GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence got a haircut at a black-owned barbershop in Pennsylvania on Tuesday before a campaign stop at a mechanical construction company, where he assured a rowdy crowd that his running mate "gets it."
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has made overtures to black voters in recent days, asking them, "What do you have to lose?" by supporting him.
The barbershop owner, Henry Jones, said in an interview with The Associated Press that a representative for Pence came to the Norristown barbershop on Monday and said "a friend of his needed a haircut." Though Tuesday was Jones' regular day off, he obliged.
Jones said he was met at the shop on Tuesday afternoon by sniffing dogs and police cars. The 74-year-old, who has been cutting hair for four decades, said he doesn't regularly follow politics and hasn't been paying much attention to the election.
When Pence walked in, Jones said he had no idea who his lone customer for the day was when he arrived with his wife and daughter. The two chatted as sports fans and husbands while Pence sat for his $20 trim.
As the haircut ended, Jones asked Pence his name. When Pence identified himself as Indiana governor and GOP vice presidential candidate, Jones said, "Vice president?" and added, "This is history."
"He didn't try to encourage me to vote for (Donald) Trump," Jones said of Pence. "He was a very nice guy. It was a good experience, something I'll never forget."
Jones said he is undecided in the November election, but will start watching more politics now that he's met one of the candidates.
Later Tuesday, Pence spoke during a rally at Worth & Co., a mechanical construction company.
Pence said he and Trump are "just 77 days away from the day we will make America great again," as he promised change from the political status quo. That change would include tax cuts across the board and economic recovery, he said.
Pence met chants of "lock her up," as he questioned what he called Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's recent "cascade of controversy."
Trump, he said, would counter Clinton and provide strong leadership.
"History teaches us that weakness arouses evil," he said.
Ian Simon, 20, completed his shift at the company before returning to show his support for the GOP nominee, whom he called an outsider who "says it how it is."
The Pottstown resident said Trump could "tone back a little bit" on some of his more eyebrow raising comments and not get involved in other controversial issues, but he applauded his trade policies.
A group of "silent voters" who don't vocalize their Trump support out of fear of criticism may be growing, Simon said.
"They may not want to be targeted now, but we will see when November comes around. They'll be voting," he said.