#TBT: Pence’s role as election year attack dog a stark departure from his past praise of Joe Donnelly

Vice President Pence will return to the state he governed tonight to launch a tirade against Joe Donnelly’s service to Hoosiers in the Senate, but it wasn’t too long ago that he was offering Joe glowing praise.

In a 2016 Veterans Day speech, the outgoing governor and then-vice president-elect praised Joe for his unrelenting work on improving mental health care for veterans and service members through legislative proposals like his Servicemember and Veterans Mental Health Care Package. Discussing how his father’s mental health was affected by his military service, the then-governor said he was “personally grateful” to Joe for his work on the issue.

Joe’s efforts on behalf of veterans and servicemember mental health have been consistent, even though it’s unlikely that the same will be said for the former governor’s rhetoric tonight. 41 of Joe’s legislative proposals have been signed into law, including 19 during the Trump/Pence Administration. Those 41 proposals include policies like the Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act, which guarantees that every member of the armed forces – active duty, reserve, and National Guard – will receive annual mental health assessments to make sure they receive the care they need.

“The partisan, political nature of the former governor’s trip to Indiana in support of the disastrous McConnell tax plan couldn’t be clearer,” said Michael Feldman, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “It wasn’t that long ago that then-Governor Pence was working with Joe to strengthen Indiana, and even less time since he was telling the nation how ‘grateful’ he was for Joe’s work. Hoosiers aren’t going to fall for their former governor’s election season stunt.”

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