NEW YORK CITY, New York — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence compared presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump to President Ronald Reagan during his first speech as the 2016 GOP nominee for vice president (VP) on Saturday.
“Donald Trump is a good man and he will make a great President of the United States of America,” the Republican VP candidate stated in front of roughly 300 supporters at the Hilton in Midtown Manhattan on Saturday morning. It was the first appearance the two made together since officially becoming runningmates. “Donald Trump understands the frustrations and the hopes of the American people like no leader since Ronald Reagan. The American people are tired. We’re tired of being told that this is as good as it gets.”
“As Ronald Reagan said, we’re tired of being told that a little intellectual elite in a far distant capital can plan our lives better for us than we can plan them for ourselves. Donald Trump gets it and he understands the American people,” Pence added.
“I actually started in politics in the other party, but when I came of age I was inspired by the ideals and the eloquence of our 40th president and I became a Republican,” Pence explained of his respect for Reagan.
Trump officially announced Pence as his VP choice on Twitter Friday, but the two appeared for the first time together in New York City where Pence accepted Trump’s invitation to serve as his running mate.
“I thank Donald Trump for the confidence you’ve placed in us and I accept your invitation to run and serve as Vice President of the United States,” Pence declared. “I come to this moment deeply humbled.”
He added that he was “grateful to God for his amazing grace…and grateful to this builder, this fighter, this patriotic American who has set aside a legendary career in business to build a stronger America, Donald J. Trump.”
“I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican in that order,” Pence told the audience, describing himself as “a small town boy” from southern Indiana.
“I answered this call for two reasons,” Pence said of deciding to be Trump’s running mate. “First, because I know from first hand experience that strong Republican leadership can bring about real change…and secondly, because Hillary Clinton must never become President of the United States of America”