The Park Expo and Conference Center
Charlotte, North Carolina

4:43 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, hello, North Carolina!  (Applause.)  It is great to be back in the Queen City with the men and women who voted for a President and a Congress that enacted historic tax cuts to put America first.  (Applause.)  Thank you for being here today.

And before I get started, allow me to bring greetings from a man who loves the Tar Heel State, a man who North Carolina voted to make the 45th President of the United States of America, a man I just hung up the phone with.  He asked me to say hi and greetings from President Donald Trump.  (Applause.)

And to your Lieutenant Governor, Dan, thank you for that kind introduction.  And more importantly, thank you for being a strong voice for conservative values in Raleigh.  Would you join me in thanking Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest for the work that he does for North Carolina every day.  (Applause.)

Let me also thank Senator Richard Burr, who joined me earlier today in Greensboro, and North Carolina’s junior Senator Thom Tillis who’s with us here today.  (Applause.)  I want to thank Senator Tillis and I want to thank Congressman Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, both of whom are working closely with our administration on a particular effort — an effort to bring home one of North Carolina’s own, Pastor Andrew Brunson.  (Applause.)

Andrew Brunson is a minister who’s been wrongfully detained in Turkey for a year and a half.  As President Trump said this week, he is “a fine gentleman and a Christian leader” who is “being persecuted…for no reason.”  And today, I join with the President, all the people of North Carolina, and the people of America to say, it’s time for Turkey to send Pastor Andrew Brunson home.  (Applause.)

Let me also thank Congressman Robert Pittenger and more than two dozen members in the North Carolina General Assembly who are with us here today.

And finally, I’d like to thank the host of today’s event,  an organization that’s promoting the policies that are making a real difference in the life of the people of North Carolina, including our historic tax cuts.  Would you join me in thanking Corey Lewandowski and America First Policies.  (Applause.)

But you know, I really appreciate you all coming out today, and I’m here first and foremost just to say thanks.  Because of your support, because of the partnership of these members of Congress, the House and the Senate, because of the leadership of President Donald Trump, I think the last year and a few months can be summed up with one simple phrase: It’s promises made and promises kept.  (Applause.)

I mean think about it.  President Trump promised to rebuild our military and end the era of budget cuts to our armed forces.  And last month, this President signed into law the largest investment in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan.  (Applause.)

Now, North Carolina, I’m very aware — and so is the Commander-in-Chief — North Carolina is home to more than 123,000 men and women serving in our armed forces; the fourth highest total of any state in America.  And we honor them all.  (Applause.)

In fact, I’m told we’re joined here today by a number of heroes from Naval Operations Support Center Charlotte, Navy Recruiting District Raleigh, and the United States Army 108th Training Command.  Would you all mind getting on your feet and just showing these heroes how much we appreciate their service in uniform to the United States of America.  (Applause.)  Thanks for that.

And I know these heroes and all of you will be pleased to know that the Commander-in-Chief just signed into law the biggest pay raise for our military personnel in nearly 10 years.  (Applause.)  And with that renewed American strength and investment in our armed forces and national defense, President Trump has been keeping his promise to stand with our allies and stand up to our enemies.

Thanks to the leadership of this Commander-in-Chief, and the courage of our armed forces, I’m pleased to report: In Syria, ISIS is on the run, their caliphate has crumbled, and we will not stop until we destroy ISIS completely at its source so it can never threaten our people or our allies ever again.  (Applause.)

And of course, one week ago today, at President Trump’s direction, the Armed Forces of the United States, together with our allies, launched a precision strike against the chemical weapons program of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Our armed forces conducted what President Trump rightly called “a perfectly executed strike.”  And the President and I could not be more proud of the efforts of our armed forces and our allies.  And on behalf of our Commander-in-Chief, I say to all of those involved in last week’s critical operation, a job well done.  (Applause.)

Closer to home, though, you know our President pledged to fight for those who’ve worn the uniform of the United States; men and women who’ve served in our armed forces in the past.  And I’m proud to say, working with these leaders in Congress, we’ve made the VA more effective and accountable.  We’ve given resources to end the backlog for veterans once and for all.  And I’m going to make you a promise: We will not rest or relent until every man and woman who’s worn the uniform of the United States has access to real-time, world-class healthcare that they earned in the service to this nation.  (Applause.)

You know, and President Trump also promised in that campaign back in 2016 that we would stand without apology with the men and women who serve on the Thin Blue Line of law enforcement.  And that’s especially important today.  (Applause.)

You know, like all of you, I learned earlier today that, yesterday in Florida, two sheriff’s deputies were killed in a senseless act of violence in the line of duty.  They were actually attacked while they were eating at a restaurant.  I know I speak for everyone here when I say that our hearts and our prayers go out to the families of these heroes and their loved ones.  These attacks on law enforcement must end.  (Applause.)

The truth is, men and women of law enforcement dedicate their lives to serving and protecting our families, our neighbors, and our communities.  That’s why, under President Donald Trump, we’re going to continue to give the men and women who serve in the uniform of law enforcement at every level, not only the resources, but the respect they deserve.  Would you join me in showing the law enforcement personnel who are here just how much the American people appreciate the job they do protecting our families every day.  (Applause.)  That’s promises made and promises kept.

And this President also promised to secure our borders and enforce our laws.  And I’m pleased to report to you that illegal crossings at our southern border have been cut by more than 40 percent.  And last year, we started to build the first 100 miles of the border wall.  And when it comes to the wall, we’re going to build it all.  That’s a promise.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Build that wall!  Build that wall!  Build that wall!

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  And to uphold the rule of law, our President also promised to appoint strong conservatives to our federal courts at every level.  One year ago this month, Justice Neil Gorsuch took his seat on the Supreme Court of the United States.  And our President set a record for the most court of appeals judges confirmed in a single year for any President in American history.  And they’re all conservative judges.  (Applause.)

So it’s about strength, it’s about security at home and abroad, it’s about the rule of law.  But it’s also — it’s what brings us here today — about restoring prosperity to this great nation.  Since day one of this administration, we’ve been keeping our promise to get this economy moving again with the strong leadership of President Donald Trump.

It’s actually not just about passing tax cuts to put America first.  It’s been about a whole lot more.  Our President promised to roll back the heavy hand of government, and I’m pleased to report to you that working with this Congress, President Trump has signed more laws rolling back federal red tape than any President in American history.  (Applause.)  We’ve actually eliminated 22 federal regulations for every new federal rule put on the books.

The President promised to unleash American energy.  We 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.  That’s promises made and promises kept.  (Applause.)

The President also promised to crack down on unfair trade practices.  And this administration has already taken decisive action to protect American steel, and aluminum, and our lumber industries.  And I’ll make you a promise: We’re going to keep right on fighting for trade deals that are free, fair, and reciprocal and put American jobs and American workers first.  (Applause.)

And finally, the reason we’re all here today is President Donald Trump promised to cut taxes across the board for working families and businesses large and small.  And nearly four months ago, with the strong support of these members of Congress, President Donald Trump signed the largest tax cuts and tax reform in American history.  That’s promises made and promises kept.  (Applause.)

And I got to tell you, all across North Carolina, all across this country, the results have been nothing short of remarkable.  Since Election Day, businesses large and small have actually created nearly 3 million new jobs, including nearly 100,000 new jobs right here in North Carolina, and more than 46,000 jobs in Charlotte alone.  (Applause.)

I mean, Charlotte is booming across the board.  Since you elected this President and supported a Congress that would advance his agenda, job creators in this city have added 3,000 new jobs in mining, logging, and construction; 5,500 new jobs in education and healthcare.

And while both Charlotte and North Carolina as a whole lost manufacturing jobs in the last year of the previous administration, since the election of President Donald Trump, the Tar Heel State has more than replaced those losses with over 5,000 new good-paying manufacturing jobs, including 1,500 jobs right here in the Queen City.  (Applause.)

I mean, those are real results, folks.  The truth is, jobs are coming back.  Confidence is back.  In a word, under President Donald Trump, America is back.  And we’re just getting started.  (Applause.)

But, you know, we really believe that the best days for American prosperity are yet to come because these tax cuts are really just starting to make a difference.

You know, Tax Day was this week, and I’m pleased to report to you what you just went through is the last time you’ll have to pay taxes under that old, broken system, because tax simplification and tax cuts are on the way.  (Applause.)

The truth is, we cut taxes for North Carolina’s working families so you can see more money in your paycheck every single month.  We cut taxes for North Carolina’s job creators and employees so they can compete and win, anywhere in the world.

And when we cut taxes, we also — if you didn’t notice it — we cut out the cornerstone of Obamacare.  And North Carolina will no longer have to pay for the individual mandate at the heart of that disastrous law.  (Applause.)

You know, all in, we think the tax cuts are actually going to save the typical family of four in North Carolina about $2,000 a year on their taxes — money that families across the state are already seeing in your paychecks.  And our tax cuts are also unlocking new opportunities for businesses to invest in their communities.  In the years ahead, we actually believe that workers across North Carolina are going to see an average pay raise of about $4,000 a year.  (Applause.)

And the truth is, we’re already well on the way, because over the past four months, more than 500 companies across the country have announced bigger raises, better benefits, and tax-cut bonuses to more than 5.5 million Americans.  That includes nearly 50,000 workers who have already benefitted from the tax cuts right here in the Tar Heel State.  (Applause.)

In fact, Charlotte is proof that a tax cut for business is really a pay raise for workers.  I mean, think about it.  Bank of America, headquartered in this very city, has given thousand-dollar bonuses to workers across North Carolina.  American Airlines, with a hub in Charlotte, gave $1,000 to more than 11,000 employees across this state.  And local success story — Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, a company I’ve had the privilege to visit, has also given thousand-dollar bonuses to its more than 1,400 workers.  I’m telling you what — that’s real results from the real leadership of President Donald Trump.  (Applause.) Thousand-dollar bonuses at the end of the year that people weren’t expecting.

Now, not everyone thinks these tax-cut bonuses are a big deal.  You may have heard about it.  I mean, the person that wants to be the Speaker of the House again, Nancy Pelosi —

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — she actually said that a thousand-dollar bonus for working families in the paycheck at the end of last year was nothing more than “crumbs.”  Did you hear that?

But let me remind you: I come from the Joseph A. Bank’s wing of the West Wing of the White House, if you get me on that.  (Laughter.)  Okay?  I mean, seriously.  I mean, Karen and I have always lived on a budget — our family.  We still are.  And when our kids were little, we had a term for an extra $1,000 in the paycheck at the end of the year: Christmas.  (Applause.)  All right?  Anybody with me on that?  (Applause.)

I mean, look — I’m just — I’m going to tell you very seriously: Any leader who says $1,000 in the pockets of working families in America is crumbs is out of touch with the American people and should never lead their Congress again.  (Applause.)

I mean, I don’t know if you all remember the last time liberals ran the Congress.  I was actually there.  I mean, they almost ran the country into the ground.  They raised taxes, they cut the military, and tried to pass the cap-and-trade scheme.  They gave us Obamacare.  I mean, literally, liberals in Washington, D.C., back when they were in control, thought you could borrow, and spend, and bail your way back out to a growing economy.

I mean, the truth is, we work every day to try and undo the damage they did the last time they controlled the Congress.  (Applause.)  And we’re going to keep at it.  In the last year, with the strong support of North Carolina’s conservative leaders, including those who are here today, I’m pleased to report to you we’ve made incredible progress.

Let me just take a moment to say thanks to a few of them, if you mind.  First and foremost, I want to thank Charlotte’s own Congressman Robert Pittenger.  (Applause.)  Congressman Pittenger has stood with us to rebuild our military, protect our borders, roll back red tape, and to cut your taxes.  And he has our thanks.

You know, the Charlotte area is actually fortunate to have three other great members of Congress we work with on a regular basis, and they all voted to cut your taxes, too.  Let’s hear it for Congressman Patrick McHenry, Congressman Richard Hudson, and Congressman Ted Budd.  (Applause.)  They’re all friends and they’re all great champions of the President’s agenda.

And I got to tell you, I was with Congressman Budd and a few of your other great leaders in North Carolina just a couple hours ago, up in Greensboro.  We took time to visit a neighborhood that was hit by that terrible tornado this last Sunday — 135 mile-an-hour winds.  I mean, we grieve for the loss of life that took place and the family that lost a loved one.  But I have to tell you, walking through that neighborhood, it is an extraordinary testament to our first responders, to our volunteers, and to the judgment of the people of those communities that it wasn’t worse.  And I just want to thank these leaders who are with me here today.

North Carolina is blessed to have those in uniform, those in ministry, and these compassionate leaders during this difficult time.  (Applause.)  And God bless Greensboro.  (Applause.)

And the truth is, all these leaders have stood with the President and our administration, and helped every day to move our country forward.  They deserve your thanks.  The President and I are truly thankful for the work that each and every one of them have done.

So now as I close, and I look forward to saying hello to more than a few of you before I slip away, I want to tell you, I hope you didn’t just come here to hear a great panel.  Although that was a great panel, wasn’t it?  Why don’t you give them another round of applause?  (Applause.)

I hope you didn’t just come here to hear a panel and to hear a speech.  I hope you came here to get better informed.  And I hope you leave here with a little bit of a burden on your heart.  And I want to leave you with a little bit of a challenge:

As you leave here today, to stay involved and let your voice be heard.  Exercise all your rights as citizens in the coming year.  And more than anything else, I encourage you to go out — go out and tell somebody.  Tell somebody what’s happening across North Carolina, what’s happening here in Charlotte, what’s happening all across America, under the leadership of President Donald Trump.

I mean, tell them what they don’t hear about on most of their major cable television stations.  (Applause.)  Am I right?  I mean, tell them what we’ve accomplished together.  Because I guarantee you, if the President was here, he’d be the first one to say that all of what we celebrate here today is what we’ve done together.  It’s been electing a leader in a President, electing Congress that will partner with him that’s really bringing this country back and doing it by restoring the principles, the application of the principles that have always made America strong in the past and will make America strong again.

So go tell your neighbors and friends, your coworkers, and folks at worship.  I mean, tell them what we’ve done.  Tell them, “You know, I ran into Mike the other day at the convention center” — (laughter) — “and you might not of heard — heard about it,” but tell them we cut their taxes so they can keep more of what they earned, all right?  (Applause.)

Tell them we’re restoring American strength at home and abroad to protect their families and to protect their freedom.  Tell them — you know, just tell them that we’re putting Washington back to work for them, not the other way around.  In fact, just tell them, under President Donald Trump, the forgotten men and women of America are forgotten no more.  You go tell them, North Carolina.  (Applause.)

I mean, I’ll always believe that all the TV shows in the world, all the talking heads in the world, all the radio, all the mail or advertisements don’t compare at all with when someone who knows you and trusts you hears from you about what’s important and the agenda that we’re advancing.  So just reach out.  Reach out to neighbors and friends, and tell them the story in the days ahead.

And lastly, in these times, I think of too much division in these United States.  There might be one more thing I encourage you to do if you’re of a mind.

You know, the last time the President and I were in Charlotte was just a couple months ago.  One of the greatest honors of my life was for my wife and I to accompany the President and the First Lady to mark the passing of one of the greatest Americans of the 20th century –- the Reverend Billy Graham.  (Applause.)

North Carolina knows, America knows, the world knows, Billy Graham was special.  His ministry literally reached millions with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He was a man of towering faith.  His matchless voice literally transformed countless lives, inspired a nation, changed the world.  And his message transcended politics.  It sprung from what I believe in my heart has always been and will always be the great wellspring of American strength.

In fact, today, I think of words the Reverend Graham spoke many years ago, when he said, and I quote:  “To get nations back on their feet, we must first get on our knees.”  (Applause).  So in that spirit, if you’re of a mind, I encourage you to remember to pray.  And don’t so much pray for a candidate or for a cause, just pray for America.  Pray for this one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.  (Applause.)

And when you pray, pray with confidence, because I believe in those ancient words scribed so many millennia ago 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 throughout the long and storied history of this country, He’ll hear from Heaven and He’ll heal this land once again.  (Applause.)

So thank you for coming out today.  Thank you for the opportunity to share with you about the great progress that we’re making together for Charlotte, for North Carolina, and for all of this country.

And I’m going to leave here with confidence that, with the continued support of the good people of North Carolina, with the Tar Heel State’s great leaders in House and in the Senate, with President Donald Trump in the White House, and with God’s help, we will make America safe again.  We will make America prosperous again.  And to borrow a phrase — (laughter) — we will make America great again.

Thank you, North Carolina.  God bless you.  And God bless the United States of America.

END

5:10 P.M. EDT