Jun 6, 2023
Mike Pence Speaks at ‘Roast and Ride’ Ahead of 2024 Campaign Announcement Transcript
Mike Pence rips ‘Radical Left’ in Iowa before 2024 campaign launch. Read the transcript here.
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Mike Pence (00:00):
Well, hello Iowa. It is great to be back at the Roast and Ride. I rode and I roasted on the ride. Would you join me in thanking the incomparable Senator Joni Ernst for caring about our veterans so much and bringing together this great tradition again?
It’s great to be back on a Harley, great to be with all of you, great to be here with Senator Ernst. And really, one of the toughest and most irascible and unstoppable forces in American politics, Senator Chuck Grassley. Thank you, Iowa.
And let me also say it’s a particular joy, I know she led off this morning, but it is great to be in the Hawkeye State, home to one of the best governors in America, Governor Kim Reynolds. Thank you for your leadership.
And finally, I always wait to introduce the highest ranking official last. She’s a Marine Corps mom, Christian school teacher, and frankly, the best second lady the United States of America has ever had. Would you join me in thanking my wife, Karen Pence, who traveled Iowa with us today?
Our life has changed a lot since the last time most of us were together. We moved home to Indiana, we bought five acres and a pond. I bought a John Deere riding mower. 54 inch deck, 25 horsepower, zero turn radius. Got a pickup truck, Ford Ranger. And the best thing that happened to Karen and me is that not once, not twice, but three times we became grandparents to the three most beautiful granddaughters in the world. It’s been great.
So we’ve been blessed, but I can’t say that about America. How our lives have all changed in the last two years. The truth of the matter is, our country’s in a lot of trouble. I expect it’s what brought you all out here today. Under President Joe Biden and the Democrats in Washington D.C., they’ve unleashed the worst border crisis in American history. Inflation’s at a 40-year-high, energy prices through the roof, all from their war on energy.
And their weakness abroad in that disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan has emboldened the enemies of freedom, and wars raging in Eastern Europe and being threatened in the Asia Pacific. The truth of the matter is, President Joe Biden has weakened America at home and abroad. But the answer, Iowa is strong conservative Republican leadership back in the White House. And I know Iowa’s going to tape it and deliver it.
People ask me all the time, they say, when I’m at the gas station or the grocery store, they say, “Mike, you think we can get it all back?” And I look at them and I say, “We’re going to get it all back and then some.” Because I believe in the American people. And I know that with right leadership in the White House and in the Congress of the United States, we will take America all the way back and then some, to the prosperity and security of just a few years ago.
Think about it, in the first three years of an administration that Iowa supported every step of the way, we rebuilt our military, we revived our economy by cutting taxes and regulation. We unleashed American energy and we became a net exporter of energy and energy independent for the first time in 75 years. We secured our border. We reduced illegal immigration and asylum abuse by 90%.
And when it comes to peace through strength, we made record investments in our national defense, and our armed forces took the fight to our enemies on our terms, on their soil. They crushed the ISIS caliphate, they took down their leader without one American casualty, and Qasem Soleimani is gone.
But beyond the prosperity and security of those days that the people of Iowa supported, perhaps of greatest consequence, with the strong support of Senator Grassley and Senator Ernst, we appointed more than 300 conservatives to our federal courts at every level, including Justice Neil Gorsuch, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
And I couldn’t be more proud to have been part of the 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 and we can do it all again.
And I’m here in Iowa today, and I’ll be back a little bit later next week, because Iowa’s the place that we shape principled, conservative leadership. Iowa is the place that shaped the standard-bearer of this party.
And I have to tell you, over the last two years, Karen and I have spent a lot of time reflecting and praying about everything that this country’s dealing with and what we might do to serve. And I don’t have anything to announce today, but I can tell you, when I got time to announce, come this Wednesday, I’m announcing in Iowa.
In contrast to the Democrat’s agenda of decline and decay, Republicans have to offer a positive vision of the future, grounded in conservative principles. And we got to speak hard truths. Men and women, we’ve got to resist the temptation to put what’s popular over what works and has been proven over time.
I believe we have to resist the politics of personality and the siren song of populism on more to timeless conservative principles. And we need to stand firm on the conservative agenda of life and liberty and a commitment to freedom that has always led us to victory.
We need to speak plainly about the challenges our nation is facing at home and abroad. We need to marshal leadership that’ll answer that cause. And we also have to stand up for American families. The truth of the matter is, as we stand here today, the radical left has been assaulting our values and assaulting our families almost as never before.
But the great thing I’ve seen traveling across this country is that the American people, American people are onto them. Just ask Bud Light, Target. And by the way, a message to Major League Baseball, religious bigotry has no place in America’s pastime.
The truth is, I believe as conservatives, men and women, you have a once in a lifetime chance, to shape of the leadership of this party in ways that will shape the nation as never before. You know we don’t have to accept a future of economic decline and moral decay. We don’t have to exchange the American dream for a socialist nightmare, but we’re going to have to turn to leadership, proven leadership and proven principles to bring that about. So I just came today to say thank you. Thank you first for your support during our years of service as your vice president. It was the greatest honor of my life.
But lastly, I came here to encourage you to, in these challenging times, let’s keep faith. Keep faith in the ideals that have mentored and defined the Republican Party over the last 75 years, and carried us to one victory for the American people after another. Keep faith in the American people.
As I traveled across this country as your vice president, and in my years as Governor and in my years in Congress, my opinion of our federal government went down, but my opinion of the American people went up. I can tell you from my heart, I’ve seen the American people in good times and in bad.
I’ve seen the way neighbor comes alongside absolute stranger like they did in that terrible tornado spur this spring, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, wildfires. In America, people pack up those minivans, pack up the trunk with water and food and tools and go and stand in the front yard of people that they’d never met before and never helped again. Never see again to help them rebuild their lives.
I want to tell you straight up, the American people are the most freedom-loving, faith-filled, innovative, hardworking, and generous people in the history of the world. We just need government as good as our people again.
And finally, I encourage you to keep that other kind of faith, the faith that’s defined this nation from our very beginning, this miracle of democracy that was founded. It was founded not at the end of a musket, it was founded on the belief that we’re endowed by our creator, with certain inalienable rights.
And I want to say with you a deep conviction, that God is not done with America yet. And if we will but renew our faith in him, if we will turn our hearts to him as never before. If we will, as the Bible says, “Humble ourselves and pray and turn,” he’ll do like he’s always done. In the long and storied history of this land of freedom, he’ll hear from heaven and he’ll heal this land, this one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. So thank you Iowa. I’ll see you soon. God bless you all.