Williamsburg, Kentucky - Remarks by Vice President Pence in Meet and Greet with First Responders:
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you, Governor Bevin. Thank you to First Lady Glenna. Thank you for your great leadership, your great partnership with our administration.
When President Trump and I were campaigning through Kentucky three years ago, we said we could make America safe again. We said we could make America prosperous again. We said we could affirm all the foundational constitutional principles — have men and women appointed to our courts who will uphold all the God-given liberties enshrined in our founding documents again. And three years later, I’m proud report, in strong partnership with Governor Matt Bevin, President Donald Trump has delivered. (Applause.)
We’ve gotten this economy rolling again, just like Governor Matt Bevin did. This President arrived in Washington, D.C., and with a strong partnership with our allies on Capitol Hill, we cut taxes across the board for working families and businesses large and small.
We — just like your governor did, we cut red tape at historic levels. We’ve stood by American energy independence, and the war on coal is over. And the American economy and Kentucky’s economy are booming as a result of the leadership of President Donald Trump and Governor Matt Bevin. (Applause.)
And I want to — I want to acknowledge my great admiration for one of those members of Congress, who I had the privilege of serving with for 12 years on Capitol Hill while I represented the state of Indiana. He actually chaired the Appropriations Committee, but he never lost the common touch. I mean, to know your congressman is to know a man of faith and integrity, who always put the interest of Eastern Kentucky first. And he’s been a champion for this region. He’s been a champion for our military. He’s been a champion for law enforcement. And let me just say, not only Kentucky, but America owes a debt of gratitude to the long and distinguished service of Congressman Hal Rogers. (Applause.)
Everything we’ve been able to do over the last three years in Washington, D.C., would not have been possible without the strong, unwavering partnership that Congressman Rogers and a Republican majority in those first two years of our administration made possible.
So, Congressman, I want to thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE ROGERS: Thank you.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: The economy is booming again. But President Trump said we’re going to make America safe again. And I’m proud to report, and I’m proud to be a Vice President who served alongside a President who has made the largest investments in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan. We’ve rebuilt our military. (Applause.)
I know the men and women who are standing around us today wearing this uniform, many of you wore the uniform, and we thank you for your service. But as the world saw this last weekend, the investments in our armed forces have made the strongest military in the history of the world stronger still. And with the successful raid that took out the leader of ISIS, America and the world are safer. (Applause.)
But while the American military defends our nation and sees to America’s defense around the world, the men and women that are gathered around us here today keep our family safe every day at home. And I want to assure you, from the first day of this administration, you have a President and a governor who have stood without apology for the men and women of law enforcement. (Applause.)
Before Governor Bevin came into office, before President Trump came into office, it had been a challenging time for law enforcement. We all remember those days. Seemed like many reflexively wanted to blame law enforcement anytime tragedy would strike. But that’s no more.
This President has worked closely with your congressman and with your governor to make sure our local law enforcement, through Homeland Security and various other agencies, have the resources and the support that you need. And we have — alongside your governor, this President has given the men and women of law enforcement the respect that you earn every single day. (Applause.)
So I just wanted to come by today and say, on behalf of myself and my wonderful wife Karen, who is traveling with (inaudible) — (applause) — thank you for your service.
You know, the Bible says: If you owe debts, pay debts. If honor, then honor. If respect, then respect. And while we’d stopped and grabbed a couple of hamburgers down at Shep’s — big ones — (laughter) — and we’re headed off to a rally with this outstanding ticket running statewide in Kentucky, I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to come by and pay a debt of gratitude to the men and women that are standing around us here today.
I just want you to know, from your President, your Vice President, your governor: The people of Kentucky and the people of America are grateful to each and every one of you, every single day. You answered a calling in your life that required you to decide that our lives are more important than yours. And I want you to know that we know that. Just as Governor Bevin just said, we understand — we understand the risk that you take when you put on that uniform every morning and walk out the door. It’s not — it’s not like another job.
And so, let me not only say thank you to you, but let me say thank you to your families, thank you to your spouses, thank you to your kids and your grandkids and your parents. Because the men and women in uniform understand that it’s not just they that serve, it’s their families that support them and pray for them and encourage them. So let’s thank the families who (inaudible). (Applause.)
I don’t know what it’s like to wear the uniform that you wear, but I know what it’s like to be a family member. My uncle was a Chicago police officer for 25 years. And when I was a little boy, me and my three brothers and two sisters would go up to Chicago. I’d see him dressed up, heading off to work. And that, to me, was what a hero looked like.
And my cousin’s husband just retired, after 25 years, from the Chicago Fire Department. Coincidentally, he’s Irish. (Laughter.) He’s an extraordinary and courageous man — two years on disability from service-related injuries, but went right back into the fight. So that’s why I want to — I just want to speak a word of gratitude to you and, more than anything else, a word of admiration.
I know the hours are long. And as the governor said, we couldn’t ever pay you what it’s worth for the risks that you take and the lives that you save. But Karen and I just wanted to come by today, along with your governor and your first lady, just to make sure that you know: Every day, people of Kentucky and people of America are grateful — grateful for your service.
And, frankly, we’re grateful to have a governor who’s such a partner in public safety.
From our first days in office, Governor Matt Bevin has been working with this administration, shoulder to shoulder, to uphold the rule of law, to help us enforce our laws at home, support law enforcement, and secure the southern border of the United States of America. And I’m proud to report, in the last four months, we have cut illegal immigration at our southern border in half. (Applause.)
And Governor Matt Bevin has been there every step of the way, standing up for the rule of law, standing up for law and order. And that’s why, when I leave here in just a few minutes, we’re going to go rally with a few friends and tell them just how much I want to see the people of Kentucky give Governor Matt Bevin four more years in the statehouse. (Applause.)
But this stop is about all of you, and I thank you for taking a minute to be with us. And I want to promise you — I know I can speak on behalf of your governor, I know I can speak on behalf of our President and this Vice President and our entire administration when I say: We’re grateful for you. We’re with you. We will continue to stand with you as you stand on the Thin Blue Line of law enforcement, defending our families, our communities, this state, and this nation.
May God bless you and keep you as you serve the people in this community and this state. Thank you all.