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VP nominee Pence visits Loudoun County, says Trump is a uniter

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence made a series of bold declarations during a Loudoun County rally Saturday, saying Donald Trump, if elected president, will rid the world of ISIS, repeal Obamacare and issue a moratorium on any new federal regulations.

Trump is “a genuine article,” Pence said, “a doer in a game usually reserved for talkers … he will make America great again.”

The veep candidate and Indiana governor, speaking at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, said the GOP campaign is fighting a “two-on-one” battle against both Democrats and the media.

“The media's so busy parsing everything Donald Trump said in the last 30 minutes that they keep ignoring what the Clintons have been doing the last 30 years,” he said.

Pence specifically noted the ongoing controversy over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state, the Clinton Foundation's acceptance of foreign donations and the deadly Benghazi attack, which occurred during Clinton's time at State.

“Hillary Clinton should shut down the Clinton Foundation immediately, and the Justice Department should appoint a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of this,” the Indiana governor said. " ... Now let me get this straight. So, it would be a conflict of interest to accept foreign and corporate donations to your foundation if your were president, but it wasn't a conflict of interest to accept foreign donations to your foundation when your were secretary of state?"

On the economy, Pence said the nation is amid “the weakest recovery since the Great Depression,” and the nation's labor force participation rate is at its lowest mark since the 1970s.

“And Hillary Clinton's plans, more of the same – more taxes, more regulation, more Obamacare, more of the war on coal of this administration,” said Pence.

Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, Donald Trump's vice presidential selection, is well known for his traditional social views. Times-Mirror/Doug Stroud

While Trump's campaign has been criticized as divisive by his opponents and many pundits – Trump has made controversial comments about women and Mexican and Muslim Americans -- Pence said Trump will “unite these United States of America.”

A small Christian college, Patrick Henry hosted GOP Sen. Marco Rubio during the party's primary. The crowd for Rubio's appearance dwarfed that of Pence's Saturday.

Pence even joked about his low profile during his remarks.

“I'm a B-list Republican celebrity,” he said. “I'm not the man. I stand next to the man. But you all are kind to be here today.”

The governor's visit to Loudoun came several weeks after
Trump swung through the county for a rally in Ashburn. Loudoun is one of the most significant swing counties in Virginia. Both the county and the commonwealth voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, the first time in more than four decades the commonwealth voted for a Democrat.

Despite the highly publicized visits, the Trump-Pence ticket appears to be struggling in Virginia. The latest Real Clear Politics average of polls across the state shows Clinton with a 12.8 percent advantage.

The Trump campaign, however, pointed to a recent Los Angeles Times poll that shows Clinton with only a 2 percent advantage.

Democrats host pre-Pence protest

At front, from left, Walter Tejada, LuAnn Bennett and Monte Johnson spoke during a Democratic-led protest of Mike Pence's visit to Loudoun County. Times-Mirror/Trevor Baratko

Hours before Pence's speech, Virginia Democrats held a small protest press conference to knock the Republican ticket.

Kicked-off by LuAnn Bennett, the Democratic candidate for Congress in Virginia's 10th District, the conference also include remarks from Loudoun County resident and past House of Delegates candidate Monte Johnson and Walter Tejada, a former member of the Arlington County Board of Supervisors.

“Trump has called women 'pigs.' He has degraded women and judged them solely on their appearance,” Bennett said. “He's made inappropriate comments about their bodies. He's suggested women who get abortions should be punished.”

She continued, “As Mike Pence comes to Loudoun County today, he owes it to Virginians to answer for the sexism we've seen from the Trump-Pence campaign and the policies Trump and Pence promote that would hurt women and families in Northern Virginia.”

This is a Times-Mirror news alert. Check back to LoudounTimes.com for updates about Mike Pence's visit to Purcellville.


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