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Pence hammers Biden in Wisconsin campaign speech

Pence hammers Biden in Wisconsin campaign speech
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Vice President Pence went after presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report OVERNIGHT ENERGY:  EPA announces new clean air advisors after firing Trump appointees |  Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior | Watchdog: Bureau of Land Management saw messaging failures, understaffing during pandemic Poll: Majority back blanket student loan forgiveness MORE on Wednesday during a campaign speech in the swing state of Wisconsin, casting the Democratic ticket as “a path to socialism and decline.”

Pence, echoing President TrumpDonald TrumpChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report Kim says North Korea needs to be 'prepared' for 'confrontation' with US Ex-Colorado GOP chair accused of stealing more than 0K from pro-Trump PAC MORE and campaign surrogates, characterized Biden's agenda as that of the far left while framing the upcoming election as a choice between “more freedom and more government.”

“It’s a choice between whether you have faith in America and everything American has been built on and our relentless drive toward a more perfect union, or whether you want to place your faith in something else, in the judgment of others,” Pence told a crowd of supporters in Darien at a plant owned by metal fabricator Tankcraft Corp.

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“Joe Biden and the Democratic Party have been overtaken by the radical left and their agenda would take this country in a dramatically different direction, on an inexorable path toward socialism and decline,” Pence asserted.

His remarks come midway through the four-day Democratic National Convention, which was initially slated to take place in Milwaukee before the coronavirus pandemic took hold. Biden, who was formally nominated Tuesday, is slated to deliver a primetime acceptance speech Thursday from his home state of Delaware. Biden took part in a virtual meeting with members of the Wisconsin convention delegation Wednesday afternoon.

Pence’s trip to the Badger State on Wednesday is part of a broader strategy by Trump and his campaign to counter the Democrats’ convention with a message of their own. Trump has already visited four states this week, including Wisconsin, to paint a grim picture of Biden’s plans for the economy, immigration and other issues. 

Wisconsin represents a key battleground state that Trump won narrowly in 2016. According to a Marquette University poll taken earlier this month, Biden leads Trump among Wisconsinites 49 percent to 44 percent. 

On Wednesday, Pence jabbed at Democrats for moving their convention online and suggested that Trump campaign officials would make multiple trips to the state before Election Day.

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“Where the other side is online, we’re going to be on the streets in the Badger State taking this message,” Pence told the crowd of a few hundred supporters. The White House said roughly 200 people were turned away from the event to keep the crowd small.

The Republican convention next week will be extremely scaled down, with Trump delivering his nomination acceptance speech from the White House grounds. 

Pence on Wednesday sought to hammer home the Trump campaign’s prevailing argument, less than three months before the election, that Biden would be a vessel for a radical agenda put forth by leaders in the far left wing of the Democratic Party, even though Biden prevailed over progressive candidates like Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOVERNIGHT ENERGY:  EPA announces new clean air advisors after firing Trump appointees |  Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior | Watchdog: Bureau of Land Management saw messaging failures, understaffing during pandemic Overnight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 Democratic senators press PhRMA over COVID-19 lobbying efforts  MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 Democratic senators press PhRMA over COVID-19 lobbying efforts  Schumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' MORE (D-Mass.) during the primaries. 

He asserted that Biden would raise taxes, increase regulations and appoint “activist judges” to the federal bench. Pence also knocked Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden signs Juneteenth bill: 'Great nations don't ignore their most painful moments' Biden's plan for Central American kids is no substitute for asylum State Department bans Guatemalan lawmaker from entering US MORE (D-Calif.), the Democratic vice presidential nominee, for voting against the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement brokered by Trump. At the time, Harris said the environmental provisions of the trade deal were not sufficient to warrant a vote in favor of replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement. 

Pence also sought to tie Biden to the “defund the police” movement, despite the former vice president saying he does not support defunding police departments. Biden has said he supports diverting some funding to mental health and other services and to tying funds to reform.

It’s unclear whether the efforts to paint Biden as the purveyor of a radical agenda will ultimately be successful in November. A Morning Consult poll released last week found that voters view the Biden-Harris ticket as more moderate than the Trump-Pence ticket.

Biden leads Trump nationally and in a number of key swing states, though a CNN poll released earlier this week suggested the election was tightening. Democrats have focused on Trump’s response to the coronavirus as polls show a majority of Americans disapprove of the president’s handling of the pandemic.