LORDSTOWN, OH (WKBN) – Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday nothing shows President Donald Trump’s commitment to Ohio more than his determination to have a new occupant at the former General Motors plant.
Speaking at the plant as the plant’s new occupant, Lordstown Motors, unveiled a new vehicle, Pence said by reelecting Trump, Ohioans can continue to have someone at-bat for them in Washington.
“The record of this administration proves again and again that the people of Ohio have a fighter in President Donald Trump,” Pence said.
Pence said the administration can help Lordstown and the area attract new jobs to make up for the ones lost when the GM plant closed last spring. However, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper said the vice president and the administration’s visit had little to do with attracting Lordstown Motors to the plant.
“Mike Pence is showing up for a photo op in Ohio at a moment that they are now trailing in Ohio to claim credit for a project they had little to do with,” Pepper said.
A poll this week released this by Quinnipiac University shows Trump and his opponent, Democrat Joe Biden, tied in Ohio.
Pence said Lordstown Motors is just one example of the economic successes of the Trump Administration, which he says was on a roll before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, spawning job losses amid shutdown orders. A report last month showed more than 2 million people were newly employed following the job losses in the months prior.
He says the comeback will happen because of the president’s emphasis on American companies and products.
“We’re already beginning to see the great American comeback,” Pence said. “From his first day, President Trump has put American interests first.”
Pence said a new product in the Lordstown plant, “is a testament to the people of the community and the people of Ohio.”
Following his appearance in Lordstown, Pence went to the Youngstown Police Department, where he spoke to the early roll call for the afternoon turn. He said the administration believes Youngstown police are a role model for both policing and community relations in the nation, and he wanted to visit the department because of their work in training officers and community relations.
Pence praised the department for its community outreach efforts, which include recently opened the yearly use of force training up to members of the community.
He said Youngstown is setting the pace for reforms the federal government hopes to see happen across the country.
“We’re going to do what Youngstown is doing,” Pence said. “We’re going to do both [training and outreach].”
Earlier this year, city police agreed to submit data to an FBI database whenever an officer uses force so those statistics can be tracked better.
For cities like Youngstown that have high rates of both poverty and gun violence, Pence said the administration wants to strengthen education and job opportunities for people, including minorities, so they can make a better living and turn away from crime. He said that under President Trump, unemployment for African-Americans is the lowest it has ever been.
Pence said the administration backed a police reform bill from Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina addressing several reforms, but says the bill was killed because of Democratic pressure in the Senate. The vice president says the administration fully supports law enforcement and law enforcement officers want reform as much as anyone.
“Nobody hates bad cops more than good cops,” Pence said.