Marriott St. Louis Grand

St. Louis, Missouri

11:37 A.M. CDT

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

Thanks for coming out today.  It is great to be back in the Show Me State.  And I’m so honored to be here today with so many of the men and women who elected a Congress and who elected a President who enacted tax cuts that are putting America first.  Thanks for coming out.  (Applause.)

And speaking of which, I bring greetings from the man who made those tax cuts possible.  A man that the people of Missouri voted overwhelmingly to make the 45th President of the United States of America.  I bring greetings from President Donald Trump.  (Applause.)

You know, I’m here, first and foremost, today, just to say, “thank you.”  Thank you to all the good people of Missouri for your unwavering support for this President and for our agenda, not just in that election back in 2016 but every day since.  What we have accomplished for the American people, we have accomplished together because of your support.  And give yourselves a round of applause.  (Applause.)

Let me also say thanks to that great Attorney General of yours, not only for that introduction, but for being such a strong partner for the President, such a strong leader here in the Show Me State.  Would you join me in thanking a leader with a remarkable record, who every day of his life has been standing up for the values of working families, farmers, and job creators.  Attorney General Josh Hawley, it is an honor to have you here today.  (Applause.)

And I also want to thank our host for today’s meeting for bringing us all together in the midst of a busy week.  An organization that really has been helping us tell the story of the policies that are making a real difference in the lives of people in Missouri and people all across this country.  Join me in thanking America First Policies for bringing us all together.  (Applause.)

You know, tomorrow actually marks one-and-a-half years since President Trump and I took office.  And because of your support, because of the partnership of strong conservative leaders representing Missouri in the Congress of the United States, and because of the relentless leadership of President Donald Trump, there’s only one way you can sum up the last 18 months: It’s been 18 months of action, 18 months of results.  It’s been 18 months of promises made and promises kept.  (Applause.)  It’s true.  I mean, think about it.

We promised to make America safe again back in that campaign.  Promised to enforce our laws, secure our borders.  And not only did the President sign the biggest funding increase for border security in nearly 10 years, we also got a down payment and we’ve started to build that big beautiful wall on the southern border of the United States.  (Applause.)

We promised to stand with the courageous men and women who serve every day on the Thin Blue Line of law enforcement.  And with this President’s leadership, we’ve been giving the people in law enforcement at every level the resources and the respect they deserve.  (Applause.)

You know, there’s a fair number of members of law enforcement in the room today.  I got up this morning and I heard that a police officer was injured in the sixth — the sixth attack on a police officer in the country this year.  More than two dozen police officers have lost their lives in the line of duty this year alone.  Would you all mind just taking a minute — maybe get on your feet — and show these law enforcement officers just how much we appreciate the job they do and the sacrifices they and their families make for our safety.  (Applause.)

We’re grateful for your service and the sacrifices that your families make.  We’re grateful for all the men and women that serve in law enforcement every day, and that includes the dedicated public servants of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE.  (Applause.)  They are.

It’s amazing to think, as I stand before you today, some of the leading Democrats in America are actually advocating the abolition of ICE, even though the brave men and women of ICE put their lives on the line every single day to enforce our laws.

Last year alone, I’m proud to report to you that ICE agents removed more than 226,000 illegal immigrants from our country.  In fact, they arrested more than 127,000 illegal immigrants with criminal convictions or facing charges of breaking our nation’s laws, including ICE removed nearly 5,000 gang members from our streets.  (Applause.)

And the American people deserve to know ICE also rescued more than 518 human trafficking victims, and nearly 1,000 children caught up in child exploitation rings in this country were saved by ICE agents.  (Applause.)

ICE deserves the support of the American people.  And I’ll make you a promise: Under the Trump administration, we will never abolish ICE.  (Applause.)

Beyond public safety, as Attorney General Hawley just talked about, this President also promised to appoint strong conservatives to our federal courts at every level, and he’s been busy.  Last year alone, President Trump set a record for the most court of appeals judges confirmed in a single year of any administration in American history.  And that doesn’t even count Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States or our next Supreme Court Justice, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.  (Applause.)

This President also promised to make America strong again.  And I’m proud to report to you that with the strong support of Missouri’s conservatives in Congress, like Senator Roy Blunt, President Trump, just a few short months ago, signed the largest increase in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan.  (Applause.)

Under this administration, we’re rebuilding our military, we’re restoring the arsenal of democracy, and we are once again giving our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guards the resources and the training that they deserve and need to do their job, accomplish their mission, and come home safe.  (Applause.)

And it means American security, but you all here in St. Louis know it also means American jobs.  Because I’m proud to report to you that with all of that increased funding, every single one of the new F/A-18 Super Hornets for the United States Navy are going to be built right here in St. Louis by the great men and women of Boeing.  (Applause.)  And we’re proud of it.

With that renewed American strength at home and abroad, this President has stood without apology as leader of the free world, advancing America’s interest from the first days of this administration.

I’m proud to report to you, thanks to the leadership of this Commander-in-Chief and the courage and determination of our armed forces, ISIS is on the run, its caliphate has crumbled, and we will soon destroy ISIS from the face of the Earth.  (Applause.)

Now, think about it.  That American strength has resulted in many great steps on the international stage.  North Korea is no longer testing ballistic missiles or nuclear weapons, and has come to the table for talks.  (Applause.)

And just this week, President Trump returned from a successful international trip.  Our NATO Allies are now paying more for our common defense than at any point in recent years of that historic alliance because President Trump called on them to do it.  (Applause.)  Our relationship with the United Kingdom is stronger than ever before.

And President Trump even met earlier this week with the President of the Russian Federation in Helsinki, saying, in his words, that that he “would rather take a political risk in [the] pursuit of peace, than…risk peace in [the] pursuit of politics.”  (Applause.)

Now, make no mistake about it, President Trump and I support our great intelligence agencies and the courageous men and women who lead them.  And as the President said, we accept our intelligence community’s conclusions about the 2016 Election.  But after years of the failed reset of the last administration and capitulation to Russia, under President Trump, we’ve met Russian aggression with American strength and action.  (Applause.)

And the facts speak for themselves.  Under this President’s leadership, we’ve issued tough new sanctions on Russian officials and businesses, we’ve expelled 60 Russian diplomats and agents from our nation, we deployed NATO forces to Russia’s doorstep in the Baltic States and Poland, and the United States is making missile defense systems available to our allies on NATO’s eastern flank.  (Applause.)

President Donald Trump will always be willing to pursue peace.  But under his leadership, it will always be peace through strength.  (Applause.)

So it’s about promises made and promises kept that brings us here today.  And most especially, this President has been working every day of this administration to keep our promise to get this economy growing again.  And under President Donald Trump’s leadership, with the strong support of our partners in the Congress — the Congress of the United States — I’m here to report to you, confidence is back, jobs are coming back.  In a word, America is back.  And we’re just getting started.  (Applause.)

And you know what?  It’s no accident this President has been busy doing exactly what he told the American people he’d do leading up to that election in 2016.  He promised to roll back the heavy hand of government.  And working with your great leaders in Congress — remember when the President promised that we’d repeal two federal regulations for every new federal rule that we put on the books?  Well, I’m here to report to you that we haven’t actually done that.  This President has actually repealed 22 federal regulations for every new federal rule put on the books.  He’s repealed more federal regulations than any President in American history.  (Applause.)  It’s true.

This President promised to unleash American energy, too.  From early in this administration, he went right to work on that.  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 job-killing Paris Climate Accord.  (Applause.)

We promised to confront countries like China that have been taking advantage of America for far too long.  And this President took decisive action to defend our steel and aluminum industries — industries that really are the backbone of our economy and our security.

And the President promised to deliver for American farmers, just like they deliver for us every day all across Missouri.  We’ve been forging new and better trade deals that are a win for Americans in the city and on the farm.

As we speak, I’m proud to report to you, we are making significant progress reforming and improving the North American Free Trade Agreement.  (Applause.)  We’ve opened Argentina to pork, opened Vietnam to corn and wheat, and Brazil to American beef.  And as the President has said, we will always stand 100 percent with and for American farmers.  (Applause.)

And finally, what brings us all here today was one of the biggest promises of all, after our national security.  This President promised that we would cut taxes across the board for working families, small businesses, and family farms.  And with the support of every Republican in Congress from Missouri, just before Christmas, President Trump signed the largest tax cuts and tax reform in American history.  (Applause.)  That’s promises made and promises kept.

I mean, think about it.  We cut taxes for working families.  Our estimate is the typical family of four in the St. Louis area is going to save nearly $2,600 every year on their taxes.

We cut taxes for businesses large and small so that companies here in Missouri can compete and win against companies anywhere in the world, and create jobs right here in the Show Me State.  (Applause.)

We eliminated the death tax for nearly every American farmer so family farms can stay in the families.  And when we cut taxes, in case you didn’t notice it, we cut out the core of Obamacare.  The individual mandate in Obamacare is gone.  It’s off the books.  (Applause.)

Now, I do understand that we’re not the only ones cutting taxes these days, because just last week, your Governor, Mike Parson, signed into law the largest single-year income tax cut in Missouri history.  (Applause.)

In fact, if you like the sound of that, I’m proud to report that the leader who authored that legislation is with us today.  Would you join me in thanking Speaker Pro Tem of the Missouri House, Elijah Haahr.  Would you stand up, Elijah?  Great job fighting for taxpayers in Missouri.  (Applause.)

And I’ll tell you, letting the American people keep more of what they earn works.  If you think about the results of our tax cuts, all of this agenda — it’s really been extraordinary to watch.  And here in Missouri, and all across this country, the economy is booming.

Since Election Day 2016, businesses large and small have created nearly 3.7 million new jobs all across America — (applause) — including 46,000 jobs right here in the Show Me State, with 16,000 in St. Louis alone.  (Applause.)  It’s happening.

The Gateway City’s unemployment rate hasn’t reached lows at this number since the year 2000.  And the President and I are especially proud of the fact, because of the policies that we’re here to celebrate today, we have now seen the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded for Hispanic Americans and African Americans.  (Applause.)  The American Dream is working again for every American.

And when it comes to manufacturing — the heart and soul of the heartland of this country — new factories are opening up all across the country.  Old mills are coming back to life.  The greatest workers in the world are getting back on the job.

You know, three years ago, under the last administration, the steel plant across the river in Granite City shut down — you all remember that — after more than a century of operation.  But thanks to the President that you supported, and the Congress that has supported him, that steel mill is reopening and it’s rehiring 800 workers going back to work.  (Applause.)  Steel is back and America is back.  (Applause.)

In fact, when we talk about manufacturing, you’ll see on the news tonight, the President has taken decisive action again today to make sure that American workers have the training and the education that they need to meet the jobs of the future.  And the President and I both believe that all honest work is honorable.  And the President will sign today an executive order that sets into motion a council for American workers that will put vocational education back at the center of the American economy and of American education.  (Applause.)

And we need it.  The truth is, today there are more job openings in America than there are people looking for jobs in America today.  So we’re going to make sure that the American people have an opportunity to get the skills and the training to meet those new jobs and opportunities.

But, you know, since the President signed our tax cuts into law, there’s one other piece that came along that was what we called a pleasant surprise.  More than 6 million Americans have already received bonuses, pay raises, or bigger benefits following the Trump tax cut, including 46,000 people all across the state of Missouri.  (Applause.)  True.

The President actually heard from some of you all firsthand when he was here earlier this year.  The Central Bank of St. Louis gave bonuses of up to $1,000 to more 2,500 workers.  Hartman & Company, a small highway construction firm, gave a week’s extra vacation to its workers, and $2,500 in bonuses.  And Walmart alone gave out nearly $15 million in bonuses to all of its workers in the Show Me State.  Let’s hear it for these companies that have been supporting our workers.  (Applause.)

Now, I think that’s great news, but, you know, not everybody agrees.  (Laughter.)  I mean — it’s true.  I mean, $1,000, $2,500, unexpected, the end of the year — that, to me, is like a really good thing.  (Laughter.)

But you might have heard that the person that wants to be Speaker of the House again, Nancy Pelosi.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  She actually said that a thousand-dollar bonus for working Americans, after the Trump tax cuts were passed, was, in her words, nothing more than “crumbs.”  Remember?

Now, I’d like to remind you: I come from what I call the Joseph A. Bank’s wing of the West Wing — (laughter) — of the White House.  Right?  I mean, Karen and I have lived on a budget every day of our 33-year marriage.  We really have.  And still do.  And the truth is, when our kids were little, just growing up, we had a term for another $1,000 in my paycheck right before — at the end of the year: Christmas.  Right?  (Laughter.)  Anybody with me on that?  (Applause.)  That’s another trip to Toys ‘R’ Us.

Let me say very seriously though, any leader who says $1,000 in the pockets of working Americans 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 about the rest of you, I don’t know if you remember the last time liberals ran the Congress of the United States, but I do.  I was there.  I was a member of Congress.  I mean, I saw them run the Congress and they nearly ran the American economy into the ground.

Instead of cutting taxes, they raised taxes.  Instead of increasing military spending, they cut military spending.  They tried to pass cap-and-trade.  They gave us the nightmare of Obamacare.  They essentially gave us an economy that would barely budge.  The most powerful economy in the history of the world during the eight years of the last administration grew by less than 2 percentage points, and wages were stagnant as a result.

Today, nearly a decade later, the truth is, Democrats in Washington have even become more liberal than they were back then.  And frankly, you only need to look at Missouri’s Senator Claire McCaskill for proof.

I mean, Claire McCaskill has voted in near lockstep with the far wing of her party.  And while she claims to be a moderate, she actually votes like Bernie Sanders.

I mean, the truth is, when the time came to cut your taxes, Claire McCaskill voted no.  When the time came to cut taxes on your businesses large and small across Missouri, in the city and on the farm, McCaskill voted no.

But it’s not just tax cuts.  When the time came to repeal and replace Obamacare, to defund sanctuary cities, even when we empowered Missouri to protect the unborn and defund Planned Parenthood, Claire McCaskill voted no every single time.

In fact, when the President’s first nominee to the Supreme Court came before the Senate last year, Claire McCaskill voted with Chuck Schumer and against Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Well, we’ve got a new nominee going up before the Senate now.  And let me be clear: Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a remarkable jurist and a man of integrity with an impeccable record who deserves a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States.  (Applause.)

As his record reflects, Judge Kavanaugh will interpret the Constitution as written.  He won’t legislate from the bench.  He has a proven record of commitment to limited government, to the Second Amendment, and to religious liberty.

And so today, standing here in Missouri, I want to call on Claire McCaskill to set politics aside.  Give Judge Kavanaugh a fair hearing and give him the support he deserves.  (Applause.)

And, Missouri, if Claire won’t vote to confirm a judge like Brett Kavanaugh, you need to give Missouri a senator who will.  (Applause.)

While liberals in Washington, like Claire McCaskill, have been voting no, I’m pleased to report to you that your Republican leaders have been voting yes every step of the way, putting Missouri first, putting America first, and standing with this President.

Now, they couldn’t be here today because the Congress is in session.  But I still want to take a moment to thank them all.

You know, I served in Congress with him when he was in the House of Representatives, but I got to tell you, the President and I couldn’t be more grateful for the strong, conservative leadership and unwavering support of Senator Roy Blunt.  (Applause.)  He’s great.

We’re also grateful for members of the House from this great state.  Congresswoman Ann Wagner and Congressman Jason Smith have stood strong for our military, for our tax cuts, and for the values that make this country great. (Applause.)

I’d also like to recognize a leader from right across the river who’s been standing up for American steel workers, coal miners, and our nation’s great veterans.  Join me in thanking Congressman Mike Bost, will you, from over in Illinois.  He’s a real star and he’s a champion.  (Applause.)

These leaders deserve your gratitude and thanks.  And for that matter, so does your great Attorney General, Josh Hawley.  (Applause.)

You know, I’ve had the privilege to get to know this man over the last year.  But I knew his record — his reputation long before I met him.  And I got to tell you, Josh Hawley is just as good as they come.  He’s a son of Missouri.  He’s a principled conservative with a record of defending our Constitution at the very highest levels of our courts.  He’s argued cases before the Supreme Court of the United States itself.  And he’s been a champion, as you just heard in those passionate remarks, for all the causes that we hold dear.

He’s been a great leader here in the Show Me State already.  But I got to tell you, I sure do hope Missouri finds another opportunity for Josh Hawley to serve the American people come this November.  (Applause.)

But as I close, I want to thank you again for being here.  Been a busy week for all of us, but you’re awful kind to come out in the middle of an afternoon.  But I hope you didn’t just come here today to hear some speeches.  I hope you didn’t just come here today to shake a hand, although, I look forward to sticking around for a while and meeting as many of you as I can.  I hope you leave here today with a little bit of a burden on your heart of whatever you’ve done before to go and to do more.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible) separated from their parents.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I want you to leave here today —

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I want you to leave here today and recognize that this is a challenging time in the life of our nation, and all of us need to let our voices be heard.  The truth is, this is a year when you got to exercise all your rights as citizens.

And more important than anything else in my mind, or maybe more important than one other thing, is you got to go tell the story.  All right?  Tell the story of American renewal.  I mean, I — and tell your neighbors and your friends and your coworkers, people at your work, and at your worship.  Just pull them aside and say, “You know, I was in St. Louis the other day and I ran into Mike” — (laughter) — “and it took him like a half hour just to list the top lines of everything President Trump has accomplished for this country.”  (Applause.)

I mean, just go tell them.  Seriously.  I mean, I’ll always believe that all the TV shows in the world, all the talking heads on television in the morning, all the commercials, all the radio ads in the mail are not ever to be compared to when someone who knows you, and trusts you, and puts confidence in you hears from you about what you believe is important.

And so I want you to go out and tell them — tell somebody not just what you heard today but what you’ve seen every day since Election Day in 2016.  I mean, literally, as I said, outside the grocery store, outside your house of worship, just over a backyard fence.  I mean, I think that’s where the real difference is made.  I think in many ways, when I look back at 2016 and I think of days just like today when the President and I were on the campaign trail, I know that it was millions of Americans out there talking to one another about how we can make this country prosperous and strong again.

I mean, you need to go out and tell your friends.  Tell your friends what’s happening in the country today.  Tell them what they’re not hearing on most of their cable news networks about the progress that we’re making.

Like, here’s one: Tell them we cut their taxes, all right?  (Applause.)  So they can keep more of what they earned.  I mean, tell them we’re restoring American strength at home and abroad.  We’re supporting our military again to protect our nation, and our families, and our freedom.  Go tell them.  (Applause.)

I mean, tell them — just tell them we’re putting Washington back to work for them, not the other way around.  Just tell them, under President Donald Trump, the forgotten men and women of America are forgotten no more.  You go tell them, Missouri.  (Applause.)

And in these times of too much division in these United States, I’d encourage you to do one more thing.  You know, it seems like every time you turn on the television it’s — people are amplifying and emphasizing the disagreements among the American people.  So I think it’s a really good time for us to turn to a wellspring of American strength throughout our history.  And I would say to each and every one of you, if you’re of a mind to bow the head and bend the knee, and pray for America.  Now is a good time to do it.  I really believe it.  (Applause.)

And while I’m here today to talk about the agenda we’ve advanced, I’m proud to stand with this President and everybody who’s stood with us, past, present, and future.  When I talk about this, I rather like what Abraham Lincoln said one time, that this isn’t so much about one side or the other.  He was asked in a much more challenging time in the life of our nation; our 16th President was asked if he thought that God was on his side.  And President Lincoln said, you know, I don’t concern myself so much with whether God is on our side as I do with whether we’re on God’s side.  (Applause.)

So, pray for America.  Pray for all of the American people.  Because prayer matters in this one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

I truly do believe — I truly do believe those ancient words that if His people, who are called by His name, will humble themselves and pray, He’ll do like he’s always done, through much more challenging times, through the long and storied history of this country, He’ll hear from heaven and He’ll heal this land.  (Applause.)  So pray for America.

Well, thank you.  And thank you again for the opportunity to be with you.  I look forward to meeting as many of you as time allows.  I leave here today with renewed confidence.  I really do.  With your continued support all across the state of Missouri, with your great conservative leaders at the national level and at the state level — past, 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 a phrase, we will make America great again.  (Applause.)

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

END

12:13 P.M. CDT