Sep 18, 2020
Mike Pence ‘Veterans for Trump’ Event Speech Transcript September 18
VP Mike Pence spoke at a ‘Veterans for Trump’ campaign event in Arizona on September 18. Read the transcript of his speech here.
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Mike Pence: (00:00)
Well hello Arizona.
Speaker 1: (00:00)
Four more years. Four more years. Four more years. Four more years. Four more years. Four more years. Four more years.
Mike Pence: (00:00)
Hello Arizona. To Governor Ducey, Senator McSally, Congressman Biggs, Congresswoman Lesko, all of my fellow Americans near and far, it is great to be back in the Grand Canyon State. It’s especially great to be here with Veterans for Trump.
Mike Pence: (01:11)
You know with all of you, with all of you have worn the uniform of the United States, if you’re able, would you mind just standing and letting us all show how grateful we are for the way you’ve served this nation? [inaudible 00:01:12] Thank you for your service.
Mike Pence: (01:44)
It’s always humbling for me to address veterans. Like many Americans, my life didn’t take me into the uniform of the United States but my dad was a combat veteran in the Korean War, the United States Army and I’m the proud father of a United States Marine stationed right here in Arizona. You know, we became even a little bit more of a military family at the end of December when my daughter married a Navy pilot who trained with our son. In fact that Navy wife and accomplished writer is with us here today. Would you join me in giving an Arizona welcome to my incredible daughter, Charlotte Pence Bond is with us today.
Mike Pence: (02:12)
I’m telling you what, the Pence family loves Arizona. It’s also great to be here with someone who I’ve known even before he went into public service. Successful businessman, who I don’t know if you can tell up close and personal, but he’s turned out to be one of the best governors in America, he’s seen this state through challenging times and now that you’ve just set a record in cutting the unemployment rate, Arizona is coming back. I want to thank Governor Doug Ducey for his great leadership. Thank you Governor.
Mike Pence: (02:12)
It really is great to be here. With so many friends, family members, but I got to tell you, like all of you, we’re all here for one reason and one reason only, and that is that Arizona and America need four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House. I mean four more years means more jobs. Four more years means more judges. Four more years means more support for our troops and it’s going to take at least four more years to drain that swamp. That’s why we need four more years.
Mike Pence: (03:57)
While you’re at it, President Donald Trump and I need you to do one other thing in this state. We need you to send an Air Force veteran, the first female fighter pilot ever to fly in combat, the first woman ever to command a fighter squadron back to Capitol Hill, Arizona and America need Senator Martha McSally back in the United States Senate.
Mike Pence: (05:06)
On this 73rd birthday of the Air Force, let’s hear it for the Air Force veterans [inaudible 00:05:17]. I’m also told on the way here Governor that there is a member of the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame here with us today. He was mentored by the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, he put in 4,000 flight hours, flew 446 combat missions. Would you join me in recognizing Colonel Dick Toliver and his incredible wife Peggy, where are you Colonel?
Mike Pence: (05:29)
Thank you Colonel. It’s an honor to have you. Four years ago, a movement was born. A movement of everyday Americans from every walk of life. Here in Arizona, you believed we could be strong again. You believed we could be prosperous again. You said yes to President Donald Trump in 2016 and I know in 46 days Arizona is going to say yes to four more years of President Donald Trump in 2020. How about it? The road to victory runs right through Arizona.
Mike Pence: (06:09)
I’ll tell you what, you look how far we’ve come, you know … A great story to tell the people of this state. Four years ago, after Joe Biden was Vice President of the United States, we inherited a military that had been hollowed out by devastating budget cuts. Iran was resurgent in the Middle East, ISIS controlled a landmass larger than Pennsylvania and under the last administration, veterans were literally dying on waiting lists at the VA with some of the worst abuses happening right here in Phoenix. But when President Donald Trump stepped into the White House, that all changed.
Mike Pence: (07:16)
In our first three years, President Donald Trump rebuilt our military. We restored the arsenal of democracy and we are once again giving our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guard and Space Force the resources and the support they deserve. With the strong support of our allies in Congress, President Donald Trump signed the largest increase in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan, including the largest military pay raise in more than 10 years.
Mike Pence: (07:39)
In those first three years, this president also stepped up for those of you who served. President Trump signed into law the most sweeping reforms in more than 50 years at the VA. When Joe Biden was vice president, we saw years of scandal at the VA that literally shocked the conscience of the nation, but today, the VA has a 90% approval rating among veterans and veteran’s choice is now available for every veteran in America.
Mike Pence: (08:16)
I can assure all the Veterans for Trump here that you have a president and a vice president who know that veteran’s benefits are not entitlements, they are the ongoing compensation that was earned in the uniform of the United States. I couldn’t be more proud of this president’s leadership, looking to the heart and mind of our veterans as well. Under the president’s leadership, the VA is now providing mental health screenings to every veteran that walks through the door, and Mrs. Pence, who I’m going to catch up with in just a few minutes, was asked by the president to lead an effort to expand mental health benefits to veterans all across America.
Mike Pence: (09:17)
In fact, it was just last month the president signed a bill into law that gives veterans who suffer from an addiction the help they need to get back on track and that bill was authored by Senator Martha McSally. Thank you Martha.
Mike Pence: (09:30)
As a father of a Marine Corps captain and a father-in-law of a Navy lieutenant who’s currently deployed, I couldn’t be more proud to serve as vice president to a president who cares so deeply about the men and women in our Armed Forces and their families. It’s true. I’ve been with this president. When the cameras are off, I’ve seen his heart for our troops and our veterans in countless encounters and private moments along the way. I’ve been there when he made phone calls to families of our fallen. I’ve been out at Walter Reed to meet with soldiers just after he spent time with them. I’ve walked the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery and I’ve stood at his side at Dover Air Force Base when our heroes come home. President Donald Trump reveres all those who serve in the uniform of the United States like no other president in my lifetime.
Mike Pence: (10:43)
One of the proudest moment I’ve had as your vice president was just a few short years ago, and thanks to President Trump’s leadership, I stood at –
Mike Pence: (11:00)
Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, I stood at Hickam Field in Honolulu when 55 flag-draped caskets came off a plane from North Korea. Because of President Donald Trump’s strong stand with North Korea, our boys came home.
Mike Pence: (11:00)
My late father was an Army veteran in the Korean War. Came home with a few medals on his chest. My dad always said that the heroes in that war were the ones that didn’t get to come home to their families. I knee in my hearts of hearts that on that day my dad was looking down from glory. What a privilege it was for me to welcome those Americans home.
Mike Pence: (11:04)
You know today is POW-MIA recognition day and I’ll make you a promise. On behalf of your president and this vice president, they will never be forgotten. We will never stop looking. We will never stop searching until all of America’s fallen heroes are accounted for and home.
Mike Pence: (12:17)
So under President Trump we’ve stood with our troops, we’ve stood with our veterans and we also stood up and defended all the freedoms that you defended when you wore the uniform of the United States. Under this president’s leadership I’m proud to report that in our first three years, we appointed more than 200 conservative judges to our federal courts at every level including Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and with the strong and courageous support of Senator Martha McSally, I can tell you. They are all principled conservatives who will uphold all the God-given liberties enshrined in our constitution like the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, and the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Thank you Senator.
Mike Pence: (14:22)
All along the way, this president has stood for our values, our most cherished ideals. President Donald Trump has stood without apology for the unalienable right to life and we always will. So we’ve stood for the rule of law, for life and our liberties, and President Donald Trump has stood every day with the men and women who serve on the thin blue line of law enforcement and we will stand with our police for four more years. I think all of you know what the president and I know, men and women who put on the uniform of law enforcement are some of the best people in this country. They put their lives on the line every day. Literally when they put on that uniform and they strap on a sidearm, they’ve decided to count our lives as more important than their own. The men and women of law enforcement deserve the respect of every American every day.
Mike Pence: (15:55)
Now President Trump and I will always support the right of Americans to peaceful protest, it’s enshrined in our constitution, but rioting and looting is not peaceful protest. Burning businesses is not free speech. Threatening or assaulting police officers like what happened here in Tucson will not be tolerated and those who do so will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. You all saw on Tuesday a special deputy U.S. Marshal was shot outside the courthouse here in Phoenix. On Thursday, Phoenix saw an attempted ambush on Arizona state troopers. I just spoke to the chief at my last event. We’re so relieved to hear that Deputy Marshall is expected to recover and the suspects in both shootings have been arrested.
Mike Pence: (16:48)
So let me just say on behalf of President Trump, and I know all of you. The violence against law enforcement must stop and it must stop now. For months all Joe Biden talked about was peaceful protesters, remember? As the American people watch businesses in our communities in our major cities literally burn. Two weeks ago, he came out, and he condemned in his words ” violence in every form it takes”, but right after that he criticized law enforcement. Joe Biden has never called out his campaign staff or his running mate for raising money to bail out violent criminals, and he still hasn’t called on Democrat mayors to get their cities under control. The truth is Joe Biden would double down on the very policies that are leading the violence in our major cities. Joe Biden says that America is systemically racist and that law enforcement in his words has a “implicit bias” against minorities. When asked if he’d support cutting funding to law enforcement, Joe Biden replied, “Yes, absolutely.”
Mike Pence: (18:20)
Under President Donald Trump, we will always stand with those who serve on the thin blue line. We’re not going to defund the police, not now, not ever. That’s a promise.
Mike Pence: (18:48)
Under this president we’ve been providing more funding for better law enforcement around the country. In our first three years we’ve funded the hiring of more than 4,000 police officers through the COPS Program, and in the wake of our violence besetting our cities, President Trump launched Operation Legend, named after a four-year-old little boy who was literally gunned down in his home. We’ve deployed 1,000 federal law enforcement officials to our major cities beset by violence. They’re working closely with state and local law enforcement authorities and as we stand here today, they’ve seen to the arrest of more than 2,500 violent protesters across the country. We are going to have law and order in every city, in every state in the nation for every American of every race and creed and color.
Mike Pence: (19:25)
President Trump and I know that you don’t have to choose between supporting law enforcement and supporting our African-American community. We can support law enforcement with better resources and higher standards and more accountability and we can do just like this president has done from day one, we can expand jobs, educational opportunities, and the health and well-being of our African-American and minority neighbors. We have done both for three and a half years, we’re going to do both for four more years in the White House.
Mike Pence: (20:44)
So we’ve rebuilt our military, ended the scandals of the VA, stood for life, liberty, law and order, and in those first three years, it’s also been about three more things. It’s been about jobs, jobs, jobs. When President Trump took office, we went to work with our allies in Congress. We cut taxes across the board, we rolled back more federal red tape than any administration in history. We’ve fought for free and fair trade and for American energy and businesses large and small, created seven million good paying jobs including hundreds of thousands of jobs right here in Arizona. Wages rose at their fastest pace, in those first three years, they rose at their fastest pace in 10 years, and what meant the most to the president and me is that wages rose most rapidly for hardworking blue collar Americans. The forgotten men and women of America were forgotten no more.
Mike Pence: (21:30)
The truth is, we created the greatest economy in the world in those first three years and none of that would have been possible without the strong, principled and unwavering leadership of Congresswoman Debbie Lesko and Congressman Andy Biggs. Would you join me in showing how much we appreciate these strong, principled, conservatives who are fighting for –
Mike Pence: (22:00)
Principled conservatives who are fighting for Arizona and with this president every day. At the end of our first three years more Americans were working than ever before. Then the coronavirus struck from China. You all deserve to know in Arizona before the first documented case of community spread happened in the United States, President Donald Trump did what no other American president had ever done, he suspended all travel from China. The second largest economy in the world. He declared a public health emergency. He [inaudible 00:22:58] the White House Coronavirus Taskforce, and even before January was out, we started the process of developing a vaccine and we are on track to have the first safe and effective coronavirus vaccine before the end of this year. Amazing.
Mike Pence: (22:57)
Our hearts go out to all of the families who have lost loved ones. Maybe some of you are with us today, including more than 5,000 families here in Arizona. I want to tell you, as I’ve served in this White House on our taskforce, there’s not a day gone by that I haven’t thought about you and your families. You’ll always be in our hearts and in our prayers, but each and every day, we’re working to spare that of future families. Each and every day, we’re making sure that hospitals and doctors have the resources and support they need. We’re continuing to expand and innovate in testing. We’re able today to do three million tests a day all across America and yesterday we cleared 100 million tests performed in the United States of America, more than any other country in the world by far.
Mike Pence: (25:19)
We’re slowing the spread, just like you did here in Arizona this summer. You flattened the curve. We’re going to keep right on protecting the vulnerable and saving lives even as we develop lifesaving medicines and drive relentlessly toward a safe and effective cure. Here in Arizona, I want to commend each and every one of you for the progress all of you have made since that outbreak this summer. None of it would have been possible but for the cooperation of the people of Arizona, putting the health of your families and your neighbors first. I also want to say none of it would have been possible without the strong and compassionate leadership of Governor Doug Ducey. Governor, thank you. Thank you for putting the health of Arizona first.
Mike Pence: (25:22)
We’re going to continue to put the health of America first. Because of that strong foundation that we poured in those first three years, and because of the unprecedented aid for families and businesses that these congressmen and women provided. After we lost 22 million jobs at the height of this pandemic, we’ve already seen 10.6 million Americans go back to work in the last four months including 170,000 citizens right here in Arizona. We are opening up America again and we’re opening up America’s schools. It’s happening, and we’ve gone through a time of testing. The reason I’m here in Arizona today, the reason the president was here Monday, Ivanka was here Wednesday, it’s because we’re coming to a time of choosing. President Trump probably said it best. He said, “At no time before has there been a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, and two agendas for the future.” It’s true.
Mike Pence: (27:20)
Joe Biden has put forward the most extreme platform of any major party candidate in U.S. history. I mean, did you see that softball town hall last night? I caught a little bit of that. That was something. I heard on the way here that Joe Biden, it’s been 750 days since Joe Biden has been to Arizona, and I don’t know, did you watch any of the Democratic National Convention? I didn’t. I watched as much of it as I could, but they didn’t talk much about their agenda. You know if you take a careful look at their agenda, you know why. I mean the truth is, the truth is Joe Biden and the Democratic Party have been overtaken by the radical left. I mean think about this. In the middle of a global pandemic, Joe Biden wants to raise taxes by $4 trillion. President Trump, well we cut taxes across the board for working families, businesses large and small, and we’re going to keep cutting taxes for four more years.
Mike Pence: (27:23)
Joe Biden wants to bury our economy under an avalanche of red tape. Got his own version of the Green New Deal. President Trump? Well he’s cut more federal red tape than any president ever and I promise you, we’re going to keep on chopping for four more years. Joe Biden? Joe Biden is for open borders, sanctuary cities, free lawyers and free healthcare for illegal immigrants. President Trump has made record investments in border security, stood with Customs and Border Patrol and we built more than 300 miles of a border wall on the southern border of the United States and with four more years we’re going to build it all.
Mike Pence: (28:12)
On the issue of trade, so important here in Arizona, the governor and I were just talking about it. The contrast couldn’t be more clear. Joe Biden was there when NAFTA was passed into law, supported it all along the way. I can tell you out in the Midwest, we literally saw entire communities shuttered as factories closed in the wake of NAFTA. Jobs going south of the border. President Trump changed all that. Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, NAFTA is yesterday, the USMCA is here to stay, and now Mexico is Arizona’s number one trading partner and Canada just edged out China as the second most important trading partner for Arizona. That’s a big deal.
Mike Pence: (29:30)
Now we get to China. You know when we came into office, half of our international trade deficit was with China. We were losing $500 billion a year in our trading relationship. For decades Joe Biden’s been a cheerleader for communist China. President Trump? He stood up to China and said the era of economic surrender is over. We stood strong. We imposed tariffs. We put American jobs and American workers first. Did you know Joe Biden actually wants to repeal all the tariffs that are leveling the playing field for American workers that President Trump imposed on China? I’m going to promise you, President Donald Trump and I are going to stand strong against China until they open their markets, respect private property, and level the playing field for American workers.
Mike Pence: (30:24)
So it’s been about security. It’s been about prosperity. The choice we face is also about our values. It’s incredible to think, it’s incredible to think, that Joe Biden, after years and years of being one of those Democrats who said that he supported abortion rights but he didn’t support taxpayer funding of abortion, last year, he reversed decades of his position, and Joe Biden actually supports taxpayer funding of abortion all the way up to the moment of birth. President Donald Trump is the most pro-life president in American history. We’re going to stand for the unborn, we’re going to stand for our values, we’re going to stand for life.
Mike Pence: (32:58)
When you look at their agenda, it’s clear. Joe Biden would be nothing more than a Trojan horse for the radical left. The choice in this election has never been clearer. Men and women of Arizona, the stakes have never been higher. Now Joe Biden said at their convention that democracy was on the ballot, but I can tell you, our economic recovery is on the ballot. Law and order are on the ballot. But I also think that there are things more foundational and fundamental to this country that are on the ballot as well. In this election, I think it’s not going to be so much whether America ends up more conservative or more liberal, whether we’re more Republican or more Democrat, more red or more blue. I think the choice in this election is whether America remains America. Whether America remains that nation based on freedom, free enterprise, patriotism, faith and family. Whether America remains the nation of the ideals and principles that generations of our veterans have fought to defend.
Mike Pence: (33:03)
To defend. Men and women, those are the stakes. That’s why we got to decide right here and right now that Joe Biden will never be President of the United States. We’re going to re-elect President Donald Trump for four more years. We’ve got 46 days to go, Arizona, and it’s on. We need you to bring it. We need you to bring it every day between now and election day. I heard early voting starts on October the 7th. I’m going to be in Salt Lake City that night, having a little debate, but I’m going to be in Arizona the next day.
Mike Pence: (40:34)
I tell you, I didn’t know the President very well before he asked me to join the ticket for this. We’d met a couple of times, just in passing. I got to tell you, serving with him every day over the last four years, seeing him when the cameras are off, I can tell you. He has never stopped fighting to keep the promises that he made to the people here this evening. Now, it’s our turn to fight for him. It is.
Mike Pence: (40:34)
I want you to let your voice be heard, to your neighbors and friends at worship and work. Back in Indiana, I say, “Talk over a backyard fence,” but out in this part of the country, that can be a little bit of distance. Just let people know. Say, “You know I was in Phoenix the other day. I ran into Mike. He was just laying out in his shorts.”
Mike Pence: (40:34)
I never doubted we were going to win in 2016 because I was going to gatherings just like this. Literally, you’d see him go out in that campaign. He’d come to Arizona, go to the places around the country, tens of thousands of people would come out. He’d send me to a state, literally hundreds of Americans would come out, but it was all the same people. It was the same people with the same look on their face, the same one you’ve got right now. It’s a look of confidence, faith in the American people, faith in a boundless future. I knew people were talking to each other.
Mike Pence: (40:37)
The most powerful media in America is not your major cable television networks. It’s not your big newspaper editorials. It’s not even social media. The most powerful media in America is now and always has been word of mouth, so I need you to go out. I need you to tell your neighbors and friends it’s been 3.5 years of leadership. It’s been 3.5 years of promises made and promises kept. You go tell them we need four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House. They’ll listen to you. You tell them.
Mike Pence: (40:39)
When you go, have faith, okay? Have faith. Have faith in the American people. It’s like the people of this great state saw the vision. They saw the agenda. They saw the leadership quality in our President four years ago, and they’ll see it again, and each one of us do our part.
Mike Pence: (40:42)
I’m absolutely convinced that a careful study of American history shows every time the American people have been given a clear choice between more freedom and less freedom, they choose more freedom every single time. Go tell them freedom is on the ballot on November 3rd.
Mike Pence: (40:42)
Lastly, have that other kind of faith. If you’re inclined to bow the head and bend the knee from time to time, I’d encourage you to do that, too. It seems like you turn on the television, there’s more that … It looks like there’s more that divides America these days than unites us, but I got to tell you. All my travels around this nation, I’m more convinced than ever that there will always be more that unites us in this country than could ever divide us. Chief among them is faith. This is a nation of faith, and so on this one, I’m not even so much asking you to pray for the cause or pray for the candidate. I just encourage you to pray for America.
Mike Pence: (40:42)
Remember, one of my favorite verses in the good book is a promise. It says, “If His people, who are called by His name, will humble themselves and pray and turn,” He’ll do like He’s always done in the long and storied history of this country. He’ll hear from Heaven and He’ll heal this land. This one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all. We’ll pray for America. It will make a difference.
Mike Pence: (40:48)
I thank you for coming out today. I really do. While I’m at it, Arizona, let me just say thank you for the great privilege of serving as your Vice President. It was just the greatest honor of my life. It truly is. I’m absolutely convinced, if all of us do all that we need to do in the next 46 days, we speak to our neighbors and friends, we talk about what this President has accomplished, what our great allies like Senator Martha McSally have been able to accomplish in the United States Senate, great congressmen and congresswomen, I’m absolutely convinced that with President Donald Trump in the White House for four more years and Senator Martha McSally back in the republican majority and with these congressmen and women in a new republican majority in the House of Representatives, and with God’s help, we’re going to make Arizona safer than ever before.
Mike Pence: (40:53)
We’re going to make Arizona more prosperous than ever before and we’re going to make Arizona and America great again. Again. Thank you all very much. God bless you and God bless America.