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Remarks by Vice President Pence at a Tax Cuts to Put America First Event

Remarks by Vice President Pence at a Tax Cuts to Put America First Event

More Than a Bakery
Versailles, Kentucky

12:15 P.M. EST

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, hello, Kentucky!  (Applause.)  It is great to be back in the Bluegrass State, and great to be with one of the most dynamic governors in the United States of America.  Would you join me in thanking Governor Matt Bevin one more time.  (Applause.)

And it’s great to be with hundreds of men and women who elected a President and who elected leaders in Congress who, just over two months ago, enacted historic tax cuts that are putting America first.  (Applause.)

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

Governor Bevin, thanks again, not just for that introduction but for your strong leadership here in Kentucky.  You know, I can honestly say I was for Matt Bevin before it was cool.  (Laughter.)  For the past three years, he’s made an incredible difference in the lives of hardworking Kentuckians.  So just indulge me one more time, give another round of applause for this great governor for the job that he’s doing for working families and business all across Kentucky.  (Applause.)

I’m also honored to be joined today by another strong Kentucky leader — one of the most respected members of the Republican majority in the Congress of the United States, a great friend of mine, a great friend of this President.  You just heard from him, with that outstanding panel.  Join me in thanking Congressman Andy Barr for all that he does for Kentucky and for America.  (Applause.)

And finally let me thank the host of today’s event — an organization that is working tirelessly to promote the policies that are making a real difference in the life of our nation.  Let’s hear it for America First Policies and my great friend, Corey Lewandowski.  (Applause.)

You know, it’s great to be back in the Bluegrass State, in horse country — the Horse Capital of the World.  (Applause.)  And you know, I like to be around winners, so just before I came here, I visited Coolmore at Ashford Stud and I got to meet American Pharoah.  (Applause.)

But being here in Kentucky and in this great community feels like home.  I grew up in a small town an awful lot like this one, not very far from here.  Just up the road in Indiana.  (Applause.)  And whenever I visit the Bluegrass — we got some Hoosiers in the room.  That’s a welcome.  (Applause.)  Here in the heartland of America, the land where I grew up, the land that I’ll always call home.  We — I always see the same character and quality of people that I see today: people who work hard, look out for their neighbors, love this nation with the pride of patriots.

And for this son of Indiana, it’s especially easy to feel at home at this great company whose roots actually stretch back all the way to 1902 in Richmond, Indiana, when a group of investors bought a bakery and renamed it The Richmond Baking Company.

One of those investors was a man named William Quigg.  And he ran the bakery in its early days, back when its bread, and doughnuts, and cookies were delivered by horse-drawn trucks.  And the company has stayed in the Quigg family ever since, more than 115 years.  The Richmond Baking Company has been the pride of Indiana, and, now, today, it is More Than a Bakery here in this great community in Kentucky.  Let’s give our hosts a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  A great American company.

And to Bill and Felicia, the entire Quigg family, the whole team here at More Than a Bakery, thanks for the hospitality.  Thanks for the difference that you make in this community.  We appreciate you each and every and every day.

And to all of you, the good people of Kentucky, I’m here today on the President’s behalf, first and foremost, to say thank you.  Thank you, Kentucky, for everything you’ve done, not only to see this President elected but also to stand with our administration.  And those who have supported us in Congress every day since, because of your support, the last year has been a year of action.  It’s been a year of results.  It’s been a year of promises made and promises kept.  (Applause.)

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, this President will sign the largest investment in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan.  (Applause.)

And he promised to stand with the men and women who serve in law enforcement.  And today, we’re once again giving the men and women on the Thin Blue Line the resources and the respect they deserve, here in Kentucky and all over the country.  (Applause.)

President Trump promised to enforce our laws, secure our borders, and, today, with the leadership of this administration, we’re removing dangerous illegal criminals from our streets in record numbers.  (Applause.)  And illegal crossings at our southern border are down by nearly 50 percent.  And make no mistake about it, we’re going to build that wall.  (Applause.)  We’re going to do it.

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

Under this President, we’ve been busy standing with our allies and standing up to our enemies.  We’ve taken the fight to the terrorists on our terms, on their soil.  And thanks to the courage of our armed forces, and the leadership of this Commander-in-Chief, ISIS is on the run, their caliphate has crumbled, and we will not rest until we destroy ISIS completely and its ability to threaten our people or our allies.  (Applause.)

We’ve also put the leading state sponsor of terror on notice, and made it clear that we will no longer tolerate Iran’s destabilizing activity across the region.  And the United States of America will no longer certify the disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal.  (Applause.)

And in the wake of provocations and threats against the United States and our allies, from early in this administration, President Trump has made it clear: When it comes to North Korea, the era of strategic patience is over.  (Applause.)

This President let those that would threaten us and our allies know that all options are on the table; that we’ll continue to bring economic and diplomatic pressure to bear until the regime in Pyongyang abandons their nuclear ambitions.

Now, we all heard reports out yesterday suggesting North Korea might be willing to talk about denuclearization.  And as the President said yesterday, it’s possible that “we have made progress.”  But the world should know, as the President has said, “The U.S. is ready to go hard in either direction.”  And whatever direction the talks with North Korea take, we will remain resolved, and we will continue to stand strong until North Korea abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile program once and for all.  (Applause.)

So it’s been about strength — strength abroad and strength here are home.  And here at home, we’ve taken decisive action, as well to uphold the rule of law and to rev the engine of the American economy.

You know, this President promised to appoint strong conservatives to our federal courts at every level.  And as I stand before you today, President Trump has appointed more judges to the court of appeals of this country in a single year than any President in American history.  (Applause.)  And that doesn’t even include Justice Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court of the United States.  (Applause.)

President Trump promised to roll back the heavy hand of government.  And back on that campaign, he actually promised that we would eliminate two regulations for every one new federal rule put on the books.  But the truth is, as I stand before you today, with the strong support of leaders in Congress like Congressman Andy Barr, this administration has repealed 22 federal regulations for every new rule put in the Code of Federal Regulations.  (Applause.)

We repealed the Waters of the U.S.A. and the disastrous Stream Protection Rule that’s been destroying so many jobs in Eastern Kentucky, just to name a few.

We also promised to unleash American energy — the energy that powers businesses just like this one, and powers the lives of our communities and our families.  From early in this administration, this President approved the Keystone and Dakota Pipelines, he rolled back the Clean Power Plan, and President Trump put America first when he withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord.  (Applause.)  And under President Donald Trump, the war on coal is over.  (Applause.)

This President also promised to fight for the men and women who run our factories, who build our cars, raise our crops and livestock, and make the nation proud with every product that bears those beautiful words, “Made in the USA.”

And under President Trump’s leadership, we’re cracking down on unfair trade practices.  We’re fighting for trade deals that are fair and reciprocal, and put America first.  (Applause.)

As the President said yesterday, when it comes to trade, the United States has been taken advantage of by too many countries for too long, and that’s not going to happen anymore.  Whether it be renegotiating NAFTA or protecting our steel and aluminum industries, President Trump will always put American workers, American farmers, and American companies first.  (Applause.)  He did.

So it’s been about promises made and promises kept.  But you all remember that President Trump also promised to cut taxes across the board for working families and job creators large and small.  And a little bit more than two months ago, President Trump signed the largest tax cuts and tax reform in American history.  (Applause.)  That’s promises made and promises kept.

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 nothing short of remarkable.

You know, I’m from Kentucky’s favorite neighbor — I mentioned it before — (laughter) — the great state of Indiana.  When I was governor of Indiana, I remember more than a little bit of friendly competition we had with Kentucky.  And I’m not just talking about in March.  (Laughter.)  We competed every day for jobs and businesses.  And while I’ll always be a little partial to the Hoosier State, I’ve got to give it to you, Kentucky — Kentucky is growing like never before thanks to the leadership of President Trump and the leadership of Governor Matt Bevin.  (Applause.)

I mean, nowhere that’s more evident than in Kentucky’s automotive industry.  The Bluegrass State is one of America’s largest car and truck producers.  In the past year, Kentucky’s automakers have made record investments to accelerate their growth and expansion even more, creating good-paying jobs.

Toyota’s largest plant is less than 20 miles from where I’m standing right now, in Georgetown, Kentucky.  And last year, the company announced that it would invest $1.3 billion in its Georgetown plant and the more than 8,000 Kentuckians who work there.  Let’s hear it for that great company for believing in Kentucky and believing in America.  (Applause.)

And you know, it’s not just automakers that are growing and investing in their workers again.  Since Election Day 2016, businesses large and small have actually created more than 2.5 million new jobs all across this country, including 36,000 new jobs right here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Unemployment hasn’t been this low in 17 years.  Here in the Bluegrass State, the unemployment rate has dropped 13 percent since Election Day.  (Applause.)  And today, there are more Americans working today than ever before in the history of this country.

And after just one year, under President Trump’s leadership, manufacturing is booming.  American companies have created nearly 200,000 new, good-paying manufacturing jobs, including 2,100 new manufacturing jobs all across Kentucky.

And after 8 years of wages that just seemed to be stuck in neutral, Americans are seeing their paychecks rise, today, faster than any point in more than 10 years.  (Applause.)  The truth is, because of the President you supported, the agenda you supported, growth is back, confidence is back.  In a word, America is back.  So thank you Kentucky.  (Applause.)

But as this President likes to say, for all that we’ve accomplished together in the last year, that’s what President Trump just calls a good start.  (Laughter.)  The truth is, we believe the best days for American prosperity are just around the corner because those tax cuts are just starting to make a difference.

I mean, the truth is, we’ve cut taxes — as you heard from this great panel — we cut taxes for working families so you can keep more of your hard-earned money.  We cut taxes for American businesses so Kentucky manufacturers can compete and win with any companies, anywhere in the world.  (Applause.)

And we not only cut taxes on working families and businesses, we also gave the American relief from Obamacare — (applause) — by repealing the individual mandate tax at the heart of that disastrous law.  It’s gone.

You know, all told, about 90 percent of working families are going to see their tax cut reflected in their paycheck before this year is out.  And here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, our tax cuts will save the typical family of four nearly $2,100 a year.  That’s real money.

But, you know, it’s not just about lower taxes for working families.  It really is about bigger paychecks that come from businesses investing their tax savings in American jobs and in American workers.

Our tax cuts for businesses have given them unprecedented opportunities to increase pay for employees and make the kind of investments that create new jobs.  In fact, we believe workers in Kentucky can expect to see pay raises of more than $3,700 in the years ahead, and we’re already well on our way.

Businesses large and small all across this state have already announced plans to pay their workers more, hand out bonuses, and hire more people, and open new locations.

Last year — you all heard the news — Apple announced a billion dollar investment in American manufacturing companies.  But in the wake of our tax cuts, instead of a billion dollars, Apple said they were going to make it $5 billion in America’s manufacturers.  And the first 200 [million dollars] is going to be spent right here in Kentucky.  (Applause.)

And across the nation, over 400 companies nationwide have announced plans to invest, since the tax cut, some $480 billion in new investments.  It’s literally just been two-and-a-half months.  And as I stand before you today, more than 4.3 million Americans have already gotten a raise or a bonus thanks to our tax cuts.

Folks, that’s good news for working families and great news for states like Kentucky and a growing America.  You know, a thousand-dollar bonus at the end of year, I think, is a big deal.  But not everybody thinks that.  I mean, you might’ve heard the woman that wants to be Speaker of the House again, Nancy Pelosi.


THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Nancy Pelosi actually said that a thousand-dollar bonus in the paycheck for working Americans was, in her words, nothing more than “crumbs.”

Now, let me remind you all of — my wife and I come from the Joseph A. Bank wing of the West Wing.  You with me on that?  (Laughter.)  I mean — yeah, thank you for that.  I mean, seriously folks, when our kids were little, you know, another thousand dollars in the paycheck at the end of the year that we weren’t expecting, we had a term for that: Christmas.  (Applause.)  All right.  You with me?

I mean, look, the truth is, these pay raises and these bonuses are making a real difference in the lives of working families all across this country.  And I want to say from my heart: Any leader who says that a thousand dollars in the pockets of working families is crumbs is out of touch with the American people.  (Applause.)

That being said, you’ve got some great leaders representing Kentucky in Washington, D.C., and I want to take just a minute to thank them.  First and foremost, I want to thank your two great senators, Senator Rand Paul who stood with our administration.  (Applause.)  And for all that we accomplished last year on regulations, on judges, on tax cuts, America owes a debt of gratitude to the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.  A great friend and a great leader.  (Applause.)

And you heard from him today, so you don’t need to hear from it — from me, but Congressman Andy Barr has been fighting every day for Kentucky’s farmers, manufacturers, and working families.  (Applause.)  And we’re grateful.  We’re grateful, Congressman.

I also want to thank an old friend of mine, Congressman Hal Rogers, the dean of the Kentucky delegation.  (Applause.)  He’s been serving the Bluegrass State his entire life, as a member of the Kentucky National Guard and as a leader in the House of Representatives.

You know, whether it’s the congressman that I mentioned, and senators, or Congressman Brett Guthrie, Jamie Comer, Tom Massie, I’m proud to report to all of you, every single one of these leaders voted to cut your taxes and put Kentucky first.  (Applause.)  And they have stood with our administration every step of the way.  Would you get on your feet and just show how much we appreciate the principled conservative leadership that Kentucky sends to Washington, D.C.?  (Applause.)

But for all we’ve done together, the truth is, we still have more work to do.  In case you didn’t notice it, you elected a builder to be President of the United States.  (Applause.)  And President Donald Trump is going to work with this Congress, and we’re going to rebuild the roads, and bridges, and infrastructure, and airports, and ports of America.  (Applause.)

We’re going to continue to fight for trade deals that are free and reciprocal, that put American workers first.

We’re going to fix a broken immigration system with policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families.  (Applause.)

And, folks, President Trump and I are going to keep making good on our promises to the people of Kentucky.  But the truth is, in the days ahead, the most important work of this country won’t take place in Washington, D.C.; it’s going to continue to take place in communities just like this one.

And what the President knows, and I know, is the strength of this nation has always been found in the hearts and in the character and the work ethic of the American people.  Each and every one of you make the biggest difference, every day, in the life of this nation — whether it’s sitting around the kitchen table, a mom or dad helping one of their kids with homework; whether you see it in America’s truck drivers and autoworkers sometimes pulling a double shift, whose faces are long but they still show that hard-earned pride of working every day to help power our great nation.

You see it, most movingly for me, in the way neighbors come alongside neighbors, especially in challenging times.  You’ve seen it in the wake of natural disasters in the last year.

The President and I, and Melania and Karen, have had the opportunity to be with families who were not only recovering from hurricanes and wildfires, but they were also, almost without exception, out helping their neighbors in the midst of their struggles.

And we’ve seen the courage and the resilience and the faith of people in the wake of unspeakable acts of violence and evil that have beset our communities.  The character of the American people is the strength of the United States.

I mean, you see that strength in the courage of our sons and daughters who step up and put on the uniform of the United States.  (Applause.)  You know, as the proud father of a United States Marine, I can’t tell you how much it means to me to serve alongside a President who cares so deeply about the men and women of the armed forces of this nation and our veterans.  (Applause.)

Now earlier this year, one of these great American heroes came to our nation’s capital as a guest of President Trump at the State of the Union Address.  A young man who grew up less than an hour from where we’re standing today: Corporal Matthew Bradford.  (Applause.)  A great American.

It’s an honor to have him with us today.  It was an honor to have him with us in the Congress that night.  The people of Kentucky know his story, but it’s worth telling again.

On September 11th, 2001, Bradford was a freshman at George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester.  After watching the footage of that horrible day on TV, he resolved to defend our country and defend our freedoms.  And four years later, when so many of his former classmates were starting college, he started boot camp in the United States Marine Corps.  (Applause.)

In early January 2007, Matthew was severely injured by an IED while on a foot patrol in Iraq.  The blast left him in a coma for three weeks, and the shrapnel took both his legs and his eyesight.

Matthew enlisted in the Marine Corps for one reason: because he loved this country and he wanted to defend it.  (Applause.)  And he was determined to keep serving.  So three years after his injury, Matthew Bradford became the first blind, double-amputee in the history of the Marine Corps to reenlist.  That’s a great American.  (Applause.)

Corporal Matthew Bradford’s story inspires us all.  And I know he’s humbled and grateful by the outpouring of support from all of you today.  But what Matthew would tell us is that the spirit that animated his life in a very real sense is the same spirit that the people of Kentucky embody and the people of this country embody — the American spirit.  The President and I know that it’s that same spirit that’s restoring our country from coast to coast, restoring the optimism and hope and the confidence in this country that our best days are ahead.

So as I close, let me encourage each and every one of you — encourage you to not just come and hear a great panel, and hear from your governor, and hear a speech from your Vice President.  But I hope you’ll leave here today with a little bit of burden on your heart to go tell the story.  Tell the story of the American renewal that is happening because of the leadership of President Donald Trump and the support of all of our allies in the Congress and in the state houses across America.  Go tell somebody, okay?  (Applause.)

I mean, the truth of the matter is, I want you to go out and tell them what they’re not seeing on most of your local cable television stations.  (Laughter.)  I mean, tell them about the progress that we’ve made as a country.  Just say, you know, I was over there at More Than a Bakery the other day, I ran into Mike — (laughter) — and he reminded me of all the things that we’ve done together.  That with this President in the White House and with all of our strong allies in the Congress, the leadership that you worked hard here in Kentucky to support and are continuing to support, it’s making a difference.

So go out and tell somebody.  Talk to them at work.  Talk them outside your place of worship.  Stop outside the local grocery store or drug store, and just have a word about the progress that we’ve made — that we’ve made together.

Tell them we’ve 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.  And tell them, under President Donald Trump, we’re putting Washington back to work for them.  Not the other way around.  (Applause.)

And tell them that under President Donald Trump, the forgotten men and women of America are forgotten no more.  Go tell them that, because it’s true.  (Applause.)

And in these challenging times of too much division in this great nation, if you’re of a mind, I personally would encourage you to do one more thing.  If you’re inclined to bow the head and bend the knee from time to time, it’s a good time to do it.  (Applause.)

And on this one, I’m proud to serve with this President.  I’m proud to serve alongside governors like your governor, and members of Congress like those who we’ve spoken of today.

But on this one, I rather like what Abraham Lincoln — who was born in Kentucky — (applause) — Abraham Lincoln said in his time of much greater challenges, much great division than we’ll ever know.  He was asked one time if he thought God was on his side, and our 16th President said, I’d rather concern myself more with whether we’re on God’s side than whether God is on our side.  So let’s just pray for America.  Let’s pray for all those who serve in uniform, in public life, in our classrooms.  Let’s pray for this country, because prayer changes things — (applause) — and has ever been our wellspring of strength.

And I just truly believe with all of my heart, with President Donald Trump in the White House, with great partners in the Congress of the United States and in state houses around the country, with your continued energetic enthusiastic support and prayers, that we will make America safe again.  We will make America prosperous again.  And to borrow a phrase — (laughter) — we will make America great again.

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


12:48 P.M.  EST

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