Vice President Mike Pence at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday, March 23, 2018. (REANN HUBER/REANN.HUBER@AJC.COM)
Photo: Reann Huber
Photo: Reann Huber

Pence in Atlanta: VP tells crowd tax cuts are a ‘good start’

Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Atlanta on Friday to quarterback an event touting the Republican tax bill passed last year and headline a major fundraising dinner for the Georgia GOP.

“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 tax cuts, who each spoke glowingly about the impact of what has already 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.

Pence stuck around town for the state GOP’s annual Presidents’ Day Dinner, where patrons will pay 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. 

Demonstrators organized by the Resist Trump Tuesdays group and the Georgia Alliance for Social Justice gathered outside the hotel to protest Pence’s appearance. 

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.

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."

More: Georgia GOP candidates to emphasize tax overhaul in their races

More: Mike Pence to headline Georgia GOP’s March fundraiser  

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.