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Remarks by Vice President Pence at America First Policies Event

Remarks by Vice President Pence at America First Policies Event

Westin Book Cadillac Detroit Hotel
Detroit, Michigan

4:39 P.M. EST

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, hello, Michigan. (Applause.) It is great to be back in Michigan, great to be back in Motor City, U.S.A. (Applause.) And it’s great to be back with so many men and women who elected a President and majorities in Congress who, just two over months ago, enacted historic tax cuts that put America first. (Applause.)

And speaking of which, I bring greetings from a man who just loves Michigan and a leader you voted to make the 45th President of the United States of America. I bring greetings from President Donald Trump. (Applause.)

We got a lot to talk about today. But before I get started, let me do as your Attorney General just did, and take a moment to address the news out of Central Michigan University today. I know it’s on everyone’s hearts and minds, and it’s on the hearts and minds of people across this country.

Now, the facts are still coming in. Our hearts go out to the fallen, to everyone in the Mount Pleasant community that’s been impacted, and especially to the local, state, and federal agencies who are working together, as we speak, on the apprehension and the investigation. We can be proud of the men and women who serve in law enforcement. (Applause.) Thank you.

Our hearts are heavy. Another shooting on another campus. It comes in the wake of the terrible shooting that took place at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that claimed the lives of 17 innocent students and teachers, and injured 14 more. There were the terrible attacks in Las Vegas and in Sutherland Springs, where the worst attack on a place of worship in American history took place.

You know, as a nation, we mourn with those who mourn, and grieve with those who grieve. And I know I speak on behalf of everyone here when I say that today, and every day, we’re going to continue to pray — continue to pray for all the victims and their families from all of these terrible events.

When it comes to our schools, President Trump said it well: “No child, no teacher, should ever be in danger in an American school.” (Applause.) Ever. And as the President told the nation’s governors this week at the White House, school safety is now the top priority of the Trump administration. (Applause.)

And I’ll make you a promise, Michigan: Working with federal and state leaders, we’re going to strong action to strengthen background checks, to give our schools and law enforcement the resources and flexibility to keep our kids safe. And we’re going to work to give families the tools they need to deal with those struggling with dangerous mental illness.

As the President said in a meeting with members of both political parties in the Congress, at the White House, just the day before yesterday, “We have to act” — and we will. We’ve got a lot of work to do. (Applause.)

With the President’s leadership, and the support of members of Congress and strong partners in the state, I promise you from my heart: This President, this administration, will not rest until we make our schools safe again. (Applause.) So, thank you for that.

And let me also say thank you — thank you for that great introduction and the great leadership and service to the people of Michigan of Attorney General Bill Schuette. (Applause.) I’m honored to be joined by your Attorney General. He’s a man of integrity and great devotion to this state.

I’m also, gratefully, joined by an old friend of mine and a great friend of President Trump’s. He’s been an ally of this administration, he’s a tireless champion for the working men and women of Michigan — Congressman Tim Walberg is with us today. (Applause.) And you’ll hear more from him.

And finally, I want to thank our host today: an organization that’s working tirelessly to promote the policies that are making a real difference in the lives of Michiganders and in the life of our nation. Join me in thanking America First Policies for bringing us together for this great occasion. (Applause.)

You know, it’s great to be back in Michigan and in the great city of Detroit, where people work hard, look out for one another, love this state and this country that we all call home.

You know, if President Trump were here with us here today, I have a feeling he’d tell you exactly what he said the last time he was in Michigan. In his words, and I quote, “I love this state, and I love the people the people of Michigan.” That’s what he said, and I agree. (Applause.) So, it’s true.

Now, I’m really here today on the President’s behalf, on all of our behalf, first and foremost to say thank you. Thank you, Michigan, for everything you’ve done to stand with our administration — not just in an election in 2016, but every single day since. Because of your support and your hard work in the past year, I’m pleased to report to you the first year of this administration has been a year of action, it’s been a year of results. In a word, it’s been a year of promises made and promises kept. (Applause.) True. Thank you.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: I mean, think about it. President Trump promised to rebuild our military and restore the arsenal of democracy. And in just a few short weeks, President Trump is going to sign the largest investment in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan. (Applause.)

He promised to stand with America’s law enforcement. And today, we’re once again giving the men and women on the Thin Blue Line the respect and resources they deserve. (Applause.)

And President Trump promised to enforce our laws and secure our borders, and today, illegal crossings on our southern border are down by nearly 50 percent. (Applause.) And I’ll make you a promise: We’re going to build that wall. (Applause.)

Beyond our borders, the President promised to restore American leadership and credibility on the world stage. And under President Donald Trump, America once again stands without apology as the leader of the free world. (Applause.)

We’ve taken the fight to the terrorists on our terms, on their soil. And thanks to the courage of the Armed Forces of the United States, and the leadership of this Commander-in-Chief, ISIS is on the run, their caliphate has crumbled, and we will not rest or relent until we hunt down and destroy ISIS at its source. (Applause.)

And we put the leading state sponsor of terror on notice, as well, and made it clear that we will no longer tolerate Iran’s destabilizing activity, and the United States of America will no longer certify the disastrous Iran nuclear deal. (Applause.)

And in the wake of their provocations and threats against our nation and our allies, this President has made it clear that when it comes to North Korea, the era of strategic patience is over. (Applause.)

And I promise you, the United States of America will continue to stand strong with our allies until North Korea stops threatening our people, threatening our allies, and finally, and lastly, abandons their nuclear and ballistic missile program once and for all. (Applause.)

And here at home, the results have been just as dramatic. We’ve taken decisive action to restore the rule of law and rev the engine of the American economy. First off, this President promised to appoint strong conservatives to our federal courts at every level. And as I stand here today, President Trump appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and set a record for the most court of appeal justices in one year in American history. (Applause.) That’s a record of judicial appointments.

We promised to unleash the American energy that fuels the Motor City. President Trump approved the Keystone and Dakota Pipelines. He rolled back the Clean Power Plan. And President Donald Trump put American manufacturing and America first when he withdrew our nation from the job-killing Paris Climate Accord. (Applause.)

We also promised to roll back the heavy hand of government on American free enterprise. In fact, back on the campaign trail, some of you might remember that President Trump said, we’re going to cut two federal regulations for every new regulation that goes on the books. (Applause.)

But you know what? After our first year, President Trump has actually eliminated 22 regulations for every new federal rule on the Code of Federal Regulations. (Applause.)

We promised to stand up for American workers and American business. And under President Trump’s leadership, we’re also cracking down on unfair trade practices, and we are fighting for trade deals that are fair and reciprocal, and put American jobs and American workers first. (Applause.)

And finally, President Trump promised to cut taxes across the board for working families and job creators large and small. And just a little more than two months ago, President Trump, right before Christmas, kept his promise to the American people when he signed the largest tax cuts and tax reform in American history. That’s promises made, promises kept. (Applause.)

So in this White House, it’s about strength and growth for our nation and our people, and it’s working. We’re only one year into this administration, and already the results are, frankly, nothing short of remarkable. (Laughter.)

You know, I’m from Michigan’s favorite neighbor — (laughter and applause) — the great state of Indiana. And I remember a little bit of friendly competition we had with Michigan and football season. And March Madness is just around the corner. But we also competed for jobs and businesses every single day. While I’ll always be a little partial to the Hoosier State, I got to give it to you, Michigan is leading the American comeback like never before. (Applause.) You are. It’s true.

I mean, since Election Day 2016, think about the progress we’re making. Businesses large and small across America have created 2.5 million new jobs, including 58,000 new jobs right here in Michigan in the last year alone. (Applause.)

Unemployment hasn’t been this low in 17 years, and more Americans are working today than ever before in our nation’s history. And as the President announced just yesterday, jobless claims are at a 49-year low. (Applause.)

Here in the Motor City, unemployment has dropped more than 10 percent since Election Day 2016. And across the state, construction jobs are at a 10-year high.

And while thousands of manufacturing jobs disappeared in the last year of the last administration, President Trump promised to fight for the men and women who run our factories, build our cars, and make the nation proud with every product that bears those four beautiful words, as the President calls them: Made in the USA.

And after just one year, under President Trump’s leadership, manufacturing in America is back. (Applause.) Amazing. American companies have created nearly 200,000 new, good-paying manufacturing jobs, including nearly 6,000 new jobs across Michigan alone.

And after eight years of a stagnant economy, where wages wouldn’t budge, Americans are seeing their paychecks rise faster than any point in nearly a decade, because growth is back, confidence is back, and under President Donald Trump, America is back. (Applause.)

But as the President likes to say, at this White House, that’s just what he calls a good start. (Laughter.) The truth is, the best days — the best days for American prosperity, we believe, are yet to come, because those tax cuts are just starting to make a difference. I mean, we cut taxes on working families, giving the typical Michigan family of four $2,300 of their own hard-earned money. We slashed taxes on American businesses so Michigan manufacturers can compete and win more effectively with businesses anywhere in the world. (Applause.)

And we didn’t just cut taxes on income and on businesses. We gave the American people the relief they’ve been crying out for: We repealed the Obamacare individual mandate tax. (Applause.) It is gone. Off the books.

And it’s working. Since President Trump signed these new tax cuts into law, over 400 companies nationwide have announced more than $480 billion in new investments in American jobs and in American workers.

In fact, here in The Motor City, you might have heard Fiat Chrysler is giving out $2,000-tax-cuts bonuses to all of its workers. And they’re going to move their entire production line from Mexico to Michigan, and create 2,500 new good-paying jobs — (applause) — and invest another billion dollars. Let’s hear it for Fiat Chrysler saying yes to America and yes to Michigan. (Applause.) Thank you, Fiat.

And as President Trump pledged to the people of this city one year ago, so I say to all of you today: Under our administration, we’ll forge, in his words, a “new future of American automotive leadership.” And it’s happening right before our eyes right here in the car capital of the world. (Applause.)

It’s not just America’s automakers that are growing and investing in their workers. In fact, in just the past two months, more than 4.3 million Americans across the nation have already gotten a raise or a bonus thanks to the President’s tax cuts. (Applause.)

All told, as businesses continue to invest in their workers, we expect that Michiganders, overall — when all the tax cuts are fully implemented and have their effect — people across this state are going to see their paychecks rise by about $4,000 a year, all because of the tax cut passed by these great leaders in Congress you’ll hear more from later, and the tax law advanced by President Trump.

And let me take this moment to thank — thank the leaders in Congress and Michigan who supported this tax cut, including Congressman Walberg and his Michigan colleagues in the House of Representatives for standing strong and putting Michigan first. Give them a round of applause, would you, please? (Applause.)

I mean, they voted, in a very real sense — the representatives in Congress from Michigan who voted for this tax cut voted to give Michigan workers a raise. But that can’t be said for the two U.S. senators who represent your state in Washington. Senator Debbie Stabenow and Senator Gary Peters voted “no.”


THE VICE PRESIDENT: In fact, Debbie Stabenow called tax cuts, “A bad deal for the people of Michigan.” Senator Debbie Stabenow said, “The proof is in your paycheck.” But you know what? You know what? In a way, she’s right. The proof is in your paycheck. (Applause.) Your paychecks are getting bigger because the Trump tax cuts are working for Michigan and they’re working for America. (Applause.)

I mean, Michigan families are already paying less in taxes, getting more in raises and bonuses, and bigger benefits. Today, the hardworking men and women of Michigan are reclaiming hope and confidence in a brighter future. And that’s what those tax cuts are all about. And that, sadly, is what both of your senators voted against. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I just think the people of Michigan deserve better in the United States Senate. (Applause.)

Be assured, President Trump and I are going to keep fighting for you. We’re going to keep fighting for all the hardworking people across this state, and we’ll always keep putting your interests first.

Just a few weeks ago, President Trump unveiled our plan to rebuild America, as well. I don’t know if you noticed, but you elected a builder to be President of the United States. (Laughter.) And under President Trump, we’re going to give the American people the best roads, the best bridges, the best highways and airports in the world. (Applause.) We’re going to rebuild America.

And we’re going to keep fighting for trade deals that are free and reciprocal, and that put American workers first. We’re going fix a broken immigration system. We’re going to do it, as the President said, in his words, with “policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families.”

Folks, President Trump and I are going to keep making good. We’re going to keep making good on all of the promises that we’ve made to the people of Michigan.

AUDIENCE: Thank you! (Applause.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT: But, you know, the most important work in America is always done by the American people; not by their elected officials at any level. The most important work of this nation doesn’t take place in the marbled halls of our nation’s capital; it happens in cities just like this one, in towns all across America. The people of this nation are the beating heart of America. And every single one of you, every day, gets the credit for the Michigan comeback and the American comeback. You’re the ones making it happen.

You’re the ones around kitchen tables — a parent helping a child with their homework. You’re the ones working the long shifts, like truck drivers and construction workers pulling a double shift, facing a long day’s work just to be able to have hard-earned pride of somebody who helps power the economy of a great nation.

You see that greatness and that difference in neighbors helping neighbors every day in places like Detroit, a city that has passed through some challenging times in recent decades. But now, Detroit is emerging stronger and better than ever before. And you’re doing what you’ve done so many times in your long and storied history.

You’re a city whose people continue to live up to the Motor City motto, “We hope for better days; it shall rise from the ashes.” You’re a people who continue to inspire the nation with your grit, your character, and your boundless capacity to reinvent yourselves and to renew the American Dream. That’s the Michigan spirit for you.

It’s a spirit, I’m told, actually resides in the walls of this very building where we gather today. I guess, when it first opened its doors back in 1924, the Book was the tallest, most state-of-the-art hotel in the world. But like so much that’s happened to this great city in hard times, the Book fell on hard times as well. By the mid-1980s, Hotel Book Cadillac had shut down and fallen into disrepair. You all saw it happen. For more than 20 years, this beautiful building sat empty and abandoned, but it was never forgotten by the people of Detroit.

Eventually, the same dream that inspired the Book brothers to build the world’s tallest hotel launched a revitalization of Book-Cadillac in our own day. And 10 years ago, this hotel, the grand lady of Washington Boulevard, reopened its doors and reclaimed its rightful place as the crown jewel of Detroit. (Applause.) That’s the Michigan spirit and that’s the American spirit.

It’s a spirit that’s been restoring our country over this last year as well, and even now fills our nation with optimism, hope, and a renewed sense that our best days lie ahead — because they do.

So as I close, I want to urge each and every one of you, from everything you hear from this forum today, to go out and talk about Michigan’s renewal and America’s renewal. Talk about it to your friends over a backyard fence outside a CVS. Talk about it at your place of worship and your place of work. I mean, talk about everything they’re not hearing about on cable television. (Laughter and applause.) Are you with me?

I mean, tell them what they’re not hearing about on most of your cable channels. Tell them everything that we’ve accomplished because of the leadership that we’ve elected from the President on down, and how it’s making a real difference in their lives and in the life of this great nation. Tell them we cut their taxes, so they can keep more of what they earn. Tell them we’re restoring American strength at home and abroad, so their families can sleep safe at night.

Tell them that we’re putting Washington back to work for them, not the other way around; and that under President Donald Trump’s leadership, the forgotten men and women of America are forgotten no more. (Applause.) You go tell them that. You go tell them that. That’s your part.

And in these challenging times of too much division in this great nation, if you’re of a mind, there’s one more thing I’d encourage you to do. Just a few short hours ago, President Trump and I were in Charlotte, North Carolina, where we had the chance to bid farewell to one of the greatest Americans of the past century, the Reverend Billy Graham. (Applause.)

Billy Graham was a man of towering faith, whose ministry for the Gospel and his matchless voice transformed countless lives, inspired our nation, and changed the world. His message transcended politics. It sprung from what has always been, I believe, for millions of Americans what Billy Graham called a “hope for the present and hope for the future.”

So today, I encourage you, if you share that same conviction, I encourage you to take advantage, any opportunity you have, to bow the head and bend the knee, and pray for our country. (Applause.) Pray for all those who serve in uniform at home and abroad. Pray for all of us that have the privilege — the privilege in this great nation to serve the people of the United States.

And when you pray, pray with confidence. Because I really do believe those ancient words inscribed a millennia ago are still as true today as they ever were — that if His people, who are called by His name, will humble themselves and pray, He’ll hear from heaven and He’ll heal this land. (Applause.) This one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

So thank you for the opportunity to spend some time with you on a Friday afternoon after a long —

AUDIENCE: Thank you! (Applause.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT: And I just want to promise you: With the continued support of every one of you in this room and the good people of Michigan, with the strong support of our partners in Congress who are standing with this President every day to put America first, with President Trump in the White House, and with God’s help, I know we will make America safe again. We will make America prosperous again. And to borrow a phrase, we will make America great again. (Applause.)

Thank you very much. God Bless you. Thank you, Michigan.

END 5:09 P.M. EST

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