President Trump Presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Roger Penske


The President:
Thank you very much. It’s a very special day. I am delighted to present
our nation’s highest civilian honor to a giant
of American industry, entrepreneurship, and auto
racing: The legendary Roger Penske. Roger, I want to
congratulate you in receiving the Presidential
Medal of Freedom. Incredible. (applause) Thank
you, Kathryn. With us today is Vice
President Mike Pence and many terrific members
of my Cabinet. Thank you all
for being here. I appreciate it. They’re all
fans of Roger’s. And most importantly
with us is Kathryn. And you’ve been married
for a couple of years. Do you want to
give the number? I know what the number is,
but I refuse to give it. Go ahead. Mr. Penske:
Forty-six years. The President:
Forty-six years. That’s pretty amazing. And you look at the
conditioning and — you’re doing something
right, both of you. Right? And it’s been a beautiful
marriage, I know that, for a long time. Roger was born in Shaker
Heights, Ohio, in 1937. The son of a successful
businessman, Roger learned the value of hard work
at a very young age. At the age of 14, he
attended his first Indianapolis 500. At 15, he bought his first
car with money saved from his newspaper route. As a teenager, Roger spent
his free time taking apart engines and repairing
the old wrecks. He obviously learned
right from the start. He knew what he was doing. In 1955, he attended
Lehigh University, where he studied business
administration and started racing in the Sports
Car Club of America. Roger quickly demonstrated
exceptional talent for racing cars. Over the next few years,
he was named Sports Car Driver of the Year by
Sports Illustrated and North American Driver of
the Year by the New York Times and the LA Times. He also became the only
person to win the SCCA’s President’s Cup three
times — an astonishing feat, rarely equaled. After 55 victories in the
top racing series of his time, Roger ended his
career as a driver in 1965. You know, I didn’t know
you were that great a driver. I knew you were really
great at other things, like winning the Indy 500,
but I had no idea he was that good a driver. See? What do I know? Right? That’s pretty
amazing, actually. But he ended his career as
a driver in 1965 to run a Chevrolet dealership
in Philadelphia. He rapidly succeeded in
the auto business and returned to the racing
world in 1966 with the creation of Team Penske. Who would have thought
what that would have meant? Who would have known what
was going to happen? The new team exemplified
professionalism, dedication, and discipline
in everything it did. Penske quickly became
known for immaculately clean cars — of great
colors, I might add; the colors are incredible;
scrubbed wheels; waxed garage floors; and
excellence on the asphalt. The team earned the
reputation of “Penske Perfect” and soon built
an unrivaled brand in the world of racing. Team Penske’s drivers form
a roster of racing legends — from Mark Donohue, who
delivered Team Penske its first Indianapolis 500
win, to Al Unser and Rick Mears, who are tied
for the most Indy 500 victories in history. There was Danny Sullivan
and his unbelievable 1985 “spin and win”; Rusty
Wallace who made Team Penske’s presence known
in NASCAR; and the iconic three-time Indy 500
winner, Helio Castroneves. I recently hosted Team
Penske’s newest champions, Joey Logano and Simey —
Simon Pagenaud, who is a terrific guy. They were here just
recently; I guess that was for — it was for a big
moment, because we’re going to tell you that
story — at the White House after their
victories in the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series and the
2019 Indianapolis 500. But Roger was here just
before his 18th Indy win. And he was here, being
honored, for what he’s done with NASCAR
in the Cup Series. And I just looked at him,
I said, “How many times have you won the
Indianapolis 500?” Because I know
how hard it is. It’s very hard. Japan, Germany, all of
these countries — Italy, they all spend hundreds of
millions of dollars a year trying to win. I said, “How many
times have you won?” He said, “17.” I said,
“You got to be kidding. Seventeen?” I knew it was
a lot, but 17. And I said, “That’s
great.” I shook his hand. That was the end of it. He has been a friend of
mine for a long time, by the way. We go a long way back. I refuse to say how far. Right, Roger? But we go a long way back. But I said, “So,
you won 17 times? That’s great.” And
that was the end. And then, about two
months later, I had the television on, it’s the
Indianapolis 500, and Simon is doing good, but
then he’s in second and first and back and forth. And it ends up he wins
by about two inches. And it was an incredible
race, and with an incredible driver
and a beautiful car. And it’s, “Roger Penske
won.” So I said, “Wait a minute. He told me 17 times. And now this is the 18th
time.” And I called him at the track. And I was watching
him on television. He takes the phone out. He’s talking to me. I said, “You think you can
get…” — these operators in the White House,
they’re unbelievable, John. They’re, like,
unbelievable. I said, “Do you think you
can get Roger Penske? He won the Indianapolis
500 about two seconds ago.” And — Edwin, he
said, “No problem, sir.” He had him on the phone,
like, 30 seconds later. And I’m watching him, the
car is pulling in, and I congratulated Roger. And I thought to myself,
it’s an incredible achievement because I know
how hard other countries — not just people, but
countries — they can’t win it. They spend hundreds of
millions of dollars. New technology,
new engines. One engine is fast,
but it breaks down. One engine is slow,
but it’s reliable. This guy keeps winning. So, to do that,
was incredible. So I said, “I think we
have to give him the Presidential Medal. It’s the greatest medal
there is, except for, as you know, the
Congressional Medal of Honor. And they’re on a par. One is for military,
one is for civilian. But I just thought it
was an incredible thing. I just leave him
— he’s up to 17. And now I turn on again,
and he’s winning again. And I know what it takes
to win and — to win in that league, because
it is very, very tough. And that’s in addition
to all of the NASCAR victories he’s had. So all of these
exceptional racers were part of a team of
professionals that never stopped working to
achieve perfection. And it’s really that. Every member of Team
Penske would admit they could not have done it
without the man that they call, very affectionately,
“the Captain.” He’s the captain. No detail is too small or
effort too great for Roger in his relentless pursuit
— and he is relentless, I can tell you that — of
the competitive edge. In 1993, he started
building an engine he would later describe as “a
rocket.” He worked with a small team of engineers
for months in total secrecy. Didn’t want to
talk to anybody. Wouldn’t let anybody out. Lucky he didn’t work at
the White House; he’d have leaks. He would have had leak. That engine would have
been built long before you said, “What happened?” Not only the White House,
all of Washington. He decided not to
do it in Washington. That was a good move. The incredible pushrod
engine — still existing or not? The push- — no good? Mr. Penske: No longer. The President: They have
better than that now. That was old stuff, right? Mr. Penske: Right. The President: The pushrod
engine he developed became known as “the Beast”
and delivered over 150 horsepower more than
the competition. Team Penske roared to
victory at the 1994 Indianapolis 500, leading
193 out of 200 laps. Incredible. In total, Team Penske
has won nearly 550 major races, 35 national
championships, two Daytona 500s, 18
Indianapolis 500s. I think that’s just an
incredible achievement. Eighteen
Indianapolis 500s. And secured over
600 pole positions. In other words, he
knows what he’s doing. Incredibly, Team Penske
won more than one out every three Indy 500 championships in which he competed. So every third year,
he’d win, essentially. It’s not even conceivable
when you see all of the tremendous talent, money,
rich people, rich men, rich countries with
a lot of talent. They can’t beat him. For nearly five decades,
it has dominated the greatest spectacle in
racing, and in recent years, has become a
growing force in NASCAR, where I really got to
realize how many times he’s won not only
NASCAR, but Indy. Roger has been inducted
into the Motorsports Hall of Fame, NASCAR Hall of
Fame, and Automotive Hall of Fame. He’s built a team and a
legacy that will endure forever. I mean, frankly, they’ll
be — nobody will ever be able to challenge this. I don’t care what they do,
how good they are, there are some things
you can’t do. And it will ensure forever
in the history of racing and in the history
of sports, I think. Roger is also one of
the most successful businessmen I America. He started with a single
dealership and today runs an automobile and
automotive empire that employs 64,000 people at
over 3,600 locations with annual revenues of
over $30 billion. That’s fantastic. I still think 18
Indianapolis 500s is more incredible, but
that’s okay. That’s okay. But that’s really
incredible what you’ve done in business. He’s rescued countless
struggling business ventures — I remember
when he did it — like the Detroit Diesel Division
of General Motors. You bought that one for
a song, I remember, huh? Which was something with
a lot potential, but they didn’t know what
they were doing. He didn’t say that; I did. Where he increased the
company’s heavy-duty engine market share from 3
percent to 30 percent very quickly. Roger is a dedicated
philanthropist who has worked tirelessly to get
the Motor City back on its feet. He’s chaired the Downtown
Detroit Partnership and the host committee for
the 2006 Super Bowl. When the city needed
emergency vehicles, Roger organized business and
business leaders, and they really did a
fantastic job. They purchased 100
police cruisers and 23 ambulances. He helped save the Detroit
Institute of Arts with a $10 million donation and
created the Roger Penske Detroit Fund to support
the city’s homeless population. Roger, from racing to
business to philanthropy, you have moved from one
great victory to another. You’re a very
unique person. I know you for
a long time. You’re a very unique
person and truly a great champion and
truly a winner. No matter what you
do, it turns to gold. You are a legend in the
speedway and you’re a legend in business, and
your name is revered everywhere the checkered
flag flies and beyond that. So I will now ask the
military aide, as soon as Roger is going to say a
couple of words, and I’ll ask the military aide to
forward — step forward and present the
Presidential Medal of Freedom to a legend in
so many ways and a great friend of mine,
Sir Roger Penske. Thank you. (applause) Mr. Penske:
Thank you, Mr. President. It’s a wonderful honor
to receive this award. It’s amazing to
be here today. And thank you, Vice
President Pence, you know, for you being here in
your busy schedule. You know, it’s amazing —
you know, many years ago, my mother and father
invested in me and told me the love and passion
of our great country. And to think that I’m
standing here today in the Oval Office with the
President and the Vice President, and all of you
here today, and especially my family, to receive this
wonderful award, it’s just hard to believe that
that would happen. As we all know, people
make a team and people make power. And I think the great
thing — and I’ve had the opportunities to do is
to surround me with the talented individuals
in my business. And we built Penske
Corporation over many years, and to see the
success is really due to our people. Motorsports has been the
common thread through our business for many years. In fact, it helped
us build our brand. Think about 18
Indianapolis 500s and also the many championships. But guess what? That was the
power of the team. The 64,000 people that
worked for us on a worldwide basis in five
continents and nine countries, these are the
people that I need to thank today, because if
they hadn’t done their work, I wouldn’t
be here today. As we think about things
that we’ve been able to do in supporting the
communities where we work and where we live, in
2006, I was the Super Bowl Chairman in Detroit
— Super Bowl 40. This was an opportunity
for me, as an individual, to get the public and
private sector together to start developing a plan
for the renaissance of the city of Detroit. If you think of that
today, it’s called almost a “model city,” 13 years
later, when you think about Detroit. It is the automotive
capital of the world. As we go forward together
as a nation, the innovation and technology
that will come out of Detroit will be amazing. Thinking about my family
and thinking about support, my wife Kathy,
here today, of 46 years, has been my support —
really, my support staff for so many years. She’s walked this long
river for me and along this walk for many years. And I want to thank her
personally for the love and support of my family
that’s here today — our 13 grandchildren. Her love and passion
has been so special. And to think that I’m
here today with my five children, their spouses,
my brother and his wife, is amazing. And, to me, this is a
very, very special time. I really want to thank
the President for this prestigious honor. Receiving the Presidential
Medal of Freedom really is something special. And, to me, it means more
than any business success or motorsports trophy. I also want to
thank the men and women in our armed forces. They’re the real heroes
and the backbone of our country. I want to thank them. Vice President Pence,
Mr. President, thank you for this honor. (applause) Military
Aide: Roger S. Penske has led a life
worthy of example as an accomplished businessman
and humanitarian. Guided by his father’s
favorite phrase, “Effort equals results,” he
created and built Team Penske into the most
successful motorsports group in history. Off the track, Mr. Penske
built his first car dealership into the
Penske companies — great American businesses that
also make their vehicles available to bring crucial
supplies to people in need. Roger Penske’s passion and
unrelenting drive have established him as an icon
of sports and business. America is proud
to honor him. (The Presidential Medal
of Freedom is presented.) (applause) The President:
Thank you very much, everyone. Very much appreciate it. Thank you. The President: Thank you very much, everybody. The Press: Are you going to the World Series, Mr. President? The President: Yes. The Press: Yes? You are
going to the World Series? The President: On Sunday. The Press: Are you going to
throw out the first pitch? The President: I don’t know.
They’re going to have to dress me up in a lot of heavy armor.
I’ll look too heavy. (laughter) I don’t like that.

100 thoughts on “President Trump Presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Roger Penske

  • It's almost like tupac came back 4rm the dead to give his statement on donald trump😱https://youtu.be/GL-ZoNhUFmc

  • When politicians talk about "diversity," what they always mean is "fewer White people."
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    Diversity means chasing down every last White person.
    Diversity is a codeword for White genocide.
    Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White.

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  • Во Имя БОГА, Любимого. Хвала БОГУ, Господу миров. Милостив и Милосерден ОН. БОГ один, не ровняйте ЕМУ никого. Бойтесь БОГА, повинуйтесь Мне Пророку. Никакой вельможа не возьмет на себя, ваш грех неповиновения Мне, Послу БОГА. Жители Земли должны повиноваться только Мне. Свергните мешающих вам следовать Слову БОГА.

    БОГ Велик, Мудр. ОН непременно испытает всех и примет Решение, от которого заскулят нечисть. Не торопите, будут Знамения гнущие шеи зарвавшихся подонков. Наступит назначенный Час, ни одно племя не смогло увернуться от расплаты. БОГ победит, а пламя Ада ждет своих чертей. Пророк Камил.

  • Ayyye trump should convert over to the versace store that louis vuitton no good
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  • If you combine all these jams together i think we just might be able to ressurect tupac once & for all
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  • you should join
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  • Go Penske! That guy is one hell of a driver. Congratulations to him and his family. Additionally, Please consider Mike Tyson for a medal. Honestly after all that guy's been through, he deserves it… Thank you. MAGA! KAG!! KEK!!!

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  • Freedom 🥰 ! Maybe now since President Trump real hero of her well-deserved distinction ! Great Job 😍 ! MAGA 😘

  • Very disappointed Mr. Trump won't be throwing the first pitch sunday I was looking forward

    to seeing him take a beer bottle to the head.

  • 😭😭😭 My wish in life is to visit America and to visit the White House, I love America, I love Trump, I love the White House, I love the history of America. .🇺🇸🇺🇸🤗😘😘😘💜❤️

  • 'Effort Equals Results' – Love it! Go go go @teampenske and @penskecars. Well deserved and congratulations Roger Penske from your Round Rock Honda dealership.

  • Amo al presidente de los estados unidos ♥️💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐♥️♥️

  • Congratulations to Roger Penske, I AM HONOR to work for the Penske Auto Group and been here 19 yrs going on 20. So proud of our Penske Team. You Truly deserve this. May God Bless you and the family.

  • Roger is a huge Romney PAC donor. So he is a socialists RINO… aka scumbag. But a good race car driver and businessman.

  • Donny is a space lizard. All those sucking sounds during his speech reading is a dead give away. Storm Area 51 again?

  • This a good one
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  • Wonderful. But without Jesus Christ, it All ends here, and all the accomplishments with the philanthropy will not buy righteousness and Heaven.
    I hope he and is wife are saved, and not deceived.

  • So they playing with the government and um yea they throwing up Washington and talking about air planes not my issue i contacted you 4 times

  • White House please have Donnie review this during his executive time: https://www.npr.org/2019/10/24/773053342/special-report-rick-perry-and-ukraine

    He needs to keep his stories straight!

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  • You don’t want to be in harm’s way
    Soldiers from a Banana Republic
    With Strongest Army in the world
    Who are Paper Tigers
    And whose commander-in-chief
    Is a coward clown
    5
    Good-bye, Good-bye
    Our comrades-in-arms
    We forgive you, but not forget you
    I fully agree with you
    When you give up your Honour
    As a soldier
    There is nothing to fight for.
    6
    The blood of 8 – is superior to that of 10,000
    Has USA shed its racism?
    Are Men all creatures of God
    With right to liberty and fighting tyranny?
    7
    We crush their heads, says Turkish Hitler
    Great day for civilization-
    Says the American Clown.

    8
    America is all VICE
    Void of Values
    Can’t prove otherwise.

  • The blood of 8 – is superior to that of 10,000
    Has USA shed its racism?
    Are Men all creatures of God
    With right to liberty and fighting tyranny?
    7
    We crush their heads, says Turkish Hitler
    Great day for civilization-
    Says the American Clown.

    8
    America is all VICE
    Void of Values
    Can’t prove otherwise.

  • This World Is Finished Those Devils Minions Trumps Our Not Human We Back In Days Of Noah ☝️Cant Wait Get Out Of This Corrupted Flesh Be My True Form a Light Energy Spiritual Being A Child Of My Father Almighty God The Most High🙌💙 …..👼😊🤗💙……………….

  • President Trump is doing BIG DAWG things, getting shiiit done while the demonKKKrats run around like lil chihuahuas barking up a storm about all the crimes they have fabricated against PDJT, all in an effort to distract the people from all the great things PDJT is doing regardless of all the bullshiiit he has had to deal with for the past 3 plus years… Meanwhile the "MORMON MORON" romney goes around trying to be the 2.0 version of limp dick mccain and the other republiCANTS running around with their tail between their legs, actin like the spineless, weak pu$$ies they have always been.

  • Salute Sir, Roger Penske, first time hearing the works that you did for communities behind the scene, never expect anything, till the award comes. President read out the hornor for you plus military. God bless you all…..American dream is flooding the nation put God first people…..

  • The people that President Trump is giving this award to is a great. Unlike President Obozo who was giving this award to his liberal friends and even #DementiaJoe.

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