Thank you First Lady of Indiana, Karen Pence! Thank you. That was very nice. Thank you! We love you too. What a wonderful welcome here in Pennsylvania.
It has been more than 500 days since my husband, Donald Trump, announced that he would run for President of the United States. In remember that day in June 2015 vividly. Surrounded by our family and speaking to an audience of millions, Donald promised to campaign on behalf of those who feel the system is broken and does not work for them. Those who just want a fair shake, an opportunity for a better education, a better paying job, a better future. He pledged to restore integrity to Washington and respect for America abroad.
This is not an ordinary campaign. It is a movement. A movement in which people feel included, inspired, an involved. I have seen it firsthand. We are deeply grateful to the millions of Americans who believe in my husband because they know he believes in you. He believes in America, and he will make a fantastic President of these United States.
I come here today to talk about my husband Donald and his deep love and respect for this country and all of its people. I have come here to talk about this man that I’ve known for eighteen years. And I have come here today to talk about our partnership, our family, and what I know for sure in my heart about his man who will make America great again.
I know exactly what that means. I grew up in a small town in Slovenia near a beautiful river and forest. Slovenia is a small country that back then, was under communist rule. It was a beautiful childhood, my parents were wonderful. Of course, we always knew about the incredible place called America. America was the word for freedom and opportunity. America meant if you could dream it, you could become it.
But I was 10 years old. We learned of a man Ronald Reagan was elected president of the United States of America.
Before, we would watch what he was saying and doing. President Reagan’s Morning in America was not just something in the United States. It began to feel like morning around the world, even in my small country. It was a true inspiration to me. Later, I lived in Milan and Paris, working hard as a fashion model. I worked with people from all over the world. Fashion is a business of glamour, but it is also hard work. There are ups and downs, high highs, and ridicule, and rejection too.
I loved my work, and as a young entrepreneur, I wanted to follow my dreams to a place where freedom and opportunity were in abundance. So of course, I came here. Living and working in America was a true blessing, but I wanted something more. I wanted to be an American. After a 10 year process, which included many visas and a green card, in 2006, I studied for the test and became a U.S. citizen.
It is the greatest privilege – it is the greatest privilege in the world. I’m an immigrant, and let me tell you, no one values the freedom and opportunity of America more than me, both as an independent woman, and as someone who immigrated to America.
Love for this country is something we need immediately shared with when I met Donald. He loves this country, and he knows how to get things done, not just talk. He certainly knows how to shake things up, doesn’t he?
He knows how to make real change. Make America great again, is not just some slogan. Is it what has been in his heart since the day I met him. Over the years of our marriage, I have watched my husband grow more and more concerned, as he sees American workers suffer. I have watched him get frustrated as he sees parents struggle to care for children while working outside the home. I have watched him as he sees over and over again policies that make our country less strong, less secure, and less safe.
Every time my husband learned of a factory closing in Ohio, or North Carolina, or here in Pennsylvania, I saw him get very upset. He could see what was happening, he saw the problems. And he always talked about how he could fix them.
My family is truly blessed. The most important thing we have in our family is health, and love, and loyalty. Donald has built…
Donald has built a very successful company. The privilege to go to work each day to do a job that he loves alongside of his adult children. This is a great blessing for any parent.
He had a great and fulfilling life. But Donald knew he could not sit by any more and watch what was happening in our country. And that is when this campaign, this movement, begun.
As Donald travel the country, he has asked some simple but very important questions. What kind of country do we want?
Do we want a country that is safe with secure borders? Yes.
Do we want a country where every American gets fair shot? Yes.
Do we want a country that honors our constitution? Yes.
Do we want a country that honors life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Yes.
Do we want a country that respects women and provides them with equal opportunities? Yes,
Do we want a country where every child has access to a good education? Yes.
Do we want our children to be safe and secure and dream big dreams? Yes.
Do we want president who is beholden to no one but you, the American people?Yes.
Do we want a president who is a fighter for us and will never give up? Yes.
Then we want Donald Trump to be our president.
People have asked me if Donald sees the president – what kind of first lady will you be? It will be my honor and privilege to serve this country.
I will be an advocate for women and for children. Let me…
Let me tell you a little bit more about what that means to me. I’m a full time mother to our son Barron, an incredible boy.
As his father travels around the country running for president, I’m with our son. We talk a little bit about politics, and a lot about life, homework, and sports.
Barron has many privileges and advantages. We know how fortunate we are.
Still, I have the same conversations with my son that many of you have with your sons and daughters, and nieces and nephews, grandchildren and godchildren.
I want my little boy to know that he is blessed to have been born in a country that values individual freedom and constitutional democracy. I want our children in this country and all around the world to live a beautiful life, to be safe and secure, to dream freely of love and a family of their own someday.
We need to teach our youth American values; kindness, honesty, respect, compassion, charity, understanding, cooperation. I do worry about all of our children. As we know, now social media is a centerpiece of our lives. It can be a useful tool for connection and communication. It can ease the isolation that so many people feel in the modern world.
Technology has changed our universe. But like anything that is powerful, it can have a bad side. We have seen these already. As adults, many of us are able to handle mean words, even lies. Children and teenagers can be fragile. They are hurt when they are made fun of or made to feel less in looks or intelligence. This makes their life hard and can force them to hide and retreat. Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers. It is never OK when a 12 year old girl or boy is mocked, bullied, or attacked. It is terrible when that happens on the playground.
And it is absolutely unacceptable when it is done by someone with no name hiding on the internet.
We have to find a better way to talk to each other, to disagree with each other, to respect each other. We must find better ways to honor and support the basic goodness of our children, especially in social media.
It will be one of the main focuses of my work if I’m privileged enough to become your First Lady.
I will also work hard to improve the everyday life of women. The women in America are incredible. They are strong, intelligent, generous, comedic, determined. With opportunity, we will advance and achieve. But some women have been left behind, I see that. We cannot call ourselves a fully developed or advanced nation when 50% of our women live in poverty. When 60 million are without health insurance. When too many are choosing between basic needs like rent, food, and health care.
This cannot be. We cannot afford to have more of the same. We must break with the failures of the past and embrace a future that is worthy of this great nation and her beautiful people. We must win on November 8th. And we must come together as Americans. We must treat each other with respect and kindness, even when we disagree.
I will be there to support my husband’s efforts to help all Americans when he is President. Donald Trump will make America fair. He will make America safe. He will make America prosperous. He will make America proud. And yes, this man I know so well, Donald Trump—with your help and God’s grace, will make America great again!
Thank you. God bless you, and God bless this beautiful country!
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.