Pence extends olive branch to Cummings after Trump's Baltimore attacks

 
Pence, speaking at the House GOP retreat at the Marriott Waterfront hotel, called on Republicans to promote a "positive" agenda that includes working with Democrats — including Cummings, who's leading several sprawling investigations into the Trump administration as House Oversight and Reform Committee chairman.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
"Make it clear, as I stand here in Baltimore, make it clear that Republicans and this president are ready to work with Democrats, including Elijah Cummings, to improve the lives of people in cities like Baltimore and address the crisis of illegal drugs and opioid abuse," Pence said. "We're going to work with everybody."
 
"We've got to lay out a Republican agenda in the days ahead, an agenda that makes our neighborhoods safer, our families stronger, our middle class bigger and more prosperous than ever before," he added. "The best is yet to come and we've got to put out that positive vision."
 
Trump addressed House GOP lawmakers on Thursday night; he only briefly referenced Baltimore. However, his mention of the city was far less conciliatory than Pence's.
 
"We're going to fight for the future of cities like Baltimore that have been destroyed by decades of failed and corrupt rule," Trump said.
 
Thursday marked Trump's first visit to Baltimore since attacking Cummings and his district, which includes the city, in late July following an Oversight panel hearing on conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border.
 
"The Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded," Trump tweeted at the time.
 
The district Cummings represents, Trump wrote, "is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place."
 
"No human being would want to live there," Trump added.
 
Trump's attack on Cummings, who is African American, came after he suggested that four minority freshman congresswoman "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."
 
The FBI reported last year that Baltimore had the worst homicide rate among the nation's largest cities and the second-highest violent crime rate overall.
 
House Republicans scheduled their retreat in Baltimore before Trump disparaged the city.
 
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyCongress hunts for path out of spending stalemate This week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Nunes pressed on Fox News about comparing impeachment inquiry to a 'coup' MORE (R-Calif.) defended Trump on Thursday, arguing the president's visit showed that he cared about the city despite the Twitter attacks.
 
“I think the president coming here symbolizes that, yes, he cares about Baltimore, he cares about the people that live in Baltimore and he does not accept that you have to stay in poverty,” McCarthy told reporters at a press conference.