Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel
4:52 P.M. EDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, hello, Ohio! (Applause.)
It is great to be back in the Buckeye State with the men and women who elected a Congress and a President that enacted historic tax cuts to put America first. Thank you all for being here. (Applause.)
And as we get started, I want to bring greetings from a great friend of Ohio and the man who made those tax cuts possible, the leader that the great state of Ohio voted overwhelmingly to make the 45th President of the United States of America. I bring greetings from President Donald Trump. (Applause.)
But I told the President this morning when we spoke that I was headed your way. And, you know, President Trump has said more times than I can count, we love Ohio. (Laughter.) And I’m honored to be here with so many great Buckeyes on this Friday afternoon at the end of another extraordinary week for America.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: You know, the truth is —
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
THE VICE PRESIDENT: It really has been an extraordinary week. Hasn’t it? (Applause.)
But I’m truly grateful you all are here. There’s so much to talk about. So much to talk about today.
And we all noticed President Trump arrived home just a couple of days ago from the other side of the world. He arrived back from a historic summit with the leader of North Korea. And as the President said, and I can tell you, I’ve heard firsthand it was a direct, honest, and productive meeting, and it resulted in a bold first step. North Korea’s leader agreed to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. (Applause.)
That part of the agreement has gotten a lot of attention, but I have to tell you another part was deeply meaningful to me. You see, I’m the son of a combat veteran from the Korean War. And while this President negotiated for the security of the American people and peace in the world, he also secured an agreement from the North Korean regime to recover and return the remains of all missing — (applause) — American MIAs that fell in the Korean War. Our boys are coming home. (Applause.)
In that moment I can tell you the strength and the heart of this President was made clear to the world. Standing strong on the world stage he secured that commitment from North Korea. But in the midst of that, this President demonstrated the heart that he has for the American soldier and for all the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States. (Applause.) I couldn’t be more proud.
Now, “vigorous negotiations to implement the agreement” are going to take place, as the President has said, just “as soon as possible.” But make no mistake about it: The success of this summit, the progress we’ve made is a direct result of the President’s steadfast leadership. As President Trump said, anyone can make war; it takes courage to make peace. (Applause.) And this is a President of courage.
But, you know, it’s the President’s leadership at home that brings me here today to the great state of Ohio to talk about the difference that our administration, with the support of all of you in this room, is making all across America.
But let me start by thanking — thanking four of Ohio’s great conservative leaders in the United States Congress who have been standing shoulder-to-shoulder with President Trump and I to advance our agenda for Ohio and for America. Would you join me in showing your appreciation for Senator Rob Portman, Congressman Warren Davidson, Congressman Mike Turner, and the great Congressman Jim Renacci. (Applause.) Let’s hear it for all of these great — stand up, fellas. Take another bow. This is a great, great group of leaders. (Applause.)
I also want a — I want to welcome a great, great leader who had served the Buckeye State —
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I want to thank another leader who served the Buckeye State in the Ohio State Senate. Troy Balderson is with us here today. (Applause.) And a man who spent the last eight years delivering on public safety for Ohio’s families and children, a leader who I know will keep putting Ohio first — Attorney General Mike DeWine. Thank you for being here. And thanks for all you do. (Applause.)
And finally, I want to thank the host of today’s event, an organization that’s promoting policies that are making a real difference in the life of Ohio, including our historic tax cuts. Let’s hear it for America First Policies that brought all of us here together today. (Applause.)
But I’m here —
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I’m here today, first and foremost —
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I’m here today, first and foremost, to say thank you. Thank you to almost all of you. (Laughter and applause.)
Last week, we marked 500 days since the President and I took office. (Applause.) Because of your support, because of the partnership of these great Ohio leaders in Congress, and because of the tireless leadership of President Donald Trump, there’s only one way you can sum up this administration: It’s been 500 days of action, 500 days of accomplishment. It’s been 500 days of promises made and promises kept. (Applause.) And we’re just getting started.
I mean, just think about it. President Trump promised to rebuild our military, restore the arsenal of democracy. And with the strong support of these leaders in Congress, we are once again giving our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard the resources and training they need to accomplish their mission. We just passed the largest increase in military spending since the days of Ronald Reagan. (Applause.)
Our President also pledged to stand with all the men and women who served in our armed forces. And with the strong support, again, of these great Buckeye leaders in the Congress, we’ve given the VA new tools and the new resources it needs to end the backlog for veterans once and for all. And earlier this month, President Trump signed into law the Choice Act to give our veterans access to the real-time, world-class healthcare that they deserve. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA! (Inaudible.)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: You got to love Ohio. (Laughter and applause.)
You know, President Trump and I also promised to stand with all the men and women who serve on the Thin Blue Line of law enforcement. And I couldn’t be more proud to stand with a President who each and every day has been keeping that promise. And we’re going to continue to give the men and women of law enforcement the resources and the respect that they deserve as they protect our families and go back home to theirs. (Applause.)
And to uphold the rule of law, the President promised to appoint strong conservatives to our federal courts at every level. And last year, working closely with Senator Portman and the members of that Republican majority in the Senate, President Trump set a record for the most court of appeals federal judges confirmed in a single year of any administration in American history. (Applause.) And that doesn’t even count Justice Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court of the United States. Thank you, Senator Portman.
And this President promised to enforce our laws and secure our borders, and he’s already signed into law the largest funding increase for border security in nearly a decade. And President Trump also secured funding for the first 100 miles of the new border wall on the southern border of the United States. (Applause.)
You know, the President has also laid out a plan not only to build that wall, but also to close immigration loopholes, to provide a permanent solution, as well, for those who were brought to this country through no fault of their own.
And as the President said today, any immigration bill must have full funding for the wall, end catch and release, visa lottery, chain migration, and take America to a merit-based immigration system. (Applause.)
And I want to say, we appreciate the continued efforts of Republicans in Congress to find a principled way forward that reflects the President’s priorities. But to be honest with you, the Democrats just don’t want to make a deal. The truth is, Democrats in the Congress don’t want to fix our broken immigration system. All they seem to want to do is to resist and obstruct.
But the President and I will not be deterred, because the American people deserve better. (Applause.) We’re going to continue to fight for an immigration system in America that puts America first. (Applause.)
So it’s about strength, it’s about security, it’s about the rule of law, but it’s also about jobs and opportunity here in Ohio and around the country. And since day one of this administration, we’ve been keeping our promise to get this economy moving again, in case you hadn’t noticed.
President Trump promised to roll back the heavy hand of government. In fact, I remember back on the campaign trail the President promised that we would repeal two regulations for every one new federal rule put on the books. But I’m here to tell you we haven’t exactly kept that promise. Because with the strong support of these leaders in Congress, we’ve actually repealed 22 federal regulations for every new rule put on the books. (Applause.) I mean, this President has repealed more federal red tape already than any President in American history. (Applause.)
President Trump promised to unleash American energy. He approved the Keystone and Dakota Pipelines. We rolled back the Clean Power Plan putting such a tremendous burden on states like Ohio and my home state of Indiana that rely on coal-burning power plants for our energy. And this President put America first when he withdrew the United States of America from the Paris Climate Accord. (Applause.)
We also promised to crack down on unfair trade practices. And President Trump has taken decisive action to protect our steel, aluminum, and lumber industries. We forged new trade deals that are free, fair, and, as the President loves to say, reciprocal. And I promise you we’re going to keep fighting for more deals that put American jobs and American workers first when it comes to American trade. (Applause.)
And finally — it took me a while to get through all that — (laughter) — to get to what brings us all here today, that our President promised on that campaign trail that, if elected, he was going to cut taxes across the board for working families, job creators, and family farms. And with the strong support of every one of these great conservatives representing Ohio in Congress, President Trump, just before Christmas, signed the largest tax cuts and tax reform in American history. (Applause.) That’s promises made and promises kept.
I mean, we cut taxes for working families. Under our plan, the typical family of four here in Ohio is going to save more than $2,200 a year on their taxes.
We cut taxes for businesses large and small so they can compete and win with businesses all over the world and create jobs right here in the Buckeye state.
And when we cut taxes — if you didn’t notice — we also cut out the cornerstone of Obamacare. The individual mandate is gone. (Applause.)
And, you know, the results have been nothing short of extraordinary the way the American people and American free enterprise is responding.
Since Ohio voted to elect our President, businesses have created more than 3.4 million jobs across this country, including nearly 100,000 new jobs right here in Ohio in just a year and a half. (Applause.)
The unemployment rate hasn’t been lower in nearly 50 years. And under the President’s leadership, we’ve reached record low employment unemployment numbers for Hispanic Americans and African Americans. We’ve seen the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded. (Applause.)
Manufacturing is booming again. Under the last administration, more than 2,000 manufacturing jobs were lost every month across this country. In fact, I remember back when I was governor of Indiana, people were talking about whether manufacturing was a thing of the past, not just here in the heartland, but across the country; whether we would ever see manufacturing growing again. 210,000 jobs were lost over eight long years of the last administration.
But in just the first year of our administration, we’ve more than made up the difference. Under President Trump’s leadership, manufacturers large and small have added more than 330,000 new jobs — (applause) — including more than 10,000 good-paying, manufacturing jobs right here in the Buckeye State.
Now, none of this has happened by accident. We’re living through a great American comeback because the President that you helped elect has been keeping the promises that he made to the people of Ohio. I mean, just look at the response to our tax cuts. It’s a simple truth borne out by experience. A tax cut for businesses is turning out to be a pay raise for workers. And Ohio is proving it once again.
I was just up in Michigan a little bit earlier today, and I was at a construction company where literally — where literally — well, don’t hold that against me. I was just — (laughter) — a little rivalry there. (Laughter.) But you’ll love this story. I was up there. I was at a construction company. They got 70 employees. But ever since the tax cuts were passed, they literally doubled their profit sharing agreement, putting between $2,000 and $8,000 a year in the pockets of their 70 employees because of the President’s tax cut. (Applause.)
And it’s happening here in Ohio, too. And since the President signed these tax cuts into law, companies across this state have announced bigger raises, better benefits, and tax-cut bonuses.
Ohio’s own Fifth Third Bank raised its base wage to $15 an hour, and gave a-thousand-dollar bonuses to more than 13,000 employees across Ohio. (Applause.)
I mean, just a few miles from here, a manufacturing company, known as Wolf Metals, used their tax-cut savings to buy new equipment that will make them more competitive and help them grow.
Columbus’s own Nationwide Insurance increased retirement contributions for their 33,000 workers and gave bonuses to 29,000 of its employees. Let’s give a big round of applause for all these companies that have responded to these business tax cuts to the benefit of the people that do the work. (Applause.)
I mean, the list goes on and on. All told, in just the last six months, at least 95,000 people in Ohio have benefitted from these tax cuts in the form of bonuses, pay raises, and bigger benefits.
And this is just the beginning, because our tax cuts are going to keep spurring more growth and higher wages in the years ahead. Ohio workers can expect to see their annual salaries, we believe, increase by about $4,000 a year.
Now, that’s great news. But obviously not everybody is excited about it. (Laughter and applause.)
But you know it is great news. A rising tide lifts all boats regardless of your politics. (Applause.) It does. This economy is growing for everybody.
But not everybody thinks that. I mean, you might’ve heard that the person who wants to be Speaker of the House again, Nancy Pelosi —
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: — I mean, she actually said that a thousand-dollar bonus, that a lot of people here in Ohio got at the end of the year — Senator, you know about this — that a thousand-dollar bonus in the pockets of working families here in Ohio was nothing more than “crumbs.” Did you hear that?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yeah.
Well, now let me remind all of you I come from the Joseph A. Bank and Timex watch wing of the West Wing of the White House. (Applause.) You with me on that? Okay. I mean, look, Karen and I have always lived on a budget, right? I mean, truthfully, we were both working at times. She was a schoolteacher. You know, we were always counting our pennies, living on a budget. We still do today.
I mean, when our kids were little, we had a term for another $1,000 in our paychecks at the end of the year that we weren’t expecting: Christmas. (Laughter and applause.) Can you relate?
I mean, look, 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.)
I mean, I don’t know if you all remember the last time liberals ran the Congress. I do. I was there. Congressman Turner and I were there together. I mean, we saw them literally nearly run the country into the ground. Didn’t we, Mike?
They raised taxes, they cut the military, they tried to pass their cap-and-trade scheme, they gave us Obamacare, they left behind an economy that just would never budge above 2 percent. Eight years in a row, the most powerful economy on the face of the Earth grew at an average rate of 1.8 percent.
And here’s the thing: That was then, but this is now. And the truth is, the folks that want to take over the Congress again, these aren’t your parents’ liberals. Okay? (Laughter.) I mean, they’ve gone farther to the left than ever before. I mean, you need to only look at Ohio’s Senator Sherrod Brown to prove it.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I mean, the hardworking men and women of Ohio deserve to know, when it came time to cut your taxes, Senator Sherrod Brown voted no.
When it came to letting Ohio families keep an average of $2,200 more of your hard-earned money every year, Sherrod Brown voted no.
When it came to giving job creators here in Ohio the relief they need to create more good-paying jobs in the Buckeye State, your Senator Brown voted no.
Sherrod Brown actually voted no because he called these historic tax cuts a “scam.” The truth is, our tax cuts are delivering a middle class miracle in Columbus and across Ohio. (Applause.) That’s the truth.
But, time and again, you deserve to know that Sherrod Brown voted no on policies that Ohio supports and needs. He actually voted in lockstep with the far-left wing of his party more than 90 percent of the time.
When the time came to repeal and replace the disaster of Obamacare, when the time came to defund sanctuary cities, even when the Congress empowered Ohio to protect the unborn and defund Planned Parenthood, Sherrod Brown voted no every single time. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think Ohio deserves better. (Applause.)
Now, while Senator Brown has been voting no, Ohio’s Republican leaders in Congress have been voting yes again and again on an agenda that’s making Ohio prosperous and strong, and making America strong again.
So I want to take a moment to tell you about the difference that they’ve made. Congressman Warren Davidson is a United States Army veteran and champion of Ohio’s small businesses. And I’m here to tell you he has stood with our President to cut your taxes, roll back regulations, and bring new jobs to the Buckeye State. And he has our thanks. (Applause.) Thank you, Congressman. Thanks for your service then and now.
Congressman Mike Turner is another great example. He’s been standing with this President and — shoulder-to-shoulder. He helped bring thousands of good-paying jobs back to the old GM plant just outside of Dayton. He helped protect Wright-Patt from the Obama budget cuts to our armed forces. He is a champion of our men and women in uniform like no other. Congressman Mike Turner, thank you for your leadership. (Applause.)
And another friend of ours, Congressman Jim Renacci. (Applause.) You know, I met Jim back when he was a businessman trying to be a congressman. And I love to tell people, I was for Jim Renacci before it was cool. (Laughter.)
I mean to tell you, he’s a leader who’s been standing shoulder-to-shoulder with President Trump and our entire administration every day. He’s been fighting every day for the Buckeye State. We couldn’t have gotten the tax cuts done without his insight, without his counsel, and without his support. Congressman Jim Renacci, thank you for standing with President Trump for the people of Ohio. (Applause.)
And last but not least, we’re talking about representatives in Washington, D.C. I want to thank Senator Rob Portman for all the same reasons — supporting our military, being a key player in the United States Senate as we crafted those tax cuts at the end of last year. But I specifically want to say thank you on behalf of people all across America for the job that Senator Rob Portman has done leading the fight against the opiate epidemic that is besetting families in Ohio and all across America. (Applause.) Thank you, Senator Portman, for your mind and your heart. (Applause.)
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think it’s time we gave Senator Portman a little bit more help in the United States Senate. (Applause.) And I got a feeling that’s exactly what Ohio is going to do.
But as I close, I want to thank you again for coming out on a Friday afternoon. I really do. It’s the greatest honor of my life to serve as your Vice President. And it’s — for this small-town boy from southern Indiana, it’s just humbling when I see the outpouring of support for everything that we’re doing and for the progress that we’re making.
But I do want you to — I want you to leave here with a little bit of a challenge. I want to challenge you to leave here today not hopefully having heard a series of speeches and a terrific panel that’s talked about the progress we’ve made, but I want you to go out here and go tell somebody. I mean, let your voice be heard. Exercise all of your rights as Americans in this pivotal year. But I want you to go out — tell the story of American renewal that is not being widely reported on most of our cable television networks, right?
I mean, tell them what they don’t hear in the media, for the most part, about what we’ve accomplished and the difference it’s making.
You know, I’ll always believe — I’ll always believe that all the TV shows in the world, all the talking heads in the world, all the political ads and mail are not to be compared when someone who knows you and trusts you, and values your opinion hears from you about something that’s important to their family, to the state, and to the nation.
And so I just encourage you to leave from here today — find some people this Friday night, over the backyard fence, this weekend at your place of worship. Just stop people outside CVS and just say, “You know, I ran into Mike the other day” — (laughter) — “and it took him the better part of a half hour just to list all the big things that we’ve accomplished with President Trump in the White House and with these great leaders in Ohio and the Congress.”
I mean, the truth is they need to hear it. They need to hear about the difference that all of us have made. And President Trump and I need you to tell the real story of American renewal to everyone you can.
I mean, go tell them we cut their taxes, all right? So they can keep more of what they earn.
Tell them we’re restoring American strength at home and abroad to protect their families and their freedom, and America standing tall on the world stage again.
Tell them we’re putting Washington back to work for them — not the other way around. And tell them under President Donald Trump, the forgotten men and women of America are forgotten no more. Go tell them when you leave here today. (Applause.) Because it’s the truth.
And in these times, where there seems to be too much division, widening and unknowable threats abroad, I got one more thing I might ask you to do if you’re of a mind. You know, I really do believe this is a good time for every American who’s inclined to bow the head, bend the knee, and pray for America. (Applause.)
Let’s pray for all the people of this country. Pray for all the people of this country. Pray for all of those men and women in uniform who are serving at home and abroad. Pray for all these law enforcement officers. And pray for all of us that have the privilege, from the President on down, that serve this great nation.
And when you pray, pray with confidence. Because I truly do believe that those words that show up on their state seal are every bit as true today as they’ve ever been; that, with God, all things are possible in this one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. (Applause.) So thank you for that. And thank you for the warm welcome. I look forward to saying hello to as many of you as time permits. But thanks for taking time to be with us today.
I leave here with renewed confidence — I really do. And with the continued support of all the hardworking men and women in the state of Ohio, with the continued support of these great, conservative leaders in the Congress and here in your state, with President Donald Trump in the White House, and with God’s help, I just know we will make America safe again. We will make America prosperous again. And to borrow a phrase, we will make America great again.
Thank you very much. (Applause.) God bless you, Ohio, and God bless the United States of America.
5:26 P.M. EDT