Author: Martin Rakacolli
President Donald Trump appeared at a rally in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, on Thursday to commemorate the beginning of construction on the new Foxconn campus. After participating in a groundbreaking ceremony and taking a tour of the Foxconn Opus building, he gave a speech to a crowd of about 800 people.
The event was in large part a celebration of the Foxconn campus slated to be built in Mount Pleasant, a village near the city of Racine. The campus will include living quarters, resources for research, and a factory that will create LCDs. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said at the event that the campus would create 13,000 jobs and, through the project’s connections to other companies, positively impact people in 60 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. During Trump’s speech, the president said the project would create 15,000 jobs.
Trump’s speech was preceded by speeches from Foxconn chairman and CEO Terry Gou, Walker, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. All the speakers stressed the benefits of the Foxconn campus.
“Today is going to be exciting, but there is no doubt in any of our minds at how exciting the future is going to be now that Foxconn is joining Wisconsin’s economy,” said Kleefisch. She called the campus “Wisconn Valley,” a phrase that was repeated much later at the event by Gou.
“To Silicon Valley, to Boston, Wisconn Valley is coming,” said Gou during his speech.
The off-site groundbreaking ceremony was broadcasted to the assembled crowd at the Opus building. Walker, Trump, Gou and others dug into a patch of dirt, then headed to the Foxconn Opus building. After the groundbreaking, Walker warmed up the crowd at the Opus building, touting the benefits of the installation. After Walker came Ryan, who talked about the benefits of the policy changes he’d helped to enact. Gou was the last person to take the stage before Trump himself appeared. Gou talked about his personal history with the Midwest, where he got his start.
“There is an old saying: Don’t forget where your blessings come from,” Gou said. “If not for this opportunity… 44 years ago, I may not be here today.”
After Gou finished, Trump took the stage as “Hail to the Chief” played in the background. The following speech touched on many topics. He complimented Gou and Walker. He claimed that he’d picked the location for the Foxconn campus from a helicopter. He talked about his successes as a politician. “We’re passing so much legislation,” he said. He also incorrectly mentioned that Wisconsin had not been won by a Republican presidential candidate since Dwight Eisenhower (Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon both won the state).
He also took the time to defend his tariffs, and warned Harley Davidson—a motorcycle company that announced its plan to move some operations overseas in response to Trump’s tariffs—“Don’t get cute with us.”
He brought three people whose lives have been positively impacted by Foxconn onto the stage and let them speak. Near the end, he addressed the recent retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, calling him a great man and drawing applause when he promised to head back to the White House and pick a new Supreme Court justice.
“To Foxconn and to Terry Gou and to all the amazing Wisconsin workers with us today and all over the state, I want to wish you good luck and congratulations on truly one of the…eighth wonder I, I think we can say this is, we can say the eighth wonder of the world, this is the eighth wonder of the world,” Trump said in his closing remarks.
“This is something so special, so I want to just congratulate you all. You’re all very special people and a very special state.”
He thanked the crowd and Scott Walker, and left.