Well thank you!
This is my first event in South Carolina since coming home from the United Nations.
It’s good to be back.
And it’s a great day in South Carolina!
I will treasure the Nathan Hale Patriot Award for the rest of my life.
I don’t just appreciate what it represents. I profoundly respect who gave it to me.
You’re cadets and friends of the Citadel. But you’re also much more than that.
Before I left as governor, we were named the friendliest state in the country, the most patriotic state in the country, and the #2 state in the country for people to move to.
So you’re citizens of the best state in America – the great state of South Carolina!
This is a state where patriotism matters. Where people are proud to be Americans.
Everything I am – everything I will ever be – was shaped by the people of the Palmetto State.
This is a place where children are taught humility and faith in God.
A place where neighbors take care of neighbors. Where doing well means doing good.
South Carolina raised me to fight for what’s right – and stand for what’s true.
Here’s where I learned that grit and grace go hand-in-hand.
And growing up in rural South Carolina, my love for America grew every day.
It’s still growing. Because that’s how we raise ‘em in South Carolina.
I can’t imagine being from anywhere else.
It was the privilege of a lifetime to take my love for the state I was raised in, and blessed to serve, to the United Nations.
The U.N. is not for the faint of heart. The countries I dealt with aren’t used to the way we do things down here.
They’re used to talking about things. But we know talk is cheap. We believe in actions – and getting things done.
And the U.N. had gotten used to an America that abstained, apologized, and abandoned our values.
So I introduced them to the America I know.
A strong America.
A proud America.
An America that never backs down, always shows up, and yes, takes names!
One of my favorite memories involved the Russian ambassador.
It was at a reception I hosted for the Security Council.
We were at the U.S. residence, and the ambassador stopped me and asked a simple question.
“Madam Ambassador, what’s with this tree?”
I had no idea what he was talking about. “What tree?”
“You know,” he said. “The one on your necklace. The one on the paintings on your wall. The one on that box you gave to all of us.”
I laughed and said, “Vasilly, that is no ordinary tree. That’s a Palmetto Tree.”
I said, “it’s tall, it’s majestic, it’s graceful, and more than any of that, it’s strong and capable of turning back any threat.”
“It’s the symbol of my state, but even more than that, it’s the symbol of my people.”
“You don’t mess with the Palmetto tree – and you don’t mess with people from the Palmetto State…”
“We may look graceful, but we are strong, and we never back down from a fight.”
He said, “like you?”
I said, “Yes. Like me. It’s why I kick with a smile!”
South Carolina is special. So is the Citadel.
It’s seen so many patriots over so many years. Men and women who’ve done so much for our state and our country.
Many graduates of this great school have served in the uniform.
They’ve shaped America for the better in public and private life.
They’ve lent their leadership to the everyday defense of our national experiment.
And now this next generation has been called to the same high purpose.
You have been summoned to save America.
We’re in a fight for America’s future.
In Washington, D.C., we have a President and a Congress who are leading the greatest nation in history toward ruin.
They’re crippling our economy. Crushing our families. Endangering our streets. Erasing our borders. And withdrawing from the world.
It used to be that Democrats were content to blame America.
Joe Biden and today’s Democratic Party don’t even believe in America.
And they’re not alone. The Media. The education establishment. CEOs from Wall Street to Silicon Valley.
They all say our country is racist and rotten to the core.
They’re corrupting the minds of the next generation.
They’re throwing away our national principles – and putting new ones in place.
For them, freedom, equality, opportunity, and the rule of law are out.
Government control, discrimination, censorship, and the raw exercise of power are in.
If they are not stopped, America as we know it will not survive.
But there’s hope.
One month ago today, the American people stood up and spoke out – loud and clear.
They did it in Virginia. They did it in New Jersey. I campaigned on the ground in both of those races.
They did it in New York City and Minneapolis and Seattle.
The American people said enough is enough.
And what started last month will continue next year.
We’ll win back Congress in 2022.
We’ll win back the country in 2024.
And make no mistake: We will win the fight for America’s future!
When I was governor, I worked with Democrats who still believed in America.
I didn’t share their views on policy, but at least we agreed on some basic principles.
Those days are over.
The Democratic Party has become the Socialist Party.
A funny thing happens anytime a Republican brings up socialism.
The media loses its mind.
They point to the time Joe Biden said, “I am not a socialist.”
Apparently, we’re supposed to take his word for it.
I’m a mom. Michael and I taught our kids that actions speak louder than words.
What Joe Biden is doing doesn’t say socialism – it screams it.
The real socialists are jumping for joy. When Bernie Sanders is smiling, America is in trouble.
Socialism is clear in pretty much everything Joe Biden is doing.
The biggest tax hike in American history.
A cradle-to-grave welfare state. Free money, free college, free rent, you name it.
And trillions and trillions of wasteful spending. Our country is closer to bankruptcy than ever before.
The way Democrats tell it, all this spending doesn’t cost a thing.
But that’s a lie.
Every American is paying for it, in one way or another.
Our families are facing the worst inflation in 30 years.
Paychecks are shrinking. Bills are growing.
At the gas station, the grocery store, and the online checkout, families are paying more but getting less.
Biden and Pelosi bear the blame.
And they’re making things worse.
Our country’s job creators are getting slammed.
They’re cutting back hours. They can’t stock their shelves.
After growing up in my parents’ small business, it hurts me to see Main Street struggling to survive.
With one hand, Joe Biden is taking their money through tax hikes and red tape.
And with the other hand, he’s paying their workers to stay home.
Make no mistake: The socialist agenda is holding America back.
It’s telling a single mom to give up and give in to a life of welfare.
It’s telling a laid-off worker to stop trying and stay home.
It’s telling a college student to expect more from others than they do of themselves.
And it’s telling the rest of us: Don’t bother to dream or dare. Government will give you everything you want.
It’s time to admit: Spending trillions of dollars won’t solve our problems.
Spending trillions of dollars is the problem!
America can do better. And Republicans know how.
Before Joe Biden, and before the pandemic, President Trump and the GOP built one of the hottest economies in American history.
Wages rose to new heights. Unemployment fell to record lows. Families thrived and businesses grew.
Remember what it was like just two years ago?
People had hope. Things hadn’t been that good in a decade or more.
Socialism didn’t do that. Capitalism did.
And now it’s time to bring capitalism back. This is America, not socialist Europe.
The sooner Joe Biden and Democrats lose their jobs, the sooner we can set the stage for new jobs and bigger paychecks for American families.
We’ll get rid of wasteful spending and get government working for people – not the other way around.
We’ll roll back corporate welfare for business and help families move from welfare to work.
And we’ll invest in job training and better education.
Our students should never learn to be woke. They should learn how to find work and live their best lives.
That’s what we did in the Trump years, across America. And that’s what I did as governor.
We took power from government and put it back in the hands of families and job creators.
It wasn’t long before our state was building planes with Boeing, more BMWs than any place in the world, five international tire companies, Mercedes Benz vans, and Volvo cars.
We had more people employed than ever before. And trade magazines called South Carolina the “beast of the Southeast,” which I loved.
My point is this: Capitalism works.
We proved it here. We’ve proved it across America.
And we’ll prove it again – as soon as we retire Biden and Pelosi!
It’s not just the economy. Joe Biden is making America weaker in every respect.
Just look at our borders.
Right now our southern border might as well not exist.
Did you know that this year, the number of people who crossed the border illegally is enough to make up the 10th largest city in America?
That’s called a crisis. Yet Kamala Harris is nowhere to be found.
We are a country of laws. The second you stop being a country of laws, you give up everything America was founded on.
I refuse to let that happen.
We need to build a better immigration system. One that welcomes the best and keeps out the worst.
And before we do that, we need to stop catch and release, get “remain in Mexico” back in place, and it’s time to build the wall – full stop.
We also need stronger election integrity.
Our democracy depends on it.
I know we can do better. In fact, we did better when I was governor of South Carolina.
We pushed for voter ID back in 2012.
I said then: If you have to show photo ID to buy Sudafed; if you have to show photo ID to get on a plane; you should have to show photo ID to protect the integrity of the election process.
I was vilified for it. The media lost their minds – like they always do. They said we were “disenfranchising” voters. They said some people wouldn’t be able to get an ID.
So I said, “I hear you. If someone can’t get to the DMV, we’ll pick them up, take them to the DMV, get them a free ID, and then bring them home.”
We have five million South Carolinians. And you know how many people took me up on that offer?
We passed voter ID in 2012 and South Carolinians are better for it.
The media couldn’t have been more wrong. Their low expectations are just high-minded bigotry. In fact, it’s downright racist to imply that minorities are incapable of going to the DMV.
And Americans know better. In a recent poll, Eighty percent of America wants voter ID. Eighty percent!
Election integrity is common sense. And we need it across our country before 2022!
We must also be strong on the world stage.
At the United Nations, I saw that when America steps up, our enemies step back.
But now we’re seeing the opposite. America is retreating – and our enemies are rushing into the gap.
We have a total lack of courage and commitment from our commander-in-chief.
Joe Biden isn’t leading from behind. Joe Biden is sleeping from behind.
This year has been one embarrassment after another.
And twenty years after September 11th, Afghanistan is back in the hands of the Taliban.
In just two weeks, Joe Biden threw what my husband Michael and our military spent two decades fighting for.
America literally surrendered to a terrorist organization.
We have the best military in the world. But the Commander-in-Chief disrespected them and their families who sacrifice with them.
When the Taliban took over, Biden stuck to his withdrawal plan.
What’s worse, he abandoned our moral code by leaving Americans behind.
Think about that. Joe Biden kept a promise to the Taliban and broke a promise to the American people.
That’s a fireable offense.
The fall of Afghanistan sent a message to the world.
It said America doesn’t stand by our friends. That’s exactly what our enemies wanted to hear.
Now Iran is doubling down on its nuclear program.
Russia is threatening to invade Ukraine.
And Communist China? Where to begin…
They think the American era is finally over – and the Chinese century has arrived.
They couldn’t be more wrong. But the leader of the free world is giving the impression that China is right.
Joe Biden is the greatest gift to America’s enemies since Jimmy Carter.
And just like Carter, we’re gonna make Joe a one-term president. Mark my words!
America is strong, despite the president’s best efforts.
But it’s also true that America needs to get stronger – fast.
Democrats won’t do it. They’re so focused on growing the government, they’re trying to cut the military to pay for it.
We can’t afford to fall behind, especially when our enemies are racing ahead.
China is building the biggest and most powerful military we’ve ever faced. They already have weapons we don’t.
That’s a crisis – and it demands action.
We should give our heroes the tools and technology they need to beat anyone, anywhere, anytime.
We should preserve the peace by making sure we can win any war.
And the last thing we should do is cut our support for the Armed Forces of the United States
Defunding the military is just as bad as defunding the police. Both are unacceptable – end of story!
In the fight for our future, America has to be strong.
Even more important, we have to believe America is worth fighting for.
We have to be proud.
The biggest threat we face isn’t China, Russia, Islamic terrorists, or anyone else from the outside.
The biggest threat we face is on the inside.
It’s our loss of confidence and conviction in the American cause. It’s the self-loathing that says America doesn’t deserve our love.
This is a virus more deadly and dangerous than any pandemic.
More and more people think living in the land of the free is a curse, not a blessing.
We’re being told our founding principles are tools of oppression. That our country is no better than any other. In fact, we’re told it’s worse.
But people don’t just believe it. They’re taking their anger into the streets.
Look at the riots and violence we’ve seen.
Look at the intimidation and fear on college campuses.
Look at tech companies colluding with government to censor Americans with different views.
It’s not just critical race theory.
It’s not just being “woke.”
Anger toward America is now the party line in the classroom, the boardroom, the media green room, and the backrooms of governments.
We’ve come to a place where the President and Vice President of the United States accuse our country of “systemic racism.”
They’ve turned against a colorblind society. They want a new kind of country – where identity and skin color are the only things that count.
Last I checked, that’s called discrimination. And discrimination has no place in America – not now, not ever!
We know there’s a better way. And so do the American people.
We’re fighting for a future where people are judged by actions and character, not color or chromosomes.
Where discrimination is ended, and equality embraced.
Where censorship is rejected, and free speech protected.
We want a country that takes pride in its progress and moves closer toward its promise.
And we know that the only way to bring out the best in America is to believe in America.
Is America perfect? Of course not… But the principles at the heart of America are perfect.
Now is no time to replace them. Now is the time to apply them more fully – to make our country freer, fairer, and better for all.
South Carolina shows the way – as it so often does.
It doesn’t matter what outsiders say. Our state is in touch with the heart of America.
When Walter Scott was tragically killed by police, we didn’t riot or burn down our cities.
We passed the first body camera bill in the country – protecting our people and good cops.
When a sick and twisted man murdered 9 amazing people at Mother Emanuel Church, we didn’t turn on each other.
We came together to heal and make hard choices about our future.
And take it from me, the first female governor of South Carolina and the first minority female governor in the United States…
America is not a racist country.
The people know it. And they just told Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey.
It was a great day for America. And a bad day for Joe Biden.
And I bet he’ll have another bad day, come next November.
But we can’t get arrogant. We’ve gotta stay humble, hunker down, and focus on what matters.
There’s no crying in politics. There’s just hard work.
We can’t just bash the president, his party, and all the problems they’ve created.
We have to offer solutions that will lift up all Americans.
We have to prove that we can make America strong and proud again.
I know we can do it. Because our message is the right message.
It’s a message of hope – a message of faith. Faith in God, our country, and ourselves.
The more we spread that message, the more people we’ll add to the Republican tent.
We’ve gotta keep growing our party with people from all walks of life.
And when we win, next November, we can’t forget what this moment feels like.
We have to prove we deserve to be there. Americans are frustrated and looking for help.
We have to come through for them – with results, not rhetoric.
I know we will. Because that’s what we have always done.
The Republican Party was made for this moment.
We’re the only ones who can unite our country.
Who can rescue our cities from anarchy and anger.
Who can move America forward and upward.
We are the only ones who can.
And we are the ones who will – in 2022 and 2024!
When I look to the future, I marvel at what I see.
A country – proud of its principles and its place in the world.
A free people – at peace with each other and protecting our values.
A culture – the greatest the world has ever known, yet always growing greater still.
There are those who see America’s glory days as behind us, but I don’t believe it.
How could I, after the life I’ve lived?
I’m the proud daughter of Indian immigrants.
We were the only ones in our small, rural town of Bamberg, population 2,500.
My dad wore a turban. He still does to this day. My mom wore a sari.
Nobody knew who we were, what we were, or why we were there. I was a brown girl in a black-and-white world.
And yet, as a child, I saw the promise of America unfold before me.
As governor, I saw our state move beyond hate and violence, and show our nation a better way.
And as Ambassador, I saw that America is still the standard.
Where we lead, the world follows. When we speak, the world listens. What we are, the world wants.
My friends, America is worth fighting for. America is worth living for.
We are being called to prove ourselves worthy of the gift we’ve been given – the gift of being citizens of these United States.
You have answered that call.
So have I. And I always will.
Because as my parents always reminded me, my brothers, and my sister… even on our worst day, we are blessed to live in America.
Thank you again for this great welcome home.
God bless the Citadel. And God bless America.