Political Insider

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Mike Pence: Donald Trump is ‘as genuine as a Georgia peach’

PERRY – Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence made a defensive stop for Donald Trump in Georgia on Monday, proclaiming the New York businessman was as “genuine as a Georgia peach” as he told supporters that the campaign wasn’t taking the state for granted.

“He’s a doer in a game usually reserved for talkers,” Pence told a few hundred supporters at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry. “And when Donald Trump does his talking, he says it like it is. He doesn’t go tiptoeing around.”

With polls showing a tight race in Georgia, the Indiana governor scheduled stops around Georgia over the next two days to introduce himself to Peach State conservatives, including a fundraiser in Atlanta and a rally in Cobb County on Monday and a Tuesday town hall meeting in Dalton.

"You nominated a man who never quits, who never backs down. And he is a winner," Pence said. "And until very recently, it seemed like he was fighting on his own. But it’s coming together, and Georgia is coming together."

A day after Pence struggled to define Trump’s stance on immigration policy, the veep candidate steered clear of the debate at his first event in Georgia. Trump suggested last week he may not follow through with his plan to remove the 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, and has scheduled what he called a “major” immigration speech for Wednesday.

Instead, Pence used his appearance to vouch for Trump - and take aim at Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“It’s like two on one in this campaign, with the media doing half the work of her campaign,” said Pence. “The media is so busy parsing whatever Donald Trump said or tweeted in the last 30 minutes, I guess they don’t have time to say what the Clintons have been up to the last 30 years.”

He also took pains to praise former Gov. Sonny Perdue, who introduced him at the event, as a politician “who changed the destiny of this state” by taking his message directly to the people.

For his part, Perdue taunted Clinton’s campaign with a request: Keep sending money to Georgia.

“I want them to continue to think that so they continue spending money in Georgia so they don’t go to places like North Carolina, Virginia and Ohio,” Perdue said in an interview. “Please spend all the money you can here in Georgia. We’ll be solidly red in November.”

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.