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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Mike Pence answers questions about veterans affairs and being a part of a ‘dynamic duo’ at Tucson rally

Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence took to Tucson to rally support after his nomination with presidential candidate Donald Trump last week.

While one male protester was escorted out of the event for causing a disruption, most rally attendees were Trump campaign supporters, who appeared to be happy to have Pence as Trump’s running mate.

Rose Anderson, a Tucson local, was one of those supporters.

“I feel much stronger about voting for Trump,” Anderson said. “His values, his character–everything.”

Chair of the Arizona Republican Party Robert Graham was one of the openers for the Indiana governor. In his speech, Graham said he was excited for the campaign and was confident the pair would overtake Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine, come the general election in November.

Other supporters included veterans like Donna Marie Coleman, an Air Force veteran and school teacher. Coleman said while she has voted for Democrats in the past, she never had any doubts about the Trump campaign.

“I’ve always been a registered Republican, however, I’ve always been open minded,” Coleman said. “While some people are very concerned because he’s a loose cannon, I think he’s a very smart person who will surround himself with people that make good decisions.”

Not everyone who attended was in support of the GOP nominee. Patrick Robles, 15, came to the rally with his grandparents to hear what Pence had to say and to question the conservative governor on Trump’s Mexican immigration rhetoric.

“I think that they need to be held accountable because I believe they have just as much of a chance of becoming the next president and vice president,” Robles said. “Mr. Trump’s rhetoric on building a wall has caused many Latinos across the country to have a negative view on Mr. Trump and Gov. Pence. My question [to Pence] is: what will you do on Mr. Trump’s behalf to fix your relationship with the Latino community?”

Robles was not picked to have his question answered, but others who were able to, could ask him about anything.

When Pence began to field questions, one supporter talked about his lack of a retiree payment from Veterans Affairs. He said the administration did nothing to help veterans in similar situations.

Pence pointed him to Trump’s ten-point plan, which outlines how he would reform the policies of the VA. The plan would appoint a VA secretary who would strive to serve veterans, discipline federal employees who violated public trust and allow a process where veterans could get help outside health providers.

“Donald Trump is going to fix the Veterans Affairs Administration …” Pence said to an applauding audience. “It has been appalling to see veterans wait a week to even see a doctor and months for medical treatment.”

Another supporter asked how he would accomplish being one-half of a “dynamic duo” and be the “most incredible vice president” to Trump. Pence’s response made the crowd chuckle.

“Well, I got stuck on the ‘dynamic duo’–I’m kind of a Batman fan,” Pence said. He added that he would work everyday to translate Trump’s visions into laws and policies on Capitol Hill, which was one of the reasons Trump asked him to be his running mate. 

Follow Lauren Renteria and Shaq Davis on Twitter. 

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