WAUKESHA, Wis. - The Trump campaign targets Waukesha County. Vice President Mike Pence rallied there October 13, just three weeks before the election. Eric Trump rallied in the same county October 12. It's a conservative county where President Trump won 59% of the vote, underperforming compared with other recent Republican presidential nominees.
It’s part of the strategy to win this state that was the tipping point in 2016, leading the president to win enough electoral votes to capture the White House.
Here in Waukesha, the vice president lays out a conservative agenda, rallying outside, on the property of Weldall Manufacturing in Waukesha. They make cranes for the Navy, plus other large items like railcars and transformers.
“It`s on, everybody! Three weeks and the road to the White House runs right through Wisconsin,” Vice President Pence told the crowd, with the White House again on the line.
Pence, making is tenth visit to the Badger State, laid out the differences between his ticket and the Democrats.
“President Trump fought for school choice for every family and every community in this country.”
On abortion, “Where Joe Biden and Kamala Harris support taxpayer funding of abortion all the way up to the moment of birth; President Donald Trump is the most prolife president in American history.”
On the Supreme Court, Pence said he thinks Amy Coney Barrett will soon become Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
He ripped into Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for their refusal to say if they’d pack the courts, that is add more justices to the Supreme Court.
“I mean the only explanation about why they aren’t answering the question is because Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are planning to pack the court with liberal judges if they win this election. But, we are not going to let it happen, we’re going to re-elect President Donald Trump for four more years.”
Just Monday, Biden said he’s not a fan of adding seats. And Senator Kamala Harris told a FOX News producer, “Vice President Biden has been very clear with the American people where he stands. The bottom line is there are, what, 21 days now from an election and that’s where we’re focused.”
Pence also took a dig at Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s proposed 2021 budget.
“I mean it`s no surprise Milwaukee has literally seen a 110 percent increase in homicides this year. All while Milwaukee’s Democrat mayor has called for cutting 120 police office in his 2021 budget,” Pence said as some in the crowd booed.
The mayor says Republican state legislators have hurt the city’s finances, including by not allowing a referendum to increase the Milwaukee County sales tax. Barrett's proposed budget would not add new officers to fill holes left by those officers retiring or leaving, with a proposed cut of 120 officers.
Ahead of the vice president's speech, Mayor Barrett spoke with FOX6 and criticized the Republican blitz of Wisconsin this week, which includes Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, Vice President Pence, and President Trump. He plans to rally in Janesville on Saturday. FOX6 had earlier reported that planning for a public event, besides an already-announced fundraiser, was underway.
“I think we`re reaching the point where Donald Trump and his campaign are starting to panic, and they`re looking for any place that they think is a swing state and without a doubt, Wisconsin has historically been a swing state, " Barrett said in an interview with FOX6.
In fact, three of the past five presidential elections in Wisconsin have been decided by less than a point.
Entering the outdoor event, attendees were offered masks, though many chose not to wear them. It comes as Wisconsin is a hotspot for COVID-19.
In the crowd of the Pence rally, we met one undecided college student who is still unsure of whom to vote in 2020.
“If I`m going to be leaning in one direction, it would be towards apathy. I`m not really sure either candidate has my best interests in mind, so just have to hear him out," said Isaias Merino of Milwaukee.
He only has three weeks to decide: Trump, Biden, someone else, or no one?
The Biden campaign responded to Pence's campaign visit by criticizing him and saying the Trump administration has no plan for the pandemic.
“During his time as the head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Vice President Mike Pence has demonstrated that the Trump Administration is woefully incapable of getting the coronavirus pandemic under control. President Trump has shown a reckless disregard for the lives and livelihood of the American people — and nowhere is that more clear than in Wisconsin. As coronavirus infections, hospitalizations, and deaths surge across the state, the Trump Administration still doesn’t have a plan to beat the virus. As voters continue to receive their ballots, Wisconsinites have the power to turn the page on President Trump’s failures and chaos. Joe Biden has a plan to defeat this pandemic and build back better than before— by rebuilding the middle class, ensuring the future is made in America by American workers, and finally making access to affordable health care a right for all Americans.”
The Real Clear Politics average of polls for Wisconsin has Biden ahead by six points, the same lead Hillary Clinton had in Wisconsin ahead of the 2016 election.