VP Mike Pence draws crowd of supporters on the Range

Updated: October 27, 2020 08:39 AM

One week and a day before the election, Vice President Mike Pence spoke to a large crowd in Hibbing. "Thank you so much for coming out on this blustery day. And looking out at this crowd, it’s pretty obvious to me the Iron Range is Trump country."

The Make America Great Again rally was at the Range Regional Airport. Temps hovered near 30 degrees, and a few snowflakes flew before Air Force 2 landed.

Pence joked, "Well, I love those gloved claps. Give yourself another round of gloved clapping. You're the toughest people I've seen in awhile, God bless you."

Police told the Duluth News Tribune's Brady Slater that about 650 people were there.

Many people on the Range are Trump supporters. In fact, according to 2016 numbers, Trump won across areas of the Range.

Steelworkers like Andy LaBarge had hoped to attend a previous rally, but had to work. This one, was a priority for him. "I want to hear him talk about mining and logging, and our way of life. It's cool he's in a small town, like Hibbing, and I'm sure we'll have quite the turnout."

Another miner, James Whitlock, added, "As a blue collar worker and small business owner, they are for what I stand for."

Mining was one of the first topic covered. "But you all remember, Joe Biden and the last president actually tried their best to literally shut down mining in the Iron Range. Last year, Joe Biden even told a group of coal miners in New Hampshire that they ought to quote, “learn to code.” Truth is when Joe Biden was vice president, they withdrew the mineral rights for the nation's largest untapped copper and nickel reserves right here in Northern Minnesota. From the beginning. President Donald Trump has been fighting to open up the Iron Range." 

Then it was on to health care, the coronavirus, conservative judges, and support for law enforcement and troops.

Congressman Pete Stauber was there, along with other leaders from across Minnesota.

Pence was in Duluth at the end of August, speaking about how the Trump administration has helped create jobs.

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