Congressman Lloyd Smucker, left, greets Vice President Mike Pence at Lancaster Airport after Pence landed on Air Force Two on Thursday. Pence made a few stops in Pennsylvania while on a bus tour, including at a Manheim farm, a business in Chester County and a ‘Back the Blue’ rally at a Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police lodge.
                                 Ty Lohr | LNP/Lancaster Online

Congressman Lloyd Smucker, left, greets Vice President Mike Pence at Lancaster Airport after Pence landed on Air Force Two on Thursday. Pence made a few stops in Pennsylvania while on a bus tour, including at a Manheim farm, a business in Chester County and a ‘Back the Blue’ rally at a Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police lodge.

Ty Lohr | LNP/Lancaster Online

Vice President Mike Pence touted President Donald Trump’s economic record and support for law enforcement on a tour of southeast Pennsylvania Thursday, with stops in Lancaster County, Chester County and Philadelphia.

“In a very real sense before this pandemic started we were well on our way to making American great again,” Pence said while visiting the Rajant Corporation, a technology-based company in Malvern, Pa. “In the days ahead we have an agenda that will get this economy back and then some; bring us back better, stronger and more prosperous. In a word, we’re going to make America great again – again.”

Pence sought to highlight recent bright spots in the economy – a strong point for Trump prior to the coronavirus pandemic – during the meeting in Malvern with business leaders from around the state.

Prior to the pandemic, Trump enjoyed a 63% national approval rating on his handling of the economy, according to Gallup polling. That figure has dropped to 47% recently, although it is still higher than comparable figures from Democratic President Barack Obama’s first term.

The economy has taken a hit during the pandemic, with unemployment jumping to 14.7% in April and total job loss peaking at 20.7 million that same month. In Lancaster, unemployment also peaked at 14.7% in April, but declined to 11.2% in May.

At the Rajant Corporation in Malvern, Pence mentioned the company’s strength through the pandemic as a segue into the President’s economic record.

“We look back over the first three years of this administration and it’s been three years of promises made, promises kept. We’ve cut taxes, rolled back regulation at a historic level, we unleashed American energy, ended the war on coal and fought for the kind of free and fair trade that we were celebrating yesterday at the White House.”

He continued on to highlight benefits of recent economic packages Congress passed in response to the pandemic.

“At this point we’ve actually approved some 4.8 million loans to small businesses to that have been able to make their way through this, including 165,000 loans for Pennsylvania small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program.”

Pence also sought to draw contrasts between Trump’s economic policies and that of Biden. Pence criticized Biden’s support of the Green New Deal — an environmentally-friendly economic plan which the Trump campaign has argued would be detrimental to the economy – as well as manufacturing job losses in the state during Biden’s time as vice president.

Pence ended his day by addressing law enforcement officers at Fraternal Order of Police lodge #5 in Philadelphia.

“On behalf of President Trump and the administration I will make you a promise: we will always have your back,” Pence said.

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