Return to Transcripts main page
AT THIS HOUR
President Trump's Speech at CPAC. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired February 23, 2018 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: OK, fake new folks, fake news.
I don't want a person that's never handled a gun, that wouldn't know what a gun looks like, to be armed. But out of your teaching population -- out of your teaching population, you have 10 percent, 20 percent of very gun-adept people, military people, law enforcement people -- they teach. They teach. And -- and something I thought of this morning -- you know what else? And I thought of it since I found and watched Peterson, the deputy who didn't go into the school, because he didn't want to go into the school. OK? He was tested under fire, and that wasn't a good result.
But you know what I thought of as soon as I saw that? These teachers -- and I've seen them at a lot of schools where they had problems. These teachers love their students, and the students love their teachers in many cases. These teachers love their students. And these teachers are talented with weaponry and with guns. And that's -- they -- they feel safe.
And I'd rather have somebody that loves their students and wants to protect their students than somebody standing outside that doesn't know anybody, and doesn't know the students and, frankly, for whatever reason, decided not to go in, even though he heard lots of shots being fired inside. The teachers, and the coaches, and other people in the building, the dean, the assistant dean, the principal, they can -- they love their people. They want to protect these kids, and I think we're better with that -- and this may be 10 percent or 20 percent of the population of teachers, et cetera. It's not all of them, but you would have a lot, and you would tell people that they're inside. And the beauty is it's concealed. Nobody would ever see it, unless they needed it. It's concealed.
So this crazy man who walked in wouldn't even know who it is that has it. That's good. That's not bad; that's good. And a teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened.
They love their students. They love those students, folks, remember that. They love their students. And I'm telling you that would work, because we need offensive capability. We can't just say, "Oh, it's a gun-free school; we're going to do it a little bit better." Because then you say, "What happens outside?" The students now leave school and you've got 1,000 students -- you got 3,500 at the school we're talking about -- but you'll have 1,000 students standing outside. The teachers are out there, also. If a madman comes along, we have the same problem, but it's outside of the school, or they drive cars. There a lot of things can happen.
I want to stop it. And I know it's a little controversial to say it. But I have to say, since I started this two days ago, a lot of people that were totally opposed to it are now agreeing. They love their students. They don't want their students to be killed or to be hurt.
TRUMP: So we have to do something that works, and one of the big measures that we will do -- and everybody in this room, I think, has to agree. And there's nobody that loves the Second Amendment more than I do, and there's nobody that respects the NRA -- they're friends of mine. They've backed us all. They're great people. They're patriots. But -- but, they're great people. But we really do have to strengthen up -- really strengthen up background checks. We have to do that.
And we have to do, for the mentally ill, we have to do very, very -- we don't want people that are mentally ill to be having any form of weaponry. We have to be very strong on that.
So we're going to do that, and I really believe that Congress is going to get it through this time. And they have a different leader, they have somebody that wants to get it through, not somebody that's just all talk, no action, like so many of these folks. This is somebody that wants to get it through.
But I also want to protect -- we need a hardened site. It has to be hardened; it can't be soft. They'll sneak in through a window, they'll sneak in some way, and again, you're standing there totally unprotected.
You know the five great soldiers from four years ago, three of them were world-class marksmen. They were on a military base in a gun-free zone. They were asked to check their guns quite far away, and a maniac walked in, guns blazing, killed all five of them.
[11:05:02] He wouldn't have had a chance if these world-class marksmen had, on a military base, access to their guns. And I'm going to look at that whole policy on military bases. If we can't have ...
All five were killed, all five. The guy wouldn't have had a chance. And we're going to look at that whole military base gun-free zone. If we can't have our military holding guns, it's pretty bad.
We had a number of instances on military bases, you know that. So we want to protect our military. We want to make -- want to make our military stronger and better than it's ever been before.
We also need to create a culture in our country that cherishes life and human dignity. That's part of what we're talking about, a culture that condemns violence and never glorifies violence.
We need to forge to (ph) real human connections and turn classmates and colleagues into friends and neighbors that want to fight for us.
We're not just having a conversation about school safety. You've had conversations, in all fairness -- I'm pretty new on this job. Been here a little more than a year. I've been watching this stuff go on for 20 years. The president gets up, everybody's enthusiastic for the first couple of days, then it fades, fades, fades.
Nothing ever gets done. We want to see if we can get it done. Let's get it done right. We really owe it to our country.
I've been watching for a long time, seen a lot of words, and I've seen very little action.
And you know if you think about it, most of it's just common sense. It's not, do you love guns? Do you hate guns? It's common sense. It's all common sense. And -- and some of the strongest advocates about what I'm saying are the strongest advocates -- I know them very well -- political people, the strongest advocates for the Second Amendment.
But this is common sense. In addition to securing our schools, we're also implementing a strategy to secure our streets. We want our kids to be safe everywhere they go, whether they're in a classroom, walking home from school, or just outside playing with their friends.
TRUMP: Every child deserves to grow up in a safe community surrounded by a loving family, and to have a future filled with opportunity and with hope.
Thank you. Thank you. It's just not fair.
Reducing violent crime in America is a top priority for my administration, and we will do whatever it takes to get it done. No talk. We're going to do what it takes to get it done.
As you've seen -- pretty well reported that we're significantly increasing gun prosecutions by tremendous percentages, and we're working to get violent offenders off our streets and behind bars and get them behind bars quickly, for a long time, or get them the hell out of our country.
(APPLAUSE) In 2017, we brought cases against more violent offenders than any administration in a quarter of a century -- more than any administration. And we're just gearing up. We have tough people.
I'll tell you what: When you deal with MS-13, the only thing they understand is toughness. They don't want anything. All they understand is toughness. If that ICE agent or Border Patrol agent is tougher than them, they respect him. We've got the toughest guys you've ever seen. We got tough. They don't respect anything else.
And they shouldn't be in our country. They were let in for years. They shouldn't be, and we're getting them out. Our administration prosecuted more people for federal firearm charges than has been done in more than a decade.
And, again, we're just gearing up. We convicted 1,200 gang members and nearly 500 human traffickers -- you know, like human trafficking. Who would think that we have this in this age?
[11:09:57] And, with our foreign partners, we've helped charge or arrest more than 4,000 members of the savage gang that we talked about, MS-13. Now, they don't like guns. You know why? They're not painful enough.
These are animals. They cut people. They cut them. They cut them up in little pieces, and they want them to suffer. And we take them into our country, because our immigration laws are so bad. And, when we catch them, it's called "catch and release." We have to, by law, catch them, and then release them -- catch and release.
And I can't get the Democrats -- and nobody has been able to for years -- to approve common-sense measures that, when we catch these animal killers, we can lock them up and throw away the keys.
In 2017, our brave ICE officers arrested more than 100,000 criminal aliens who have committed tens of thousands of crimes. And -- and believe me, these are great people. They cannot -- the laws are just against us. They're against -- they're against safety. They don't make sense.
And you meet with Democrats, and they're always fighting for the criminal. They're not fighting for law-abiding citizens. They're always fighting for the criminal. Doesn't make sense.
TRUMP: Here are just some of the criminal charges and convictions for the aliens arrested by ICE: 11,000 charges or convictions for sex crimes, 48,000 for assault, 13,000 for burglary and 1,800 for killing people. We're cracking down on sanctuary cities. Can you believe this? Where they protect -- that's another one.
Because we want our cities to be sanctuaries for law-abiding Americans, not for criminals.
And by the way, the Senate Democrats and the House Democrats have totally abandoned DACA. They've totally -- they don't even talk to me about it. They have totally abandoned it.
You know, we get the reputation like DACA, it's not Republican. Well let me tell you, it is Republican, because we want to do something about DACA, get it solved after all these years.
The Democrats are being totally unresponsive. They don't want to do anything about DACA, I'm telling you, and it's very possible that DACA won't happen. And it's not because of the Republicans; it's going to be because of the Democrats.
And frankly, you better elect more Republicans, folks, or it'll never happen.
The Democrats voted in favor of sanctuary cities. So in other words, they voted to protect criminal aliens instead of voting to protect the American citizens. To secure our country, we are calling on Congress to build a great border wall to stop dangerous drugs and criminals from pouring into our country.
And now they're willing to give us the wall, but they don't want to give us any of the laws to keep these people out. So we're going to get the wall, but they don't want to give us all of the other -- chain migration, lottery. Think of the lottery. You have a country, they put names in. You think they're giving us their good people? Not too many of you people are going to be in a lottery.
So we pick out people, then they turn out to be horrendous and we don't understand why. They're not giving us their best people, folks. They're not giving us -- I mean, use your heads. They're giving us -- it's a lottery. I don't want people coming into this country with a lottery. I want people coming into this country based on merit, based on merit.
I want people -- and we all want to be admitting people, who have skills, who can support themselves financially, who can contribute to our economy, who will love our people, and who will share our values, who will love our country.
[11:15:02] I don't want people who drive a car at 100 miles an hour down the West Side Highway and kill 8 innocent victims and destroy the lives of 14 more. Nobody talks about that. Nobody every talks about the people that have been so horribly injured, who lose legs and arms.
TRUMP: In Manhattan, where I used to spend my time, I know it very well, the stretch along the West Side Highway, people run in order to stay in shape. They want to be healthy. They want to look good. They run. They're running all the time -- I see it (ph).
They run. We work in different ways.
But they run. No, but think of this. They run, and they're so -- they want to be fit. They're proud people. They want to be fit. And they're running up and down West Side, how (ph) -- it's beautiful. It's a beautiful thing.
And this maniac takes a car, going down the highway, and just turns to the (ph) right, and he kills eight. But he really badly wounded 12 to 14 other people.
So somebody -- think of it -- runs to stay in shape, leaves the house, is jogging along, working hard, ends up going home two months later with no leg or with no arm or with two -- two legs missing.
Nobody ever talks about them. They talk about the people, rightfully, that were killed. But they don't talk about the people that -- whose lives have been just changed -- just changed. They don't talk about that.
This guy came in through chain migration, and a part of the lottery system. They say 22 people came in with him -- in other words, an aunt, an uncle, a grandfather, a mother, a father, whoever came in. But a lot of people came in. That's chain migration. Let's see how those people are doing, by the way.
We've got to change our way. Merit system -- I want merit system, because you know what's happening? All these companies are coming into our country -- they're all coming into our country. And, when they come in, we need people that are going to work. I'm telling you, we need workers now. We need workers.
But, when I walked in today, did anyone ever hear me do the snake when I -- during the campaign?
Because I had five people outside say, "Could you do the snake?" And I said, "Well, people have heard it." Who hasn't heard the snake?
AUDIENCE: Do it.
TRUMP: You should (ph) read it anyway. He's a -- let's do it anyway. I'll do it, all right? Should we do it?
Now, this was a rock and roll song -- little amendments (ph) -- a rock and roll song. But, every time I do it, people -- and you have to think of this in terms of immigration. We have to have great people come into our -- I want people to come into our country. And I want people that are going to help us.
And I don't want people that are going (ph) to come in and be accepting all of the gifts of our country for the next 50 years and do -- and contribute nothing. I don't want that. And you don't want that.
I want people that are going to help and people that are going to go to work for Chrysler, who is now moving from Mexico into Michigan. And so many others.
And Apple, by the way. And Foxconn up in Wisconsin -- they're going to need 25,000 workers. I want people that can come in and get to work and work hard, even if it means a learning period. That's fine.
But I want people that are going to come in and work. And I want people to love us and look at security, and they want you to be safe, and they want to be safe. I want great people coming into this country.
I don't want people coming in the way they do now, because I want people that contribute. So this is called -- this is called the snake, and think of it in terms of immigration.
And you may love it, or you may say, "Isn't that terrible." OK? And if you say, "Isn't that terrible," who cares? Because the way they treat me -- that's peanuts compared to the way they treat me, OK?
TRUMP: Immigration -- on her way to work one morning, down the path along the lake, a tenderhearted woman saw a poor, halfhearted frozen snake. His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew.
[11:20:01] "Poor thing," she cried, "I'll take you in and I'll take care of you."
"Take me in, tender woman. Take me for heaven sake. Take me in, tender woman," sighed the vicious snake.
She wrapped him up all cozy in a comforter of silk and laid him by her fireside with some honey and some milk. She hurried home from work that night, and soon as she arrived, she found that pretty snake she'd taken in had been revived.
"Take me in, tender woman, take me in for heaven's sake. Take me in, tender woman," sighed the vicious snake. She clutched him to her bosom. "You're so beautiful," she cried. "But if I hadn't brought you in, by now, surely you would have died." She stroked his pretty skin again and kissed and held him tight. But, instead of saying "thank you," that snake gave her a vicious bite.
"Take me in, tender woman. Take me in for heaven's sake. Take me in, tender woman," sighed the vicious snake.
"I saved you," cried the woman. "And, you've bitten me. Heavens, why? You know your bite is poisonous, and now I'm going to die." "Shut up, silly woman," said the reptile with a grin. "You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in."
And that's what we're doing with our country, folks. We're letting people in. And it's going to be a lot of trouble. It's only getting worse.
But we're giving you protection like never before. Our law enforcement's doing a better job than we've ever done before. And we love our country and we're going to take care of our country. OK? We're going to take care of our country.
AUDIENCE: We love you!
TRUMP: So, just in finishing, our country is starting to do very well. Our economy is blazing. Jobs are at a record level. Jobs are so good -- 2.7 million jobs created since the election. Unemployment claims have reached a 45-year low.
African-American unemployment has reached the lowest level in our history.
TRUMP: Hispanic unemployment has reached the lowest level in our history.
Women -- unemployment is at the lowest level in 18 years.
Wages are rising for the first time in many, many years. Small business confidence is at a record high, and, thanks to our massive tax cuts, millions of Americans are getting to keep a great percentage of their money, instead of paying it to a government that throws it out the window.
(APPLAUSE) So I just leave you with this: We have to fight Nancy Pelosi. They want to give your money away. They want to give your money away. They want to end your tax cuts. They want to do things that you wouldn't even believe, including taking your Second Amendment rights away. They will do that. They will do that.
[11:25:02] So we have to get out there and we have to fight in '18 like never before, just the way you fought with us -- just the way you fought with us. You fought so hard, and you were so tough, and you were so smart. You were so smart.
And you know what? I know for a fact you did the right thing, because we're looking at the numbers, and the numbers -- even they have to give credit for the kind of numbers that we're producing. Nobody has ever seen anything like it.
Under my administration, the era of economic surrender is over. We're renegotiating trade deals that are so bad, whether it's NAFTA, or whether it is World Trade Organization, which created China. That created -- you look at China -- it was going along like this, then we opened, stupidly, this deal, and China has been like a rocket ship ever since.
And now, last year, we had almost a $500 billion trade deficit with China. We can't have that. We can't have that. I have great respect for President Xi, but we can't have that. We have to go, and we have to do what we have to do.
We just can't let countries -- as an example, Mexico -- we have $100 billion trade deficit with Mexico. What does that tell you? You know what it tells you? NAFTA is no good. It never was any good. But, for some reason, nobody ever changed it.
They emptied our factories. You've got to see the car plants and the auto plants in Mexico. Like, you've never seen anything like it before. I want those companies -- and they're starting -- I want them back here. I want them back here. They're going to come back here, too.
And we want to make our neighbors happy, but we can't continuously have other nations taking advantage of the United States like never before. And this has gone on for a long time.
This has gone on for longer -- The last administration was a disaster, but this has gone on for much longer than the last administration, and we've got to change it. We're going to change it.
So we're renegotiating deals. And you know what? Hate to say it, but if we can't make a fair deal for the United States, we will terminate the deal and we'll start all over again. We have to do it.
(APPLAUSE) TRUMP: So, under my administration and with your help -- don't forget, you -- many of you were the forgotten people. You were the people that -- when the polls came out, they didn't know that you existed. The Democrats are trying to figure out who you are, because they want to get you back.
But you were people -- we've had people that never voted, but -- they're great patriots, but they never saw anybody they wanted to vote for. Then they go to the election, they've got Trump, Pence, Trump, Pence -- they've got hats, they've got all sorts of things -- Trump over here -- Make America Great Again hats, right?
So -- so our country is starting to do well.
AUDIENCE: Thank you.
TRUMP: We are going to make it greater, better, safer than it ever was before. The reason is you. This has been a great movement. They try like hell. They cannot stand what we've done. But we're doing the right thing. We're even doing the right thing for them. They just don't know it yet. They just don't know it yet.
Even the media -- the media will absolutely support me, sometime prior to the election. All those horrible people back there -- they're going to support me. You know why? Because, if somebody else won, their ratings would go down. They'd all be out of business. Nobody would watch.
They'd all be out of business. So I just want to tell you that we are going to win. I'd love you to get out there, work really hard for '18. We need more Republicans to keep the tax cuts and keep all of this going. And I love you. I respect you. I appreciate everything you've done for the country.
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
TRUMP: I appreciate everything you've done.
I do want to say, because people have asked, North Korea -- we imposed today the heaviest sanctions ever imposed on a country before.