Vice President Mike Pence in his ninth Wisconsin visit this year touted the strength of the U.S. economy during Donald Trump’s first three years as president and pledged a “principled, conservative woman” will be picked for a U.S. Supreme Court vacancy.
The Indiana Republican on Thursday praised the administration’s first-term efforts such as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, tariffs against China and a historic corporate tax cut as reasons why the country reached record-low unemployment levels through 2019.
“The forgotten men and women are forgotten no more,” Pence said before a crowd of around 100 mask-wearing supporters at a Midwest Manufacturing distribution center in Eau Claire. “We made America great again.”
Pence then acknowledged the COVID-19 pandemic — which as of this week has killed more than 200,000 Americans — and the ensuing economic catastrophe currently gripping the nation.
He said the families who’ve lost a loved one are in his thoughts and prayers, and that “there’s not a day that’s gone by” where he hasn’t remembered them.
As of Thursday, DHS reports 1,265 Wisconsinites have lost their lives to the coronavirus.
The administration has been under fire from Dems for its handling of the coronavirus after audiotapes from author Bob Woodward showed the president at the start of the pandemic knew how dangerous it would be and intentionally downplayed its severity to the public.
Pence at the rally defended Trump’s COVID-19 strategy, highlighting the administration’s partial travel ban on China and saying Trump’s efforts “saved untold lives.”
Additionally, Pence promised Trump will appoint a “principled, conservative woman” to fill late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s empty U.S. Supreme Court seat, tipping the court’s balance of power to 6-3 in favor of conservatives.
And under a second term, he said Trump would bring “law and order” to every city in the country, following national unrest over police violence towards African Americans.
Both Eugene Scalia, U.S. labor secretary, and Ivanka Trump, the president’s adviser and daughter, spoke at the rally ahead of the VP.
Pence praised Ivanka as another champion for women and working-class Americans.
U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Minocqua, and 3rd CD GOP candidate Derrick Van Orden were among those in the audience. In a central Wisconsin visit last week, Trump endorsed Van Orden in his race against U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse.
Ahead of the rally, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin accused Pence and Trump of “trying to paint a rosy picture of what’s happening in the Badger State.”
The Madison Dem says the reality is the Trump administration has failed in its COVID-19 response.
She brought up how the Trump administration in the midst of the pandemic is currently suing to have the U.S. Supreme Court toss out the Affordable Care Act, a move that would “gut important protections” for those with preexisting conditions and potentially take away some 20 million Americans’ health insurance coverage.
“As a candidate, Trump promised he would lower health care and prescription costs, and yet we see effort after effort to promote junk insurance plans that aren’t even worth the paper they’re written on,” she told reporters in a webinar. “We deserve a president to make health care more affordable.”
She said Dem presidential candidate Joe Biden was “on the frontlines” in passing ACA back when he served as vice president under Obama, and that a Biden victory would mean “we can build on the progress we made” in delivering affordable, quality healthcare to all Americans.
Biden spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield in a statement added that Wisconsin and the country “desperately need real leadership in the White House.”
“Not only does Joe Biden have a plan to confront the pandemic and ensure every American has access to affordable health care, he’ll restore the middle class, invest in Wisconsin manufacturing, and help us build back better than before,” she said.