BILLINGS — Vice President Mike Pence touted the Trump administration’s accomplishments Wednesday and called Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester an obstructionist while supporting his challenger Matt Rosendale during a rally in Montana.
Pence spoke to about 400 people in Billings at an event sponsored by America First Policies after attending a private fundraiser for Rosendale on Tuesday night.
Pence said President Donald Trump’s administration is keeping its campaign promises, including tax cuts, repealing regulations and the tax penalty for not buying health care insurance, supporting increased energy production and renegotiating trade agreements.
Pence said the administration’s work is just getting started, despite “unprecedented obstruction” by congressional Democrats.
“I sure think we could use another conservative fighter just like (Rosendale) in Washington, D.C.,” Pence said.
Pence criticized Tester for voting against the tax cut and not supporting the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. He called on him to put politics aside and support nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Tester spokesman Luke Jackson said the senator opposed the tax bill in part because it was expected to add $2 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years.
In touting the administration’s support for the military, law enforcement and veterans, Pence highlighted a bill that includes expanded private health care options for veterans. However, he didn’t note that it was one of 16 measures Tester sponsored or co-sponsored that Trump has signed.
Tester is among 10 Democratic senators seeking re-election in states that voted for Trump in 2016.
Trump promised in late April that Tester would have “a big price to pay” for his role in derailing the nomination of White House physician, Ronny L. Jackson, to run the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Tester, the ranking member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, released allegations about Jackson’s medication prescribing practices and leadership style that were brought to his attention by more than 20 military and retired military personnel who’ve worked with Jackson. Jackson withdrew his nomination and Trump called on Tester to resign.
Since then, Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Pence have campaigned in Montana on behalf of Rosendale, Montana’s state auditor.
Rosendale said Tester has “opposed every single good thing that President Trump tried to pass.”
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