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V.P. Mike Pence Cancels Trip to New Hampshire to Discuss Opioids

Sarah Gibson for NHPR


A planned visit from Vice President Mike Pence was abruptly canceled today. 

Pence had planned to visit the Granite Recovery Center in Salem to discuss the opioid crisis.

A spokesman for his office said a last-minute situation required the Vice President to remain in Washington. He said it was not an emergency.

According to a copy of his planned remarks, Vice President Pence intended to press the Trump administration’s case for combatting the opioid crisis by curbing illegal immigration.

In the planned remarks, Pence says: "This flood of illegal drugs is due in large part to the crisis we face at our nation’s southern border – a crisis unlike anything we’ve ever seen before."

Pence says the high number of migrants crossing the border gives drug cartels and traffickers more opportunities to smuggle fentanyl and heroin across the US Mexico border.

In his planned remarks, Pence also touts President Trump's efforts to bolster anti-drug programs domestically, citing his support of law enforcement to crack down on drug cartels and his support of a bill that gives more than $1 billion to states to combat the opioid crisis.

The trip was to be an official White House event, but the Granite Recovery Center regularly hosts Republicans on the campaign trail, and members of the Republican National Committee and the Trump re-election campaign were there to show support.

After the cancellation was announced, Tom Mountain, a former RNC delegate who works in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for the Trump campaign, spoke to reporters about the campaign.

He criticized Democratic presidential candidates for having "no plan" for combating opioids in New Hampshire and reiterated the adminstration's stance.

“The fact that the drug problem has reached this far from the southwest border is indicative of the problem that we have with our porous borders, our open borders, and the fact that we don’t have a wall,” he said.

In a statement after the cancellation, Granite Recovery Centers CEO Eric Spofford said:

"This issue is so important and we all need to work together toward solutions. We look forward to working with the VP in the future, as well as all levels of government, as we continue to fight this epidemic."

In a tweet, Pence’s spokesman said he looks forward to rescheduling the trip to New Hampshire "very soon."

Note: This post was updated to include planned remarks from the vice president. 


Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.
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