Vice President Mike Pence touts economy, Big Ten football at Columbus rally

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) – With just a little more than 20 days until the November election, campaigning across the Buckeye State is heating up.

Vice President Mike Pence made a campaign stop in north Columbus Monday, filling in for President Donald Trump who had been sidelined from the campaign trail recently after he was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Pence talked for a little less than an hour and in that time, he covered quite a few topics, everything from the economy to Ohio State University football.

“Ohio always looms large in presidential elections,” Pence said.

With hundreds of people watching, the vice president took the stage at Savko & Sons in Columbus, talking about manufacturing and jobs.

“Savko & Sons doubled in size and they are hiring today,” he said.

It wasn’t all about the economy, with Pence taking his speech to the gridiron, crediting Trump for saving the Big Ten football season.

“I just heard that the quarterback who won the National Championship back in 2014 is actually with us today,” Pence said. “Cardale Jones, where are you?”

Pence also talked about things the administration didn’t save. On this Columbus Day, he mourned the now-removed Christopher Columbus statue.

“Here in Columbus, Ohio, last summer, you Democrat mayor took down the stature of Christopher Columbus outside city hall,” he said, drawing a round of boos from the crowd.

One topic not brought up until late in the rally was the COVID-19 pandemic.

With little social distancing, and only a fraction of attendees wearing masks, Pence promised economic and health relief from the virus.

“We are on track to have the first safe and effective coronavirus vaccine before the end of this year,” he said.

Trump’s support has declined in suburbs across Ohio this year according to surveys by Republican legislative strategists, worrying them about whether Trump’s plan to turn out more voters than 2016 in the rural parts of the state can compensate for the losses.

The Savko family has a long history in politics as the owner’s mother was involved with the Franklin County Democratic Party in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.

Owner Martin Savko Sr. said one of the reasons he’s backing the Trump-Pence ticket is because they’ve adjusted the depreciation value on expensive construction equipment.

“I’m voting for my business and I’m voting to support the people that come here to work for us every day and trust our family,” Savko said. “Mr. Trump lowered the taxes on business to align with the rest of the taxes that businesses across the world pay.”

With less than a month until Election Day, and thousands already voting, time is ticking for candidates to sway voters in swing states like Ohio.

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