Let me start out with a question. Are there any mountaineers in the audience tonight? m Shelley Moore Capito, the first woman ever elected to serve the state of West Virginia in the United States Senate.
Ladies and gentlemen, we face challenging times, times in which we as leaders must ask: How can we secure a future that's brighter for our next generation? That's always the challenge of leadership, and this election is no different.
But with every challenge comes great opportunity and that opportunity is what I would like to speak to you about tonight. Let me first tell you where I come from. The Mountain State.
I'm a lifelong West Virginian, and with our tight-knit communities, I always say: Our state is just one big small town. That's never been more evident than in the past month as West Virginia was ravished by flooding that upended our communities, displaced our families, and claimed 23 lives.
As I travelled the flood zones, I was inspired by people who despite losing everything, sought ways to help to help and serve others. The stories are so tragic yet so uplifting and I am so proud of my state.
In their jobs and communities West Virginians work hard every day and deliver results, and in turn, they expect our countries leaders to do the same. The constant refrain I hear back home is, "Stop, the bickering. Improve the economy, and fight for our jobs." And let me tell you something, they're right!
The greatest obstacle for West Virginia families and families across America over the past eight years has been a president that places left-wing priorities and campaign promises over their livelihoods.
President Obama has hurt the heart and soul of my state—our proud coal miners and the communities where they live and work and pursue their happiness. His policies have ripped through the heartland, creating a cycle of pessimism and disgust. People around the country feel the Obama administration has kicked them to the curb but the callousness that's damaged their ability to trust and respect government.
In 2008, President Obama famously said, if someone wants to build a coal-powered plant they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them. Well, eight years later, it's safe to say his actions have matched his words.
But he's never realized that when you bankrupt a coal company, you deprive communities of their livelihood. His recklessness has cost more than 60,000—60,000—coal workers their jobs since 2011. That's 60,000 families that are now without work, without a paycheck, and without many options.
Well, not to be outdone, Hillary Clinton has already promised to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business. She wants to put thousands of more Americans out of work. She has promised to devastate communities and families across the coal country.
When I think about Hillary Clinton's pursuit of an anti-coal agenda, do you know what I think about?
I think about that miner that wakes up at dawn every day to go to a 10-hour shift. I think about that bus driver who drives the miners' children to school. I think about the nurse who cares for our retired miners. And I think about the hundreds of coal equipment distributors. I weep for the fabric of my state. I weep for the fabric of my state
These men and women take pride in their highly skilled and good-paying jobs that provide for their families and support their communities. They work tirelessly to power America.
West Virginia workers are the backbone of this economy. And Hillary Clinton is promising to put them out of work?
Now, we shouldn't be surprised by this because Hillary Clinton understands coal miners and blue collars workers about as well as she understands secured email. A day in the life of a coal miner and a day in the life of Hillary Clinton could not be more different. For over 25 years, she's thrived in a world where the rules bend to her. Recently we learned she showed extreme carelessness with our nation's secrets.
For others, the consequences of misusing classified information have been swift and serious. But not for Hillary Clinton. Since the end of her husband's administration, she's profited from closed door speeches with fees that would buy several houses in the state of West Virginia. Not only is she out of touch, her attempts to reach out to the American people often reveal how distorted her vision has become.
But what I find most troubling is that Hillary Clinton fails to recognize that her calculated policies affect real people—those who want to feed their families, own homes, pay for college, pursue the American dream. These goals should not and cannot fall out of reach.
You may remember when President Obama arrogantly proclaimed that he would slow the rise of the oceans and heal our planet. So what did he do? He introduced and implemented sweeping environmental regulations without Congress's approval and without any consideration for the economy. These unilateral actions are ill-informed and quite frankly unconstitutional.
Right now, right now the burden of government regulations in this country amounts to $15,000 a household. So let me ask you a question. A couple questions. Are you ready? Alright.
Is burdening every household in America with a cost of $15,000 worth more applause lines at campaign rallies? Is burdening every household in America with a cost of $15,000 worth more campaign cash? Is burdening every household in America with a cost of $15,000 worth a few more one liners? Well, I couldn't agree with you more. And I'm sure you agree with me about the importance of this election.
One of the reasons this election is so important is because the Democrats have nominated a candidate that Americans overwhelmingly distrust. You know what? She's earned this reputation. Her term at the State Department was shrouded in scandal and mistrust. Just a few weeks ago, FBI Director said that Secretary Clinton was negligent. He questioned her judgment and revealed countless ways she has misled the American people.
We know that the cornerstone of our global leadership is not just our awesome military, it's not just our economic power, but it's our credibility. She has squandered American's trust. And thankfully the latest misdeed hasn't slipped passed the attention of the American people. Recent polls show that voters' distrust of Hillary was deteriorating her support. So it does come down to trust. She can't be trusted with classified information or trusted to play by the same rules that you and I play by.
And without trust we cannot feel safe and we cannot thrive. No one, no one who has lost the trust of the American people should ever serve as our president. The only thing we can trust Hillary to do is to double down on the same failed Obama policies that are hurting Americans that I just described. We know she will double down on an economic agenda that's led to the lowest workforce participation in decades.
We know that she will double down on the war on coal. We know that she will double down on Obamacare. We know that she will double down on far left Supreme Court nominees. We know that she will double down on a catastrophic foreign policy that she herself has orchestrated. The contrast between our vision for the future and that of Hillary Clinton is clear. Now is the time to turn the tide. Are you with me?
Let's turn the tide so that unelected bureaucrats no longer mandate regulations that are disconnected from the realities of working Americans. Let's turn the tide from an executive who promotes radical environmental agenda that raises the cost across this country. Let's turn the tide from a Washington who tells us who our doctors are and delivers a lower quality of care. Let's turn the tide to a government that respects the Constitution and protects jobs and the way of life of rural America! This is not out of reach. We can make these visions a reality.
This week, we'll officially nominate a candidate who received the most primary votes in the history of our party—a candidate who understands how to create jobs and grow the economy.
Our party wants to allow businesses to create jobs, not regulate jobs out of existence. Our party understands the free market and doesn't try to control it. Our party stands up for hard working Americans like my hard working West Virginian coal miners. Our party will strengthen our military to face growing threats.
We must carry this momentum to elect Donald Trump who speaks directly to Americans who have been devastated by the Obama administration. West Virginians know he understands their problems, shares their concerns and by golly is going to do things much differently.
The American people know that Hillary Clinton has forfeited her trust and has broken her bond with working Americans. So let's commit tonight to bringing our country together.
In the months ahead the stakes are both clear and high. Take this energy from this convention back to your state, back to your home, and work to elect Donald Trump who will make America great again!
Neither the Catt Center nor Iowa State University is affiliated with any individual in the Archives or any political party. Inclusion in the Archives is not an endorsement by the center or the university.