Less than a week after the official announcement of the vice-presidential candidate, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana took the stage at the Republican National Convention and showed the country exactly why Donald Trump chose him as his running mate. His crowd-pleasing speech was much needed after Ted Cruz’s earlier refusal to endorse Trump that had ended in him being boo-ed off the stage.

“It is my honor to introduce to you the next vice-president of the United States,” Paul Ryan said as he introduced Pence, who took the stage to wide-spread applause and chants of “Mike! Mike! Mike! Mike!”

He began his speech by thanking the people for putting their confidence in him and accepting the nomination to run and serve as vice-president. Though he had used the phrase before, one of Pence’s most touching lines, and one that we can totally agree with, was “I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order.” As you can imagine, that got a lot of applause.

Pence divided his speech between himself and his running mate, which was very necessary as he pointed out when he said he wanted to introduce himself “for those of you who don’t know me, which is most of you.” He spoke of his upbringing “on the front row of the American dream.” His dad was a combat veteran in Korea and then ran gas stations in their small town. His background truly resonated with the republican voters as he explained how he was “raised to believe in hard work, faith, and family.”

He was humble, saying “I’m new to this campaign, and I never thought I’d be standing here. I thought I would be spending tonight with my friends from Indiana.” Pence won the hearts of many when he introduced to two most important women in his life on the stage, his mother, Nancy, who he described as “the light of my life” and his wife, Karen. Heartstrings were tugged when he said, “The best thing to ever happen to me…31 years ago…I married the girl of my dreams, a school teacher, an artist, she is everything to me…my wonderful wife Karen Pence.”

I absolutely melted when Pence looked into the audience and stated proudly, and humbly, “the most important job I’ll ever have is spelled D-A-D.” His family values seem to align perfectly with the way Trump has raised his children, and I look forward to seeing the two families together on the campaign trail in the fall.

Even though he had only been on the campaign for less than a week, Pence seemed to be well-versed on the Trump message and hit it out of the park in his speech, especially when he turned to his running mate, who “brought millions of new voters into the Republican party.” He certainly got the Trump idea when he told the audience that the change for America when Trump became president was going to be…you guessed it…HUGE, which of course earned big smiled from the Trump family watching in the audience.

We all nodded along when Pence described Trump as a man known “for a large personality, a colorful style, and a lot of charisma” and couldn’t help but laugh when Pence made a self-deprecating joke about how he provided balance for the ticket.

He described the Trump-Pence campaign as “leveling with the American people about the stakes and the choices” of the 2016 election and really resonated with the crowd when he declared that “the American people are tired of being told this is as good as it gets.” We certainly are.

One of the most tweetable moments of the evening, and of his speech, came when he brilliantly called Hillary Clinton the “Secretary of the Status Quo.”

His statement of “Conservative principles work every time you put them into practice” was greeted by cheers of “We like Mike!” from the audience filling the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

Pence went on to further describe his running mate as “a doer in a game usually reserved for talkers” and someone who “doesn’t tiptoe around the thousand new rules of political correctness.” When Pence told the audience that Trump was “his own man, distinctly American” the crowd began to chant “USA! USA! USA!”

Overall, Pence’s speech was well received and the amount of Trump Pence 2016 signs in the audience was enough to cover a small nation’s turf. He certainly tapped into what the people want to hear, and he will no doubt be a great candidate that will appeal to voters near and far. He’s not afraid to back a candidate he knows can enact change, he’s not afraid to condemn the Democratic Party that wants to, as he says, “anoint Hillary” and he’s not afraid to get up on stage in front of millions of people and declare himself a “Christian, a conservative, and a republican, in that order.”  His supporters are certain that under a Trump Pence administration, “this nation will start winning again.”

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member