MetraPark’s Montana Pavilion
11:37 A.M. MDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, hello, Montana! (Applause.) Man, it is great to be back in Big Sky Country, in the state of gold and silver, with men and women who stand for family, faith, and who always stand for freedom. Thank you, Montana. (Applause.) Thanks for who you are.
And before I get started, I want to bring greetings from a friend of mine I spoke to on the phone this morning. Told him I was here in Billings, Montana, and I think he was just a little bit jealous — (laughter) — because he loves Montana. He loves what he calls the “proud, hardworking American patriots” of this state. I bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump. (Applause.)
And I’m honored to be joined today by some great Montana leaders who are with us. And let me start, first and foremost, from a man you just heard from. He’s a fifth-generation Montanan, he’s a former Navy SEAL Commander, he was a member of Congress that I served with on Capitol Hill, and I’m telling you what, he’s a leader who’s fighting every day to protect America’s great outdoors and unleash our boundless natural resources. Would you join me in thanking a son of Montana, a true son of the West? Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, take a bow, will you. (Applause.) Ryan’s doing a great job for America, everybody. We’re so proud of him.
Let me also just give a shout-out to this state’s great leaders who serve in the Congress. They couldn’t be here today; they’re working on Capitol Hill. But I’ll tell you what, they both have been standing strong with our President, putting the people of Montana, and Montana values first. Join me thanking Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Greg Gianforte, would you? (Applause.) Two great men who are doing a great job for Montana.
Before I get going, I want to thank one more great conservative who you just heard from a minute ago — not just for those words and that great introduction, but really for all he’s done throughout his career to fight for the good people of Montana and the values that make Montana great. He’s a man who is a tireless leader of this state. He served in the State House. He’s now your great state auditor. Matt Rosendale is a champion — (applause) — for all the strong conservative values that make Montana great and we couldn’t be more proud to be here with him today. (Applause.) Thank you, Matt.
And thank you all for being here today. I’m really humbled that you all would come out in the middle of a busy week, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
You know, last week marked just a year and a half since President Trump and I were standing on that stage on Inauguration Day, raised our right hands, and took the oath of office. And I think there’s only one way you can sum up the last 18 months: It’s been a year and a half of action. It’s been a year and a half of results. And it’s been a year and a half of promises made and promises kept. (Applause.) And we’re just getting started. It’s true.
I mean, think about it. President Trump promised to rebuild our military and restore the arsenal of democracy. And with the strong support of Montana’s conservative leaders in Congress, earlier this year, I’m proud to report, President Trump signed the largest increase in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan. (Applause.)
We’re once again giving our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guards the resources and training they need to accomplish their mission and come home safe. (Applause.)
And I got to tell you, as the proud father of a United States Marine, I couldn’t be more honored to serve alongside a President who cares so deeply about our men and women in uniform, and all the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States of America. Would the veterans in the room mind standing up if you’re able? Stand up if you’ve served in the armed forces of this country to give us a chance to say thank you one more time. (Applause.) Thank you for your service. Thank you for your service.
This President has been working hard for our veterans. He’s been working hard for these veterans, and recently signed legislation that’s finally going to give our veterans access to real-time healthcare that they earned in the uniform of the United States. (Applause.) Veterans Choice has arrived and President Trump delivered it.
And here at home, President Trump promised to enforce our laws and secure our borders. From the first day of this administration, this President has been giving law enforcement not only the resources, but the respect that our law enforcement community deserves every day. (Applause.)
You know, it’s been a challenging, challenging time in law enforcement. We see violence against police officers. And in recent years, we’ve seen public officials that haven’t been willing to stand up with those who stand on the Thin Blue Line. We got a lot of people in law enforcement who are here with us today who serve in Montana at every level. Would you all mind getting on your feet and showing these police officers just how much you appreciate the job they do protecting our families every day? (Applause.)
In this administration, we stand with the men and women of law enforcement, and that includes the dedicated public servants of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (Applause.) It does.
These are great men and women. And while some leading Democrats are actually calling to abolish their agency —
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: — let me tell you, last year alone officers of ICE removed more than 120,000 illegal aliens with criminal records from the streets of America’s cities. (Applause.) And they rescued more than 1,000 from human traffickers and child exploitation. (Applause.)
The courageous men and women of ICE deserve the support of every American, and they will always have the support of this administration. I’ll make you a promise: We will never abolish ICE, no matter what the other side says. (Applause.)
In fact, with our renewed commitment to immigration enforcement, I’m proud to report to friends here in Montana, President Trump signed the largest increase in border security in nearly 10 years. And we got a down payment, and we’ve already started to build that big, beautiful wall on the southern border. (Applause.) It’s going up.
You know, the President said, “If you don’t have borders, you don’t have a country.” And we’re going to secure our borders because of your support and this President’s leadership.
The President also promised to appoint strong conservatives to our federal courts at every level. And last week, President Trump actually set a record for the most court of appeals judges confirmed in the first two years of any administration in American history. (Applause.) And that doesn’t even count Justice Neil Gorsuch. (Applause.) Or the next justice to the Supreme Court of the United States, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. (Applause.) Coming soon.
And I’ll tell you, the people of Montana will be glad to know, every single one of these men and women are all conservatives who will uphold the God-given liberties enshrined in the Constitution of the United States, including the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, and the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. (Applause.) They will.
So, you know, it’s about promises made and promises kept. That’s why I came by today. But what brings us here, mostly, today is to make sure you know this President has been working from the first moment we woke up the day after the election. I’ll never forget that. We wrapped up — I don’t know, you probably all stayed up late that night just like I did, didn’t you? (Laughter and applause.)
I’ll never forget about the time the — about the time the election was called, it was probably about four in the morning — wasn’t it, Ryan — on the East Coast. I brought a few remarks with my family. The President brought those inspiring remarks to the nation. I’ll never forget, backstage, he looked at all of us, and he said, “I’ll tell you what, just don’t even come until 8:30 tomorrow.” (Laughter.) We went right to work getting this economy moving again. And it’s taken off, thanks to President Trump’s leadership. (Applause.) We did. It’s true.
In case you haven’t noticed, confidence is back. Jobs are coming back. To put it plainly, America is back, and we’re just getting started. (Applause.)
And, you know, it didn’t just happen. It’s because the President has been busy keeping the promises that he made to the people of Montana. I mean, we promised to roll back the heavy hand of government. And I’m proud to report, this President has signed more laws repealing federal red tape already than any President in American history. (Applause.) It’s true.
I mean, under Secretary Zinke’s leadership, the Department of Interior alone cut new regulations by more than half, saving our economy and our workers nearly $4 billion. Great job, Ryan. (Applause.)
And we promised to unleash American energy. This President, right out of the gate, approved the Keystone and Dakota pipeline. We opened up ANWR to responsible energy exploration. We withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord. And under President Donald Trump, the war on coal is over. (Applause.)
The President also promised to confront countries that have, frankly, been taking advantage of America for too long when it comes to international trade. The President took decisive action to defend our lumber industry, and our steel and aluminum industries — the backbone of the American economy.
And I promise you, President Donald Trump is going to keep fighting for trade deals that put American jobs, American farmers, and American workers first. And we’re going to get it done. (Applause.)
In fact, when it comes to America’s farmers and ranchers, I’m pleased to report to you, we’re making significant progress — as we speak, renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. We opened Argentina to American pork; we opened Vietnam to corn and wheat; Brazil to American beef; and we opened China to American beef — a lot grown right in Montana –for the first time in 15 years. (Applause.) This President and our administration will always stand with our farmers and ranchers 100 percent. (Applause.)
And, finally, what that great panel was talking about today, and what brings us all here today, mostly, is this President promised to cut taxes across the board for working families and small businesses all across this country. And right before Christmas, President Trump sat down at his desk, and he signed the largest tax cut and tax reform in American history. It’s promises made and promises kept, Montana. (Applause.)
We cut taxes for working families. And the typical family of four in Montana, we believe, is going to save more than $2,200 on your taxes when all these tax cuts take their full effect.
We cut taxes for businesses large and small, so that companies here in Montana can compete and win and create jobs against any company, anywhere in the world. (Applause.)
We repealed death taxes for nearly every American farmer and rancher, so that the family farm, the family ranch can stay in the family where it belongs. (Applause.)
And, by the way, in case you didn’t notice, for all those other tax cuts, we also cut the core out of Obamacare. The individual mandate tax is gone. It’s off the books. (Applause.)
Now, we’ve done all this because of the strong support of our Republican majorities in the Congress, including your own Congressman Greg Gianforte and Senator Steve Daines. They were there with us every step of the way. (Applause.)
But, you know, the people of Montana deserve to know: All that we’ve accomplished, we’ve been able to do in the face of unprecedented obstruction by Democrats in Washington, D.C. I mean to tell you, the obstruction that liberals and Democrats on Capitol Hill have put up for this President has no historical precedent.
And, frankly, we’ve done it all despite the consistent opposition of Chuck Schumer and of your senator, Jon Tester.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: It’s true. Last year, Jon Tester actually said that he’d, in his words, “work with anybody to cut taxes for Montana families and smallbusinesses.” That’s what he said. But one month later, when Jon Tester actually had the opportunity to vote to cut your taxes, Jon Tester voted no.
When the time came to cut taxes on Montana’s business owners, and farmers, and ranchers, Jon Tester voted no.
And it’s not just tax cuts. When the time came to defund sanctuary cities, to repeal and replace Obamacare, even when it came time to give states like Montana the power to defund Planned Parenthood, Jon Tester voted no every single time.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: You know, President Trump had it right in Great Falls the other day when he just simply said, Jon Tester just “doesn’t share your values” or ours. (Applause.)
And, you know, when it comes to the Supreme Court, Jon Tester actually voted against Justice Neil Gorsuch. And even though it’s been more than two weeks since President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Jon Tester is dragging his feet, delaying even meeting with our nominee.
Now, let me be clear about something: Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a man of integrity, with a proven record of support for limited government, the Second Amendment, and religious liberty, and he deserves the support of every member of the United States Senate. (Applause.) He does.
So today, I want call on Senator Jon Tester: Set politics aside. Give Judge Kavanaugh a fair hearing, and give him the support he deserves. And if Senator Jon Tester won’t confirm a judge like Brett Kavanaugh, we need Montana to give us a senator who will. (Applause.) You with me?
I mean, Montana just deserves better, everybody, and I think you all know it. The good news is, despite Jon Tester’s opposition to President Trump’s agenda, we’ve been delivering for Montana with your support and with the support of these great allies that we have in Senator Daines and Congressman Gianforte.
I mean, think about it. Think about what we’ve accomplished together. Since that Election Day 2016, businesses large and small have created nearly 3.7 million new jobs all across America, including 7,000 new jobs in the last 18 months, right here in Montana. (Applause.)
Nationwide, unemployment claims are at a nearly 50-year low, and here in Billings, the unemployment rate is nearly 40 percent lower than the national average. (Applause.) Amazing.
And the President and I are particularly proud of the fact that we’ve actually set a new record: the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded for Hispanic Americans and African Americans. (Applause.) The American Dream is working for everybody once again. (Applause.) That’s real results.
You know, your senator, Jon Tester, actually said the tax cuts were going to “fail Montanans.” But thanks to the President’s leadership on tax cuts, regulatory reform, and energy, the truth is Montana is winning and America is winning. (Applause.)
Since the President signed the historic tax cuts into law, more than 6 million Americans have received bonuses, pay raises, or bigger benefits, including more than 6,000 all across Montana.
Companies like Billings Flying Service, whose owner you just heard from earlier today, is investing in new equipment and research that will benefit their workers for years to come.
Loenbro, a Montana manufacturer, used their tax cut savings to give their workers better benefits. And Walmart, I’m told, handed out nearly $4 million in bonuses to more than 3,400 Montana workers. (Applause.) Let’s hear it for these companies that are investing in the people and in the great state of Montana. (Applause.)
I mean, these are real results, friends. They really are. And we’ve accomplished all this because of the support of people like Steve Daines and Greg Gianforte and these great Republican majorities. But we’ve also done it with a strong support of other conservatives all across this state. And I mentioned it before, but that absolutely includes that great, conservative state auditor of yours, Matt Rosendale. (Applause.)
You know, Matt Rosendale really is Montana. He embodies Montana values. He’s a rancher, a family man, and he’s also a man of faith.
You know, it was only 2010 that Matt ran his first campaign for office, all because some of his neighbors had told him that it was time to give back. And they were right.
You know, President Trump called Matt Rosendale a “fighter” who “loves the people of Montana.” And for the past eight years, Matt has fought tirelessly for conservative policies and principles in the Montana House, in the Montana Senate, and now as your state auditor.
I don’t know about you, but when I look at a fighter like Matt Rosendale, I sure think we could use another conservative fighter just like him in Washington, D.C. (Applause.)
I mean, the truth is, because of the support of these great leaders at every level across this state and across the country, Americans are more optimistic today than they’ve been in years.
Consumer confidence has hit a 17-year high. Small-business confidence is at a historic high. And manufacturers have never been this confident since polls have been taken.
Americans are standing tall again. Can you feel it? Can you sense it? (Applause.) And then, the truth is, we’re standing up. We’re standing up on the world stage, we’re standing up here at home. In fact, we’re standing up for our National Anthem, and being proud of this country every day. (Applause.)
And the truth is, pride is back. And as I stand before you today, I really think that faith in America is rising. I mean, faith in our ideals. Faith in the boundless potential of the American people is rising once again.
And so, as I close today, I want to leave you with a challenge to carry that confidence and faith from this room. I mean, keep supporting these great leaders all across Montana who are supporting President Trump and our administration’s agenda on Capitol Hill, an agenda that’s really turning this country around.
But also, let your voice be heard in the days ahead on, an increasing basis, in this critical year of 2018. I mean, you know, I’ll always believe that all the talking heads on television, all the commentators, all the newsprint in the world is not to be compared to when someone who knows you and respects you hears from you about an issue of importance to your community or your state or your nation.
Word of mouth is now, and will always be, the most powerful media in America. So get out there and tell somebody about what you heard today. (Applause.) Seriously. I mean, tell them what they’re not hearing on most of their major cable television news networks every day. Right?
I mean, I always tell people, when you leave these places, go back to your place of work or worship and tell people. Stop somebody outside a grocery store or drugstore. Back in Indiana, I say, “Talk over a backyard fence,” but you got bigger backyards in Montana — (laughter) — than we’ve got in the Midwest.
But wherever it takes, just go out and tell them what you heard today. Say, “You know what, I was in Billings, I ran into Mike and Ryan and Matt” — (laughter) — “and they were talking about all the incredible things that we’ve done together as a country.”
And make no mistake about it: We’ve done it — all of us. I hear the President correct people all the time when they come up and they thank him for what he’s done for the country. He says, “No, it’s ‘we.’” It’s always “we” — the people that supported this President, supported his vision, and supported all those that stand with us.
I mean, go out and tell the story of what you heard today. I mean, tell them we cut their taxes so they can keep more of what they earn, okay? (Applause.)
I mean, tell them we’re strengthening America at home and abroad. We’re rebuilding our military and standing with law enforcement so their families and their freedom is safe. Go tell them. (Applause.)
I mean, tell them that we’re putting Washington back to work for them, and not the other way around. (Applause.) And tell them — tell them that, under President Donald Trump, the forgotten men and women of America are forgotten no more. You go tell them that, Montana. Because it’s the God’s-honest truth. (Applause.)
And tell them with confidence, because I really believe that faith in America is rising. Project that confidence and that faith. And the truth is — one more thing I might encourage you to do, and I know a lot of you will do it. Because not only do I believe in my heart that faith in America is rising, but I see and I hear every day that faith is also rising all across America. (Applause.)
You know, sometimes I tell people, “America might just be the second greatest story ever told.” (Applause.)
So as you leave here today, as you purpose to continue to support these great leaders that are standing with our President and our agenda, as you leave here today determined to exercise your rights as citizens and go tell that story to your neighbors and friends, I’d encourage you to not only carry your faith in this country, but exercise that other kind of faith.
And if you’re so inclined to, from time to time, bow the head and bend the knee, I’d encourage you to do that. (Applause.) And pray for America. Pray for all the people of this country. And when you pray, pray with confidence. Pray with confidence. Because I still believe those ancient words inscribed millennia ago that Americans have clung to throughout much more challenging times than we could ever imagine are still true today: That if His people, who are called by His name, will humble themselves and pray, He will do like He has always done through the long and storied history of this great nation. He will hear from heaven, and He’ll heal this land — (applause) — this one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
So pray, America, and pray for America, because prayer matters. (Applause.)
So hey, thanks for coming out today. I look forward to saying hello to as many of you as I can before I head off to North Dakota — (applause) — and then back to Washington, D.C.
But I leave here with renewed confidence. I really do. I really do. And the President and I love Montana. This is a place of such great American strength, rugged individualism, and great history and a great heritage.
But I’m going to leave here with the belief that with the continued support of the good and strong people of Montana, with great conservative leaders from Montana serving this administration and serving in the Congress of the United States, with President Donald Trump in the White House, and with God’s help, we will make America safe again. (Applause.) We will make America prosperous again. And to borrow a phrase, we will make America great again. (Applause.)
Thank you very much, Montana. God bless you, and God bless the United States.
12:07 P.M. MDT