STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – Thursday was a busy day for Vice President Mike Pence, who visited Michigan to speak at an auto supply plant in Sterling Heights.
Before that, he took time to speak with Local 4′s Rod Meloni. It wasn’t an official campaign stop, but it had the feel of one.
ORIGINAL STORY: Vice President Pence speaks at Casadei Steel in Sterling Heights
Prior to his speech, Pence had lunch with Republican party senate candidate John James and did a meet-and-greet with a crowd happy to see him. As you’d expect, Pence is confident Michigan will back reelection.
“Rod, the people of Michigan said yes to President Donald Trump in 2016,” Pence said. “I know they’re gonna say yes to four more years of President Donald Trump in 2020 because here in the heartland, they seeing a president who kept every promise that he made.”
Macomb County is pivotal to winning Michigan, which is why the Vice President visited. Pence also knows recent poll numbers show former Vice President Joe Biden has a comfortable lead across the state, so visits like this are meant to motivate the base.
One of the things Pence believes will also help the president is recent economic improvements as the COVID-19 crisis slows.
June 18, 2020 update: Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 60,618; Death toll now at 5,818
“Now, according to the U.S. Chamber, some 80% of small businesses are open so America is going back to work,” Pence said. “America and Michigan are opening up again and we really do believe we’re in the middle of a great American comeback.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s come under considerable criticism for her stay-at-home orders, and yet one tracking program claims Michigan is one of three states that are on track to contain the virus.
Pence worked as leader of the federal virus task force and wasn’t critical of Whitmer’s decisions. He said he’s just happy to see the state rebounding.
“Most importantly our heartbreaking losses are declining and I think it’s a real testament to the sacrifices of the American people have made, the people of Michigan have made,” Pence said. “But we’re proving now that we can safely reopen our country and we’re going to continue to work with states around the country to make that happen.”
READ: Reopening Michigan
The vice president also believes the administrations’ economic policies prior to COVID-19 helped ensure a quick comeback.