Pence uses border security to rally voters in Southwest
ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence drew cheers Friday while stressing border security as he campaigned for Republican candidates in New Mexico and Arizona.
In Yuma, Arizona, near the Mexico border, Pence rallied the GOP base for Martha McSally, who is in a tough race for the Senate with Kyrsten Sinema.
“This election is a choice and boy this choice couldn’t be clearer,” Pence said.
Earlier in the day, at a campaign rally in New Mexico, a crowd went wild when Pence said the Trump administration will not back down from building a wall along the border and fix what he referred to as a broken immigration system.
Pence’s stop in New Mexico kicked off a swing through the Southwest, where immigration, border security and the caravan of thousands of Central American migrants headed north through Mexico have been the focus of debates and campaign ads ahead of the midterm elections.
He was due to visit Las Vegas and Carson City, Nevada, on Saturday.
Pence went to Roswell, New Mexico, to support Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Pearce and congressional candidate Yvette Herrell.
Pence told the crowd that more conservative voices are needed in Congress and in statehouses around the nation if progress is going to be made on border security.
He pointed to the Central American migrants, alleging that the caravan is being organized by leftist groups and that smugglers are exploiting the migrants, with no regard for the elderly and children.
Pence reiterated a message to those in the group: “Turn around. We are not going to allow you to come into our country illegally.” That spurred chants of “Build that wall.”
The vice president said the administration will seek changes in immigration law to ensure fairness to immigrants who are waiting in line for legal entry.
In addition to highlighting Pearce’s military and congressional records and Herrell’s stance on border security, Pence used his stop in eastern New Mexico to tout low unemployment numbers and the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Pence’s visit prompted criticism from Democrats in New Mexico, where the party is trying to win back the governor’s seat and flip a key congressional seat that covers the border region.