Pence visits North Carolina to stump for GOP, tout tax law

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Vice President Mike Pence made a three-stop visit to North Carolina on Friday, including a stop in the state’s largest city to tout President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul law.

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Pence cited job growth in Charlotte in particular and the nation in general to promote the success of the measure. He pointed to bonuses handed out to workers at Bank of America, which is headquartered in Charlotte, and American Airlines, which has a hub at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, as proof of what the tax cuts have done.

"Jobs are coming back. Confidence is back," Pence said. "In a word, under President Donald Trump, America is back and we’re just getting started."

Noting that income tax returns were due this week, the vice president also said tax cuts and tax simplifications are on the way.

"What you just went through is the last time you’ll have to pay taxes under that old, broken system," Pence said.

Pence was keynote speaker at a Charlotte gathering sponsored by America First Policies, a nonprofit organization that promotes Trump’s policies. The speech was sandwiched between a stop at a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Mark Walker and a Republican National Committee event.

His other remarks ranged from urging support for the military to lamenting the fatal shootings of two Florida law enforcement officers. He twice urged the crowd to stand and applaud the military and the police officers assigned to the event.

The vice president also touched on the judiciary and the Trump administration’s efforts to nominate conservative judges. Pence reiterated the intent to erect a wall along the Mexican border.

"When it comes to the wall, we’re going to build it all. That’s a promise."

Pence’s visit to the state also included a stop in Greensboro, where he toured areas damaged by a tornado last Sunday.

"It breaks my heart, frankly," Pence said.

In Charlotte, Pence’s speech was preceded by a panel discussion on tax cuts featuring North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis and Rep. Robert Pittenger, who is seeking a fourth term.

Pittinger described the event as a celebration of the tax cuts, even after their passage last year.

"I think it’s recognition of the realities of when you lower the tax burden, lower the regulatory burden, it transforms the economy," he said.

He also attended a rally on behalf of Walker, who is seeking a third term this fall, and leads the conservative Republican Study Committee caucus on Capitol Hill.

The Walker and RNC events were private and closed to the media.

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