Vice President Mike Pence to visit Anderson enterprise center

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, left, shakes hands as he poses for a photo with Vice President Mike Pence during a meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 20, 2017. (Li Rui/Xinhua via AP)

ANDERSON, Ind. (WISH) — Vice President Mike Pence will be back Indiana Friday to talk about tax reform. He’s speaking in Anderson at the Wylam Center of Flagship East.

  • Vice President Mike Pence’s remarks at 3:30 p.m. Friday in Anderson will be broadcast live on WISH-TV and WISHTV.COM and on Facebook Live on WISH-TV’s Facebook Page.

It’s been more than 60 years since a sitting president or vice president has visited Anderson.

“It means a lot. There are a lot of places you can go in Indiana,” said Charles Staley, Flagship Enterprise Center’s CEO.

President Donald Trump’s administration has promised to change tax code since the campaign trail and Vice President Pence will bring that message firsthand to Hoosiers on Friday.

Then, about a week later, Trump is expected to do the same.

“We’re known for being more fiscally conservative and having a pretty tight budget,” said Laura Wilson, a political science professor at the University of Indianapolis.

“He might be looking at Indiana as a place for grassroots support but also a place for inspiration.”

The vice president is expected to talk about making the tax code simpler, more job-friendly and more favorable to the middle class. But, Wilson said, don’t expect too many specifics.

“I don’t think people necessarily care the nuts and bolts,” she said. “They’re more interested in what is this going to provide me.”

Several Republican Indiana congressional members and Gov. Eric Holcomb will join the vice president. But the name that surprises Wilson is U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat from Indiana.

“Donald Trump sees him as a potential ally for crossing over for a vote,” she said.

“And likewise Donnelly understands he’s coming from a very conservative state. If he wants to maintain his seat in the Senate, he can’t be as liberal as some of the other Democrats.”

Donnelly is already facing several challengers in his run for re-election in 2018, including U.S. Rep. Luke Messer and U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, Republicans who will also greet the vice president Friday afternoon.

Donnelly sent a statement that said “it is an honor to welcome the Vice President back home to Indiana. As we discuss tax reform, I believe that any reform effort should include policies that will create new jobs, protect existing jobs, and benefit middle class and working families. That is what I’ve discussed with President Trump, and I’m pleased he has been supportive of my proposals to prevent the outsourcing of jobs.”

In response, Messer’s campaign team released this statement: “Make no mistake, Joe Donnelly is feeling the pressure, and he may be forced to do something he doesn’t want to do… give Hoosiers a tax cut. The truth is Joe Donnelly has voted against tax cuts for Hoosiers over 30 times. But now, with the spotlight on him, I fully expect Joe to do what he does best… make a political calculation, support President Trump’s plan and hope he gets away scot-free.”