Marsha Blackburn

Remarks at the Iowa Freedom Summit - Jan. 24, 2015

Marsha Blackburn
January 24, 2015— Des Moines, Iowa
2015 Iowa Freedom Summit
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Thank you!

Okay, who's having a good time? [quiet response] You gotta do better than that.

Are you havin' fun? Do you feel like you're gettin' your conservative creds up to speed?

Well, let me tell you something. Steve King, y'all.

Well, first of all—y'all. I'm from Nashville so y'all is singular. All y'all is plural. All y'all's is plural possessive.

So all y'all's Steve King is doing a helluva job. Keep him there. We love him!

And how about Joni Ernst! Is she not fabulous? Joni did a great job as she came out and helped us start the new year off right in Washington, D.C., with great people.

Let me ask you a question. How many of you made new year's resolutions this year? Let me see your hands…okay. You know—there's a lot written about new year's resolutions this year. Only 40 percent of the American adult population makes new year's resolutions and only two-thirds keep 'em. And I read that the third week in January is what they call "failure week."

Well, excuse me, but listening to that State of the Union the other night—we got us a failure president. And I think we should resolve to stop Obama. How many would like for Congress to resolve to stop Barack Obama? [applause] I think that's a great starting point! We gotta take our country back.

Let's talk about a couple things that we can do.

Issue number one: energy security for this nation. Let's build a pipeline. And, let's get more gas to the pump to get the cost down even further, and while the cost of gas is down: Hey, Washington—don't tax it. We don't want to see that gas tax.

Economic security. What this administration doesn't understand—the best economic stimulus there ever is, is a job. And they need to get out of the way and let the private sector create those jobs.

And you can't talk about economic security without talking about the debt. We've got $18 trillion worth of debt. Barack Obama and his team had put $8 trillion worth of that on the books. And we've got to get in behind that debt.

Now there's a few ways that we can do that. Number one is what I call the one percent cut. Cut a penny out of a dollar of everything we spend. That's great starting place. Saves you about $4 billion a year. Double down on it—do two cents, do a nickel—and you start to get somewhere.

The other thing is Congress needs to pass a balanced budget amendment with no new taxes. No new taxes in there.

And while we're at it, the third thing we can do: zero-based budgeting. I don't know about you but I get tired of these agencies coming in and saying, well you're cuttin' us. Well, you got a hundred bucks last year, they're asking for a hundred and ten; we say, no, you're gonna get a hundred and they say, you cut me ten dollars. No. They oughta do what you and I do—go back to zero and start over and build that budget out every year. That's the way we get this budget under control and stop this out-of-control spending.

You know, we've also gotta look at that debt and talk about what happens with it. When I was a kid, I love goin' to work with my dad. We'd hop in that pickup truck. We'd head into town and we'd pass this old used car lot on the side of the highway. They had this sign out there, and the sign said: We tote the note. I'd always ask my daddy, "What does that mean?" He'd explain and he'd wrap up the story by saying, "Baby, don't you ever let anybody tote your note."

Now, we've got some heavy-duty note toting going on here in the United States. You know who's carrying our debt now? China, 21 percent of it, of our publicly-traded debt. Japan, 20. Belgium, 6. Caribbean banks, 5. And OPEC, the cartel—and we know who those guys are. You've got Ecuador and Bahrain and Iraq and Kuwait and Oman and Qatar and the UAE and Algeria, Gabon, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Iran. That is who owns 5 percent of our debt.

We can't afford this. We've got to get our debt under control, balance that budget. Because the debt plays into our national security. Greatest threat to our nation's security is our nation's debt.

Now first of all, we've got a president that can't admit we've got a national security problem. And it's no wonder only 15 percent of the military approves of our president's national security. Our allies are what you're saying, Where ya been? And people are looking at us and saying you don't have a national security policy. And it's a pretty rough neighborhood out there. And when you look at China, what we pay China in interest. Every week they can by two Joint Strike Fighters, and at the end of the year, they can go buy a shiny new aircraft carrier to put those on.

We are capping our children's future and trading at to the people that are toting our note. And it this time to address the debt, admit radical extremists Islam is our enemy, support our military—the President needs to pay them, promote them and respect them.

You know, Johnny Cash had a great song, and I have a couple of lines in that I've loved. He would say, Steel is strong because it knew the hammer and white heat. That's America. The more you test us—just like steel—we get stronger. And we need a strong that military in order to do that.

Well another thing we can do and everybody's talked about it: repeal Obamacare. Let's get it off the books. One thing we know: one size-fits-all healthcare does not work in the United States of America. And like I told Secretary Sebelius the day she was admitting that Obamacare rollout was a debacle, I said, You know, it's America. Some people like to drink out of a crystal stem and some of us like to drink out of a red Solo cup. And I'm from Nashville—we write songs about Solo cups.

And here's a stat for ya. Do you realize…any Downton Abbey fans in the audience? Okay, you'll love this. More people watched the season opener of Downton Abbey than signed up for Obamacare over a 2-month period of time. So there you go, okay.

Here is the fifth thing we oughta do -- resolve every day to fight to defend freedom. Fight to defend it. Anything government gives you, government can take away. And right now the federal agencies are out of control. We need to make certain that the VA takes care of vets, we need to be sure that the IRS stops snoopin' on conservative organizations and auditing conservative businesses. We want the NASA to stop reading our email. We don't want the FCC to take over the internet and the EPA needs to get out of our factories and off of our farms.

You know, I think one of the reasons people are so upset with big government. Seventy-two percent of the American public says that's the biggest problem and you know why? Because they see it. Fifty-six percent of all Democrats say big-government is the biggest problem that we face.

And in Tennessee, we had a situation with this.

You know, music is the heart and soul of Tennessee. We love it! And we love playing it on Gibson guitars. Now, Gibson—don't ya love Gibson? Yeah—play that Les Paul. Well, the federal government decided they didn't love 'em so much. So armed federal marshals broke in. They raided Gibson like they were selling crack. They went in after the wood—the wood! They did not like the wood that Gibson was using to make the guitar necks. So the feds fined 'em. They tied 'em up for a couple years. They kinda grumbled and finally they gave the wood back. Well, my buddies at Gibson—they're pretty humorous—so they are building a new series of guitars. They're called the Government series. And this is the guitar—it's got an eagle on the back and then it's got its talons wrapped around the neck of that guitar and it is time for the federal government to get their talons off the neck of the American taxpayer.

How do ya like my resolutions? Do you think those'd be ones that were realistic and we could keep? I do, too, but I've got one more for ya. It's for you.

I want you to resolve…. I want every one of you to resolve to help fight to protect the American Dream. And when you talk about the GOP, don't call it the Grand Old Party. There's nothin' old and grand that is cool. I'm from Nashville. Only the Grand Ole Opry—that's the only thing that fits that bill.

Here's what I want you to do. It's the Great Opportunity Party, because people are ready for opportunity.

Most people fear that this nation is going to cease to be what this nation has been. And it worries them. They listen to everything they're hearing on the news every night, and it scares them to death. They think the future for their children will not be, but they've enjoyed….

The good thing, though, is most people don't believe what they're hearing on the news, and that works in our favor. And I've kinda got my names for those news networks - ya wanna hear 'em? Just a secret—just us. Okay? Nobody else? Here's the way I term those news networks we hear every week. Okay, you got your pencil out? Ya ready? Okay.

ABC—I call them the All 'Bout Clinton news network. NBC is the 'Nuttin But Clinton. CNN is the Clinton News Network, and God help CBS—think about it. Just think about it. It is the Clinton Bullshit. There you go, baby. There you go!

So! But you know what the most powerful name is news is? It is the YOU…and there is crack in this stage, they're gonna pull me down. It is the YOU. The YOU. You are the most effective name in news. And I want every one of you to apply for a new job that we've got going on in this country. Who wants a new job? Yeah, looking for a new job.

I want every one of you to commit to beating the Democrats at their game. Yeah! The Democrats are into being community organizers so I want to challenge you—each and every one of you—become a conservative community organizer. Let's take this fight to them, where they are.

And it does work. Steve mentioned to you when I was in the state, the state senate in Tennessee, I led a four-year fight—not a four-day, four-week—four-year fight. Four full years fighting imposition of a state income tax, because we had been the test case for Hillary Clinton's healthcare. And the governor said, "Well, we need a tax to pay for it," and I said, "Oh no we don't." So over a period of four years, a lot of God-fearing, freedom-loving, flag-wavin, tobacco-chewin', guitar-playin', NASCAR drivin', big-government fightin' Tennesseans showed up and helped me. And we defeated it.

That was in '02. This year, we finished it off. We passed an amendment to our state constitution that the citizens of Tennessee will forever be protected against a state income tax.

That's what the YOU can do. Our citizens talked to anybody who would listen, and they fought to protect the American Dream and freedom and to make Tennessee the best place for doing business. And you can do that, too.

One my favorite founding freedom fighters, Dr. Joseph Warren, head of the Massachusetts Militia, a general there, gave a great speech as they headed out to Bunker Hill. He said, "Our nation is in danger but not to be despaired of. On you—on you—depend the fortune of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves."

Let me tell you something, fellow happy warriors—that is our charge. Act worthy of yourselves. Defending freedom has always depended on the American people, and we are up to the challenge.

Are you with me? Are you ready to go fight? All right! Let's go teach some liberals a lesson! Thank you so much!

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