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Mike Pence Stumps For Donald Trump, Republican Candidates In Maine

Murray Carpenter
For Maine Public
Mike Pence at a rally in Hermon on Monday.

With just two weeks of campaigning left, Vice President Mike Pence held a rally just outside of Bangor today. Speaking to hundreds of supporters, Pence touted the administration’s accomplishments and made the case for another Trump victory in northern Maine, where the president earned a single electoral college vote in 2016.

Hundreds of Trump supporters gathered for a rally between warehouses at the Dysart’s Truck Stop in Hermon.

Richard Hanscom, who has worked in dairy and now drives a log truck, came from Dexter to show his support for the Trump administration.

“I’ve seen things that the liberals have done to the dairy industry, the logging industry, and Donald has changed things around. It may not be working now, but it will in time,” he said.

A worsening pandemic provided the backdrop for the rally. Although the organizers asked people to wear masks and had them to hand out, about half of the attendees did not wear them.

Credit Murray Carpenter / For Maine Public
Mike Pence at a rally in Hermon on Monday.

Wayne Levasseur, a health care worker from Bangor, says he wears a mask at work, but was not wearing one at the rally. And he said the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic has been spot on.

“Some people, yes, they should wear a mask. If you’re at risk, if you have a weakened immune system, protect yourself. This country is all about protecting yourself, not looking for the government to protect you. We’re Americans. This is how we were founded, is on our own, doing it for ourselves. You can’t expect your neighbor to protect you, you have to do it for yourself,” he said.

Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage soon warmed up the crowd, followed by Republican Dale Crafts, who is challenging incumbent Democrat Jared Golden to represent Maine’s 2nd Congressional District. Then the vice president took to the stage, backed by a logging truck, and touted the administration’s accomplishments.

“We rebuilt our military, we cut taxes, we rolled back regulations, unleashed American energy, secured our border, supported law enforcement and stood for life, liberty and the constitution of the United States,” he said.

Credit Murray Carpenter / For Maine Public
Dale Crafts at a rally in Hermon on Monday.

The country was on a roll before the pandemic, Pence said.

“In three short years, we made America great again. And then the coronavirus struck our nation from China. And I’m here to tell you before the first case of community transmission occurred in this country, President Trump did what no president has ever done before. He suspended all travel from China, the second largest economy in the world,” he said.

Pence said the economy is already recovering from the job losses caused by the pandemic. And he characterized the election as a stark choice between freedom and socialism.

“I’ve got to tell you, it’s clear, when you look at their agenda you can tell, Joe Biden would be nothing more than a Trojan horse for the radical left,” he said.

The vice president also discussed the Supreme Court vacancy.

“So the Senate’s got a job to do. And after they discharge their duty to advise and consent, I’ll make a prediction. We’re going to fill that seat. Judge Amy Coney Barrett is going to be Justice Amy Coney Barrett,” he said.

Pence said the road to victory goes through northern Maine. And several times, he encouraged his supporters to vote for Crafts. But one name he did not mention in his nearly hourlong speech was that of Maine’s Republican senior senator, Susan Collins, who has angered the president by saying the winner of the Nov. 3 election should choose the next Supreme Court justice.