7:53 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you very much, everyone. It’s great to have our governors with us, and spouses and friends. Please, sit. Please.
So this is my fourth one with our First Lady, and I want to thank the First Lady for having done such a beautiful job with the settings and all of the things. She works very hard on these things, so I want to thank her very much. (Applause.)
I also want to thank Mike Pence, Vice President. Fantastic person. (Applause.) Mike and Karen, thank you very much for working so hard. (Applause.)
So we have an incredible group of people. I know just about all of you, and we argue a little bit, but 90 percent of the time we get along. And I just said, “Call the White House, call me anytime you have difficulty, because we’re all in this together.”
Our states are doing fantastically well. We have a tremendous sampling of our governors. Great — a great turnout tonight, which we appreciate. And anything I can do to help, you’re going to let me know; you’re going to call.
I thought we’d do something a little different tonight that’s never been done before, and rather than sitting and making small talk all night, I thought we’ll have the press leave. When they depart, we’ll start asking questions, making statements. You can make — if you have any suggestions, we’d love to hear them. If you have any questions, I’d love to answer them for you.
But we’ll have an exciting evening, and it’s a little bit different. That hasn’t been done. We’re meeting tomorrow morning, as you know, but this will take a little bit of the edge off tomorrow, but that’s okay with me. That’s fine. (Laughter.)
So we’re going to have a tremendous evening. And again, I’d like to thank the military, the bands — the people who work so hard — the chefs. They’ve been just fantastic. (Applause.)
We had a tremendous — we had a tremendous week. The State of the Union was something that I think people really enjoyed. I very much appreciate the receptivity to what we all had to say. And some of you were there; many of you were there, actually. But I — it was very exciting.
And then, of course, as you know, last week, we made our deal with China. We made our deal with Japan a couple of weeks before that — $40 billion. We made a tremendous — a tremendous USMCA deal — Mexico and Canada. We’ve totally renegotiated the deal with South Korea. It was not a good deal for the United States; now it’s a great deal for the United States. And many other things, all inuring to the benefit of your states and to you as governors.
So I just want to congratulate you on having done, in all cases, a great job. Most of the states, almost everyone, has set a record. You’ve had a record — virtually every state. I can almost not even have to put it down in a speech, because I go to states, I speak and I say, “You’ve had the best year you’ve ever had.”
But the fact is you’ve — you’ve all — I know you very well. You’ve done a tremendous job. It’s not easy being governor. And it’s — you just look at the way our country is doing: We’ve never done as well as we’re doing right now.
So it’s an honor to have you all. And we’re going to be doing some questions and some statements in just a little while. To the media, thank you very much for attending. I appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.)