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Mike Pence Tax Cut Tour Draws Lots Of Applause In Charlotte

Vice President Mike Pence said in Charlotte Friday that President Donald Trump is leading a national comeback, thanks to tax cuts, reduced regulations and a stronger military. 

The vice president's appearance at the Park Expo & Conference Center was part of a national tour, billed as an event to promote the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. But it was more like a campaign rally.

He drew big applause time after time with lines like this one: "Jobs are coming back, confidence is back …  in a word, under President Trump, America is back … and we're just getting started."

Pence fed the friendly crowd of about 600 with plenty of applause lines about cutting taxes and regulations, improving military pay, services at the Veterans Administration, draining the swamp in Washington and building a border wall.

"I'm pleased to report to you that illegal crossings at our southern border have been cut by 40 percent and last year we started to build the first 100 miles of the border wall," he said, drawing a cheer.

"And when it comes to the wall, we're gonna build it all," he added, raising his voice. 

The event was organized by "America First Policies," a nonprofit set up last year to promote President Trump's agenda. Before Pence spoke, U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger and former Nucor Steel CEO Dan DiMicco had a panel discussion reinforcing the day's theme -- that Trump's reforms are good for people and good for business.

But most in the crowd came to hear Pence. He said the 2017 tax reform will bring the average household a tax cut of about $2,000 a year. Just as important, he said the changes are spurring businesses to offer their employees raises and bonuses.

"The truth is we're well on our way," Pence said. "Over the past four months, more than 500 companies across the country have announced bigger raises, better benefits and tax cuts, bonuses to more than 5.5 million Americans. That includes nearly 50,000 workers who've already benefited from the tax cuts right here in the Tar Heel state."

Pence closed the speech to a standing ovation, saying the administration would make America safe again, make America prosperous again, and -- using Trump's campaign line -- make America great again.

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David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.