Pence highlights economic recovery report at Reno rally

Crowd limited to 250 due to state COVID-19 rules

Associated Press
October 30, 2020 - 6:06 am
Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a campaign rally at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport in Reno on Oct. 29, 2020

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RENO, Nev. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence urged early in-person voting and highlighted reports of a partial economic recovery during a rally Thursday in Reno, hoping to drum up enthusiasm in Nevada in the final days before the election.

“The great American comeback is on,” Pence said, noting reports released by the Department of Commerce earlier in the day showing the national economy grew 33% from July to September — a partial recovery after the downturn earlier in the year.

With Air Force Two and rolling hills as a backdrop, Pence contrasted President Donald Trump’s vision for the United States with former Vice President Joe Biden’s. Pence did not mention the coronavirus outbreak that swept his office earlier in the week or the mail-in ballots that have been sent to every active voter in Nevada.

“The choice in this election is whether America remains America,” he told an audience of about 250 supporters, the vast majority of whom wore masks and sat in chairs arranged 6 feet apart.

Both presidential campaigns have blitzed Nevada in the final run to Election Day, albeit in contrasting fashions. After losing the state by 2.4 percentage points in 2016, the Trump campaign has targeted it as a pick-up opportunity. Trump has spoken at three rallies in the state, all held in defiance of statewide guidelines limiting large public gatherings, while Pence has spoken at two.

The vice president acknowledged that coronavirus cases were on the rise in the West and throughout the country, but said the White House had no intention to mandate business closures. A Biden victory, he said, would likely lead to business, schools and places of worship closing, as is happening in European countries. Additional closures could hamper the economic recovery being made possible by businesses reopening, he warned.

“It’s a choice between a Trump boom and a Biden depression,” Pence said of the election.