On Tuesday, May 22, 2018, President Donald J. Trump gave the keynote address at Susan B. Anthony List’s eleventh annual Campaign for Life Gala at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., saying, “When we look into the eyes of a newborn child, there is no doubt we see the beauty of the human soul and the mystery of God’s great creation. We know that every life has meaning and that every life is totally worth protecting.”
President Trump also urged grassroots pro-lifers to get out and vote in the midterm elections: “When we stand for life, we stand for the true source of America’s greatness…so this November, vote for family. Vote for love. Vote for faith and values. Vote for country. And vote for life.”
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Watch President Trump’s Keynote Address
Transcript of President Trump’s speech
President Donald J. Trump
SBA List Campaign for Life Gala, May 22, 2018
Thank you. Wow. Thank you very much. Thank you, Marjorie. Thank you, Marjorie, for that wonderful introduction. All my friends are out here. Thank you very much. Thank you.
Thank you very much. I appreciate it. So nice. And I’m thrilled to be here tonight at the very first — and as the very first President to address this incredible group of people. I have a lot of friends in the audience. They are incredible people.
And I’d also like to thank the Susan B. Anthony List Chairwoman, Jane Abraham, and her husband, the Honorable Spence Abraham, for hosting this beautiful gala. Thank you both. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Beautiful job.
And we’re also very glad to be joined by many wonderful members of Congress, including the legend from Louisiana, a very brave guy, Steve Scalise. Where is Steve? Where is Steve? Hi, Steve.
So I was going to ask all members of Congress to stand, but there’s a short list. Should I just — we have to do this, right? They’re fighting for you all the time, right? Don’t you think? All right.
You have Steve. Steve, stand. You have no problems standing. This guy is in better shape than all of us.
Kevin Brady. Where is Kevin? What a man he is. How are you? Thank you. Thank you, Kevin.
Steve Daines. Steve Daines. Hi, Steve. Thank you, Steve. Great.
Where’s Roger Wicker? Roger. Roger. Right. You know the problem with this, Roger? We’re guaranteed to leave a few out, and they’ll never speak to me again, but that’s okay. I’ll have you stand if I did that.
A man who has been so incredible on television to me, Andy Biggs. Congressman Andy Biggs. Where’s Andy? Thank you, Andy. Now I don’t have to call you and thank you. Thank you, Andy.
Marsha Blackburn. Marsha, good luck. Will hopefully be our next senator from the great, great, great state of Tennessee. Good. And I just saw some great numbers on you, by the way.
Where’s Steve Chabot? Where is Steve? Steve. Steve. Steve. How are you, Steve? Good help.
Kevin Cramer, who is leading. He’s leading in his Senate rate. Kevin. Where is Kevin? Kevin, you’re leading.
You know, we have a lot of people that are leading these races. And a number just came down from Reuters. You know, we were, a few months ago, 16 down in the generic poll — whatever that’s supposed to mean because nobody really knows what it means. But all I know is we were 16 down. Reuters just came out two hours ago, and we’re one up. That’s big difference.
And they say that, to win, we have to be, like — if we’re six down, we’re in okay shape. But we’re one up. That’s pretty good. So that’s for the senators and for the congressmen and women. So that’s it. But you’re doing fantastic, Kevin.
Sean Duffy. Where is Sean? Where is Sean? Thank you, Sean. Great job.
Ron Estes. Ron. Thank you, Ron.
Jeff Fortenberry. Jeff. Thank you, Jeff. Good job.
A friend of mine for a long time, Virginia Foxx. Virginia. Thanks, Virginia.
Representative and Mrs. Greg. Okay, where’s Susan? Susan Gianforte. Where is he? Boy, he is a good — he is a good campaigner. Great job. Great job. Thank you, Susan.
Representative and Mrs. Andy — you know, they wrote this out. They said, “and Mrs. Andy and Nicole.” So we’re just going to say it: Andy and Nicole Harris. Stand up, please. Thank you. Great. Thank you.
A man who is — I hope he’s here because he’s so busy. But a man who is a true champion. NCAA Champion for numerous years. Like, I’m not sure he ever lost a match. Somebody said he’s like 141 and 1, but that’s not bad. Jim Jordan. Where is he? Jim Jordan. Where is Jim? He is — thanks, Jim. Thanks. Great champion.
Mike Kelly. I watched him the other day. He was debating Maxine Waters. That was not a close debate. That was not a close debate, Mike. They should all be so easy. Right, Mike?
Congressman Steve King. Do you think Steve is conservative enough? Where is Steve? Hi, Steve. Is Steve conservative enough, folks? I don’t know. You don’t get more conservative than Steve, right? Thank you, Steve.
Congressman Joe Lesko and Debbie — Mrs. Lesko. Where are you? Thank you, folks. Thank you, Debbie. Thank you.
Dan Lipinski. Thanks, Dan.
Keith Rothfus. Good person. Thank you, Keith. Great job. Great job you’re doing.
Oh, this man. Central casting. I watch him all the time. Don’t know him well, but I’ll get to know him. John Rutherford. Where is he? John. Central casting. Great job, John. He’s always defending me. Actually, most of you are always defending me, and that’s okay.
And from my neck of the woods, Claudia Tenney. Thank you, Claudia. Thank you.
And for those many that I’ve left out, I’m sorry. But I said, “Give me a totally complete list.” And I will call you tomorrow, and I will apologize personally. All right?
But every day, between now and November, we must work together to elect more lawmakers who share our values, cherish our heritage, and proudly stand for life. And that is a great group of people I introduced, I can tell you that.
We’re also glad to be joined by a beloved member of my administration, a true fighter for faith and family, and your 2018 Distinguished Leader, Kellyanne Conway. Kellyanne. What a job. What a job she’s done. She is some fighter.
She’ll do the shows that nobody else dares go near. She’ll just — I’ll say, “Do this one or that one.” “No problem, sir.” Others say, “Sir, do you think I could take a pass, please? I beg you, please.” Great going, Kellyanne. Thank you. What a help. What a help.
Finally, to all of the friends, activists, and supporters of the life movement who are here this evening — so many, this was a record crowd — your hard work helped us to achieve this historic victory, our historic victory, one of the great victories of all time in politics. That beautiful, beautiful evening. November. Remember that evening? Could it have been more beautiful? 2016. Ah, that November 8th, 2016.
On the other side, you had some very unhappy campers. They were not happy. They were going to have a big, beautiful party. Didn’t turn out to be such a good party.
Now, for the first time since Roe v. Wade, America has a pro-life President, a pro-life Vice President, a pro-life House of Representatives, and 25 pro-life Republican state capitols. That is pretty good.
When I ran for office, I pledged to stand for life. And as President, that’s exactly what I’ve done. And I have kept my promise, and I think everybody here understands that fully.
One of my very first acts as President was to reinstate the Mexico City Policy, to prevent taxpayer dollars from funding abortion centers overseas. It’s a little reminiscent of Ronald Reagan.
A few months later, with Marjorie in the Oval Office — she was sitting there with us, and she stood then and signed legislation to overturn the rule that forced states to fund abortion providers with taxpayer dollars. Marjorie was there with me.
We’ve appointed a record number of judges who will defend our Constitution and interpret the law as written. And we’re putting onto the bench a record number of judges. And in a short period of time, we were going to have and are going to have probably the all-time record for the appointment of judges. And I’m very excited about that.
My administration has also take bold action to protect religious liberty. And today, we are making another historic announcement. For decades, American taxpayers have been wrongfully forced to subsidize the abortion industry through Title 10 federal funding. So today, we have kept another promise. My administration has proposed a new rule to prohibit Title 10 funding from going to any clinic that performs abortions. Thank you.
Thank you very much. We’re also seeking passage of the 20-week abortion bill, which would end painful, late-term abortions nationwide. The House just passed the bill, but Democrats in the Senate are doing everything within their power to block it, although some are actually on our side. But they are working overtime to block it.
So the story is, 18 midterms — we need Republicans, and that will happen. On this issue, like so many other issues, the Democratic Party is far outside the American mainstream. Far outside. The United States is one of only seven countries in the world to allow elective abortions after 20 weeks, when unborn babies can truly feel the pain. Yet Democratic senators like Jon Tester, Heidi Heitkamp, Claire McCaskill, Debbie Stabenow all voted against the 20-week bill and in favor of late-term abortion.
Got to get out and vote. We are nine votes away from passing the 20-week abortion bill in the Senate, so we have to get them out there. The Democratic senators are up for reelection in 10 states that I won by a lot. And I think we’re doing very well. We have some of those folks that are running right now, and they’re doing very, very well. Going to have a big, big surprise in six months. Big, beautiful surprise.
If we work hard between now and November, every one of these states can be flipped to a senator who shares our values and votes our agenda. Democrats like to campaign as moderates at election time, but when they go to Washington, they always vote for the radical Pelosi agenda down the line.
Can you imagine having Nancy Pelosi as the Speaker of the House? No, can you imagine? That’s why we’re putting in place a massive campaign for a midterm victory this November. We will need to elect more members of Congress who will protect life, support our military, secure our borders, and grow our economy, and continue making America great again.
While Democrats in Washington are resisting progress, my administration is delivering progress for hardworking Americans each and every day, and we’re doing some job. Since the election, we have created more than 3.3 million new jobs.
And if I would have said that prior to the election, those people back there — you know who that is, right? That’s called “the fake news, fake news.” They would have said, “What a ridiculous statement. He’s saying he’s going to project 3.3 million new jobs? How ridiculous is that?” Well, guess what? We did it. Fake news.
Something I’m very proud of: African American unemployment is at the lowest level in history. Hispanic unemployment is likewise at the lowest level in history. Women unemployment is at the lowest level in 19 years. And something you haven’t heard for 21 years: Wages are rising at the fastest pace in more than time — they said 21. I did hear 19. I have to be very accurate with these folks. Let’s put it this way: Wages are rising at a very fast level. Very fast. Got to be very careful. You know, when you say something, if it’s like a little off — if I was off by a week and a half, it’s a headline tomorrow. “We got them now!”
Something very important — small business optimism — is the highest that it’s ever been, ever recorded. And our great House Ways and Means chairman, Kevin Brady, who joins us tonight, has done an incredible job. Thank you, Kevin.
With his leadership, Republicans passed the biggest tax cut and reform in American history. And we doubled the child tax credit. And we’re going to be — with Kevin and the entire group, we’re going to be submitting additional tax cuts sometime prior to November. It’s going to be something very special. You see what it’s done for the country. It’s going to be something very, very special.
And, by the way, Nancy Pelosi and the group — you heard her the other day — she wants to raise your taxes. They want to get rid of the tax cut bill and raise your taxes. Somehow I don’t think that plays well, but you never know, right? Wants to raise your taxes.
And my presidential budget was the first in history to include a proposal for nationwide paid family leave. Good, Steve. Good. We want to honor the invaluable time parents spend with their newborn children.
On foreign affairs — you’ve been reading a lot about foreign affairs — we’re getting very high marks on foreign affairs, actually. We are, as a country, respected again — it’s been a long time — because we’ve restored American strength and confidence. Our military — and we just had it approved — $700 billion. It’s historic funding for our great military. $700 billion.
And we have left the horrible one-sided, miserable Iran deal. It’s gone. One of the worst deals ever negotiated. We get nothing. We get nothing.
We’ve moved our embassy to Jerusalem. Thank you. And we are renegotiating trade deals to bring jobs and wealth back home to America where they and it belongs — working hard on the trade deals.
But if Democrats gain power, they will try to reverse these incredible gains. These are historic gains. They will try and reverse many of them. So your vote in 2018 is every bit as important as your vote in 2016 — although I’m not sure I really believe that, but you know. I don’t know who the hell wrote that line. I’m not sure. But it’s still important. Remember that.
That’s why we will be campaigning for every last vote in every part of our great country. We will be campaigning for the votes of all Americans, whether they’re registered as Democrats — and we got a lot of Democrats voting for us, as you know, in ’16. A lot. They couldn’t believe it. They could not believe it. We got a lot of Barack Obama voters voting for us. We got a lot of Bernie Sanders voting for us. Can you believe it? Mostly people that didn’t like getting ripped off on trade — Bernie Sanders voters. He was right about that. But he wasn’t able to do anything about it.
These are people that want a government that protects faith, family, and life. (Applause.) To support Republican candidates, I have helped raised a record-breaking $175 million for the Republican National Committee. Nobody has ever been close.
And as part of our unprecedented effort, our great Vice President, a true leader in the pro-life movement — Mike has been a true leader — has been working to elect more and more Republicans. We will be appealing to voters all across America who previously sent a Democrat to Washington, only to discover they elected a proxy vote for Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. These are people that don’t believe in borders, don’t believe in fighting crime, don’t believe in making a strong military. They don’t believe in what the people in this room believe — that I can tell you. So we have to do a great job.
If Democrats ever gained power, they would try to put up the taxes — so many things — open those borders. They don’t want walls. They don’t want people stopping. And the other day — just the other day — Nancy Pelosi came out in favor of MS-13. That’s the first time I’ve heard that. She wants them to be treated with respect, as do other Democrats. That’s not going to be happening. We’re not going to release violent criminals into our country.
We’re going to shut down everything we have to shut down, and we’re going to open up the great American energy. We are going to open up our energy. And in all fairness, that’s already happened. We are now a net exporter of energy for the first time.
And we all know what a Democratic majority would mean, especially for the people in this room, on the Supreme Court. These are the stakes on Election Day, and this is why you need to fight for victory in November. We can’t be complacent. What happens, historically, a tremendous percentage of the time: You win the presidential election, you become complacent, you’re happy. “Oh, we won. Isn’t it wonderful?” Then you have — another election comes up, pretty quick — two years. All of these congressmen can tell you. You see the senators. They like their term a little bit better. How about changing some of them to two years, too? I don’t think it’s going to be. That would be a tough vote in the Senate, wouldn’t it?
But all of a sudden, you come up again, and they get complacent. They say, oh, we just won, so we sit back. The other side has energy, and they win. It’s a tremendous percentage of the time. I honestly don’t believe that’s going to happen this time, and it’s starting to show up in the polls. Really don’t believe it.
Every values voter must be energized, mobilized, and engaged. You have to get out there. This organization bears the name of one of the greatest champions of freedom in American history: Susan B. Anthony. She fought for decades to end slavery, to secure women’s right to vote, and to respect the dignity of every single person. A great person, a great woman, was she.
Now we have a chance to honor her legacy and restore the first right in the Declaration of Independence. It’s called the right to life. Here with us this evening are Lisa and Bruce Alexander, and their family, from Gaithersburg, Maryland. Good place. In January of 2012, the Alexanders attended the March for Life, and God put it in their hearts to adopt a beautiful child. Two years later, in January of 2014, the Alexanders got a call that a baby had been born, who was opioid-dependent. She desperately needed a loving home. She was in serious, serious trouble. And the Alexanders welcomed her into their home with wide-open arms.
After the baby was treated for opioid withdrawal, they brought home their new and very beautiful daughter, Catherine. Hi, Catherine. Hi. Come on up here, Catherine. Come on. Catherine is four years old, and she is full of incredible energy, spirit, and talent. At the age of two — come on up, Catherine — she memorized “America the Beautiful.” She recites poetry. And recently she announced to her dad that when she grows up she wants to be a famous police officer. And then, when she gets tired of that, she wants to become President. That’s okay with her. She’ll be President someday.
Every time Catherine’s older siblings come home from school, Catherine runs into their arms and gives them a great, big, beautiful hug. They’re amazed by how much she loves them and how much they love her.
So tonight, we celebrate you, Catherine. We celebrate your life. Thank you, darling.
And we celebrate all lives. We celebrate the loving choice of adoption. Catherine reminds us that every life is sacred and that every child is a precious gift from God. So true.
As the Lord says in Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…Before you were born, I set you apart.” When a mother and a father hold a new baby in their arms, they are changed forever. When a child says “Mommy” or “Daddy” for the first time, there is nothing like it anywhere in the world. No matter what you do, there is nothing like it. And when parents watch their children thrive and grow, they’re filled with joy beyond words, and a love beyond measure. You know that — everybody in this room.
When we look into the eyes of a newborn child, there is no doubt we see the beauty of the human soul and the mystery of God’s great creation. We know that every life has meaning and that every life is totally worth protecting. Thank you very much.
When we stand for life, we stand for the true source of America’s greatness. It’s our people — our people are great. It’s the people who grace our lives, who sustain our communities, and who make America a nation, a home, and this magnificent land that we all love so much.
As long as we have faith in our citizens, confidence in our values, and trust in our God, then we will never, ever fail. Our nation will thrive. Our people will prosper. And America will be greater than ever before. And that’s what’s happening.
So this November, vote for family. Vote for love. Vote for faith and values. Vote for country. And vote for life.
I want to just end by thanking the Susan B. Anthony List. You are very, very special people. It’s a great honor for me to be here tonight. Thank you to everyone. Thank you to life and liberty. God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you very much. Thank you.