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President Trump's Speech at CPAC. Aired 10:30a-11a ET
Aired February 23, 2018 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:30:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And people are getting great health care plans. And we're not finished yet. But, remember, one person walked into a room when he was supposed to go this way, and he said he was going this way, and he walked in, and he went this way. And everyone said, "What happened? What was that all about?"
Boy, oh, boy. Who was that? I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I don't want to be controversial, so I won't use his name, OK?
What a mess. But it's all happening anyway. It's all happening anyway. And we've, at the same time, eliminated a record number of job-killing regulations, and people are going back to work.
Right? People are going back to work. So -- and, you know, the fake news always -- if I say something that's, like, a little off, next day, headline: "He misrepresents" (ph) -- I have to be careful.
But, in the history of presidents, no president -- and I'm saying no president. Now, maybe they'll find I was off by two, but we're here one year.
No president -- well, I read it in lots of good papers, actually, but they'll change the story when I say it -- no president has ever cut so many regulations in their entire term--
-- OK, as we've cut in less than a year.
And it's my opinion that the regulations had as big an impact as these massive tax cuts that we've given. So I really believe that.
TRUMP: We've ended the war on American energy. We were in war. And we've ended the war on beautiful, clean coal--
-- one of our great natural resources, and very important for our defense. Coal -- very important for our defense, because we have it. We don't have to send it through pipes. We don't have to get it from foreign countries.
We have more than anybody. And they wanted to end it. And our miners have been mistreated, and they're not being mistreated any more. We're doing tremendous business.
I was in Vietnam, and the prime minister and the president of Vietnam were there. And we have a massive deficit with them, like we do with everybody else, because these presidents have just let it go to hell. We have the worst trade deals you've ever seen.
So we're changing it. "So," I said, "we have too big a deficit with Vietnam. I'm not happy." He said, "Well, but we're going to" -- I said, "Buy coal. Buy coal" -- they use a lot of coal. "Buy coal."
And he said, "You know, we have bought coal from West Virginia and other places, and it's the finest coal we've ever used." It's interesting. And West Virginia, now, is doing great. You look at what's happening in West Virginia, you look at what's happening in Pennsylvania, you look at what's happening in Ohio--
-- and you look at what's happening in Wyoming -- you look at what's happening all over -- it's like a -- it's like a different world.
And remember this. Virtually as soon as I got into office, we approved the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipelines, which would never have been approved.
And we announced our withdrawal from the totally disastrous, job- killing, wealth-knocking-out -- you know it knocked out our wealth, or it would have. They basically wanted to take our wealth away. They didn't want us to use our wealth power -- we knocked out the Paris Climate Accord. It would have been a disaster.
Would have been a disaster for our country (ph).
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
TRUMP: You know, basically, it said, "You have a lot of oil and gas that we found" -- you know, technology has been amazing. And we found things that we never knew. But we have massive -- just about the top in the world -- we have massive energy reserves. We have coal. We have so much.
And basically, they were saying, "Don't use it. You can't use it." So what it does is it makes us uncompetitive with other countries. "It's not going to happen," I told them. "It's not going to happen."
And, you know, China -- their agreement didn't kick in until 2030. Right? Our agreement kicks in immediately. Russia -- they're allowed to go back into the 1990s, which was not a clean environmental time.
[13:35:00] Other countries, big countries -- India and others -- we had to pay, because they considered them a growing country. They were a growing country. I said, "What are we? Are we allowed to grow, too? OK?"
No, "Are we allowed to grow?"
They called India "a developing nation." They call China "a developing nation." But the United States? We're developed. We can pay.
So, folks, if you don't mind -- I tell you what. It's amazing how many people understood the Paris Accord. Because it sounds so good. It's like some of the environmental regulations that I cut. They have the most beautiful titles.
TRUMP: And sometimes, I'd say, "Look, I'm just going to close my eyes and sign this, because you know what? I'm going to get killed on this one." And I get so much thanks. The country knows what I'm doing. We couldn't build. We couldn't farm. If you had a puddle on your land, they called it a lake for the purposes of environmental. I mean, it's crazy. It's crazy.
And I signed certain bills, and I'd have farmers behind me, and I'd have house builders, home builders behind me. And these are tough people, strong people. They've fought hard. They've worked all their lives hard.
And they'd be -- half of them would be crying, because we gave them their property back. We gave them the right to earn a living. They couldn't do it. They couldn't do what they had to do. We gave them their property back. We gave them their dignity back.
By the way, you don't mind if I go off script a little bit? Because it's sort of boring. It's a little boring. (APPLAUSE)
Got this beautiful speech, everything's wonderful, but a little boring. We have to -- you know, it's a joke (ph). But we gave them their dignity back. And that's why our country's doing record business. We're doing record business. We're doing business.
And you have to look at the fundamentals. Companies are pouring back into this country. They're pouring back, not like -- I mean, when did you hear about car companies coming back into Michigan and coming to Ohio and expanding?
When do you hear -- you never heard that. You hear they're leaving. I've been talking about it for 20 years. I was a private-sector guy, but, for whatever reason -- and I always had these guys -- always covered me much more than anybody else. I always got a lot of these characters (ph).
They used to treat me so good, too, until I ran for office. I used to get the greatest publicity. A friend of mine said, "You know, you used to be the king of getting great publicity. What happened?" I said, "Well, I have some views that they're opposed to for a lot of bad reasons. A lot of really bad reasons."
But, when you look at what's happening to our country, it's incredible. And the fundamentals are so strong. The stock market, I just see, with all of the ups and downs since Election Day, is up 37 percent from Election Day -- 37 percent.
Now, it did a little bit of a correction. In fact, I started to say -- you know, I was in it for like 13, 14 months from election. I'd say, "Is this sucker ever going down a little bit? This is a little embarrassing." It was up 100, up 200, up 1,000, up 150, up 90, up 63. I said, "Good. That's better."
You know, it's -- hey, we've got seven years to go, folks. You know. We've got a -- we've got a long time to go.
So thank you, everybody. You've been amazing. You've been amazing.
You know, what Matt didn't say -- when I was here in 2011, I made a speech, and I was received with such warmth, and they give -- you know, they used to give -- I don't know if Matt does that, because he might not want to be controversial, but they used to give the best speech of CPAC.
Do they do that still, Matt? You better pick me or I'm not coming back here (ph).
But -- and I got these -- everybody -- they loved that speech. And it was -- I think, Matt -- I would say that might have been the first real political speech that I made. It was a love fest -- 2011, I believe the time was.
TRUMP: And a lot of people remembered, and they said, "We want Trump. We want Trump." And, after a few years, they go by, and I say, "Here we are. Let's see what we can do." And then everybody said, "He cannot" -- they're like, "He cannot do it." You need 270 votes.
[13:40:00] You need Electoral College -- which, by the way, is much tougher than the popular vote. The popular vote, actually, would be -- would be so much easier. You go to three or four states, and just go, and you just do a great job.
Hillary forgot that. You know, she went to these states. I said, "What's she doing? Why does she keep going back to California?" Crazy.
Next time, they're going to remember Iowa. They're going to remember Ohio.
Remember? They spent a lot of time in Pennsylvania, to no avail.
They spent a lot of money. They spent a lot of money in North Carolina -- the great state of North Carolina. We did very well there.
We have a great person in the room, Mark Meadows, from North Carolina. He's around here. Where's Mark? Where's Mark?
And we have Jim Jordan.
Warriors, warriors, all. We have a lot of great -- We have a lot great people here.
But, you know, we just -- we hit a chord, and if you remember, 2011 -- probably, that was the beginning of what we've done, and hopefully, at the end of a period of time, people are going to say, "Thank you," because it is not easy.
We're fighting a lot of forces. They're forces that are doing the wrong thing. They're just doing the wrong thing. I don't want to talk about what they have in mind, but they do the wrong thing. But we're doing what's good for our country for the long-term viability and survival.
Like, for instance, $700 billion got approved for our military. Our military was going to hell.
We declined to certify the terrible, one-sided Iran nuclear deal. That was a horrible deal.
Whoever heard -- you give $150 billion to a nation that has no respect for you whatsoever. They're saying, "Death to America" while they're signing the agreement. If somebody said, "Death to America" while I'm signing an agreement, that I'm president, I immediately say, "What's going on here, folks? I'm not signing. What's going on?"
He just kept going, Kerry. Kerry may be the worst negotiator I've ever seen.
How about -- how about this guy? How about -- and Obama, of course. He's the one.
But how about $1.8 billion in cash? Did you ever see what, like, a million dollars in hundred dollar bills? A lot of people do it as a promotion, and it's a lot. It's big. It's, like, big. Now take that, go to $1.8 billion in cash -- $1.8 billion, for what? For what? Why did we do this? Why did we do it?
Anyway, we didn't certify, and lots of interesting things are happening with that whole mess, but we have to treat -- people that treat us well, we treat them well. People that treat us badly, we treat them much worse than they can ever imagine. That's the way it has to be. That's the way it has to be.
We officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
TRUMP: You know, every president campaigned on, "We're going to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel." Everybody -- you had -- for many presidents; you've been reading it. And then they never pulled it off. And I now know why.
Because I put the word out that I may do it, right? I said I'd do it in my campaign, so that usually means, unless I find something, I'm going to do it. I was hit by more countries and more pressure and more people calling, begging me, "Don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it."
I said, "We have to do it, it's the right thing to do."
(APPLAUSE) It's the right thing to do. , We have to do it. And I did it.
But every other president really lied, because they campaigned on it. That was always a big part of the campaign, then they got into office, they never did it.
So I understand why they didn't do it, because there was tremendous -- the campaign against it was so incredible.
But you know what? The campaign for it was also incredible. And we did the right thing.
So we've kept our promise, as (ph) I said, to rebuild our military, eliminating the defense sequester, which is a disaster.
And I don't know if you saw the number, $700 billion. You know, ultimately that comes before everything else.
[13:45:05] We can talk about lots of things, but if we don't have a strong military, you might not be allowed into this room someday, OK? You may not have your houses, your homes, your beautiful communities. We better take care of our military. These are the greatest people.
And we're going to take care of our veterans. We're going to take care of the vets.
We've been doing a good job on the vets.
And after years of rebuilding other nations -- we rebuild other nations. We rebuild other nations that have a lot of money. And we don't ever say, "Hey, you got to help" -- we're finally rebuilding our nation. We're rebuilding our nation.
And we're restoring our confidence and our pride.
All of us here today are united by the same timeless values. We defend our Constitution and we believe in the wisdom of our founders. Our Constitution is great.
We support the incredible men and women of law enforcement.
We know that a strong nation must have strong borders. We celebrate our history and our heroes, and we believe young Americans should be taught to love their country and to respect its traditions. Don't worry, you're getting the wall. Don't worry, OK? I heard somebody.
You're getting the wall.
AUDIENCE: Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall!
TRUMP: I had a couple of these characters in the back say, "Oh, he really doesn't want the wall. He just used that for campaigning." I said, "Are you" -- can you believe it?
You know, I say, every time I hear that, the wall gets 10 feet higher, you know that? Every time.
Every single time, OK.
Now, we're going to have the wall, or they're not going to have what they want.
TRUMP: You know, we have a problem: We need more Republicans.
We have a group of people that vote against us in a bloc. They're good at two things: resisting, obstruction. Resisting, obstruction. And they stick together. They do. They always vote in a bloc.
You know, it's very rare that you get a couple of them to come your way, even though the tax cuts -- I mean, we're going to be fighting these people in the '18 election.
We're going to be fighting people that voted against the tax cuts because the tax cuts are phenomenal and popular, and helping people and helping our country. You saw Apple just brought $350 billion in. Exxon brought $50 billion in.
So we're going to be fighting. The fact is, we need more Republicans to vote.
We want to get our agenda, because now, what we have to do is, in order to get a vote to fix our military, we have to give them $100 billion in stuff that nobody in this room, including me, wants, in many cases. It's terrible. We need more Republicans. That's why you have to get out and you have the fight for '18 -- you have to do (ph).
We salute our great American flag. We put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance.
And we all proudly stand for the national anthem.
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
TRUMP: Above all else, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are at the center of American life. We know that.
Because, in America, we don't worship government. We worship God.
[10:50:17] Our nation's motto is, "In God we trust." And, this week, our nation lost an incredible leader who devoted his life to helping us understand what those words really mean.
Leader -- he was a leader. He was a great man. We will never forget the historic crowds, that voice, the energy and the profound faith of a preacher named Billy Graham.
A great man, a great family -- Franklin Graham -- great family -- and they were for us. I'll tell you, they were for us. Right from the beginning, they were for us.
As a young man, Billy decided to devote his life to God. That choice not only changed his life; it changed our country, and indeed, it even changed the world.
Reverend Graham's belief in the power of God's word gave hope to millions and millions who listened to him, with his very beautiful, but very simple message: "God loves you."
TRUMP: And a very special tribute, because it's almost never done -- on Wednesday, we will celebrate Billy Graham's life as he lies in honor in the Rotunda of our capitol.
Very rarely (ph). One day -- Wednesday, until Thursday, about 11 o'clock on Wednesday -- I bet those lines are going to be long and beautiful, because he deserves it. Not other (ph) -- not everybody deserves it.
But very few people -- you look back, Ronald Reagan was so honored. Very few people are so honored. That's a big thing. And he really, almost more than anybody you can think of -- he deserves to be in the Rotunda. So that's going to be very special -- Wednesday at 11 o'clock.
And Paul and Mitch and the whole group -- they work very hard to make it all happen. So we want to thank them, too.
Everywhere you go, all over the country, in cities small and large, Americans of all faiths reach out to our creator for strength, for inspiration and for healing -- a great time for healing -- in times of grief and hardship, return to prayer for solace and for comfort.
In recent days, our entire nation has been filled with terrible pain and sorrow over the evil massacre in a great community: Parkland, Florida. This senseless act of mass murder has shocked our nation and broken our hearts.
This week, I had the honor of meeting with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, with families who have lost their children in prior shootings -- great families, great people -- and with members of the local community, right here in Washington, D.C.
Our whole nation was moved by their strength and by their courage. We listened to their heart-wrenching stories, asked them for ideas and pledged to them -- and I can speak for all of the senators and congressmen and congresswomen, all of the people in this room that are involved in this decision -- that we will act. We will do something. We will act.
With us on Wednesday was one of the families whose daughter didn't come home last week -- a beautiful young woman named Meadow Pollack. Incredible family -- I had them in the Oval Office -- incredible people.
[10:55:02] You've probably seen her picture. She had a beautiful, beautiful smile and a beautiful life so full of promise.
We wish there was something, anything we could do to bring Meadow and all of the others back. There are not enough tears in the world to express our sadness and anguish for her family and for every family that has lost a precious loved one.
TRUMP: No family should ever save -- and -- ever have to go in and suffer the way these families have suffered. They've suffered beyond anything that I've ever witnessed.
A father drops his daughter off at school, kisses her goodbye, waves to her as she's walking up the path and never sees her alive again -- gets a call, can't believe it, thinks it's a nightmare, wants to wake up from the nightmare.
So we want to hear ideas from Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs about how we can improve security at our schools, tackle the issue of mental health. Because this was a sick person -- very sick -- and we had a lot of warning about him being sick. This wasn't a surprise.
To the people that knew him, this wasn't even a little bit. In fact, some said, "We're surprised it took so long." So what are we doing? What are we doing? We want to ensure that, when there are warning signs, we can act and act very quickly. Why do we protect our airports and our banks, our government buildings, but not our schools?
It's time to make our schools a much harder target for attackers. We don't want them in our schools.
We don't -- we don't want them (ph). When we declare our schools to be gun-free zones, it just puts our students in far more danger--
-- far more danger.
Well-trained, gun-adept teachers and coaches and people that work in those buildings -- people that were in the Marines for 20 years and retired, people in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Coast Guard, people that are adept -- adept with weaponry and with guns -- they teach.
I mean, I don't want to have a hundred guards standing with rifles all over the school. You do a concealed carry permit.
And this would be a major deterrent because these people are inherently cowards. If they thought -- like, if this guy thought that other people would be shooting bullets back at him, he wouldn't have gone to that school. He wouldn't have gone there.
It's a gun-free zone. It says, "This is a gun-free zone." Please check your guns way far away. And what happens is they feel safe. There's (ph) nobody going to come at them.
This way, you may have -- and remember, if you use the school as an example, this is a very big school with tremendous floor area and a lot of acreage. It's a big, big school -- good school -- a big, big school.
You'd have to have 150 real guards. Look, you had one guard. He didn't turn out to be too good, I will tell you that. He turned out to be not good. He was not a credit to law enforcement -- that, I can tell you. That, I can tell you.
But as I've been talking about this idea -- and I feel it is a great idea, but some people that are good people are opposed to it. They don't like the idea of teachers doing it. TRUMP: But I'm not talking about teachers. You know, CNN went on and
they said, "Donald Trump wants all teachers," OK, fake new folks, fake news.
I don't want a person that's never handled a gun, that wouldn't know what a gun looks like, to be armed.