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Pence Touts Tax Cuts, Walker in Appearance in Milwaukee Wednesday

Marti Mikkelson
A vendor sells Trump/Pence merchandise outside the Wisconsin Center

With just over six months until the mid-term elections, Vice President Mike Pence fired up a crowd of Republican voters in downtown Milwaukee Wednesday. He focused on the GOP tax cuts in particular, in a speech at the Wisconsin Center. The vice president also hosted a fundraiser for Gov. Walker, who faces a potentially tough reelection bid this fall.

Several hundred people packed into the convention center ballroom to hear Vice President Mike Pence speak. He ticked off a list of accomplishments the Trump Administration has under its belt so far. They include appointing conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court and increasing military spending. Pence says President Trump has also lived up to his promise of cutting regulations.

“We promised to roll back the heavy hand of government and working with Wisconsin’s conservatives in Congress, this president has actually signed more laws rolling back federal red tape than any president in American history,” Pence says.

Then Pence touted the tax cuts Congress recently passed. He says some people are beginning to see their impact.

“We cut taxes for Wisconsin’s working families so you can keep more in your paychecks every single month and millions of people across the country already are. We cut taxes for job creators and employees so that companies here in Wisconsin can compete and win against companies anywhere in the world,” Pence says.

In addition to speaking at the event, coordinated by the pro-Trump group America First Policies, Pence also was in town to raise money for Republican Gov. Scott Walker. The two appeared on stage together and the vice president praised Walker, calling him one the most effective governors in the country.

A crowded field of Democrats has lined up in hopes of challenging Walker in November. Walker himself has warned of a “blue wave” that could wash over Wisconsin this fall. Carol Szymanski drove in from West Allis to attend the rally. She thinks Pence can do a great deal to help Walker’s campaign.

“He’s an understated person, Vice President Pence. Mr. Walker is very flamboyant and I think they’ll complement each other’s personalities and I think Mr. Pence likes to work behind the scenes and get things done,” she says.

Szymanski says she doesn’t think Walker will have a problem getting re-elected, and dismissed talk of the “blue wave” that could sweep the country.

There were no critics lined up outside the Pence appearance. But the immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera released a statement in response to the vice president’s visit. Executive Director Christine Neumann-Ortiz said “when Gov. Walker embraces figures like Pence and Trump, he is embracing the politics of white nationalist hate.”

She says Gov. Walker should be speaking out against the federal 287(g) program, in which local law enforcement agencies collaborate with the federal government to enforce federal immigration laws. President Trump has encouraged local agencies to participate.

Marti was a reporter with WUWM from 1999 to 2021.