The two headliners for the highlight of the summer meeting of the National Governors Association -- Vice President Mike Pence and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau -- attracted contrasting responses Friday.
Pence received a polite, but more subdued response from the gathering of more than 30 governors at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence.
During a 30-minute speech, he breezed through a series of niceties before launching a critique of Obamacare. Pence said the health care plan formally known as the Affordable Care Act is collapsing. He said that’s due to increasing costs and fewer choices. Pence sid the latest GOP healthcare bill will deliver what he calls world-class healthcare.
"Under the Senate healthcare bill, federal Medicaid spending will be 300 to $500 billion higher over the next decade relative to current amounts, ensuring that our states have the ability to provide for the most vulnerable and give them the care that they’re counting on," he said.
Democrats like Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo say the GOP bill would cut access to healthcare, particularly for the needy. Raimondo shared that message with Pence in a private meeting prior to his speech.
In contrast, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau got a rock star’s welcome during the National Governors Association meeting
Trudeau received an enthusiastic ovation after he emphasized US-Canadian economic ties. He called Canada the biggest, best customer for U.S. goods.
“We’re a bigger customer than China, by roughly $152 billion," he said. "Bigger than Japan or the UK. No one else even comes close. In fact, Canada buys more from the U.S. than China, Japan, and the UK combined."
Raimondo presented Trudeau with donuts from local shop Allie’s Donuts when she met with him before his speech.