Jun 8, 2023

Former Vice President Mike Pence Announces 2024 Presidential Run Transcript

Former Vice President Mike Pence announces 2024 presidential run
RevBlogTranscripts2024 ElectionFormer Vice President Mike Pence Announces 2024 Presidential Run Transcript

Former Vice President Mike Pence formally announced his 2024 run for president at a campaign event in Des Moines. Read the transcript here. 

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Speaker 1 (00:00):

And we’ve got a real dynamic candidate today who’s going to share his personal announcement.

Today, you’re all part of this historical moment, launching of the presidential races, and I hope that you’ll appreciate the message that they’re all giving.

And I’m not going to talk for long because you’ve got some other people here, I think you’re really here to hear more than I, but I just want to say ladies and gentlemen, in true Indiana spirit, start your engines for the 2024 races. We’ve got a dynamic trio here who are going to lead us in the invocation and the pledge and the national anthem. If they’d join me now, Joe Huss, Polly Graham and Emma Peterson.

Speaker 2 (00:48):

All right, let us pray. Our Heavenly Father, we thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to be here today. We thank you, Lord, for a country that we live in that’s free. We thank you for that freedom and we thank you for the freedom that we have in Christ. That those who place their faith in him would have eternal life.

But Lord, today is a wonderful day because of the announcement that’s going to be made. A true conservative, a godly man, one who loves this country, I just pray for him and for his wife as they journey along this campaign trail. May you give them great strength and great courage. And Lord, we ask you that you would give them great wisdom. Help this family, help Vice President Mike Pence to win this election. God, may you be in this. We thank you and we love you. For it’s in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Audience (02:01):


Speaker 3 (02:09):

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Speaker 5 (02:23):


Speaker 1 (04:06):

You can be seated. It’s my pleasure now to introduce someone that I was told by the vice president is the better congressman, his brother. I thought that’s kind of nice, but I also want to point out that he is also a Marine and has served our country. And in that capacity, I have a great deal of respect for him. And as our congressman, he has been a dynamic leader as well in Congress. Please give a good, strong Iowa welcome to Congressman Greg Pence.

Congressman Greg Pence (04:47):

All right. Hello Iowa, and hello Hoosiers from Indiana. The Pence family is from Southern Indiana, so I’m real comfortable with the corn here in Iowa. In fact, I grew up with a corn field right behind my back.

Now, for those of you who don’t know me and just heard that real short bio, I’m the older brother of Mike Pence. A lot of people say I look like him. No, he looks like me. Remember, I’m older.

Today, I can’t be more proud than to be here and stand with my brother in this race that he is starting off today. Michael, as I know him, Mike Pence, as the rest of the world knows him, he’s just a wonderful man. No other Republican in this field has the ability to defeat Joe Biden other than my brother. He will turn our country around and he will be the next President of the United States starting today.

Somebody asked me if my brother has changed for the times or the times are catching up with him, Michael has always said, “I’m Christian, conservative and Republican, and I’m not mad about it, and in that order,” and that’s the type of man we need today in 2023. On issues of life, liberty, and loyalty to our constitution, Mike doesn’t just talk the talk. We’ve seen him lead here at home and around the world. Mike is a man who will unflinchingly stand his post. And if you’re a veteran, like myself, and you know the sixth general order, the sixth general order says, “I will not leave my post until properly relieved.” My brother never did on January 6th. In the face of those who had seek to bend his iron tested character, Mike Pence never wavered. That strength and courage will lead America back to greatness. And again, it’s what we need today.

We know under Joe Biden, America has become a troubled nation. Our economy is in distress, inflation is at record high, wages are down, my utility bills are gone through the roof. Our border is wide open to illegal immigrants and dangerous drugs, and fentanyl is killing our youth. Crime is rampant in the big cities. Our standing in the world is weakened, and while radical left is on eroding the very foundation of which our nation is founded with their woke agenda, these difficult times call for new leadership, ladies and gentlemen.

In Michael, I see the steady hand our country needs in this time of turmoil. Michael’s only focus is the future of our party. His sole mission is to get our country back on the right track. And I cannot wait until he gets on that debate stage later this summer.

Today is just the start of this campaign, but I believe that it marks the beginning of our American renewal. Each of you know Mike, but you’ll get to know him more as a man, as his own man in this race. I know you will see in him what I as one of his brothers already know. He’s a great husband, a great father, and a great-grandfather, and he’s the best brother anyone could have, except the other brothers I have as well. I have to do that. He’s a man of faith, committed conservative, and is guided by principle.

The standard bears of the Republican Party, Lincoln and Reagan, never fail to remind us about what it means to be Americans in the greatest nation ever known to man. Our next president has been called upon to do the same.

In these times, Mike Pence’s leadership is what America needs. The good book says, “Whoever is not against us is for us.” Mike Pence is not against anybody or anything. He’s for the future. Mike Pence is the right man at the right time.

So with your help and God’s, Iowa will be the first state to send this good and decent and honest man to the Republican nomination in 2024. And together, we will elect Mike Pence, the 47th President of the United States. And it’s now my honor to introduce my friend, the Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, Todd Huston. Please, a warm welcome.

Todd Huston (10:26):

Well, that is a tough act to follow, but good afternoon, Iowa. It is great to be here.

When I met Mike Pence in the early 1990s, he was a conservative talk radio show host, and I was a guest on his show. And let me tell you, it was obvious then, as great as he was on the airways of Indiana, Mike was destined for far greater things. That interview would be the beginning of a friendship with one of the most engaging, funny, and thoughtful people I’ve ever met. A man of great character and devotion to public service, that carried him to Congress, to being governor of my home state of Indiana, and to being the Vice President of the United States.

Today, I’m very proud of my friendship with Mike Pence for the same reasons we all will be when he’s our next president. We can be proud of Mike Pence for being a tireless fighter for conservative values, small government, lower taxes, and for being a champion of school choice. We can be proud of Mike Pence for his genuine respect and admiration for the service and sacrifice of our military, our veterans, law enforcement…

… the federal deficit, and put power back in the hands of the American people and not in the federal government. Ladies and gentlemen, today is a great day. Today’s announcement represents a critical step in electing a president prepared to lead our country with optimism and integrity. And I can’t wait for the great people of Iowa to get to know the Mike Pence that I know. I know Mike is looking forward to meeting all of you.

This morning, I read that somebody said, “Mike Pence can be a lot like mayonnaise on toast,” and let me just suggest this, I think you’re going to get to know the Mike Pence that we know, that Congressman Pence and I know, and there’s a lot of Iowa bacon, and maybe even a little Tabasco sauce on that toast too.

So we are super excited for you to meet that Mike Pence, who’s going to be an amazing candidate and President of the United States.

So, thank you so much for being here today. Thank you for your amazing Iowa welcome for our next president, Mike Pence.

( Singing).

Speaker 4 (13:46):

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the 48th Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence and Mrs. Karen Pence.

( Singing).

Karen Pence (14:35):

Wow, thank you for that warm Iowa welcome. Usually, when you have the honor of introducing somebody, you want to tell the audience something maybe they don’t know about the speaker. But today, you probably know that he served 12 years in the United States Congress, you know that he was Governor of Indiana, and of course you know he was your Vice President.

You may also know that we have three amazing kids who are all married to three wonderful spouses, and we have three beautiful granddaughters. We are truly, truly blessed. Our kids have traveled this journey with us. They moved to serve as we moved. They supported us. And so, this moment is one that I, as their mom and their mother-in-law, want to share with them. So, Michael, Sarah, Charlotte, Henry, Audrey, and Dan, I get emotional when I think of them, thank you for always being there for us. We have great kids. We really, really do.

But to maybe give you some new insight into who Mike Pence is, I wanted to share a story with you, and let you know why Mike Pence is announcing today. In 1988 and 1990, we ran for Congress and lost, and it was a good thing that we lost. I see some friends nodding. Jay, I see you out there. But we were very

Karen Pence (17:00):

… Very arrogant, and we were very full of ourselves. We thought Mike and Karen Pence are God’s gift to Washington DC, and we were humbled, and it was a good thing that we were humbled. And so we actually gave up on the dream of representing Indiana in the United States Congress. But in 1999, that same congressional seat became open. Mike had his own syndicated radio show around Indiana. And party leaders had approached us to see if maybe we would consider running one more time. Well, our lives were very comfortable. Our children were five, six, and seven. This would be quite a change.

I had saved my watercolor income that year and gave Mike a surprise trip to a dude ranch in Colorado for his 40th birthday. And one afternoon near the end of our stay at the ranch, Mike and I took a ride by ourselves on horses up to the top of a bluff in the Roosevelt National Forest. The whole week we had been struggling with the decision of whether or not to run for Congress one more time. We had been thinking, and praying, talking through what it would mean, and we got off of our horses and we sat on a ledge on the side of the bluff and Mike said, “Karen, we’ve got to make a decision. Time is running out.”

Well, we had been to this rodeo before, pun intended, and we understood the demands of campaigning and the additional demands of raising the funds necessary, the time commitment, the personal financial commitment, and the stress that this would be on our family because this time we had kids. We had weighed the pros and cons, discussed it at length, and prayed extensively. But he was right. It was time. Well, Mike is a romantic at heart. Now that might be something that you don’t know. And as we were sitting on that ledge, we looked out and right at that moment we saw two red tail hawks and they were rising on the wind, just letting the wind’s current lift them higher and higher. “See those hawks?” Mike said to me, “Those hawks are like us.”

” Well,” I said, “If those hawks are like us, then I think we should run, but this time we should do it like the hawks. We should step off this cliff and make ourselves available to God. And this time, instead of ambition driving us, we should allow God to lift us up to wherever he wants to use us with no flapping.” And right then and there in the Roosevelt National Forest, we made the decision. And no flapping has been our mantra ever since. And once again, we feel called to step off, to step up and make ourselves available to serve God and our country. So ladies and gentlemen, let me be the first to introduce you to the next President of the United States. Mike Pence.

Todd Huston (21:37):

Well, hello Iowa. Secretary Paul Pate, Congressman Greg Pence, Speaker Todd Houston, my fellow Hoosiers, my friends in Iowa. My fellow Americans. It is great to be back in the Hawkeye state. Indiana will always be home for us, and I get why people make big announcements back home in their hometown, at their resort, even on Twitter. But we wanted to be here in person in Iowa. We are here because we know that Iowa was the right place to start our engines for the Great American comeback. We just wanted you to know men and women of Iowa. We know the next Republican nominee for president and the next President of the United States will get their start right here in the Hawkeye State. So we thank you all for being here.

We’re truly grateful, all of you that have come from near and far. I stand before you today deeply humbled as the son of the heartland, the grandson of an Irish immigrant. My dad was a combat veteran in the Korean War, my mom, a first generation Irish American who’s 91 years young and looking on from home today. Hi mom. Our family lived the American dream. I married the girl of my dreams. And now you understand a little bit more about how special she is. Elementary school teacher, an artist, a pilot, and the best Second Lady the United States of America has ever had. Would you join me in thanking my amazing wife? Karen Pence.

As Karen just told you, together we raised three incredible kids, who married three amazing spouses, and just in the past two years, we became grandparents three times over to the three most beautiful little granddaughters ever born in the history of the world. Our son is a captain in the United States Marine Corps. Our daughter Charlotte, is a bestselling author and married to a lieutenant in the United States Navy that just finished Top Gun. And our daughter, Audrey is a Yale law graduate and now practicing law. Let me just say, as Karen did, we love you guys and we miss you today.

I actually started in politics in another party. You may not know that. But I got to tell you, as soon as I heard the voice of the 40th President of the United States, I joined the Reagan Revolution and never looked back. I came to faith in Jesus Christ as a man in college, and I started a lifelong love affair with the Constitution of the United States for all of my adult life. As my brother just said, the introduction I preferred is pretty short. I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican in that order, and it has been my honor to serve you, the people of this state and nation.

Now most Americans know me from my last assignment in the White House. What you may not know is I was also a congressman from Indiana For 12 years. I was a leader for house conservatives. We fought for life and liberty. I battled against big spenders in both political parties during those years, and most of them remember it. I was a governor in Indiana where we cut taxes, as you heard from Speaker Houston. We achieved record employment, we expanded educational choice, stood for the right to life and the freedom of religion. And as your vice president, I was proud to stand by President Donald Trump every single day when we made America great again.

Everything I am, everything I ever will be. I owe to my family, people of this country, and to almighty God. I often think of that verse the King David wrote, “Who am I? Who is my family that you brought me this far?” You know, I truly do believe in the boundless potential of every American to live the American dream. But traveling around this country over the past two years since I left office, it feels different, doesn’t it? Talking to our fellow Americans, I see weariness on faces everywhere I go and I hear it in their voices.

I don’t have to tell any of you here. This country’s in a lot of trouble. President Joe Biden and the radical left have weakened America at home and abroad. The confidence and pride that once lifted the American spirit to new heights not so long ago has given way to fear and a growing angst that our best days might be in the past. In many ways, our country has grown barely recognizable than just a few short years ago. There are crises everywhere. Our borders under siege, inflation’s at a near 40 year high, gas prices are through the roof, fertilizer and fuel prices are wreaking a hardship on family farms here in Iowa, and Indiana, and all across the country. Crime is skyrocketing in our major cities, real wages are falling, and our national debts piling up like a mountain range on our children and grandchildren.

And that disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan has emboldened the enemies of freedom around the world. And maybe worst of all, timeless American values are under assault every day in classrooms, our children are indoctrinated into radical ideologies and even taught to hate our history. And from boardrooms, our faith and beliefs are insulted routinely. While government agencies target concerned parents and punish consumers in the name of social justice, we’re better than this. This country has been so good to my family, and I’ve been honored to serve it. We both have. And it’d be easy to stay on the sidelines. That’s not how I was raised. I’ve long believed that to whom much is given, much will be required. That’s why today before God and my family, I’m announcing that I’m running for President of the United States of America. I know we can bring this country back. We can defend our nation and secure our border. We can revive our economy, put our nation back on a path to a balanced federal budget. We can defend our liberties and give America a new beginning for life, but it’ll require new leadership in the White House and the Republican Party. The crises we face to borrow a phrase are all manmade. And that man is Joe Biden. So the first step to turning America around is ending this disastrous presidency. So here in Iowa, we must resolve that Joe Biden will never be reelected as President of the United States.

We must elect a new Republican president, chart a course for our nation, guided by our timeless principles. The Bible says, “Without a vision, the people perish. And what’s true of a people is also true of nations.” Well, ours will be a vision that’s grounded in freedom. We will rebuild our military and make it fitted to the times to defend our freedom in an ever more turbulent world. We will end political correctness at the Pentagon and we will give our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard the support they need to defend this nation and come home safe. Here at home, we’ll champion lower taxes, we’ll extend the historic tax relief of the Trump-Pence administration, and will give the American people freedom from excessive federal regulations, and get back to repealing two federal regulations for every new rule that we put on the books.

We’ll end Joe Biden’s trillion dollar spending spree that’s driving inflation and making life more expensive for every American and will set our nation back on a path to a balanced budget and make America’s government follow the model of families by living within its means. We’ll offer common sense and compassionate solutions to the debt crisis facing our children and grandchildren, and we’ll free future generations from a mountain range of debt. We’ll unleash American energy, open federal lands, and America will become energy independent once again. We’ll break the unholy alliance between Wall Street and big government that’s forcing radical ESG policies on the private sector. And when I am President, American families will have a champion in the White House. We will give parents the freedom to choose where their children go to school. We will reject radical propaganda and we will demand respect for

Todd Huston (34:00):

… for our history and religious freedom. And as your president, I will appoint men and women to our federal courts who will uphold all the God given liberties enshrined in our constitution. First Amendment, freedom of speech and religion. Second Amendment, right to keep and bear arms, and they will stand for the sanctity of human life. And in all this work, we will seek not to divide the American people, but instead to appeal the better angels of their nature. Now Calvin Coolidge said once it is a great advantage to a president and a major source of safety for the country, for him to know that he is not a great man. This I know.

I must tell you, we have as Americans have had our fill of politicians who present themselves as great men and women. The last place we ought look for deliverance is to our government. What we do seek is leaders with the courage of their convictions and competence and character and we offer our services to all of you in that spirit. Now, while some in this contest have already taken to criticizing the record of the Trump Pence administration, let me be clear. I’m incredibly proud of everything we accomplished for the American people, together.

Together in three short years, we cut taxes, we destroyed ISIS, we stood with our allies and stood up to our enemies as never before, we made the strongest military in the history of the world, stronger than ever before. We gave historic prosperity at home that lifted all Americans regardless of race or creed or color. We achieved energy independence. And maybe most important of all, it was our administration that appointed three of the justices that sent Roe versus Wade to the ash heap of history where it belongs.

We gave America a new beginning for life. Now, given our record, it might be fair to ask why I’m challenging my former running mate. Let me say from my heart, it begins with a promise that I made to the American people and to Almighty God. And it ends with different visions for the future of our nation and our party. January 6th, was a tragic day in the life of our nation, but thanks to the courage of law enforcement, the violence was quelled. And we reconvened the Congress the very same day to complete the work of the American people under the Constitution of the United States.

As I’ve said many times, on that fateful day, President Trump’s words were reckless. They endangered my family and everyone at the capitol, but the American people deserve to know that on that day, President Trump also demanded that I choose between him and the Constitution. Now voters will be faced with the same choice. I chose the Constitution and I always will. Four years earlier, I swore an oath, with my hand on my Bible and on Ronald Reagan’s Bible, to support and defend the Constitution. The Bible says he keeps his oath even when it hurts. And I know something about that.

My son in the Marine once reminded me, you took the same oath I took, Dad. So I did. So let me explain. Article two, section one of the Constitution provides that the President of the Senate, the Vice President shall, the presence of the Senate in the House open all the certificates and the votes shall be counted, no more, no less. Despite the fact that the Constitution’s language is clear and provides the vice president with no authority to reject or return electoral votes, my former running mate continues to insist that I had the right to overturn the election. But President Trump was wrong then and he’s wrong now.

I will always believe by God’s grace, I did my duty that day. I kept my oath to ensure the peaceful transfer of power under the Constitution of the United States of America. Now, let me say from my heart, I understand the disappointment that many still feel about the outcome of the 2020 election. I can relate, I was on the ballot, but I had no right to overturn the election. And Kamala Harris will have no right to overturn the election when we beat them in 2024.

Finally, let me say to my countryman, I’ll always be grateful for what President Trump did for this country. I’ve often prayed for him over the past few years and I prayed for him again today. I had hoped he would come around and see that he had been misled about my role that day, but that was not to be. So let me say, I stand before you today as a candidate for President to say to the Republican Party, the Republican Party must be the party of the Constitution of the United States.

Look, we’ve had enough of the Democrats and the radical left repeatedly trampling on our constitution, threatening to pack the court to dismantle the God-given rights that are enshrined there. We must stand on the Constitution to protect the God-given right to life. We must stand on the Constitution to protect the right to keep and bear arms. We must stand for the Constitution to protect the right to live, to work, to worship according to the dictates of our faith and conscience. The American people must know that leaders in the Republican Party will keep our oath to support and defend the Constitution even when it’s not in our political interest to do so.

And one last word that in part brings us here today, I believe that anyone who puts themselves over the Constitution should never be President of the United States. And anyone who asks someone else to put them over the Constitution should never be President of the United States again. Our liberties have been bought at too high a price. And how can we ask our men and women in uniform like the members of our family to support and defend the Constitution and not demand the same from those who would send them into battle. As your president I promise you, bottom of my heart, I will always stand on the constitution of the United States. And I will always stand with the men and women of the armed forces of the United States so help me God. So I said my reasons for being here begin with a day in the past, but elections are about the future. And I believe different times call for different leaders. And my differences with my former running mate and others who are in this field also have to do with the values and policies upon which we have built this movement and will build this movement for generations to come.

When Donald Trump ran for president in 2016, he promised to govern as a conservative, together we did just that, but today, he makes no such promise. After leading the most pro-life administration in American history, Donald Trump and others in this race are retreating from the cause of the unborn. Sanctity of life has been our party’s calling for a half a century long before Donald Trump was a part of it, but now he treats it as an inconvenience, even blaming our election losses in 2022 on overturning Roe V. Wade.

As your president, I will always stand for the sanctity of life and I will not rest and I will not relent until we restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law in every state in the land, but it’s not just values but it’s priorities. Today we have a national debt the size of our nation’s economy for the first time since the end of World War II. We owe trillions of dollars to our adversaries, $860 billion to China alone. The biggest drivers of runaway spending are our new deal in great society programs upon which Americans depend every day, social security and Medicare, they make up 70% of the federal budget, but what you deserve to know is that Medicare has five years before it goes broke. Social security has 10 years if we’re lucky and left unchecked and unreformed, it’ll mandate cuts in programs upon which people depend. We’re still, if we don’t take the opportunity to reform these entitlements today in 25 years, that 32 trillion will grow to 150 trillion and crush the future of the American economy and opportunities for our children and grandchildren. Now, Joe Biden’s policy is insolvency, but you deserve to know my fellow Republicans that Donald Trump’s position on entitlement reform is the same. Both of them refuse to even talk about the issue and take it to the American people.Addressing a looming debt crisis facing those little ones in the years ahead is apparently less important than their short term political fortunes.

As your President, I promise you, I will tell the American people the truth about our debt crisis and we will offer common sense and compassionate reforms to save these programs for seniors today and give young Americans a better deal tomorrow. And finally, it’s about America’s place in the world and our responsibilities as a beacon of freedom. America is the leader of the free world. We’re the arsenal of democracy, but as war rages in Eastern Europe, the Chinese military continues its provocations even through this week against American warships and planes in the Asia Pacific.

Donald Trump and others who would seek the presidency would walk away from our traditional role on the world stage. Russia invaded and waged war on a sovereign nation killing hundreds and thousands of innocent civilians. Its army targeted and tortured, destroyed hospitals and schools and left cities in rubble and continues today. President Trump, he described Vladimir Putin as a genius at the outset of the invasion. And another candidate for the Republican nomination described the invasion of Ukraine as a “territorial dispute”. I must tell you, a year ago Karen and I stood on the Ukraine Poland border. We went into a relief center and spoke with and embraced heartbroken families who were fleeing the violence. And I promise you, I know the difference between a genius and a war criminal. I know the difference between a territorial dispute and a war of aggression. The war in Ukraine is not our war, but freedom is our fight and America must always stand for freedom. And when I’m your president, we will.

You know what President Trump and others are forgetting is that our administration succeeded not because we compromised or abandoned conservative principles, but because we acted on them. I know we could beat Joe Biden, but we must resist the politics of personality and the siren song of populism unmoored to conservative principles and we must stand firm on a traditional Republican agenda of a strong national defense,

Todd Huston (51:00):

… hence fiscal responsibility and traditional values that led us to victory in the past and will lead us to victory again. So as Republicans here in Iowa and across the country begin the process of choosing our standard-bearer in 2024, one more reminder, we cannot expect to unite the nation around an agenda of a politics based on grudges and grievances. Joe Biden promised to restore decency and civility if he was elected president and he broke that promise on day one. He’s continually vilified those of us that disagree with him and even vilified members of his own party. I believe that democracy depends on heavy doses of civility and traveling across this country the past two years, I’ve heard consistently from our fellow Americans that they’re looking for new leadership, but leadership that could unite our country around our highest ideals and leadership that would respect the civility that most Americans show one another every day.

After we moved back to Indiana, I’d like to say once you get 15 miles out of Washington D.C., the people of this country actually get along pretty well most days. Our politics are more divided than ever before, but I’m not convinced our country is as divided as our politics. Most Americans treat each other with kindness and respect even when we disagree, we know how to be good neighbors. That’s not too much to ask our leaders to do the same. But sadly, it’s clear that neither Joe Biden or Donald Trump share this belief, and neither of them intend to even try to bring our country together. But I believe it’s not just about civility. To craft real solutions to the monumental challenges the American people are facing at home and abroad we need leaders who will lead with respect for every American. Winston Churchill said once memorably, “You’ll never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every barking dog.” We need leaders who can distinguish between starting fights and finishing them between the politics of outrage and standing firm. I learned a long time ago that the best way to fight and win for the American people is to stand your ground. In Congress I stood against big government republicanism, No Child Left Behind, entitlement expansion, and I led the fight against the Wall Street bailout. We faced great pressure from a Republican president at the time, but we stood firm. As Indiana’s governor, we fought to cut taxes to roll back regulations, expand educational choice, battled back against the teacher’s unions. I stood for religious liberty against the woke brigades long before woke was even a thing. As vice president, I stood by my president and our agenda in the face of withering media attacks every day, and in the end, I stood my ground for the oath into the Constitution.

As your president, I will not yield an inch in defending America, our people or our values, but I promise you I will do so in a way consistent with the character and decency of the American people. We will restore a threshold of civility in public life so we can bring real solutions to the challenges facing our nation. We gather today at a difficult point in life of our nation. Americans are frustrated and anxious. So much has been lost in such a short period of time, but despair is not in our nature. Surrender is not in the American vocabulary. I love this country. I’ve dedicated my life to serving it, so I have a few things to ask. First, I ask for your support ’cause I believe in my heart that we can turn this country around. What we did once we will do again. What we had not long ago, we will have once more, but even better. Secondly, I ask you to remember who we are and remember what we’ve done.

A careful study of American history shows that every time the American people have been called upon to do hard things, the American people have always risen to the challenge. We crossed the Delaware River. We weathered the terrible winter at Valley Ford. We faced redoubts at Yorktown, made an empire wave a white flag. We wrote a Constitution that changed the course of history. We held the hills of Gettysburg. We fought through the wilderness and threw open the doors of Richmond slave jails, all to save the Constitution and renew its promise of equality and freedom. We stormed the sands and scaled the cliffs of Normandy. We drove tanks through the gates of Dachau. We planted the Stars and Stripes on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima and saved civilization. We marched on Washington and won the right of suffrage for America’s women. We marched over the Edmund Pettus bridge and ended segregation.

We built rockets and flew them to the moon, leaving the Russians in our exhaust. We built the largest economy, the greatest military in history, and we buried the Soviet Union beneath it. The American people are always there for one another. When neighbors are hurting strangers load up their minivans and head that way, whether it was when the towers fell and people rushed across the country to search through the rubble, or whether it was when the winds blew here in Iowa and the floodwaters rose. So I ask you to remember who we are if you are attempted to despair. We’re Americans, and there’s nothing we can’t accomplish together. One of those Americans left us 30 years ago in our family. My father was a combat veteran who came home from the Korean War with a medal on his chest, a Bronze Star for valor that went in the drawer never to be spoken of again. When dad’s platoon came under heavy fire, his citation reads that he led his men across a minefield to safety.

Until the day he died, he seldom spoke of those days in Korea and battles of Pork Chop Hill in Old Baldy. He didn’t need to. He was called to fight for his country and he did his duty, and he never considered himself a hero. Our dad used to say the heroes were the guys that didn’t get to come home. But that kid from the south side of Chicago was called to defend America oceans away to stand against a superior force under withering fire, and he answered like generations that have gone before. But this is not my father’s story. This is America’s story. We’ve, all of us, always risen to the challenge. As I said, my father kept that Bronze Star in the dresser drawer, but throughout my public career, my family’s let me keep it close. It traveled with me to the Congress, to the governor’s office, and to the White House. For me, it was always a reminder that our challenges don’t demand acts of valor quite like [inaudible 01:00:59] and Americans are displayed throughout our history.

But a reminder that fulfilling our role and our part to keep the flame of liberty alive and vibrant for the next generation requires each of us to summon our best, find the grace to see the best in one another and face the future with courage, and never forget where we’ve been and what we’ve done, and above all else, who we are. The American people are the most freedom-loving, faith-filled, idealistic, generous people the world has ever known. The American people have always been great, we just need government as good as our people, and we’ll have it and we’ll have it sound. When we do, the time we’re passing through today will only be a footnote in history. But finally, and lastly, I ask for your prayers, for me, for my family, and for all of the American people. We don’t know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future. The Bible says where the Spirit of the Lord is there’s liberty. I believe with all my heart that God is not done with America yet.

Speaker 6 (01:02:30):


Todd Huston (01:02:30):

If we turn our hearts back to the author and finisher of our faith and freedom, freedom story, the American story has only just begun, and the best day of the greatest nation on earth are yet to come. So let’s get to work. Thank you and God bless you and God bless America.


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