It shall be the policy of the executive branch to vigorously enforce Federal law’s robust protections for religious freedom. The Founders envisioned a Nation in which religious voices and views were integral to a vibrant public square, and in which religious people and institutions were free to practice their faith without fear of discrimination or retaliation by the Federal Government. For that reason, the United States Constitution enshrines and protects the fundamental right to religious liberty as Americans’ first freedom. Federal law protects the freedom of Americans and their organizations to exercise religion and participate fully in civic life without undue interference by the Federal Government. The executive branch will honor and enforce those protections.
So in a weird way, the fact that we have been so free-trade oriented historically actually impedes our ability to make new free-trade agreements. And that’s something that I don’t think is very well understood, so I think it would actually do your readers a very good service to point out to them that the fact that we have made so many unilateral concessions impedes having more free-trade agreements with other countries. It’s an oddity of the way that we’ve behaved in the past.
As we do that, one of the things that you recognize through a lot of the models here is you’re going to achieve greater economic growth. It’s something that we saw both following the tax cuts in the Kennedy administration and the Reagan administration. I think that we can achieve greater growth, economic prosperity and job creation under the plan that the President laid out.
Look at the way I’ve been treated lately — (laughter) — especially by the media. No politician in history — and I say this with great surety — has been treated worse or more unfairly. You can’t let them get you down. You can’t let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams. (Applause.) I guess that’s why I — thank you. I guess that’s why we won.
Look, I think it’s very hard to argue that a pastor or another faith leader shouldn’t be able to speak out about morality in the public square. I think that it would be almost like Martin Luther King, Jr. shouldn’t have been allowed to speak out against George Wallace. I don’t think anybody in this room would argue that that would be an appropriate thing to do, and that is what the Johnson Amendment currently does. And we see this as a hurdle to freedom of speech, and certainly something that should be protected.