• Vice President Mike Pence speaks at event at Loews Hotel

    By: Dave Huddleston

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - Vice President Mike Pence spoke at an event in Atlanta Friday afternoon, where he touted the Republican tax bill passed last year.

    “Since day one of this administration, we’ve been working hard to keep the promises to the people of Georgia,” he said to a crowd of hundreds at the Loews Atlanta Hotel. “It’s been a record of promises made - and promises kept.”

    He was joined by Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Reps. Karen Handel, Barry Loudermilk and Rob Woodall to highlight the package of $1.5 trillion in tax cuts, and each one spoke glowingly about the impact of what has fast become a campaign trail mainstay for Republicans. 

    “We needed Americans to keep more of their money, so they can invest it in things that were important to their families and not so bureaucrats can spend it in Washington,” said Loudermilk.

    Democrats claim the tax plan is a corporate giveaway that leaves middle-class voters behind. And they have fresh reason to back their stance: The party won an upset victory in a deeply conservative U.S. House district in Pennsylvania with a candidate who criticized the overhaul.

    “Despite the talking points delivered by Pence today in Atlanta, the Trump-GOP tax bill is clearly a bad deal for Georgians and they’ll make their voices heard when they head to the polls this year,” said Francisco Pelayo of the Democratic National Committee.

    Before the vice president left, he told a cheering crowd to stay engaged in politics.

    "That’s just what we call a good start. These tax cuts are just starting to make a difference," he said. "It’s not just about lower taxes. It’s also about bigger paychecks that come for businesses investing in American jobs."


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    During his speech, he also took a moment to speak about former Georgia Gov. Zell Miller, who died Friday morning.

    "Zell was a leader of great character and great integrity. He dedicated his life to public service and to serving this country ... The difference he made in the life of this great state, in the life of this nation, will impact this country for generations to come," Pence said.

    Pence then headed to Downtown Atlanta, where he headlined a major fundraising dinner for the Georgia GOP.

    At the state GOP’s annual Presidents’ Day Dinner, patrons paid between $200 for entry and $50,000 for a seat at the vice president’s table. The party is trying to stockpile cash ahead of a competitive election cycle. 

    Pence then headed back to Washington shortly after the dinner.

    A handful of demonstrators organized by the Resist Trump Tuesdays group and the Georgia Alliance for Social Justice gathered outside the hotel to protest Pence. 

    The vice president is no stranger to Georgia. He stumped across the state during the 2016 campaign and he traveled to the north Atlanta suburbs last year to boost Handel’s successful bid for an open U.S. House seat. He was also in Savannah last weekend to march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. 

    Greg Bluestein from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.

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