Indiana Governor Mike Pence delivered a speech from the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, during which he formally accepted the party’s nomination for vice president of the United States.
Pence opened his address by acknowledging that he is not a very well known figure, joking that Donald Trump, an eccentric, colorful personality, must have picked him to balance out the ticket.
The vice presidential candidate later appeared to reference the “Never Trump” section of the Republican party, saying that voting for Trump is the only way to defeat Hillary Clinton, even if some don’t consider the New York businessman to be the ideal candidate.
“In the end, this election comes down to just two names on the ballot, so let’s resolve here and now that Hillary Clinton will never become the president of the United States of America,” Pence said.
While many of the speeches from the Republican National Convention this week have been quite general, with candidates being reluctant to support the candidate himself, Pence’s speech was very specific to Donald Trump. He defended Trump’s controversial personality, saying he merely tells it like it is and refuses to be politically correct. Pence even made use of Trump’s own language, saying that America will soon start winning again.
Pence went on to discuss the United States’ national debt while running through his history as governor of Indiana, arguing that Republican leadership is what the economy needs. Other topics included standing with law enforcement, Hillary Clinton’s e-mail controversy, common core, supreme court justices, and foreign policy.
The address occurred mere days after Donald Trump announced Pence as his vice presidential nominee. In the end, the choice came down to three candidates: Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie and Mike Pence. The Indiana governor is known as being a staunch conservative, especially when it comes to social issues, and so he is seen as being the campaign’s way of reaching out to the Ted Cruz wing of the party.
Pence’s speech was particularly important because it was his chance to make a first impression with many Americans, who are not very familiar with the governor. According to NBC News, 48 percent of voters do not know enough about him to have a favorable or unfavorable opinion.
Earlier in the evening, Newt Gingrich’s wife, Callista Gingrich, said she is confident Mike Pence will make an exceptional vice president.
The speech occurred towards the conclusion of a rather dramatic night at the Republican National Convention. Prior to Pence, Senator Ted Cruz delivered an address, during which he notably did not endorse Donald Trump. As a result, the crowd grew increasingly hostile and began to boo Cruz as he walked off stage.