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Trump says tax plan 'at the center of America's resurgence' in Pennsylvania stop

Wes Venteicher
| Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, 2:48 p.m.
President Trump makes remarks after touring H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
President Trump makes remarks after touring H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.
President Trump makes remarks after touring H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
President Trump makes remarks after touring H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.
President Trump makes remarks after touring H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
President Trump makes remarks after touring H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.
President Trump makes remarks after touring H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
President Trump makes remarks after touring H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.
Tom Altman, 67, of Ligonier waits for President Donald Trump to make remarks at H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Tom Altman, 67, of Ligonier waits for President Donald Trump to make remarks at H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.
Rick Saccone and wife, Yong Saccone, wave at guests prior to President Trump's remarks at H&K Equipment in North Fayette earlier this month.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Rick Saccone and wife, Yong Saccone, wave at guests prior to President Trump's remarks at H&K Equipment in North Fayette earlier this month.
Guests wait for President Trump to make remarks at H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Guests wait for President Trump to make remarks at H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.
President Trump invites his daughter, Ivanka, on stage to make remarks during a visit to H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
President Trump invites his daughter, Ivanka, on stage to make remarks during a visit to H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.
President Trump welcomes H&K employee Ken Wilson to the stage while making remarks at H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
President Trump welcomes H&K employee Ken Wilson to the stage while making remarks at H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.
Guests wait for President Trump to make remarks at H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Guests wait for President Trump to make remarks at H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.
Guests wait for President Trump to make remarks at H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Guests wait for President Trump to make remarks at H&K Equipment in North Fayette on Jan. 18, 2018.

Chuck Krug said he traveled from Baltimore to see President Trump speak at a heavy equipment company in North Fayette on Thursday because he supports Trump's economic policies, particularly the tax reform bill that the president signed into law last month.

"It's gonna help us grow. It's gonna help us support our growth both through employment and infrastructure," said Krug, who runs an industrial cleaning supplies company and is a business partner of George Koch, owner of North Fayette's H&K Equipment Co.

In a 20-minute speech at H&K Equipment, Trump credited the tax reform package with giving people pay raises in the form of lower income taxes and growing jobs through business tax cuts and increased demand for goods and services.

Trump said the tax plan will result in an income-tax cut of $2,000 a year for a family of four with a household income of $75,000. He said that would amount to a $2,000 raise for such families.

"At the center of America's resurgence are the massive tax cuts I just signed into law," Trump told a crowd of about 500 supporters. "The signs of America's comeback can be seen at companies like this one, which just had its most successful year in its 35-year history."

Trump said the company plans to make $2.7 million in capital investments. He credited the tax cuts for those investments, along with Apple's announcement this week that it plans to spend $350 billion on development in the United States over the next five years.

He also talked about low unemployment numbers among African Americans, Hispanics and women and said retirement accounts are surging in value.

"If we can keep it like this, we're going to win a lot of elections, that I can tell you," Trump said from a podium that stood in front of a large American flag and was flanked by pieces of heavy equipment that H&K sells and leases. "'It's the economy, stupid.' You ever hear that one? It's the economy, it is indeed."

Trump recalled his election night win in Pennsylvania, a swing state that helped deliver the presidency. He also brought up Hillary Clinton's "basket of deplorables" gaffe from the campaign.

"Who would have thought that was going to turn into a landslide," Trump said of his victory in the Electoral College, which came despite his trailing Clinton by 3 million votes nationally. "The deplorables, that was not a good phrase that she used."

Trump bucked speculation that he would stump for Rick Saccone during the speech. Saccone, a Republican state representative, is running against Democrat Conor Lamb in a special election race to replace former U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy. He has been an ardent supporter of Trump's.

After recognizing several of Pennsylvania's Republican members of Congress, Trump said, "And a person people are hearing more and more about, a real friend and a spectacular man … Rick Saccone. And Mrs. Saccone."

Trump didn't mention the special election race. And Saccone's wife, Yong, got more face time on the White House feed of the event than Saccone did. He appeared for a brief moment and was partially obstructed by a Secret Service agent.

Saccone was among those who greeted Trump when the president stepped off Air Force One at Pittsburgh International Airport. He traveled in the president's motorcade to H&K and back to the airport.

The president's visit provided a burst of enthusiasm for the campaign's supporters and volunteers and will likely bring broader attention to the campaign, Saccone spokesman Pat Geho said. Geho said that Saccone would work if elected to advance the president's agenda.

Trump hugged U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, and called him a friend. Barletta is seeking the GOP nomination to run against incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton.

Also in attendance were U.S. Reps. Mike Kelly, Pat Meehan, Keith Rothfus, Bill Shuster and Glenn Thompson. Gary Cohn, the president's chief economic adviser, and Trump's daughter, Ivanka, also were on hand.

Air Force One touched down shortly after 2 p.m.

About 100 supporters, including families and college Young Republicans, stood in a fenced-off area on the tarmac and cheered Trump's arrival. Trump went over to greet the crowd briefly before getting in a black sport utility vehicle and departing for H&K about eight miles away. The presidential motorcade included nearly two dozen vehicles.

Natasha Lindstrom contributed. Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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