Pence blames Biden for economic woes in Chicago speech, largely avoids Jan. 6, Trump

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Former Vice President Mike Pence was in Chicago talking about the economy Monday.

It was the first of two stops in Illinois and came less than a week before his former boss, President Donald Trump, visits Illinois for a downstate rally.

Pence's visit also came as people are grappling with rising prices on gas and food and bank loans. He addressed what he sees as the problems and avoided talking about anything related to the Jan. 6 uprising or Trump's political future.

In addressing the nation's current economic crisis, he pointed the finger directly at the White House.

"The economic woes now upon us have been caused almost single-handedly by one person: the 46th president of the United States of America, Joe Biden," Pence said.

Pence pointed to sky-rocketing prices at the pump, in the grocery store and in housing as the result of what he called the Biden administration's war on energy.

He made only one glancing mention of the Capital uprising where some of the insurrectionists called for him to be hung when he refused Trump's call for him not to certify the election results.

SEE ALSO | Jan. 6 committee says mob was 40 ft from Pence during Capitol riot, stresses Trump's pressure on VP

"We've all been though a lot in the last several years, global pandemic, social unready, a divisive election, a tragic day in our nation's capitol," Pence said.

Pence possibly positioned himself for a presidential run in 2024. Two-term Republican Governor Jim Edgar said Pence faces one big obstacle.

"He'll have a hard time getting a Republican nomination because of the Trump factor, which is unfortunate because he did the right thing. I will say if he can get the nomination, what he did on January 6th would enhance his chances in the fall," Edgar said.

Despite the evidence being presented by the Jan. 6 committee alleging Trump's role in trying to overturn the 2020 election, Edgar believes Trump will run for President again and quite possibly win the Republican nomination.

"Anything that results in Donald Trump being president, I think is extremely dangerous for this country," Edgar said.

Pence touted the positive impact of Trump-Pence economic policies. The chairwoman of the Illinois Democratic Party said there's no way Illinoisans will forget what she called the four catastrophic years under Trump.
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