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tv   President Trump Meets with Rep. Jeff Van Drew  CSPAN  December 22, 2019 2:52pm-3:12pm EST

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>> thursday at the white house, the president welcomed representative jeff van drew to the republican party. the former new jersey democrat
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switched to the gop after voting against the two articles impeachment as a democrat. present trump also answered a few questions on the impeachment vote and other issues. >> thank you very much we have a very big announcement. to me we have a big announcement. i here it is been many years, 10 years or more where jeff van drew, highly respected in fact i did not know as a democrat how you could've one in that district, i know the district very well but that is it great tribute to you. jeff will be joining republican party and we were very fortunate . he voted our way yesterday as you probably know. a totally unified party. i do not think there has ever been a time where the republican party was so united. jeff will be joining republican to me it isreally, a very exciting announcement. i think kevin, you said it was
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about 10 years since that's happened. i don't even know who the last one was, it would seem to me it was even more than that. but it's a big deal. >> it is a very big deal because , he's going from the majority to the minority, and it normally doesn't go that way. >> yeah, but he's very smart because he knows it's not going to be the minority for long. i have a feeling we're going to do very well in 2020, in november - november 3rd, to be exact. get out and vote. but, jeff, thank you very much. it's a great honor. thank you. >> thank you, mr. president. >> thank you. would you like to say something? >> so, i have a few words. and i usually never, ever - i don't read speeches. and this won't be very long - >> sure. >> i promise you, mr. president. but i had a few bullets. there's a few points i really wanted to make today. and i would start with how this started. i've been a democrat for a lot of years. and i actually had a meeting with somebody about two weeks ago, i guess it was. and the individual was a local county chairman in the democratic party. and he sat dowi
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just want to tell you something." and he said, "i want to tell you that you can't vote against impeachment." i said, "what do you mean i can't vote against impeachment?" he says, "you can't vote against impeachment. you will not." i have eight counties in my district. "you will not get the line. you will not get the county. i will do everything to prevent that from happening, and everything to destroy you." this is a pretty young guy, so it was pretty gutsy. >> yeah. a wise guy. and it kind of hurt because, for years, i have given everything that i could to my people and my district. you asked why i win. truthfully, because i'm a crazy man, and when people have a problem, when they need something, when we want to help them - i have the best staff in the world, good people around
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me, and we do everything that we can to make it better. and that kind of hurt, and it kind of made me think a little bit: is this what i really want to do? because there were other times in my life, when i thought about this. i thought about it when i did legislation. and, actually, it was in the state senate. and i don't know if this is going to be relatable to not, but i want to say it anyhow because i've always wanted to just mention this because i think it's important, in a way. this is not - it was not a complex bill. it was not something that was, you know, very difficult to understand. it isn't intellectually stimulating to some people. i understand. but i did two bills, and one of them - it's unusual for new jersey - would allow, in any public or private building, to have "in god we trust" on the wall. and the second one was that you could fly the american flag wherever you wanted to, however you wanted to, as long as it was respectful. and i thought these were wonderful bills. i mean, i thought everybody was going to be, "this is just a great thing." and i had some very progressive - and not all democrats - but these were really progressive democrats
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that came to me and said, "we're really disgusted with you." and i said, "why?" "making such a big deal about the flag. the flag is just not that big a deal." "'in god we trust' is not that big deal." >> that's where they're going. >> "and you shouldn't even mention his name." and i was shocked. i was shocked. we put them up anyhow, and we did want we wanted to do. >> that's a very republican thing, by the way. (laughter.) >> i know. i know. >> you're not going to find any one of us that - i can tell you, kevin, mike, i think you're okay with it, right? >> and i think most folks should be okay with it. >> the whole country should be okay with it. >> you're right. i talk about american exceptionalism. this is the greatest country on the face of the earth. i started out as not a wealthy kid. had the opportunity to work hard. got into dental school, graduated. and, my god, i'm sitting here next to the president of the united states. that's unbelievable. that's america. so i don't want anybody to ever tell me that there isn't american exceptionalism. i don't want anybody to ever say that this is the same as every other country in the world, because it is not. it is not.
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and you know that and i know that. and, hopefully, everybody in this room knows that. and, again, from certain groups of people that represented certain parts of the party, i was criticized. and they said this country is the same as every other country, and there is no such thing as american exceptionalism. i'm a capitalist. socialism, in my opinion, has no place in the united states of america. and i think everyone should know that. i believe that this country can afford people opportunity and give them that opportunity so that they can succeed. and we all should know that as well. i love bipartisanship. do you know that i even had times, quite frankly, being a democrat - again, not from all folks; there's some middle-of-the-road folks - but from some of these extreme folks that they said, "bipartisanship is a bad thing." >> yeah. >> "it's a bad thing because it's going to make you more like a republican." again, i don't believe that. i don't think you do. i believe in what you're doing with the economy. it's a better, stronger economy.
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i believe it's going to be even better. >> a new record today, by the way. it's up 125 points today. so your 401(k)s are way up. but a new record today, jeff. so, that's great. >> and thank you for that. i believe the new green deal is something that we should never, ever even think about doing. i don't even know how anybody could bring that up. we can have a strong and good environment and we can have a good economy at the same time. we can have a strong and good environment and we can have a good economy at the same time. and that's something that i think republicanism represents. lower taxes, balancing the budget, honoring our police, our fire, our rescue, our veterans, our soldiers. these men and women. i want to tell you one quick story. chris will have a picture of it. he is a marine. an older gentleman, is he a marine that stood out there, he's a marine, an older gentleman, when he heard i announced, in the cold, came in front of my office and stood out there holding the american flag for 12 hours in honor of it. president trump: that is great.
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rep. van drew: it was amazing. not quite the length of time people wait for you. president trump: that's ok. they won't do that if you're a democrat, i can tell you right now. wouldn't go well. rep. van drew: i guess what i say is, i believe that this is just a better fit for me. this is who i am. it's who i always was. but there was more tolerance of moderate democrats, of blue dog democrats, of conservative democrats. and i think that's going away. two more things i want to say. one, you have my undying support. president trump: thank you. thank you very much. rep. van drew: always. president trump: same way. i'm endorsing him. ok? we're endorsing him. i can't speak for these two gentlemen, but i can say i'm endorsing him. rep. van drew: thank you. president trump: how do you feel about that, mike? you're ok? thank you. rep. van drew: the last thing i will say, one of my heroes, and he's always hung in my office, i have a bipartisan wall that has a lot of different people on there. ronald reagan. when he said, i didn't leave my
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party, my party left me. president trump: that's true. that's what he said. rep. van drew: i'm saying the same thing. president trump: he was a democrat and he moved over. and he said exactly those words. fantastic. thank you. [applause] vice president pence i just want : to say, welcome to the republican party. congressman, it's an honor to share this moment with you, with the president of the united states, and with the republican leader. with your team. and their family. as well as i know another public official from new jersey that will be following your lead and -- but as i told you before, i also -- i just want to tell you how grateful we are for your voice of reason and common sense in the days leading up to your decision. you showed personal and
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political courage, and i know the people of your district will be as grateful as we are today for your leadership and for the decision you've made. and we look forward to serving with you together and working with you on behalf of new jersey and america for many years to come. rep. van drew: thank you, mr. vice president. president trump: thank you, mike. kevin:? rep. mccarthy: we want to welcome you to the party. but more importantly, if there are other people out there that feel this new socialist democrat wing of the party has left them behind, join with us. because everything you talked about is an american issue. it shouldn't have to be debated. whether there's a flag or god or others. we've worked together even when you were on the other side of the aisle. it's nice to have you on this side now, too. rep. van drew: thank you. rep. mccarthy: and you just changed our number to 18. we only need 18 more to get the majority and i think we'll do that soon. president trump: we're way up in the polls and we have gone up more proportionly than we've ever gone up. i understand they're playing
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games, they don't want to put in their articles. their ridiculous, phoney, fraudulent articles. and i think they're not allowed to do that here. it's unconstitutional. and a lot of other things. but they don't want to put them in because they're ashamed of them because what they've done is wrong and it's bad for the country. very, very bad for the country. trying to get usmca done. we're going to get that done i think pretty quickly. we have a great deal with china. china's already started to buy with the farmers and with the manufacturers, tremendous amounts of money are being spent back in the united states. and the farmers are happy. they had to put up with a lot. but we took care of them. out of the subsidies we were getting, out of the tariffs that we were getting. but china's now buying very big in the farm belt and in the manufacturing belt also. they're spending a lot of money . and i said it was going to happen and it happened. we're going to get a lot more. they want to make -- they want to keep going. they're still paying tremendous amounts of tariffs.
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and they'd like to have the tariffs reduced. we'll see if we can get the second part of the deal. but the usmca, the combination of those two deals, will be the two greatest trade deals. you'll never see anything like it. we have done what we said. we built our military, we spent almost $2.5 trillion on the military. when we came in, the military was totally depleted. i will say the democrats did not help. they're not into the military at all. and we spent $2.5 trillion. we have new planes and new everything right now. much of it's coming over the next year. within a year, we will be in a position we have never been in in terms of the equipment and the military will be as strong as it ever was. maybe stronger. it has been an amazing period of time. to have you is a tremendous asset for the party and, again, thank you very much. with you all the way. rep. van drew: thank you. reporter: mr. president, can you speak personally and tell us, what does it feel like to be the third president in u.s.
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history to be impeached? president trump: i don't feel like i am being impeached because it's a hoax, it's a setup, it's a horrible thing they did. they happen to have a small majority and they took that small majority and they forced people -- and they said, oh, i watched pelosi out there saying, oh, no, we don't want to talk to anybody. they put the arm on everybody, they tried to get them to do what they had to do. many of those people were like jeff where they didn't want to vote that way. but it doesn't feel to me like impeachment. last night, i said it. we had a great time last night, the room was packed. thousands of people couldn't get in. a section that really is a pretty much 50-50 section in terms of democrat, republican, we had -- every one of those people is voting for trump-pence. every one of them. and it is michigan, an important state. we brought back tremendous amounts of business. tremendous car companies cunning in. everything else.
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and i'll tell you, i was thinking about it, i actually said it, it doesn't feel like impeachment. you know what, it's a phony deal and they cheapen the word, impeachment. it's an ugly word, but they cheapen the word impeachment. that should never again happen to another president. and i think you'll see some very interesting things happen over the coming few days and weeks. but to me, all i look at, we have the greatest economy in the history of our country, we've never done so well. our military being rebuilt, you take a look at the tax cuts, you take a look at the regulation cuts at levels that nobody's ever seen. we're protecting our second amendment, which other people won't do. we're doing things that nobody's ever done before, nobody's ever seen. we have the strongest economy in the history of our country. and our country's doing well. and the other thing that i really saw from yesterday that i think you people have been covering politics for a long time, you've never seen a republican party, zero negative votes. zero.
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that hasn't happened almost ever. because the republicans are not necessarily known for that. we have better policy, they want open borders, the democrats. they want sanctuary cities. a lot of bad things happen, a lot of other things they have. we're doing tremendously on health care. the individual mandate, you know we won yesterday in supreme court, you saw that in the appellate division. we won yesterday, individual mandate is now gone. that's tremendous savings. that was the worst part of obamacare. we take care of pre-existing conditions. they're not going to be able to do that. we're doing things that nobody's ever done before. and our country has never done better. so we're really happy about it. and we're really happy to have jeff onboard. and we think in 2020, based on the polls, i just saw a poll came out in "u.s.a. today" yesterday where i'm beating every candidate by a lot. i guess most of you saw -- not
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that "u.s.a. today" is a friend of mine, because they're not. but they had a poll where it was me against their top candidates on the other side, and i'm beating everybody by a lot. and i think that's where we're going. we have the best economy in history. and if you remember the famous quote, it's all about the economy, stupid. well, i never believed it was all about the economy. but the economy's a big thing. when you have 401-k's where people are up 90% and even more than that, they like trump and they like mike and we're going to have a good time. thank you all very much. thank you. thank you. [talking simultaneously] reporter: can you tell us about your strategy for the senate trial? president trump: we think that what they did is wrong. we think that what they did is unconstitutional. and the senate is very, very capable. we have great senators, republican senators.
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we cut your taxes, we cut your regulations. we did things that nobody else would even think about being able to do. one of the things that we've done that nobody wants to talk about, this week, i will have signed the 172nd federal judge, including appellate judges. we'll have 182 by the end of the year. 182. it's unheard of. now, president obama was very nice to us. he gave us 142 empty positions. that's never happened before. but as you know, that's said to be the most important thing that a president has. i happen to think military and defense and all of that is the most important thing. but this is right up there. i'm 172 judges, we're going to have 182 by the end of the year or shortly thereafter. and it is the most incredible thing. and two supreme court justices, two great ones. so with all of the things we've done and we've done that with
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the senate, because what's never said is that in the last election, we picked up two senate seats. nobody talks about that. we couldn't focus on the house. i couldn't focus on the house. we'll be very focused on the house this time, but i couldn't. other than andy barr who won against the same candidate that's now going against mitch , and she wasn't very good against andy barr and she won't be very good against mitch mcconnell. but we've had tremendous success. so i'm going to let them decide what to do. that's going to be up to them. thank you all very much. thank you. [talking simultaneously] >> come on, let's go. press, let's go! >> thank you very much. president trump: he's doing a great job. >> you think so? is he going to be your main lawyer in the senate? president trump: looks like it. we have a couple of others. that we're going to put in. but pat's been fantastic as white house counsel.
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thank you, everyone. [talking simultaneously] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] reporter: do you regret your comments, mr. president? president trump: we have to vote on usmca. >> press, move. come on! come on. >> lead the way. be part of the solution. [laughter] on thursday, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell and minority leader chuck schumer both spoke on the senate floor about the impeachment of president trump. senator mcconnell, reaction from senator schumer, and more before the senate concluded legislative business r


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