Tuesday, Vice-President Mike Pence (R) flew in to Birmingham for a National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC) event at Birmingham’s Weston Hotel. Prior to leaving for that event the Vice President had a brief private meeting with Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) aboard Air Force Two. Ivey and Pence then disembarked from the plane and met briefly with select supporters and members of the Alabama Air National Guard’s 117th Air Refueling Wing.
VP Pence said, “It is always great to be in Alabama.”
Kay Ivey is in a hard fought gubernatorial race. VP Pence endorsed Ivey, saying that, “She has been a good partner, I hope the people of Alabama re-elect her.”
Ivey and Pence reportedly discussed getting aid to victims of Hurricane Michael in Southeast Alabama.
Reporters asked Vice President Pence about President Donald Trump’s (R) announcement that he would sign an executive order to end birth right citizenship.
“We have got to end illegal immigration,” VP Pence said. “The President and I and our entire administration are absolutely committed to bring this crisis of illegal immigration on our southern border to an end.”
Colonel Scott Grant told reporters that it was a great for some of his airmen to get to meet with the Vice President.
Colonel Grant said that he discussed some of the 117th’s 101 year history with the Vice President and that VP Pence reminisced about his own experiences in flight school.
The NRSC event had been rescheduled from October 11, because of Hurricane Michael.
Trump Victory Chairman Perry Hooper Jr. told the Alabama Political Reporter that VP Pence participated in a round table discussion with himself and other influential Alabama political and business leaders; including Congressmen Bradley Byrne and Gary Palmer, U.S. Senator David Perdue of Georgia, President and CEO of Wellborn Cabinets Paul Wellborn, and former State Senator Shadrack McGill.
“He is such a great guy,” Hooper said. “I thanked him for the F-35s (in Montgomery) and he said that his son will be flying F-35s soon.”
Hooper said that Wellborn was critical of unfair Chinese competition in the kitchen cabinet industry. Pence responded saying that he and the President understood and are working on it. Hooper said that Pence also spoke about the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, “It was a huge win for the President.”
The NRSC raises money to elect Republicans to the U.S. Senate.
Pence also visited Atlanta to support Republican Brian Kemp’s effort to win the Georgia Governor’s race.
Pence is a former member of Congress and a former Governor of Indiana.
“It was such an honor to welcome @VP Pence to Alabama today! I appreciate his willingness to allow me to step on board Air Force Two to discuss some Alabama business,” Gov. Ivey said on Twitter. “He was very receptive and expressed his support of our great state.”
Gov. Ivey told reporters afterwards that she also pressed Pence on trade issues.
“It’s a work in progress, he clearly understands that I have got to protect Alabama’s economy, and we have seven OEMs that are expanding and provide thousands of jobs for our people,” Gov. Ivey said.
The general election will be Tuesday, November 6. Ivey is being challenged by Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter “Walt” Maddox. The Alabama Democratic Party has won only one of the last thirteen gubernatorial races in Alabama.
(Original reporting by WVTM TV Channel 13 contributed to this report.)