Thank you so much. And to Millie and all of her good work at the NRA—as a lifetime member of the NRA, I so appreciate your efforts—they are protecting our Second Amendment rights. Thank you, Millie. She’s not just a Mama Grizzly—she’s a Mama Grizzly who’s probably packin’—so don’t mess with Millie.
Truly, I thank you so much, and I am honored to get to be here. The last time I was in D.C., my family and I were here cruising on Harley Davidsons with Rolling Thunder, which is the rally—the rally—to honor America’s finest, our United States military, our veterans of war. Nothing says America louder or prouder than chopped Harley hogs driven by our heroes, those vets. Now, when we were here last, my husband, Todd, he was able to drive one of those 400,000 machines that day. He traded in the bike, though, for a snow machine this week. He’s back home gearing up for his 2000-mile race across Alaska, the Iron Dog, so he couldn’t make this trip. My girls are here, though. They were with me at Rolling Thunder. Bristol and Willow are here with me, somewhere, today, out here. Glad they’re with us.
Do you know why Rolling Thunder chose Washington for their rally? They wanted to make their engines their voice. They wanted to rev them at the seat of power, and that’s exactly why CPAC started back in the 1970’s. Conservatives wanted, not so much government, but the Republican Party to hear us. At the 1975 CPAC, Ronald Reagan, he laid out a blueprint for rebuilding the GOP under a banner of bold colors, not pale pastels. And ever since then, CPAC has been the rally for conservative action, and that’s why I’m glad to be here today with all of you conservative activists.
Now today the conservative movement has never been stronger or brighter with people at the grass roots. And yet, the federal government has never cast a bigger shadow. So for the last three years, we’ve been waving a bold banner that shouts, “Don’t tread on me.” See, the Tea Party rose up because Americans woke up. And our movement—it is bigger than one person. It is bigger than one candidate. It is bigger than one party. It’s about one country united under God.
We’re not red Americans, we’re not blue Americans—we’re red, white and blue, and President Obama, we are through with you. We paid for three years of his administration, and we cannot afford four more.
Candidate Obama: he promised to fundamentally transform America—and that’s one promise that he has kept. Transforming a shining city on a hill into a sinking ship. Promising to cut the deficits in half—and instead, he’s piled on trillions more in debt, trillions more—$135,000 per taxpayer just in this new debt, $3 million more a minute—and no plan to stop it. No plan. No budget. Going on a thousand-some odd days, and still no budget. He mucked it up.
Folks, this government isn’t too big to fail, it’s too big to succeed. It’s too big to ignore, and it’s too big to bear any more.
Now what did we get in return for the president’s spending spree? About 8 ½ percent unemployment and 13 million Americans can’t find work. Forty-six million living in poverty. Now, government dependency under Obama has gone up 23%, and for the first time in our history, folks are fearing that our future is going to be worse that our past. Look around—you can see some decline. You can see failure—but it is not the failure of the American people. It is not a failure of American itself. It is the failure of our leadership.
But we know how to change that! Oh, yes we do. Oh, yes we can. Hope and change. Yeah, you gotta hope things change. It’s change that we can believe in, change that we need, it’s the change I want to talk about today. Because—to borrow another phrase from our president—we can’t wait. Our country hangs in the balance. [chanting with crowd] U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
See—ya just won. See how easy that is?
We can’t wait. We must come together as constitutional conservatives to save our republic. America has reached her tipping point. The door is open, though, folks. Declare it! The door is open. Now, if they keep trying to tax and take and spend our way to prosperity, we know where we’ll end up. Just look to the Old World to see the New World’s future. It’s a future of downsizing and downturns and downgrades. Now that’s the future of the far left’s dream—that’s not the American Dream and, so help me God, it’s not a future we will ever accept.
But President Obama has a different view, it’s kind of this conflict-of-visions thing. When I listened to his State of the Union last month, I was really struck that he barely mentioned unemployment and entitlements. What did he talk about? He gave us more promises—promises to give us “an economy built to last.” Well Mr. President, we don’t want an economy built to last. We want an economy built to grow, and we certainly don’t want your economy built to last. We want your administration to end.
It’s amazing. In the history of our republic, never has there been such a gaping disconnect between how our own president sees the state of the union and how the Americans he is to serves sees the state of union. He actually believes that we are headed in the right direction, even though seven in ten Americans—those with their boots on the ground and their nose to the grindstone—no, they’re saying, no, we’re headed in the absolute wrong direction. We believe real recovery can’t get underway until government gets out of the way.
The president wants to raise taxes so he can redistribute wealth. We want to cut taxes so that we can create more wealth. Government digging us deeper and deeper into debt—it’s not because it taxes too little, it’s because it spends too much. We know to deal with that debt. You cut it, gut it, get rid of it. Americans shouldn’t have to spend their lives working so hard so Washington can spend easy.
He says that he has a job plan now—a jobs plan to “win the future.” WTF—I know. And I’m the idiot. Yeah. His WTF plan. Well, he’ll invest your money in bullet trains to nowhere but would stop Boeing from building planes anywhere. Bankrupt green energy companies get sweet loans and grant offers, but oil pipelines: not allowed to give you job offers.
We say his plan isn’t winning the future, it is losing our country. We have a better jobs plan and it’s called the free market. It worked before this president and it will work again after this president.
He says that we need more of his financial regulations. We say, go ask MF Global customers how happy they are with his regulatory agencies. Where were they when Jon Corzine lost $1.2 billion of customer funds? Remember, his Washington regulatory wizards, they didn’t prevent the financial meltdown. These folks have helped cause it, and you had to bail ‘em out.
The president says—small Americans, small town Americans—we bitterly cling to our religion and our guns because we are just doggone frustrated with his pace of change. You say, I say, we say—keep your change, we’ll keep our God, our guns, our Constitution.
See, Professor Obama may have forgotten the Bill of Rights. But we shall not forsake it, including those rights that our founders risked their lives for: the freedom of religion, our right to bear arms. We will rise up. We will defend them.
The president believes that your tax dollars should subsidize, oh, Planned Parenthood. We believe that every child is created equal with that right to life, and I ask you to stand up for those who cannot stand for themselves. If not us, then who?
The President believes that we need to consolidate power, centralize power—big power—in Washington, because you just can’t be trusted to make decisions for yourself. Not about your health insurance, not about your gas mileage, not even about your light bulbs. We believe that it’s time to return power to the people, that’s where the founders intended it. That’s where the Constitution entrusts it. And that is where it belongs again today, people.
Now perhaps this distrust of us is because he seems to believe that America is a destructive force in the world. That we should apologize to enemies. He believes that we should our missile defense technology with the Kremlin. He believes we should make deep cuts in our military while other nations are building up their militaries. Deep cuts to our troops while we keep on spending wildly on everything else. Talk about priorities.
Today, the White House is actually trying to negotiate with the Taliban while at the same time they’re watching helplessly while Iran moves perilously close to developing their nukes and the ICBMs to deliver them. We say, our number one Constitutional duty that belongs to the commander in chief, is protecting the American people and this great land and our allies. God Bless Israel.
Our president needs to understand that—he need to understand what you understand, that is what America’s brave fighting sons and daughters are asked to risk their lives for every day. If only he would understand that. This isn’t some kind of international community organizing we’re talking about or social welfare networking that’s going on. No, we will never apologize for America’s strength and our greatness, and we will refuse to accept that a weak America means a better and safer world.
We are going to put our confidence in the strength our Armed Forces, not in the hollow promises of our adversaries, and not the cleverness of our diplomats and our bureaucrats. As generations before us, they, like we now, will gladly, proudly fight to defend this land of the free. We must be home of the brave.
One reason our president, I believe, has such a skewed view is, here tucked inside Washington, he doesn’t get out to see much of real America. Now 11 months from now, he’ll have his chance to spend his time outside of D.C.—all of it. When he comes down from his lofty office, and he is finished rolling back the tides, and lowering the sea levels, or snow drifts or avalanches—whatever all those promises were, when he’s finished with all of that, well, then he’s going to see that the facts on the ground are much different. The divide between Washington and the rest of the country—it has never been greater and it has never been more dangerous. While America struggles, Washington prospers, and while our real estate markets crash, Washington’s is strong.
We have suffered massive job losses out there. Washington is hiring, but the question is, they are hiring for what? They don’t manufacture. They don’t mine. They don’t drill. They don’t harvest. They produce nothing, and the services that they provide—they increase dependency, not freedom. They don’t create wealth. They take it. This is Obama’s Washington. It’s not the Washington of our founders but the Washington of the permanent political class. It is something that our forefathers never envisioned and they would have sworn their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor to change.
This Washington, it borders the ten wealthiest counties in America. It’s now home to the highest per-capita income. Here, millionaires are minted overnight. Heck, they even have a Lamborghini dealership here. Not that there’s anything wrong with hot wheels, but this is the playground for the government rich and they are hoping that you all work really, really hard to keep ‘er goin’.
Though the people—the people—need and demand urgent reform from this growing, out-of-touch government, it’s for freedom’s sake and it’s to grow our small businesses and hire more people. Though we know that things must change rapidly in order to let the private sector grow, friends, there is no such sense of urgency here in Obama’s Washington, because life around here is really good, materially. Our permanent political class is content. They’re immune to the realities that the rest of us face. See, they exempt themselves. They play by a different set of rules.
Look at, say, their EPA. It’s imperiling private industry. It’s imperiling our energy independence, the steps we need to take to be secure. It’s enslaving us, really, to these foreign, dangerous supplies of energy instead of tapping into our own God-given sources energy, here under foot. That’s what the EPA is all about right now. You have to ask yourself, when was the last time you saw the EPA prevent constructing, say, a new government building? Maybe instead of calling Washington a swamp, we should call it a wetlands. Maybe that’ll slow down the growth of government.
The old Washington of our founders, it was a place where you came to serve your government, not prosper over it, and on it and off of it. No, you left your home, you left your farm, you left your industry behind to serve the common good.
But this Washington is a place where politicians, they arrive as men and women of modest means and they become plutocrats. The money-making opportunities for D.C. politicians are really endless, but they don’t just enrich themselves off of you, for themselves, they spread the wealth around to their pals, and this has a name: it’s called crony capitalism.
I said in a speech in American’s Breadbasket over the summer, this isn’t the capitalism of free men and free markets, of risk and sacrifice, of innovation and hard work. No, it’s the capitalism of connections, and of government bailouts and handouts and waste, and corporate welfare and corruption. This is the capitalism of Barack Obama and the permanent political class.
It’s why I say to the Occupy protesters, you are occupying the wrong place. You are protesting the wrong thing. This crony capitalism is a root of our economic problems. It has spurred the expansion of government, which diminishes, of course, freedom and opportunity for all to rise and to succeed. See, some politicians get elected just by promising more programs, and new freebies and new favors, and then government grows to accommodate their promises. It never shrinks, and that crowds out the liberating, individual initiative and the equal opportunity that America was built upon. It swallows up the work ethic that we try to teach our children and it extinguishes that independent, pioneering American spirit.
Now often they come to D.C. denouncing the place as the cesspool of corruption, but after a year or two, they decide, ehhh, it’s not cesspool—more like a hot tub. And they are hoppin’ in and enjoyin’ the jacuzzi.
Well, America, it is time we drain the jacuzzi and throw the bums out with the bath water. We took a good first step in 2010, as much as the media wants you to forget that election, Tea Party patriots won an historic victory. We the people rose up and we spoke up, and our message was, we don’t want the left’s big government agenda. We can’t afford it and we won’t pay for it.
Now these points I want to make about Congress, I want to be clear. I toast the Tea Party members there in Congress. Many of them who have fought so bravely against the status quo and they agreed with us that you can’t get out of debt by digging deeper into debt—some even voted against giving the president another plastic card that we expect our kids and grandkids to have to pay off for us. Barack Obama has fought these folks every step of the way. He has dismissed them. He has lied about them. They have held their ground. They have kept their promises to the people who hired them, and now they need reinforcements. Will you help them?
This November we are going to take back the Senate and we are going to fortify the House. Be aware, Washington, Tea Party patriots are alive and well, we’ll elect more, and this time, establishment, we expect them to get leadership posts in Congress.
But to fix Obama’s Washington, to return power to the people, we must replace Obama at the ballot box. He is sinking our ship of state. When a ship is going down, the last thing you need is a community organizer just re-organizing the deck chairs while singing “Let’s Stay Together.” We should not forget, that for all of his lofty rhetoric and all of his song, you know, President Obama is a Chicago politician, where graft, cronyism, quid pro quo—that’s the Chicago way. I came from a state with a corruption problem, too. The difference is—though you don’t make many friends in the establishment doing it—I fought the corrupt political machine. Barack Obama, though—he used it. He used it to advance. He never challenged it. He never changed it. He brought it here with him.
And now in the campaign—oh, he’ll try to re-invent himself now as the champion of the working man, like Carhartts and Steel-toed Boots-Are-Us. Well, sorry, but no. He’s the champion of the power players who will bankroll his billion-dollar campaign. Lord only know how many more Solyndra’s are out there that he had promised them to repay their investment in him. We can’t afford to find out.
Now friends, we don’t know who our nominee will be to come up against Barack Obama and his failed policies in the fall. We don’t know who our nominee will be. But we know that this election will be hard-fought. Our nominee must be ready, strong, fortified, passionate, a fighter for American ideals. Our candidate must be someone who can instinctively turn right, to constitutional conservative principles. It’s too late in the game to teach it or to spin it at this point. It’s either there or it isn’t.
So listen—all of these challenges facing America, all these questions…. Our candidates, you know, they’re trying to articulate the right answer through oftentimes a foggy filter of a biased media and through maybe bullying campaign expert advisors who, they themselves, you know, are not willing or able to run for dog catcher, but they’ll tell these candidates what they should say.
Well, you gotta remember—a candidate’s true intentions, their real answers, they can be found in that candidate’s view of government itself. My view comes directly from the most brilliant blueprints crafted for us, it seems providentially that they were crafted back then for us today—our Charters of Liberty. They assert that all political power is inherent in the people. Government originates with the people’s ideas. It’s founded on their will only, and it is instituted solely for the good of the people. Now he who inherently believes that—that’s who I’m looking for. That’s who we’re looking for in our nominee.
And we’re hearing now—we’ve all heard from these experts that—ugh!—we gotta name our nominee right now. Gotta wrap it up—no debate for you. Cut it off—we’re through. As if competition weakens our nominee. And yet in America, we believe that competition strengthens us. Competition elevates our game. Competition will lead us to victory in 2012.
We must stay true to our principles. I believe that the competition has gotta keep going. But let’s make sure this competition brings out the best in our party.
We know that the far left and their media allies can’t beat us on the issues, so instead, they’ll distort our records. They’ll smear our reputations. They’ll even attack our families. Let’s not do the job for them, okay Republicans? Okay Independents?
In 2008, we saw that, man, opponents stop at nothing to destroy our party’s ticket. And after the race, attempts to destroy would continue. We can’t let the next ticket go through that. We can’t le them divide us. Together we must stand, as conservatives with common sense, with a servant’s heart, for the good of our party. But more importantly, for the sake of our country we must stand united, whoever our nominee is. Whoever our nominee is, we must work together to get him over the finish line, so he can start tackling this defense of our republic.
And then next year at this time, this time next year, we will have a true conservative in the Oval Office. And next year, may he be here, one of us, speaking to us at CPAC. We will have a president who defends our American way of life instead of apologizing for it. We will have a commander in chief worthy of our troops.
Our troops, those in uniform, who are serving something greater than self, sacrificing much around a dangerous world so that we here at home can enjoy the blessings of liberty. They represent the best of America. In their honor, please know that we are so blessed to live in the greatest nation ever known. Don’t squander this.
Remember Ronald Reagan’s inaugural address. He acknowledged in that that we’ve been set aside in a very special way, so we mustn’t stray from our noble beginning. He reminded us that we be a free people living under the law with faith in our Maker and our future. He implored us to not stray from our conviction. That standards of right and wrong do exist and they must be lived up to. Friends, we are the heirs of patriots who cast off the chains of tyranny, of immigrants who braved the seas, of pioneers who pushed into the great unknown, of soldiers who stormed foreign shores, of farmers and workers laboring in fields and in factories from dusk until dawn—they toiled so that their children would have a better life.
That is America, and that is freedom, and that is why we are exceptional.
As President Obama lacks the vision to lead, we will lead. The door is open. Our vision is as bold and strong and free as the country that we love. It’s a vision of government that works for us, not against us. It’s a vision that is rooted in the old Washington of our founders, not the Washington of today’s permanent political class. It is a vision of reward for hard work and personal responsibility, of liberty, and of empowerment. It’s a vision that our heroes throughout history proved through liberating strife their selfless love of country. It is the enduring vision of this land which God has shed His grace upon. We will cherish it. We will preserve it. We will fight for it.
The door is open.
God bless you, patriots. And God bless the United States of America.
Speech from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXsrajvFGk8.