Pence stumps for Republicans in trip to Kansas City, Missouri

The crowd turned their cellphone cameras to the stage as Vice President Mike Pence appeared on stage Wednesday in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Stephen Koranda, Kansas News Service)

by Stephen Koranda, Kansas News Service

Vice President Mike Pence came to Kansas City, Missouri, Wednesday, where he touted Republicans running for office on both sides of the state line and tried to ease concerns about the Trump administration’s expanding trade war.

The visit was part of a tax policy tour hosted by the group America First Policies.

Pence told the crowd at the downtown Marriott that the trade disputes with China, Canada, Mexico, and Europe would ultimately lead to better deals and open markets for agriculture and livestock producers in states like Missouri and Kansas.

“We’re going to keep fighting for a level playing field for our farmers,” Pence said. “America will win that fight and so will American farmers.”

The vice president’s comments come as the Trump administration considers yet another round of tariffs on Chinese goods, which could prompt a further response from China.

The world’s most populous country has already slapped retaliatory tariffs on some U.S. agricultural products, including soybeans.

Protesters outside the event blasted the administration’s stance on immigrant rights and abortion issues. And there were a few hecklers in the crowd inside the event hall.

Moments after Pence took the stage, one man took aim at the vice president for the administration’s policy, now ended, that separated children from their parents at the U.S. border.

“Mike, where are the children? Shame on you,” shouted one man before he was hauled out by security.

Pence took the protest in stride and the majority of crowd of several hundred was clearly in the vice president’s corner. They shouted “USA” as the demonstrators were removed from the room.

He urged the crowd to stay motivated and involved as the nation nears the first midterm election since President Donald Trump took office.

“That’s just what President Trump calls a good start,” Pence said. “We need your continued support.”

The vice president voiced his support for Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who is expected to win the Republican primary and take on U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Pence chided McCaskill and other Democrats for opposing policies President Trump has pushed for, including the tax cuts signed into law in December.

“This is the kind of obstruction that the American people have had enough of from Washington, D.C.,” Pence said.

Congressman Kevin Yoder, R-3rd Dist., did not attend the event, but he also was the beneficiary of some kind words from the vice president. Pence held a fundraiser for Yoder earlier in the day.

“Kevin Yoder’s been working hard, working hard to advance the president’s agenda,” Pence said.

Yoder is facing a primary challenge and a crowded field of Democrats vying for the 3rd District seat. It’s a seat both parties are eyeing as a potentially close race.

Pence’s endorsement of Yoder also drew the attention of Kansas Democrats.

Ethan Corson, executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party, sent out an email blast noting that Yoder wasn’t at the vice president’s fundraising event (the congressman’s campaign said he would be doing Appropriations Committee work in Washington, D.C.) and calling him “out-of-touch.”

“This November, the Third District has a chance to elect a representative who will actually meet with their constituents and put working Kansans ahead of special interests,” Corson said.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio, a partner in the Kansas News Service. Follow him on Twitter @kprkoranda.
Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to the original post.

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Celebration at the Station planned this evening

Celebration at the Station, a free Memorial Day Weekend concert by the Kansas City Symphony, will be held at 8 p.m. Sunday, May 27, at Union Station, Kansas City, Missouri.

The event will be held rain or shine. The outdoors concert site opens at 3 p.m. Sunday.

The 16th annual concert features the Kansas City Symphony plus members of the United States Air Force Band of Mid-America.

A fireworks display is held at the end of the concert.

Those attending may bring blankets and lawn chairs.


Memorial Day events planned at Liberty Memorial

Several Memorial Day events are planned at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri.

There is free admission to the museum on Memorial Day weekend for veterans and active-duty military personnel. The cost is half-price for general admission.

There will be a formal public program at 10 a.m. on Monday, Memorial Day, with remarks by U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, D-Mo.; Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James; a keynote address by Jon McBride, former astronaut and space shuttle commander; and musical performances by the USAF of Mid-America Hot Brass Band; operatic baritone John Brancy; and pianist Peter Dugan.

A new special exhibition featuring works of art by World War I soldiers has opened at the museum.

More than 20 vintage military vehicles and an iconic helicopter will be featured Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend from the Military Vehicle Preservation Association. This includes vehicles from World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Operation Desert Storm and MVPA members will be available to answer questions about their collection.

The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter No. 243 will provide a Bell UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” helicopter for display from Friday to Monday. People of all walks of life are invited and encouraged to show their support for military families by signing a mobility-equipped 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor truck that will eventually be donated to a veteran courtesy of Wounded Warrior Family Support.

Additionally, the museum invites the public to “find your World War I connection” and discover how the Great War affected their families through records, photographs and more with a variety of programs throughout Memorial Day weekend.

With access to multiple databases including,,, the Museum and Memorial’s online collections database, the American Battlefield Monuments Commission and the National Archives, visitors can discover their families’ connections to the Great War. This is presented in partnership with the Midwest Genealogy Center of Mid-Continent Public Library. For a complete list of Memorial Day Weekend activities, visit