MAY 4, 2018

Hello everyone and welcome to our Spring Meeting! I am so happy you’re able to meet with us here in Florida.

As we gather together please join me in offering our condolences to the entire Bush family on the passing of Former First Lady, Barbara Bush. She spent her life in public service, but she never wavered from her belief that being a wife, mother, and grandmother were her greatest contributions to society. She was admired for her ability to ease everyone around her, and it was incredibly fitting that her Secret Service Code Name was Tranquility. I experienced this firsthand as an awkward teenager when I met Mrs. Bush. I had braces, big hair, and she immediately put me at ease. It meant so much to me at that time in my life, in a way that I will never forget. Colin Powell had a similar experience. The first time he met her, they were seated next to each other at a formal lunch. At the time, he was an Army corps commander. Overwhelmed by the formality of his surroundings, he turned her and said, “How do you do? I’m very pleased to be with you.” She said to him, “Call me Barbara.” He said, “No, I can’t do that, you’re the Vice President’s wife.” She insisted, “Call me Barbara.” Colin Powell replied, “My mother would kill me.” She responded, “If you don’t call me Barbara, I’ll kill you.”

Mrs. Bush had the uncanny ability to combine warmth, strength, and genuine affection in a way that made her beloved by all who knew her. The effect she had on those around her is why this remarkable woman will be incredibly missed by everyone here at the Republican Party. Please join me in continuing to offer prayers to President George H.W. Bush, a former RNC Chair, as he recovers from his illness. Thank you.

I want to thank the RNC staff, including our Chief of Staff, Richard Walters, our incredible Member Services team, Emily Threadgill, Mariana Herrera, Callie Estes, and Anna Dorsey for their work this week, our Co-Chair, fellow officers, and to our Members - we wouldn’t be as successful without each of you. Thank you. Special thanks to our speakers this week. I hope each of you enjoyed the meetings and our sessions. I would also be remiss if I did not thank my wonderful husband, Patrick and our two children, Abigail and Nash for their continued support.

President Trump and Vice President Pence are leading our country into a more prosperous future and there is no bigger champion for the American people than President Donald J. Trump. Our labor market is booming, our nation has over 2.7 million new jobs, and our economy is growing. Consumer confidence is up and African American and Hispanic unemployment rates are at record lows. And let’s not forget about those big, beautiful tax cuts! As a result, 8 in 10 Americans are seeing more money in their paychecks. Over 4 million workers are receiving wage increases and bonuses from companies like AT&T, Comcast, Apple, Costco, Boeing, Walmart, and Bank of America.

The RNC created a website for Americans to share personal stories of how tax cuts are helping them. Alexander, a fourth generation farmer in North Dakota, is investing his tax savings back into his family business. Mary in Wisconsin is using her tax cut for a down payment on a house. These are just a few of the millions of Americans who are benefitting from the historic tax relief, thanks to Republican leadership and President Trump. Our website - PaycheckPresident.com, continues to post videos from Americans across the country.

This is a president who ran for office because he cares about real, hardworking Americans. He knows it’s about Main Street – not K Street. This past weekend exemplified that. Instead of being at a glitzy dinner, schmoozing with the media and political elite in Washington D.C., Donald Trump was in my home state of Michigan with the real Americans he fights for every day.

Meanwhile, the party of obstruction is alive and kicking. Democrats continue to undermine this country. They refused to vote for historic tax cut legislation. And they refuse to confirm President Trump’s qualified nominees. Right now, 188 are waiting to be confirmed. On average, taking 84 days to confirm each one. That’s almost 20 days longer than the previous four presidents. America needs these people on the job, not stuck in the pipeline because of petty partisanship. Democrats continue to work actively against the people they represent.

The RNC has the strongest ground and data organization and the best Senate map that we’ve had during any cycle. However, we face an energized Democrat Party headed into November. If you look at historical midterm election results for the House, you'll see a clear trend. The president's political party almost always loses seats - about 30 - in midterm elections. Democrats need to flip 23 seats to win the House in November. In 2016, there were 23 Republican-held congressional districts that voted for Hillary Clinton.

On average, partisan support for the party in power drops by seven points in a midterm election. During President Obama’s first term, Democrats lost 63 seats. During President Clinton’s first term, Democrats lost 54 seats. During President Reagan’s first term, Republicans lost 26 seats. This trend has politicos and pundits predicting we can’t keep the House. They warn us of the impending “blue wave.” Democrat enthusiasm is increasing and they are organizing their base.

We know we face tough challenges. But we’ve faced obstacles before. We know Democrats are energized. But we’re more passionate than we’ve ever been. We know they are ready for a fight. But we’re preparing for a battle!

That’s why we’ve won 5 out of 6 House specials elections in the past year. Remember when everyone said Hillary was going to be President? Look what happened? President Trump proved everyone wrong! I was Chair of the Michigan State Party when everyone told me it could go never red. Look what happened? We turned Michigan red for the first time since 1988. We can win in November.

You know how I know? Because when the media, the Democrats, everyone said in 2016 it couldn’t be done, the RNC and President Trump proved them all wrong. Victory in 2018 is possible because we have the best team in place. The RNC is in a stronger position than we’ve ever been.

We are ready to defy history.

We’ve raised over $171 million this cycle to date, putting us far ahead of the DNC. We’re reinvesting those funds in our digital and data programs, which are key parts of our winning strategy. We’ve made hundreds of millions of survey calls and modeled nearly 90 billion voter predictions to better understand and engage with each and every voter in the country. We are bypassing the mainstream media and taking our message straight to the voters. We continue to show the American people how much the Trump administration is helping them and holding Democrats accountable. During Secretary Pompeo’s confirmation process, the RNC booked hundreds of surrogates on TV and radio to support his nomination. Last month, as former FBI Director James Comey began his self-aggrandizing book tour, the RNC was ready to flood the airwaves and expose him. We garnered over seven million dollars in earned media coverage and our message reached hundreds of millions of viewers across America.

In addition to our Communications, Data, and Fundraising teams, we’re taking the money we’ve raised and we’re investing a quarter of a billion dollars in a midterm election strategy to defend our majorities in Congress. That’s the largest investment we’ve ever made.

We have hundreds of field staff across the country, who have made more voter contacts at this point than at any other point in any other cycle.

Those field staff knock doors, make phone calls, hold house meetings, and collect petitions. We have trained more than 12,000 RLI fellows this cycle – to put that into context – we trained 5,000 fellows total during 2016.

Our team is ready to win in November.

During a commencement address almost thirty years ago, Barbara Bush offered graduates some advice as they embarked into the real world. She said, “Believe in something larger than yourself and get involved in some of the big ideas of our time.” In one short sentence she issued a profound objective to those seniors: do something great with your future.

We need to ask ourselves today: How we will write our history and shape our future? A future that will be defined by what happens in November. A future that can be even more prosperous and free. A future that we have the power to shape together, by defying history. It’s a huge responsibility. I know each of you is up to the task. Let our purpose unite us.  And together, we will defy history. And win in November!

Thank you, God bless each of you, and God bless the United States of America.