The era of economic surrender to foreign competitors is over, said President-Elect Donald Trump while speaking to a Pennsylvania crowd on Thursday night.
Trump said he will renegotiate trade deals and return jobs, especially mining and manufacturing jobs, to the Keystone State.
“This foolish guy, Josh Earnest. Having the right press secretary is so important. He can deliver a positive message and it sounds bad.”
“We’re going to lower our business tax, big league,” Trump told the crowd in Hershey, home of the chocolate company. “We’re going to have jobs come pouring back … We’re going to eliminate job-killing regulations, cancel many executive orders … and lift the restrictions on the production of American energy, including shale, oil, natural gas, and clean coal.”
Speaking to coal miners in the crowd, Trump said, “Get those shovels ready.”
Trump then blasted Middle Eastern foreign policy, saying the United States has spent trillions of dollars while the political situation there is worse. Meanwhile, “our airports are like third-world countries,” Trump said.
“We’re going to rebuild our country,” said Trump. “My administration will follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American.”
Trump said at the center of that policy would be a renegotiation of trade deals, including NAFTA. Since NAFTA passed in 1993, Pennsylvania has lost one-third of manufacturing jobs, he said.
Trump has been indirectly critical of President Obama’s administration during his post-election rallies, but after suggestions from the White House that Trump benefited from Russian hacking, Trump let loose.
Trump made clear he was a bit disappointed in how President Obama was handling the transition, particularly Josh Earnest, White House press secretary.
Earnest has been increasingly strident in suggesting Trump reveled in the Russian hacking, which embarrassed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton before Election Day.
“This foolish guy, Josh Earnest,” said Trump. “Having the right press secretary is so important. He can deliver a positive message and it sounds bad. He could say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, we have totally defeated ISIS.’ And it wouldn’t sound good. I have a feeling they won’t be saying it [about ISIS], but I know we will be saying it.”
The crowd then erupted.
Trump was rallying in Hershey to thank voters in the Keystone State, perhaps the most surprising state to vote for the Republican presidential candidate.
Pennsylvania has been part of every Republican presidential candidate’s equation, largely because of strong Republican areas in the middle of the state, and in the suburbs of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
But Republicans have not been able to win the state in almost three decades. The last Republican to win Pennsylvania had been George H. W. Bush in 1988.
Trump also sent signals that things would change as he ended his speech.
“Merry Christmas,” he said before he left the stage.