Vice President lauds Trump policies

By TIM SINIARD
Posted 7/22/18

No one appearing onstage during Vice President’s visit to Cleveland Saturday mentioned President Trump’s tariff’s until about halfway through the event.

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Vice President lauds Trump policies

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“We just love the Volunteer state,” Vice President Mike Pence  said Saturday during a visit to Cleveland. 

Pence said the administration has worked to fulfill its goals and campaign promises.

“The last year-and-half is one of action,” Pence said. “Promises made and promises kept. America is back. Jobs are back. Confidence is back.”

He said the administration is securing the border with Mexico.

“We are enforcing laws,” Pence said. “We are securing the border. It’s the largest increase in border security in a decade, and we’ve already started building that wall!” 

Cheers and applause greeted the remark.

“Build that wall! Build that wall!” the crowd chanted.

Pence defended the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), which has undergone criticism for its draconian policy of separating immigrant children from their parents.

“Under this administration, we will never abolish ICE,” Pence declared.

Pence said thousands of immigrants with criminal backgrounds, including 5,000 members of the violent MS-13 gang had been apprehended. 

“ICE deserves the support of the American people,” Pence said.

The appointment of Neil Gorsuch and nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court were also praised by Pence.

“They are men of integrity and champions of limited government,” Pence said. “[Kavanaugh] deserves the support of every member of the Senate and should be confirmed.”

The vice president also said the president had signed the largest increase in military funding since Ronald Reagan.

“We are once again the arsenal of democracy,” Pence said.

In addition, Pence said the NorthAtlantic Treaty Organization Treaty states are now paying more for mutual defense. He  said ISIS is now “on the run.”

“President Trump will pursue peace, but it will be peace through strength,” Pence said.

The president’s tax plan has not only provided more dollars for working families, Pence said,  it has also helped business compete. He noted the tax cut had enabled McKee Foods to award $1,000 bonuses to each of its 3,000 employees.

“We can win against businesses everywhere in the world,” Pence said.

Pence said the tax plan had rolled back Obamacare by eliminating the individual mandate.

“We cut the core out of Obamacare,” Pence said. 

In addition, Pence said he was pro-life and the administration had defunded Planned Parenthood.

In conclusion, Pence told the audience he “prayed for them” and the forgotten men and women of America were forgotten no more.

No one appearing onstage during Vice President’s visit to Cleveland Saturday mentioned President Donald Trump’s tariffs until about halfway through the event.

After a lengthy discussion of President Trump’s tax cuts among a panel consisting of U.S. Reps. Chuck Fleischmann and Scott DesJarlais, and Energy Solutions chief executive officer Dan LeVan about the benefits of President Trump’s tax cuts, DesJarlais broke the ice.

“He knows what he is doing,” DesJarlais said when he mentioned the tariffs. “Let him do what he does.”

The panel quickly moved on to another subject. The topic was not mentioned again nor brought up by the vice president during his remarks.

America First Policies, a right-leaning nonprofit organization that promotes Trump Administration policies  around the nation, sponsored the event held Saturday at Lee University’s Pangle Hall.

The tariffs, imposed this year, could potentially offset economic growth stimulated by the tax cuts, which reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. The administration earlier this year slapped a 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

David Clarke, the cowboy hat wearing former sheriff from Milwaukee County, Wis., seen frequently on Fox News, introduced the panel, which was moderated by Curtis Ellis.

The panel discussion centered on the Trump tax cuts, as well as their effect on the economy. Fleischmann said the tax cuts are already benefitting Tennessee.

“Tennessee is moving in the right direction,” Fleischmann said. “America needs a dose of self-confidence.”

Fleischmann said the tax cuts will also keep more money in the hands of entrepreneurs, further expanding the economy and creating jobs. He mentioned the tax bill did not receive a single vote from a Democrat.

DesJarlais said Americans were afraid to invest prior to passage of the tax cut.

“I have heard from hundreds who now have money to invest. This is real money. It’s the little things that matter,” DesJarlais said.

DesJarlais said the tax cuts also help farmers who are “land rich, but cash poor.”

Fleischmann said the tax cut was “a fundamental to America’s success.” He added anemic 3 percent yearly growth during the Obama presidency was a thing of the past

“We are going to blow through that 3 percent wall,” Fleischmann said.

Fleischmann and DesJarlais agreed the unemployment rate was the lowest in 50 years. In addition, both representatives said the “job-quitting rate” had increased, meaning  Americans were now confident enough to change jobs during the robust economy.

The panel also discussed how the tax cuts benefit Americans by increasing the standard deduction from $6,000 to $12,000 for individuals and from $12,000 to $24,000 for married filers. In addition, they said the new tax system decreased the need for itemization.

Interestingly, LeVan made several references to Russia while discussing his business travels, to which DesJarlais responded by handing his cell phone to LeVan.

“You have a call from Mueller (special counsel investigating  the Rus-sian interference in 2016 elections),” DesJarlais said, drawing laughs from the audience.

Some members of the audience booed Tennessee gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Diane Black when she appeared on stage to introduce U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who is running to fill the Senate seat to be vacated by Sen. Bob Corker.

In addition, Black mistakenly referred to Cleveland as “Chattanooga.” The gaffe drew some jeers from the audience.

Prior to introducing the vice president, Blackburn said the tax cuts enabled Tennesseans to keep more of their earnings.

“It’s your hard-earned money, not the government’s money,” Black-burn  said. 

Blackburn added money from the tax cuts was not insubstantial as suggested by former Tennessee governor and Democratic Party senatorial candidate Phil Bredesen, who Blackburn said referred to the tax cuts at “crumbs.”

“It is not crumbs,” Blackburn said.

While the Republicans and their supporters were inside the hall, protestors remained huddle outside in an area located across the street from Pangle Hall.

The group, protesting Trump administration policies they deemed as “unChristian,” were also protesting America First Policies, the organizer of the Pence event. 

“It’s hard to be supportive of America First Policies,” Lee University student and protest organizer Mercedes Harris told the Cleveland Daily Banner.

Harris also said politics and religion should not be mixed.

“There is no political party in God’s Kingdom,” Harris said.

Hunter White, another Lee student, as well as co-organizer of the event, told the CDB Pence does not represent all Christians.

“We don’t believe Pence stands for what Christians stand for,” White said. “America First does not represent Christ.”

America First policies has a controversial background consisting of former members who have been affiliated with racist, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBT rhetoric. One such member, Carl Higbie, left the organization last month after it was revealed he had made anti-gay and anti-Muslim comments during a radio broadcast. In addition, Juan Pablo Andrade, a policy advisor, was recently criticized for remarks that suggested he was a Nazi sympathizer.

Many of the protestors outside the hall held signs that expressed support for LGBT causes, while also chanting, “We don’t need your racist fear; immigrants are welcome here.”

Prior to the event, a line of attendees stretching approximately the length of a football field waited outside the hall. They were faced by the group of protestors, many of them Lee University students, who were chanting slogans and holding placards emblazoned with slogans such as, “It’s OK to be Gay” and “Not Too Late to Stop Hate” and “This is What Democracy Looks Like.”

Sierra Shepherd a sophomore at LeeUniversity, said she was attending the event to show support for President Trump and Vice President Pence.

“I’m excited to be here,” Shepherd said.

Dawn King, a former Cleveland resident now living in Houston, was visiting her hometown and decided to attend the event to support the vice president. Regarding the protestors, King said, “everyone has a right to free speech and their views.”

Cheers and a standing ovation greeted the vice president as he appeared behind the rostrum. The crowd remained standing throughout his speech.

Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen issued a statement to the CDB regarding the Pence visit:

“Governor Bredesen’s message of working together to get things done is resonating with voters throughout the state who are tired of the hyper-partisan yelling and finger-pointing. The contrast between the Senate candidates is increasingly clear – Tennessee voters can pick an eight-term Congresswoman who’s been causing gridlock in Washington for the past decade-and-a-half or they can hire someone who is an independent thinker and has a proven track record of working across the aisle to get things done for Tennessee. In the Senate, Governor Bredesen will vote in the best interests of Tennessee and Tennesseans. That’s why he’s applying for the job.” 

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