Speaking in Boulder City, Pence declares debate victory

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Steve Marcus

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a rally during a campaign stop at the Boulder City Municipal Airport Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020.

Thu, Oct 8, 2020 (1:05 p.m.)

Campaigning in Boulder City today, Vice President Mike Pence declared victory in Wednesday’s debate with Democrat Kamala Harris and said the upcoming election will decide “whether America remains America.”

Pence held a rally at the Boulder City Municipal Airport the morning after his debate with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s running mate.

“I think when you compare the Biden-Harris agenda with what President Donald Trump has done and will continue to do for America, there’s no question who won the debate,” Pence said.

Surrounded by supporters who often broke into chants of “four more years,” Pence sought to highlight the differences between the campaigns, saying “the stakes have never been higher” than the Nov. 3 election.

Pence hit on several topics that came up during the debate, including the administration’s coronavirus response, policing and the Supreme Court.

Pence, who is in charge of the federal coronavirus task force, defended Trump’s handling of the pandemic, saying a decision to suspend travel from China saved lives and that the country is on track to have a vaccine before the end of the year.

“The American comeback is on,” Pence said. “We’re opening up America, and we’re opening up America’s schools.”

At the debate, Harris called the administration’s response to the virus “the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country.”

More than 212,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus and over 7.5 million have been infected, including Trump and first lady Melania Trump.

Nevada Democrats also blasted the administration’s response. Sen. Jacky Rosen said Trump and Pence “knew how dangerous the virus was and downplayed it anyway.”

Pence today again claimed Biden wants to defund the police — which Biden says is not true — and stressed the president’s commitment to law enforcement.

“Under President Donald Trump, we will always back the blue,” he said.  “We’re not going to defund the police, not now, not ever.”

Speaking about Trump’s nominee for an open Supreme Court seat, Pence said federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett will “bring that commitment to our Constitution, to interpret laws as written and not legislate from the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States.”

The administration’s push to confirm Barrett in the midst of an election has been a political flashpoint with Democrats, who say whoever is elected in November should fill the vacancy.

Pence continued to tout Trump’s record during his first term, including increases to the defense budget and tax cuts.

He also voiced support for Jim Marchant and Dan Rodimer, the Republican candidates for the 4th and 3rd Congressional Districts, respectively. Both were at the rally.

The most recent poll of Nevada voters, conducted by Siena College and the New York Times Upshot, shows Biden 6 percentage points ahead of Trump. An aggregate of polls by FiveThirtyEight shows Biden 6.7 points ahead in Nevada.

In a statement ahead of the rally, state Sen. Yvanna Cancela, who works with the Biden campaign, said the president and Pence were out of touch with working families.

“As a representative of Nevadans who have been deeply impacted by coronavirus in a myriad of ways, I am horrified by Mike Pence and this entire administration’s constant attempts to gaslight the American people and downplay the severity of this crisis,” she said.

Before the rally, Boulder City officials said it would comply with a 250-person cap on public gatherings. Though masks were sparse, seating was socially distanced and the rally was conducted outdoors.

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