Thank you very much, Tony. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you very much.👏👏 (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
Thank you very much. You know, I’ve been here before. (Laughter.) You do know that. Before the big day on November 8th, I was here. I want to thank 👋Mark Meadows and all of the folks that have really made this possible. And, Tony, tremendous guy.
We have some incredible people that we love and that we’re involved with. So we all know that. And I’m being followed by Mr. Bennett — you know that, right? And I’ve been watching him say nice things about me before I knew him. Those are the ones I like 👋👈— (laughter) — where they speak well of you before you know them. Right?🤚
But I really want to thank everybody, and, Tony, for your extraordinary leadership of this organization. And I want to thank, also, Lawana, for your dedication to the faith community and to our nation. Work so hard.
It’s great to be back here with so many friends at the 2017 Values Voter Summit, and we know what that means. (Applause.) We know what that means. America is a nation of believers, and together we are strengthened and sustained by the power of prayer. True.
As we gather for this tremendous event, our hearts remain 🤚sad and 👋heavy for the victims of the horrific mass murder last week in Las Vegas. It was an act of pure evil.
👌👋But in the wake of such horror, we also witnessed ✋👋the 👌true ✋character👋 of our nation. 👌A mother ☝laid ✋on 👋top of ✋her ✋daughter ✋to shield ☝her ✋from gunfire. 👋A husband ✋died 👋to 👋protect ✋his 👋beloved wife. ✋Strangers 👋rescued strangers, police offices— ✋🤚and ✋🤚you ✋🤚saw that, ✋🤚all of those incredible police officers, how brave they were, how great they were 👋running into fire. (Applause.) 🤚And first responders, 👋they rushed right into danger. 🤚
Americans defied evil and hatred with courage and love.
The men and women who risked their lives to save their fellow citizens gave proof to the words of this scripture: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Applause)
All of America is praying for the 🤚wounded and the grieving, and we will 👌be with them today 👌and 👌we will 👌be with ✋them 👋forever. (Applause.) ✋Just want to finish by saying that — to the 🤚— really, and we understand it was so horrific to watch and so terrible — but to 🤚those who lost the ones they love: We know that we 👌cannot ✋erase your pain, 👌but we promise 👌to never, 👌ever ✋leave 👋your side. 👌We are one 👌nation, 👋and we 👌all hurt together, ✋we hope together, 👌and we heal together. (Applause.)
We also stand with the millions of people who have suffered from the massive fires, which are right now raging in California, and the catastrophic hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, in 🤚Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands. And I will tell you, I left Texas, and I left Florida, and I left Louisiana, and I went to Puerto Rico, and I met with the president [governor] of the Virgin Islands.
These are people that are incredible people. They’ve suffered gravely, and we’ll be there. We’re going to be there. We have, really — it’s not even a question of a choice. We don’t even want a choice. We’re going to be there as Americans, and we love those people and what they’ve gone through. And they’re all healing, and their states and territories are healing, and they’re healing rapidly.
🤚In the wake of the terrible tragedies of the past several weeks, 🤚the American people have responded with goodness 🤚and generosity, and bravery. You’ve seen it. The 🤚heroism of everyday citizens reminds us that the 🤚true strength 🤚of our nation is found in the hearts and souls of our people.👌
When 👌America ✋is unified, 👌no force on 👌Earth 👌can break ✋us apart. 👋
GUY IN AUDIENCE: “That’s right!”(Applause.)
✋👋We love our families. ✋We love our neighbors. 👋We love our country. 🤚Everyone 🤚here today 🤚is brought together by the 🤚same shared and timeless values. 👌We cherish 👌the sacred 👌dignity 👌of 👌every 🤚human life. (Applause.)
✋We believe ✋in strong ☝families 👋and safe 👋communities. 👌We honor the✋ dignity of work. 👋(Applause.) We defend our Constitution. 👌We protect 👌religious 👌liberty.✋ (Applause.) ✋We 👋treasure our freedom. 👌We are proud of our history🤚. We support🤚 the rule of law👋 and the incredible 👋men and women 👋of law enforcement. (Applause.) ✋We celebrate our heroes, 👋and we salute every American who wears the uniform. (Applause.)
👌👌We 👌👌respect ✋🤚our ✋🤚great ✋🤚American flag. ✋🤚
(Applause.) 👍Thank you. 👈Thank you. Thank you.👈👍
✋🤚And we stand united behind the customs, beliefs and traditions that define who we are as a nation and as a people.
👌✋George ✋🤚Washington said that ✋🤚“religion and ✋🤚morality are indispensable” ✋🤚to 👌👌America’s happ-un-, none - and [unintelligible] ✋🤚really, ✋🤚prosperity ✋🤚and totally to its success. 👌It is 👌our 👌faith 👌and 👌our 👌values ✋that inspires us to 👌give with charity, 👋to 🤛act with courage, 👋and 👌to sacrifice for👋 what we know is right.
👌The American🤚 Founders 🤚invoked our Creator 🤚four times in the 🤚Declaration of Independence — 🤚four times. (Applause.)
GUY IN AUDIENCE: “Yes!”
✋How 👋times ✋🤚have 🙏changed. ☝️☝But ✋🤚you know what✋🤚, now they’re 👈👉changing👇👇 back 👉👈again. 👆👆Just remember that. (Applause.)
Benjamin Franklin✋🤚 reminded his colleagues at the 👌Constitutional ✋Convention to begin 👌by bowing 👌their heads ✋️in prayer.
👌Religious ✋liberty is 👋enshrined 👌in the very 👌first ✋amendment 👋of the Bill of Rights. 👌And ✋we all pledge 👋allegiance 👌👌✋🤚to — very, ✋🤚very ✋🤚beautifully — “✋🤚one nation under God.✋🤚” (Applause.)
👌This ✋is✋ America’s heritage, 👋a country that never 👌forgets that 🤚we are all — 👋all, every one of us 👋— made by the same God in Heaven. (Applause.)
✋When I came to speak 👋with you last year, I made you a promise. Well, one of the promises I made you was that I’d come back. ✋🤚See? ✋(Applause.) ✋🤚And I don’t even need your vote this year, right? That’s even nicer. (Laughter.)
✋But ☝I pledged 👌that, ✋in a Trump administration, 👌our nation’s ✋religious 👋heritage 👋would be cherished, 👋protected, ✋and defended 👌like you have never 👌seen 👆before. ☝That’s what’s happening. ☝👌That’s what’s happening. ☝👌You see it every day. ☝You’re reading it.👌
✋So this morning ✋I am honored and thrilled ✋to return as the first sitting President to address 🤚this incredible gathering of friends — so many friends. (Applause.) So many friends. And I’ll ask👉 Tony and all 👉our people ✋that do such a great job 👋in putting this event together ✋— can I take next year off or not? (Laughter.) Or do I have to be back? I don’t know.
THE PRESIDENT: 👈He’s saying — they’re saying no. Lawana is saying no. That’s means no. (Laughter.)
☝So I’m here to thank 👌you for your ✋support 👋and to 👌share with you ✋how we are delivering 👋on that promise, ✋defending 👌our shared values✋, and 👌in so doing, ✋how we are ✋renewing the 👋America we love.
✋In the last 10 months, 👌we have followed through ✋on one promise 👌after ✋another. (Applause.) ✋I didn’t have a schedule, but if I did have a schedule, I would say we are substantially ahead of schedule. (Applause.)
Some of those promises are to support and defend the Constitution. I appointed and confirmed a Supreme Court Justice in the mold of the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia, the newest member of the Supreme Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch. (Applause.)
To protect the 🤚unborn, I have reinstated a policy 🤚first put in place by President Ronald Reagan, 🤚the Mexico City Policy. (Applause.) To protect religious liberty, including protecting groups like this one, 👌I signed a 👌new executive ✋action in a 👌beautiful 👌ceremony ✋at the White House 👌on our National ✋Day of Prayer 👋— (applause) — which day we made official. (Applause.)
✋Among many historic steps✋, the 👌executive order ✋followed through on 👌one of my most✋ important campaign 👋promises 👋to so many of you: 👌to prevent 👌the horrendous ✋Johnson Amendment ☝from interfering ✋with your First Amendment rights👋. (Applause.) 👉Thank you. 👌We will not allow government ✋workers to censor ✋sermons 👋or target our ✋pastors 👋or our ministers 👋or rabbis. 👋These are the people ✋we want to hear from, ✋and they’re not going to be silenced any longer☝️. (Applause.)
🤚Just last week, based on this executive action, the 🤚Department of Justice issued 👌a new guidance 👌to all federal agencies to ensure 👌that no religious 👌group is ever targeted under my 👌administration. 👌It won’t happen. (Applause.)
👌We have ✋also taken action to protect the conscience ✋🤚rights of groups like the ✋🤚Little Sisters of the Poor. You know what they went through. (Applause.) What they went through — they were going through hell. And then all of the sudden✋🤚 they won. They said, how did that happen? (Laughter.)
We want to really🤚 point out that the Little Sisters of the Poor and other people of faith, they live by ✋👌a beautiful👌 calling, and we will not let 🖐bureaucrats take 🖐away that calling ✋or take away their rights. ✋️(Applause.)
👌We are stopping ✋cold 👌the attacks ✋on 👋Judeo-Christian values. (Applause.) 👉👉Thank you. 👉Thank you very much. ✋And something I’ve said so much during the last two years, but I’ll say it again as we approach the end of the year. You know, we’re getting near 👌that beautiful ✋Christmas season 👋that people 🖐don’t talk about anymore. (Laughter.) 🖐They don’t use the word🖐 “Christmas” because 🖐it’s not politically correct. 👋You go to department stores, 👐and they’ll say, ✋🤚“Happy New Year” 👐and they’ll say other things. ✋🤚And it will be red, 👋 they’ll have it painted, 👋but they don’t say it. Well, guess what? We’re saying “Merry Christmas” again. (Applause.)👍👏
🎤And as a Christmas gift to all of our hardworking families, we hope Congress will pass 👌massive 👌tax cuts 👌for the 👌American people.👌 (Applause.) That includes 🤚increasing the child tax credit and expanding it to eliminate the marriage penalty. (Applause.) 👌Because we know that the ✋American family is the true 👌bedrock of ✋️American life. So true. (Applause.) This is such an exciting event because we are really working very hard, and hopefully Congress will come through.
You saw what we did yesterday with respect to healthcare. ✋It’s step✋ by step by step. ✋(Applause.) And that was a very big step yesterday. Another big step was taken the day before yesterday. And one by one it’s going to come down, and we’re going to have great 👌healthcare in our country. ☝We’re going to ☝have great healthcare☝ in our country. (Applause.) 👋We’re taking a little different ✋👋✋route than we had hoped, because getting Congress — they forgot what their pledges were. (Laughter.) So we’re going a little different route. But you know what? In the end, it’s going to be just as effective, and maybe it will even be better. (Applause.)
For too long, ✋politicians have tried to ✋centralize the authority among the hands ✋of a small few ✋in our nation’s capital. 🤚🤚Bureaucrats think they 🤚can run your lives, 🤚overrule your values, meddle in your faith, and tell you how to live, 🤚what to say, and 🤚how to pray. ✋But 👌✋we know✊️✋ that parents, ✊️✋not bureaucrats, 👌know best ✋how to raise 👋their children👌 and create a thriving👋 society. (Applause.)
☝✋We know ✋that faith and prayer, not federal 🤚regulation — 🤚and, by the way, 🤚we are 👌cutting regulations 👌at a clip that nobody 👌has ever seen before. 🤚Nobody. 🤚(Applause.) 🤚In nine 🤚months, 👌we have cut more 👌regulation than 🤚any President 🤚has cut during 🤚their term in office. 🤚So we are doing the job. 🤚(Applause.) And that is one of the major reasons✋, in addition to the enthusiasm for manufacturing ✋and business and jobs ✋— and the jobs 👋are coming back.
✋That’s one of the major reasons ✋— ✊️✋regulation, what we’ve done ✋— that the stock market ✋has just hit an all-time✋ historic high✋. (Applause.) 👌That just on the public ✋markets we’ve made, ✋since Election Day, $5.2 ✋trillion in value. ✋Think of that: $5.2 trillion. (Applause.) And as you’ve seen, the level of enthusiasm is the highest it’s ever been, and we have a 17-year low in unemployment. So we’re doing, really, some work. (Applause.)
✋We know that👌 ✋it’s the family ✋and the church, ✋👌not government officials✋, that 👌know best ✋how to create ✋strong ✋and loving ✋communities. (Applause.) 👌And ✋above all else, ✋we know this: 👌In America, we don’t worship👌 government ✋— 👌we worship ✋God. (Applause.) 👋👋👇👉👇👌Inspired by that ✋conviction, 👌we are 👌returning ✋moral clarity ✋to our ✋view of the ✋world 👌and the 👌many grave 👌challenges✋ we face.👋
This afternoon, in a little while, I’ll be giving a speech on Iran, a terrorist nation like few others. And I think you’re going to find it very interesting. (Applause.)
DRUNK GUY IN AUDIENCE: “Woo!”
Yesterday, things happened with Pakistan, and I have openly said Pakistan took tremendous advantage of our country for many years, but we’re starting to have a real relationship with Pakistan and they’re starting to respect us as a nation again, and so are other nations. They’re starting to respect the United States of America again, 👇and I appreciate that. (Applause.) And I want to thank the leaders of Pakistan for what they’ve been doing.
✋In this administration, 👌we will ✋call evil ✋by its name✋. (Applause.) 👌✋We stand with our friends and 👌allies, ✋we forge new partnerships ✋in pursuit of peace, 👌and we take ✋decisive action ✋against those who would threaten 👌 our people 👌with harm. 👌(Applause.) And we will be decisive — 👌because we know that 👌the first 👌duty of 👌government👌 is to 🤚serve its citizens. 👌We are defending 👌our borders, 👌protecting our workers, 👌and enforcing our laws. 👌✋You see it every ✋single day like you haven’t✋ seen it in many, many years — ✋ if you’ve seen it at all. (Applause.)
👌In protecting America’s interests abroad, 👌we will always support ✋our cherished ✋friend and partner, ✋the State of Israel✋. (Applause.) 👇👌✋We will confront the ✋dangers that imperil our nation👌, our allies, ✋and the world, ✋including the threat of 👌radical ✋Islamic terrorism. ✋️(Applause.)
🤚We have made great strides 🤚against ISIS — tremendous 🤚strides. 🤚I don’t know if you’ve seen 🤚what’s going on, but tremendous🤚 strides against ISIS. They never got hit like this before. (Laughter.)
👉Stand up. Stand up. Let me see — 👉he’s a rough guy. I can see it.
👐But they’ve been just ruthless and they’ve 🤚ruthlessly slaughtered innocent Christians, along with the vicious killing of innocent Muslims and other religious minorities. And we’ve made their lives very, very difficult — believe me. (Applause.)
👌We’ve done more against ISIS in nine 👌months than the previous 👌administration has done during its 👋whole administration — by far, by far. (Applause.) And ISIS is now being dealt one defeat after another. 👌We are confronting ✋rogue regimes from Iran to North Korea, and we are 👌challenging the communist dictatorship 👌of Cuba ✋and the socialist oppression of Venezuela. ✋And we will not lift the sanctions on these repressive regimes until they restore political✋ and religious freedom ✋️for their people. (Applause.)
🤚👌🤚All of these bad actors🤚 share a common enemy, 🤚👌the one force they cannot stop, 👌the force deep within our 👌👌souls, 🤚👌and that 👌is the power of 👌hope. 🤚That is why, 👌in addition 🤚to our great military might, 👌our enemies truly fear 👌🤚the United States. 👌Because our 👌people 👌✋👋never lose faith, 👌never give in, 👌✋and always hope✋ for a better ✋tomorrow.👌
👌✋Last week, Melania and I were reminded of this in a powerful way when we traveled to Las Vegas. 👌👋We visited a hospital where some of the survivors were recovering from absolutely horrific wounds. We met a 👌young man named 🖐Brady Cook. He’s 22 ✋and a brand-new👌✋ police officer. 👌That night 🤚was Brady’s second day 🤚in field training — 🤚his second day as a policeman🤚, can you believe that? 🤚But when the shooting began, 🤚he did not hesitate. 🤚He acted with 🤚incredible courage, rushing into the hail of bullets, 🤚and he was badly shot in the shoulder.
This is what Brady said: “👌I didn’t expect it, but it’s 👌what I signed up for✋. When stuff 👌goes down, ✋I want to 👌be there 👌✋to face evil 👌and to protect the good, 👌innocent👌✋ people that need it.” ✋And here’s a young guy✋, great guy — and second day. I said, ✋Brady, don’t worry about it, it’s going to be easier ✋from here. (Laughter and applause.) Brady is a hero, 🤚and he can’t wait to get back on the job.
Several weeks before, 🤚when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, 🤚a local furniture storeowner, who’s known in 🤚Texas as “Mattress Mack,” 🤚decided he had to help. 🤚When the rain began to flood 🤚the streets of the city, 🤚he sent out his furniture trucks 🤚to rescue the stranded. 👌He brought them back to his stores, ✋and gave them food ✋and a clean, dry place to stay, even if it 👌meant ruining countless dollars’ worth of furniture.
👌👋🖐As “Mattress Mack” put it, “👌My faith defines me, ✋it’s who I am.” “👌We can afford the cost👌…what✋ we can’t afford” — we can’t — 👐and he said this very strongly, ✋🤚“what ✋👌we can’t ✋afford is to 👌cause people to ✋lose hope.”
👌In Brady ✋and Mack, 👌we see the strength ✋of the American spirit. ✋This spirit 🤚of courage and 🤚compassion is all 🤚around us, every day. It is the 👌heartbeat 👌of our 👌great nation. 👌And despite 👋✋🤚👋certain coverage, 👐that ✋🤚beat is stronger👐✋🤚 than it’s ever 👐✋🤚been before. 👐✋🤚You see right through it. ✋🤚(Applause.) That👐✋🤚 beat is stronger than it’s ever been.
🤚We see this spirit in the men and women who self-la-la-lesifily🤚 enlist in our armed forces and, really, who go out and risk their lives for God and for country. And we see it in the mothers and the fathers who get up at the 👋crack of dawn; they work two jobs and sometimes ✋three jobs. 👌They sacrifice every 👌✋day for the ✋furniture and — future of their children. 👌They have to go out. 👌They go out. 👌They work. 👌The future of their children👋 is everything to them. 👋They put it before everything. ✋And they make ✋sure that the future ✋of their children✋ has God involved in it. ✋So important to them.✋(Applause.)
👌We ✋see it in the church communities ✋that come together ✋to care for one another, to pray for each other🤚, and to stand 👌strong with each 👋other in times of need.👌
👌✋The people who grace 🤚our lives, and fill our homes, and build our 🤚communities are the true strength 👌🤚of our nation, and ✋👌the greatest hope for 👌a better tomorrow.✋
👌As long as we have 👌pride in our country, ✋👌confidence 👋in our future, 👌and faith ✋in our God, 👌then America 👌will ✋️prevail.
👌We will defeat ✋every evil, 👌overcome every threat, ✋👌and meet 👌every ✋single challenge. ✋We will 👌defend our ✋👌faith and protect ✋our traditions. 👌We will find the best in each other👋 and in ourselves. 👌We will pass on 👌✋the blessings of liberty, ✋and the glories ✋of God, to our children. 👌Our values ✋will endure, 👌our nation will thrive, 👌✋our citizens will✋️ flourish, and our freedom will triumph.
Thank you 🤚to the Value Voter Summit🤚. Such an incredible group 🤚of people you are. Thank you to all of the faithful here today. 👌And thank you to the people ✋of faith all across 👋our nation and all over the 👋world.
👌✋May God bless you. 👌May God bless the ✋United States of America. Thank you 👉very much, everybody. 👏(Applause.) Thank you👉👏.