Vice President Mike Pence firmly refuted former President Barack Obama’s claim that the nation’s current booming economy began on his watch.
Early in his remarks to the annual Values Voter Summit in Washington on Saturday, Pence rattled off indices of economic progress achieved under the Trump administration.
They included over 4 million jobs created since President Donald Trump took office, jobless claims at the lowest they have been in 50 years, and record low unemployment for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans.
Pence further noted that wages are rising at their fastest pace in almost a decade, and middle-class incomes have reached the highest level ever recorded in the country.
“The truth is the last administration stifled our economy under an avalanche of red tape,” Pence said. “This president has actually signed more bills rolling back federal red tape than any president in American history. …
“While the last administration raised taxes on the American people, this president and this Congress passed the largest tax cuts in American history. That’s promises made and promises kept.”
Pence then targeted Obama’s effort to take credit for the nation’s current economy.
“I don’t know if you heard about it, but our last president has been giving speeches around the country taking credit for this economic growth,” he said, which drew boos from the audience.
“Yesterday, in Pennsylvania, I heard that former President Obama claimed that today’s economic boom began under him,” Pence related. “He said, ‘They act like this just started.'”
Laughter could be heard throughout the Values Voter crowd.
“I have a message for our former president,” Pence said. “President Obama, you presided over the weakest economic expansion since the Great Depression.”
He recounted when the current administration took office the economy was growing at less than 2 percent and now it’s growing at over 4 percent GDP.
“This economy isn’t booming because of your policies, it’s booming because we’ve been rolling back the failed policies of your administration,” the vice president said, bringing those on hand to their feet in thunderous cheers.
“In a word, America is back!” Pence declared.
He later warned the gains of the last two years could be easily lost if the Democrats regain control of Congress during the midterms.
“My fellow conservatives and values voters all, the choice we face this November is a choice between a party that celebrates America and one that often demeans millions of our neighbors and friends,” he said. “It’s a choice between those who say our nation’s best days are ahead and those who simply want back in power so they can manage America’s decline.”
Pence drew inspiration from Ronald Reagan’s 1964 “A Time For Choosing” speech, which is credited with launching his political career.
“You know, as our 40th president used to say — and it’s equally true today — our choice is not between left and right, between conservative and liberal,” Pence said. “It’s really between up and down, between whether we’re going to continue to rise upward with greater freedom, strengthening the foundations upon which this great nation was built, or whether we’re going to continue to see America go down and fall into the rolls of other nations struggling under the weight of big government and abandoned values.
“Well, let this be the day, in this year 2018, that we decided to vote and stand and pray to protect our values, preserve our nation and uphold our freedom. Let this be the day that we pledge to one another to keep taking America to new heights for our sake and the sake of our posterity.”
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