Pence touts Trump's aversion to political correctness

Steve King endorses Trump-Pence ticket

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By Greg Forbes, Sioux City Journal

SIOUX CITY — Donald Trump’s “no nonsense” approach to politics is refreshing, his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, told an audience Monday in Sioux City.

Pence made no direct mention of the controversies that have dogged Trump’s campaign in the past week and contributed to a sharp drop in his standing in the polls against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“He’s a doer in a game usually reserved for talkers, and when Donald Trump does the talking, he doesn’t go tip-toeing around a thousand rules of political correctness,” Pence said. “He just says it like it is.”

Pence campaigned in the Sioux City area for the first time since being picked for the VP spot last month. During his nearly hourlong speech, he divided his time between extolling Trump’s virtues and blasting Clinton, a former secretary of state, U.S. senator and first lady.

“As I look at what she’s planning, I want to say from my heart, for the sake of our security, the sake of our prosperity, for the sake of preserving standards for integrity, let’s decide Hillary Clinton will never be elected president of the United States of America,” he said, drawing applause.

Iowa 4th District Rep. Steve King, who introduced Pence to the crowd of more than 200 people Monday, endorsed Trump for the first time. In the run-up to the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses, King was a supporter of Ted Cruz and served as the Texas senator’s national campaign co-chair. For months after Cruz dropped out of the race in April, King was tepid in his support for Trump, who came in second in Iowa.

“I’m walking into the polls, and I’m voting for Donald Trump and Mike Pence for our new administration,” said King, who praised Pence for his performance during the years they served together in the U.S. House.

Pence, a favorite of social conservatives, is expected to help shore up support for Trump in Republican strongholds of northwest Iowa. After leaving Sioux City, he spoke at a rally in Council Bluffs.

The western Iowa stops were Pence’s first campaigning solo in the state, a key battleground in this fall’s election. Last week, he appeared with Trump in central and eastern Iowa.

During Monday’s rally in Sioux City, Pence said a Trump administration would end “negotiations” with terrorists and threats to the United States that have increased in frequency under the Obama administration.

“When Donald Trump is leader of the free world, America won’t be paying ransom to terrorists. Terrorists and their sponsors will be paying a price for threatening, for detaining, for fighting the people of the United States,” Pence said.

Pence referred to last week’s disclosure that the U.S. government flew $400 million in cash to Iran in January. The payment was made the same week that Iran released four captured U.S. sailors. President Obama denied that it was a ransom payment for the Americans but was instead settlement of a decades-old dispute over a failed military equipment deal dating to the 1970s, before the Islamic revolution in 1979.

The Indiana governor also highlighted the major economic policy speech Trump delivered earlier in the day in Detroit.

Trump, a billionaire businessman, promised deep tax cuts to jolt middle class workers back to prosperity. He revamped his previous proposal, unveiled during the GOP primary, by increasing the amount that the highest individual income earners would pay.

Pence said Trump’s proposal reflects his attention to and care for the average citizen.

“Donald Trump gets it,” he told the audience at the Sioux City Convention Center. “He understands the aspirations and frustrations of the American people more than any other American leader in my lifetime since Ronald Reagan.”

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