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Politics & Government

Jobs, Freedom & Security: Read Ted Cruz's Full Pittsburgh-Area Speech

Keith Srakocic
Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz speaks to reporters after a presidential campaign stop in Monroeville on Saturday, April 23, 2016.

Ted Cruz addressed a crowd of around 1,000 at Gateway High School in Monroeville on Saturday, April 23, 2016.

This is the full, unedited recording.



God bless the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. (audience cheers)

And let me say something that is profoundly painful for someone who grew up as a fan of the Houston Oilers. God bless the Pittsburgh Steelers. (audience cheers)

(Indiscernible name) and thank you for the terrific job leading our team here in Pennsylvania and I want to thank each and every one of you patriots who are standing up today to fight for our country.

(audience member shouts "We love you, Ted") Thank you.

You know, you can tell a lot about a word by looking at its roots. If you look at the roots of the word politics, there are two parts. Poly, meaning many. And ticks, meaning blood-sucking parasites. (audience laughs) And that is a fairly accurate description of Washington, D.C.

But you know we're here this morning for something a lot more important than politics. We're here this morning because our country's in crisis. Because we're bankrupting our kids and grandkids. Because our constitutional rights are under assault and America has receded from leadership in the world. And I am here this morning with a word of hope and encouragement all across Pennsylvania and all across this country people are waking up and help is on the way.

This next election is going to come down to three issues: jobs, freedom and security. 

Let's start with jobs. I want to take a minute to talk to all the single moms who are here who are working two and three part time jobs who have seen your hours reduced to 28-29 hours a week because Obamacare kicks in at 30 hours a week. (audience boos) I want to talk to all the truck drivers, all the plumbers and mechanics, all the steel workers and union members. All the men and women with calluses on your hands who've seen wages stagnating year after year after year. Cost of living keeps going up, yet somehow your paycheck doesn't seem to keep pace. I want to talk to all the young people who are coming out of school with student loans up to their eyeballs, scared, "Can I get a job? What's my future hold?" And you know, the mainstream media, they try to tell us this is the new normal. This is as good as it gets. Well as the people of Pennsylvania know, that is an utter lie. (audience cheers) 

You know, it's easy to talk about making America great again. You can even print that on a baseball cap. (audience laughs) But the real question is, do you understand the principles and values that made America great in the first place? (audience cheers)

The heart of our economy isn't Washington, D.C. The heart of our economy is small businesses all across the United States of America. (audience cheers) And if you wanna unleash the economy, you lift the boot off of the back of the necks of small businesses. (audience cheers) 

You know, Ronald Reagan (audience cheers) and JFK before him both understood that when you cut taxes and lift regulations on small businesses, the result is millions and millions of new high-paying jobs. (audience cheers) I intend to follow the very same path as JFK and Reagan. (audience cheers)

If I'm elected president, we will repeal every word of Obamacare (audience cheers) We're gonna pass common sense health care reform that makes health insurance personal and portable and affordable and keeps government from getting in between us and our doctors. (audience cheers) And we're gonna pass a simple flat tax (audience cheers) so that every one of us can fill out our taxes on a postcard. (audience cheers) And when we do that, we should abolish the IRS. (audience cheers) 

Now apparently, the IRS is not too popular in Pittsburgh. (audience laughs, cheers) I gotta say, that's a bit of a problem because both Hillary and Donald Trump have come out for higher taxes. (audience boos) You know what? That's how we got in the mess to begin with. We're gonna rein in the EPA (audience cheers) and the federal regulators that have descended like locusts on farmers and ranchers and small businesses, killing jobs all across this country. (audience applauds) 

Pennsylvania is an energy state. (audience cheers) You know, being a Texan, I know a little bit about that. And you look back to eight years ago when Barack Obama promised if he was president he would bankrupt every coal-fired plant in America. (audience boos) It's amazing that may be the only campaign promise Obama's actually come close to meeting. (audience cheers) The war on coal from the Obama administration is wrong. (audience claps) America is the Saudi Arabia of coal, we're the Saudi Arabia of natural, and the federal government should not be working trying to destroy the livelihoods of millions of Americans who depend on the energy sector. (audience cheers)

And energy is key to bringing manufacturing back to America, bringing the steel industry back to America. Low-cost energy means jobs. (audience cheers) And we're gonna stop amnesty and end sanctuary cities and end welfare for those here illegally. (audience cheers)

And let me tell you what all that's gonna produce. We're gonna see millions and millions of new high-paying jobs. We're gonna see jobs coming back from Mexico, coming back from China. We're gonna see manufacturing jobs coming back to Pennsylvania, we're gonna see wages rising once again, we're gonna see young people coming out of school with two, three, four, five job offers. (audience cheers)     

We'll see morning in America again. (audience cheers) The second thing this election's about is freedom. (audience cheers) You know, just a few weeks ago with the passing of Justice Scalia, it underscored the stakes of this election. It is not just one, but two branches of federal government that hang in the balance. If you value religious liberty, the right of each of us to live according to our faith and seek out and worship God Almighty without government getting in the way. (audience cheers, chants "Ted")

If you value the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms (audience cheers, chants "we want Ted") we are just one justice from having those fundamental rights stripped from every American. 

Now you know, two debates ago, Hugh Hewitt asked all of us about religious liberty and the Supreme Court. And Donald Trump turned to me, and he said, "Ted, I've known a lot more politicians than you have." Well, in that, he is clearly correct. Donald Trump is a Washington insider who has been supporting liberal Democratic politicians for 40 years. (audience claps) I have no experience with that. (audience cheers) And when Donald Trump was writing checks to Jimmy Carter over Ronald Reagan (audience boos) I — I was still in grade school. (audience laughs) But Donald continued, he said, "Ted, when it comes to religious liberty, when it comes to the Supreme Court, you gotta learn to compromise." (audience members shout "no") He said, "You gotta learn to cut deals with the Democrats to go along to get along." (audience boos) Well let me be very, very clear with the men and women of Pennsylvania. I will not compromise away your religious liberty (audience cheers) And I will not compromise away your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms (audience cheers) 

Now let me ask you, is anyone here frustrated with politicians who keep lying to us? (audience cheers) Politicians who make promises and then they get in office and they betray us? (audience members shout "yeah") Well, look — Hillary is a great example. And we've seen the pattern — usually they talk good and the campaign trail and then they get in office and betray us. Well I have to give Donald credit, he's betraying us before he got elected (audience cheers)

Two days ago, Donald Trump went on The Today Show and he agreed with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that grown men should be allowed to use the little girl's restroom (audience boos) Now that's just nuts. Listen, this is not a matter of Republican or Democrat or conservative or liberal. This is a matter of basic common sense. (audience cheers) As the father of two young girls, I can tell you it doesn't make any sense at all to allow adult grown men — strangers — to be alone in a bathroom with little girls (audience cheers)

And that's just political correctness on steroids.

Now, a couple of months ago Donald told us he could be the most politically correct person on Earth. Well, well haven't we had enough of this nonsense? How about common sense and telling the truth? (audience cheers, chants "Ted")

The third critical issue in this election is security. For seven years, we've seen an administration that abandons our friends and allies. And that shows weakness and appeasement to our enemies. You know, again, two debates ago, Donald Trump explained to all of us that if he were president, he would be neutral between Israel and the Palestinians. (audience boos) Well, let me be very clear. As president, I will not be neutral. (audience cheers) America will stand unapologetically with with Nation of Israel. And you know, anyone who can't tell the difference between our friends and our enemies, anyone who can't tell the difference between Israel and Islamic terrorists who want to kill us, that raises real questions about their fitness and judgment to be commander in chief. (audience cheers) Over the last seven years, we've seen our military weakened, we've seen readiness undermined, we've seen moral of our troops plummeting.

And you know, as a nation, we've seen this before. We've seen another left-wing Democratic president, Jimmy Carter, weaken and undermine the military. And then, in January 1981, Ronald Reagan came into office. And what did Reagan do? Reagan cut taxes, he lifted regulations, the economy took off, millions and millions of new jobs that generated trillions in new government revenue and he used that revenue to rebuild our military and we bankrupted the Soviet Union and won the Cold War. (audience cheers) I intend to do the exact same thing with radical Islamic terrorists. We're gonna repeal Obamacare, pass a flat tax, reign in the regulators, stop amnesty, that's gonna create millions and millions of new jobs. Bring manufacturing jobs back to America. Raise wages, that'll generate trillions in new government revenue and we will use that revenue to rebuild our military so it remains the mightiest fighting force on the face of the planet. (audience cheers, chants "we love Ted") To ISIS and Al-Qaeda and Al-Nusra, to every jihadist on the face of the Earth who has declared war on the United States of America, who intends to murder innocent Americans, a day of reckoning is coming. (audience cheers) We are coming to get you and we are not coming to negotiate, we are not coming to compromise, we're not coming to cut a deal to arrest you or read you your rights. We are coming to kill you. (audience cheers)

You know, one of the saddest things we've seen over the last seven years has been this president sending our fighting men and women into combat with rules of engagement so strict that their arms are tied behind their back that they cannot fight, they cannon win, (audience boos) they cannot defeat the enemy. That is wrong, it is immoral. And mark my words, in January 2017 it will end. (audience cheers) To every soldier and sailor and airman and marine, and for that matter, to every police officer and firefighter and first responder, (audience cheers) the era of a president who mocks and ridicules your service is coming to an end and you will once again have the thanks of a grateful nation and a commander and chief who's got your back. (audience cheers, chants "Ted, Ted, Ted.")

So let's talk a little politics, you know, this past year has been an interesting year. Hadn't been boring. We started last year with 17 Republican candidates, an amazingly talented, diverse, young, dynamic field. What a contrast with the Democrats. (audience laughs) You know, the Democratic field consists of a wild-eye socialist with ideas that are dangerous for America and the world, and Bernie Sanders. (audience laughs) And over the course of the last year, the primary did its job. It narrowed the field. As we stand here today, there are two and only two people who have any plausible path to winning the Republican nomination, me and Donald Trump. And let me tell you what we're seeing happen all across the country. Republicans are coming together and uniting behind this campaign. Nationwide, 65 to 70 percent of Republicans recognize that Donald Trump is not the best candidate to go head to head with Hillary Clinton. That Donald Trump loses to Hillary Clinton and he loses by double digits. If I'm the nominee, we beat Hillary Clinton. (audience cheers)

You know, just a few weeks ago, there was a general election poll in Utah, showed Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump in Utah. And Utah may be the brightest red state in the entire union. If the Republican candidate can't carry Utah, we are headed to a Walter Mondale-level bloodbath. In contrast, head-to-head between me and Hillary Clinton, we are beating Hillary Clinton in key swing states. (audience cheers) In the state of Ohio, Donald loses to Hillary Clinton. We beat Hillary Clinton. (audience cheers) In the state of Iowa, Donald loses to Hillary Clinton. We beat Hillary Clinton. In the state of Wisconsin, which hasn't gone Republican in a race since 1984, Donald loses to Hillary Clinton by 10 points. Hillary and I are tied at 44-44. And here in Pennsylvania, another classic battle ground, Donald loses to Hillary Clinton. Hillary and I are tied in the State of Pennsylvania. And let me tell you right now, we're coming back here in October and November, and if we stand together, we are beating Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania. (audience cheers)

Now, you may have heard, a couple of days ago, the state of New York voted. (audience boos) And the media reported with breathless excitement that Donald had won his home state. It was very exciting. (audience laughs) And Donald and the media immediately said, "New York City has spoken, the race is decided." (audience says "no") You know, it's interesting, I think Donald and the media believe Pennsylvania is a suburb of Manhattan. (audience says "no") I've got a whole lot more faith in the men and women of Pennsylvania. The eyes of the entire country are on Pennsylvania right now. Pennsylvania has a platform, has a megaphone to speak to the country. And we face a choice. Do we want to nominate a candidate who's a phony? Who is telling us he is lying to us. Or do we want to get behind a strong, positive, optimistic, forward-looking, conservative campaign? (audience cheers) With real solutions to the economic problems in this country. You know, if you've got a car that's broke down in the driveway, do you want your neighbor to come over and start yelling and screaming and cursing at the car? Or do you actually want someone to lift the hood and fix the engine? And we don't want to nominate a candidate who hands the general election to Hillary Clinton as a Christmas gift. Donald Trump may be the only person on the face of the planet that Hillary can beat.

So, I want to say to each of you, on Tuesday -- Tuesday's going to be a pivotal day. I want to ask every one of you to come out and vote for me 10 times. (audience cheers) Now look, we're not Democrats. I'm not suggesting voter fraud. But you know, if everyone here picks up the phone and calls nine other people and gets nine other people to come down and vote on Tuesday, you will have voted 10 times. (audience cheers) That's how we win, from the grassroots, from the people. If we stand together and unite, you know it's amazing the unity we're seeing in the Republican party. We started with 17 Republican candidates. Of those, five have endorsed this campaign. We have earned the support of Rick Perry and Lindsey Graham and Jeb Bush and Scott Walker and Carly Fiorina. When you add to that mix, Mike Lee and Glenn Beck and Mark Levin, we've got the entire spectrum of the Republican party all coming together, united behind this campaign. And if we stand united as one, we will win the Republican nomination. And if we stand united as one, we will win the general election and beat Hillary Clinton and turn this country around. (audience cheers) You know, it took Jimmy Carter to give us Ronald Regan. And I am convinced the most long lasting legacy of Barack Obama is going to be a new generation of leaders in the Republican party who stand and fight for liberty, who stand and fight for the constitution and who stand and fight for the Judeo-Christian values that built this great nation. Thank you and God bless you. (audience cheers)