Vice President Mike Pence visits Myrtle Beach to campaign
Vice President Mike Pence made a special trip to Myrtle Beach Saturday morning to support U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham as he kicked off his re-election campaign.
The pair of big-name Republicans appeared before a crowd of roughly 500 supporters sporting “Make America Great Again” and “Trump” hats at the Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation, pledging to continue their efforts championing the military, growing the economy, lowering taxes and supporting President Donald Trump.
“In all of my lifetime, I don’t think there’s ever been an election where the stakes were higher and choices clearer,” Pence said. “The truth of the matter is, we got a choice to make as a nation; if we’re going to continue on the path that this president has set us to a stronger, more prosperous America that your senator has supported every step of the way.”
Pence touted Graham for his dedicated service and constant support to the Trump Administration, encouraging supporters to vote both Graham and Trump in for another term to prevent Democrats from taking the country on a “hard left turn.”
“We need six more years of Senator Lindsey Graham,” Pence said.
Graham, who was first elected in 2002 and chairs the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, is seeking a fourth term.
Graham told the boisterous crowd chanting “U.S.A.” that he would be a good ally and partner to Trump if both are re-elected in 2020. Graham said he would improve roads, sewers, and water, replenish beaches and ensure I-73 is built.
“I’m going to keep this job and I think I’m better at it today than I’ve ever been. I don’t think I’ve had a stronger voice than I ever have in politics. ” Graham said. “President Trump loves this state and he listens to us and he cares about who we are.”
Graham also promised to appoint more conservative judges to the U.S. Supreme Court and strengthen border security.
“We will build the wall, I promise you,” Graham said.
While Graham told supporters he would always remember his home roots in South Carolina, Jaime Harrison, the former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman who is currently exploring a run against Graham, believes Graham’s sole focus is maintaining his friendship with Trump instead of resolving the states most pressing issues.
“He is one of the most powerful senators in Washington, D.C., but he openly says his priority is to make the president happy,” Harrison said during a press conference on Friday in Columbia. “Instead of emphasizing the importance of check and balances, he talks about how it’s a privilege just to be in President Trump’s world, because it makes him relevant.”
Harrison added how Graham has actively put the needs of South Carolina residents in harm’s way in order to preserve his loyalty to Trump. State Democratic Party chairman Trav Robertson agreed, also noting how Graham rarely mentions South Carolina when he appears on television.
“The last 10, 15, 25 times, when was the last time he has said anything about South Carolina?” Robertson said. “All he cares about is a national reputation and carrying the water for Donald Trump and Mike Pence.”
Harrison also criticized Graham and Trump for proposing a budget that would cut entitlement spending, as well as for state Republicans’ decision not to expand Medicaid that he said leaves 312,000 South Carolinians without access to healthcare.
“If you’re a working poor person in South Carolina, you don’t get health care, but if you move a few miles up the road to Virginia, you would,” Harrison said. “It’s not about the president’s success, it’s about whether the people of South Carolina succeed.”
Gov. Henry McMaster and U.S. Rep. Tom Rice, both Republicans, praised Graham and Trump for their strong leadership in bolstering the nation’s economy, reinforcing national defense and significantly reducing the unemployment rate. Rice said the current administration has restored opportunities for people to work and persevere.
“The Republicans are lifting people who haven’t had opportunity in decades,” Rice said. “It’s fine to make promises, but Donald Trump, Mike Pence and Lindsey Graham are delivering.”
Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune also expressed her support for Graham, calling him a “true friend” to the Grand Strand and Myrtle Beach.
“Anytime this area has needed anything in Washington D.C., Senator Graham has delivered in a big way and has always been on the forefront fighting for us,” Bethune said. “I know that we are going to do the same thing for him today.”