Washington, DC - President Trump at the National Thanksgiving Turkey Pardoning Ceremony:
THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much. Please. And I just want to congratulate everybody. The Dow Jones Industrial Average just broke, for the first time in history, 30,000. It’s now — (applause) — that’s good. That’s great for jobs, and it’s good for everything. And this is the ninth time that we set a record during the course of 2020, and it’s the 48th time that we’ve set the record during the Trump administration. And there’s never been anything like that. So I just want to congratulate everybody that worked so hard: the White House, but maybe most importantly, the people of our country. It’s a tremendous achievement.
The First Lady and I are thrilled to welcome you all to the beautiful Rose Garden where the First Lady actually worked very hard on renovating it. It was 61 years — it was in rough shape. Very big job, actually, when you go to the wires underground. People have no idea how complex it is, but you’ve done a fantastic job. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
And we’re also very happy to have with us my daughter, Ivanka, and Jared and Theodore, Arabella, and Joseph. Thank you very much for coming. (Applause.) They like the turkey. Thank you very much.
On behalf of the entire Trump family, I want to wish every American a healthy and very happy Thanksgiving. We’re here today to continue a beloved annual tradition: the official presidential pardon of a very, very fortunate turkey, because Thanksgiving is a special day for turkeys — I guess, probably for the most part, not a very good one when you think about it. The first turkey to dodge the White House dinner table received unofficial clemency when President Abraham Lincoln’s son, Tad, begged his father to spare his new friend.
For the past 73 years, the National Turkey Federation has presented the National Thanksgiving Turkey to the President. Starting under President George H.W. Bush, these birds have received a formal pardon every single year.
Today, it is my honor to present to you this year’s lucky bird, Corn, and, just in case we needed him, Cob. Corn and Cob. That’s not too hard to remember, is it?
These two magnificent gobblers were selected from the official presidential flock of 30 turkeys, some real beauties. They were raised by the Chairman of the National Turkey Federation himself, Ron Kardel. Ron — thank you very much, Ron. Please, stand up. Great job. (Applause.) Ron, thank you for being here, and your family — beautiful family. Thank you very much for being here. Appreciate it.
Like so many presidential flocks, this one started in the great state of Iowa in what can only been described as an act of blatant pandering. And, by the way, I love the state of Iowa.
These two turkeys sought to win the support of Iowans across the state by naming themselves Corn and Cob. After today’s ceremony, these birds will retire under the care of skilled veterinarians at Iowa State University, a tremendous university in Ames.
Once there, people of all ages will be able to visit them and learn about poultry science, veterinary medicine, and the noble American tradition of farming. We love our farmers, I’ll tell you. (Applause.) And we hope and we know that’s going to happen — that Corn and Cob have a very long, happy, and memorable life.
This year, our nation commemorates the 400th anniversary of the pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock. After arriving in the New World, the brave men and women of the Mayflower endured a bitter and dangerous winter — very, very dangerous winter. Many were sick, most were starving, and all were praying for a miracle. Thankfully, God heard their prayers.
From our earliest days, America has always been a story of perseverance and triumph, determination and strength, loyalty and faith. This week, in a time that is very unusual but in so many ways, very, very good — what we’ve endured and been able to endure, with the vaccines now coming out one after another. It’s an incredible thing that happened. One of the greatest medical achievements that this planet has ever seen.
But it’s time to remember that we live in a great, great country — the greatest of them all. And there’s nothing even close, as far as I’m concerned.
Every American can be united in thanksgiving to God for the incredible gifts he has bestowed upon us: the blessings of family, community, and this exceptional, beautiful, and great country. It’s greater than ever before.
During this Thanksgiving, we extend our eternal gratitude to the doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, and scientists who have waged the battle against the China virus, and we give thanks for the vaccines and therapies that will soon end the pandemic. It’s just — just such a tremendous feeling to know that they’re coming, and they’ll be coming probably starting next week, or shortly thereafter.
We send our love to every member of the armed forces and the law enforcement heroes risking their lives to keep America safe, to keep America great, and, as I say, “America first.” Shouldn’t go away from that: America first. (Applause.)
We give thanks to the priceless freedoms that we’ve inherited, and we ask God to watch over and protect our nation and its people during this incredible holiday and in all of the years to come. We ask that of God.
Once again, Melania and I wish to thank everybody for your incredible courtesies and also wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.
And now it’s time for the moment of our guests of honor. They’ve been waiting, and, in this case, he’s been waiting for this. And bring them out. Look at that beautiful, beautiful bird. Oh, so lucky. That is a lucky bird.
Corn, I hereby grant you a full pardon. Thank you, Corn. What a bird. (Applause.) Thank you.
MR. KARDEL: (Inaudible.)
THE PRESIDENT: Iowa farm. I knew I liked you. (Laughter.) That’s great. Beautiful.
Happy Thanksgiving to everybody. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you, everybody. Have a good one.