Rep. Steve King (R-IA)
Introductory Remarks
Iowa Freedom Summit
Hoyt-Sherman Place
Des Moines, Iowa
January 24, 2015

...This is the Iowa Freedom Summit.  The Iowa Freedom Summit.  And you know I wanted to put up a ship's bow up here and get out a bottle of champagne and just break that over that bow so that we can launch the next era of American exceptionalism together.

That is what we're doing; it is what we must do.  It's what we must do after we've watched the degradation of that American exceptionalism over the last six years and two long years yet to go.  They're going to go a lot slower than that State of the Union Address last Tuesday night and that was tedious.

But four years ago we held and event in Des Moines, and it was called the Conservative Principles Conference.  We had a number of presidential candidates, we had a lot of opinion leaders there, and the place was jammed all day long.  And the reward for that was great and the idea for this grew from the success of then. 

But David Bossie and I sat down about six months ago and we decided we need to do this.  And so let's just imagine that all the possible likely or possible presidential candidates would come.  Now that would be a big event.  And that was too big of an imagination, so we looked at that, okay we're going to dial it down.  So we dialed it down to practical application, began to go to work, and his planning and his organization is excellent, and his staff is excellent, and I, hats off to David Bossie, his team and Citizens United.  They've done the lion's share of the work.

And so we took reality and went to work on that and then it grew and it snowballed into what we have here today.

Do you believe that the next president of the United States is going to be speaking from this stage to you today? 

[Audience cheers]

As do I.

And I'm hopeful that as this process goes along here in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and beyond we're able to have our conversations with these potential candidates and the candidates, and I'd like to hear them take that pledge.  Are you ready to, on January 20th, 2017 from the podium at the West Portico of the United States Capitol, are you ready to take your oath of office and do so with pen in hand, ready to sign the full 100-percent repeal, rip-it-out-by- the roots Obamacare?  That is what's ahead for us.  That is what's at stake.

We elect a president with that conviction and we lay the foundation--that's one of the planks for the platform that we want to offer every one of these potential candidates--here's the plank for the full repeal of Obamacare, it's real simple, it's forty words.  I wrote the bill and introduced it again in this Congress and it ends with "as if it had never been enacted."  That's, now, so we can rip out twenty seven hundred pages of legislation and tens of thousands of pages of regulation with forty words.  That will be sweet when that comes.

And now we have a president that as an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago for ten years lectured on the Constitution--and I'd want my money back if I'd paid tuition for any of my kids to learn that--but as president he lectured to us on the Constitution, the appropriate and right way too.  He said I don't have the constitutional authority to make law; Congress does that.  The courts decide what the law says; they interpret it and his job is to execute it, to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. 

Now I think he must have misinterpreted that.  Did he want to execute the law, or did he want to carry out the law as it was designed?  And we know what he's done.  Through Obamacare some, I'll say this, in several dozen times, two or maybe three dozen times he has just decided that he can change the law that has his name on top and his signature on the bottom.  The starkest of which was when he decided he would delay the employer mandate when it says shall commence in each month after December of 2013, he just decided I'm going to change that to 2014.  And America was not nearly enough outraged.  We didn't rise up enough to defend our Constitution and he stepped across a line into Article I and took on legislative authority.  That's happened multiple times.  It's happened on recess appointments, it's happened on enforcement issues, and we must defend this Constitution and we must restore the rule of law.

By the way, that's another potential plank for the platform for the next president of the United States.  Take that ple--we need to elect a full-spectrum constitutional conservative who makes the pledge to America and posterity that from the Oval Office his task will be to restore that separation of powers between the legislative, executive and judicial branch of government, and in doing so our next president can unleash the greatness of America.  We're a great people.  We are, we have a vitality that's unequaled on the planet.

We come from every possible planet, or every possible continent--  They're across the street those people that come from the other planet. [laughs]  Every donor civilization that sent people here, legal people, to come to America, we got the vitality of their civilization.  The people that had an imagination, the people that wanted to take this God-given American liberty and turn it into the development of their potential and contribute to this country came here, and they got God-given liberty and they got the foundation that was laid down by our Founding Fathers.  They got the pillars of American exceptionalism to build on and strengthen and refurbish and we got now a president who has eroded them, and it's got to turn around; it's got to turn around.

One of the issues that does concern me is our national defense.  I've watched as around the world-- I challenged some people, is there any country in the world that we have a stronger relationship with today than we had six years ago?  Yeah.

[Audience: No!]

I said that too but I was corrected.  Somebody said Iran.  Somebody else said Cuba.  So, it's that bad.  A while back I was in Egypt and they told me that 98-percent of the threads that hold our relations together with Egypt have been severed by this, by the foreign policy of this president.  There are good people there that we can work with; there are moderate Muslims.  General al-Sissi made the strongest statement from the Muslim world that I have ever heard, and he's a man we can work with, and we need to do so, and that's a piece of what we need to do to put America back into safety and security. 

And I will challenge the folks that speak from here today and those that aspire to the Oval Office: lay out a plan for us.  Lay out a plan to defeat radical Islamic jihad.  Lay out that plan so that it isn't some kind of a struggle that we're going to go on for the next hundred years.  Let's say lay out a plan that defeats them within the next four to eight years and defeats them for the next hundred years.  It can be done.  I'm going to hold my plan back on that and see what they have to say, but I do have a plan.

I have another plan to move a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution, get our spending back in line.  Perhaps it could be a plank in the next platform for the next president of the United States.

Here's another one.  Abolish the IRS.  Right now the federal government, Uncle Sam has the first lien on all productivity in America.  We can take that lien off of all productivity in America and free everybody up to earn, save and invest all they want to earn, save and invest.  We have the policy to do that.  This is the election to lay the foundation.

And then, then as I look at this.  You know Ronald Reagan laid this out for us.  He described the shining city on the hill, and it was strong and it had pillars that went down into the granite, and it never was a destination that we could arrive, bring ourself into that shining city, wash our hands and put our feet up.  It always was a struggle to continue beyond.  Ronald Reagan envisaged an ascending destiny for America.  That ascending destiny for America is going to be determined by who emerges as president of the United States, and how the culture here in Iowa, in New Hampshire, South Carolina and across this great country, how we support the planks, the policies and the presidential candidate that we nominate.  The destiny of America is in our hands.  Let's get to work and do this together. 

And I will ask you to do what I do, that's on a daily basis, I'd ask you to ask God to do this.  To identify that individual whom he will use to restore the soul of America.  Will you stand with me on that?  Will you st--  Let's stand together, we'll stand together and we're going to ask God, and I'm going to inject this prayer right now.

Our gracious and merciful Heavenly Father, you've watched this nation struggle, you've lifted us to greatness, you've watched the suffering and the blood and the treasure that's been spilled to defend this God-given liberty, and I pray that out of this process you will identify and lift up the individual whom you will use to restore the soul of this great country.  Thank you, Lord.  God Bless America.