Indianapolis Marriott Downtown
Indianapolis, Indiana

4:41 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, hello, Indiana!  (Applause.)  It really is, it really is great to be back home again.  And I appreciate so much all of you making time on a Friday afternoon to come out to hear from a fellow Hoosier about how we are making America great again.  Thank you all for being here.  (Applause.)

Before I get started, let me take a moment — a moment to address the shooting that occurred earlier today at Santa Fe High School in Texas.

The facts are still coming in.  In fact, I just got off the phone with Texas Governor Greg Abbott.  At this point, we know that at least 10 lives have been lost — mostly students.  More were injured, including two law enforcement officers.

As the President said earlier today, so I say, “To the students, the families, the teachers, and personnel at Santa Fe High School: We are with you in this tragic hour.”  Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and everyone in the Santa Fe community.

We’re grateful to the heroic first responders who apprehended the shooter, to the local, state, and federal officials who rendered assistance and who are working hard, as we speak, to get to the bottom of what happened.

As a nation, we mourn with those who mourn, and we grieve with those who grieve.  And I know I speak on behalf of everyone here in Indiana, and all across America when I say that today, and in the days ahead, we will continue to earnestly pray for the victims of this terrible shooting and their family, and the entire Santa Fe community.

As President Trump said not long ago, in the wake of another terrible attack, in his words, “No child, no teacher should ever be in danger in an American school.”  But he added quickly, “It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference.  We must actually make that difference.”  And President Donald Trump has been taking action to make our schools and our communities safe.  (Applause.)

Earlier this year, the President signed the STOP School Violence Act to give law enforcement, families, and schools new resources and tools to protect our students and ensure public safety.

Thanks to the President’s leadership, we’re already providing nearly $2 billion more in help to local governments to ensure security at our schools and the safety of our students.  It represents the single largest investment in school safety in American history.

And we’re pursuing new resources to ensure that those struggling with mental illnesses have access to the treatment they need.

And the President also singed critical legislation to fix the National Instant Background Check System to keep deadly weapons away from those who never should have them in the first place.

We’ve called on states to follow the example of Indiana and give families and law enforcement the tools they need to help stop mass shootings before they happen.  And we’ve called on states to follow the example of Indiana and allow qualified school personnel to carry concealed weapons.  (Applause.)

You know, this is another heartbreaking day.  It’s another heartbreaking day in America for students, for parents in Santa Fe and all across the nation.  For all that we’ve done so far, it’s clear we have much more work to do.  With the President’s leadership, the strong support in the Congress, with strong partners in our states, I’ll make you a promise: We will not rest, we will not relent until we end this evil in our time and make our schools safe again.  (Applause.)  Thank you for that.

You know, it really is — it really is good to be back home again in Indiana.  (Applause.)  Especially in the month of May.  (Applause.)  In fact, I was just out at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  I had a chance to visit with a few of the drivers and a lot of the fans.  And so let me begin by bringing greetings from a man who knows something about winning a big race.  (Laughter.)  A leader Hoosiers voted overwhelmingly to make the 45th President of the United States of America.  I bring greetings to all my fellow Hoosiers from President Donald Trump.  (Applause.)

You know, this President is a man of his word, and he’s a man of action.  And just like he promised, right before Christmas last year, he signed into law tax cuts that are putting America first.  (Applause.)

You know, it’s really been an incredible year and a half and we’re going to talk about it today.  But just look at what we accomplished in the last week and a half.  This President withdrew our nation from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal.  (Applause.)  He welcomed home, in the wee hours of the morning, at Andrews Air Force Base, three brave Americans who’d been held captive in North Korea.  (Applause.)

And on Monday, thanks to the leadership of President Donald Trump, the American Embassy opened in Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel.  (Applause.)

It’s a remarkable record and I’m excited to be joined by so many other leaders to be able to talk about it today.

Let me begin by saying thank you.  Thank you, Suzanne, for that great introduction.  Thank you for your leadership in the Hoosier State.  Would you all just join me in a big round of applause for the 52nd Lieutenant Governor of Indiana?  Suzanne Crouch is doing an awesome job.  (Applause.)

I also want to thank another great conservative leader who’s stood with our President to deliver a record of results in Indiana.  He’s already commanding the respect of the entire United States Senate — thank you, Senator Todd Young, for being a great champion for Hoosier values in Washington, D.C.  (Applause.)

And we can give another round of applause to a man who stood with our President since the very beginning, who’s with us here today, and has been a great champion of the President’s agenda from its very early days.  Corey Lewandowski is with us today.  Give Corey a big round of applause, will you?  (Applause.)

And finally, I want to thank the host of today’s event — bringing us all together late on a Friday afternoon — an organization that I’ve been traveling around the country with, promoting policies that are making a difference in the life of Hoosiers and people all across this country; and talking about these historic tax cuts.  Join me thanking America First Policies for bringing us together for this great, great meeting.  (Applause.)

And I’m here today, first and foremost, just to say thanks.  Thanks to all of you.  Because of your support, and because of the partnership with Indiana’s leaders in Congress, like Senator Todd Young, and because of the relentless leadership of President Donald Trump, there’s only one way you can describe this administration: It’s been 16 months of promises made and promises kept.  (Applause.)  It’s true.

I mean, there’s — I mean, just think about it.  President Trump promised to rebuild our military and restore the arsenal of democracy.  And not long ago, he signed into law the largest investment in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan.  (Applause.)

You know, tomorrow is Armed Forces Day all across this country.  So let me take a minute to say a few words about our nation’s best and bravest.  Armed Forces Day is a time for every American to show our profound gratitude for the courageous men and women who have stepped up to serve in the uniform of the United States.

Just a couple hours ago, I joined the 38th Infantry Division at the Indiana National Guard.  I gave them the thanks of their Commander-in-Chief, and all of the American people.  And I know Hoosiers are going to take time on this Armed Forces Day, this weekend, to do just the same.

You might be glad to know that today we’re joined by men and women of the 434th Air Refueling Wing — the “Hoosier Wing”  — at Grissom Air Reserve Base.  To Colonel Shaw, and all the heroes, and the nearly 20,000 Hoosiers wearing the active-duty uniform of the Armed Forces of the United States, I say, on behalf of the people of this country and your Commander-in-Chief: Thank you for your service to America, and for your selfless stand for our freedom.  (Applause.)

You know, I believe President Donald Trump is the best friend the armed forces will ever have ever had.  Under this President’s leadership, we also, in addition to that increase in funding, we just gave our troops the biggest pay raise in nearly 10 years, and they deserve every penny.  (Applause.)

Under this President, we’ve been standing with our soldiers, making our strongest military in the world even stronger still.  And with that renewed American strength, and the courage of our armed forces, and the leadership of this Commander-in-Chief, I’m pleased to report to you, ISIS is on the run, their caliphate has crumbled, and very soon the Armed Forces of the United States and our allies will drive ISIS from the face of the earth.  (Applause.)

You know, this President also promised to stand with those who’ve worn the uniform in the past.  He’s taken decisive action to give our veterans access to the world-class healthcare that they earned in the uniform of the United States.  In fact, just today, President Trump announced that he’ll nominate a veteran of the Air Force and the Navy Reserve to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  Robert Wilkie will do an incredible job for our veterans.  (Applause.)

When it comes to security in the homeland, the President has been just as busy.  He promised to stand with those who serve on the Thin Blue Line.  In fact, just this week, the President and I stood on the West Front of the Capitol to pay tribute to law enforcement officers who fell in the line of duty over the last year, as a part of Police Week.  As the President said then, to all of those thousands that were gathered on the National Mall, I say again today, to all of those who serve in law enforcement, we stand with our police 100 percent.  (Applause.)

And we will continue to give the men and women in law enforcement the resources and the respect that they deserve in this country.  Would you join me in thanking all the police officers who are here for the outstanding job they do for us every day?  (Applause.)

You know, the President also promised to enforce our laws and secure our borders.  He already signed into law the biggest funding increase for border security in nearly 10 years.  And President Trump secured funding for the first 100 miles of a new border wall.  (Applause.)  And when it comes to the wall, we’re going to build it all.  (Applause.)

And to uphold the rule of law, this President promised to appoint strong conservatives to the federal courts at every level.  And that’s just what we’ve been doing.  Last year, President Trump set a record for the most court of appeals judges confirmed in a single year by any administration.  And that doesn’t even include Justice Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court of the United States of America.  (Applause.)

When it comes to security at home and aboard; when it comes to our prosperity; when it comes to upholding the principles in the Constitution of the United States; it’s been 15 months of promises made and promises kept.  And we’re just getting started, Indiana.  (Applause.)

So it is about strength, and security, and the rule of law, but we’re here today to talk about restoring prosperity.  Since day one of this administration, this President has been busy with our entire team working with great partners in Congress to get this economy moving again.

And folks, you know, it’s not just about passing tax cuts to put America first.  From very early in this administration, this President promised to roll back the heavy hand of government on businesses large and small.  And President Trump has actually signed more laws cutting federal red tape than any President in American history.  (Applause.)

I mean, I remember back on the campaign trial, the President made a promise that we’d repeal two federal regulations for every new federal rule put on the books.  And I got to tell you, we didn’t make good on that one.  We’ve actually — with the strong support of Senator Todd Young and the Congress of the United States — we’ve repealed 22 federal regulations for every new rule put on the books.  (Applause.)

The President promised to unleash American energy.  We approved the Keystone and Dakota Pipelines.  We rolled back the Clean Power Plan.  And President Donald Trump put America first when he withdrew the United States from the disastrous Paris Climate Accord.  (Applause.)

He promised to crack down on unfair trade practices.  And I can promise you, this President is going to continue to take action to do just that.  He has already taken decisive action to protect our steel, and aluminum, and lumber industries.  And we’re fighting every day for trade deals that are free, and fair, and reciprocal and put American jobs and American workers first.  (Applause.)

But the reason we’re all here today is because this President promised to cut taxes across the board for working families, small businesses, and family farms.  And nearly four months ago, with the strong support of every conservative representing Indiana in the Congress, including Senator Todd Young, President Donald Trump signed the largest tax cuts and tax reform in American history.  It’s promises made and promises kept.  (Applause.)

You know, when I was governor of the Hoosier State, I was pretty proud of our record.  But under President Trump, Indiana’s economy is booming as never before.

I mean, the truth is, since Indiana voted to elect our President, businesses have created, across the country, more than 3.1 million new jobs, including more than 40,000 good-paying new jobs right here in the Hoosier State.  (Applause.)

Indiana’s unemployment rate hasn’t been this low since the turn of the century.  And across the country, there are more job openings today than ever before.

Businesses are investing billions of dollars here in Indiana, just like they are across the country.  Two weeks ago, I joined Governor Holcomb and his entire team to announce that Infosys is building a hi-tech hub and hiring 3,000 people right here in Indianapolis.  (Applause.)

And since our election, when it comes to manufacturing, I’m pleased to report, in this great state where we grow things and make things like almost no other state in the Union, Indiana factories have actually added 10,000 new good-paying manufacturing jobs.  It really is a remarkable record of success.  (Applause.)

You could give Governor Eric Holcomb a big round of applause, and his great Lieutenant Governor, and these great state legislators who are here.  (Applause.)  They’re doing a great job for the Hoosier State.  (Applause.)

I mean the truth is, under President Donald Trump, here in Indiana and all across America, jobs are coming back, confidence is back, and as I stand before you today, I’m proud to say, America is back and we’re just getting started.  (Applause.)

But you know, for all the good news in the last 15 months or so, the President and I know the best days for American prosperity are yet to come.  And it’s going to be driven by these historic tax cuts.

I mean, working with the Congress of the United States, and Senator Young, we cut taxes for Indiana’s working families.  So you’re already seeing more money in your paycheck every single month.

We cut taxes for job creators all across this country so they can compete and win with businesses anywhere in the world.  And in fact, when we cut taxes, we also cut out the cornerstone of Obamacare.  The individual mandate is gone.  (Applause.)  It’s off the books.

I mean, all told, by our calculation, these tax cuts are going to save the typical Hoosier family of four about $2,100 a year in taxes.  And 90 percent of working families will see that tax cut reflected in their paychecks before the year is out if you haven’t already.

But that’s only half the story.  The truth is, we know that Hoosiers are also going to see more money in your pockets because of the tax cuts for job creators and the impact that they’re already having.

It’s a simple truth borne out in this free-market economy that a tax cut for business ultimately results in higher wages for workers.  And thanks to our tax cuts for companies large and small, we project that the average Indiana worker is going to see a pay raise of more than $4,000 a year in the years ahead.  (Applause.)  It’s true.

And we’re already on our way, if you hadn’t heard about it.  Because over the past five months, more than 500 companies have announced bigger raises, better benefits, and a tax-cut bonus for more than 5.5 million Americans was passed out at the end of the year.  And that includes 37,000 workers right here in the Indiana that got a Trump tax-cut bonus before we got to the first of the year.  (Applause.)  It’s amazing.

I mean, you look at what’s happening right here in Indiana.  Because of our tax cuts and great leadership here at the state level, FedEx is investing an extra $1.5 billion to expand the FedEx Express hub here in Indianapolis.  Indiana’s own Anthem is putting an extra $1,000 in retirement accounts of it’s more than 58,000 workers.

And when it comes to those tax-cut bonuses, so many companies have made announcements in Indiana, it’s hard to keep track.  (Laughter.)  I asked them just to give me a few of them.  AT&T, Apple, Comcast, Lowe’s — they’re all giving bonuses to Hoosiers of up to $1,000, or more.  We ought to give these companies a round of applause for continuing to invest and reward their great Hoosier workers.  (Applause.)

Now, you know, not everyone thinks that a thousand-dollar bonus at the end of the year is a big deal.  (Laughter.)  You may have heard about it.  (Laughter.)  I mean, the person that wants to be the Speaker of the House again, Nancy Pelosi, actually said that a thousand-dollar bonus in the pockets of working families at the end of the last year was nothing more than “crumbs.”

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Did you hear that one?  Now let me remind my fellow Hoosiers that I come from the Joseph A. Bank wing of the West Wing of the White House.  (Laughter.)  Okay?  You with me?  Two-for-one sale.  Right?  (Laughter.)  Okay.  Right?  Good.  All right.  (Laughter.)  I mean, for Karen and me — you know, Karen and I have always lived on a budget.  Right?  Like most Americans.  Right?  And when our kids were little, we had a term for another thousand dollars in the paycheck at the end of the year: Christmas.  (Laughter and applause.)  Am I right?  Okay.

But let me say very seriously: Any leader who says $1,000 in the pockets of working families is crumbs is out of touch with the American people and should never lead the American Congress again.  (Applause.)  It’s true.  It’s true.

And I don’t know if all of you remember the last time liberals ran the Congress, but I do.  (Laughter.)  I was there.  I was representing Indiana in Washington, D.C.  I saw them nearly run America into the ground.

I mean, they raised taxes, they cut the military, they tried to push a cap-and-trade scheme down on American energy, they gave us Obamacare, they left behind an economy that would barely budge.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Lock them up!  (Laughter.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  The last administration actually saw an average of 1.8 percent growth.  This is the most powerful economy in the history of the world, grew over 8 years at less than 2 percent.

And the truth is, you know, these liberals in Washington, D.C., they aren’t your parents’ liberals, if you get the analogy.  Right?  I mean, it’s all different.  They’ve gone farther to the left than ever before.  And you only have to look at Indiana’s own Senator Joe Donnelly for proof of that.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  It’s true.  I mean, you know, last September, Senator Donnelly — we were just up the road in Anderson.  Remember that day?  We were up the road in Anderson and I told him then, I said to him, “We’re going to get this tax cut done, and we’re going to get it done together.”

But it didn’t turn out that way, and Hoosiers deserve to know it.  When the time came to cut your taxes, Joe voted no.  When the time came to give Indiana job creators the tax relief they need to create more good-paying jobs here in the Hoosier State, Joe voted no.

I mean, Joe actually voted no because he said the tax cuts would be, quote, “bad for the middle class and middle-class families.”  In reality, as all of you know, these tax cuts are delivering a middle-class miracle all across Indiana and all across this nation.  (Applause.)

But now, frankly, it’s not just the tax cuts.  When the time came to repeal and replace Obamacare, Joe voted no.  Even when we empowered Indiana to defund Planned Parenthood, Joe voted no.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think Indiana deserves better.  (Applause.)

And the good news is they’ve been getting it from their other senator.  While Joe’s been voting no, Indiana’s other Senator has been saying yes — again, and again, and again — for the things that are making a difference in Indiana, in America.  Would you all join me in thanking a tremendous partner of President Trump and a great champion of an agenda that is restoring the strength and prosperity of this nation?  Senator Todd Young, would you take another bow?  (Applause.)  He’s been a great, great champion of our agenda.  I mean it.

Now, I just think it’s time we gave Senator Todd Young a little help.  Later this year, I just know Indiana is going to another strong conservative to the United States Senate.  (Applause.)

But as I close, I want to thank you again for coming out today.  End of a long, busy week; you all taking time to come and see an old friend, means more to me than I could really tell you.  But I want to leave you with a challenge, if I can.  A challenge to let your voice be heard in the days ahead that remain in the rest of this year.  Exercise all of your rights as citizens to be active in this pivotal year.

And most importantly, I want to encourage you to do what Hoosiers do so well, and that is go out and tell somebody about what’s going on.  All right?  Tell the story of American renewal that’s been the result of the President that you supported, the policies that you’ve supported, the leaders in Washington, D.C. who’ve stood by this President and advanced this agenda.  And tell your friends, your loved ones, and your neighbors what we’ve been able to do.

I mean, in a word, I mean, tell them what they don’t hear on most cable news networks.  (Applause.)  Tell them what we’ve accomplished and tell them it’s making a difference for every American every day.  (Applause.)

Because I got to tell you, I’ll always believe that all the TV talk shows in the world, all the commercials and radio ads, all the talking heads, and all the newsprint in the world isn’t to be compared than when someone who knows you and trusts you and respects you hears from you about what’s happening in this country.

You know, it’s friends talking to friends, neighbors talking to neighbors; that’s what I want to challenge you to go and do outside a grocery store, outside your place of worship, over a backyard fence.  I mean that’s where the real difference is made.  And that’s where President Trump and I need you to go tell the real story of what’s happening all across this country because of the leaders and polices that you’ve stood so faithfully by.

Tell them we cut their taxes so they can keep more of what they earn.  (Applause.)  I mean, tell them we’re restoring American strength at home and abroad, that America is standing tall in the world stage again, and that we are protecting our families and our freedoms as never before.  You got to go tell them that.  (Applause.)

I mean, tell them we’re putting Washington back to work for them, not the other way around.  And tell them that, under President Donald Trump, the forgotten men and women are forgotten no more.  Get out there, Indiana.  (Applause.)  Get out there and tell them every day between now and the end of the year.

You know, and in these times where it’s seems like we’re divided on everything, it seems like these United States of America are experiencing division almost like never before in my lifetime, I encourage you to do one more thing if you’re of a mind.  You know, in these divided times and in time of widening challenges around the world, unknowable threats, heartbreaking moments of tragedy like we saw today in Texas, I — if you’re inclined to bow the head, and bend the knee, and pray for America, I encourage you to do just that.  (Applause.)  I do.  I do.

And on this one — you know, I’m not even so much talking about a cause, or policies, or — you know, I rather like what Abraham Lincoln said long ago in a much more difficult time in the life our nation than we could ever imagine.  He was asked if he thought that God was on his side, and our 16th President said, you know, I rather concern myself with whether we’re on God’s side than whether God is on our side.  (Applause.)  So just — let’s just pray for America.  Let’s just pray for all of the American people to see our way through these challenging times.

And when you pray, pray with the confidence that Americans have always had.  In those ancient words written millennia ago, 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 land of the free.  He will hear from heaven, and He will heal this land, this one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all.  (Applause.)  I believe it.  I believe it.

So, thank you all.  I’ve got to slip away, but I got to tell you, it just really blesses my heart to see so many good friends out.  Thanks for making time.

I leave here very encouraged and more confident than ever that with the continued strong support of all of you gathered here, my fellow Hoosiers and people all across this country; with great conservative leaders in the Congress of the United States, present and future; with President Donald Trump in the White House; and with God’s help, we will make America prosperous again.  We will make America safe again.  And to borrow phrase — (laughter) — we will make America great again.

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

END

5:15 P.M. EDT