Vice president talks economic reengagement in visit to MI

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (WOOD) — Vice President Mike Pence made his rounds in metro Detroit Thursday, speaking about jobs and the economy.

Pence stopped at two manufacturing facilities that he hailed for being not only open and running, but for contributing to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by changing their model to support front-line workers.

But his main message was mostly about getting people back to work and reengaging the national economy.

“Very early on in the pandemic, the president gave us one priority: that was to save American lives. But after the people of Michigan and people all across this country made the sacrifices, engaged in social distancing, we wanted to give guidelines to states across the country to safely reopen,” Pence said, speaking only to News 8. “Because it really isn’t a choice between the health of the American people and the health of our economy; it’s a choice between health and health. There are real-world consequences to people through the shutdown that we’ve endured and it’s the reason why we are so grateful to see states across the country now, all 50 states, safely and responsibly reopening.”

The nation has been experiencing turmoil amid widespread protests over racial inequity in policing and calls for reform. Asked about how the Trump administration is responding, Pence called the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis “a disgrace” and said the nation is grieving.

“What we’re doing now is working to heal together as a nation. After listening to African American leaders, listening to law enforcement, the president has made it clear we’re not going to defund the police,” he said, referring to calls to cut funding to departments and redirect cash to social programs like affordable housing and health care. “What we are going to do is provide all-new resources to law enforcement officers to be able to improve use of force practices at every level of law enforcement, to learn de-escalation be able to co-deploy social workers and people that are expert in homelessness and other issues that urban communities face. And we think those are exactly the right steps to begin to bring our country back together.”

Michigan is going to be key in the November election, which is one reason Pence and President Donald Trump have been m

“(In) 2016, the president connected to people in Michigan, all across the state with the message that we could make America great again, make America prosperous again. We could stand strong with our military, have conservative judges on our courts and … people of Michigan know this president delivered,” Pence said, saying the president has kept the promises he has made.aking plenty of visits. Pence said he’s confident Republicans will take the state again.

The vice president departed Michigan Thursday afternoon on Air Force Two from Selfridge Air National Guard near Mount Clemens.

Hear more from Pence during Sunday’s episode of “To The Point” at 10 a.m. on WOOD TV8.