Before roughly 500 people Tuesday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence made the case to southwest Missourians on why they should elect Donald Trump president.
The Republican nominee’s running mate spoke of Trump’s stance on the economy, national security and foreign policy before a boisterous crowd at the Springfield Expo Center.
Pence says on day 1 as president, Trump will “unleash the boundless energy” of the American economy and put people back to work, in part by rolling back red tape. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaking Tuesday at the Springfield Expo Center.
“Donald Trumps is gonna freeze all new federal regulation and repeal every Obama executive order that’s stifling jobs in this economy.”
That also includes lowering taxes for working families and small businesses, says Pence. He adds that Trump will renegotiate trade agreements like NAFTA “so that it supports jobs in the United States,” calling the GOP nominee “Negotiator-in-chief.”
Despite a low unemployment rate, there are millions not actively looking for work, says Pence, meaning they’re not included in the jobless count. He said while the numbers may be the best the Obama Administration can do, it’s not the best Trump could do.
He spoke of a weak foreign policy by Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Trump’s Democratic rival in November.
“History teaches us that weakness arouses evil. And I would submit to you, Donald Trump and I believe, that the weak foreign policy of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton – leading from behind, moving red lines, fanning resets with Russia, the rise, rule and reign with ISIS – are a testament to this truth of history,” Pence said.
Repeating Trump’s claim as the “law and order candidate,” Gov. Pence says groups that threaten the American people or its allies will pay a price.
Occasional calls of “Lock her up!” could be heard from a few spectators Tuesday, a chant used many times during the Republican National Convention which refer to Clinton’s use of a private email server.
“Frankly anyone else working at the State Department or in this government who mishandled classified information of that nature would be denied access to classified material and would likely be facing the judgment of the law, they would.”
Pence said Clinton’s actions come down to bad judgement, and that Donald Trump will bring strong judgement to the Oval Office.
“I hear the other side talk a lot about judgement and a lot about temperament. I can tell you what, I promise you Donald Trump is a man who has broad shoulders and the judgement to be a great president of the United States of America. I’m just gonna tell you that. I’m around him all the time.”
He spoke of “Clinton-scandal fatigue,” adding that the best cure is electing Donald Trump.
The Indiana governor took three questions from the audience following his speech. A man by the name of Ed expressed a shift after Pence’s speech from voting against Hillary to voting for Trump, but wanted reassurance.
“Can you promise us, as much as possible, that you have this gentlemen’s (Trump’s) ear and attention to help him present himself in a light to where we can respect and honor and move forward for a president as opposed to against the Clintons?” asked Ed.
Pence replied, “Everything you heard from me [today], those are the positions that Donald Trump has articulated to me and with me.”
Daryl Dennison, one of the hundreds of spectators at Tuesday’s town hall, tells KSMU she’s voting for Trump because under current leadership the country is on the decline.
“We have a wonderful nation and to see it being destroyed and what our grandkids would face as they get older… we just need to build it back up again.”
Jerry Mabe said he’s pleased with the attention paid by the candidates to securing our borders.
“We need our country back, we need our security back, and it’s going to take a new administration, a different administration, and this administration to make that happen.”
Another spectator who did not give his name says he did not originally support Trump, but left with a more positive view of the candidate after Pence’s speech. He says a Vice President Pence’s would benefit Missourians, noting Indiana’s similarity economically, socially and agriculturally to the Show-Me state.
Pence was also scheduled to hold an event in Chesterfield, MO Tuesday afternoon.
Tuesday’s event also featured short speeches from Republican State Senators Jay Wasson, Bob Dixon and Mike Parson, as well as GOP gubernatorial nominee Eric Greitens and U.S. Congressman Billy Long. The men spoke of party unity this fall, and touted a recent CNN poll showing Trump with a 45-43 percent lead over Clinton nationally.
About a dozen protestors stood across the street from the Springfield Expo Center prior to the event.
In a statement following the speech, Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Roy Temple said Missourians will “continue to reject the Trump-Pence ticket’s divisive and hateful campaign.” The people of this state, Temple continued, “Do not want an economic agenda that would cost our state and country millions of jobs. They’ve seen enough to know that Donald Trump’s pattern of dangerous rhetoric and irresponsible policies make him unfit to be President of the United States.”