Gaylord National Resort National Harbor, Maryland February 29 3:34 P.M. EST
Well, I want to thank you, Matt. And I'm thrilled to back at CPAC with the thousands of proud American patriots who love our country, respect our flag - (applause) - honor our history, uphold our laws, protect our Constitution, and always put America first. Right? (Applause.) Been a long time.
We had a great night yesterday in South Carolina. That was incredible. We filled up a stadium like you haven't seen. The stadium was packed and thousands of people outside. And I saw the competitors - our competitors. They'd have like two people on a street corner. (Laughter.)
That's - it's incredible what's going on. This is a movement like - honestly, like nobody has ever seen before. We say that - we say that - (applause) - and, you know, if it wasn't so, the fake news media would be all over us, right? They'd say "It wasn't so. He exaggerated." I say it all the time. They never change it.
You know, every once in a while, you see somebody who did well - let's say "well" in New Hampshire or did well - not even win it - in Iowa, and the whole life of that person is made because we won the election. We did well in those places.
Sit down, everybody, if you want. Sit down. (Laughter.)
We won the election. (Applause.) So it's great.
And I came here and I got to know Matt and Mercedes early on and I made a speech, before I thought about doing this. I said, "Would you speak?" I was very famous then, too. (Laughter.) I guess more famous now. But I was very famous, and I made a speech and they liked the speech. They said, "You ought to run for President." I said, "No thanks." You remember that, Matt? "You ought to run for President." We had a big crowd.
And it was - "The Apprentice" was doing so well. It was like a hot, to put it mildly, show. (Laughter.) And Matt said, "You ought to run for President." I said, "Let me give it a little thought." (Laughter.) And a couple of years later, we said, "Let's do it." And then they said - (applause) -
I never forget one of the people, respected guy, Charles Krauthammer. (Applause.) Right? He said on - well, this isn't so good, but he said on Fox - he said, "No, why would he do this? You have 17 of the most talented professionals ever assembled that are running. Why would he run? He's not going to run, and if he does, he's only doing it for fun." You think this has been fun? Does anybody - (laughter) - does anybody think - Mercedes, do think this has been fun? I don't think - you know. This has been just a ball. We've had a ball. (Laughter.)
But you know what? You know what? We're doing so well and we're doing so much. No administration has ever done what we've done in the first three years. Nobody. (Applause.) With tax cuts and Supreme Court judges and 218 judges - roughly, 218 including D.C.
But together, we're defeating the radical socialist Democrats, the fake news media, the crooked politicians, and the hate-filled left-wing mob. And I told you I was going to be nice today. See? (Laughter.) I said, "Let's be nice today." It's hard to be nice when they treat you so badly, right? Only a fool is nice when they treat you so badly.
We're defending our faith, our values, our heritage, our borders, our rights, and our God-given freedoms. We're doing that.
This is an incredible - look at all those people back there. This place has grown. Look. Wow. (Applause.) Wow. That's fantastic. I don't know who they are, Matt, but they must be very special, this little group over here. (Applause.) For Matt to block out half the arena for this group of people. (Laughter.) I'm trying to figure out, who are they? At first, I thought they were the fake news. I said, "It's too bad they such a good location." (Laughter.) I don't know who you are but you're very important. (Laughter.) It's true. Very important people.
We're exposing the corruption of the Washington Democrats and we're draining the Washington swamp. (Applause.) I just didn't know how dirty it would be. I didn't know how deep it would be when I said, "Drain the swamp."
For a long time - you know, I was given that expression. A speechwriter gave it to me. He said, "Drain the swamp." I said, "That's so hokey." (Laughter.) I said, "That's the worst. I don't want to use it." Anyway, it ends up in one of the speeches. I said, "We will drain the swamp." Right? The place went crazy. (Laughter.) I said, "Let's try it again." (Laughter.) And we did it again and the place went crazy.
Now, here's the bad part, I never knew the swamp was so bad. It's really bad. But we're winning, and we're winning not easy, but we're winning. (Applause.) A lot of dirty people. A lot of very bad people. A lot of bad people. And I think - I think justice will be had. I do believe that, or I wouldn't be very happy right now.
We got through everything. We've got through - they gave us the Mueller hoax. They gave us the Russia, Russia, Russia crap. They gave us the one phone call that was a perfect phone call. "Oh, let's get him out of office for that phone call."
But, you know, the Republicans stuck together, except Romney of course. You know, Romney.
Lowlife. Lowlife. Except Romney, they stuck together. And even him, I got half a vote, so, you know. (Laughter.) See, I say - I was thinking, because he did actually vote one (inaudible). He couldn't do it all, you know, because he wanted to get some nice free publicity for himself. But it was 52 and a half out of 53 votes. (Laughter.) True. I guess you can say that, right? Fifty two and a half, right?
So think of it: The Republicans were fantas- - I tell you what. That's when you din out who your friends are, really. It is. And we had 52 and a half votes. And in the House we had 107 - think of it - 107 to nothing with the Republicans. 107 to nothing. And we got three Democrats. And one came over and left the Democrat Party: Van Drew. Jeff Van Drew. (Applause.)
And really, together, we're preserving this exceptional nation that our ancestors fought and died to build. We are making America greater than ever before. We really are. I think it's going to be greater than ever before with what we're doing with our military and what we're doing also to get rid of very bad people. We have such bad people, and they're not - they're not people that love our country.
We're getting people that really love our country, and it's so important. And if I wasn't able to fulfill that, no matter what other things we've done, I would not consider this journey to be a success. So just remember that. (Applause.)
One of my most important promises to the American people was to end America's long-running wars in the Middle East. American forces - and we're all warriors, folks, but 19 years. I see the people; I go over and I say hello to those incredible soldiers over at Walter Reed. What talent you have at Walter Reed. Those doctors, by the way, they have to be the best in the world - what they can do. (Applause.) And I see the arms and the legs missing, and I see what's happened to some of these incredible, beautiful people, and I see the strength, the spirit - the spirit that they have.
Most of them - I mean, even if they can't walk, if they've lost both legs, they want to go back. "Sir, we want to go back. I want to go back." And it's just incredible to see it.
And I'm going to mention it a little bit later, but, you know, we knocked out Soleimani, the father of the roadside bomb. (Applause.) We killed him and al-Baghdadi. And al-Baghdadi.
USA! USA! USA!
Soleimani was - Soleimani was the - they called him "the father of the roadside bomb." He thought it was great. "Oh, the great bomb." And, you know, he thought it was great. It kept getting bigger and more sophisticated.
One young man, he said, "My last day - it was my last day in Afghanistan." And they had the mine detectors. And he said, "I trusted this man with my life. He was the best. I've never seen anything like it. He could detect those. We felt so safe." But, unfortunately, his last day, they made them out of plastic so you couldn't detect them, and it went off. Killed the man who was the detector, and badly, badly injured a lot of people, and he was one of them. And he said, "Think of it, sir." I said, "Why did it go off?" He said, "Because they made it out of plastic, and the plastic doesn't get detected by the metal detector." And that was the last day, and he lost his legs.
But we took that son of a bitch out, didn't we? (Applause.) It should have been done a long time ago. That should have been done a long time ago. That should have been done a long time ago.
And al-Baghdadi, he's the father of ISIS, and we defeated ISIS in the Middle East. We have defeated 100 percent of the caliphate. (Applause.)
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