Pence knocks Sherrod Brown in Ohio, boosts Renacci

Pence knocks Sherrod Brown in Ohio, boosts Renacci
© Greg Nash

Vice President Pence went after Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownThe Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape Dayton Democrat launches challenge to longtime GOP rep Dayton mayor: Trump visit after shooting was 'difficult on the community' MORE (D-Ohio) and touted his Republican challenger during a speech in Ohio on Friday evening.

Speaking at an event in Columbus where the focus was on the GOP tax-cut plan signed in to law in December, Pence ripped Brown for calling the legislation a "scam" and joining with every Senate Democrat to oppose its passage.

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"[The Democrats have] gone farther to the left than ever before. I mean, you need to only look at Ohio’s Sen. Sherrod Brown to prove it," Pence told the audience.

"I mean, the hardworking men and women of Ohio deserve to know, when it came time to cut your taxes, Sen. Sherrod Brown voted no," he continued. 

"Sherrod Brown actually voted no because he called these historic tax cuts a 'scam,' ” Pence said. "The truth is, our tax cuts are delivering a middle-class miracle in Columbus and across Ohio. That's the truth."

During the speech, Pence also touted Rep. Jim RenacciJames (Jim) B. RenacciMedicare for All won't deliver what Democrats promise GOP rep: If Mueller had found collusion, 'investigation would have wrapped up very quickly' House Ethics Committee extends probe into Renacci MORE (R), the Trump-backed Ohio Senate candidate who won the Republican primary last month.

"I met Jim back when he was a businessman trying to be a congressman. And I love to tell people, I was for Jim Renacci before it was cool," Pence told the crowd to laughs.

"He’s a leader who's been standing shoulder to shoulder with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump MORE and our entire administration every day," Pence added."We couldn’t have gotten the tax cuts done without his insight, without his counsel and without his support."

Renacci is running against Brown in a state Trump won by 8 points in 2016, though Republicans admit that Brown is significantly more popular in the state.

Brown's seat is seen as an uphill battle for the GOP as the party tries to maintain control of the Senate, where Republicans hold a one-seat majority.

The RealClearPolitics polling index shows Brown with about a 15-point lead over Renacci with just under five months to go until November's midterms.

Pence's visit Friday also attracted a number of protesters who interrupted his rally inside a Columbus hotel, according to Cleveland.com.

LGBT activists were also expected to hold a dance party outside Pence's hotel where he was scheduled to speak, with several hundred activists showing up Friday, Cleveland.com reported.