Janesville residents react to upcoming Pence visit

Janesville residents react to upcoming Pence visit

Whether it’s over a game of Euchre or a beer, the Janesville Veterans of Foreign Wars post is always good for some lively conversation.

On Thursday, the news of Vice President Mike Pence’s upcoming visit to Rock County’s largest city was on the minds of folks like Bill Nehls.

“Being I’m not a Republican, I’m not too thrilled about it,” Nehls said.

In this longtime union town, the retired UAW member said he doesn’t think Pence will necessarily get a warm welcome when he visits Blain’s Farm & Fleet Friday morning.

Nehls said he’s not a fan of the Trump administration or its jobs plan.

“He’s talking a good game, he hasn’t done anything yet,” Nehls said. “They want to deunionize the jobs, and make the companies get the money and the union people get as little as they can possibly give them.”

But Air Force veteran Bill Kingsley has a different take.

He described himself as a “big fan” of Pence and the Trump administration in general.

Kingsley works in manufacturing, and as he sat at the bar overlooking Janesville’s closed General Motors plant, he said he wants the vice president to talk jobs when he visits the city.

“Bring some jobs back to this town,” Kingsley said. “You know, since (the plant) closed, it’s been pretty dead around here.”

To that end, Kingsley said he’s optimistic about the administration’s trade policy.

“With the stuff that he’s going to do with China and Mexico, hopefully it will even the playing field for us, you know, as far as production and people buying and selling American,” Kingsley said.

Despite their differences of opinion, both men said they hoped for the best out of the administration for both their community and their country.

“He’s doing what he said he was going do and right now, that’s good enough for me,” Kingsley said. “It’s a good change.”

“I hope they make this country — not great ‘again’ — but I hope they make this country so we don’t have a problem and we can all survive and thrive,” Nehls said. “You know, you always want to see the best, even though you sometimes think the worst.”