POLITICS

Vice President Mike Pence Visits Utah

Aug 22, 2019, 12:04 AM | Updated: 12:09 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It was a day of firsts at the Salt Lake International Airport, where there was tightened security and a crowd of supporters gathered on the tarmac to welcome Vice President Mike Pence to Utah.

“Great to be back. It really is,” the Vice President said after shaking hands, signing autographs and taking pictures with dozens of supporters Wednesday.

The last time he was in the Beehive State was during the 2016 election, building support for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. This time, he’s talking trade and urging the state to get on board with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

LIVE: Vice President Mike Pence lands in Salt Lake City

LIVE: Air Force Two and Vice President Mike Pence have landed in Salt Lake City.

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

For one family, his most important message came right after Air Force Two landed and Vice President Pence exited the plane.

“It was really cool and a really good experience,” said Alex Taylor.

He’s the son of Jennie Taylor – the widow of the late North Ogden Mayor Major Brent Taylor.

“He had some very kind things to say about my husband and his service and our family,” Jennie said.

She said she got a call from Governor Gary Herbert’s office Tuesday, inviting her to welcome the vice president to Utah.

Little did she know, she and her 5th grade son Taylor would walk alongside Governor Herbert and be the first to greet Pence as soon as he stepped onto the tarmac.

“It’s just such a touching experience to hear one of the leaders of the free world telling us, thank you,” Taylor said. “It’s very humbling.”

Taylor presented Pence with a pin, which he put on his suit.

“Then he surprised both of us, and he said, ‘Alex, would you like to come on my airplane?’” she said.

The Taylors toured the plane, and even walked away with an Air Force Two medal from the pilots.

“It’s really cool. There’s a lot of seats,” Alex said, adding that there was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich sitting on one of the plane’s counters.

The vice president will need the fuel as he prepares to speak about the global economy, trade and the significance of Utah during a Thursday visit to Merit Medical.

LIVE: Vice President Mike Pence lands in Salt Lake City

LIVE: Vice President Mike Pence arrives in Salt Lake City.

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

“This is a state that knows how to create jobs,” Pence said to the media before taking off in his motorcade. “I wanted to be here to make sure the people of Utah and their elected representatives knew just how important the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is for Utah and is for America.”

The agreement is meant to replace the current North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The document was drafted in September 2018 and signed two months later in November. It still needs approval from the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

Pence will give his address at Merit Medical, a medical device company in South Jordan that does business in both Mexico and Canada.

“We’ve been preparing and we’re very, very excited about it,” said Fred Lampropoulos, CEO of Merit Medical. “We have to move products to and fro – and I think free trade and fair trade are critical for our business.”

The vice president’s visit is highly anticipated for many in Utah. For the Taylor family, the initial greeting was what made all the difference.

“To have him be so personal…At the end we embraced,” Jennie said.

KSL 5 TV Live

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Vice President Mike Pence Visits Utah