President Donald Trump officially launched his 2020 reelection bid on June 18, telling a crowd of passionate supporters in Florida that the choice in the upcoming election is between the radical socialism embraced by the Democratic field and his agenda of freedom and the American dream.
The president celebrated the booming economy and cautioned that a vote for any Democrat would erase the progress made since 2017. Echoing some of the campaign promises of the most of the Democratic contenders, he took aim at “Medicare for All,” the socialist health care proposal openly backed by every top Democratic candidate except Joe Biden.
“More than 120 Democrats in Congress have also signed up to support crazy Bernie Sanders’s socialist government takeover of health care,” Trump said. “They want to end Medicare as we know it and terminate the private health insurance of 180 million Americans who love their health insurance.”
“America will never be a socialist country, ever,” the president added. “Republicans do not believe in socialism, we believe in freedom, and so do you.”
Vice President Mike Pence and senior members of the Trump campaign previously described the 2020 election as a choice between socialism and freedom. With the exception of Sanders (I-Vt.) and Beto O’Rourke, the leading Democratic contenders have distanced themselves from the socialist label. They nevertheless continue to back socialist policies such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. A pair of Democratic candidates—both polling below 1 percent—were booed after denouncing socialism at a recent Democratic conference.
Every Democratic candidate for president polling at above 1 percent has endorsed Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. The two socialist, controlled-economy policies would cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $93 trillion over the next decade; the entire projected spending for the U.S. government over the next 10 years is $60 trillion. Beyond the cost, each proposal would virtually cede control of the health care and energy sectors to the government.
“No matter what label they use, a vote for any Democrat in 2020 is a vote for the rise of radical socialism and the destruction of the American dream,” Trump said.
“They would shut down your free speech, use the power of the law to punish their opponents, which they’re trying to do now anyway; they’ll always be trying to shield themselves. They would strip Americans of their constitutional rights while flooding the country with illegal immigrants in the hopes it will expand their political base, and they’ll get votes someplace down the future.”
Well before firing off a long list of accomplishments, the president devoted a significant portion of the speech to underline how his administration worked under the intense pressure of the special counsel investigation of Robert Mueller. He suggested that the investigation was the result of his administration taking on the political establishment in Washington, which he calls “the swamp.”
“And that’s why the swamp is fighting back so viciously and violently. For the last two and a half years, we have been under siege, and with the Muller report, we won, and, now, they want a do-over.”
“Our patriotic movement has been under assault from the very first day. We accomplish more than any other president has in the first two and a half years of a presidency and under circumstances that no president has had to deal with before, because we did in the middle of the great and illegal ‘witch hunt,’ things that nobody has been able to accomplish, not even close.”
Mueller concluded his investigation in March, finding insufficient evidence to establish that Trump colluded with Russia. After Mueller’s report was made public, Democrats in Congress ramped up their investigation into Trump, as well as his family, past business dealings, associates, and current and former White House staff.
“We went through the greatest ‘witch hunt’ in political history. The only collusion was committed by the Democrats, the fake news media and their operatives, and the people who funded the phony dossier: crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC [Democratic National Committee]. It was all an illegal attempt to overturn the results of the election, spy on our campaign, which is what they did, and subvert our democracy.”
While Mueller investigated Trump, parallel investigations led by Republicans in Congress uncovered that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the DNC funded an opposition research dossier, which the FBI used as evidence to obtain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. A former British spy compiled the dossier by paying sources with ties to the Kremlin. None of the dossier’s claims that were damaging to Trump and his associates have ever been verified.
“They went after my family, my business, my finances, my employees, almost everyone that I’ve ever known or worked with, but they are really going after you. That’s what it’s all about, not about us, it’s about you,” Trump said.
“They tried to erase your vote, erase your legacy of the greatest campaign and the greatest election, probably in the history of our country, and they wanted to deny you the future that you demanded and the future that America deserves, and that now America is getting,” he added.
The administration emerged from the investigation with a formidable list of accomplishments. Trump pointed to the thriving jobs market. The United States has added six million jobs since Trump took office. Nearly 160 million Americans are currently working, he said, the largest number in U.S. history, while wages are growing at the fastest pace in decades, especially for low-wage workers.
The president also celebrated the revival of the manufacturing sector, taking a jab at Biden, who served as vice president under Barack Obama. In remarks about manufacturing jobs, Obama once said one would need a “magic wand” to make the jobs come back.
“Well, we’ll tell ‘Sleepy Joe’ that we found the magic wand,” Trump joked, using his nickname for Biden.
“Our economy is the envy of the world, perhaps the greatest economy we’ve had in the history of our country,” Trump said. “And as long as you keep this team in place, we have a tremendous way to go. Our future has never ever looked brighter or sharper.”
On the world stage, the United States became the biggest producer of oil and natural gas. Trump also delivered on campaign promises to quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Paris climate accord, and the Iran nuclear deal. Circling back to his challenge to socialism, Trump pointed to the administration’s fight against communist regimes in South America.
“In Latin America, our country once again stands against corrupt communist and socialist regimes, and we support the people of Cuba and Venezuela in their righteous struggle for freedom,” he said.
Throughout the speech, the president often shifted the focus onto the Americans who he represents and those who elected him in 2016. He described his stunning election win in 2016 as a political campaign that transformed into a political movement.
“It’s a movement made up of hard-working patriots who love their country, love their flag, love their children, and who believe that a nation must care for its own citizens first. Together, we stared down a corrupt and broken political establishment and we restored the government of, by, and for the people.”
The president delivered the harshest criticism of the Democrats, when addressing their unwillingness to solve the border crisis. Trump described the Democrats’ border agenda as “morally reprehensible” and said it is “the greatest betrayal of the American middle class.”
“As we fight to make life better for all Americans, the Democrat Party has become more radical, more dangerous, and more unhinged than at any point in the modern history of our country. On no issue are Democrats more extreme and more depraved than when it comes to border security,” Trump said.
Among the promises for what his administration will accomplish if re-elected, Trump said he would fix the health care system, give parents the option of school choice, and rescue inner cities crippled by decades of Democratic control.
“We will come up with the cures to many, many problems, too many, many diseases, including cancer and others, and we’re getting closer all the time. We will eradicate AIDS in America once and for all, and we’re very close,” Trump said. “We will lay the foundation for landing American astronauts on the surface of Mars and, above all, we will never stop fighting for the values that hold us together.”
In one of the most raucous moments, the crowd of supporters cheered their approval for the new campaign slogan, “Keep America Great.” The audience was also riled up with a chant of “lock her up” when Trump revisited the topic of Clinton’s use of an unauthorized email server.
“But let’s see what happens, we now have a great attorney general. Let’s see what happens.”
The president wrapped up the 70-minute speech by again shifting attention back on the voters.
“So don’t ever forget, this election is about you. It’s about your family, your future, and the fate of your country. We begin our campaign with the best record, the best results, the best agenda, and the only positive vision for our country’s future,” Trump said.
“We are one movement, one people, one family, and one glorious nation under God. And together, we will make America wealthy again, we will make America strong again, we will make America safe again, and we will make America great again.”
Correction: this article has been update to accurately reflect the combined projected cost of the Green New Deal and Medicate for All.