Mike Pence: 'I'm a Christian, a Conservative, and a Republican, in That Order'
When House Speaker Paul Ryan delivered a glowing introduction of Republican vice-presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on Wednesday night, the governor humbly reacted: "He knows that the introduction I prefer is much shorter. I'm a Christian, a Conservative, and a Republican, in that order."
For Ryan, however, the shorter introduction wasn't enough.
Pence, he told delegates at the convention, is "a man of solid character who sees public service as a calling, not a career."
"This man is a Reagan conservative through and through, pro-growth, pro-life, pro-strong defense," said Ryan of the father of three.
"My fellow Republicans, the man that you have nominated, he's a man of faith, he's a man of conviction, he's a man you can trust, he comes from the heart of the conservative movement and from the heart of America, and now we need to send him and Donald Trump straight to the White House. There is no doubt in my mind that he will bring real change to Washington. I have every confidence that he will do us all proud," Ryan added to cheers.
Pence would later explain in his address: "For those of you who don't know me, which is most of you, I grew up on the front row of the American dream. My grandfather immigrated to this country, and I was raised in a small town in Southern Indiana in a big family with a cornfield in the backyard. Although we weren't really a political family, the heroes of my youth were President John F. Kennedy and the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."
Despite his quiet demeanor, Pence quickly delivered some stealthy blows to the campaign of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, and said he had every intention to win the White House with Donald Trump in November.
"Under Donald Trump, our deals will be smarter ... our soldiers will have what they need and our veterans will have what they earned. ... We will secure our borders and protect our nation. In all of this, and more, we will get serious. And when we do, this nation will start winning again," he said.
"It's the message that men and women in both parties have been longing to hear. But none of us should think for one second that this will be easy. The outcome of this election depends on us, and how we contend with an incredible onslaught coming our way," he continued.
"This won't be America's first glimpse of the Clinton machine in action, as Bernie Sanders can tell you. And this time around, she'll have the press doing half her work for her. The good news is, it won't be nearly enough — not against a candidate who has captured the attention of this country the way Donald Trump has," he said.
"Issue by issue, he and I will take our case to the voters — pointing out the failures of the Obama-Clinton agenda, and showing a better way. We will win the hearts and minds of the American people with an agenda for a stronger and more prosperous America," he added.
Pence said he had first-hand knowledge that many voters across the aisles are frustrated with establishment politics and many of these voters find Trump and his unconventional style appealing.
"Now, the establishment in Washington, D.C. thinks it's only a narrow range of voters who are giving Donald Trump a serious look. But I can tell you first hand, there's a lot of Americans out there who feel like Democrat politicians have taken them for granted," said Pence.
"It's union members, who don't want a president who promises 'to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.' They want American energy and they know Donald Trump digs coal. It's African-Americans, who remember generations of hollow promises about safe streets and better schools. And they know Donald Trump will fight for equal opportunity and loves school choice," he said. "And it's Hispanic-Americans, who respect the law, want jobs and opportunities for their families, who know Donald Trump will uphold the law and get this economy moving again."
He continued: "The party of Lincoln was founded on equality of opportunity, and during these difficult days it will be our party and our agenda that will open doors for every American. In so many ways, the Democratic Party has abandoned those it used to protect. Maybe they've become too entrenched in power, so comfortable at times that they lose patience with the normal legislative process."
"As this election approaches, every American should know that while we're filling the presidency for the next four years, this election will define the Supreme Court for the next 40," he added.
Pence also promised that if he is elected to the White House with Donald Trump that he would pray every day for the wisdom to govern.
"There seem to be so many things that divide us, so few great purposes that unite us as they once did. And it's at moments like this, moments when politics fail, that we do well to remember that what unites us far exceeds anything that sets us apart. That we are, as we have always been, one nation, under God," he said.
"Should I have the awesome privilege to serve as your vice president, I promise to keep faith with that conviction. To pray daily for a wise and 'discerning heart ... for who is able to govern this great people.' My fellow Americans, I believe we have come to another rendezvous with destiny, and I have faith ... faith in the boundless capacity of the American people and faith that God can still heal our land," he continued.