Vice President Pence touts tax cuts, gives blood in Phoenix

Posted at 6:46 PM, Oct 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-03 21:46:07-04

Vice President Mike Pence jetted to Arizona Tuesday to tout the administration's tax overhaul plan and attend a political reception, but he also stopped to donate blood to raise awareness of those in need after the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Pence's plane landed at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Tuesday afternoon, where he was met by Gov. Doug Ducey. The vice president then drove by motorcade to a Phoenix Mexican restaurant where he met with local business and community leaders for a discussion on the need for tax reform.

Pence told those gathered at the restaurant that he came despite the mass shooting in Las Vegas because the president "wanted me to be here to listen to the families that are gathered here today, to listen to the job creators, to listen to the great leadership in Arizona about the best way to go forward."

"Our plan is based on four simple principles," Pence said. "Reducing taxes for working families, simplifying the tax code, cutting taxes for businesses large and small, and making it possible for American companies to bring profits home to American to create jobs and opportunities here."

The vice president then worked his way around the restaurant, chatting with families and business leaders gathered for the event.

He then went to a Phoenix blood bank to donate. He tweeted a photo of himself in a reclining chair with a nurse alongside, saying he "gave blood to raise awareness for those in need in Las Vegas. You're in our prayers."

Sunday night's mass shooting was the deadliest in modern U.S. history, with at least 59 killed and 527 injured, some by gunfire, some during the chaotic escape. Scores remained in critical condition Tuesday. Hundreds of people gave blood in Las Vegas as hospitals treated the wounded, and a sheriff's official said Monday they had enough blood "for the foreseeable future."

Democrats have criticized the tax plan that was rolled out last week as favoring tax cuts for the very rich over average Americans. The tax cut proposal would double the individual income tax exemption, giving many middle income Americans a cut in overall taxes. But it also cuts corporate tax rates, eliminates the estate tax and contains other tax cuts that mainly benefit the wealthy.

Pence plans to attend a political reception in the evening and spend the night before leaving the state Wednesday morning.