SALEM, Virginia — Prior to rallying a packed civic center in Salem, Virginia Thursday, Republican vice-presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence took a minute to greet those unable to get in, recalling the words of Trump, “This isn’t about us… this is about the American people. This is a movement of the American people…”
“Hey I know we filled up inside,” Pence said to those lined up outside the hall, “but Karen and I wanted to come out and say thank you so much for coming out. With your help we’re going to drive towards a great victory across the United States of America.” He also told them that he believed they were going to feed audio of the rally for those outdoors to hear.
— Michelle Moons (@MichelleDiana) October 12, 2016
One woman outside wore an “I’m Deplorable” shirt. Pence shook hands with a man who wore a patriotic collared shirt and a Vietnam veteran cap. Several others wore Make America Great Again caps. Even more blazing red “MAGA” hats could be seen inside peppering heads of those in the crowd.
“We are now less than four weeks away from a great victory all across the state of Virginia” and the United States of America, Pence told the crowd of over 400 packed inside.
He recognized former congressman Virgil Goode, whom Pence recalled working with in the House of Representatives, and congressman Morgan Griffith who came out for the event. He also recognized all of those gathered outside and in the hall.
“Whatever it is the media’s chasing after any given day of the week, this is a movement of the American people,” said Pence. “Just today I draw literally hundreds of people, he draws tens of thousands because this is movement of the American people,” Pence said of massive rallies for Trump.
Pence told the story of holding a campaign rally with Trump at a little county fair.
He recalled Trump asking him to explain what they would be doing at the fair. “Donald, county fairs are like my strike zone, alright. This is my area. Right, I said I’m talkin’ about corn dogs, I’m talkin’ about lemon shake-up, I’m talkin’ about livestock, talkin’ about 4H and I said, just stick with me and I’ll get you through the whole thing alright.”
“We pull into this thing and the street to the fairground was lined 5 deep and then it was ten deep,” Pence said, “and a half mile into the fairgrounds it was 50 deep, there were more than 50,000 people that came out for a little county fair.” Afterward, said Pence, “we were pulling out of the garage and waiting and he said, Mike ya know this isn’t about me, this isn’t about us. He says this is about the American people. This is a movement of the American people who know we can make American great again, but it’s gonna take good leadership…”
Earlier in the day Pence addressed thousands of students at Liberty University for the school’s weekly convocation. The University states on its website that convocation typically draws over 13,000 and thousands more watch online each week.
On Monday, just one day after Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wrestled in a heated second debate, Pence drew an overflow crowd in Fletcher, North Carolina. The crowd came as the campaign saw a spike in RSVPs on the night of the Trump-Clinton debate.
Wednesday evening a group close to 500 greeted Pence in Raleigh, North Carolina and repeatedly broke out in resounding cheers and applause as many waved red, white and blue Trump-Pence Make America Great Again signs high in the air.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana