Donald Trump formally introduced Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his pick for vice president on Saturday, but did so in a long-winded speech that seemed to focus more on his usual critiques of Democrat Hillary Clinton and the country’s security than it did on the qualifications of his running mate.
Trump came on stage by saying he was there to “introduce the man who will be my partner in this campaign and the White House to fix our rigged system.”
He went on to address the attack in Nice, Paris and the attempted coup in Turkey. Then, he launched into his familiar critique of President Obama as well as Clinton’s foreign policy. He talked about manufacturing. He talked about jobs. He said he would get to Pence’s accomplishments in “just a minute” and talked for another 20 minutes before Pence took the microphone.
Trump said, speaking from Manhattan, that Pence was his “first choice” before going on to repeat his line that he was the, “law and order candidate.”
“We are the law and order candidates,” Trump declared, adding that they were the “law and order party.”
Trump again talked at length on what he feels is the state of the country, before seemingly reminding himself of the nature of the event and muttered, “back to Mike Pence.”
Trump said the primary reason he chose Pence, interjecting “other than he looks very good,” and talking about his family, was because of the governor’s record in Indiana.
“He’s a solid, solid person,” Trump said.
Trump said he won the state of Indiana in a “landslide.” His last words on stage about Pence were recalling the governor’s prior endorsement of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Trump suggested that Pence endorsed Cruz because he was under pressure from established Republicans.
“Even though he was under pressure, it was the single greatest non-endorsement I’ve ever had in my life,” Trump said. “I will tell you.”
As the two shook hands on stage, the microphone picked up Pence telling Trump, “You’re amazing.”
Pence took the microphone and presented Trump as someone who “gets the American people.” Pence said he got a call from Trump’s team last Wednesday.
“Donald Trump is a good man and he will make a great President of the United States of America,” Pence said.
Pence said he was, in part, motivated to accept Trump’s offer to be his running mate because “Hillary Clinton must never become President of the United States.”
Pence went on to call Clinton “someone who literally personifies the failed establishment in Washington D.C.”
This post has been updated.