CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Republican vice presidential candidate Gov. Mike Pence is blaming both Democrats and Republicans for the decline of manufacturing in the United States.
The Indiana governor was addressing about 200 people Wednesday at Charlotte Pipe and Foundry near uptown Wednesday morning.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's vice-presidential running mate Mike Pence held a rally Wednesday morning in Charlotte. According to the company, it is the nation's top maker of cast iron and plastic pipe and fittings. The CEO, Roddey Dowd, told the crowd why he is supporting the Trump/Pence ticket.
"We need major reform for our trade laws, we got to get rid of these crazy and unneeded regulations," Dowd said.
Pence said policies by both Republican and Democratic administrations have eroded America's manufacturing industry.
Pence also said the country has been neither smart nor tough in defending U.S. jobs from international trade. He said that will change if he and Donald Trump are elected in November.
Prior to his speech, Pence toured the manufacturing portion of the plant, shaking hands with some workers.
Pence attacked Obama's policies and Hillary Clinton.
"I think that any progress that North Carolina's made or Indiana's made over the last seven and half years has been in spite of the policies of the Obama administration and what Hillary Clinton wants to continue," Pence told WBTV in a one-on-one interview that addressed the economy and HB2.
"Donald Trump and I, both believe those are issues best resolved at the state level that Washington, DC has no business intruding on decisions that are being made by parents and administrators and elected representatives of the people. North Carolina can resolve those issues just as Indiana has resolved those issues," Pence said.
When he was told Governor McCrory believes the Supreme Court will decide HB2, he stressed the importance of electing Donald Trump.
"I think everyone should understand while we're electing a president for the next four years that president will likely set the course for the supreme court for the next forty years," Pence said.
Later in the day, Pence was scheduled to speak at Manufacturing Methods, a fabrication and assembly facility in Leland, NC.
He ended his speech in Charlotte by explaining why he is here.
"The road to the White House goes straight through North Carolina," Pence said.
Pence held campaign events in Pennsylvania on Tuesday and has been a regular visitor to North Carolina, another battleground state.
His first trip to Charlotte comes less than a week after Trump held a campaign rally in Charlotte at the Convention Center.
Pence said in Charlotte there are many topics he could talk about like the cascade of controversy surrounding the Clinton Foundation, but both Trump and Pence are focusing on jobs and the economy.
"Donald Trump and I are committed to when we arrive in Washington DC, we're going to cut taxes across the board for every American, make three simple low rates for every individual and we're going to lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent," Pence said.
Democrats responded to the Republicans' economic plan to cut taxes by holding a press conference with Mayor Jennifer Roberts and Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota.
She said based on a Republican economist's analysis Clinton and Kaine's job plan would create 300,000 new jobs in North Carolina and Trump's plan would push us into a deep recession and cause NC to lose 100,000 jobs.
"I think it's pretty clear," Roberts said. "I think we've seen in this state what can happen when there are folks that are out of touch try to put together an economic plan that doesn't work."