Pence VIsit 070920

Vice President Mike Pence speaks to business leaders at Rajant, a tech company in Malvern, Pa., during his tour of the state, Thursday, July 9, 2020. Pence started the tour off at a fundraising event in Manheim Borough after landing in Lancaster Airport earlier Thursday.

Editor's note: Vice President Mike Pence will be touring southeastern Pa. in a bus tour, and LNP | LancasterOnline staff will be along for the ride. Keep updated with the latest below.

Posted 7:01 p.m.

At an address to law enforcement officers in Philadelphia, Vice President Mike Pence stressed the respect and admiration President Trump and his administration have for police.

"On behalf of President Trump and the administration I will make you a promise: we will always have your back," Pence said.

Pence was introduced by Deputy Attorney General Jeffery Rosen, who said that every year since Trump was elected, violent crime has reduced. 

In his speech, the vice president addressed recent calls around the county to "defund the police," saying that the "radical left" was presenting a false choice between supporting police and supporting the community.

"Under this president and this administration we are not going to defund the police," Pence said to much applause.

He addressed the recent killing of George Floyd by a Minnesota police officer saying that there was no excuse and that justice would be served, but also went on to add that there was no excuse for looting and rioting that followed in some cities.

While not directly mentioning reform, Pence did say that "no one hates bad cops more than good cops" and that the administration had provided more funding to police departments for increased training.

Pence is now heading to Philadelphia International Airport to depart.

Posted 4:54 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence highlighted recent job growth and Trump’s first term economic achievements at a round table discussion in Chester County Thursday afternoon.

“The good news is that even in the midst of outbreaks we are seeing in Sunbelt states we are opening up America,” Pence said.

The vice president noted that after seeing historic highs in the unemployment rate in April, the economy has been showing signs of rebound. The nation added 2.7 million jobs in May and another 4.8 million in June, although unemployment still sits at 11.2 Percent.

In Pennsylvania, 211,000 jobs were added in May, though the state is still 628,000 down since the beginning of the pandemic.

The conversation was hosted at the Rajant Corporation, a Malvern-based technology company.

“It’s a company that has been prospering under the leadership of President Donald Trump,” Pence said as a segued into the President’s economic record. “We look back over the first three years of this administration and it’s been three years of promises made, promises kept. We’ve cut taxes, rolled back regulation at a historic level, we unleashed American energy, ended the war on coal and fought for the kind of free and fair trade that we were celebrating yesterday at the White House.”

He continued on to highlight benefits of recent economic packages passed by congress in response to the pandemic.

“At this point we’ve actually approved some 4.8 million loans to small businesses that have been able to make their way through this, including 165,000 loans for Pennsylvania small businesses through the paycheck protection program.”

Pence also sought to draw contrasts between Trump’s economic policies and that of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, who is also visiting Pennsylvania today. Pence criticized Biden’s support of the Green New Deal, an environmentally-friendly economic plan which the Trump campaign has argued would be detrimental to the economy.

Tom Baldrige, President of the Lancaster Chamber, was at the roundtable discussion and said he planned to ask about the possible fourth coronavirus stimulus bill but was unable before the event was cut short due to time.

“I was hopeful at the energy that they have around opening up and the degree of importance they are putting on safety,” Baldrige said. “It was good to hear him stress the importance of safety and masks.

Baldrige was glad that one participant asked Pence about reopening school, a topic that has received attention in recent days.

“This is becoming an increasing critical issue not just because of the education of our children but also for our work force to return to work,” Baldridge said.

Pence’s response to the question was inaudible due to audio issues at the venue, but yesterday the vice president said at a Coronavirus Task Force press briefing that the CDC would be issuing new guidance on reopening schools, according to the Washington Post. His statement came a few hours after the president had tweeted that previous recommendations were “very impractical.”

Pence is now headed to Philadelphia to speak at Fraternal Order of Police lodge #5.

Posted 3:48 p.m.

Pence is now giving his remarks and speaking on reopening the economy at Rajant in Malvern, Chester County.

LNP | LancasterOnline reporters attempted to take a live video of the discussion, but it was cut short due to audio malfunctions at the event. 

Posted 3:07 p.m.

Pence is now arriving in Malvern, Chester County, at the Rajant Corporation, a technology company. He will be holding a roundtable discussion on reopening the economy.

As of the end of May, unemployment in Pennsylvania was 13.1%, up from 4.7% at the end of February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Pennsylvania has lost a total of 628,000 jobs since the end of February, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and industry. Although, jobs are on the upswing as of June, and state and national unemployment has been declining since highs in April.

Congress is exploring a fourth coronavirus economic stimulus package, which could include more direct payments to Americans, although details are unclear. 

Senator Pat Toomey was in Lancaster earlier this week speaking on the topic of a possible fourth bill.

Tom Baldrige, President of the Lancaster Chamber, is at the round table economic discussion.

Posted 2:54 p.m.

The tour bus and press van are approaching Malvern on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The motorcade stopped briefly at the Denver/turnpike exit of 222 earlier, but Pence did not get off of the tour bus.

Reporters and photographers are riding in a separate press van as part of the motorcade, and the politicians and newsmakers are masked. Members of the press also underwent temperature scans at the Lancaster Airport this morning, a sign of campaigning in the era of COVID-19.

Posted 1:36 p.m.

A blue tour bus, displaying pictures of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, at 12:12 p.m. pulled into the Manheim home of Ron Kreider, the owner of Kreider Farms and a local Republican supporter.

Members of the press were escorted into Kreider’s garage. Pence and his entourage separately went to the Kreider’s home for a private event.

The guest list has not been made available, but Republican County Commissioner Josh Parsons was planning on attending, according to fellow Republican County Commissioner Ray D’Agostino, who met Pence when he landed at Lancaster Airport.

Posted 12:08 p.m.

LNP | LancasterOnline reporter Hurubie Meko took video of Vice President Pence's motorcade as he headed to Kreider Farms.

Posted 11:55 a.m.

Air Force Two, carrying Vice President Mike Pence, touched down at 11:10 a.m. at Lancaster Airport.

The vice president was greeted by Congressman Lloyd Smucker and Lancaster County Commissioner Ray D’Agostino, both Republicans.

D’Agostino said he thanked Pence for helping the county obtain coronavirus aid and for “the trust he and the administration has put in local communities to make reopening decisions." 

“They understand we have a pulse on the community,” D’Agostino said. “I told him he listens to Lancaster County and we appreciate that.”

Pence is currently headed to a fundraising event in Manheim Borough hosted by Ron Kreider, but made a brief stop at an intersection on Lititz Pike to greet a crowd of supporters who were chanting “four more years.”

Later in the day Pence will travel to Malvern, in Chester County, and later this evening to Philadelphia to give a speech at Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5. LNP | LancasterOnline will be with Pence throughout the day.

Posted 11:46 a.m.

Pence arrives at Lancaster Airport via Air Force Two. Photos in the collection below will automatically update as more are added.