Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell spoke Friday at the American Enterprise Institute on the growing threats to our First Amendment rights. The following are his remarks (as prepared).

One of the things that has always distinguished Americans as a people is the eagerness with which they’ve organized around issues and causes they believe in. As Alexis de Tocqueville put it more than a century and a half ago, “In no country in the world has the principle of association been more successfully used or applied to a greater multitude of objects than in America.”

And yet today, this principle faces a grave external threat. The danger comes from a political movement that’s uncomfortable with the idea of groups it doesn’t like speaking freely, and from an administration that has shown an alarming willingness itself to use the powers of government to silence these groups.