Pence rallies Republicans at Duluth airport
DULUTH, Minn. -- Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence rallied supporters at the Duluth International Airport on Monday to turn out the vote for his boss on Election Day, and then implored party regulars who might have wavered to "come ...
DULUTH, Minn. -- Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence rallied supporters at the Duluth International Airport on Monday to turn out the vote for his boss on Election Day, and then implored party regulars who might have wavered to “come home” to the party’s ticket and Donald Trump.
Pence, 57, the first-term governor of Indiana, described himself as a “Christian, conservative and Republican, in that order.” He praised Trump’s leadership abilities, predicted victory in Minnesota and across the U.S. and promised a new era of U.S. moral, economic and military superiority under a Trump administration.
“With Minnesota’s help, we’re going to make Donald Trump the next president of the United States of America!” Pence said to a crowd of more than 300 people gathered in an old airplane hangar. Trump “never quits, never backs down. He’s a fighter. And he’s a winner.”
Pence asked supporters to “pray with confidence” for the country and for a Trump victory, invoking the hand of God in the election outcome, saying “if his people pray, he’ll heal this land. One nation under God.”
The silver-haired former congressman and conservative radio talk show host spent the night at downtown Duluth's Radisson Hotel before his motorcade drove to the airport hangar. He spoke for more than 30 minutes focusing on allegations of e-mail impropriety by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, Trump’s vow to appoint conservative Supreme Court justices and the Republican's pledge to end Obamacare government health care and let the free market run its course.
While the president serves only a four-year term, Pence noted, the next president's legacy will last “40 years” through their Supreme Court appointments.
Pence also pledged that Trump will end the Obama administration's “war on coal,” linking Democrats’ measures to curb global climate change as somehow damaging taconite iron ore mining in Minnesota. And he vowed Trump will erase federal regulations and Environmental Protection Agency efforts to protect environmental and human health, calling them stifling to U.S. business.
Pence received his biggest feedback from the predominantly male crowd when listing off a litany of allegations against the Democratic nominee, from the Benghazi embassy incident to the email server investigations to Clinton’s support for Obamacare and expanding government health care. He even threw in some jabs at former President Bill Clinton for good measure.
“In one day America will put an end to decades of Clinton corruption,” Pence predicted to occasional chants of “lock her up,’’ “liar,” “traitor” and “drain the swamp” from the crowd.
America has “had enough of the fast and loose ethics of Bill and Hillary Clinton,” Pence said.
Pence blamed Hillary Clinton for the expansion of ISIS terrorism in Iraq and worldwide, and pledged that Trump will rebuild the nation’s military and “will hunt down and destroy ISIS at its source.”
“Donald Trump will lead on the world stage with strength,” Pence said.
Pence vowed Trump will support law enforcement officers as the nation reels from an unprecedented string of shootings of and by police. Trump, Pence said, “will restore law and order to every city and every community in this nation.”
Pence was introduced by Stewart Mills, Republican candidate for Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District, and by St. Louis County Commissioner Pete Stauber of Hermantown.
“We need to turn out our base and make sure everyone who has the potential to vote votes,” Mills said, receiving perhaps the loudest boos of the rally when he noted his opponent, Democratic incumbent Democrat Rick Nolan, supports allowing Syrian war refugees into the U.S.
Stauber praised Trump’s support for gun owner rights, noting iron ore from Northeastern Minnesota is used to produce “our life-saving devices that we call guns,” and predicting Minnesota voters would “stand with the great Ted Nugent and Charlton Heston” in support of Second Amendment rights to keep and use guns.
Pastor Dan Stone of Jesus is Life Ministries in West Duluth read an invocation predicting a Trump victory, citing Proverbs that the righteous people will rejoice if Republicans win on Election Day.
“I’m ready to do some rejoicing!’’ Stone said. “Amen!”