Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence delivered one of the most complimentary speeches of the GOP convention about Donald Trump on Wednesday night, focusing on Trump’s business experience, commitment to conservative values and outsider status.
The Indiana governor’s speech was even-keeled and relatively calm compared to an earlier speech by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) that devolved into boos and a subsequent attempt at reconciliation from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, serving as a way to get the night back on track.
Pence began his speech thanking his family and officially accepting the nomination to be Trump’s running mate. He characterized both Trump and himself as family men and criticized those who he said don’t “understand” Trump.
“The funny thing is, the party in power seems helpless to figure out the nominee,” he said. “The media has the same problem. They all keep telling each other that the usual methods will work against them. They keep thinking they have done him and only to wake up the next morning and find that Donald Trump is still standing and running stronger than ever before. The man just doesn’t quit.”
Though Pence cast himself as humble and seemed to play up some of the softer qualities about him and Trump, he proved his mettle as Trump’s running mate by coining his own nickname for Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“People in both parties are restless for change, ready to break free from old patterns in Washington and Democrats are about to anoint someone who represents everything this country is tired of,” he said. “You know, Hillary Clinton wants a better title and I would too if I was already America’s secretary of the status quo!”
The riled-up crowd stayed with Pence for most of the speech, occasionally shaking off the nervous energy pent up since Cruz’s flameout by shouting back answers or breaking into chants of “We like Mike!” and “Lock her up!” in reference to Clinton.
The biggest applause of Pence’s time onstage, however, came when he concluded his speech. Trump couldn’t resist getting on stage with Pence to give him a thumbs-up.