Aug 18, 2020
Donald Trump Speech Transcript August 18: 100th Anniversary of Ratification of 19th Amendment
Donald Trump gave a speech today recognizing the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. He announced plans to sign a complete posthumous pardon for Susan B. Anthony, and criticized Michelle Obama’s DNC speech. Read the transcript of his remarks here.
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Marjorie Dannenfelser: (00:00)
Donald Trump: (00:00)
Nice to see you.
Good morning, Mr. President. Good to see you.
Hello. Good morning.
Donald Trump: (00:00)
This is a very distinguished group. Fantastic. Thank you.
Karen Hill: (00:13)
Donald Trump: (00:18)
Congratulations to everybody. It’ll even be bigger than you think. We’re going to do something which I think you’ll be very happy with, which nobody knows. Good morning, everybody. Thank you very much for being with us. This is a big day in many ways. Many, many ways. The First Lady and I are delighted to welcome the members of Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission to the White House to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women securing the right to vote. That’s something. I want to thank the commission members who have worked tirelessly for three years to tell the very powerful story of America’s suffrage on America’s suffrage movement. I’d like to introduce the women that have done such an incredible job for a long period of time. Jovita Carranza, SBA administrator. Jovita?
Heather Higgins: (01:14)
Right behind you.
Donald Trump: (01:20)
Jovita Carranza: (01:20)
Donald Trump: (01:20)
She’s the biggest banker in the world right now. Even though it says small business, it’s a big business, right? Kay Coles James, president of The Heritage Foundation.
Kay Coles James: (01:30)
Over here, Mr. President.
Donald Trump: (01:31)
Great job. Thank you very much. Anna Laymon, executive director of Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission.
Anna Laymon: (01:41)
Donald Trump: (01:41)
Thank you very much. Good, great job. Oh, you’re going to be so happy in a little while because we’re giving you a very special treat that you don’t know about. Even you don’t know about it. You know everything, you people. Cleta Mitchell, attorney, former member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. A great attorney, I might add.
Cleta Mitchell: (01:59)
Donald Trump: (02:00)
Beyond an attorney, a great attorney. Okay. I know that for a fact.
Cleta Mitchell: (02:05)
Donald Trump: (02:05)
Thank you, Cleta, very much. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. You are going to be so happy-
Marjorie Dannenfelser: (02:17)
I can’t wait.
Donald Trump: (02:17)
… in about seven minutes. You won’t even believe it. Karen Hill, CEO of the Harriet Tubman National Historic Park.
Karen Hill: (02:28)
Donald Trump: (02:28)
Congratulations. Great job you do. Penny Nance, president of the Concerned Women of America.
Heather Higgins: (02:36)
Colleen Shogan: (02:36)
Penny Nance: (02:36)
Donald Trump: (02:36)
Hi. How are you? Thank you. Heather Higgins, president of Independent Women’s Voice.
Heather Higgins: (02:47)
Thank you, sir.
Donald Trump: (02:48)
Hi, Heather. Thank you. Congratulations. Debra Steidel Wall, deputy archivist of the United States. That sounds like a very big job. That’s a lot of archives, isn’t it?
Debra Steidel Wall: (03:01)
Donald Trump: (03:03)
How many buildings does that take up, right? Great. Great job. I hear you do a great job. Thank you very much. Colleen Shogan, deputy director, national and international outreach for the Library of Congress. Fantastic.
Colleen Shogan: (03:19)
Donald Trump: (03:19)
That’s another big one, right?
Colleen Shogan: (03:20)
Donald Trump: (03:20)
That’s great. Congratulations. That’s beautiful. Susan Combs, assistant secretary of policy, management and budget at the Department of the Interior. Thank you very much. Great job. Thank you all very much.
Donald Trump: (03:35)
Today I’m honored to sign a proclamation celebrating August 18th, 2020 as the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment. In the summer of 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton stood before the first ever women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York, and declared that women should enjoy this fundamental civil right. What a job she did. Seven decades later, the suffrage movement succeeded. On this day in 1920, the United States ratified the 19th amendment. It was a monumental victory for equality, for justice, and a monumental victory for America. Today, a record-breaking 131 women are serving in Congress, nearly 70 million women vote in elections, 56% of our nation’s college students are women, more than 11 million women own successful businesses. In other words, women dominate the United States. I think we can say that very strongly.
Donald Trump: (04:48)
Before the China virus set in and struck our nation, women had gained 4.3 million jobs, a record, the women’s unemployment rate had plummeted to the lowest level in more than 65 years, and last year, over 70% of the new jobs went to women. And I will say, we’re coming back very strongly and we’re going to see those numbers again very soon. But the numbers that we have for unemployment and employment, frankly, we had 160 million people working. We’ve never even been close to that, and by next year we’ll be even higher than that number. Tremendous things are happening.
Donald Trump: (05:25)
As we fight to deliver a better future for all women and for all Americans, we remember the wonderful victory one century ago. While I am president, America will always honor its heroes and we will always celebrate the patriots who secured women’s right to vote. So this is an incredible document that I’m signing, and I wanted to just add something because this was brought up a week ago and I was so surprised that it was never done before, because later today I will be signing a full and complete pardon for Susan B. Anthony. She was never pardoned.
Colleen Shogan: (06:05)
Donald Trump: (06:05)
Did you know that? She was never pardoned.
Colleen Shogan: (06:06)
She wasn’t pardoned.
Donald Trump: (06:06)
What took so long? And you know that she got a pardon for a lot of other women and she didn’t put her name on the list, so she was never pardoned.
Cleta Mitchell: (06:22)
Donald Trump: (06:24)
For voting. That’s right.
Cleta Mitchell: (06:27)
She was guilty.
Donald Trump: (06:27)
That’s right. She was guilty for voting. And we are going to be signing a full and complete pardon.
Cleta Mitchell: (06:32)
Donald Trump: (06:32)
And I think that’s really fantastic. She deserves it. So thank you all very much. And let us sign, and we’ll do the other signing later on. It’s being prepared right now, and I look forward to doing it. Thank you very much. Please.
Donald Trump: (06:46)
[inaudible 00:06:59]. I always like to make it look nice. Okay?
Cleta Mitchell: (06:46)
That’s good. Thank you.
Donald Trump: (06:46)
[inaudible 00:07:22]. So let’s take these and hand those out, honey. For you.
Anna Laymon: (06:46)
I can get it.
Heather Higgins: (06:46)
Thank you so much.
Anna Laymon: (06:46)
Thank you very much, sir.
Donald Trump: (06:46)
This is much better than signing one letter, is it not?
Penny Nance: (07:25)
Cleta Mitchell: (07:31)
Donald Trump: (07:31)
Do you ever see what those signatures look like?
Cleta Mitchell: (07:31)
Donald Trump: (07:55)
They’re not good. They’re not good. So thank you all very much.
Penny Nance: (07:56)
Kay Coles James: (07:57)
Thank you, Mr. President.
Donald Trump: (07:59)
Who would like to have the privilege of delivering this? Who would like to have this?
Kay Coles James: (08:04)
Give it to our chair.
Susan Combs: (08:04)
I’m the chair.
Donald Trump: (08:04)
I think so. Congratulations. Really fantastic job. Let’s get a picture. Right over here. Come on. Okay.
Cleta Mitchell: (08:04)
Can you see?
Donald Trump: (08:35)
That’s a great picture. 100 years.
Jovita Carranza: (08:36)
Donald Trump: (08:36)
Would anybody like to ask any questions of the commission? They’ve done a fantastic job. If you have any questions, please, this is your shot. This is your time.
I have a question. Mr. President, you spoke about a suburban housewife and what you described as her support for you. I’m wondering if you can tell me what you think what is a suburban housewife and does the suburban housewife support the president?
Penny Nance: (09:03)
Well, I’m Penny Nance. I run Concerned Women for America in my day job. And we actually are doing She Prays, She Votes events in 10 States, doing virtual events for women being held in women-owned businesses, like clothing stores, manufacturing plants, any number. Susan B. Anthony was pro-life and so are we. Women are concerned about their schools reopening. They’re concerned about their businesses. And what better man to restart the economy than the one who did it the first time?
Donald Trump: (09:33)
Thank you. We did do it once and we’re doing it again, and the number looks beyond a V. It looks like a super V based on the kind of numbers coming out. They were saying that’s not possible and now they’re saying it’s a super V, and that’s what we’re having. Any other questions, please, for the commission?
Mr. President, can I ask about Saturday, the House vote on the Postal Service bill? Is that something that you will be-
Donald Trump: (10:01)
We’ll talk about that later. We will talk about that the Democrats want to make it a political issue. It’s not a political issue. It’s really about a correct vote. You have to get voting right. You can’t have millions and millions of ballots sent all over the place, sent to people that are dead, sent to dogs, cats, sent everywhere. This is a serious situation. This isn’t games, and you have to get it right. I just want to get it right. Win, lose, or draw. I think we’re going to win. Win, lose, or draw, we have to get it right.
So are they getting it right with their bill?
Donald Trump: (10:33)
Well, they’re going to do something in Congress, but everything they do is political. As an example, why don’t they do it now instead of on Monday? They picked a day. Actually, they picked another day on Monday, as you know. Well, that’s when the Republican Convention starts. Why don’t they do it during the Democrat Convention? Because everything they do, Nancy and Chuck, they play games. How’s it working out? I think this is the White House, isn’t it? How’s it working out for them? Not so good.
Donald Trump: (11:00)
So I will tell you, it’s disgraceful. It’s disgraceful. We have to have honest voting. That’s what this is all about here. It’s honest voting. You can’t take millions of ballots, send them haphazardly all over the country or all over a state, and expect to come out properly. And if you look at the last 10 elections where they did this universal … And by the way, absentee is great. It’s been working for a long time, like in Florida. Absentee, you request and it comes in, and then you send it back. Absentee is great, but universal is going to be a disaster the likes of which our country has never seen. It’ll end up being a rigged election or they will never come out with an outcome. They’ll have to do it again and nobody wants that. And I don’t want that. Go ahead, please. Let’s talk about this subject, however. Although, indirectly, we’re probably talking about the same subject. Wouldn’t you say, Cleta?
Cleta Mitchell: (11:59)
Donald Trump: (11:59)
Cleta’s an expert on this. I’ve never even asked. She’s one of the great attorneys in Washington. Do you have an opinion on it? And if it’s not my opinion, please don’t say it.
Cleta Mitchell: (12:06)
I do. No, I do have an opinion.
Donald Trump: (12:08)
Come on up here. And I must say, it’s very interesting.
Cleta Mitchell: (12:12)
Well, I do have an opinion. The president is right. One of the things that the Democrats and their allies in the media and the left have been trying to do for a long time is to have universal mail voting where election officials send ballots to everybody on the registration list. But we all know there have been multiple studies, the Pew study, millions of people are on the rolls who are no longer living there, they’re dead, they’re non-citizens. Don’t forget, when you go to the DMV or social services, they ask you … They’re supposed to. By law, they have to ask you to register to vote, whether you’re eligible or not. All of those registrations are dumped into the system, and so there are duplicates. I am chairman of a public interest legal foundation. We’re devoted to election integrity and we just did a study of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. We found one man with seven active registrations. If you send him seven ballots, there’s the potential to vote seven times.
Donald Trump: (13:08)
Cleta Mitchell: (13:08)
So the issue is … I actually have a memo I’m working on to give to the president about what the post office should be doing. They should be working with local election officials. They should be making sure that the ballots are designed in a way that processes properly through the voting equipment, through the post office equipment. Everybody is focused on this situation with somehow the Postal Service, that the president is somehow trying to do something to the Postal Service. I defy anyone in this room to be able to name a single … All of us can name multiple times when we’ve sent a letter across town and it either didn’t get there or came back three months later undeliverable to a correct address.
Cleta Mitchell: (13:53)
So we know the president is not responsible for the problems at the post office, but there are things the Postal Service should do in conjunction with election officials, and they should do those now and make sure that the systems are in place to properly process the ballots that are sent by mail. But the problem is that we are facing hundreds of lawsuits that have been filed by the Democrats and leftist organizations to force states to not have polling places. I personally believe that we should have Election Day, we shouldn’t have election three months, and for sure, we ought to be able to know by election night who won. So Mr. President, you’re 100% right, and there are a lot of us who are standing behind you and want to help.
Donald Trump: (14:35)
Thank you. And give me that letter, if you could.
Cleta Mitchell: (14:38)
Donald Trump: (14:41)
No, if you have it. From you, I’ll take it. She’s really one of the great lawyers. Thank you very much. I’ll wait for it.
Heather Higgins: (14:46)
Can I add to the question before about women?
Donald Trump: (14:49)
Heather Higgins: (14:50)
There are a lot of issues where what the president is doing, talking about public safety, which is increasingly a concern for women as they see what is going on, but also policies that he’s taken. So the president has done extraordinary things on healthcare. His executive order requiring price transparency, that is an issue that is 88% popular across the country, across party affiliations, across ideologies, across demographics. Among women who are 40 and under, it’s a 98% approval issue. Without this president being reelected, that executive order goes away because Congress hasn’t yet made it into a law, because it goes into effect in January of 2021.
Heather Higgins: (15:33)
So this has historically been the number one, if not top three issues in the country, and this is the only person who’s going to bring price transparency, which can bring down healthcare costs by 40%, revealing what the true prices are of your hospital or your insurance before you have to pay for it, so you can shop or other people will shop, and that will drive down prices. Enormous issue for this cohort. So women care about a lot of things.
Donald Trump: (15:59)
It’s so nice that you say that because they don’t speak about it, but transparency is a very controversial issue because doctors don’t like it, and frankly, hospitals don’t. The good doctors love it and the good hospitals love it.
Heather Higgins: (16:12)
Doctors and patients love it. Hospitals, insurers, PBMs, which are the wholesalers that control the pharmacies, and pharma, they all have lobbyists all over Washington trying to stop what the president is doing.
Donald Trump: (16:23)
I’ve had many people that are really expert at it. They say it’s a bigger issue than healthcare itself. It’ll save so much money and it’s the full deal. I signed it. It’s done. It goes into effect on January 1st. And you’re right. If the Democrats get in, they’ll probably try and end it, and what a shame that would be because it was so hard to get it done and it will save people massive amounts of money. I’m not talking about 1% or 2%.
Donald Trump: (16:49)
The other thing we just did, you probably heard, is I signed a favored nations clause on drugs because we have countries in the world, Germany and others, but we have many countries in the world that pay a tiny fraction. I don’t mean like 2%, less. 10% versus what we pay. You have a pill that will sell for 25 cents in a certain country in Europe that will sell for two and a half dollars in this country, and it’s so unfair to our people. And I signed a favored nations clause and the drug companies are spending millions and millions of dollars trying to get me not elected. And all it means when you see ads from drug companies, all it means is one thing. The drug prices are going to be coming down 50, 60, 70%, and they never thought anybody would do that.
Donald Trump: (17:32)
I also signed a rebate clause. So the rebate money, instead of going to the middlemen, who are among the richest men of this country, and men and women, I guess, in this country by far. The middleman makes more money than the people that produce. At least the drug companies produce something. But I signed where the rebate goes to the people. There’s never been anything like this. And as a non-politician, I could do it. And I will tell you, I was called by a lot of politicians, that I was surprised at, literally begging me not to do it. “Please don’t do it. Please don’t do it.” And because the big pharma is by far the number one lobbyist paying group in the country, and people are loyal to big pharma and I’m all for big pharma, but this will be a tremendous drop.
Donald Trump: (18:22)
So between transparency and what I just did with respect to favored nations, that means if Germany pays 25 cents and we’re paying $2.50, we go down to 25 cents. That’s a number that nobody’s even thought of. And what will happen is they’ll have to pay more and we’re going to have to pay much, much less. And it could be 70, 80%, so we’re not talking about games. And nobody had the courage to sign it. A lot of people didn’t even know about it. A lot of people. So I appreciate very much. And it may be that transparency is even more important than that.
Heather Higgins: (18:59)
I think it is, because transparency is the basis for markets and that’s the basis also for trust. Right now, you don’t have the right to know what something costs before you buy it. If airlines followed the same model as hospitals and insurers do, you wouldn’t know the price of your airline ticket until after you landed because they don’t know how full the flight is going to be. They don’t know how much fuel they’re going to have to spend. But every other business manages to do their average pricing. Hospitals know their average prices. That’s how they sell so quickly when somebody’s buying a hospital. They’re just not sharing it after the fact.
Donald Trump: (19:32)
It’s so great. And let’s see voters go, “Well, that’s interesting.”
Heather Higgins: (19:37)
This is the [inaudible 00:19:37]. Jimmy Kimmel wants to make fun of this again.
Donald Trump: (19:44)
No, but did I tell you? No, I think it’s great that we’re talking about something that you know a lot about and it does really pretend to exactly what you’re doing. I think it’s true. We did one other thing that is so important. Pharmacies, they didn’t have to give any information. You go in for a pill and the pharmacy gives you this crazy price, and you can’t price it, you can’t go around, you can’t do anything. I ended that practice. I said, “What do you mean? You can’t negotiate?” You didn’t even have the right to negotiate. I ended that and was met with a hailstorm. Everything I do, I get met with a hailstorm.
Donald Trump: (20:20)
But you know what? I do the right thing. I do the right thing for the people. I don’t need big pharma. They don’t help me. They help a lot of other people, but they don’t help me. I’m doing the right thing for the country. And let’s see whether or not people realize that they’re spending millions and millions of dollars on negative ads on me, and you see it’s big pharma. Unlimited money. They have so much money. They have unlimited money. And let’s see. But I think when people see big pharma taking ads on me that I’m such a bad person, what it means, and I hope they understand that it means drug prices are going down. Katelyn, go ahead.
Do you want to respond to Michelle Obama’s speech last night where she said that you’re in over your head and the wrong president?
Donald Trump: (21:00)
No, she was over her head. And frankly, she should have made the speech live, which she didn’t do. She taped it. And it was not only taped, it was taped a long time ago because she had the wrong deaths. She didn’t even mention the vice presidential candidate in the speech. And she gets these fawning reviews. If you gave a real review, it wouldn’t be so fawning. I thought it was a very divisive speech, extremely divisive. We have a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for my campaign because of things like we’re talking about now, drug prices and drug cuts and a transparency with hospitals and doctors that are going to lower bills by 50%, 70%. You’re talking about numbers that are incredible.
Donald Trump: (21:39)
There’s a procedure, I won’t mention what it is, but there’s a procedure where one hospital was charging $2,500. Another hospital was charging $32 for the exact same procedure, using the exact same kit, and the people weren’t able to go around and even have that option. And it was the exact same. In fact, we did a study and the one for $32 actually did a better job. Okay. How about that? $2,532, and the cheap one did a better job using the exact same stuff. So that’s what we’re talking about. We’re talking about numbers that are incredible.
Donald Trump: (22:15)
No, I thought her speech was very divisive. And frankly, I wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for Barack Obama. See, we’re standing in the White House. I wouldn’t be in the White House except for Barack Obama because they did a bad job, Biden and Obama. And if they did a good job, I wouldn’t be here. I’d be building buildings someplace and having a good time.
You compared your response to coronavirus to their response to the H1N1, but-
Donald Trump: (22:42)
Well, they got very bad reviews. If you look at the Gallup poll, Gallup Poll did a review of them. Now you have to understand, that was a far lesser vicious disease. It was not in the same ballpark.
Yeah, only 13,000 people died.
Donald Trump: (22:55)
Yeah, yeah. I know. It’s also a much lesser disease, but they got very bad reviews. Gallup gave very bad reviews. And by the way, Gallup at that same time gave us very, very good reviews for the job we’ve done. So if you take a look at the Gallup poll from a couple of months ago, we got very good reviews and they got very bad reviews. The reviews they got for the handling of swine flu or H1N1, which Biden calls N1H1, and I don’t even correct him on that. I don’t even correct him. I said, “That’s a mistake you can make.” But that’s what he calls it. He’s got it a little mixed up, but that’s all right. Take a look at the Gallup poll, and there are others too. They got horrible marks and that disease is a much lesser problem. Okay.
Mr. President, do you support protestors in Belarus and do you have a message-
Donald Trump: (23:43)
Do I support protestors and terrorists?
Donald Trump: (23:44)
Oh, I thought he said protestors and terrorists.
And do you have a message for Moscow regarding potential military invasion in Belarus?
Donald Trump: (23:59)
Yeah. You have to understand me, I like seeing democracy. Democracy is a very important word. It doesn’t seem like it’s too much democracy there in Belarus, but we are speaking to lots of people, and we’ll be speaking at the appropriate time to Russia, and we’ll be speaking to other people that are involved. But it’s certainly a very big march and it seems to be a very peaceful march, unlike some of the so-called peaceful protests that we have where they burned down stores. Okay? Peaceful protest. Those are not peaceful. Those are anarchists going over to Portland and other places. These are anarchists, agitators. These are very bad people. But it seems to be very peaceful and it’s a peaceful protest. And I do, I support democracy. Okay, any other questions?
Mr. President, we’re here with female supporters. When you speak-
Donald Trump: (24:51)
Not supporters. These are just people that are outstanding people. Some support me.
Heather Higgins: (24:57)
This is a bipartisan commission.
Donald Trump: (24:57)
That’s right. This is very bipartisan. Some were appointed by people that I don’t get along with so well. Okay? I won’t say who because I happen to like you all.
Karen Hill: (25:04)
Donald Trump: (25:06)
I happen to like you all. So what can I do?
The question is, when you speak to the suburban housewives of America, what do you view as the suburban woman voter? Is the suburban woman voter a suburban housewife or is there more in your assessment?
Donald Trump: (25:21)
That’s a very fair question. A great question, actually. Look, I view it very strongly that the suburban voter, the suburban housewife, women and men living in the suburbs, they want security and they want safety. They don’t want to have a lifetime of working hard and buying a house. And by the way, 30% of the people living in suburbia are minority groups. African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, they’re minority groups. They don’t want to have their American dream fulfilled and then have a low income housing project built right next to their house or in the neighborhood. They don’t want it. That’s not part of the deal. And I terminated that.
Donald Trump: (26:08)
And I think that the suburban housewife, as you say, and I think that women and men living in the suburbs who fulfilled their American dream, or at least got a big part of it, they now live in a safe, beautiful area. They don’t want to have people coming in and forcing low income housing down their throats. And you know what? People can say I’m a bad person for doing that or they can say I’m a good person, but I think that suburban women very much appreciate what I did. I terminated it. This has been a hot issue for before President Obama, but he took it to a new level, and Biden is going to take it to yet another level.
Donald Trump: (26:49)
In fact, they say that Cory Booker, there’s another beauty, that Cory Booker is involved, and if Cory Booker’s involved, nothing good is going to happen. It’s very unfair to suburbia. Men, women, husbands, housewives, whatever you want to say, it’s very unfair. And I think it’s a very important issue and I think they respect very much what I did and nobody else would have had the guts to do it. Thank you all very much. We’ll be signing for Susan B, Anthony the full pardon very, very soon. Thank you very much.
Mr. President, should Lukashenko step down?
Donald Trump: (27:19)
Thank you. Thank you very much. Great job. [inaudible 00:27:26].
Cleta Mitchell: (27:19)
Could you sign this real quick?
Donald Trump: (27:19)
You know what, come on in here with her. Okay? Thank you very much everybody. See you in a little while.
Thank you, Mr. President.