Vice President Mike Pence was out of Southern California Tuesday after he headlined a fundraising luncheon in Newport Beach to benefit seven House Republicans from California targeted by Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections.
During a quick 24-hour trip to the Los Angeles area, Pence did not meet with reporters who likely wanted to ask him about the latest NFL controversy by the Trump Administration when the vice president walked out of an Indianapolis game Sunday when the opposing San Francisco 49ers had some players refuse to stand for the national anthem.
The luncheon at the Resort at Pelican Hill benefited California Victory 2018, a joint fundraising committee for Reps. Darrel Issa of Vista, Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach, Mimi Walters of Irvine, Ed Royce of Brea, Steve Knight of Palmdale, David Valadao of Hanford and Jeff Denham of Turlock, according to one of the organizers, Republican National Committee member Shawn Steel.
The fundraiser was scheduled for last month but was delayed when Pence went to Florida following Hurricane Irma.
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton carried all seven districts in last year’s presidential election.
During the Newport Beach appearance, Pence touted the work being done by President Donald Trump, one of the event’s attendees told the Orange County Register.
“America is optimistic, but there is more work to do to make America great again,” Scott Baugh, a former county Republican chairman, told the Register about the theme of Pence’s speech. Baugh said Pence also touted what he called growth of the American economy and the creation of more than 1 million jobs.
Costa Mesa City Councilman Jim Righeimer told City News Service earlier he was excited to attend the fundraiser.
“I met (Pence) back when he was a congressman, actually,” Righeimer said. “He’s very personable, very down to earth — someone you’d expect out of a Midwestern state.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, also attended the event.
Following the Newport Beach fundraiser, Pence flew to Sacramento, where he will join McCarthy to meet with area business owners, community leaders and families “to discuss the need for tax reform,” according to the White House. Pence wrote on Twitter that he also met with some firefighters battling the massive brush fire burning in the Anaheim area, and said he also spoke to Gov. Jerry Brown.
— Vice President Pence (@VP) October 10, 2017
Pence also took part in a “political reception” Sunday night, believed to have been in the Beverly Hills area. The event was closed to reporters, like many political fundraisers for both parties.
The Los Angeles Times reported the reception was held at the Beverly Hills home of developer Geoff Palmer.
The Newport Beach fundraiser came one day after Pence re-ignited a debate over some NFL players refusing to stand during the playing of the national anthem at games. Pence was in Indianapolis for the Colts game against the San Francisco 49ers, but left after the anthem, during which several 49ers players knelt as part of a continuing protest against racism.
Pence wrote on Twitter that he walked out because he will not “dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our flag or our national anthem.”
Some critics, including Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, blasted Pence’s brief appearance at the game, calling it an act of political theater orchestrated by Trump and carried out at taxpayer expense. Schiff asked on Twitter how much “taxpayer money was wasted on this stunt.”
–City News Service
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