bringing this forum together.  (Applause.)

But I’m here today in the Granite State, first and foremost, to say thank you.  Thank you on behalf of the First Family.  Thank you on behalf of my family and families all across America for everything each and every one of you have done to stand with our administration.  Because of your support and your hard work over the past year, it’s been a year of action, it’s been a year of results.  In a word, it’s been a year of promises made and promises kept.  (Applause.)

I mean, think about it.  President Trump promised to rebuild our military and restore the arsenal of democracy.  And in just a day he’s going to have on his desk a bill that will make the largest investment in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan.  (Applause.)

And after years of cutbacks in military spending, under this President, we’re also going to give our troops the biggest pay raise in the last 10 years.  (Applause.)

I mean, President Trump also promised to support America’s veterans.  In fact, would all the men and women who’ve worn the uniform of the United States mind standing up for just a second, if you’re able.  Stand up if you’re a veteran of our armed forces.  Give us a chance to say thank you one more time.  (Applause.)  Thank you for your service.

You’ll be glad to know the bill moving through the Congress this week actually devotes nearly $3 billion to eliminate the backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs.  And we’re going to keep fighting to give our veterans access to the world-class care that they earn.  (Applause.)

President Trump also promised to enforce our laws, secure our borders.  And I’m pleased to report to you that today, illegal crossings at our southern border have been cut in half in just one year.  (Applause.)

And with $1.6 billion included in the spending bill that arrives on President Trump’s desk tomorrow, we’re going to start to build that wall.  (Applause.)  We’re doing it.

I mentioned this already, but the President also promised to appoint strong conservatives to our federal courts at every level.  And in addition to appointing Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States, President Trump set a record in the last year and saw more court of appeal judges confirmed to our appellate courts in one year than any President in American history.  And they’re conservatives all.  (Applause.)

This President also promised to stand with America’s law enforcement.  And today, once again, we’re giving the men and women on the Thin Blue Line of law enforcement the resources and the respect that they deserve.  (Applause.)

So we know it’s about strength abroad and strength on our borders, but it’s also about safety and security here at home in our neighborhoods, our homes, and our schools, where it matters most.  In the wake of the terrible shootings that have claimed the lives of innocent Americans, President Trump promised — he promised in the wake of Parkland, Florida — that this time we would take action.

And thanks to the President’s leadership, the bill that will be on his desk in the next day will provide $2 billion to improve school safety.  It will improve our criminal background check system.  Because this President believes “No child… should ever be in danger in an American school.”  And we’re going to fight to make that a reality.  (Applause.)

And as you heard earlier this week when the President came here to New Hampshire to speak to the nation on this issue affecting far too many families, I’m pleased to report to you that this spending bill moving through the Congress today has been — a nearly $4 billion to combat the opioid crisis.  More money than has ever been spent to combat drug addiction in America.  And this President will keep fighting to end this scourge affecting our families and communities.  (Applause.)

President Trump almost promised — he also promised to rebuild America.  If you didn’t notice it, we elected a builder to be President of the United States.  (Applause.)  And the bill moving through the Congress includes more than $21 billion to give New Hampshire and every state in America the best roads, best bridges, best ports, and best future we could ever have.  We’re going to rebuild America.  (Applause.)

Now, the bottom line is, as seems like with all things with Congress, this bill is hardly perfect.  Far from it.  But I’m here to tell you, folks, it’s filled with one example after another that proves that when it comes to President Donald Trump, it’s promises made and promises kept.  (Applause.)

But it’s not just here at home.  And with our national security and national defense, our President also promised to restore America’s credibility on the world stage.  And in after just 14 months, I’m proud to report to you that, under his leadership, the United States of America once again stands without apology as leader of the free world.  (Applause.)

We’ve taken the fight to terrorists on our terms, on their soil.  And thanks to the courage of our armed forces, and the leadership of their Commander-in-Chief, ISIS is on the run, their caliphate has crumbled, and we will very soon hunt them down and destroy them completely so they can never threaten our people, our allies, or our way of life.  (Applause.)

We’ve put the leading state sponsor of terrorism on notice, and we’ve made it clear we will no longer tolerate Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region, and the United States will no longer certify the disastrous Iran nuclear deal.  (Applause.)

And in the wake of North Korea’s provocations and threats against the United States and our allies, President Trump made it clear from the very beginning that, under this administration, the era of strategic patience is over.  And as the world has witnessed, President Trump’s strategy of maximum pressure is working, and we hope there will be progress.  But let me assure all of you here in New Hampshire:  We will not relent in bringing maximum pressure until North Korea abandons its nuclear program once and for all, and ceases to threaten the United States and our allies.  (Applause.)

So it’s about a safer America; it’s about a stronger America.  And here at home, we’ve taken decisive action, as well, to make it a more prosperous America.  And that’s really most of what I came to talk to you about today and what you heard about in this panel.

From the outset of this administration, this President has been working to roll back the heavy hand of government.  In fact, I remember back on the campaign trail — and maybe you remember hearing it, as well — that President Trump promised that he would repeal two federal regulations for every one new federal rule put on the books.  And I’m here to tell you that he didn’t exactly do that.  In fact, after a little more than a year, President Trump has signed legislation to repeal 22 federal regulations for every new rule put in the Code of Federal Regulations.  (Applause.)

I mean, this President has signed more laws, rolling back federal red tape than any President in American history.  And we’re just getting started.  (Applause.)

We’ve also been busy unleashing American energy.  We approved the Keystone and Dakota Pipeline.  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 this President almost promised — he also promised to crack down on unfair trade practices and fight for trade deals that are fair and reciprocal.  Not long ago, the President took action to protect our steel, aluminum, and lumber industries.

Under President Donald Trump, I can assure you, the era of economic surrender is over.  Our President, just today — (applause) — our President, just today, took another critical step to put American workers and American jobs first when he took action to combat China’s unfair trade practices and to protect America’s intellectual property.  And I promise you, this President and this administration are going to keep fighting for American jobs and for free and fair trade that benefits our economy and our family.  (Applause.)

But finally, when I talk about promises made and promises kept, I’m happy to report to you that three months ago today, President Trump signed the largest tax cuts and tax reform in American history.  (Applause.)  That’s a promise made and a promise kept.

As the President said, the results can really be summed up in three words, if you’re paying attention: jobs, jobs, and jobs.  (Applause.)  It’s amazing.

I mean, after rolling back federal tape, unleashing American energy, and just signing into law historic tax cuts and tax reform, businesses large and small, since Election Day in 2016, have already created nearly 3 million new jobs, including 313,000 new jobs created in the month of February alone.

As President Trump said earlier this week, “American producers in the mining, construction, and manufacturing industries gained more jobs in February than in any month in nearly 20 years.”  (Applause.)

I mean, virtually every sector of this economy is responding to the President’s economic agenda with confidence and investment.  I mean, the only sector of the economy that actually lost jobs in the month of February was the federal government.  (Applause.)

I mean, thanks to the actions that President Trump has taken –- and, frankly, the leadership of your great governor — the Granite State is booming once again.

Unemployment in New Hampshire and all across this country hasn’t been this low in 17 years.  And New Hampshire had the fastest-growing economy in New England.  (Applause.)

And when it comes to the good-paying jobs that make Manchester great, the Granite State has added more than 2,500 new manufacturing and construction jobs since Election Day 2016.  The truth is, under the President’s leadership and with your great governor, growth is back, confidence is back, and I stand before you today to tell you, America is back, and we are just getting started.  (Applause.)

But for all that we’ve accomplished together, all that we’re in the midst of doing, I got to tell you, I work with him every day, and that’s just what this President calls a good start.  (Laughter.)

The truth is we believe the best days for American prosperity are yet to come because these tax cuts are just starting to make a difference.  And the truth is we cut taxes for working families, so the good people of New Hampshire can keep more of your hard-earned money.  We cut taxes so American businesses, and businesses here in New Hampshire, can better compete with businesses anywhere in the world.  (Applause.)

And it wasn’t just the tax cuts.  Tomorrow marks eight years the American people had to struggle under the disaster known as Obamacare.  And while we were — yeah, I know.  (Laughter.)  While we were busy cutting your taxes, President Trump made good on a promise to working families that gave them some relief from that failed law when he repealed the Obamacare individual mandate.  It’s gone.  It’s off the books once and for all.  (Applause.)

I mean, truth is the individual tax cuts, business tax cuts — you add it all up — all told, about 90 percent of working families are going to see their — a tax cut reflected in their paycheck before this year is out.  And here in New Hampshire, our tax cuts, we believe, are going to save a typical family of four more than $2,500 a year.  That’s real money.  That’s real money.  (Applause.)

Our tax cuts for businesses are unlocking opportunities to reward employees, and grow and expand businesses, and create jobs.  Already, more than 3,000 Granite State workers have seen a tax-cut bonus.  And in the years ahead, we believe, New Hampshire families will see their paychecks grow by more than $4,500 per year, on average.  (Applause.)

All across America, since President Trump signed these tax cuts into law, over 440 companies have announced — get this — more than $480 billion in new investments.  And more than 4 million Americans have already gotten a raise or a bonus, just on the basis of this bill being signed into law.

Folks, I think that’s great news for working Americans.  But not everybody agrees that it’s that big of a deal, right?  I mean, you might have heard that the woman who wants to be Speaker of the House again —

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Did you hear about this one?  Yeah, Nancy Pelosi actually said that a thousand-dollar bonus in the pockets of working families was nothing more than “crumbs.”  Remember that?

Now, let me remind all of you: I come from the Joseph A. Bank wing of the West Wing.  (Laughter.)  Are you with me on that?  Thank you.  Yeah.  I mean, seriously.  Right.

I mean, you know, when our kids were little, you know, Karen and I had a term for an extra thousand bucks at the end of the year that we weren’t expecting: Christmas.  Right, you know what I’m talking about?  (Laughter and applause).  I mean, come on.

I mean, the truth is, these pay raises and even these bonuses have been making a real difference for working families.  And I want to say very seriously: Any leader who says a thousand dollars in the pockets of working families is “crumbs” is out of touch with the American people.  (Applause.)

This great economic revival we see, it’s not happening by accident, folks.  It’s a direct result of the agenda that you supported here in New Hampshire back in 2016.  And you’ve been supporting us every step of the way, and we worked with Congress to make it a reality.  I mean, the leadership of our President — he’s been working to keep the promises that he made to the American people and he’s been putting our workers and putting our country first.

And let me just say, that’s exactly the kind of leader you have in Governor Chris Sununu.  So he’s been working tirelessly to put Concord back to work for the citizens of New Hampshire, and his record of results proves it.

Just like our President, your governor has been unleashing New Hampshire job creators by cutting red tape.  And last summer alone, I heard earlier today, that Governor Sununu eliminated 1,600 job-killing regulations from the books.  (Applause.)  Now, that’s a record New Hampshire can be proud of in the “Live Free or Die” state.

I also heard he repealed the electricity consumption tax, stopped toll increases for New Hampshire commuters, and gave the Granite State more than $55 million in property tax relief.

And just like our President, your governor has also been fighting.  He’s been fighting, and he’s emerged as a national leader in a battle that’s been impacting too many families in your state.  He was impacting families back in the state of Indiana when I was governor, and it’s the battle to combat opiate abuse and addiction here in New Hampshire.

And folks, I got to tell you, the leadership that Governor Chris Sununu has been providing this state has been putting New Hampshire first.  And let me just take a minute for his leadership on opiate abuse and addiction.  The nation owes a debt of gratitude to Governor Chris Sununu.  (Applause.)

But for all that you’ve been doing, and all that is being done at the national level, we all know we got a lot more work to do, a lot more lives to save, a lot more people to break away from the stranglehold of addiction, and to save families from the heartbreak of loss.

You heard President Trump’s commitment to end the opioid crisis just a few days ago, when he came right here, to Manchester, and said that our administration was committed to address this epidemic and end it in our time.  And I’m proud to say that we’re doing more than any administration has ever done before in American history, and we’re going to keep fighting.

First, as the President said, we’re going to work to “reduce drug demand by preventing Americans from becoming addicted in the first place,” so we can stop addiction before it starts.

We’re going to devote more money and manpower to developing non-addictive painkillers, and we’re going to work with law enforcement and healthcare providers to “cut nationwide opiate prescriptions by one-third over the next three years.”  We got to protect our families.  (Applause.)

And to kick-start a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about this crisis, our administration just launched a new website called CrisisNextDoor.gov that allows Americans from every walk of life to “share their stories about the danger[s] of… opioid addiction.”

Secondly, we’re going to work to reduce the illicit — the supply of illicit drugs by cracking down on the drug dealers and criminal cartels as never before.  (Applause.)

As the President said, we got to get tougher.  We got to get tougher in securing our borders.  We got to get tougher in cracking down on criminal gangs that profit from selling these poisons to our kids.  We got to crack down on sanctuary cities that create a safe harbor for drug dealers and drug gangs.  (Applause.)  And we got to impose the harshest criminal penalties available.  And as the President said, “That toughness includes the death penalty.”  (Applause.)

And finally, as the President described earlier this week, we’re going to work with your governor and governors all across this country to provide lifesaving help to those who need it.

Last year, our administration sent more than $500 million to every state and territory in America, including $3 million for New Hampshire, to help fight the drug crisis.  And the spending bill the President is going to sign tomorrow will provide an additional $1 billion in state grants to support prevention, treatment, and recovery services for families that are caught up in the web of addiction.

As the President said to the nation on Monday, from right here in New Hampshire, “We will defeat this crisis, and we will protect our beautiful children.”  We’re going to do whatever it takes to make this the generation that ends the opiate epidemic in America.  (Applause.)

Like every great trial in our nation’s history that’s tested our resolve, trials large and small, ultimately we’ve been able to rely on the spirit of our people to find our way forward.  We find the strength and the courage and the heart to overcome our challenges, and we will in this challenge as well.

But the truth is, what the President and I both know is that the strength of this country is not to be found so much in the marbled halls of Washington, D.C. as it is in places like Manchester, in communities large and small, in the character, the generosity, the resilience, and the faith of the people of this country.

Not far from where we gather today is the Manchester Central Fire Station, I’m told, where nearly two years ago, a paramedic named Chris Hickey found himself talking to a man he never met before.  And the nation heard their story earlier this week.  That man was battling heroin addiction and was looking for help.

We’re told that he was thinking about taking his own life, and he just wanted to talk to somebody he could trust.  And he didn’t know where to turn, so he called the fire station.

Chris convinced him to come down — come down to the station.  And within 20 minutes, he helped him find an addiction treatment center and take his first step on the road to recovery.  After this encounter, Chris had the idea of starting a program to help more people struggling with addiction get connected to treatment and recovery and the services they need.

And he asked the fire chief.  The fire chief asked the mayor.  And the mayor said, “You’ve got three weeks.”  So Chris made it happen in two.  (Applause.)  Two years later, a program called Safe Station has provided hope and healing to thousands.  Take a bow, Chris.  We’re all proud of you.  (Applause.)  Good job.

Chris Hickey, it’s an honor to have you here with us today.  And he’s also joined by two men who were instrumental in getting Safe Station up and running — Manchester Fire Chief Dan Goonan and Chris Stawasz of American Medical Response.  Let’s give these two heroes a round of applause, as well.  They’re here.  (Applause.)  Great job.

You know, that’s the New Hampshire spirit for you, isn’t it?  A spirit that proves the strength of this nation is found in the creativity, and the generosity, and the large heartedness of the people of this country.  And I maintain that the strength of America — as the President knows — has always been found in the character and the work ethic of the American people.

And I think it’s the same spirit that’s restoring our country.  Americans are standing tall again today.  Our economy is expanding again.  The world has taken notice again, as they see America leading on the world stage.

So as I close today, let me just encourage all of you, each and every one of you who are here today, to not only stay involved, stay engaged, just as you have.  All that we’ve accomplished over the last year is owing to the people that supported the President and I, and all those that supported us in the course of the election and gave us a Congress to work with to make this progress.

But it’s also been every step of the way since the election.  Your determination to support us in every means, to tell our stories, made it possible for us to make the progress that we’ve made.  That’s why I started out just by saying thanks.

But I want to challenge you, if I can, before I leave.  For all the good news that you’ve heard today, all the stuff that you don’t hear on most cable television stations — (laughter) — every day.  Right?  I mean, this is the — there’s a lot of great things happening in America, and I want to challenge you to go tell somebody about it.  (Applause.)  Okay, go tell somebody.

I mean, the truth of the matter is, whether it’s at work or at worship, or outside the local drugstore or the grocery store, you know, just run into somebody you know and say, “Hey, you know, I saw Mike the other day.”  (Laughter.)  I mean, you people in New Hampshire can say, “I saw the President and I saw Mike the other day” — (laughter) — “and they said, you know, when they were talking about everything that we’re doing that’s making a difference in the lives of families, in the lives of our community, advancing prosperity and security at home and abroad.”  Just pull them aside.  Just tell them.  Just tell them.  Because I truly do believe that the greatest force in this country is when neighbors talk to neighbors.  And just share the story of everything good that’s happening in this country.

I know that people are doing it already because you see that confidence all across the country.  I see the enthusiasm in rooms like this as I travel across the country.

But I want you to go and tell them.  I mean, tell them we cut their taxes, so they can keep more of what they earn.  All right?  I mean, tell them we’re restoring American strength at home and abroad, so their families can sleep safe at night.

And tell them that we’re putting Washington back to work for them, not the other way around.  Just go tell them.  (Applause.)  I mean, tell them that under President Donald Trump, the forgotten men and women of America are forgotten no more.  Just go tell them.  Okay?  Because it’s true.  (Applause.)  It’s true.

And, lastly, I’d say from my heart in these times of just too much division in these United States, if you’re of a mind, I’d encourage you to do one more thing.  As we face unknowable challenges abroad, as we face the challenge of rebuilding and reviving our nation’s economy at home, I’d encourage you to bow the head and bend the knee, and pray for America.  (Applause.)

And when you pray, pray with confidence, because I know what people who founded this great state so many years ago, the people who founded this great nation all through generations, Americans have clung to an ancient promise that I believe is still true to this day: 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 country.  He’ll hear from Heaven, and He’ll heal this land — this “one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”  (Applause.)

So thank you.  Thank you for the opportunity to address you today.  It really is very humbling for me to stand before you and just to say thanks.

And I leave here today with even more confidence than when I arrived, that with the continued support of the good people of New Hampshire, with the leadership of Governor Chris Sununu, 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 — (laughter) — we will make America great again.  (Applause.)

Thank you very much.  God bless you.  And God bless the United States of America.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

END

5:11 P.M. EDT