With Republicans In D.C. Divided, Pence Brings Case For Trump To Tennessee GOP Dinner

Aug 3, 2017
Originally published on August 3, 2017 9:21 am

Vice President Mike Pence is due in Nashville on Thursday to speak to the Tennessee Republican Party — an appearance that comes amid a tumultuous period in the White House.

Pence will speak at the Tennessee GOP's annual Statesmen's Dinner, its biggest event of the year. The fundraiser at the Music City Center typically draws more than 1,000 of the party's most ardent supporters, and the Tennessee Republican Party has a history of lining up top-tier figures.

Last year's dinner featured South Carolina's then-Gov. Nikki Haley. The headliner of the 2015 event was former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

The theme of this year's dinner is "Together We Will." But there hasn't been a lot of party unity recently.

Sen. Lamar Alexander has shrugged off calls by President Trump to repeal Obamacare and is preparing instead to work with Democrats on a plan to shore up insurance markets. Meanwhile, Sen. Bob Corker says Congress should set its own agenda, independent of Trump.

The job of corralling members of Congress has fallen to Pence. At a similar appearance in Ohio late last month, he called Democrats "obstructionists" and said Republicans need to "step up to the plate" legislatively.

Metro Police says highways between Nashville International Airport and the downtown will be closing between 5 and 6 p.m. for Pence's arrival. And immigration rights activists have announced plans to demonstrate outside the Music City Center, where the dinner is taking place.

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