President Donald Trump invoked the history of the four presidents represented on Mount Rushmore on Friday while delivering an address to kick off the Independence Day weekend.
Trump, who is seeking reelection this fall, began his remarks by pledging that his administration would never allow the monument to be “desecrated” by activists waging “a left-wing cultural revolution.” The president, in particular, said that the recent criticism such activists level at Mt. Rushmore is misguided.
“They were American giants in full flesh and blood. Gallant men, whose intrepid deeds unleashed the greatest leap of human advancement the world has ever known,” Trump said. “Tonight, I will tell you — and most importantly, the youth of our nation — the true stories of these great men.”
From head to toe, George Washington represented the strength, grace, and dignity of the American people. From a small volunteer force of citizen farmers, he created the Continental Army out of nothing and rallied them to stand against the most powerful military on earth through eight long years. … After forcing the surrender of the most powerful empire on the planet at Yorktown, General Washington did not claim power, but simply returned to Mount Vernon as a private citizen. When called upon again, he presided over the constitutional convention in Philadelphia and was unanimously elected our first president. … When he stepped down after two terms, his former adversary King George called him the greatest man of the age. He remains first in our hearts to this day. For as long as Americans love this land, we will honor and cherish the father of our country, George Washington.
Thomas Jefferson, the great Thomas Jefferson was 33 years old when he traveled north to Pennsylvania and brilliantly authored one of the greatest treasures of human history, the Declaration of Independence. He also drafted Virginia’s constitution and conceived and wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, a model for our cherished First Amendment. After serving as the first secretary of state and then vice president, he was elected to the presidency. He ordered American warriors to crush Barbary pirates. He doubled the size of our nation with the Louisiana purchase, and he sent the famous explorers Lewis and Clark into the West on a daring expedition to the Pacific Ocean. He was an architect, an inventor, a diplomat, a scholar, the founder of one of the world’s great universities, and an ardent defender of liberty. Americans will forever admire the author of American freedom.
Abraham Lincoln: The savior of our union was a self-taught country lawyer who grew up in a log cabin on the American frontier. The first Republican president, he rose to high office from obscurity based on the force and clarity of his anti-slavery convictions. He signed the law that built the transcontinental railroad. He signed the Homestead Act, given to some … ordinary citizens, free land to settle anywhere in the American West. And he led the country through the darkest hours of American history, giving every ounce of strength that he had to ensure that government of the people, by the people, and for the people did not perish from this earth. He served as commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces during our bloodiest war. … Ultimately his determination to preserve our nation, and our union cost him his life. For as long as we live, Americans will uphold and revere the immortal memory of President Abraham Lincoln.
Teddy Roosevelt exemplified the unbridled confidence of our national culture and identity. He saw the grandeur of America’s mission in the world, and he pursued it with overwhelming energy and zeal. As a lieutenant colonel during the Spanish American War, he led the famous rough riders to defeat the enemy at San Juan Hill. He cleaned up corruption as police commissioner of New York City then served as the governor of New York, vice president, and at 42 years old, became the youngest ever president of the United States. He sent our great new naval fleet around that world to announce America’s arrival as a world power. He gave us many of our national parks, including the Grand Canyon. He oversaw the construction of the all inspiring, Panama Canal, and he is the only person ever awarded both the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was American freedom personified. And for that the American people will never relinquish the bold, beautiful and untamed spirit of Theodore Roosevelt.
This is President Trump’s ‘A Time For Choosing’ speech.— Benny (@bennyjohnson) July 4, 2020
It is excellently written and executed .
This message will win 40 states in November. pic.twitter.com/C0n0NYJcFQ
WATCH: Fireworks explode above Mount Rushmore after Trump's speech at the 2020 Independence Day event in South Dakota pic.twitter.com/7cqHux8KvI— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) July 4, 2020
Crowds cheer as tow trucks move the disabled vans blocking the street to Pres. Trump’s speech at Mt. Rushmore: pic.twitter.com/cGwvylhmXq— Alex Salvi (@alexsalvinews) July 4, 2020
🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/cEvHcslNNF— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) July 4, 2020
🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/BdUqGWUNc3— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) July 4, 2020
Beneath the illuminated faces of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln, Pres Trump invoked the words of Dr Martin Luther King Jr., whom he says called on his fellow citizens not to tear down the American heritage but to live up to it. pic.twitter.com/976vpe3qbw— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) July 4, 2020
Beautiful capture of the Blue Angels flying over Mount Rushmore 🇺🇸pic.twitter.com/SbTN0KoVVs— Students For Trump (@TrumpStudents) July 4, 2020
“We believe in equal opportunity, equal justice, and equal treatment for citizens of every race, background, religion, and creed. Every child of every color, born and unborn, is made in the holy image of God.” -- @realDonaldTrump last night at Mount Rushmore pic.twitter.com/dIrwpZ2ngw— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) July 4, 2020