May 27, 2021
Matt Gaetz “America First” Rally Speech Transcript Georgia May 27: Second Amendment, Paul Ryan
Rep. Matt Gaetz gave a speech at the “America First” rally in Georgia on May 27, 2021. He drew criticism for comments he made about the Second Amendment and Paul Ryan. Read the transcript of his remarks here.
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Matt Gaetz: (00:00)
… show on earth. We are the Republican Party. There’s not a more coiffed Republican Party that’s going to be flying off the Romney family ski slopes. There’s not going to be an anti-Trump Republican Party that crawls out of Meghan McCain’s mouth on The View. We’re not going to be able to shake the Bush family tree again, and hope that a version of compassionate conservatism falls out. This is Donald Trump’s party, and I’m a Donald Trump Republican.
Matt Gaetz: (00:48)
Isn’t it obvious to the establishment and the America last media right now? It’s our ideas, America First, that fills the stadiums and the halls and the ballrooms and the prairies all across this great land. We’re not going back to the days of the Bushes and the McCains and the Romneys. Our way, America First, is the way forward for America. In the swamp of Washington, DC, Marjorie Taylor Greene and I might not be considered the most powerful by the metrics they use. We don’t have the big fancy titles, the chairmanships, the extended offices, all the trappings, but we have a power that they can never take away, and it is directly tied to fighting for you, advancing your interests, battling your dislikes, and ensuring that the government that we have and the party that we have is worthy of the great people of the greatest country in all the land. As we gather tonight, Paul Ryan is giving a speech in California. Taking advice on party building from Paul Ryan would be like taking advice on how to interact with your in-laws from Meghan Markle.
Matt Gaetz: (02:24)
After Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan lost, the Republican Party was in such bad shape, it literally needed an autopsy. You do an autopsy on things that aren’t alive anymore. America First, we need no autopsy. This is a red-blooded American movement that is alive and well, and pulsing and fighting and ensuring that the best days for this country still lie ahead. Paul Ryan is almost singularly responsible for us still having Obamacare. I mean, when we took the majority, when Trump won the White House, gosh, we thought we’d pass a repeal of Obamacare. We would fulfill the commitment that we made to our people. And then political committees closely aligned to Paul Ryan took millions and millions of dollars from HMOs and other health providers, big businesses, and then they wrote the bills that didn’t repeal Obamacare, but would’ve kept Obamacare.
Matt Gaetz: (03:34)
And then the people didn’t understand what we were doing. We lost momentum. We lost the commitment that we made to our fellow Americans. And ultimately, we lost the majority as a consequence of the bad decisions that Paul Ryan made. The way forward is not a repackaged version of Paul Ryan’s better way, and it’s certainly not the Green New Deal and the socialist way. No, this is not a movement of cult of personality, though it is nice to actually have representatives who have some personality. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think that’s kind of nice. I think America’s greatest president had personality. But we are the party of big ideas, of exciting reforms that can ensure renewed generations of American greatness. We believe that trade deals ought to actually benefit Main Street, not just Wall Street. We believe that money from hardworking Americans shouldn’t be sent abroad in foreign aid to countries that hate us.
Matt Gaetz: (04:53)
We believe our military should be strong, capable to vanquish any foe and win any battle. But we do not believe that we should be in forever wars for unknowable gain, in far away lands thinking that we can convert barbaric places into Jeffersonian-style democracies. We believe that nation building starts at home, and pardon me if I’d rather rebuild America than rebuild Kandahar.
Matt Gaetz: (05:37)
That’s right, and the best way to inspire the world is not to be the world’s piggy bank or the world’s policemen. The best way to inspire the world is to be the best version of ourselves, to be a shining and splendid example of what can go right when we make sound decisions, when we have sound money. You see Joe Biden just released his $6 trillion budget. Printing more money does not make you stronger. If it did, Zimbabwe would be the biggest power in the world. We think enough of US citizenship, that we do not believe it should be given to people who do not come to our country legally.
Matt Gaetz: (06:23)
We believe in border security. We believe in internal enforcement of our immigration laws, so if people are not here legally, they don’t get to stay. They go back to their home country, and then wait in line like anyone else would be expected to do. We believe that every veteran in America ought to have healthcare and benefits just as good as any member of Congress. Veterans built this country. They show an elite level of patriotism. We believe that lockdowns are insane, and that critical race theory, something that teaches us to hate one another based on our identity, should be defunded, abolished, out of our schools, out of our military, and out of our country forever.
Matt Gaetz: (07:27)
And so if you believe, like we do, that America is a wonderful place, not an intractably racist country, if you believe that MAGA is inviting and patriotic, not deplorable, if you stand for the flag and kneel in prayer, if you want to build America up and not burn her to the ground, then welcome, my fellow patriots. You are in the right place. This is the movement for you. You belong here, joining our rallies, being a part of our digital army, sharing content, liking posts, making sure that the truth gets out. We need you donating to our campaigns. I am proud to tell you that there are only two Republicans in the House of Representatives that do not take corporate PAC money, Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Matt Gaetz: (08:24)
We don’t work for them. We work for you. I remember one time, Paul Ryan bragged to all of us about how every night during his dinners, he had to go raise a quarter of a million dollars from lobbyists and special interests in order to fund the party apparatus. How can politicians take hundreds of thousands of dollars from these PACs and lobbyists, and then pretend that they’re not influenced by that? You see, I think that instead of Republicans going on bended knee and begging the woke corporations to love us a little more, let’s actually fight for the working people in this country. If the Democrats want the woke big businesses, they can have them. I’ll take the men and women who go to work, who earn a fair wage, who follow the rules, and who want America to be better for our children and grandchildren, not to surrender to the woketopians.
Matt Gaetz: (09:30)
In this fight back, we are not powerless. This is a powerful movement. We are powerful people. As President Trump reminds us, we are the elite now, and so let us use the Constitution to strengthen our argument and our movement. We have a First Amendment right to speak and assemble, and we better use it. The internet’s hall monitors out in Silicon Valley, they think they can suppress us, discourage us. Maybe if you’re just a little less patriotic, maybe if you just conform to their way of thinking a little more, then you’ll be allowed to participate in the digital world. Well, you know what? Silicon Valley can’t cancel this movement, or this rally, or this congressmen. We have a Second Amendment in this country, and I think we have an obligation to use it. The Second Amendment…
Matt Gaetz: (10:40)
This is a little history lesson for all the fake news media. The Second Amendment is not about hunting. It’s not about recreation. It’s not about sports. The Second Amendment is about maintaining within the citizenry the ability to maintain an armed rebellion against the government if that becomes necessary. I hope it never does, but it sure is important to recognize the founding principles of this nation, and to make sure that they are fully understood. That’ll be the part that gets me kicked off YouTube, right? Talking about our rights and our freedoms. Have you see who Joe Biden wants to put in as the head of ATF? This is someone who has dedicated their career to depriving law-abiding citizens of their access to rights. Gun control is not going to deter the criminals. And where I come from in North Florida, and where you come from in Georgia, gun control just means we have a steady aim.
Matt Gaetz: (11:56)
We have a right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure in this country, and we better protect it. For anyone who thinks that the deep state is not real, if they think you’re a conspiracy theorist, just think about the things we’ve already seen. An FBI lawyer literally changed evidence before a secret court because they thought it would help them go after President Trump. The director of national intelligence under Obama stood up and said, “Oh, no, we’re not collecting data on mass scale from Americans.” Turns out, they were collecting data en masse from our fellow Americans.
Matt Gaetz: (12:39)
And how about that traitor, Jim Comey? Jim Comey lied and leaked, and he used the FBI as a mechanism to accomplish politics. The deep state is everywhere. It is real. It is even at the Post Office. The United States Post Office has an internet covert operations program. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Post Office just delivered our mail on time and on budget, without spying on the social media proclivities of the American people? Well, I’m for abolishing the deep state everywhere, and one place that we could certainly look is the office of Dr. Fauci.
Matt Gaetz: (13:28)
Oh, I’m so sick of him. Dr. Fauci is like… Remember the magic 8-ball, like you shake the magic 8-ball? You ask Dr. Fauci, it’s like, “Oh, you don’t have to wear a mask.” Then you shake it again, and you have to wear a mask. And then you shake it again, and you have to wear two masks. And you shake it again, and you have to get vaccinated, but still wear a mask. Now, you can get vaccinated and not have to wear a mask. These people have lost credibility with the American people because they have not been honest, because they have been trying to seize power. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what it’s all about. Unfortunately, almost every agency of government that I’ve observed in Washington, DC, they just want to grow larger. And to do that, they help their friends and they target their enemies.
Matt Gaetz: (14:20)
And we’d like to think that there are at least some in Washington that don’t do that, but unfortunately, it is a condition that we have observed with presidents of both parties. We’re still here because there’s still a lot of swamp left to drain in Washington, DC. And to get the job done, we’re actually going to need some fighters. The Wuhan Institute of Virology. So back in April of 2020, I went on Tucker Carlson’s program and said, “Hey, I don’t really think it’s reasonable that the Chinese are telling us that a bat somehow traversed a gazillion miles, ended up in a pangolin, then ended up in a soup, and that we shouldn’t blame the Wuhan Institute of Virology for the Wuhan virus.” And so we told the truth. We laid bare that we had to bring that funding back home, not send it to a place where even our own State Department said in 2018 there were insufficient controls to ensure that there was not a release of something very deadly and very detrimental. I got a call that night I went on Tucker Carlson. “Matt, this is your favorite president.” And I was like, “Reagan?”
Matt Gaetz: (15:40)
He did not laugh. But within hours, President Trump canceled funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Oh, and the media, they went… “Oh, these are heroes,” they told us on CBS’s 60 Minutes program. “Gaetz and Tucker Carlson and Trump, they’ve done a terrible thing to stop us from fighting the virus.” Well, now that the truth starts to come out, we learned that there was no leaping of this virus through the pangolin, whatever that is, that the evidence seems to suggest precisely where this virus came from. And now we’re learning that in the opening months of the Biden administration, they were taking action to eliminate that investigation, to stop our search for the truth. Well, you know what? Too many Americans have died. Too much justice is required. Too much accounting from China is demanded. We are going to get the truth. The truth will prevail, and we’re going to hold China and the Chinese Communist Party accountable for the death and destruction they brought our country and the world.
Matt Gaetz: (16:56)
And so in this great country that we love and fight for and serve, why is it that it takes so long to get the right policies in place, to utilize some common sense? The reason is that our government in the swamp of Washington is fundamentally corrupt. Committee assignments are bought and sold. Lobbyists control how much power you have. PACs control how much resource you have for your campaigns. Everyone is just worried about where they’re going to be, climbing up the ladder of a corrupt system. I love Donald Trump, because he rejected that corrupt system. And you know what? After the art of the deal is the art of the comeback, and I think Donald Trump’s coming back in 2024 to secure the presidency for our movement and our people and our great nation.
Matt Gaetz: (17:51)
And if he doesn’t, who knows? But for our policies to be better, for our trade to be better, for our government to be more honest, for our borders to have integrity, first, our elections must have integrity, and we need your help to fix the problem right here in the state of Georgia. What is going on in Fulton County? I mean, this is a red state. You are God-fearing, wonderful Americans, and I think that the 145,000 ballots that we’re about to audit and review in Fulton County are going to tell one hell of a story. And you know what? We’re going to push back against the Biden Justice Department if they try to do anything to interfere with that audit.
Matt Gaetz: (18:47)
Marjorie and I were just out in the state of Arizona, and there, we’ve got some Patriots that want to get to the bottom of what happened in Maricopa County. And you know who’s shaking in their boots? The Biden Justice Department. They were sending letters threatening people in Arizona to stop the audit, or they would bring a civil rights action against them. Well, I think the Biden Justice Department should be actually working to vindicate the civil rights and voting rights of our people, not fighting against them. Will you let them know that you will not be intimidated in the state of Georgia?
Matt Gaetz: (19:33)
This is so obvious. I can’t even believe I have to say it out loud. Requiring an identification to vote is not racist. Assuming that some race of people can’t get an ID is actually what’s racist. You have to get an ID to get on a plane, to get a fishing license. Don’t you have to have an ID to buy a gun? But to vote, I guess a note from your mom will do. Speaking of gun ownership, I am a strong supporter of constitutional carry. The only permit that should be required for gun ownership is the Constitution of the United States of America.
Matt Gaetz: (20:23)
It is great to be in the presence of such joy and such welcoming. They always try to portray us as this nativist tribal movement. The reality is, we’re here because we want all of our fellow Americans to succeed and do better and be more prosperous, but we’re not going to apologize for American greatness. It’s actually the goal. We want to be a great country. We’re not sorry about it, and we’re going to keep embracing the policies that will lift up all people so that we can actually go and preserve another generation of prosperity and richness and wealth. When he gave a speech to accept the Republican nomination for president in 1988, George H.W. Bush said, “I’m a quiet man, and I hear the quiet people of this country.” Well, I am not a quiet man, and America first is not a quiet movement. We’ll be raucous when we have to. We’ll demand better. We’ll demand more, and we’ll demand that more districts across this great nation send fighting members of Congress like Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Matt Gaetz: (21:45)
It is horrifying what the media has done to Marjorie. And frankly, too many Republicans have taken the bait and gone along with it. They call Marjorie an anti-Semite. If Marjorie is an anti-Semite, she is terrible at it, because she is one of the most pro-Israel members of Congress to have ever served. Marjorie Taylor Greene actually calls out Israel’s enemies. She actually challenges their detractors to debate policy and to engage on ideas. And I am proud to stand with this woman, and it is so offensive that the establishment in Washington, DC think they know better than you, think they know better than the people of North Georgia. Well, you know what? Marjorie Taylor Greene got way more votes than most of the people that don’t want her serving on committees. I trust all of you, not the swamp creatures in Washington, DC.
Matt Gaetz: (22:58)
Trump is, in fact, the leader of our party, and ours is a party and a country that’s still worth fighting for, because there is no place to run, no distant land to convert to our purposes should America fall.
Matt Gaetz: (23:27)
I feel the love, but America-