FORTY FORT — In a 32-minute address, Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday implored area voters to send investment banker John Chrin to Congress to replace U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright.
“In John Chrin, you have a principled conservative who embodies Pennsylvania values. He will stand with President Trump and I. You can’t say that about his opponent,” Pence said. “Matt Cartwright is literally a part of the resistance. It’s plain and simple. Matt Cartwright is too liberal to represent Northeast Pennsylvania.”
In his speech inside the main hangar of the Wyoming Valley Airport, Pence touted achievements of Trump administration, saying he and the president need Chrin as an ally in Congress to continue the progress.
“It’s been two years of promises made and promises kept and we’re just getting started. That’s why we need John Chrin in the Congress of the United States,” Pence said.
Republicans are eyeing Cartwright’s seat as one of the best chances in the country of defeating an incumbent Democrat. They hope it could help be a firewall to avoid a Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives.
Pence recalled being with President Donald Trump on election night in 2016 and told the crowd how excited they were when Trump won Pennsylvania — the first Republican to do so since 1988.
“Pennsylvania led the way,” Pence said.
Northeast Pennsylvania played a major role, the vice president noted. Some credit Luzerne County with delivering the presidency to Trump, giving him 58 percent of the vote compared to 39 percent for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Pence told the crowd of approximately 200 people it was “great to be back in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.”
After the rally, Pence took to Twitter to post about the campaign stop.
“PROUD to be in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA — TRUMP COUNTRY — today to offer my support and full endorsement of @JohnChrin, a leader who will be an ally in Congress to President @realDonaldTrump,” Pence tweeted.
In addition to touting several other candidates, like governor hopeful Scott Wagner and congressional candidate Dan Meuser, Pence spent considerable time advocating for U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta’s Senate bid against U.S. Sen Bob Casey.
The crowd erupted in chants of, “Lou! Lou! Lou!”
“It’s time to retire Bob Casey,” Pence, a former Indiana congressman, said. “I served in congress with Lou. He was a leader the day he arrived.”
Barletta, who is on a statewide campaign tour, did not attend the rally.
Pence told supporters to get their friends and neighbors out to vote for the Republican ticket like they did in 2016 when they elected Trump.
“I didn’t come here just to give a speech. I came here to sound a call to action,” Pence said. “We made history in 2016 and we’re going to make history again in 2018.”
In response to Pence’s visit, the Cartwright campaign released a statement: “We’ve had a lot of out-of-state visitors this week, including John Chrin. Matt Cartwright has lived in Northeastern Pennsylvania for over 30 years. He knows the people here and works hard for them. That’s all the help he needs in this race.”
By Emma Catalano
Oct 24, 2018