Midwest Manufacturing Countertops
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
12:11 P.M. CDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, hello, Wisconsin! (Applause.) To Secretary Gene Scalia, to Congressman Tom Tiffany, to Derrick Van Orden, and all of my fellow Americans from near and far: It is great to be back in Badger State. (Applause.)
And it’s especially great to be with all the amazing men and women of Midwest Manufacturing, where every day it’s made in America! (Applause.)
And it’s also especially great to be on the road today with one of the country’s greatest champions for working families. She’s led a historic fight against human trafficking. She’s helped our President expand family leave to millions of Americans. And she’s the co-chair of the National Council for the American Worker. What she’s done for American workers, done for American families is just extraordinary. Would you join me in showing your thanks for the Advisor to the President and the incredible Ivanka Trump for all she’s done for America? (Applause.)
Thank you for that.
It is great to be here at Midwest Manufacturing. It’s amazing to think this company has been a pillar of the Eau Claire community for more than 50 years. You all have made that happen. And countertops made by Midwest Manufacturing, made by the Midwest Manufacturing countertop team, are sold all over America from coast to coast. (Applause.) And it’s incredible craftsmanship.
But it is great to be with so many friends. We appreciate the hospitality and the welcome today. But speaking of friends of mine, allow me to bring greetings and gratitude from another friend of mine — a man who loves the state of Wisconsin and I believe is the greatest champion for American workers ever to sit in the Oval Office of the White House. I bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump. (Applause.)
And I’m here because I stand with President Donald Trump. When this President stands up for faith and family and the American flag, I stand with President Donald Trump. When this President stands up to the radical left and their socialist agenda, I stand with President Donald Trump. (Applause.) And when this President stands up for American jobs and American workers, we stand with President Donald Trump. (Applause.)
You know, four years ago, a movement was born — a movement of everyday Americans from every walk of life. Just look at how far we’ve come as a nation in three and a half short years with this President in the Oval Office. It’s amazing to think, four years ago, we inherited a military that was hollowed out by devastating budget cuts, an economy struggling to break out of the slowest recovery since the Great Depression. Terrorism was on the rise around the world, and we witnessed a steady assault on our most cherished values.
But in three short years, all of that changed. Right out of the gate, I have to tell you, as the proud father of a United States Marine and the father-in-law of a United States Navy pilot, I couldn’t be more proud to be Vice President to a President who cares so deeply about the men and women of our armed forces and their families and our veterans. We’ve rebuilt our military. (Applause.) We’re finally giving our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guard, and Space Force the resources and the support that they deserve. It’s extraordinary.
Beyond that, we revived our economy. We cut taxes across the board for working families and businesses large and small. We rolled back more federal red tape than any administration in American history. We unleashed American energy and we fought for free and fair trade. And in three short years, businesses large and small created more than 7 million good-paying jobs, including 61,000 jobs right here in Wisconsin. (Applause.) True.
And all of us that live in the Heartland know that wages have been a stubborn — a stubborn economic fact for years. When I was governor of the state of Indiana — another strong manufacturing state — we did all that we could to try and see wages rise. But this President — with that economic policy that I just described, we actually saw wages rising for the fastest pace in 10 years in those first three years, and they rose most rapidly for hardworking, blue-collar Americans. The forgotten men and women are forgotten no more. (Applause.)
In three short years, there were more Americans working than ever before. President Trump also knew that. You know, this is a country which, in our very heart, we make things and we grow things. And the President said early on that we were going to bring back our factories, we were going to bring back jobs, we were going to bring back those four beautiful words, “Made in the USA.” And that’s just what we’ve done. (Applause.)
You know, when Joe Biden was Vice President, America actually lost 200,000 manufacturing jobs. And remember, four years ago, the last President actually said those jobs were never coming back. He actually said at a forum just like this — when he was asked about manufacturing jobs, he said, “What magic wand do you have?” Well, we didn’t need a magic wand. We just needed President Donald Trump in the White House. (Applause.) Five hundred thousand manufacturing jobs in just three years.
At the end of those first three years, more Americans were working than ever before, and we created the greatest economy the world has ever known. And beyond the economy in our first three years, our President stood for our most cherished values. President Donald Trump has stood without apology for the sanctity of human life, and all the liberties that we cherish. (Applause.)
In support of the rule of law, the President actually saw to the appointment of more than 200 men and women to our federal courts at every level. And I can tell you firsthand, they are all principled conservatives who will uphold all the God-given liberties enshrined in our Constitution, like the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, and the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. (Applause.) Principled jurists at every level, and that includes Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
We gather here today in a time of national mourning. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a true public servant who paved the way for women in the law, and we honor her service. Yesterday evening, my wife Karen and I paid our respects as she lay in state in the Supreme Court. And President Trump and our First Lady paid their respects this morning. And Justice Ginsburg’s family will remain in our hearts and in our prayers.
And as we rightly honor her life of service, the Constitution of the United States provides that the President shall appoint judges to the Supreme Court. And I promise you, come this Saturday, President Donald Trump will do his duty, and we will nominate a principled conservative woman to the Supreme Court of the United States. (Applause.) After the United States Senate fulfills their duty to advise and consent, we’re going to fill that seat. (Applause.)
So we’re standing for the rule of law, pouring a stronger foundation under our most cherished 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 always will. (Applause.)
And our hearts today are with the two officers in Louisville, Kentucky, who were shot last night. I was grateful to learn on Air Force Two on the way here that, thankfully, both are expected to recover. But they and their families are in our prayers. We’re grateful for their service. But I will tell you all here in Wisconsin: Violence against law enforcement must stop and it must stop now. (Applause.)
President Trump and I know what people across Wisconsin know: The men and women who serve in law enforcement of some of the best people in this country. They put their lives on the line every day. When they put on that uniform and strap on a sidearm and walk out the door in the morning, they make a decision to count our lives as more important than their own. And those who serve in law enforcement deserve the respect of every American, every day. (Applause.)
You know, the truth is — the truth is, what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis, there’s no excuse for that. Any incident involving police use of force will always be thoroughly investigated.
And the President and I will always support the right of Americans to peaceful protest. But there’s really no excuse for the rioting and looting that has followed incidents, whether it be Kenosha or Minneapolis or elsewhere. Rioting and looting is not peaceful protest. Burning businesses is not free speech. Bringing violence against civilians or law enforcement will not be tolerated, and those who do so will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. (Applause.)
Here in Wisconsin, when violence broke out in Kenosha, President Trump took action. We sent in 200 federal law enforcement officers to support state and local law enforcement and we quelled the violence. And my pledge to each one of you here today is this: Under President Donald Trump, we are going to have law and order in every city, in every state in this nation for every American of every race and creed and color, so help us God. (Applause.)
Now, for months, all Joe Biden talked about was peaceful protesters, as the American people watch businesses and communities in our major cities literally burn. When he finally showed up a few weeks back, he condemned, in his words, “violence in every form it takes.” But right after that, he criticized law enforcement. And Joe Biden has never called out his campaign staff or his running mate for raising money to bail out violent criminals. And he’s never called on Democrat mayors in our major cities to get the crime under control.
I mean, the truth is, Joe Biden would double down on the policies that have led to violence in America’s cities. I mean, Joe Biden actually says that America is “systemically racist,” and that law enforcement has an “implicit bias” against minorities.
Just yesterday, his running mate said that it was, quote, “outdated and wrongheaded” to view police was the only way to make communities safe. When he was asked whether he’d support cutting funding to law enforcement, Joe Biden replied, “Yes, absolutely.”
But I’ll make you a promise, Wisconsin: Under President Donald Trump and this Vice President and this administration, we will always back the blue. We’re not going to defund the police — not now, not ever. (Applause.)
The people of this country know we don’t have to choose between supporting law enforcement and supporting our African American neighbors. I mean, all along the way in this administration, we’ve provided new resources for additional law enforcement on the streets. And in the wake of tragic events in Minneapolis, President Trump actually signed an executive order and called for additional funding for additional police training.
And throughout the course of our administration, we’ve been working to improve the lives of African American families and all of our minorities. I mean, with the President’s economic policies, we actually saw the lowest unemployment ever recorded for African Americans. We saw crime in decline in our major cities. We were increasing prosecutions. We saw the billions of dollars being marshaled in Opportunity Zones that the President created in 8,000 — all across the country. And it was this President that signed criminal justice reform to make our system more just.
Men and women, for the last four years, we have been standing with law enforcement and standing with our American — African American families. We are going to keep standing with our police and keep standing with African Americans and our minorities for four more years. (Applause.)
So we rebuilt our military; we revived our economy; we stood for life, our liberties, and law and order in those first three years. We made America great again. (Applause.) Am I right?
Then the coronavirus struck from China. But I’m here to tell you, before the first documented case of community transmission within the United States, President Trump did what no American President had ever done before: He suspended all travel from China, the second-largest economy in the world.
Now, Joe Biden said that it was, quote, “hysterical” and “xenophobic.” But I can tell you, having led the White House Coronavirus Task Force over these last eight months, President Trump’s action saved untold American lives, and it bought us invaluable time to stand up the largest national mobilization since World War Two. It’s the truth. (Applause.)
I mean, you all are hearing the headlines about the prospect of a vaccine. But did you know that before the end of January, we actually started the process of developing a vaccine. Right out of the gate, we reinvented testing from the old, lab-based system where, last week, we cleared 100 million tests that have been done. And there literally are tens of millions of more tests becoming available for families and businesses and schools every day.
We also saw to the manufacture and delivery of hundreds of millions of medical supplies to doctors and nurses and hospitals across the country. And as we speak, we’re developing medicines that are saving lives every day. And we are on track to have the first safe and effective coronavirus vaccine before the end of this year. That’s record time, Wisconsin. (Applause.)
Now, this week, we passed a heartbreaking milestone in the midst of this pandemic. And I just want to say to all of you and those that are looking on, the families that have suffered loss during the course of this pandemic have always been on our hearts and you’re in our prayers. There’s just not a day gone by that I haven’t thought about families that have lost loved ones. But I can tell you, I’m absolutely confident that because of the extraordinary work of our doctors and nurses, because of the collaboration that this President forged with government at every level across this country and because of the cooperation of the American people, I know we saved hundreds of thousands of American lives. (Applause.)
So we’re slowing the spread. We’re working to flatten the curve, working every day to put the coronavirus in the past as we protect the vulnerable and save lives. And as we work to put this coronavirus in the past and reach that day when we have a safe and effective vaccine, we’re opening up America again and we’re opening America’s schools. (Applause.)
And thanks to President Donald Trump, the Big 10 will be playing football in just a few short weeks. (Applause.) Badger football is coming back.
Now, this President, in the midst of these challenging times, always had American families and businesses just like this one on his heart. That’s why our President worked with leaders in both parties in the Congress. We secured more than $4 trillion in direct aid for American families and American businesses.
The experts tell us that the Paycheck Protection alone kept workers on the payroll at 89,000 Wisconsin businesses and saved 50 million American jobs from being lost. (Applause.)
And out on the farm, this President never lost sight of the challenges — the challenges in American agriculture during this time. We provided $16 billion in support to our farmers, in addition to the Farmers to Families food box program, which, working with agriculture all across the country, provided food to tens of millions of families. And the woman who led that charge deserves one more round of applause. Thank you, Ivanka Trump — (applause) — for the Farmers to Families initiative. (Applause.)
For all that our farmers have done for our families — past, present, and future — even in these challenging times, you heard the President when he came to Wisconsin not long ago and announced another $13 billion in support for America’s farmers, including Wisconsin dairy. (Applause.)
So I promise you, Wisconsin, we’re going to continue to put the health of America first until we reach that day that we put the coronavirus in the past. But because of the strong foundation President Trump poured in those first three years, because of the unprecedented aid to families and businesses, I’m proud to report to you, as we open up America again, having lost 22 million jobs, we’ve already seen 10.6 million Americans go back to work, including 237,000 people right here in the Badger State. (Applause.)
We’ve cut Wisconsin’s unemployment rate in half. This economy in this great state is coming back. And that’s why the choice that we face is so important, men and women.
It’s amazing to think, in the middle of a global pandemic, Joe Biden actually wants to raise taxes by $4 trillion. And I’ll promise you, I mean, President Trump has cut taxes across the board for working families and businesses, and we’re going to keep cutting taxes for four more years. (Applause.)
President Trump — where President Trump signed more laws cutting federal red tape — red tape than any President in American history, Joe Biden actually wants to bury the American economy under an avalanche of red tape in his own version of the Green New Deal.
And this President — this President rolled back more federal red tape than any administration in the history of this country. And you all who work in a business like Midwest know we’re going to keep on chopping and keep creating jobs for many years to come. (Applause.)
It’s not just about taxes — not just about taxes and red tape. When it comes to free and fair trade, the American worker has a champion in President Donald Trump.
From early on, this President said we’re going to put American jobs and American workers first when it comes to American trade. When we came into office, China was fully half of our international trading deficit. We literally — we were losing $500 billion a year in our trading relationship with China. And Joe Biden — well, for decades, he’s been a cheerleader for communist China. But our President, he stood up to China and said the era of economic surrender is over. We imposed tariffs. And we will keep standing strong until we level the playing field for American workers. (Applause.)
And closer to home — closer to home, I don’t have to tell people out in the Heartland about the impact of NAFTA. I mean, did you know, from the time President Clinton signed NAFTA into law, there were 60,000 factories that closed in the United States? And many of those jobs went south of the border. Many of them went overseas.
In all of his years in office and as Vice President, Joe Biden never lifted a finger to fix NAFTA or to renegotiate the deal with our neighbors to the north and south in a way that would put American jobs in the city and on the farm first.
Thanks to President Donald Trump, NAFTA is history and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement is here to stay. And it’s a win for American jobs and American farmers. (Applause.) It’s true.
I mean, all in, they’re telling us, the USMCA could create up to 600,000 new jobs, including 50,000 manufacturing jobs — a whole lot more products made in America. And I got to tell you, I was there for a lot of the conversations — on the phone and more than a few in person — when this President stood strong and drove a hard bargain for Wisconsin dairy. It’s true. (Applause.)
Ivanka will back me up on this — (laughs) — she was around for a lot of those we- — you know, you all know about it. Canada had begun to treat our dairy farmers in unfair ways. There was a concern about new product lines they were allowing that would crowd out American dairy. And I saw the President take a firm stand and said we’re going to put American farmers, we’re going to put Wisconsin and American dairy first. And thanks to President Donald Trump, in the USMCA, Canada agreed to end the unfair treatment of dairy farmers. And we’re going to increase our dairy exports by more than $300 million a year. That’s a win. (Applause.) That’s a win for Wisconsin and a win for American dairy.
For dairy farmers in this state, you all deserve to know the Joe Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, actually put her own environmental agenda ahead of Wisconsin dairy and ahead of Wisconsin manufacturing. She was one of only 10 senators that actually voted against the USMCA. But I’ll promise you, when it comes to trade, when it comes to standing strong on the world stage, President Donald Trump will always put Wisconsin farmers, Wisconsin manufacturing, and Wisconsin families first. (Applause.)
So thank you all. Thank you for the warm welcome. I want to thank each one of you, more importantly, for what you do every day. This is an incredible company. And each one of you have kept this company rolling through very challenging times. And I’m grateful for the way you’ve put the health of your families and the health of your coworkers first.
It’s also a privilege just to thank you for what you do all the time. You know, President Trump and I believe that all honest work is honorable. And that’s why we’ve taken such steps to expand opportunities in manufacturing and expand vocational education and apprenticeships around the country.
I mean, the truth is — and Ivanka talked about this — back when I was governor of the state of Indiana, we — we took decisive steps in the state to begin to reopen pathways for technical education for high school students. And I got to tell you, in President Donald Trump and our administration, you have a President who admires men and women who make things. He’s a champion for American manufacturing. He is. (Applause.)
That’s why we took action. That’s why the President took action to encourage businesses in every field to expand training opportunities and apprenticeships. Ivanka just mentioned it, but the President launched the Pledge to America’s Workers that she co-chaired from very early on. Business leaders around the country have already stepped up and committed to 16 million training opportunities for American workers across the country.
And as Ivanka just announced today and I’m proud to — I’m proud to reiterate and thank Midwest Manufacturing has pledged to create 300 more jobs and 150 training opportunities for hardworking Americans right here in Wisconsin. (Applause.) That’s awesome. Thank you. Thank you, Midwest. Great.
I mean, the truth is, we — it’s companies like this and the commitment that Midwest Manufacturing just made that are opening up doors for tremendous careers and future — the careers that you all are living. And to have those opportunities for apprenticeships and training opens pathways for people who may have never thought about working in manufacturing.
When I was walking the — when I was walking the shop floor a few minutes ago, I talked to a young man who had been here for a few years. I asked him what he did before. He said retail. And now he’s got — now he’s putting skills to work and great talent to work creating the incredible products you create here.
So, as I said, you have a President and Vice President and an entire team here that believe that all honest work is honorable. I mean, truthfully — truthfully, the President and I know it’s always been the hardworking people of this country — men and women like all of you — people that believe in faith and freedom and patriotism, and a honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay — who have really made the American Dream happen. And I believe with all of my heart, that in the city and on the farm, working Americans are the backbone of this country. (Applause.)
And seeing all of you and seeing the great craftsmanship here at Midwest Manufacturing, learning about the ongoing commitment of this company to open doors of opportunity, I leave here today with renewed confidence that the best days for manufacturing, the best days for our economy are yet to come.
I mean, because of American ingenuity, we’re — the day will come when we put this coronavirus in the past. We believe we’ll have that vaccine before the end of the year. And as our economy continues to come back, it’s working families that are driving it back.
And I believe that all that we’ve been through this year, all that we’ve done to turn this country around over the last three and a half years, it’s a reflection of the determination of a President who never quits, who never backs down. And it’s also a reflection of the character, the resilience, and the faith of the great people of this country.
You know, I truly do believe in my heart of hearts that it’s — it’s the faith of the American people, your faith in the American Dream, your faith in the ideals on which this nation was founded, and our faith in God that have always been the wellspring of this nation’s strength.
And with that faith in Him and in all of you, with this President in the White House, with a great team that serves Wisconsin alongside us each and every day, I know the best days for Wisconsin and America are yet to come. And we will make America great again — again. (Applause.)
Thank you all very much. God bless you. And God bless America.