Rep. Jeff Van Drew’s full speech at the Republican National Convention

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Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who was a member of the Democratic Party until last year, spoke on the final night of the Republican National Convention on Aug. 27, 2020.


Good evening. My name is Jeff Van Drew. I speak to you as a member of the Republican Party, but it always wasn’t that way. How I became a Republican says a lot about today’s Democratic Party. I’m from South Jersey, where we work hard, look after our neighbors, and care about our communities. Years ago, I was a local dentist and was asked by the Democrats to run for a town council seat. I had my doubts and I explained that my views were middle of the road to conservative, but the local leaders said the Democratic Party was a big tent and that they accepted people like me. I was elected to council as a Democrat, but as I won seats for county office, state legislature, and then Congress, I noticed things were changing. The Democratic Party had become less accepting of American tradition, less believing in American exceptionalism, less supportive of traditional faith and family. This was not the party that I knew.

In 2018 after being elected to Congress as a Democrat, I was already uncomfortable with a San Francisco liberal running the House which is why my first vote in Congress was cast against Nancy Pelosi for speaker, but imagine how I felt after seeing members of The Squad quickly take control of the Democratic Party just weeks after being elected. The party had moved from liberal to radical. This new Democratic party wasn’t just for higher taxes. Now they were for open borders, against our police, and against our God-given rights. When the radical Democrats went after President Trump with impeachment, they made another mistake. Democratic leaders told me that I had to vote for impeachment or my life would be made difficult and I wouldn’t be allowed to run again. Listen, I’m from South Jersey, and you better come at me with more than just loud words and empty threats. I voted no on impeachment and it was an easy call.

Soon after, I met with President Trump, and he made me feel more comfortable and welcome in the Oval Office than Nancy Pelosi ever made me feel in her caucus and a few days later, I officially changed parties and I became a Republican. Let me tell you about Joe Biden. When the Democrats tried to order me around, I was ready, willing and able to say I’ve had enough with their radical socialist agenda. Do you really believe Joe Biden is ready, willing and most of all able to do the same? As Joe says, “Come on man.” Joe Biden is being told what to do by the radicals running my former party, the same radicals trying to install him as their puppet president. When I’m at my local diner, I tell people that America is the best nation in the world and that President Trump has helped make it that way. Republicans, Independents, and even Democrats, they all know that in President Trump’s America, we have a strong military, strong support for our police, strong support for our veterans, and strong support for our seniors. In President Trump’s America, we have a strong supply chain, good schools, we’re energy independent and we protect our environment.

There are a lot of Democrats who support our president and are disgusted for what their old party, what my old party, has become. Here’s my advice. Be true to who you are now, not who the Democrats used to be. That’s why I’m a proud Republican and why I will be voting for Donald Trump. Thank you, and may God bless you, God bless our president, and God bless the United States of America.

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