Pence visit drew a pretty large crowd

Plenty of protesters greeted Vice President Mike Pence during his visit to Spokane yesterday.
Staff Writer

By Roger Harnack
Deer Park Tribune

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence spent more than a half-hour on Oct. 2 extolling the leadership and experience of Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
For several hours, thousands turned out for the event that prompted city officials to close streets and sidewalks around the Spokane Convention Center, where Pence was stumping for the Republican who grew up in Kettle Falls and is now the most senior Republican woman in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The line to enter the event extended about three blocks toward downtown. As hundreds – including some business owners and leaders from Stevens and Pend Oreille counties – stood in the line, countless more with signs, costumes and flags lingered on street corners. Some supported Pence and McMorris Rodgers, others protested their presence.
A few blocks away, a balloon resembling President Donald Trump in a diaper, was temporary flying over a downtown street. But gusty winds prompted it to be deflated.
McMorris Rodgers is facing challenger Democrat Lisa Brown of Spokane in the Nov. 6 general election for Washington’s Fifth Congressional District seat.
Few protesters sported signs supporting Brown, but many were focused on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Those protesters carried signs supporting the right of a woman to have an abortion.
Many women dressed in red robes and white hoods, similar to the image of handmaids portrayed in the book and series “A Handmaid’s Tale.” The costume symbolized their silent protest against male dominance and government interference in reproductive rights.
While drums banged and protesters chanted on the downtown streets, the standing-room-only crowd inside the convention center dined, sang the National Anthem and applauded Pence and McMorris Rodgers.
Spokane Mayor David Condon served as emcee for the event that also featured entertainment by an Eastern Washington University student, videos about McMorris Rodgers and speeches meant to raise funds for McMorris Rodgers’ race against Brown.
One by one, Pence tackled many of the issues of protest outside as well as propping up the importance of re-electing McMorris Rodgers.
“She’s a principled leader,” Pence said of McMorris Rodgers. “She’s a trailblazer in a long line of trailblazers. She is one of the most important leaders in our nation’s capital.”
Pence credited her leadership and tenacity for helping push through tax cuts, expansion of Fairchild Air Force Base, gutting the Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as Obamacare), improving the economy and growing jobs in Eastern Washington.
He credited her for being a central figure in Trump’s successes countrywide.
“Two years of action, two years of results,” he said of the first two years of Trump’s presidency. “It’s been two years of promises made and promises kept. And we’re just getting started.”
McMorris Rodgers influence in the nation’s capital is obvious in Eastern Washington, he said.
In just the last two years, there’s 160,000 new jobs in the state – 4 million nationally -- and 4.2 percent economic growth, he said. And McMorris Rodgers supported the bills that made that possible.
“All possible because of the leadership of your congresswoman,” he said.
He also said he fully expects McMorris Rodgers to lead the effort to approve the new trade treaty with Mexico and Canada that is opening markets north of the border to American farmers and dairymen.
Briefly, Pence switched subjects to Judge Kavanaugh, noting he has a “proven record” on constitutional law, Second Amendment rights and more.
“Let me say the conduct of Democrats in Washington, D.C. for Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford has been a disgrace,” he said, calling California Democrat Senator, Diane Feinstein, out personally for intentionally trying to undermine the process and destroy Kavanaugh’s reputation.
“The truth is, Democrats just oppose Kavanaugh … because he’ll uphold the constitution,” he said.
Returning to his stump speech, Pence called on Eastern Washington voters to overwhelmingly support McMorris Rodgers.
Brown is “just too liberal for this district,” Pence said of the McMorris Rodgers challenger.
Prior to Pence taking the stage, McMorris Rodgers spoke briefly about her successes and those of the Trump Administration.
The last quarter alone saw “12,000 new jobs right here in Eastern Washington,” she said, noting that wages and take home pay are up.
“Right now, we have a booming economy,” she said. “But at every turn, we encounter protesters. They seek to bully, intimidate.
“But we are just getting started.”