Pence talks tax reform, local politics in Triad and Charlotte

V.P. says healthy Charlotte economy due to recent U.S. tax reforms and job growth under President Trump; visits storm-damaged Greensboro after rally for Rep. Mark Walker

Vice President Mike Pence tours damage from last week's tornado in Greensboro with Senator Richard Burr, Rep. Ted Budd, and Rep. Mark Walker. Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen

Greensboro – Vice President Mike Pence was in North Carolina on Friday for a multi-stop visit, primarily to tout President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul law and stump for local candidates.

In Charlotte, Pence cited the local job growth in particular 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 last 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. “And you can say goodbye to the days of complicated, time-consuming forms. Next year, millions of Americans will be able to file their taxes on a simple, single sheet of paper,” he continued.

Pence was keynote speaker at the Charlotte gathering sponsored by America First Policies, a nonprofit organization that promotes President Trump’s policies. The 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, 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.

The speech was one of three stops in N.C. for Pence, including a Republican National Committee event in Charlotte and a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Mark Walker in Greensboro, where he also toured areas damaged by a tornado last Sunday. Walker, who is seeking a third term in Congress this fall, leads the conservative Republican Study Committee caucus on Capitol Hill.

In his Charlotte speech, the vice president 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.”

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.

While at the event, Pence spoke personally with Charlotte veteran, Michael Verardo.

He suffered a traumatic brain injury while serving in Afghanistan. He was in the front row with his wife, Sarah, to ensure lawmakers see the price of war.

“It’s so important to look at a man like my husband and say this is the cost of freedom,” said Sarah.

Together, the couple travels to advocate for better veteran health care.

“The system is archaic,” said Sarah. “It’s in need of massive overhaul.”