January 31, 2020
First, I want to thank each of you for coming out tonight to participate in a great tradition that is vitally important not just to Iowa, but to the nation, and yes, to the future of our Republican Party.
I’m running for President because I believe Americans deserve better leadership than we have in Washington, DC, today. For Republicans, I’m running to offer the opportunity to elect a president who actually believes in the principles of limited government, free and fair markets, and economic opportunity for all. Principles that, until recently, were the trademarks of a great political party.
Those principles are important to me. I had the great honor to serve President Ronald Reagan as a U.S. Attorney and as an Assistant Attorney General, appointments that gave me the opportunity to lead many of President Reagan’s criminal justice initiatives.
In 1990, I was the first Republican to be elected Governor of Massachusetts in 20 years. When I took office, the state was bankrupt. Unemployment was 9.1%, and taxes were among the highest in the nation. The state’s bond rating was little better than junk bonds.
Despite a legislature where Democrats outnumbered us three to one, I worked across party lines to cut taxes 21 times, balance the budget, and cut the size of government while improving services.
Massachusetts didn’t just recover. Massachusetts thrived. Based on that record, both the Wall Street Journal and the CATO Institute ranked me as the most fiscally conservative governor in the nation.
In short, I’m a Republican…and governed that way. I don’t believe trillion-dollar deficits are okay. I believe in markets, not trade wars.
Republicans have never believed we can spend our way to prosperity, but Republicans and Democrats alike in Washington, DC, are giving it a heck of a try.
We believe in the Rule of Law, and that it applies to everyone, including the President. We believe the Constitution means what it says, rather than scoffing at its limits on the power of presidents and the federal government. And we believe the purpose of foreign policy and our military is to make us safer.
I understand why Donald Trump was elected. After years of both parties in Washington failing to do much of anything other than secure their own reelections, trying something — or someone — different was an appealing choice.
But this president has not proven to be the Republican leader a majority of Americans will support.
We deserve better. The choice in November doesn’t have to be between a liberal Democrat and a president who is putting the Republican Party at great risk.
The Party doesn’t belong to Donald Trump. It belongs to YOU.
THAT is why I am running for President, and I respectfully ask for your support.