On Tuesday, the last full day of Donald Trump’s presidency, Trump released a strong farewell address, expressing best wishes for the incoming Joe Biden administration and touting his historic accomplishments during his four years.
“This week, we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous. We extend our best wishes, and we also want them to have luck,” Trump said of Joe Biden, who will become president on Wednesday.
He also quickly condemned the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6. “All Americans were horrified by the assault on our Capitol. Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated,” he said. “Now, more than ever, we must unify around our shared values and rise above the partisan rancor and forge our common destiny.”
As for his four years, the president said, “We did what we came here to do, and so much more.”
“Four years ago, I came to Washington as the only true outsider ever to win the presidency. I had not spent my career as a politician, but as a builder, looking at open skylines and imagining infinite possibilities. I ran for president because I knew there were towering new summits for America just waiting to be scaled,” Trump declared.
“We built the greatest political movement in the history of our country,” he said. “Our agenda was not about Right or Left, it wasn’t about Republican or Democrat, but about the good of a nation, and that means a whole nation. With the support and prayers of the American people, we achieved more than anyone thought possible.”
“We passed the largest package of tax cuts and reforms in American history. We slashed more job-killing regulations than any administration had ever done before. We fixed our broken trade deals, withdrew from the horrible Trans-Pacific Partnership and the impossible Paris Climate Accord, renegotiated the one-sided South Korea deal, and we replaced NAFTA with the ground-breaking USMCA [U.S. Mexico and Canada Agreement],” he explained.
Trump touted his “historic and monumental tariffs on China,” which forced the Chinese Communist Party to come to the table for a new trade deal before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We also unlocked our energy resources and became the world’s number one producer of oil and natural gas, by far. Powered by these policies, we built the greatest economy in the history of the world,” Trump declared. “We reignited America’s job creation and achieved record-low unemployment for African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, women, almost everyone. Incomes soared, wages boomed, the American dream was restored, and millions were lifted from poverty in just a few short years. It was a miracle.”
The president noted the 148 stock market highs during his presidency and touted the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as “the fastest economic recovery our nation has ever seen.”
Trump mentioned his victories for choice and transparency in health care, VA health care choice, VA accountability, the right to try, and criminal justice reform. He mentioned the three new justices on the U.S. Supreme Court and the nearly 300 federal judges he appointed “to interpret our Constitution as written.”
“For years, the American people pleaded with Washington to finally secure the nation’s borders. I am pleased to say we answered that plea and achieved the most secure border in U.S. history,” he added.
Trump mentioned the U.S.’s return to space on American rockets, his efforts rallying the world to stand up to China, and more.
Trump did not neglect his excellent record in the Middle East.
“We obliterated the ISIS caliphate and ended the wretched life of its founder and leader, [Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi. We stood up to the oppressive Iranian regime and killed the world’s top terrorist, Iranian butcher Qassem Soleimani. We recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” he began.
“As a result of our bold diplomacy and principled realism, we achieved a series of historic peace deals in the Middle East. Nobody believed it could happen. The Abraham Accords opened the doors to a future of peace and harmony, not violence and bloodshed. It is the dawn of a new Middle East, and we are bringing our soldiers home,” Trump explained.
“I am especially proud to be the first president in decades who has started no new wars,” the president added.
Trump concluded his speech with a warning against internal threats: the corrosive anti-Americanism of Marxist critical race theory and the attacks on free speech in cancel culture.
“Now, as I leave the White House, I have been reflecting on the dangers that threaten the priceless inheritance we all share,” he said. “The greatest danger we face is a loss of confidence in ourselves, a loss of confidence in our national greatness.”
“No nation can long thrive that loses faith in its own values, history, and heroes, for these are the very sources of our unity and our vitality,” Trump insisted. In his final days, the president directed the construction of the National Garden of American Heroes — a garden with statues celebrating the heroes whose effigies had been attacked in the riots of 2020. His administration also released a 1776 Commission report responding to attacks on America’s greatness.
Trump also warned against cancel culture. “At the center of this heritage is also a robust belief in free expression, free speech, and open debate. Only if we forget who we are and how we got here could we ever allow political censorship and blacklisting to take place in America,” he said.
“Shutting down free and open debate violates our core values and most enduring traditions. In America, we don’t insist on absolute conformity or enforce rigid orthodoxy and punitive speech codes. We just don’t do that. America is not a timid nation of tame souls who need to be sheltered and protected from those with whom we disagree,” the president insisted.
Trump expressed hope in handing over the presidency to Joe Biden, and he promised his supporters that the movement to Make America Great Again was “only just beginning.” Watch the speech below.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.