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In NH, Pence says Trump tax cut is for the forgotten

By KEVIN LANDRIGAN
New Hampshire Union Leader

March 22. 2018 6:47PM
Vice President Mike Pence greets the crowd prior to Thursday's appearance in Manchester. (Kevin Landrigan)



MANCHESTER — Vice President Mike Pence urged a supportive crowd Thursday afternoon to talk up the accomplishments of the Trump administration on taxes, cutting regulations, fighting terrorism and the opioid epidemic.

“I truly believe the greatest force in America is neighbors telling neighbors.” Pence told the crowd of about 500 at the Manchester Downtown Hotel for a forum on the income tax cut law. “Tell them under President Trump the forgotten men and women of America are forgotten no more.”

Pence urged the audience to spread the good word and not rely on media coverage to do it. 

“I want to challenge you if I can before I leave. All the good news you have heard, all the stuff you don’t hear on most cable television stations every day. There are a lot of great things happening in America and I want to tell you all about it.” Pence said.

He said Trump has been true to his word on policy.

“Because of your support and your hard work, the past year has been a year of action, a year of results and in a word it’s been a year of promises made and promises kept,” Pence said.

The former Indiana governor, congressman and radio talk-show host also spoke on the power of prayer.

“I encourage you to bow the head and bend the knee,” Pence said at the close of his 30 minutes of remarks.

Gov. Chris Sununu called Pence a “close friend” who advised him before he ran for governor in 2016 and became the youngest state chief executive.

“He is sincere, he is honest, he is true to his word. Frankly when it comes to politics, he is truly one of the best people you are going to find,” Sununu said in his introduction of Pence.

Sununu said like Trump, he’s presided over big cuts in state business taxes that have helped make New Hampshire the fastest-growing economy in New England.

Pence said Trump has called for action since the Parkland school shooting and the Congress will soon deliver a $3 billion increase in spending on school safety.

“No child should ever be in danger at an American school,” Pence said.

Zandra Rice-Hawkins, executive director of the liberal Granite State Progress, criticized Trump, Pence and Sununu for opposing gun control legislation.

“As gun violence rocks our schools and our country, the Trump-Pence administration and Governor Chris Sununu continue to side with the radical gun lobby agenda over students and constituents,” Rice-Hawkins said in a statement.

“Just yesterday, Governor Sununu stood idly by while Senate Republicans blocked legislation to clarify that local schools can establish gun-free school zones, despite hundreds of calls from students, parents, educators, and school administrators.”

Federal spending bill

Much of Pence’s remarks were about the pending $3 trillion federal spending bill the President is expected to sign once Congress passes it today.

Pence ticked off the federal spending increases contained in the measure, including record spending on the Pentagon and $3.3 billion to fight the opioid epidemic.

“After years of cutbacks in military spending, under this President, we are also going to give our troops the biggest pay raise in the last 10 years,” Pence said.

While the stock market has plummeted in response to announcements of new federal tariffs, Pence said trade protection against China and other countries would lead to more American jobs.

“Under President Trump I can assure you, the era of economic surrender is over,” Pence said.

Opioid crisis

On Monday in Manchester, Trump rolled out the administration’s strategy to battle the opioid crisis. Pence saluted Manchester first responders Dan Goonan, Chris Hickey and Chris Stawasz, who championed a Safe Station program that’s become a national model.

“Two years later a program called Safe Station is providing relief to thousands of people. We’re all so proud of you,” Pence said.

The program allows substance users to come to fire stations to seek treatment without fear of arrest.

Panel discussion

Earlier Thursday, America First Policies, the non-profit that promotes Trump’s issue agenda, hosted a panel discussion on the tax cut the President signed three months ago.

Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte of Nashua said making the U.S. tax code more competitive with foreign countries was a long time in coming.

“Essentially it was a tax code that made it easy for companies to keep money overseas rather than have it in this country to invest,” Ayotte said.

She cited the case of Label Tech Inc. of Somersworth and said its principal Patrick Brady gave a $500 bonus to all the employees of that small business.

“The most important thing we can invest in is our people,” Ayotte said.

Sold-out fundraiser

Pence’s visit ended with an appearance at a sold-out fundraiser for Sununu’s reelection in the same Manchester hotel; tickets started at $500 each.

The event brought in an estimated $300,000 according to campaign officials.

Pence said Trump will be forever grateful to New Hampshire voters.

“New Hampshire was the very first state to give support to our President during the primaries,” Pence said. “On behalf of my family and a growing America, thank you New Hampshire for your support.”

And Pence predicted Republicans won’t suffer big losses in the midterm elections.

“Conventional wisdom says it is a challenge for the party in the White House but I think we all know what the President thinks of conventional wisdom,” Pence said.

“We made history in 2016 and we are going to make history in 2018 when we reelect Governor Chris Sununu in New Hampshire and a Republican majority in the House and the Senate.” 

klandrigan@unionleader.com


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