Pence: August jobs report is evidence American comeback is underway [CNBC Transcript]

Pence coronavirus relief Vice President Mike Pence

First on CNBC: CNBC transcript: Vice President Mike Pence speaks with CNBC’s Kayla Tausche on “Squawk on the Street” today, dicussing the August jobs report and the coronavirus relief package.

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All references must be sourced to CNBC.

KAYLA TAUSCHE: Thank you, Carl and let’s bring in Vice President Mike Pence from the White House who’s had a little bit of time to sift through this morning’s jobs report, Mr. Vice President, thank you for joining us give us your reaction 1.4 million jobs added last month, and the unemployment rate falling to 8.4%.

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Well thanks, Kayla. It’s another great day for American jobs and American workers. I mean there were some estimates that we weren’t going to see the unemployment rate go into single digits before the end of this year but because of the foundation that President Trump poured in our first three years of less taxes less regulation more American energy more free and fair trade and because of the coronavirus relief efforts that we were able to secure from the Congress of the United States direct support for families paycheck protection. Today we see 1.4 million jobs added the unemployment rate drops to 8.4%, it’s, it’s a great day in America, and real evidence that the American comeback is underway.

KAYLA TAUSCHE: To be sure though the pandemic has wiped out the 7 million jobs that the administration created up through February, and another four and a half million in net lost jobs. Since then, how long is the White House forecasting that it’s going to take to get back to full, full employment. And how many of these jobs do you think are permanently lost.

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Well, no question that from the moment the coronavirus impacted our nation from China. The results have been very, very significant I think in the month of March we had, we had seen 22 million American jobs lost that’s what’s really amazing is with this jobs report today. Not only do we see the unemployment rate, nearly cut in half from its high point of about 15%, but rather, now we actually have seen 10 million jobs added back to this economy again I really believe Kayla that the reflection of the solid foundation that this President poured and will continue to build on we’re working with Congress today for an additional coronavirus relief package. But the last thing this economy needs is what Joe Biden and the democrats are advocating of higher taxes more regulation, more economic surrender and the kind of energy policies that will stifle the American energy Renaissance, that I’ve seen in high relief and traveling across the country to places like Pennsylvania and New Mexico and Texas this President’s advanced policies that have laid a foundation for this great American comeback Joe Biden and the democrats are advocating policies that would turn us back and for all those Americans that aren’t yet back to work. We need four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House.

KAYLA TAUSCHE: You mentioned the impact of the programs in the prior coronavirus relief bill, and the benefit that that provided the economy and getting a lot of these businesses to add people on to their payrolls, we learned yesterday that the democrats plan to pursue separately, a bill to fund the government and a bill to provide relief. A Will the President sign a short-term bill to fund the government beyond September, and B. Will the President and what is the prognosis for coronavirus relief bill if those two things cannot be combined.

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Yeah from very early in this pandemic President Trump made it clear that not only were we going to marshal the full resources of the federal government the full resources of our economy to meet this moment to put the health of America first, but he also said we’re going to spare no expense to help families and businesses large and small weather the storm of the coronavirus pandemic and at this point we’ve seen more than $4 trillion made available. The agreement reached this week by the Treasury Secretary and our negotiation team to have a continuing resolution to continue to fund the government when the fiscal year runs out at the end of this month means that now we can focus just on another coronavirus relief bill, and we’re continuing to do that in good faith look. Nobody wants to give direct payments to American families more than, President Donald Trump again I mean we sent those checks to American families. It helped people through this tough time, we want to continue the Paycheck Protection Program which we think laid a foundation for many of the Americans that are coming off the sidelines going back to work, we were able to preserve those job opportunities precisely because this president negotiated the paycheck Protection Program. Those are vital programs we want them to continue. But what we’ve made clear is, we’re not going to allow Democrats in Congress to use a coronavirus relief bill to bail out poorly run democrat states in the country. And so we’re in the midst of the negotiation, and we’re going to stay focused on American families on American businesses, but this job report today tells you that the American economy is coming back, we’re going to continue those policies that are equipping Americans to make their way through this time. But we’re also going to continue to take our case all across this country that we need four more years of exactly the policies Kayla that have laid the foundation for this remarkable V shaped recovery, that is taking place I mean think about that, I want to say this to your viewers again. I think the Federal Reserve predicted that we wouldn’t be under 10% unemployment, before the end of the year, and we’re at 8.4% unemployment. Today, I mean we’ve literally cut the unemployment rate in half. In just four months 10 million Americans have gone back to work. I truly believe that’s a testament in part to the coronavirus relief efforts, but it’s mostly a testament to the resilience strength of the American people. And also, the fundamental strength of this economy, which was, which has been growing over the last three years, our first three years, but on lower taxes less regulation more American energy and free and fair trade okay Joe Biden is in Kenosha, Wisconsin yesterday, and was actually bragging about planning to raise taxes on American businesses. The last thing we need as American companies, large and small are standing back up from this pandemic is higher taxes that’s why we need four more years of President Trump in the White House.

KAYLA TAUSCHE: And, you know, to be sure, there is quite a bit of ground between where Republicans and Democrats are on coronavirus relief and I know that you won’t negotiate there, but you mentioned Kenosha, Mr. Vice President. And I want to talk about that violence and specifically the role that technology plays, because much of the organization on both sides of the aisle has taken place on Facebook, which in recent weeks has removed hundreds of accounts both affiliated with Antifa and affiliated with pro Trump groups. And I want to show you a couple in the latter camp because you speak for the President. This call to arms by the leader of the Texas Save the Children group which has 14,000 members. This leader brandishing an assault rifle and suggesting that demonstrators come to the rally armed and there was also the Kenosha Guard, a self-described local militia that posted this: “any patriots willing to take up arms and defend our city tonight from evil thugs?” immediately before fatalities took place. Should civilians be doing this? What does the White House say to this? And what is the role of social media in policing this?

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Well, the President’s been very clear that we want people to let law enforcement do their job. We want governors and states across the country to use their national guard, support their law enforcement and quell violence in our streets. But Kayla, it’s been Antifa and radical left anarchists have been driving violence in the streets of our city over the last three months. And it’s been this President who has made it clear that we’re going to stand with law enforcement, and we’re going to stand for ending the violence that is besetting families, African American families, other minority families, and everyone that lives in our cities. I mean, the truth is we don’t have to choose between supporting law enforcement and supporting our African American families. We have done both in this administration and will continue to do both in this administration. But President Trump has been very clear that we need to stand up to the anarchists, to Antifa, that have been driving violence in cities across the country, and we’re going to stand with law enforcement and urge every American to let law enforcement do their job.

KAYLA TAUSCHE: And finally, Mr. Vice President, I’d like to get your response to a story that The Atlantic ran last night reporting that the President on multiple occasions disparaged fallen members of the military. The President himself and the White House on the record have vehemently denied this story, but there were two generals who reported to have been present, General Dunford and General Kelly. Would you support their speaking out to set the record straight?

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Well, what I can tell you as I wasn’t in Paris, but it never happened. I talked to the President that day, I know how disappointed President Trump was that there was a bad weather call that did not permit him to fly to Belleau Wood to honor our fallen there. And more importantly Kayla, look, I’ve been to Arlington Cemetery with this President. I’ve been at his side at Dover Air Force Base with grieving families as we brought our fallen home. I’ve never been with anyone who cares more deeply about the men and women of our armed forces or respects them and their families than President Donald Trump. And our records really speaks for itself. You know, under the last administration, Joe Biden was vice president. We saw our military hollowed out by budget cuts. We saw people literally dying on waiting lists to get into the VA. The VA beset by one scandal after another. From day one, this President has demonstrated his love and respect for our armed forces. We rebuilt our military, record investments in our armed forces. And we reformed the VA and ended those decades of scandal. So, I reject this out of hand as everyone has spoken out on it, and I think the American people see through this for what it is – just one more anonymous smear job with an election, just a couple of months away. But our armed forces, like the two members of my immediate family know that they have a champion and an ally in President Donald Trump, and they have a commander in chief who deeply respects them and their families and our veterans.

KAYLA TAUSCHE: And if there were an opportunity for these two generals who were present with the President that day, are you confident that they would share that view that you just outlined? Quickly, before we go.

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Look, what I’m telling you – I spoke to the President that day, Kayla. I know why they canceled the trip to Belleau Wood. To be honest with you, I think the American people just roll their eyes at these late hit, anonymous source media coming from The Atlantic or, or anywhere else is just politics as usual. I mean, look at the record, look at this President. And I got to tell you, to see the way he has stood with families at their worst moments at Dover Air Force Base, when we’re bringing our fallen home, to have walked the grounds of Arlington Cemetery with me. I just want to tell you again I don’t need anybody to tell me. President Donald Trump loves and respects the members of our armed forces like no one I have ever met. And that’s why I reject this story out of hand and I guarantee you, people across the country see it for what it is as well.

KAYLA TAUSCHE: We appreciate your response Mr. Vice President and your time this morning to talk about the economy and so many other issues. And we’ll close our conversation there. We really appreciate it. Thank you so much.

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Thanks, Kayla. Great day for America.

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