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Vice President Mike Pence: Safety during in-person campaign events, funding USPS, Kamala Harris

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DARIEN, WIS. (WKOW) -- Vice President Mike Pence touted his administration’s response to the pandemic as dozens gathered indoors at a manufacturing plant in Darien with little to no social distancing from the crowd.

Pence, who wore a mask before speaking at the podium, spoke to a crowd of supporters at Tankcraft Corporation Wednesday afternoon touting jobs and the economy.  

Attendees were offered masks and hand sanitizer at the door but most did not wear them during the event even though the mask mandate issued by Governor Tony Evers requires one indoors.

When asked whether or not Pence believes holding in-person campaign events are safe in the midst of a pandemic, he told 27 News he trusts people to make the right decision.

 “I do I trust people to use there very best judgment,” said Pence. “When you look at the progress Wisconsin has made where the positivity rate has been very steady and very low for some period of time I think it’s a great tribute to the Badger State.”

The Vice President’s visit to the battleground state completed the third visit in a row from the reelection campaign to counter the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee. President Trump visited Oshkosh on Monday and Trump’s son Eric visited Milwaukee Tuesday.

Pence also took aim at Democratic Nominee Joe Biden for not accepting his formal nomination in Milwaukee and said the campaign will continue to visit the state.

“Get used to seeing us because we will be back in Wisconsin again and again."

Democrats this week have been critical of the Trump campaign for hosting in-person events arguing they're holding a virtual convention because it's the safest option.

"You can just look at these events to see why we’ve lost 170,000 people from COVID-19 as they continue to ignore the realities of this pandemic with no end in sight," said Philip Shulman, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

Funding for the U.S. Postal Service

The Vice President also expressed his support for voting absentee this presidential election as millions of Americans are opting to vote in person due to concerns over the coronavirus.

Funding the U.S. Postal Service to handle an influx of ballots continues to be a debate between Democrats and Republicans. Pence said he supports providing resources to the post offices but didn’t commit to additional funding for the agency. 

“Myself and President Trump will make certain the post office has all the resources it needs,” said Pence. 

When asked if that requires additional money, he argued the debate to provide $25 billion to USPS is a controversy stirred up by Democrats.

‘It’s just another Washington manufactured controversy that has no bases in fact,” he said.

For many election officials, their main concern is having enough staff to count the returned ballots on November 3.

This week Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced he's changing course saying he will suspend changes to the U.S. Postal Service until after the November election.

Regardless of DeJoy’s decision Wisconsin joined a handful of other states in filing a federal lawsuit challenging operational changes at the U.S. Postal Service.

VP Dodges Questions on Kamala Harris’ qualifications, citizenship

27 News asked the VP about comments made by President Trump that falsely suggest the Kamala Harris, who was born in California, doesn’t meet citizenship or qualifications requirements to be vice president.

Question: Tonight Kamala Harris will be formally accepting her vice president nomination for the Democratic Party now the president has made comments about where she’s from and she’s not credible to be a candidate, do you think these are appropriate to be saying right now when they’re not true? 
Vice President Mike Pence: Well, Joe Biden and the Democratic Party have been overtaken by the radical left and I believe this election Kamala Harris is the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate... really confirms the fact that this Democratic party reflects more of the values of Bernie Sanders. I watched his speech on television that night where he admits policies he advanced, someone that served as a socialist in the U.S. House & Senate he is said those policies are now radical are now the mainstream of his party.”

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Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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