Vice President Mike Pence visited Wisconsin on Tuesday to make a campaign push ahead of election day in November. The VP had a pair of appearances in the morning which focused on issues important to local republican voters like religious faith and personal security.
In an interview with TMJ4 News, Pence discussed Coronavirus testing and the Black Lives Matter movement.
"Well look, I'm pro life. I think that all lives matter and that the lives of our African American community are precious in the sight of God," the Vice President said.
While the Black Lives Matter protests in Milwaukee and around the country have been largely peaceful and about systemic change, Vice President Pence raised concerns about the rioting and looting with some protests.
"I think that the leadership of the movement calling for defunding police - seeing the countless violence in the street. It's just not where the American people are - the American people know we can support law enforcement and our African American community. The decades of disparities run deep in Milwaukee for African Americans in areas of income and home ownership," he said.
Pence points to President Trump's record with the lowest unemployment rate ever for African Americans before the pandemic, increased funding for Historic Black Colleges and Universities and more tax break investments in communities of color called Opportunity Zones.
The vice president believes failed Democratic leadership in major cities helped Donald Trump win Wisconsin in 2016.
"They heard him (President Trump) say to the African American community in this state: 'What do you have to lose?' Because too often our African American families in our major cities live on the most unsafe streets, their kids go to the most failing schools they are not given a choice, they don't have the income."
But The Democratic Party of Wisconsin says the Trump Administration has not delivered.
"From failing to provide adequate PPP loans to black-owned businesses, relentlessly attacking protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and creating an economy where the Black community isn't given the same opportunities to get ahead, Trump and Pence have proven that their toxic agenda isn't designed to work for Black Wisconsinites, " said party Vice Chair Felesia Martin.
Democrats and the Joe Biden campaign have also pounced on President Trump's comments that he wanted to "slow down" coronavirus testing.
TMJ4 asked Pence about those comments.
"The president has made it clear very early on that we were to form a seamless partnership ship with governors around the country. At this point, I think we have done 27 million test across America," Pence responded.
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin thinks the Trump administration has not delivered enough testing supplies for hard hit places like nursing homes.
The Wisconsin Democrat and potential V-P running mate for Joe Biden wants the president to use the Defense Production Act to increase testing supplies and improve access.
"We're facing lots of challenges as we struggle to reopen the economy," said Baldwin, and we will continue too as we open things like K--12 schools and higher education.
Baldwin is also calling for work place protection rules and supplies. She says social distancing and hand washing are good guidelines but more is needed to protect front line workers for future Covid 19 surges or outbreaks.
"The idea that, this far into the pandemic, they've failed to issue any sort of mandatory, enforceable standards, is really, really outrageous."
This story was originally reported by Charles Benson on tmj4.com.