VP Pence set to tout tax cuts in Rochester

Jonathan Oosting
Detroit News Lansing Bureau
Vice President Mike Pence

Vice President Mike Pence is returning to Michigan on Friday afternoon and will discuss the impact of federal tax cuts at a construction business in Rochester, the White House announced Thursday.

Pence is also scheduled to “participate in an event for” Attorney General Bill Schuette, his office said. As The Detroit News first reported, the vice president will attend a private fundraiser for Schuette’s gubernatorial campaign at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham.

In Rochester, Pence will speak at Frank Rewold and Son Inc., a family-owned construction contractor. He'll tout the tax reform law President Donald Trump signed late last year that includes major cuts for corporations and more modest reductions for most families.

Pence was governor of Indiana until early 2017 and has maintained a healthy working relationship with term-limited Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. Lt. Gov. Brian Calley of Portland is also seeking the GOP nomination and is endorsed by Snyder, but Pence and Trump are supporting Schuette.

On the eve of Pence’s visit, Schuette’s campaign released a new statewide television ad that champions Trump’s tax cuts and is scheduled air on Fox News for several weeks.

The tax code changes are “creating jobs,” a narrator says, highlighting Fiat Chrysler’s plans to invest $1 billion at its Warren Truck Assembly auto plant to bring production of its Ram Heavy Duty truck to the United States from Mexico. 

Schuette will “build on Trump’s economic momentum,” according to his new ad, which ends with oft-repeated footage of Trump calling him "the next governor of Michigan" at an April rally in Macomb County.  

The Michigan Democratic Party has bashed Pence’s pending visit and support for Schuette, criticizing “tax giveaways to millionaires,” rising health care costs and Pence’s opposition to a 2008 automotive industry bailout.

Schuette is getting "attention from Republicans in D.C. for going along with Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s disastrous agenda — and now he’s cashing in,” said spokesman Sam Newton. “His plans to gut health care and benefit the wealthy might be good for raising money from special interests, but it’s wrong for Michigan families.” 

Pence will continue his Midwest stop later Friday with a “Tax Cuts to Put America First” event in Columbus, Ohio.

He also touted the tax overhaul when he visited Detroit March 1 and was introduced by Schuette. At the time, the vice president participated in a fundraiser helping more than 20 House Republicans targeted in the midterm elections, including U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop of Rochester.

Pence last visited Michigan in May, when he delivered a commencement speech at Hillsdale College. The vice president praised the conservative liberal arts university as “a beacon of liberty and American ideals.”