Remarks by President Trump in Meeting with Representative Jeff Van Drew | Beaufort County Now

Remarks by President Trump in Meeting with Representative Jeff Van Drew president, donald trump, dnlds wht hs, remarks, meeting, representative, jeff van drew, december 20, 2019
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Remarks by President Trump in Meeting with Representative Jeff Van Drew

Press Release:

White House Oval Office  •  Washington D.C.  •  December 19  •  3:01 P.M. EST

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much. We have a very big announcement, to me. I think it's been many years - I hear 10 years, maybe more - where Jeff Van Drew, highly respected - in fact, I didn't know, as a Democrat, how you could have won in that district. I know the district very well. But that is a great tribute to you. But Jeff will be joining the Republican Party.

    And we were very fortunate he voted our way yesterday, as you probably know. And we had a totally unified party. I don't think there's ever been a time where the Republican Party was so united. But Jeff will be joining the Republican Party. And I really - to me, it's a very exciting announcement. I think, Kevin, you said it was about 10 years since that's happened.


    THE PRESIDENT: And I don't even know who the last one was. It would seem to me it was even more than that. But it's a big deal.

    LEADER MCCARTHY: It's a very big deal because he's going from the majority to the minority, and it normally doesn't go that way.

    THE PRESIDENT: Right. Yeah, but he's very smart because he knows it's not going to be the minority for long. I have a feeling we're going to do very well in 2020, in November - November 3rd, to be exact. Get out and vote.

    But, Jeff, thank you very much. It's a great honor. Thank you.

    REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW: Thank you, Mr. President.

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Please. Would you like to say something?

    REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW: So, I have a few words. And I usually never, ever - I don't read speeches. And this won't be very long -


    REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW: - I promise you, Mr. President. But I had a few bullets. There's a few points I really wanted to make today.

    And I would start with how this started. I've been a Democrat for a lot of years. And I actually had a meeting with somebody about two weeks ago, I guess it was. And the individual was a local county chairman in the Democratic Party. And he sat down and he says, "I just want to tell you something." And he said, "I want to tell you that you can't vote against impeachment."

    I said, "What do you mean I can't vote against impeachment?" He says, "You can't vote against impeachment. You will not..." I have eight counties in my district. "You will not get the line. You will not get the county. I will do everything to prevent that from happening, and everything to destroy you." This is a pretty young guy, so it was pretty gutsy.

    THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. A wise guy.

    REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW: And it kind of hurt because, for years, I have given everything that I could to my people and my district.


    You know, Mr. President, you asked why I win. Truthfully, because I'm a crazy man, and when people have a problem, when they need something, when we want to help them - I have the best staff in the world, good people around me, and we do everything that we can to make it better.

    And that kind of hurt, and it kind of made me think a little bit: Is this what I really want to do? Because there were other times in my life, when I thought about this. I thought about it when I did legislation. And, actually, it was in the state senate.

    And I don't know if this is going to be relatable to not, but I want to say it anyhow because I've always wanted to just mention this because I think it's important, in a way. This is not - it was not a complex bill. It was not something that was, you know, very difficult to understand. It isn't intellectually stimulating to some people. I understand. But I did two bills, and one of them - it's unusual for New Jersey - would allow, in any public or private building, to have "In God We Trust" on the wall. And the second one was that you could fly the American flag wherever you wanted to, however you wanted to, as long as it was respectful.

    And I thought these were wonderful bills. I mean, I thought everybody was going to be, "This is just a great thing." And I had some very progressive - and not all Democrats - but these were really progressive Democrats that came to me and said, "We're really disgusted with you." And I said, "Why?" "Making such a big deal about the flag. The flag is just not that big a deal."


    REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW: "'In God We Trust' is not that big deal."

    THE PRESIDENT: That's where they're going.

    REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW: "And you shouldn't even mention His name." And I was shocked. I was shocked. We put them up anyhow, and we did want we wanted to do. But it really -

    THE PRESIDENT: That's a very Republican thing, by the way. (Laughter.)


    THE PRESIDENT: You're not going to find any one of us that - I can tell you, Kevin, Mike, I think you're okay with it, right?

    REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW: And I think most folks should be okay with it.

    THE PRESIDENT: The whole country should be okay with it.


    I talk about American exceptionalism. This is the greatest country on the face of the Earth. I started out as not a wealthy kid. Had the opportunity to work hard. Got into dental school, graduated. And, my God, I'm sitting here next to the President of the United States. That's unbelievable. That's America.

    So I don't want anybody to ever tell me that there isn't American exceptionalism. I don't want anybody to ever say that this is the same as every other country in the world, because it is not. It is not. And you know that and I know that. And, hopefully, everybody in this room knows that.


    And, again, from certain groups of people that represented certain parts of the party, I was criticized. And they said this country is the same as every other country, and there is no such thing as American exceptionalism.

    I'm a capitalist. Socialism, in my opinion, has no place in the United States of America. And I think everyone should know that.

    I believe that this country can afford people opportunity and give them that opportunity so that they can succeed. And we all should know that as well.

    I love bipartisanship. Do you know that I even had times, quite frankly, being a Democrat - again, not from all folks; there's some middle-of-the-road folks - but from some of these extreme folks that they said, "Bipartisanship is a bad thing."


    REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW: "It's a bad thing because it's going to make you more like a Republican." Again, I don't believe that. I don't think you do. I believe in what you're doing with the economy. It's a better, stronger economy. I believe it's going to be even better.

    THE PRESIDENT: A new record today, by the way. It's up 125 points today. So your 401(k)s are way up. But a new record today, Jeff. So, that's great.

    REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW: And thank you for that. I believe the New Green Deal is something that we should never, ever even think about doing. I don't even know how anybody could bring that up. We can have a strong and good environment and we can have a good economy at the same time. And that's something that I think Republicanism represents.

    Lower taxes, balancing the budget, honoring our police, our fire, our rescue, our veterans, our soldiers - these men and women.

    I want to tell you one quick story. Chris will have a picture of it. He's - like I said, he's a Marine. An older gentleman. Is he a Marine too, that stood out there?


    Read the full transcript HERE.

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