Fresh off debate, Pence rallies in Peoria, Arizona

Vice President Mike Pence held a "Make America Great Again" rally on Oct. 8, his second trip to Arizona in the past four weeks.

The rally was held at TYR Tactical at 2:30 p.m. Thursday -- the same day that Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris were campaigning in Arizona.

This news comes as Donald Trump was forced to postpone rallies in Tucson and Flagstaff on Oct. 5 and 6 after testing positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 2.

Pence had visited the state in September for a roundtable at Grand Canyon University and a "Veterans for Trump" event as part of an effort to solidify support for the president's reelection campaign.

Pence arrived at around noon on Oct. 8, and was greeted by Gov. Doug Ducey and Sen. Martha McSally.

During the event at TYR Tactical, a company that manufactures military gear and backpacks, Pence thanked service members and talked about how the company was able to expand their operations, thanks to President Trump’s tax cuts.

Vice President Mike Pence applauded President Donald Trump on Thursday for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, his opposition to abortion and his support for police, during a pair of campaign stops in the Southwest.

Pence even credited the president with winning the debate Wednesday between Pence and Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris.

“There’s no question who won the debate: President Donald Trump won the debate, hands down,” Pence said.

He repeated many of the points he made during the debate, casting former Vice President Joe Biden as ineffective in his years in U.S. government and pushing back against the notion that there is systemic racism in police departments.

The Arizona swing came as Biden made his first campaign visit to the state, joining Harris for several stops in metro Phoenix. Biden has for months singled out Arizona as the first example on an expanded battleground map, citing demographic changes, new residents and realignment away from Republicans among key suburban voters.

Biden hammered Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and a failure to address the needs of working Americans.

“You’re facing real challenges right now, and the last thing you need is a president who exacerbates them, who ignores you,” Biden told a union crowd in Phoenix, adding that Trump “looks down on you.”

“We’ve paid too high a price already for Donald Trump’s chaotic, divisive leadership,” Biden said.

Pence, meanwhile, worked to hold onto Arizona and recapture Nevada, which Trump lost by a slim margin in 2016.

Pence’s praise for the president and pitch for another four years in the White House came 26 days before the election as Nevada and Arizona voters began receiving ballots in the mail.

While Trump has been sidelined with the coronavirus in Washington, Pence said the president would be “back on the campaign trail before you know it.”

In Peoria, he spoke in the parking lot of a company that manufactures protective gear for police and military use. About 300 people endured 100-degree temperatures made more grueling by the asphalt and lack of shade as they waited for Pence to speak.

A few were treated for heat symptons in a tent while the rest waited in closely set chairs, many without masks.

Pence urged them to get out and tell their friends and neighbors to vote for Trump.

“President Trump’s vision? We’ve rebuilt our military, we’ve cut taxes, rolled back regulations, unleashed American energy —-we’ve secured our border, stood with law enforcement and for life and liberties of every American,” Pence said.

Pence also talked about rallying around GOP Reps. Debbie Lesko and David Schweikert to ensure Republican majorities, and even talked about his debate with Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris on Oct. 7.

"I think last night's debate wasn't so much a debate between two candidates for Vice President. It was a debate between two visions," said Pence. "Joe Biden and Kamala Harris want higher taxes open borders, socialized medicine, abolish fossil fuels, use money to fund abortions all the way up to the moment of birth. If you didn't figure it out after last night, they want to pack the courts and defund the police."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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