Politics & Government

Pence touts tax plan, praises incumbent Barr at Versailles stop

Republican Vice President Mike Pence touted the Trump administration’s first-year accomplishments in a Versailles stop in incumbent Andy Barr’s 6th Congressional District where he faces numerous challengers.

The event at More Than a Bakery was put on by America First Policies, which was created by six of President Donald Trump’s former campaign aides to help promote his agenda. In front of a largely friendly conservative crowd, Pence kept to the tax cut talking points but also addressed trade tariffs, immigration and lower unemployment.

As expected, he backed the president’s plans for a border wall and adding tariffs to steel and aluminum imports.

“Because of the president you supported and the agenda you supported, growth is back, confidence is back,” Pence said.

Ben Self, chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party, said Pence tried to get away from the White House while it implodes “just like everyone else working there.”

“If the tax plan was actually helping people, they wouldn’t have to spend so much money on selling it to the American people,” Self said.

Prior to Pence’s speech, U.S. Rep Andy Barr was involved in a roundtable tax discussion with More Than a Bakery President Bill Quigg and Country Boy Brewing partner Daniel Harrison.

Barr of Lexington has drawn several Democratic challengers in what has been a competitive district in recent decades. The district includes all of 17 Central Kentucky counties and parts of two. The Cook Political Report rates the race “lean Republican,” which is one step away from “toss up.”

Barr was a supporter of the Republican tax bill and the GOP hopes it will be a plus for Republican incumbents in this year’s midterm elections.

“Congressman Andy Barr has been fighting every day for Kentucky’s farmers, manufacturers and working families, and we’re grateful,” Pence said.

Following the event, Gov. Matt Bevin spoke about how the tax plan is positively affecting Kentuckians.

“People sense that this is more than a piece of policy,” he said. “It’s having a direct and immediate impact on their daily lives.”

More Than a Bakery is, appropriately, more than just a bakery. The company has a 100-plus acre factory on Big Sink Road in Versailles where it makes cookies, snack crackers and specialty gourmet crackers for national distribution.

The event was the first time Pence has visited Kentucky since July 2017, when he came to Lexington to discuss the subsequently unsuccessful repeal of the Affordable Care Act. While in Kentucky Wednesday, he spoke to family members of the two 15-year-old students — Bailey Holt and Preston Cope — who died in the Marshall County High School shooting in Western Kentucky, LEX18 reported.

Mike Stunson: 859-231-1324, @mike_stunson

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