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Trump and Pence: Same ticket, different script in battleground blitz

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Washington Examiner, November 2020

They both use the same line in their speeches, urging their audience to help make “America great again, again.” But how they get there could not be more different.

As President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence made final-week swings through two key regions, they struck contrasting tones in their attempts to deliver victory. While Pence picked his way through the latest economic statistics and translated them into jobs growth for his audience in Arizona, Trump shrugged off jobs numbers as “boring” before giving a shoutout to Fox News’s John Roberts in the crowd.

After four years, politics’ “odd couple,” the thoughtful evangelical conservative and the anti-politician showman, are finishing the 2020 campaign much like they have governed. Insiders say the contrast is typical of the complementary roles they developed in office. But others wonder whether Trump might have a better chance of holding on to power if he could demonstrate his deputy’s message discipline and avoid burying good news on jobs and growth beneath cheap cheer lines about Hunter Biden that will do little to win over new voters.

“He’s got a good story to tell but often seems more interested in getting a laugh line out,” one campaign adviser said. They come together on Monday, the final day of campaigning. They will appear at two rallies together in the must-win state of Michigan.

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