Trump tells House GOP: 'The best is yet to come'

BALTIMORE — President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump Organization to pay Scotland 0K in legal fees over wind farm fight: report House Republicans prepare for Wednesday with mock impeachment hearing Trump's Hollywood Walk of Fame star vandalized with spray paint MORE on Thursday assured GOP lawmakers "the best is yet to come," touting the party's policy wins and recent successes in special elections before taking aim at progressives, Democratic presidential candidates and the media during his address at the House GOP retreat in Baltimore.

After roughly an hour delay, Trump was met by an enthusiastic crowd as he entered the room to “God Bless the USA,” with lawmakers and staff chanting “four more years.”

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"Winning is a good thing, isn't it?" he asked as he kicked off the speech, thanking House GOP leadership and giving a shout out to members-elect Dan Bishop and Greg Murphy, who won their special elections in North Carolina on Tuesday.  

His enthusiasm over the wins in North Carolina came on the heels of a slew of retirement announcements by GOP House members, a significant challenge Republicans face during the next election cycle.

In his speech, which took place during the Democratic presidential primary debate, Trump blasted progressive firebrand freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSanders 'very concerned about what appears to be a coup' in Bolivia Trump celebrates resignation of Bolivia's president Sanders touts big crowds in Iowa rallies with Ocasio-Cortez MORE (D-N.Y.) before taking aim at his potential opponents in the 2020 presidential race and their policies.

“I hit Pocahontas too early — I thought she was gone, she has emerged on the ashes and now it looks like she could beat sleepy Joe,” he said. 

He accused Democrats of embracing “radical socialism and open borders,” adding he believes Republicans will need work to prevent the plans from coming into fruition.

Trump went on to pledge his commitment to building a border wall, telling the crowd he plans to have 500 additional miles built by the end of next year. 

The president highlighted Republican wins over the course of the past three years, praising the work of leadership on the tax bill, Veterans Affairs reforms and deregulation. He said he plans to announce another middle-class tax cut next year.  

“Over the past two-and-a-half years we have already delivered unprecedented progress for citizens of every background and walk of life,” he said. “Now we must go directly to the American people to share the story of what we have achieved and to explain our bold vision for the future.”

The president then applauded the strength of the economy while taking a dig at the press, adding he feels the United States is winning the trade war with China and vowing to achieve stronger trade deals. 

“The combination of everything worked because we probably have right now the strongest economy in the history of our nation,” he told the room. “And what the media is trying — they want a recession so badly."

His speech marks his first time in Baltimore since his  incendiary remarks about the city in July — which he made and doubled down on while feuding with House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsMaya Rockeymoore Cummings, Elijah Cummings's widow, will run for his House seat Former NAACP president to run for Cummings's House seat Elijah Cummings's widow 'thinking carefully' about running for his old seat MORE (D-Md.) — when he referred to the city as a “living hell" and a "disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess” on Twitter. 

“We are going to fight for the future of cities like Baltimore that have been destroyed by decades of failed and corrupt rule,” he said. “The left-wing agenda of total government domination, crushing regulation, crippling taxes, unrestricted migration, and — I mean — think of this — it is undermining all law enforcement, they undermine law enforcement, and they devastate America's inner cities.” 

Trump went on to discuss party values, adding he believes they have revived enthusiasm for the Republican party. 

“We believe that there is no treasure on earth more valuable than our American citizenship. We believe that children should be taught to love our country, honor our history, cherish our heroes, and always respect our great American flag. These are the values that unite us tonight. These are the values that bind our country,” he said.  

"These are the values the American people share deep in their souls. And these are the values that Republicans will champion all across the land. And that is what is happening, and that is why people love what you are doing. That is why people are loving the Republican party again.” 

Trump concluded his speech by telling the crowd “the best is yet to come.” 

“We will make America stronger and safer and prouder and greater than ever before. You are a terrific group, and I know almost all of you — I like most of you, I know all of you," he said with a laugh. 

Now, you are a terrific group, and I think we are going to have a terrific long time together. [House Minority Leader' Kevin [McCarthy] (R-Calif.) and everybody, I want to thank you. This was an incredible evening. Thank you very much."