- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 2, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence used his first campaign stops in Arizona to rail against President Barack Obama while linking Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton to his policies, saying his running mate, Republican Donald Trump, would undo the president’s actions.

The Indiana governor spoke before a crowd of several hundred people in Tucson on Tuesday afternoon before answering several questions from audience members. He did the same Tuesday night in Phoenix.

Pence criticized Obama for saying earlier Tuesday that Trump was unfit and “woefully unprepared” to be president.

“Well allowing for the fact that Barack Obama knows a lot about being woefully unprepared to be president of the United States, why don’t we look at the record?” Pence asked.

Pence denounced Obama’s policies in the Iraq, saying they were responsible for the growth of the Islamic State group. He on numerous occasions promised that a Trump administration would repeal the president’s Affordable Care Act and strengthen the economy.

He also tied Clinton to most of Obama’s policies, saying that electing her would be akin to allowing Obama to have a third term.

“Let’s just decide right here and now that Hillary Clinton will never become president,” Pence said.

Trump has had wide support from Republicans in Arizona, winning the state’s presidential preference race with 47 percent of the vote.

Pence told his Phoenix audience that Trump “will bring no-nonsense leadership to the White House” and “restore law and order to our cities and streets” by strengthening and supporting law enforcement nationwide.

At the Tucson town hall, one protester was escorted out after yelling at Pence that he wasn’t welcome there.

The downtown Phoenix event also was marred when a man in the back of the crowd shouted out “Donald Trump is a racist” several times. Supporters booed and drowned out the unidentified man’s shouts with chants of “USA” before security escorted him out.

Pence ignored the remarks. He also made no mention of new party tensions after GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump refused to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan or Arizona Sen. John McCain earlier Tuesday.

Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and longtime Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio spoke before Pence took the podium about 25 minutes later than scheduled.

Monsoon rains flooded some streets and snarled traffic that delayed Pence’s arrival at the Phoenix Convention Center after he had attended a fundraiser in suburban Paradise Valley.

“I didn’t even know it rained in Arizona,” Pence said with a laugh.

_____

Galvan reported from Tucson.

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