VP Pence visits hometown, soldiers while keeping the press at bay

Data pix.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – While an impeachment inquiry is the talk of Washington, Vice President Mike Pence is keeping a low profile in Indiana.

Earlier Friday he visited a school in his hometown of Columbus, among other stops.

Vice President Mike Pence is the latest signature on the Indiana Special Guitar signed by other famous Hoosiers including former VP Dan Quayle and musician John Mellencamp.

Political expert Adam Wren explains why this visit was strategic for Pence.

“Seeing him in his hometown today as news of the whistle blower and impeachment proceedings riles in Washington D.C. this really helps him change the narrative and put him in a more friendly context,” said Wren.

Pence told the students at Southside Elementary to stay away from drugs and bad influences. He also told them he studied and prayed hard in order to accomplish his dream to represent his hometown in D.C. one day.

“The Vice President is in some of the choppiest waters of his political life right now,” said Wren. “He will need to get counsel, get an attorney and he will have to possibly testify before Intelligence [Committee].”

For now, he’s visiting soldiers at Camp Atterbury. He thanked them for their service and touted President Donald Trump’s record.

“Under this administration and a large bipartisan support in congress, we’ve seen the greatest increase in national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan,” said Pence.

“This is dicey for him,” said Wren. “His political future is on the line. We could see him potentially ascend to the Presidency or he could go down if there is an impeachment, and there is a trial in the Senate we could see him connected to that.”

All in all, Wren said nothing about Pence’s visit to Indiana surprised him, including his silence to the press.

“Pence, in his career, has operated in a way to avoid the press, to avoid direct questions,” said Wren.

Pence finished his visit to Indiana at the NeuroDiagnostic Institute and Advanced Treatment Center on Indy's east side. He toured the facility, which he said is the first mental health hospital constructed in Indiana in 50 years.

“I’m also proud as a Hoosier to see the state of Indiana really creating a model for other communities, other states around the nation to address the challenges that we face from not only drug abuse and addiction but also the challenges that mental health pose to public safety," Pence said.

Pence sat in between Dr.Jerome Adams, Surgeon General, and Dr. Jennifer Sullivan, Indiana Family and Social Services Director, for a round table discussion with other state health leaders.

Pence, Adams and Sullivan spoke before reporters for 13 minutes before the press was ushered out of the room for the discussion to begin. Pence said the way Indiana is responding to the mental health crisis and opioid abuse should serve as an example for the country. Adams agreed, and showed his respect to NDI as well.

"This is a top notch hospital and we need to make sure we're providing services like this for more people across the country which is why we are here today," Adams said.

Secret Service kept the press at a distance Friday. Some questions were yelled toward Vice President Pence but he did not respond.

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