Vice President Mike Pence highlighted accomplishments of the Trump administration during a campaign rally for political appointee Luther Strange while throwing in comments that Strange supports President Donald Trump’s agenda.
Pence told the crowd that it was Trump who sent him to Alabama to ask the people of the state to send Strange back to the Senate.
Strange was appointed to the U.S. Senate earlier this year by now former Gov. Robert Bentley after Jeff Sessions left to take the position as U.S. Attorney General. Strange had asked the Alabama state legislature to halt an investigation into Bentley ahead of Strange’s appointment. Bentley told reporters that Strange was the first name across Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s lips when he made a suggestion to fill Sessions’ Senate seat. The McConnell-linked Senate Leadership Fund has sunk millions upon millions to prop up Strange and attack his opponent Judge Roy Moore.
Pence joked about Strange’s height. He then remarked at “great American” Sessions’ two decades of service in the Senate.
The Vice President told the crowd that Strange “puts Alabama and conservative values first and he always will.”
“I stand with Luther” said Pence.
He went on to speak of standing for the national anthem. “We’ve all got a right to our opinions, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask the players in the National Football League to stand for our national anthem.”
“Patriotism is what unites us,” said Pence. “It’s about respect for the flag, respect for the country and most importantly, it’s about respect for all those who fought and died to defend it.”
Pence said, “We’re not here because we’re against anybody” and that he was there because he and Trump are for Strange. He listed several accomplishments of the Trump administration: the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines, rolling back the Clean Power Plan, and withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord.
He said Trump is making a difference all across the country, that business have created more than 1.2 million jobs since January 1, 2017 and “more Americans are working than ever before in American history.”
“Thanks to President Trump, America is back,” said Pence. He added that, as the father of a U.S. Marine, Trump cares deeply about the armed forces their families and veterans. He said that Strange supported a massive increase in defense spending that Trump has already signed.
Pence spoke of Trump’s stance for the second amendment and the right to life.
He then referred to Strange voting to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Every single Republican and even three Democrats voted yes to confirm Gorsuch with the exception of one Republican who did not vote according to the New York Times. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) only missed the vote because of two back surgeries, but later applauded the vote according to Fox28.
Pence told rally attendees that with the help of Strange this week they will repeal and replace Obamacare. He told the crowd that the Graham-Cassidy bill “rolls back” both the individual and employer mandates to purchase health insurance or pay a fine to the government if they don’t.
He then promised that after passage of Graham-Cassidy they are going to pass tax reform and build a wall along the southern border.
“I’m here because I know that Sen. Luther Strange will be there for our president, because he’s already been there,” said Pence. “He stood with us every step of the way.”
He asked the crowd to vote early on Tuesday for Strange and to grab a friend, grab a family member to vote, and tell somebody about the election and why they’re supporting Strange.
At the same time Pence was holding the airport rally in Birmingham for Strange there was a rally being held for Judge Roy Moore at a Oak Hollow Farm in Fairhope, Alabama featuring former White House chief strategist and Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon, Brexit leader Nigel Farage and Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty.
Last Friday Trump held a rally for Strange during which he said “I’ll be honest, I might have made a mistake” backing Strange after he emphasized the importance of loyalty. He went on to pledge that if Moore wins Tuesday’s runoff election he would campaign “like hell” for Moore in the general against the Democrat in the race.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana