As the leader of the Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus, I had the honor of welcoming President Donald Trump to Minnesota at the airport last week. The steady rain did not dampen my excitement, but it did limit my greeting to simply thanking him for bringing his energy and message to our great state.

If I’d had more time with the president, I would have expanded on that simple thank you.

I would have thanked him first for following through on his promises — something very few leaders and politicians do these days.

Trump promised to roll back regulations that got in the way of job creation, and the result is thousands of jobs created here in Minnesota and across the country.

He promised to lower taxes on families and businesses, and his Tax Cuts and Jobs Act did just that — delivering tax relief to almost every family in Minnesota.

He promised to return choice to our health care system and get rid of the Obamacare individual mandate, and he did, while also protecting people with pre-existing conditions.

He promised to take on the immigration problem and, despite strong opposition from Democrats, has made great progress there.

Trump committed to protect Americans and Minnesotans working in mining, manufacturing, timber and on pipelines, and to make better trade deals, and he has.

He committed to defending our principles by nominating qualified judges to the U.S. Supreme Court who will uphold the rule of law, and he has delivered.

The contrast with Democrats nationally and the DFL here in Minnesota couldn’t be clearer.

Gov. Tim Walz recently announced his version of a “green new deal” that will make it much more expensive to own a Ford F-150 for the job site or an SUV for hockey practice. Democrats want a socialized medicine system that treats everyone like a number, pays doctors and nurses less, and eventually rations care. The left wants sex education in kindergarten, drag queens sexualizing story time at the library, and giving out high school diplomas for simply showing up rather than for demonstrating basic knowledge and skills.

While the policy agenda and accomplishments of President Trump are very popular in Minnesota, I do recognize that the way he articulates and delivers them may rub people the wrong way. It comes down to substance over style.

President Trump came to power in 2016 and almost won Minnesota because he is the right leader for the unique times we live in. Voters grew tired of politicians from both parties who said one thing but did another, or simply told us what we wanted to hear. Trump’s style, while discomforting to many, is a necessary part of his leadership. He uses humor, bravado and sometimes even outrageousness to push and challenge the status quo in Washington, D.C.

Contrast that with the hateful, disrespectful and lawless behavior we witnessed from Democrat-aligned groups outside Target Center during the rally. One sign read “Blue Lives Don’t F**king Matter.” A DFL state representative even joined the protesters and publicly urged the mayor to pull back the police who were working hard to keep everyone safe.

When it comes to the important issues faced by our country and state, do you want a leader who makes you feel good while our world-class economy, health care, jobs and education erode?

Or do you want a president who says what he means, does what he says, who keeps us strong and safe, and frankly isn’t very political about it? I’m choosing substance over style.


Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, is majority leader of the Minnesota Senate.