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State of State: Read full transcript of Gov. Jim Justice 2017 address

CHARLESTON, W.VA. —  West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice gave his  first State of the State Address to a joint meeting of the state Legislature Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Gov. Jim Justice

Below is a transcript and video of the speech:






(GOVERNOR JUSTICE, FEBRUARY 8, 2017) — Unless y’all are all wanting to be here all night, you got to quit this clapping so much.  That’s all there is to it.


Thank you so, so much.  Speaker Armstead, President Carmichael, members of the Board of Public Works, Justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals, Senate Minority Leader Prezioso.


How about that?  And I got that the first time.  Roman said I did pretty good with that. House Minority Leader Miley, and all our great legislators.  Tonight is a really important night,


You know, I want before we get into the meat and potatoes of what I have to say, I want to recognize a couple of people.  These four people came with our great Speaker Armstead.  These four people are principals that suffered through a 1,000-year flood.  You know, I firsthand know what the flood was all about, and it was beyond belief terrible.


I don’t know where they are, but if they can stand:  Mike Kelly, the Principal of Herbert Hoover; Missy Lovejoy, the Principal of Elkview Middle; Cindy Cummings, the Principal of Bridge Elementary; and Vanessa Brown, the principal of Clendenin Elementary.


Your courage goes way, way, way beyond being unnoticed.  You know, it took wisdom and strength and courage to some way, somehow, battle back.  We got a long ways to go.  But that’s what we do.


There’s another group here it’s called KVC Health Systems.  And there is a CEO that’s a national CEO.  His name is Jason Hooper.  And let me tell you what they’re doing.  They’re going to bring a college basically for foster kids to Montgomery.  A place that really needs us, needs our jobs, needs hope.  The great Gordon Gee of WVU have been terribly instrumental in this.  Wherever you are, Jason and your team, please stand as well.



Now, stay with me.  Isn’t this place reverent.  Hallowed ground.  Tonight I’m going to do the best in my ability to deliver a speech that I think is phenomenally important.  There is no question there’s been speech after speech delivered here.  I am telling you, I can’t possibly imagine that there is a time as dire and a time as important as tonight.


Now, let me tell you.  There is no question we’ve been fiftieth forevermore.  We’re better than that.  Now, like it or not like it, we’re dying fiftieth.  This is the most difficult and the biggest depression that we could ever possibly imagine.  The biggest of the biggest.


Now, let me tell you this.  On a little bit of light humor.  But there is a fellow, his name is Ricky Mokel.  He’s a comedian.  He said as a child he was hyper, and his dad gave him a shovel.  And he used to love to dig.  And he would dig and dig and dig and dig and dig and dig to the point in time where he couldn’t get out of the hole.  And then he said, “What’s the use?


There’s no point in digging anymore, is there?”


Well, he says it to be funny.  Because then he turned, and he said he and his dad had a password at that point in time.  And when he would get to where there was no way he could get out of the that hole, he would go:  Help!  Help!  And his dad would come and get him.


Well, trust me.  We got to quit digging. We are such in the hole that we got to quit digging.  We got to quit working against one another.  We’ve got to some way hold hands with each other and run across the finish line together.  We’ve got to have new ideas, and


I’ll get to those in just a few minutes. The other thing is just this.  You’ve honored me beyond belief.  You elected me as your Governor, a person that had never been a politician, in the wake of me running as a Democrat, at a time when Donald Trump won our state by 17,000 million percent.


Now, there had to be a reason.  And the reason is just this simple.  And if I make some people mad, I just make them mad.  But the people knew that it didn’t matter to me.  It didn’t matter to me if you were a Democrat or Republican, an independent, all that mattered to me was one thing.  And that was that you are West Virginians.  And I’m a West Virginia.  And I just want goodness for our state.  I’ve said it over and over and over.


Now, there will be somebody that will be on some witch hunt to try to beat on me about something.


But I want again to announce to the world in every way. I, nor my family, want anything from this other than goodness for you and our state. Now, let me tell you.  You’ve trusted me with your vote.  I absolutely need you now to trust me with your voice.  Now, you don’t see any teleprompter here.  You know, a lot of news media said, you know, he’s folksy.  I didn’t know that I knew how to spell that.


But there are sure no teleprompters.  But you see, my definition of that would be plain talk.  And that’s what I think West Virginians want to hear.


Now, the truth is, it’s time for gigantic decisions.  The past four years, no matter how hard we’ve tried, we’ve lived off Rainy Day.  And we’ve lived off the low-hanging fruit that we could cut away.  We have. We’ve cut probably $600 million of waste.  And we’ve cut the Rainy Day Fund into half.


Now, this year, right now, you’re going to have to cut the Rainy Day Fund 123 million more dollars. No way around it.  Right now.  What are you going to have?  500 million.  What are you going to do?  What you going to do?  You’re faced with a $500 million hole in the bucket.  And the next year is a $700 million hole in the bucket.  If you cut Rainy Day more, the rate holders, the people that create our rates for our bonds are going to torpedo us.


We’ve got issues.  We’ve got real problems.  So I want to tell you this.  I don’t mean this in any bad way, because I’m the one that signed up to run for Governor.  But we’ve got an 18 carat dog’s mess, don’t we?  We do.  I didn’t create the dog’s mess.  I have inherited the dog’s mess.  And I am telling you, you have to have real direction and real ideas and real cooperation together to be able to get out of this.


Now, there is two ways.  Two ways you can get there.  And you got to forgive me, I’m not nervous, but I just sweat a lot.  A lot.  And I got a bad knee, and man does it hurt.


But there’s two ways you can get out of it — or a combination of ways.  The first way is to just cut more.  Cut more.  Well, let me tell you just this.


Just think about this just for a second.  Are you willing — are you willing to eliminate all of our state parks?  Are you willing to eliminate all of your colleges and universities other than Marshall and WVU?  Shut them down?  Are you really willing to close our tracks, to not have dogs, and to not have horses?  Are you really truly willing to gut your seniors?  Are you willing to turn our backs on our vets?


I can’t get there.  I can’t get you there.


Because you know why?  Because at the end of what I’ve


just said, you’re halfway home.  What then are you going


to do?  What is West Virginia going to become?  A nuclear


waste site?  Is it going to become the place where our


nation sends all of its prisoners all of the time.  Are


we not better than that?


Now, let me give you just this scenario.


Here’s an analogy.  You got a factory.  We’re the


factory.  You’ve got a factory.  The factory has got a


$100 million in the bank.  The factory is $200 million


upset down.  Think about it.  How we going to fix it?


Here is what we can do.  Take the hundred


million away from the factory just like that.  We got a


hundred million dollars upside-down.  Then I tell you


what’s let’s do next.  Let’s cut 25 percent of the people


off.  And then I tell you what else let’s do.  Let’s cut


the wages of everybody else there by 20 percent.  And


you’re still not there.


So I tell you what let’s do, let’s sell 75


percent of the equipment out of the factory.  And then,


we in here will go home and say, “We did it.  We balanced


the budget.”  And you know what will happen?  The sun


will come up tomorrow, and we’ll say:  Holy horse,


whatever, the factory is dead.  The factory is gone.  So,


that’s where you are.


Now, I’m a business guy.  And I know this


stuff.  Now, let me just do this.  Let me just tell you


this.  I truly believe that any cuts that are out there


that somebody can bring me that’s not going to just


stifle us as a patient, I’m for.  I am delivering to you


$30 million worth of cuts.  It won’t hardly move the


needle.  I am telling you our decisions are not tough


decisions.  They’re catastrophic decisions.


Now, I really want you to pay close


attention, because I truly from the bottom of my heart


hate tax increases.  Hate them.  I really do.  But I want


to show you the most painless way that I think you can


get out of this mess.


Now I’m going to come around here and


write.  Here’s what you gotta do.  You gotta cut all that


we can possibly cut.  I’ve got to have everybody in this


state pay a half of a penny in additional sales tax.


There is no way around it.


I’ve got to have you pay instead of $30 in


DMV fees, I’ve got to have you pay 50.


The other thing is this, in trying to be


fair, in trying to just be fair.  The people are here.


Here is your people.  Here’s your people.  Here’s your


businesses.  I’ve got to have our businesses — there’s


lots of different ways to look at this — pay two


two-tenths of one percent in a tax that would be


equivalent to a B&O tax.  It is a tax that Ohio charges


25 percent — or 25 hundredths.  We would charge 20.


And the other last thing I will talk to


you about is I’ve got to have ten cents a gallon on




Now, I am telling you:  If you don’t do


this, you’re dead.  You’re dead beyond belief.


Now, let me go back over here and come


back — well, before I go, I’m going to stay with you a


second.  On these two right here, this one and this one,


I want to sunset them.  Three years.  I think if you do


what I am trying to propose to you to do, you can get rid


of this, and you can get rid of this in three years.


Now, this deals with your roads.  And this


does too.  Now, let me tell you this.  I said a minute


ago, I am adamantly against raising your taxes.  We have


got to find a way to not completely kill the patient.


Now, look what happens.  Three years, this


goes away.  Three years, this goes away.  I’ll tell you


about this in just one second.


I want to tell you one last thing.  My


goal — Jim Justice’s goal as your Governor — is to do


one thing, and that is to be the eighth state in this


country with no income tax.  None.



Now, that’s my goal.  I hate like crazy to


deliver to you what you have to do.  That’s my goal.


Now, remember, I said what I said about a


half a penny.  What would you rather do?  Would you


rather have your school plummeted even more.  Your


seniors just for gotten.  Your vets forgotten.  Your


parks closed.  Fairmont State shut down.  On and on and


on.  Or would you be willing as a peoples to say:  I’m


willing to pay a half penny more.  And I’m willing as a


business to step up and pay two-tents of one percent.


Because I love West Virginia.  And we’re going somewhere.


Now, listen here.  If you pay — if you


way ten cents more for gasoline, and a little bit more on


your DMV fees, that’s going to turn into this.  Here’s


what it’s going to do.  It will turn into $2.8 billion.


Now, just stay with me.  I have four


wonderful people back here.  And I want you to understand


wholeheartedly what your ten cents and almost nothing in


DMV fees — that haven’t been raised in 40 years — Think


about it.  Almost nothing.  I am asking you to do, to


turn into that.  And then let me show you what we can do.


Y’all bring this on down.



Now, with us tonight is


Kevin Coll, Andy Estep, Brooke Rumbaugh, and Cody Webb.


Brooke and Cody are students studying engineering at


Marshall and WVU.  And Andy and Kevin already work with


us in Highways.


If you’ll do this.  You see those jobs.


You see ’em?  We can let every single road job that is on


the books for one to three, and three to five years,


tomorrow.  We can let them all tomorrow.  Think what this


would do.  Just imagine what it will do.  I’ll tell you


what it will do.  It will create 48,000 jobs in our


state.  48,000 jobs.  It will complete the network that


we have got to do.  It will make you tourism explode in


this state.  Honest to Pete.  This is the 800-pound


gorilla in the room.  Not me.



Now, there’s two other things I want to


do.  And I’m going to sit because I’m sweating too much.


I want to bid every one of these road jobs


specifically labor intensive.  And you know what I want


to do from that?  I want it to be our training ground.  I


want it to be our apprenticeship program.  I want it to


be something that will absolutely put our displaced


miners that find a job here, or our young people that


learn how to do something here.  That’s an opportunity.


Now, let me tell you what else I want to


do.  For all the successful bidders, I want to charge


them a 5 percent construction severance, whatever tax


that may be, whatever you want to call it, to the


successful bidder only.  And my bet is, people, like me


in business, will sharpen your pencils like crazy and it


won’t cost us 5 percent.  It may cost us one.  And then


you know what I want to do?  I want to pool that money.


That money right there is $2.4 billion.  If I could let


every job tomorrow, it would amount to $120 million of a


5 percent pool that I would have.


And then you know what I want to do with


it?  I want to fix the drug problem.  If we don’t fix the


drug problem in this state, it will cannibalize you.



We have to have stiffer laws.  There’s no


question whatsoever, a drug pusher that rolls in here —


You guys can roll.


— a drug pusher that rolls in here from


Detroit and selling drugs, he ought to know that this is


not going to be a fun program if we catch him.  We


absolutely have to have a pathway to get our people that


are hooked on these terrible drugs back into the


community of the workforce.  We have to do something with


all the prescription drugs.  No question whatsoever about


that.  But we have to have treatment facilities too.


I would propose today if we do this, and


those dollars flow, I would propose immediately building


a facility in Charleston, one in the Eastern Panhandle,


and I know the veterans are waiting on the dollars to


come from the fireworks tax and everything to build their


facility in Beckley.  And I would like to skim off some


of this money to help them be able to get that facility





Let me go to education.  Guys, I’m a


coach.  I’m in the school all the time.  We’ve proven how


to be dead last.  If you had gone around me and had these


round table discussions and listened — just listened.


You see, that’s what I did.  And I just listened.  You got


a bunch of really, really sad unhappy campers.  So I


think we need gigantic education reform.

Here’s what I would do.  I would submit a


bill, and I will immediately, to eliminate any of the


unnecessary bureaucracies that we have.  We have got to


return education back as much as we possibly can to a


local level.  I have put in my budget a 2 percent raise


for all classroom teachers, and I am ashamed —



— I’m ashamed that we can’t do more.


Now, as far as testing, we are testing our kids t-totally


to death.  For what?  I mean, here’s the bottom line.


Think about it.  If we were knocking it out of the


park — you see, I’m all results oriented.  If we were


knocking it out of the park, you could argue with me


we’re doing the right thing.  But for crying out loud,


we’re dead last.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to


figure this out.  We got to be doing something wrong.


That’s all there is to it.  As far as the testing goes, I


am going to propose we throw Smarter Balance in the trash


can and we go to ACT testing.



Let me show you this.  Think about A


through F for our schools.  We do it on a bell curve.


Think about this.  Who in the world comes up with this


stuff?  These get an A.  These get an F.  All the big


meat and potatoes get a C.  And we call out to the world


and say:  Come to West Virginia.  Our schools are mostly


all C’s.


I don’t get it.  That’s got to go.  A


through F is gone.



Now, there is a beautiful lady here


somewhere.  Her name is Toni Poling.  She’s our Teacher


of the Year.  If she would stand.  She teaches at


Fairmont Senior.



Now, also, wherever they are, the


beautiful lady Leah Curry, who is the West Virginia


President of Toyota; and the gentleman, Jim Fawcett of


Highmark is here somewhere, that made all that possible


as well.  Thank you.



Let me tell you.  I said throughout the


campaign, I said, education can be a revenue producer for


us, and everybody looks at me:  How in the world?


There’s no way.  There’s no way.


Everybody wants to go where your kids are


going to be educated the best.  Businesses want to go


where your kids are going to be educated the best.  We’ve


got good teachers.  We’ve got low crime.  We’ve got good


people.  For crying out loud, we handcuff them every way


coming and going.  We got to stop that.  And listen here.


Maybe it’s a twist of words on revenue producers, but if


we could create an education mecca in West Virginia,


honest to Pete, people would come and you couldn’t beat


them away.  It would be a revenue producer.


Now, I have to say:  Jim Justice is no fan


of consolidation.



Again, I’ll just tell you this.  And I’ll


ask you:  Are we this bad?  Are we this desperate.  You


know, tell you what we could do.  We could close every


school in the state to save us some money, except we


could have one.  And we could have just one somewhere


close to Charleston.  And we’ll bus every kid four hours,


no more than four hours one way.


We’re not that bad.  We just have to have


ideas.  And we’ve got to have hope.  Now, I truly mean


this.  One of the flood ravaged towns that I truly


believe is coming back, and I can see it just like I can


see it tomorrow:  I hope and pray that we end up with a


school in Richwood.



Now, let me tell you this.  Our veterans


are phenomenally important.  They’ve given everything to


us, haven’t they?  Everything.  Do we really take care of


them?  I mean, for crying out loud, we can’t even


maintain their cemetery.  We’ve got to do better.  We


have to do better.


Now, I’ll be asking the Legislature to


approve the increasing of our GARVEE capacity.  And this


one — before you go, “Oh, no,” I want you to listen.


I’ll be asking the Legislature to raise our tolls on the


turnpike a dollar.


Now, before you go crazy shooting at me,


let me just say this.  I want — I want, through your DMV


fees, I want to charge everybody within our state eight


bucks.  Eight dollars.  Then I want you to drive on the


turnpike or whatever road that we would choose to toll


for free.  So I want you to pay eight bucks, and I want


you to drive on our turnpike, wherever it may be, for


free.  Or whatever road we toll for free.  You see,


77 percent of our money is coming from out of state.  If


we could raise it and make yours as West Virginians free,


other than eight bucks — now you may live in the Eastern


Panhandle and I would say to you:  We need you to come


and visit Princeton some point in time.


Now, if you come, for your eight bucks,


we’re going to give you a 50 percent discount on the


tolls.  Because you’re going to pay nothing.  And by the


time you go through $3-$3-$3-$3-$3-$3 you’re going to feel like


you got a real bargain.



And I’ll tell you just this.  Did you see


all those highways?  Did you see all that?  Well, I will


promise you there will be something that will be in your


neighborhood that will be tolled as well.  As we go


forward there’s going to have to be something in your


neighborhood that will be tolled.  And then the people


from Princeton can come and visit you.  And they can come


for free too.




Now, I truly believe that we ought to tier


our severance tax on coal and gas.  You know, it’s just


this simple.  And our coal companies are really hurting.


And I know a lot about this.  When they’re really


hurting, we got to step up and help them.  And at that


point in time, we probably have to step up and lower the


severance tax.  The same way with the gas.


But I am telling you, I am not a hog.  I


eat too much, but I’m not a hog.  If we have the bonanza


that I think is in front of us with coal — especially


metallurgical coals — what if?  What if I were to tell


you, just this:  Think about this for a second.  If


coal — if coal is $35, whoever is mining that is losing


money.  Lowering the severance tax on that to 2 percent,


or whatever you want to do, okay, I’m good.  There’s got


to be a sweet spot to where we’re back to five.


What if it goes to $200 a ton?  What


happens?  Two hundred dollars.  I know this.  There’s no


way that your cost — anybody’s cost — is going to be


greater than $80.  At this level right here, anybody’s


profit is $120 a ton.


Listen.  I’m a grain of sand in the coal


business that I’ve been in.  A grain of sand.  And if we


mine 2 million tons and we make this kind of money, we


make $240 million in a year.  We don’t need to make that


much money.  At this point in time right here, this


severance tax needs to be 10 percent.  All it would do is


lower the profitability to $110 a ton.


All I’m saying is just this:  Like it, or


not like it, we have had our resources extracted from


West Virginia over and over and over, and at the end of


the rainbow, here we stand.  We’re $500 million


upside-down.  We can’t have it keep going on.  We can’t


be a third-world country.  You can’t do that.


Now, tourism.  Tourism is so important to


our state.  We can knock it out of the park, back double


triple.  We probably need to reorganize the entire


Tourism Department.  There’s ways to do that.  And the


other thing you just got to simply put more money in it.


We better find a way to market ourselves.  I said it a


million times.  I said it in the inaugural speech.  For


crying out loud, every time you turn the TV on it says:


Come to Michigan.  Every time.  I said in the inaugural


address, I said:  Who in the world wants to go to


Michigan?  I mean, really?  You know, what if I called up


tomorrow and said, I tell you what let’s do, let’s get a


bus and let’s go to Detroit.


But do we market us?  We don’t.  We don’t.


We got to do that.


Now, let me tell you — and I’ll be quick,


because I know you’re tired of listening to me.  Coal has


been so vital to us.  It’s been unbelievable.  We should


never forget who brung us to the dance.  We should try


with all our soul, with all in us, to try to help get our


miners back to work.



There are other things.  Natural gas just


fell out of the sky on us, didn’t it?  We need to do


everything we can to exploit that to make it even better


and better and better and better.  You know, there’s


issues within natural gas.  I think it’s called joint


development, or lease integration, that they really want.


And I can’t possibly within me see:  Why not?  What’s


wrong with that?  Why not?


Now, we can help that industry.  Listen to


me on this.  There are other things.  I will be


submitting with Senator Capito and Senator Manchin


immediately — and I think that there’s a real shot — I


will be submitting whatever the form of a bill may be to


some way, somehow, try to drive furniture manufacturing,


flooring manufacturing, cabinetry, back right in our lap


to West Virginia.



It can truly be done.  We’ve got to do it


through an environmental subsidy.  That’s what has to be


done.  You see I’m the agronomy end of our agriculture


stuff.  I know about trees.  I know about how they eat


all the carbon.  And I know how when we take a piece of


wood like this to a dry kiln, the carbon is right here.


And I know when the tree falls on the ground and


eventually the carbon will be released back in the sky,


especially if you have a fire.  And I know we only cut


one-third of our growth in West Virginia.


We are the perfect candidate for what


President Trump wants to do in bringing manufacturing


back to the United States, that today —



— today all of our furniture


manufacturing is in Vietnam, China and Mexico.  I love


Vietnam China and Mexico.  From a distance.  I want stuff


for us.


Now, I got to say this about President


Trump.  Many of you would wonder, but I am really good


friends with the Trump family.  And I truly believe that


Donald Trump will do all he possibly can as our president


to help West Virginians.  He will.  He’s called me all


kinds of times, and his son Eric has called all kinds of


times, and now Don is probably going come and want to


come and go turkey hunting with me.




Not Donald.  Because Donald is not a


turkey hunter.  But let me tell you.  He truly — he


truly, really identified with our miners.  And he


understands the blight.  And he’s a friend.  If we give


him a chance, he’ll really try to help us.


Now, as we’re winding down here, I would


say there are certain things within government


consolidation that we can do.  There’s no question.  I


get it, I get it, I get it.  We need to watch every penny


to try to save every dollar, on and on and on.  I mean,


I’ve already started this.  And for crying out loud, I


drive my own vehicle.  We eliminated all the vehicles in


my little world.  You know, we’re going to try to get rid


of some of the state’s aircraft.  We’re absolutely —


Right now, we’ve identified 207 vehicles that we can


basically get rid of.  And what I want to do is line them


up in front of the Capitol and have an auction and get


rid of them.




We can’t forget agriculture.


Agriculture — let me tell you.  Furniture manufacturing.


It can help us.  It may be two years away.  Agriculture


can help us.  It may be two years away.  That’s why I


said a little while ago, that 800-pound gorilla is


setting right in your face right now.


When I bond that together, the gas tax and


the DMV fees, I’ve got to go to a vote.  A vote of the


people.  I’ve got to have 90 days after you approve it to


go to a vote.  I am begging the people to call you and


drive you crazy to get to that vote.  Because we have to


do that.  We’ve got to do that and do that right now.


Now, and I believe — and I will do this


immediately, I will employ some person — gosh, I can’t


imagine being called this, a Waste Czar.  But I’ll have


him absolutely dig into every agency known to man and try


to find any excess monies that have been shoved away and


hidden.  And I’ll have him look.  And I’ll have him try


to find.


Now, let me just give you my philosophy of


our regulatory agencies.  My philosophy is just this.


You know, I’ve had the great gift to be able to hire so


many good people.  Our cabinet choices and the people


we’ve surrounded ourselves with, we didn’t care if they


were republicans or democrats, independents.  They’re


real good.  They’re really good.  I told the people at


the DMV, I told Austin Caperton — Austin said to me, he


said:  What do you really want to see happen?  The list


could be a mile long, couldn’t it.  A lot of people would


say to Jim Justice:  Jim, write a job description of what


you do.


Well, I could write and write and write,


couldn’t I?  But the bottom line is just this.  The right


person for the right job and they’re motivated.  That’s


what Jim Justice does.  Right person, right job, and


they’re motivated.


I told Austin Caperton, I said, Austin, we


have people coming from everywhere with any kind of


business request under the sun.  A lot of times our


inspectors show up, and they show up — and I hate to say


this, because you’re going to probably think, boy, has he


really lost it now, but they show up with a T-shirt on


and a pair of old jeans.  They maybe haven’t shaved


forever.  And they got a badge in their pocket.


Now, listen, I think they ought to look


like something.  And the other thing —



— and they will look like something, or


we’ll have them tending to Grisly Adams.


But the other thing is just this.  No


matter what the request may be, I think that the first


words out of their mouths should be:  We’re going to try


with all in us to do what you want to do.


Now, did you understand what I said?  What


I said is just this.  So many times our regulatory


agencies absolutely, no matter what on earth we try to


do, they’re there to tell you no.  They’re not there to


tell us no.


Now, I underline — underline, underline,


underline — nobody loves the outdoors as much as me.


Nobody loves water as much as me.  We’re not going to


break the law.  We’re got going to do anything to damage


the environment to the very best of our abilities.  Or


our waters.  But we are not going to just say no.



Now, let me end — and you’re saying thank


God — let me end by just saying this.  Please, not only


you, all the viewers that are out there, listen to me.


This situation is beyond dire.  These people are trying.


I’ve had the great opportunity to meet with Mitch and Tim


and others, and all kinds of — Roman and the other Tim,


and on and on and on.  Good people.  They’re good.


They’re good people.  And they want to try to help, just


like I want to try to help.  But I am telling you to the


best that Jim Justice could possibly tell you, you


elected me to try to get us out of Ricky Mokel’s hole.


That’s what you elected me to do.  New ideas.  Aggressive


ideas.  Bold ideas.


We’re dying.  We are dying.  It is so


bloomin’ bad, you can’t possibly imagine it.  Now,


there’s a way out.  There’s real prosperity in front of


us.  There’s a way out.


I would tell you, a long, long time ago,


Frankenstein, he used to walk through the streets like


“boom, boom,” and I always thought, if you got caught by


Frankenstein, you deserve to die.




Now, I would tell you just this.  If we


don’t do anything, and all we do is kick the can down the


road, and all we do is fight, then we deserve to die.



I really believe there’s a rocket ship


ride right at our fingerprints.  A ride like you cannot


possibly imagine.  I would say to you:  Let’s don’t just


try to figure out how to just get by.  Let’s cannonball


right in the middle of the pool.  We can do this.  We


absolutely can do it.


Now, I would say to the outside world:


Call all your legislators.  Call all your in-laws and


your outlaws and your neighbors.  Call them all.  This is


a pathway.  I’ve given you a real pathway.  And I hope


that you’ll seriously consider it.


Now, it was folksy.  It was just plain


talk.  That’s all I know.  We have an incredible,


incredible obligation and an unbelievable opportunity.


Now I would say with all these great people, all of you,


together, with this great body, you can have my heart and


soul.  I will work with you with every ounce of being


that I have.  Together, this great body and myself — and


this isn’t a very great body — but all of us will get




Now, let me tell you just this and then


I’ll end.  My basketball teams, a lot of times they say


two words coming out on the floor.  And they scream them.


And do you know the other night Tom Brady led a comeback


that was unbelievable, didn’t he?  Unbelievable.  No one


could have possibly imagined it.  And you know what he


did?  He took the Super Bowl trophy — I watched him do


this — he stood on that podium and he screamed, “Let’s


go!”  After he had won.


Well, I’d say to you:  Let’s go!


God bless you all.  Thank you.​

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