Pence: ‘We can do better’ than current economy

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The day before he was scheduled to attend a town hall meeting in West Michigan, Republican vice presidential nominee and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence told 24 Hour News 8 that he and presidential nominee Donald Trump will “change the trajectory of the failed status quo in our nation’s capital” if they’re sent to the White House.

Pence said he wants to “keep having the kind of conversation that Donald Trump has been having with the American people since the outset of this election” when he speaks with voters Thursday at the DeltaPlex in Walker.

“We want to talk about America’s place in the world. We want to talk about the threats to our security and peace. We want to talk about the challenges that the people of Michigan, Grand Rapids and this country are facing in this weak economic recovery,” Pence continued in the Wednesday interview with 24 Hour News 8 via satellite.

He said Trump’s message has resonated with people and that it will continue to do so in “Michigan, Wisconsin, my home state of Indiana, and frankly all over this country.”

“The American people … know that an economy that hasn’t produced a real raise in the income of working Americans for 15 years is beneath the expectation of our people. We can do better,” Pence said. “Donald Trump knows how to do that, with tax reform, repealing Obamacare, negotiating trade deals that will work for American workers and consumers.”

Pence was announced as Trump’s running mate earlier this month and formally accepted the vice presidential nomination last week at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The Democrats are holding their convention in Philadelphia this week, on Tuesday formally choosing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia as their candidates for the White House.

“I was taken aback that on the first day of the Democratic National Convention, 61 speakers took to the podium and not one of them mentioned ISIS by name,” Pence said, calling that “telling.” He added, “Everywhere I’ve gone in my state and now around the country, the security of the people of this country is foremost in everyone’s mind.”

Speakers at the RNC, including Trump himself, often referenced the threat of terror, blaming the actions of President Barack Obama and Clinton when she was secretary of state for the Islamic State group’s rise to power in Syria and Iraq. Pence promised that Trump, if he becomes president, would rebuild the military, “restore America’s strength in the world” and “confront and destroy the enemies of our freedom, especially ISIS.”

He also touted his success as governor of Indiana, referencing tax cuts and “record investments in education and infrastructure.”

“All the while preserve one of the strongest fiscal foundations of any state in the country — a triple-A bond rating and earlier this week, the largest budget reserves in our state’s history,” he said. “That’s the kind of leadership that commonsense conservative principles bring to a statehouse. It’s exactly the kind of leadership that Donald Trump and I will bring to the White House. And I’m just honored to be a part of the team.”

But the governorship hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Pence. He and his state faced scrutiny last year after passing a Religious Freedom Restoration Act that opponents said could serve as a pass for discrimination against members of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual people. After a firestorm of criticism coming from both residents of Indiana and people across the nation, the law was revised.

When asked what that situation taught him about governing, Pence said he “learned it’s important to communicate your mind and your heart when dealing with issues like that, which I’ll always aspire to do in the days ahead.”Inside woodtv.com: Complete coverage of Decision 2016

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