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Former VP Mike Pence rallies with Tom Barrett in push to flip Congress

Arjun Thakkar

Updated on November 8 at 10:23 a.m. ET

Former Vice President Mike Pence rallied with Republican State Sen. Tom Barrett this week in Charlotte. He framed Barrett’s campaign for Michigan’s 7th District as a decisive battle for control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Dozens of families gathered at an Orchard slightly north of Charlotte Friday to see the former vice president rally with Tom Barrett.

Barrett is challenging incumbent Democrat Elissa Slotkin. He points to rising inflation and crime in Michigan and says the country has been on the wrong track under Democratic leadership. He said he’ll support the economy, address the opioid epidemic, and improve border security.

Pence reminded voters that Barrett’s bid for Congress is a local race with national implications.

“Tom Barrett has the beliefs and the values to turn this country around." Pence said. "And I know that people in Michigan are gonna send him to Washington DC on November 8th.”

Pence is one of several national figures who’ve weighed in on this competitive race; Republican Rep. Liz Cheney campaigned for Slotkin in East Lansing earlier this week. She argued Slotkin would continue to be a principled, bipartisan member of Congress.

Flanked by his family, Barrett, referring to the former vice president, said "a real Republican" contacted him after Cheney's intervention to promise his support.

Barrett has also been endorsed by Harriett Hageman, who ousted Cheney in the primary for Wyoming's House seat, as well as Tulsi Gabbard, the former Hawaii representative who left the Democratic Party earlier last month.

Pence reflected on the policies he implemented alongside former President Donald Trump as well as his life since stepping down as vice president.

Pence and Barrett greet voters after the event.
Arjun Thakkar
Pence and Barrett greet voters after the event.

He praised Barrett’s service in the Army and his record as a conservative and accuses Barrett’s opponent, incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, of hurting the economy and being a rubber stamp for President Joe Biden’s agenda.

He said flipping control of Congress would be a course correction for the country.

“The path to a Republican majority goes right through this district." Barrett said. "That's why we need Tom Barrett in a Republican majority in the Congress of the United States, so you go tell 'em!”

Pence also asked voters to support Michigan's Republican candidate for governor, Tudor Dixon.

Slotkin’s campaign responded to the event with a press release attacking Barrett for campaigning with Pence and criticized the former vice president, who they called an "anti-choice warrior," for his opposition to abortion rights.

"The people Barrett is choosing to align himself with in the final days of the race says quite a lot about his character," the release said.

Corrected: November 8, 2022 at 10:23 AM EST
Harriet Hageman's last name was previously spelled Hagerman. This error has been corrected.
Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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