Mike Pence Says the 'American Comeback Has Begun,' Touts Job Numbers in Labor Day Speech

Vice President Mike Pence asserted that the "American comeback has begun" as the economy continues to reel from the coronavirus pandemic.

In a Labor Day speech delivered from Wisconsin, Pence pointed to the latest jobs numbers as evidence that the U.S. economy is on the rebound. The nation added 1.4 million jobs in August, sending the unemployment rate down to 8.4 percent—the lowest it's been since March but still higher than before the coronavirus outbreak.

"After losing 22 million jobs at the height of this pandemic, we've already seen more than 10.6 million Americans go back to work already," the vice president said. "The American comeback has begun. In the last four months alone we've literally seen half the Americans that lost their jobs go back to work."

Still, the economy is operating with about 11.5 million fewer jobs than in February. Prominent economists have also warned about the potential for another economic downturn as states contend with more coronavirus outbreaks and a possible second-wave of the virus.

Pence made the remarks from the Dairyland Power Cooperative, an electric utility in La Crosse, on Monday afternoon. Wisconsin has emerged as a key 2020 battleground and could decide the presidential election. Polls currently show Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump by an average of 7 points.

During his speech, Pence praised the president as the "best friend American workers have ever had" and portrayed the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket as the "radical left" with a socialist agenda.

"We created the greatest economy in the world in three short years. We made America great again," Pence told the crowd. "Then the coronavirus struck from China."

mike pence RNC delegates day one
Vice President Mike Pence points to delegates on the first day of the Republican National Convention at the Charlotte Convention Center on August 24, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The four-day event is themed "Honoring the Great American Story." Pence spent Labor Day in Wisconsin, where he delivered a speech claiming that the "American comeback has begun." David T. Foster III/Pool/Getty Images

Harris, Pence's would-be successor, will also spend Labor Day campaigning in Wisconsin. The senator from California will tour the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers training facility in Milwaukee and host a roundtable discussion with Black business owners.

She also met with the family of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black father from Kenosha who was shot in the back seven times by law enforcement in late August. The Blake shooting reignited protests over police brutality and racial injustice. The demonstrations in the city of Kenosha turned violent as businesses were looted and buildings burned. The violence reached a peak on the third night of protests when two people were shot and killed, allegedly by a white teenager from Illinois.

Pence did not mention Blake in his first visit to the state since the shooting. But he did repeat Trump's message of "law and order" and offered praise and support for law enforcement officials.

"Any incident involving police use of force will always be thoroughly investigated but there is no excuse for rioting and looting we have seen in Kenosha and cities across the country," Pence said. "This violence against civilians, against property and law enforcement must stop and it must stop now."