BELGRADE, Mont. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence promised more tax cuts and continued crackdowns on violent protests occurring elsewhere in the U.S. as he urged Montana voters on Monday to expand the Republican party’s rising dominance in the state.
Appearing before several hundred supporters at an outdoor wedding venue near Belgrade, Pence also touted the administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic — even as the U.S. leads the globe in infections.
President Donald Trump won Montana by a 20-percentage point margin in 2016. Whether he can deliver such a wide margin of victory amid the pandemic could help decide the fate of candidates further down the ballot.
Pence said re-electing Montana Sen. Steve Daines and other members of the GOP was crucial to maintaining progress made by the administration on the economy, deregulation and other issues.
He panned Democrats for not adequately condemning the violence that has sometimes erupted during protests in cities following the killing of George Floyd an other minorities in police custody.
The GOP has a slim majority in the Senate with several incumbents facing strong challenges from Democrats.
“Let’s be clear, the future of the United States the future of this country runs right through Montana with this senate race,” Pence said from a stage flanked by farm equipment.
Most attendees did not wear face masks.