Fran Tarkenton, Former Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Speech at 2016 Republican National Convention
The greatest and most revered coaching legend of the National Football League is one Vince Lombardi, Italian-American, tough as nails.
In the 50s, he took over a broken Green Bay Packers football team and made it into a world championship team year after year.
As great as he was, he didn't always win. There’s a video that’s been out there for years. It tells the story. Lombardi, fists thrust in the pockets of his heavy wool coat, paces the Lambeau Field sideline, like a caged tiger.
That day, the Packers couldn’t seem to do anything right.
Suddenly Lombardi screams towards his players running off the field, “What the hell’s going on out here?”
Right now, I look around America, and I need to ask: What the hell’s going on here?
The most anemic recovery in modern history. And Washington? It’s broken for everybody – at least for everybody who doesn’t make their living inside the Beltway.
What the hell’s going on here?!
We are stuck, stuck in frustration, mired in anger and fear.
As quarterback, my mission was very simple: to make my teammates better.
Of course, I made a fortune playing football.
My rookie year in professional football, 1961, I was paid $12,500. So I had a second job every off-season.
As a small business owner, I feel connected to the millions of Americans in this vital sector of our economy.
And let’s look at the facts. Small business in America is the heart and soul of equal opportunity.
The facts are that 40 percent of the 530,000 start-ups each month are started by African Americans, Hispanics, or Asians.
Almost a third of small businesses in America are started by immigrants. And nearly 40 percent by women.
But the thing is, small businesses have been surviving not because of government policies, but in spite of them, especially these past eight years.
And practically no access to credit. So I ask: What the hell’s going on here? Imagine what could happen in our nation if 27 million job-creating enterprises were suddenly empowered and set free in every neighborhood, to grow and build, and contribute even more.
I believe it all comes down to leadership.
Whether it’s Vince Lombardi years ago or, Nick Saban of Alabama today, I can tell you in just five simple words what every great leader does.
A leader gets stuff done.
I’ve known Donald Trump for 48 years.
Like those other leaders I’ve known, he gets stuff done.
He is a builder.
He understands that teams win. Individuals don’t.
He builds great teams.
Donald Trump is a proven leader.
A team builder, Donald Trump knows how to get the best out of all people.
I’ve watched him succeed.
I’ve watched him fail.
I’ve watched him get back up. He never quits.
I believe Donald Trump can provide the leadership that will help us all make America great again.
Make it great for everyone.
Let’s go win this game together. Together, let’s go make America great again.
Thank you. Goodnight.