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  President Trump Meets with Rep. Jeff Van Drew  CSPAN  December 19, 2019 8:37pm-8:59pm EST

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>> at the white house, president trump welcomed new jersey congressman jeff van drew who is switching his party affiliation from democrat to republican after voting against impeachment. representative van drew was elected in 2018 in a district won by president trump two years earlier. president trump: thank you very much. we have a very big announcement. to me, i think it's been many years, i hear 10 years, maybe more, where jeff van drew, highly respected, in fact, i didn't know as a democrat how you could have won in that district. i know the district very well. but that is a great tribute to you. but jeff will be joining the republican party and we were very fortunate he voted our way
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yesterday. as you probably know. and we had a totally unified party. i don't think there's ever been a time where the republican party was so united. but jeff will be joining the republican party. to me it's a very exciting announcement. i think, kevin, you said it's been 10 years since that happened. i don't even know who the last one was. it would seem to be it was even more than that. it's a very big deal. mr. van drew: it's a very big deal. >> it's a very big deal. he's going from the majority to the minority. president trump: it's smart because he know it's not going to be the majority for long. i think we're going to do well in 2020. november 3 to be exact. get out and vote. thank you very much. it's a great honor. mr. van drew: thank you, mr. president. president trump: would you like to say something? mr. van drew: i have a few words. i usually never, ever, i don't read speeches and this won't be very long.
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i had a few points i really wanted to make today. i would start with how this started. i've been a democrat for a lot of years. i 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 down and says, i just want to tell you something. 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. 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 it. this is a pretty young guy. president trump: a wise guy. mr. van drew: it kind of hurt because for years i have given everything that i could to my people in my district. you asked why i win, truthfully
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because i'm a crazy man. when people have a problem, when we need something, when we want to help them, i have the best staff in the world and we doing everything we can to make it better. that kind of hurt it. kind of made me think a little bit, is this really what i 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. i don't know this if this is going to be relatable or not but i want to say it anyhow. i think it's important. this was not a complex bill. it was not something that was very difficult to understand. it isn't intellectually stimulating to some people. i understand. but i did two bills and one of them, 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.
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and i thought these were wonderful bills. 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 that came to me and said, we're really disgusted with you. i said, why? making such a big deal about the flag. the flag's just not that big a deal. in god we trust, not a big a deal and you shouldn't even mention his name. and i was shocked. i was shocked. we put them up anyhow and we did what we wanted to do but it really -- president trump: that's a very republican thing, by the way. [laughter] mr. van drew: i know. president trump: you're not going find any one of us -- kevin, mike, i think you're ok with it, right? mr. van drew: i think most folks should be ok with it. president trump: the whole country should be ok with it. mr. van drew: 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.
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had the opportunity to work hard, got into dental school, graduated, and i'm sitting here next to the president of the united states. that's america. i don't want anybody to ever tell me that there isn't american exceptionalism. i don't want anybody to say this is the same as every other country in the world because it is not. it is not. you know that. and i know that. and hopefully everybody in this room knows that. 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.
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i have even had times, being a democrat, not from all folks, there are some middle of the road folks, but from some of these extreme folks that they said, bipartisanship is a bad thing. 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. president trump: new record today. up 125 point today. so your 401-k's are way up. a new record today. so that's great. mr. van drew: and thank you for that. i believe in 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. and that's something that i think republicanism represents. lower taxes, balanceing the budget, honoring our police, our fire, our rescue, our veterans, our soldiers. an older gentleman, is he a marine that stood out there,
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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. 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. mr. 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. mr. van drew: and -- president trump: same way. i'm endorsing him. ok? we're endorsing him.
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i can't speak for these two gentlemen, but i can say i'm endorsing him. mr. van drew: thank you. president trump: how do you feel about that, mike? you're ok? mr. 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 party, my party left me. president trump: that's true. that's what he said. mr. 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] >> 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.
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mr. pence: 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 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. mr. van drew: thank you, mr. vice president. president trump: thank you, mike. keven? mr. 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.
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it's nice to have you on this side now too. thank you. 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 nlt in the polls and we've done more proportionly than we've ever gone up. i understand they're playing 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. a lot of other things. but they don't want to put them in because they're ashamed of them because it's 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.
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they had to put up with a lot. but we took care of them. 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. they'd like to have the tariffs reduced. we'll see if we can get the second part of the deal. the usmca, the combination of those two deals will be the two greatest trade deals. you'll never see anything like it. wive 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. we spent $2.5 trillion. we have new planes and new everything. much of it's coming over the
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next year. we're going to -- in a year we'll be in a position wreesk never been in in terms of the equipment and the military will be as strong as it ever was. so it's been aas i make -- 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. mr. van drew: thank you. with you. reporter: mr. president, can you speak personally and tell us, what does it feel like to be the third president in u.s. history to be impeached? president trump: i don't feel like i'm being itch peopled -- president trump: i don't feel like i'm 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, 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
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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 michigan, an important state. we brought back tremendous amounts of business. tremendous car companies cunning -- coming in. everything else. and i'll tell you, i was think being, i 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. 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.
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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. 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
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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. 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 that "u.s.a. today" is a friend of mine, because they're not. but 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.
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[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. the senate is very, very capable. we have great senators, republican senators, 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 weekley have signed -- , 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
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most important thing. but this is right up there. we have 172 judges, we're going to have 182 by the end of the year or shortly thereafter and 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 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 . she wasn't very good againsty -- 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. reporter: congresswoman dingell -- \[indiscernible]
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-- [indiscernible] >> 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. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019]
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>> c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up friday morning, national journal hotline editor discusses politics of impeachment and potential impact on campaign 2020. kaiser health news' julie keiser talks about the u.s. circuit court of appeals ruling and the future of the affordable care act. watch "washington journal," live at 7:00 eastern sunday morning. join the discussion. our c-span campaign 2020 bus team is traveling across the country asking voters what issues presidential candidate should address. like whoever becomes president should focus on the cabin as a whole. , i secretary of education feel like whoever will have that condition, they should make sure they have respect for that position.
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this, they would make more progress as a whole. >> one of the questions i would like to see the candidates answer is campaign season. based on the rights enumerated in this books, where do they believe each of those rights come from? >> one of the issues i want candidates to address primarily is mental health. we see mental health in the news after a terrible gun violence situation. most mental health factors don't contribute to that. i suffer with anxiety and depression. i'm not getting the best care i need. i need them to do something more to help people like me. >> an issue i would like candidates to address is the involvement of pharmaceutical companies in health care. advertising ofhe pharmaceuticals on television led to a lot of the problems we're having now with health
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care coverage and that entire issue. if you could address that in a specific way, it would help every american in the u.s. >> voices from the road on c-span. earlier today, the house approved implementation of the u.s.-mexico-canada trade agreement as a replacement to nafta. next, a look at the house for debate before the final vote, starting with majority leader steny hoyer. minute. the peaker pro tempore: gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. hoyer: this vote today, madam speaker, is a reminder was even while the house working on a serious matter regarding the president's abuses of ity for office, we are still working hard to deliver on our promises the american people to focus on economic opportunity. nd in this instance, we are working together. the usmca agreement before us is vast improvement over the first version shown to us by team.ent trump and his
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