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Vice President Mike Pence touts Trump policies in speech to the Detroit Economic Club

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Vice President Mike Pence told Detroit business leaders Monday that the “American economy is booming.”

Pence delivered a spirited defense of the Trump administration’s economic policies to a speech before 300 members and guests of the Detroit Economic Club.

The vice president says the U.S. economic outlook remains strong, despite concerns raised by some that there may be a recession looming in the near future.

“Despite the irresponsible rhetoric of many in the mainstream media, the American economy is strong.  The U.S economic outlook remains strong as well,” says Pence.

The Vice President credits tax cuts and trade policies pushed by the administration with boosting the economy, including Michigan’s auto industry.

“I couldn’t be more proud to say the automotive industry is ROARING back.  Here is Michigan and all across the heartland,” Pence told the Detroit business leaders.

Pence asked for the Detroit business leaders to urge Congress to approve the U.S., Mexico and Canada trade deal when it returns from its summer break.

Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
"What a bunch of crap,” U.S. HUD Secretary Ben Carson says of economists who don't give President Trump more credit for the state of the U.S. economy.

Pence also criticized China’s trade policies in his speech.

While Pence received a standing ovation at the end of his 30 minute speech, the audience’s response was generally more muted during the speech.

Detroit Economic Club president Steve Grigorian says that’s because this was an economic policy speech, not a campaign rally. 

“As business leaders they want some certainty and they want to understand what the policies are,” says Grigorian. 

But at times it did sound like a campaign rally, with Pence attacking economic plans being put forth by Democrats running for president in 2020. Pence insisted the economic gains of the past few years would be at risk if the nation elects a Democrat president in 2020. 

Pence was joined by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson. A Detroit native, Carson took shots at those who might not give President Trump credit for the nation’s economy.

“The economists always say 'natural cycles' — and it has nothing to do with who’s in office. What a bunch of crap,” Carson told members of the Detroit Economic Club.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.