FULL VIDEO: Former VP Mike Pence speaking in Manchester

The former vice president is speaking at Hillsborough County Republican Committee’s 'Lincoln-Reagan Dinner' in Manchester

Video Transcript

MIKE PENCE: It is great to be back in Hillsborough County, one of the strongest Republican counties in New England. And let's hear it for Chairman Chris Ager and the Hillsborough County Republican Party, everybody. What a great night.

And I want to extend congratulations to the Hillsborough County Republican Party, and especially, the town committees that are being honored tonight. Because of all of you, Republicans now hold majorities in both houses of the state legislature. What a great, great victory.

But it really is great to be back at this dinner. I was reminded that I was graciously invited to speak to the Hillsborough County Republican Party 11 years ago, and I get an invitation I guess every 11 years to come back. But it was amazing. When I think of that year, 2010, it was the year that we won back the House of Representatives from Nancy Pelosi's Democrat majority.

A couple of years later, we won the Senate, and then we won back America. And I am here to say, I believe we're on the verge of another great Republican comeback, and it starts right here in the live free or die state of New Hampshire. Believe it.

And I want to-- I want to thank a couple of people, and most notably, the man you just heard from. And talk about a good guy. Someone who has a heart for public service. I knew a couple other Sununus in the course of my life and my career, and I count them as friends as well. But I have to tell you, the people of New Hampshire are blessed by the extraordinary and compassionate leadership of Governor Chris Sununu, and I am grateful for his esteem and support.

I appreciate that overly generous introduction that he made, but Chris knows me well enough to know that introduction I prefer is a little bit shorter. I'm a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order, and it is my honor to be back in the state of New Hampshire. I also want to thank Executive Councilor Dave Willie-- Wheeler on a lifetime of service and his recognition tonight, and also, Speaker Sherm Packard is here. I know they're in session, and, Mr. Speaker, we appreciate all the great leadership that you've provided, a Republican majority are providing here in New Hampshire. God bless you.

Well, I came here tonight really for two reasons. First and foremost, I wanted to pay a debt of gratitude. To the people of New Hampshire, I just want to say, thank you, on behalf of myself and my family. Thank you for the great privilege of serving as vice president of the United States of America. It was the greatest honor of my life.

And, secondly, after 134 days where the Biden administration and Democrats in Washington have been pushing open borders, higher taxes, runaway spending, more government, defunding the police, abandoning the right to life, censoring free speech, canceling our most cherished liberties, I came here to say enough is enough. I came here to say the time is now for every patriotic American who shares our ideals and values to stand up and fight back against the agenda of the radical left. You know, I learned a lot serving alongside President Donald Trump. Some people think we're a little bit different.

But I think what President Trump showed us was what Republicans can accomplish when our leaders stand firm on conservative principles and don't back down. That's exactly what he did for four years. And under President Donald Trump and our administration, it was four years of consequence, four years of results. It was four years of promises made and promises kept.

I mean, thank about it. Think about it, in our 48 months, the Trump administration achieved the lowest unemployment, highest household incomes, the most energy production, the most pro-American trade deals, the most secure border, and the strongest military in the history of the world. Incredible.

You know, I'm writing a book about our time in the White House, and almost everybody's excited about it. But I can't wait. I can't wait to unpack all that we did under this president's leadership, and with the strong support of the people here in the Republican Party in New Hampshire.

I mean, in our first three years, think about it. We rebuild the military, defeated the ISIS caliphate, we revived the economy, and created seven million good paying jobs. We cut taxes, we cut regulations at a record pace, became a net exporter of energy for the first time in 70 years.

We held China accountable for years of trade abuses and brought jobs back to the USA. And in the face of the worst pandemics in 100 years, we launched the greatest national mobilization since World War II, and the day we left office, we were vaccinating one million Americans a day. And I have to tell you, to provide for the common defense is the first object of the national government. I'm proud to say our record was unparalleled for any administration in history, and I'm proud and grateful for that record, not just because I was your vice president, but I'm the proud father of a United States Marine captain who's currently deployed in service to the United States.

And I'm also proud to say one of my unworthy son-in-laws is a lieutenant and a pilot in the United States Navy. But under our administration, we rebuilt the military, a record $3 trillion in our national defense. And with that renewed American strength, we stood with our allies and stood up to our enemies as never before. Our forces defeated the ISIS caliphate and took down their leader without one American casualty.

We isolated Iran as never before, withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, and just a year ago, we saw Arab nations sign historic peace agreements with Israel for the first time in 25 years. And it was this president and this administration that kept our word to the American people and our most cherished ally when we moved the American embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of the state of Israel. And every day for four years, we stood up to the timeless values that have always made this country great. Nearly 300 conservatives confirmed to our federal courts at every level, including Justice Neil Gorsuch, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

And every single day, we defended all the God-given liberties enshrined in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights for every American of every belief. And we stood without apology every single day for the sanctity of human life. With your support here in New Hampshire, support of people all across this country, and your prayers, we made history. We made a difference. We made America greater than ever before.

But how times have changed. I know the governor said he didn't come here to bash the current administration. Well, I did. So buckle up.

144 days and the Biden-Harris administration has launched an avalanche of big government liberal policies the likes of which I've never even imagined I'd see in our lifetime. And all of it designed to derail the progress that we made over the last four years.

President Biden takes to the podium in the Congress of the United States, and he announced an explosion of runaway spending, another $6 trillion. And after our administration worked in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic in a bipartisan way-- every bill that passed the Congress passed on a bipartisan basis. They forced through the Congress a COVID bill to fund a massive expansion of the welfare state. They passed it on a partisan vote.

It's amazing the difference in approach. You heard Governor Sununu talk about the difference in engagement. And I'll leave that opinion to him. But I will tell you things are a little bit different. Our FDA worked closely with research companies and our Administration to launch Operation Warp Speed. We cleared out the underbrush. We provide billions in support. And we developed two safe and effective vaccines in nine months that are saving lives all across America and all over the world.

[APPLAUSE]

Their FDA I saw on the plane when I was flying here today actually just issued a warning to Americans, and I quote, don't eat cicadas.

[LAUGHTER]

I didn't make that up. I mean, the truth is, you know, they've been so busy on their side. Sometimes I think the left hand doesn't know what the far left hand is doing.

[LAUGHTER]

[APPLAUSE]

I mean, seriously. Seriously, they've literally-- they've proposed trillions of dollars in the so-called infrastructure bill that's just a thinly disguised climate change bill and the Green New Deal. And just as our economy here in New Hampshire and across America is getting back on our feet and Americans are going back to work, they plan to pay for all of this massive spending with military budget cuts and the largest tax increase in 50 years.

Well, I just say enough is enough. And we're going to stand strong and send a message from right here in the live free or die state that we're going to stand strong for freedom.

[APPLAUSE]

And we're going to stand strong for a growing and prosperous America with a limited federal government.

But you know, it doesn't stop there. After inheriting the most secure border in American history, the Biden administration ended construction on the border wall and canceled policies that had reduced illegal immigration by 90%. And I don't have to tell you they've unleashed the worst border crisis in history.

They've bent the knee to international bureaucrats planning to join the Paris Climate Accord and the Iran nuclear deal. They formed a commission to pack the Supreme Court, supported more calls for gun control eroding our Second Amendment rights, and they've joined the woke chorus accusing law enforcement in America of systemic racism. And President Biden's failed leadership at home has only been matched by weak leadership abroad. It's set off the worst outbreak of violence in the Middle East in seven years.

After our administration stood strong with Israel every day for four years, President Biden restored hundreds of millions of dollars to the Palestinian Authority, announced plans to begin negotiations again with Iran, and he even remains silent as Hamas terrorists were firing thousands of rockets at Israeli citizens. Incredible. President Biden replaced strength with weakness, moral clarity with confusion, and loyalty with betrayal.

But you in New Hampshire know what I know. When it comes to the foreign policy of the United States of America, if the world knows nothing else, let the world know this, America stands with Israel.

[APPLAUSE]

And maybe the most troubling developments for families in the past few months has been the Biden administration's wholehearted embrace on the radical left's all-encompassing assault on American culture and values. Under the Biden administration patriotic education has been replaced with political indoctrination. They abolished our 1776 Commission and authorized teaching critical race theory in our schools. Instead of teaching all of our children, regardless of race or creed or color, to be proud of their country, critical race theory teaches children as young as kindergarten to be ashamed of their skin color.

Well, let me say, as my friend Tim Scott said with great effect on the national stage not long ago, America is not a racist country.

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It's past time for America to discard the left wing myth of systemic racism. And I commend state legislatures all across the country and governors who are banning critical race theory from our schools.

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Our founders said that we were to strive for a more perfect union. And so we have done throughout the long and storied history of this country. And while we are not perfect yet, we ought to do justice to all the progress that has been made and recognize that the United States of America is the most just, noble, and inclusive nation that has ever existed on the face of the Earth.

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And the United States military is the greatest force for good the world has ever known.

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As our soldiers protect us abroad, we also do well to always pay a debt of honor and a debt of gratitude to those who put on a different uniform every day, put on a sidearm, and like my uncle who walked a beat in Chicago for 25 years, count our lives every day as more important than their own. Law enforcement officers in the United States of America are heroes. And they should be honored by every American every day.

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You know, last August at Fort McHenry I told the American people that they wouldn't be safe in Joe Biden's America. And it grieves my heart to report to you tonight in Hillsborough County the murders have now increased by more than a third in our largest cities. Democrat efforts to defund the police, to withdraw support for law enforcement, has set off a violent crime wave that's wreaking havoc and families all across the nation. Black lives are not endangered by police. Black lives are saved by police every day.

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We don't need to defund the police. We need to defend the police and reject the anti-law enforcement agenda of Joe Biden and the Democrats in Washington and put the lives of law abiding citizens of every race and creed and color first.

[APPLAUSE]

You know, it's just amazing when you think of that 134 days. I mean, in 2020, you remember Joe Biden was campaigning as a moderate [LAUGHTER] when he campaigned. But he's literally governed as the most liberal president since FDR. Even AOC said that President Biden had, quote, exceeded progressive's expectations. And that's saying a lot.

[LAUGHTER]

But I don't believe for one moment that that's what the American people voted for in 2020. They didn't vote to open our borders, to give away safety of our streets, their prosperity, our freedom, or our future. So I want to say again, coming here to New Hampshire tonight, it's time. It's time for freedom-loving Americans to stand up and say, no more. It's time for freedom-loving Americans to unite behind an agenda that will bring America back.

[APPLAUSE]

And we don't have to speculate about what that agenda is. You know, for all of my years in this movement-- I actually first ran for Congress when one of the namesakes of this dinner was still in the White House. I had a chance to meet President Reagan in the Blue Room. My wife and I met him.

I'll never forget. I sat down next to him. I mean, Ronald Reagan was the reason why I joined the Republican Party, maybe like many of you.

[APPLAUSE]

But I sat down next to him. I felt like I was talking to Mount Rushmore.

[LAUGHTER]

And I said, Mr. President, I said, I just want to thank you for everything you've done for this country and encouraged my generation to believe in this country again. And for all of my life, I'll believe in that moment that the 40th president of the United States of America blushed and said, well, Mike, that's a very nice thing of you to say.

[LAUGHTER]

[APPLAUSE]

But President Reagan articulated an agenda that he never took credit for. Because it was an American agenda. He said, people say I'm a great communicator. He said, I'm not a great communicator. I just communicated great things. And President Donald Trump did the same. It's an agenda of a strong and prosperous America built on freedom. And that's our agenda.

And the truth is our Republican Party has now become the home party for the American agenda. An agenda that believes in a strong national defense, in a limited federal government, in life, and liberty, the pursuit of happiness. It's all fallen to us. We've been blessed in this nation. And to whom much is given, much shall be required.

And you're here tonight because you know we have an obligation as they did in their time to do in our time, to stand strong for a positive American agenda. A strong military, secure borders, free enterprise, safe neighborhood, support for law enforcement, America First trade deals, judges that uphold all of our god given liberties, to fight for the opportunity of every American to choose where their children go to school, whether it's public, private, or parochial.

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And we as Republicans recognize that at the center of our republic, at the center of our democratic institutions, is the principle of one person, one vote. And it will be our party that makes it clear that election integrity is a national imperative, but a state responsibility.

[APPLAUSE]

And the truth is after an election that saw several states around the country literally set aside laws enacted by their legislature now is the time for states to ensure that one person, one vote principle that's the center of our system is protected and guaranteed. And make no mistake about it, that principle is under threat. Under the leadership of Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats in Washington want to nationalize our elections with their bill called HR-1. They want to literally codify many of the very practices that create the greatest opportunity for fraud.

I mean, none other than New Hampshire's legendary Secretary of State Bill Gardner probably put it best.

[APPLAUSE]

He said Nancy Pelosi's election bill, which the Senate will take up later this month, is a, quote, egregious overreach of federal authority that would render the New Hampshire Constitution null and void. Well, let me make you a promise. With your support and your efforts and the efforts of Republicans all across this nation, we're not going to let Nancy Pelosi override New Hampshire's Constitution or the state Constitution of any state. And we will never let Nancy Pelosi take the first in the nation primary from New Hampshire.

[APPLAUSE]

Our founders had a debate at the Constitutional Convention-- Mr. Speaker, you know this-- about where elections ought to be governed.

- Here.

[LAUGHTER]

MIKE PENCE: He says right here at the state level, not in Washington D.C. It is at the very center of our system. And we're going to stand for that system. We're going to defend state-based election reform. We're going to support voter ID. And we're going to work every day to restore the confidence of every American in every vote.

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And beyond all of that, beyond all of that having to do with prosperity and security and the integrity of the ballot, ours will be the party that stands for the religious liberty of every American of every faith. And we will defend the right to life.

[APPLAUSE]

And men and women, security, prosperity, educational opportunity for every American, election security, and freedom, and our values. That's our agenda. And that's a winning agenda. That's a winning agenda that will unite our country, restore our future. And that's an agenda that'll win back America. I have no doubt in my heart.

So tonight, New Hampshire, I want you to be encouraged. I really do. Because I'm more confident than ever that victory's right around the corner. And not just the down ballot victories that you delivered here in New Hampshire in 2020, but victories up and down the ballot. Because we've seen this movie before.

It was 2010 the last time I was at the Hillsborough County Republican Lincoln Reagan dinner. I was serving as chairman of the House Republican conference. We were in the minority. It was a new Democrat president advancing a liberal agenda. It was a Democrat majority in the Senate, a Democrat majority in the House of Representatives. Coming here to the Hillsborough County Republican Party dinner, I just knew that if we offered a positive conservative agenda to the American people we'd win back the House. We'd win back the Senate. We'd win back America. And that's just what we did. And we're going to do it again in 2022 and 2024.

[APPLAUSE]

Believe it. We just got to do a couple of things. We've got to tell our story. And we got to come together.

Tell your neighbors and friends. Say, I ran into Mike the other day. He comes around every 10 years.

[LAUGHTER]

And he said-- I mean, that guy he's-- like, half his speech was just talking about everything we got done in the first three years of our administration. And then steered this nation through one of the greatest challenges of our lifetime in our last year.

I mean, we don't have to accept the future of socialist decline and moral decay. What we proved in the last four years is we can be a nation built on freedom. This government exists to serve its citizens, not the other way around. We can elect leadership that puts America and the American people first. And we could be a nation where every American has the freedom to live, to work, to worship according to the dictates of our conscience. We can be a live free or die nation.

[APPLAUSE]

[? We ?] [? proved ?] [? it. ?] And we got to tell our story. And we've got to do one more thing. You know, we've all been through a lot over the past year. A global pandemic, civil unrest, a divisive election, and tragedy at our nation's capital.

As I said that day, January 6 was a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol. But thanks to swift action of the Capitol Police and federal law enforcement, violence was quelled. Capital was secured. And that same day, we reconvened the Congress and did our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States.

You know, President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office. And I don't know if we'll ever see eye to eye on that day. But I will always be proud of what we accomplished for the American people over the last four years.

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And I will not allow Democrats or their allies in the media to use one tragic day to discredit the aspirations of millions of Americans.

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Or allow Democrats or their allies in the media to distract our attention from a new administration intent on dividing our country to advance their radical agenda. My fellow Republicans, for our country, for our future, for our children and our grandchildren, we must move forward, united.

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Ronald Reagan probably said it best. 1976. Come up short for the Republican convention. He was called to the podium by President Ford. And he said words that I think speak to our party and our movement today.

Ronald Reagan said, we've got to quit talking to each other and about each other and go out and communicate to the world and carry them the message they've been waiting to hear. That's our challenge.

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So let's press on. Let's press on with a positive agenda. Let's tell the story to our neighbors and friends of everything we were able to accomplish when we put Republican conservative principles into practice in a short period of time and made a stronger and more prosperous and more secure America. As the Bible says, forgetting what is behind, let's strain toward what is ahead, compelled by that energy that has worked so powerfully in the hearts of generations of Americans.

We've got to keep the faith. We've got to keep faith with our founders and our highest ideals. We've got to defend the freedoms enshrined in our Declaration and our Constitution and be ready to keep our oath even when it hurts, as the good book says. We got to keep faith with 74 million Americans who believe we could be prosperous again, who believe we could be strong again, and deliver it for ourselves and our posterity a record that proved it could have.

And lastly, we got to keep faith with him who has ever guided this miracle of democracy on these wilderness shores. Keep faith that he's still with the good people of this nation today, and so will ever be. God isn't done with America yet.

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And I just know-- I just know in those ancient words that has always been true, that if his people who are called by his name will humble themselves and pray and turn and seek his face, he'll do like he's always done in much more challenging times than we could possibly imagine. You'll hear from heaven, and he'll heal this land, this one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

[APPLAUSE]

Thank you, New Hampshire. Thanks for your strong stand. God bless you, and God bless America.