Transcript of President Donald Trump’s Speech At GOP Retreat in Philadelphia, January 26, 2017
Thank you very much, Mitch. So nice, thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. So nice. Nice to win, do we agree? It’s been a while. Been a while since we had this position. Nice to win. And I want to thank everybody in the room. So many friends. Thank you very much. Sit down everybody. Let’s enjoy ourselves.
It’s great to be in Philadelphia. I went to school in Philadelphia. This is a very special place in our nation’s history. It’s the place where we launched our American independence. The State of Pennsylvania is very special to me for lots of reasons. Especially from a couple of months ago. Remember? Pennsylvania cannot be won. Remember? Pennsylvania cannot be won. Right, Congressman? There is no path to victory for Trump in Pennsylvania. Except we won. Now it has been a long time since you guys did this, but uh, it was just a great victory. It was a great evening. It was a great evening, I will tell you. But it sort of started in Pennsylvania. They all said that Pennsylvania was the bride that got away. That it was the state that everybody from the Republican Party that ran in Pennsylvania for 38 years thought they won, except they never won. And I thought I won, too, but I was afraid to say it, Mitch, because it just seemed that it wasn’t working out. So I just said, ‘You know what? I think we did great, let’s see what happens.’ But good things happened. So we love this state, and we will see it many times again.
Now is the dawn of a new era of American independence. A rededication to the idea that the people are in charge of their own destiny. I want to thank majority leader McConnell, great guy. And Speaker Paul Ryan, very very special. And he is writing his heart out. Right? And we’re actually gonna sign the stuff that you’re writing. You’re not wasting your time. He would write and he’d send it up, but nothin’ would happen, but now it’s gonna happen. For their leadership, and for inviting me here today, thank you very much. And thank you, leader McCarthy, Senator Cornyn, Congressman Scalice, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers, and Congressman Messer for your leadership as well. It’s been terrific.
This congress is going to be the busiest congress we’ve had in decades, maybe ever. Maybe ever, think about that. And think of everything we can achieve, and remember who we must achieve it for. We’re here now because tens of millions of Americans have placed their hopes in us to transfer power from Washington DC and give it back to the people. So important. Now we have to deliver. Enough all talk, no action. We have to deliver. This is our chance to achieve great and lasting change for our beloved nation.
Since taking office, I have taken major contractual steps to restore the rule of law and return power to everyday Americans. And even though it’s only been a few days, we’ve done it in record numbers. We’ve issued executive orders to build the Keystone and Dakota Pipelines, and issued a new requirement for for American pipelines to be made with American steel, and fabricated in the United States. And I was sitting at my desk, and I’m getting ready to sign Keystone and Dakota, I said ‘Where’s the pipe coming from?’ And I won’t tell you where, but you wouldn’t be happy. I said, ‘Why is it we build pipelines, and we’re not using pipes that are made in our country?’ I said, ‘Let’s put that little clause in.’ Like it’s a one sentence clause. But that clause is gonna attract a lot of people. And we’re gonna make that pipe right here in America, okay? If people want to build pipelines on our land, we want the pipe to be manufactured, and not only that, manufactured here, but you will see a level of quality that you’re not going to see when they bring pipe from far distances, have to bring it in small chunks and then fabricate it on the land. Give me a break. We can do much better than that. And we’re going to do it much better, and it’s going to end up costing less money, believe me.
We’ve reinstated the Mexico City policy. A long standing policy…isn’t that nice. And by the way, on Friday, lot of people are going to be showing up in Washington. Right, Mike? A lot of people. You know, the press never gives them the credit that they deserve. They’ll have three hundred, four hundred, five hundred, six hundred thousand people. You won’t even read about it. When other people show up, you read big time about it. Right? So it’s not fair, but nothing fair about the media. Nothing. A long standing policy to insure taxpayer dollars do not fund abortion services overseas.
We’ve issued executive orders to remove wasteful regulations that slow down commerce and delay infrastructure which we desperately need. The very beginning of a massive effort to reduce the crushing regulations on our economy, and we are going to reduce regulations big time. We’ve also withdrawn from the Trans Pacific Partnership, paving the way for new one on one trade deals that protect and defend the American worker and believe me, we’re gonna have a lot of trade deals…Mitch, don’t worry about it. Just give me a little time. But they’ll be one on one. They won’t be a whole big mash pot. They’ll be one on one deals, and if that particular country doesn’t treat us fairly we send ‘em a thirty day termination. Notice of termination. And then they’ll come and say, ‘No, please don’t do that.’ And we’ll negotiate a better deal during that thirty day period. The other way, you can’t get out of it. It’s like a quicksand. Plus, we’re going to have very, very strong controls over monetary manipulation and devaluation, which they didn’t have in TPP. So this is going to be so much better, and we’re already on it. I would like to have my Commerce Secretary Wilbur approved because I hear he did fantastically well, but they’re not quick with the pen on signing these people because we’d like to have him approved as soon as possible. So, I know, and Mitch said it will be done, and it will be. They could move faster on the other side, I will say that. Could move faster. I mean, I’m meeting with the Prime Minister tomorrow, as you know…Great Britain. So I’m meeting with her tomorrow, I don’t have my Commerce Secretary if they want to talk trade. So I’ll have to handle it myself, which is okay.
We’ve put in place the first steps in our immigration plan, ordering the immediate construction of the border wall. Putting an end to catch-and-release. Expediting the removal of criminal al… this is so important to me. From day one I’ve said it. And I mean the immediate removal of criminal aliens, they’re gonna be gone fast. And finally at long last, cracking down on sanctuary cities. It’s time to restore the civil rights of Americans. To protect their jobs, their hopes and their dreams for a much better future.
Congress passed these laws to serve our citizens, and it’s about time those laws were properly enforced. They’re not enforced. The hour of justice for the American worker has arrived. Border security is a serious, serious, national issue and problem. A lack of security poses a substantial threat to the sovereignty and safety of the United States of America and its citizens. Most of illegal immigration is coming from our southern border. I’ve said many times that the American people will not pay for the wall, and I’ve made that clear to the government of Mexico. NAFTA has been a terrible deal. A total disaster from its inception costing us as much as sixty billion dollars a year with Mexico alone in trade deficits. You say who, who negotiates these deals? Not to mention millions of jobs, and thousands and thousands of factories and plants closing down all over our country. On top of that, are the trillions of dollars the US taxpayers have spent to pay the cost of illegal immigration. Much of it is then is sent back, and much of it goes back to other countries. And oftentimes, because they don’t respect us, the other countries will not accept the criminals that we send back to them that are illegally in our country. I promise you they will start accepting them again quickly. We’re not gonna have ‘em any longer. I will not allow the taxpayers or the citizens of the United States to pay the cost of this defective transaction, NAFTA. One that should have been renegotiated many years ago, except that the politicians were too preoccupied to do so. Now these people are not in that category, you understand that. This is a different group…I think, right? To that end, the President of Mexico and myself have agreed to cancel our planned meeting scheduled for next week. Unless Mexico is going to treat the United States fairly, with respect, such a meeting will be fruitless, and I want to go a different route. We have no choice.
Paul Ryan and other leaders in congress and I, and Mike Pence who, by the way, how good a choice was Vice President Mike Pence? Stand up. Everybody loves him. Fact, anytime I got myself into a jam early, you know I haven’t been doing this stuff too long. But any time I got myself into a jam, oftentimes they’d say on television, ‘Yeah. But look. He picked Mike Pence. So he’s gotta have something going, right?’ So Mike really helped me a lot. Well, we’re working on a tax reform bill that will reduce our trade deficits, increase American exports, and will generate revenue from Mexico that will pay for the wall if we decide to go that route. It is time that the American people had a president fighting as hard for its citizens as other countries are doing for theirs. And that is exactly what I am going to do for you, believe me. Thank you. Thank you.
It’s time that somebody fought for our country and didn’t let anyone take advantage of us anymore. The world has taken advantage of us for many years. Not gonna happen anymore. We will have an ambitious legislative agenda as well. Our legislative work starts with repealing and replacing Obamacare, and saving families from the catastrophic rise in premiums and debilitating loss of choice and and just about everything else. And remember this for this room in particular. Obamacare is a disaster. The Democrats are up and they’re saying, oh, and they’re putting up signs like it’s wonderful. It’s a disaster. I actually talked with Paul and the group about just doing nothing for two years, and the Dems would come begging to do something. Because ’17 is going to be catastrophic price increases. Your deductibles are through the roof, you can’t use it. You can’t use it. And they would come to us. Except we have one problem. We have to take care of the American people immediately. So we can’t wait. But every time they tell you about Obamacare, we’re taking them out of a big jam. Big jam. We’re putting ourselves at risk, to a certain extent, because we’re taking it off their platter. But I think, Congressman, I think we have no choice. I think we have no choice. We have to get it going. If we, I’m serious, if we waited two years, it’s gonna explode like you’ve never seen an explosion. Nobody’s going to be able to afford it. It’s a disaster. And that’s politically what we should do, but we don’t want to do that .We want to get something done, and get it done right. And by the way, Tom Price is gonna do a phenomenal job. I don’t know if he’s here, but he’s gonna do a phenomenal job.
On my first day in office, I signed an executive order to roll back the burdens of Obamacare and pave the way for real reform. Like health savings accounts that empower individuals to choose the customized plan that is truly right for them, and have so many choices. Tom Price will soon be leading Health and Human Services. He is a true advocate for patients. He’s going to do a phenomenal job, we have no doubt about that. He joins an all star roster that includes many of your colleagues. Ryan Zinke, Mick Mulvaney, these guys have had a pretty tough time in Congress, too, but they, uh, in the Senate, but actually came out very well. Mike Pompeo, is Mike here? Mike? Mike Pompeo, phenomenal guy, and Jeff Sessions. Jeff is a fine person. Jeff was one of my earliest endorsers. Never endorsed a presidential candidate before and he was one of my earliest endorsers, respected by everybody. And did unbelievably in front of committee. Unbelievable. In addition to fixing our health care, we’re going to pursue new trade deals that create higher wages and more opportunities for American workers, bringing back those magnificent words ‘Made in the USA.’ We used to have that. We don’t have it anymore. It’s going to be America first again. We will create millions of new, good paying jobs by removing the economic burdens that cripple our ability to compete. At the center of that agenda is bold tax reform that massively lowers taxes for our middle class and for all American businesses.
We will also pursue financial reform that will help striving Americans get the credit they need to realize their dreams. Republicans have always been the party of American industry and the American worker. We must embrace that heritage rebuilding this country with American goods and American labor. And we’ve started, believe me. Over the last couple of months, I don’t know, I’d like to say I did about as much as anybody or more in terms of getting industry to start coming back to our before I took office. But we have a lot of great news with Ford, and General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler, and so many others. We have a lot of great news. Lockheed is adding a lot of different people, a lot of additional people. Boeing, we have a lot of positive things happening, and it’s really gonna start bursting out. You’re going to be seeing it very soon.
We want to get our people off of welfare and back to work. So important. It’s out of control. It’s out of control. And we believe that the world’s best country ought to have the world’s best infrastructure. It’s what our people deserve, and it’s what we will insure they get. Our infrastructure’s in serious trouble. We will build new roads and highways and tunnels and airports and railways across the nation. We will fix our existing product before we build anything brand new, however. We have to fix what we have. It’s a mess. So we’re gonna fix it first. The thing I do best in life is build. We will fix it first, cos we have a lot of things that are in bad shape. And we will rebuild our military and take care of our great veterans. We’re working hard with the veterans, we’re going to do something very special with the veterans. It’s time. At the same time, we will unleash the full power of American energy, ending the job killing restrictions on shale, oil, natural gas, and clean, beautiful coal. And we’re going to put our coal miners back to work. Thank you.
And we will protect our farmers, our ranchers, our hunters, our anglers, and all who enjoy the outdoors. But to be a rich country, we must also be a safe country. Right now too many families don’t feel secure. Just look at the thirty largest cities. In the last year alone, the murder rate has increased by an estimated fourteen percent. Here in Philadelphia, the murder rate has been steady. I mean just terribly increasing. And then you look at Chicago. What’s going on in Chicago? I said the other day, ‘What the hell is going on?’ That is why we will continue to stand with the incredible men and women of law enforcement.
Yesterday, I had the honor of swearing in General John Kelly as our Secretary of Homeland Security. He’s gonna be amazing. Tomorrow I will swear in General James Mattis as our new Secretary of Defense. These men have devoted their lives to defending America, and now I look forward to working with them along with our great new head of the CS…you know we have, we have so many different people that we are putting in office. I think it’s the group of all stars like nobody has seen before, right? Where is, where is Pompeo? Where the hell is he? Did he ever come here? Oh, he’s working? He is, he is so…he is going to be another one of the big stars. I have to mention him every single time. One of you. And with you in congress to keep our country safe from the many threats we face today. That includes protecting Americans from radical Islamic terrorism.
We also need to keep the ballot box safe from illegal voting. And believe me, you take a look at what’s registering, folks. They like to say, “Oh, Trump, Trump Trump.’ Take a look at what’s registering. We are going to protect the integrity of the ballot box, and we are going to defend the votes of the American citizens, so important. All of us here today, for the same reason, to serve the citizens of our country. We are not here for ourselves, we are here for them. We are here for the people. We are blessed by divinity, and honored by history with the task of preserving this great republic, and expanding its blessings to every single American. Thank you. Thank you. All of us are joined in this effort. All of us are bound by duty, and bound by God to give our full devotion to this country and its people. That obligation forms the moral foundation of our agenda. That agenda includes a lean, efficient government, appointing Supreme Court justices, so important, who will uphold and defend our constitution. Reducing taxation and regulation. Fair trade that creates a level playing field, as opposed to what we have right now. And fostering respect for our country and its flag. We are now only at the beginning of this incredible journey together. I am honored to be your partner in this amazing quest. I am privileged to stand with you, shoulder to shoulder, as we work every single day to make America great again. Thank you. God bless you, and God bless America. It’s a great honor to be here. Thank you very much. Thank you.