Pence rallies supporters during rain-soaked Michigan stop

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP/WOOD) — Vice President Mike Pence, flanked by construction equipment and “Make America Great Again” banners, touted President Donald Trump’s policy accomplishments Friday while urging Michigan voters to support his reelection.

>>> Watch the entire rally above<<<<

Several hundred people, many wearing ponchos to protect against the rain, listened to Pence’s pitch in Traverse City. Pence arrived in Michigan from Minnesota one day after Trump formally accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for a second term.

“Four years ago, you in Michigan knew it wasn’t just a campaign, a movement was born,” Pence said. “Here in Michigan, you believed we could be strong again … Michigan said yes to President Donald Trump in 2016, and I know Michigan is going to say yes to four more years of President Donald Trump in 2020.”

Pence offered a contrast between the Trump administration’s achievements and the Democratic nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden. Repeating a theme heard throughout the Republican National Convention this week, Pence said the election is about “whether we will allow a radical movement to dismantle and destroy” the American way of life.

“I know this movement is unstoppable, but we have to decide men and women of Michigan, we have to decide right here and right now, that Joe Biden will never be president of the United States,” Pence said.

Pence referred to the economy several times during his remarks, arguing the country’s economic recovery is on the ballot. The vice president said Trump “made America great,” before the coronavirus “struck from China.”

Michigan’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, is a national adviser to Biden’s presidential campaign. She has criticized the Trump administration for downplaying the virus and moving too slowly to help equip states with testing supplies and medical equipment to prevent its spread.

When asked if he believes schools reopening would cause a resurgence in COVID-19, Pence said in an exclusive interview with News 8 that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted the importance of in-person learning.

“But they (CDC) really believes it’s a public health priority to have them (kids) back in the classroom. We really believe we can do that in a safe and effective way…We have already made billions of dollars available to states,” Pence said. “A week ago, we added teachers and faculty at schools to the list of essential workers at the Department of Homeland Security. Just to make sure they would know we are going to prioritize them in testing, prioritize personal protective equipment to make sure our schools can be safe.”

News 8’s entire exclusive interview with Pence can be heard on “To The Point” at 10 a.m. Sunday.