NASHUA — Five days before the New Hampshire presidential primary, second lady Karen Pence rallied voters still celebrating President Trump’s acquittal to get out the vote for his reelection.
“We are winning under President Trump,” Pence said. “We are winning under his leadership. And we need four more years.”
But she said the 2020 election “is going to be a close race,” and urged his supporters to accelerate their efforts.
“Whatever you’re doing, we need you to do more,” Pence said. “Whatever you’re giving, we need you to give more. Because this election truly is the most important election of our lifetime. It is imperative that we get this president reelected.”
It was a day of celebration for Trump and his allies, who were taking a victory lap over his acquittal in the impeachment trial, and who were eager to denounce Democrats who had driven the campaign. Pence said it was a “privilege” to be with Trump earlier Thursday for his celebratory remarks.
“What a wonderful moment to be able to share with the president,” Pence said.
New Hampshire GOP Chairman Stephen Stepanekcalled it “a great day that we will all remember,” and decried the partisanship of the impeachment process before a Radisson Hotel ballroom crowd dotted with Make America Great Again hats. He called for Republicans to take back the state legislature, reelect Governor Chris Sununu, and retire US Senator Jeanne Shaheen and US Representatives Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas.
“And by God, we will reelect Donald Trump as the president of the great United States of America," he said.
Earlier Thursday, a day after he was acquitted in his impeachment trial, Trump offered lengthy celebratory remarks at the White House, at which he thanked his supporters, calling them “warriors." Two nights earlier, he delivered a State of the Union address saturated with optimism, patriotism, and shout-outs to conservatives while Democrats, politically outmaneuvered and frustrated, fumed. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dramatically tore up Trump’s State of the Union speech on camera.
“It’s a good week to be a Republican,” said Richard Merkt, a New Hampshire Republican State Committee member and candidate for the Legislature who came to see Pence speak. “From our perspective, this was the culmination of just a three-year disaster in Washington, and it is finally resolved and cleared, and I can’t wait to see President Trump come here on Monday.”
Also on Thursday, at a National Prayer breakfast, Trump took a dig at Pelosi for saying she would pray for him, and at US Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, for saying his decision to convict Trump was informed by his Mormon faith.
"I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” Trump said at the breakfast.
“Nor do I like people who say ‘I pray for you,’ when they know that that’s not so," said Trump.
But in Nashua, Pence evoked the power of prayer, thanking voters for their support and assuring them that it lifts up Trump.
“When he talks about people who tell him they’re praying for him or who actually do pray with him — it means a lot,” Pence said. “But it means a lot to our whole country. Keep our country in prayer right now. Lift it up. It makes a difference.”
Pence encouraged voters to spread the news about the Trump-Pence administration, saying more than 7 million jobs have been created, bringing the national unemployment rate to a 50-year low of 3.5 percent. The unemployment rate for women is the lowest it has been in her lifetime, Pence said, and the unemployment rate for Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and African-Americans are the lowest ever recorded.
“It’s so easy to tell the story. The facts tell the story," she said. "The president’s strong policies have launched us into the hottest economic environment in history. This economy is booming,”
She also pointed to the addition of more than 500,000 manufacturing jobs, referring to former President Barack Obama’s suggestion that Trump would need a “magic wand” to fulfill his promises to boost US manufacturing employment.
“Well, guess what?” Pence said. “President Trump found that wand.”
Pence invited active and former members of the military to stand for applause, and spoke of the president’s devotion to them.
“When I see how this president stands for our military, it’s inspiring to me. And it’s inspiring to our military” she said. “They feel like they are believed in again. They feel like someone cares about them again.”
And she spoke of her initiative to help military spouses find work, particularly in licensing, and the president’s efforts to expand their hiring in the federal government.
“This president understands what it’s like to be a military spouse and he’s doing what he can to help them,” said Pence.