Mike Pence Convention Speech and Transcript

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016
2016 Republican National Convention
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio


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Mr. Chairman, delegates, friends, and my fellow Americans. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am deeply humbled by your confidence, and on behalf of my family, here and gone, I accept your nomination to run and serve as Vice President of the United States of America.

And let me thank Speaker Paul Ryan for that gracious welcome. Paul, you’re a true friend and a great American leader. But Paul knows me well and he knows the introduction that I prefer is just a little shorter. I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.

You know, I’m new to this campaign, and honestly I never thought I’d be standing here. I thought I’d be spending this evening with my friends from the great state of Indiana.

Yet, there I was, a few days ago in New York City with the man who won 37 states, who faced 16 talented opponents and outlasted every one of them. And along the way brought millions of new voters into the Republican Party.

You know, he’s a man known for his large personality, a colorful style, and lots of charisma – and so, I guess he was just looking for someone to balance the ticket.

Well, 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. 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.

When I was young, I watched my Mom and Dad build everything that matters. A family, a business, and a good name. I was raised to believe in hard work, in faith and family. My Dad, Ed Pence, was a combat veteran in Korea..

Dad ran gas stations in our small town, and he was a great father. If Dad were still with us, I have a feeling he’d have enjoyed this moment... and probably been pretty surprised.

But it’s such a joy for me to tell you that my mother is here. Would you join me in welcoming the light of my life, my mom, Nancy?

You know, growing up I actually started in politics in the other party, until I heard the voice and the ideals of the 40th President, and I signed on for the Reagan Revolution.

But the best thing that ever happened to me, even counting tonight, is that 31 years ago, I married the girl of my dreams, a school teacher, an artist. She is everything to me. Would you welcome my wonderful wife, Karen Pence?

And regardless of any title I’ll ever hold, the most important job I’ll ever have, is spelled D-A-D. Karen and I are blessed, Karen and I are blessed to be the parents to the three greatest kids in the world - a writer named Charlotte, a college student named Audrey, and a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, Michael J. Pence. I’m so proud of you guys.

Now if you know anything about Hoosiers, you know we love to suit up and compete. We play to win. That's why I joined this campaign in a heartbeat.

You have nominated a man for president who never quits, who never backs down, a fighter, a winner. Until now he's done it all by himself, against all odds. But this week with this united party, he's got back-up! And on November 8th, I know we will elect Donald Trump to be the 45th President of the United States.

Now we’ll win because we are running on the issues facing this country, and because we are leveling with the American people about the stakes and the choice. You know, the American people are tired of being told. They are tired of being told this is as good as it gets. They are tired of hearing politicians in both parties tell us that “we’ll get to it tomorrow” while we piled up a mountain range of debt on our children and grandchildren. And as Ronald Reagan used to say, they’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."

In the end, this election comes down to just two names on the ballot. So, let’s resolve here and now that Hillary Clinton will never become President of the United States of America.

Hillary Clinton essentially offers a third Obama term, and the role is perfect for her. She championed Obamacare because years earlier she had all but invented it. The national debt has nearly doubled in these eight years, and her only answer is to keep borrowing and spending. And like the President, she thinks the path to a growing economy is more taxes, more regulation, and more government.

Now, they tell us this economy is the best that we can do. It’s nowhere near the best that we can do. It’s just the best they can do.

Let me tell you, I know firsthand it doesn’t have to be like this. In my home state of Indiana we prove every day that you can build a growing economy on balanced budgets, low taxes, even while making record investments in education, and roads and healthcare.

You know, Indiana is a state that works because conservative principles work every time you put them into practice!

Now today, while the nation suffers under the weight of $19 trillion in national debt, we in Indiana have a $2 billion surplus, and the highest credit rating in the nation, even though we’ve cut taxes every year since I became Governor four years ago.

We have fewer state employees than when I took office and businesses, large and small, have created nearly 150,000 new jobs, and there’s more Hoosiers going to work than ever before. That’s what you can do with common- sense Republican leadership, and that’s exactly what the no-nonsense leadership of Donald Trump will bring to the White House!

You know, Donald Trump gets it. He’s the genuine article. He’s a doer in a game usually reserved for talkers. And when Donald Trump does his talking, he, he doesn’t tiptoe around the thousand new rules of political correctness. He’s his own man, distinctly American. Where else would an independent spirit like his find a following than in the land of the free and the home of the brave?

The funny thing is… you know, the funny thing is, the party in power seems helpless to figure out our nominee. The media has the same problem. They all keep telling each other that the usual methods will work against him. They, they keep thinking they’ve done him in, 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.

He is tough. He perseveres. He’s gone about as far as you can go in business, yet he has never turned his back on the working men and women who make this country grow.

And Donald Trump will never turn his back on those who serve and protect us at home and abroad.

You know, it’s been a heartbreaking time for the women and men in our law enforcement community. In this time of great testing for them, let’s let them know, here and now, all across the country, we will always stand with those who stand on the thin blue line of law enforcement in America.

Now, while Donald Trump was taking my measure as a possible running mate, I did some observing myself. I’ve seen the way he deals with people who work for him at every level, and I’ve seen the way they feel about working for him.

Now, I’ll grant you, he can be a little rough with politicians on the stage, and I’ll bet we see that again.

But I’ve seen this good man up close - his utter lack of pretense, his respect for the people who work for him, and his devotion to his family. And if you doubt what I’m saying, remember – as we say back home – you can’t fake good kids. How about his amazing children, aren’t they something?

These are the true measures of our nominee, chosen by the voters as the right man for these times. This is the outsider, my running mate, who turned a long-shot campaign into a movement. And over in the other party, you know, if the idea was to present the exact opposite of a political outsider, the exact opposite of an uncalculating truth-teller, then on that score you gotta hand it to the Democrat establishment. They outdid themselves this time.

At the very moment when America is crying out for something new, and different, the other party has answered with a stale agenda and the most predictable of names. People in both parties are restless for change, ready to break free of old patterns in Washington. And Democrats are about to anoint someone who represents everything this country is tired of. You know, Hillary Clinton wants a better title, and I would too if I were already America's Secretary of the Status Quo.

You know, the choice couldn’t be more clear. Americans can elect someone who literally personifies the failed establishment in Washington, DC, or we can choose a leader who will fight everyday to Make America Great Again.

It’s change versus status quo, and my fellow Republicans when Donald Trump becomes President of the United States of America the change will be ... HUGE!

You know, for years we have had fundamental problems in America that get talked to death in Washington, DC, but never get solved, and they even get worse. We’ve seen entire stretches of our country written off by bad economic policies, in ways that are deeply unfair to American workers.

We’ve seen relentless mandates from the executive branch. It seems no aspect of our lives is too small for the present administration to supervise, no provision of the Constitution too large for them to ignore.

Meanwhile, we’ve seen borders that go un-respected, a military that’s been diminished, and promise after ringing promise to our veterans promptly forgotten. Then Donald Trump came along, and started saying what practically everyone was thinking anyway – that our leaders need to be stronger. 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, protect our nation. In all of this, we will be more serious, and when we do, this nation will start winning again.

You know, that’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 that’s coming our way. You know, 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’s captured the attention of this country the way Donald Trump has.

On 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.

Now, the establishment in Washington, DC, thinks it’s only a narrow range of voters who are giving Donald Trump a serious look. But I can tell you firsthand, there’s a lot of Americans out there who feel like Democrat politicians have taken them for granted.

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.”

Those miners want an American energy policy 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 he loves educational choice.

And it’s Hispanic-Americans, who respect the law, want jobs and opportunities for their families, who know that Donald Trump will uphold the law and get this economy moving for every American.

You know, the Party of Lincoln was founded on equality of opportunity. During these difficult days it will be our party and our agenda that will open the doors for every Americans to succeed and prosper in this land.

You know, 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.

It’s so much simpler to impose their values by executive order or court action, and make no mistake about it, Hillary Clinton has some big ideas along those lines.

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 forty.

We all better think very carefully, very carefully about what this means for our Constitution and limited government. Elect Hillary Clinton, and you better get used to being subject to unelected judges using unaccountable power to take unconstitutional actions.

Well, let me say, for the sake of the rule of law, for the sake of the sanctity of life, for the sake of our Second Amendment, and for the sake of all of our other God-given liberties, we must ensure that the next president appointing Justices to the Supreme Court is Donald Trump.

And Hillary Clinton's record on foreign affairs gets even worse. You know, i was Hillary Clinton who helped to undo all the gains of the troop surge, a staggering failure of judgment that set ISIS on the loose.

It was Hillary Clinton who instigated the President’s disastrous agreement with the radical mullahs in Iran.

And it was Hillary Clinton who left Americans in harm’s way in Benghazi and after four Americans fell, said “What difference at this point does it make?”

As the proud father of a United States Marine, let me say from my heart, anyone who said that, anyone who did that, should be disqualified from ever serving as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States.

Seven and a half years of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s policies have weakened America’s place in the world. Terrorist attacks at home and abroad, grim and heartbreaking scenes from France just a few short days ago, the attempted coup in Turkey, all attest to a world spinning apart. History teaches us that weakness arouses evil. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s foreign policy of leading from behind, moving red lines, feigning resets with Russia, and the rise, rule and reign of ISIS, are a testament to this truth of history. We cannot have four more years of apologizing to our enemies and abandoning our friends.

America needs to be strong for the world to be safe. And on the world stage, Donald Trump will lead from strength.

Donald Trump will rebuild our military and stand with our allies. Donald Trump will confront radical Islamic terrorism at its source and destroy the enemies of our freedom.

If the world knows nothing else, it will know this: America stands with Israel.

You know, if you looked at a calendar this morning, you might have noticed, the presidency of Barack Obama ends exactly six months from today.

And this much is certain , this much is certain, of the Obama years – they’re not ending well. 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 I believe we do well to remember that what unites us far exceeds anything that sets us apart in America.

That we are, as we have always been, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all.

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 of your, without it?’

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.

But we have a choice to make. This is another time for choosing. If you want a president who will protect this nation, confront radical Islamic terrorism and rid the world of ISIS; if you want a president who will restore law and order to this country and give law enforcement the support and resources they deserve; if you want a president who will cut taxes, grow our economy and squeeze every nickel out of the federal bureaucracy; if you want a president who will build strong borders and enforce our; and if you want a president who will upend the status quo in Washington, DC, and appoint Justices to the Supreme Court who will uphold the constitution ...

… we have but one choice and that man is ready, this team is ready, our party is ready, and when we elect Donald Trump the 45th President of the United States, together we will Make America Great Again.

Now let’s go get this done!

Thank you, and God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.


Monday, July 18th, 2016 Republican Convention Speeches

Scott Baio , actor and producer
Jason Beardsley , Operations Army vet, entrepreneur and adviser to Concerned Veterans for America
David A. Clarke Jr. , Sheriff of Milwaukee County
Tom Cotton , Arkansas Senator
Sean Duffy , U.S. Representative for Wisconsin’s 7th District
Sabine Durden , mother of Dominic Durden, who was killed after being hit by a truck driven by unlicensed, uninsured, and unregistered illegal immigrant
Joni Ernst , the first female U.S. Senator from Iowa and the first female combat vet in the Senate
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn , U.S. Army (Retired), former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency
Mark Geist , Member of Benghazi Annex Security Team and Co-Author of 13 Hours
Rudy Giuliani , Former Mayor of New York City
Darryl Glenn , El Paso County Commissioner and GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate
Marcus Luttrell , U.S. Navy SEAL (Retired)
Michael McCaul , six-term U.S. Representative from Texas and Chair of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee
Mary Ann Mendoza , mother of Mesa County Police Sergeant Brandon Mendoza, who was killed when a car driven by a drunk illegal crashed into his
Rick Perry , former Governor of Texas
Willie Robertson , star of A&E’s hit cable show Duck Dynasty
Antonio Sabato, Jr. , actor and model
Jeff Sessions , U.S. Senator from Alabama, members of the Armed Services, Budget and Judiciary Committees, and the first Senator to endorse Mr.Trump
Jamiel Shaw , father to 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw Jr., who was killed by an undocumented immigrant
Pat Smith , mother of the late Sean Smith, information Management Officer, United States Foreign Service
Kent Terry and Kelly Terry-Willis , brothers to border patrol agent Brian Terry who was killed by Mexican drug dealers
John Tiegen , Member of Benghazi Annex Security Team Security and Military Consultant
Melania Trump , Wife of Donald Trump and Entrepreneur
Karen Vaughn , mother of U.S. Navy SEAL Aaron Carson Vaughn (SEAL Team VI), who was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan
Ryan Zinke , U.S. Representative for Montana and former Navy SEAL

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016 Republican Convention Speeches

Kimberlin Brown , actress and entrepreneur
Dr. Ben Carson , retired neurosurgeon
Chris Christie , Governor of New Jersey
Chris Cox , Executive Director of NRA Institute for Legislative Action
Sharon Day , Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee and 20-year party veteran
Natalie Gulbis , pro-golfer and star on the LPGA tour
Asa Hutchinson , Governor of Arkansas
Ron Johnson , U.S. Senator from Wisconsin and entrepreneur
Kevin McCarthy , U.S. House Majority Leader and U.S Representative from California
Mitch McConnell , Senate Majority Leader (R-Ky.)
Shelley Moore Capito , first female U.S. Senator from West Virginia
Michael B. Mukasey , Former U.S. Attorney General and District Court and Chief Judge for the Southern District of New York
Leslie Rutledge , the first female Arkansas Attorney General
Paul Ryan , U.S. Speaker of the House, U.S. Representative for Wisconsin and permanent chairman of the 2016 Republican National Convention
Sajid Tarar , Pakistani immigrant and founder of American Muslims for Trump
Tiffany Trump , daughter of Donald Trump
Donald Trump, Jr. , eldest son of Donald Trump and Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization
Dana White , President of Ultimate Fighting Championship
Andy Wist , founded Standard Waterproofing Company, a Bronx-based roofing, waterproofing, and restoration companies in New York City
Kerry Woolard , General Manager, Trump Winery

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 Republican Convention Speeches

Ralph Alvarado, Jr. , State Senator for Kentucky and Physician
Pam Bondi , Florida Attorney General
Eileen Collins , retired astronaut
Ted Cruz , Senator from Texas
Newt Gingrich , former Speaker of the House
Harold Hamm , CEO and founder of Continental Resources, one of the largest oil producers in the country, shale oil pioneer and 39th richest person in United States
Laura Ingraham , former attorney and host of the Laura Ingraham Show
Lynne Patton , Vice President of the Eric Trump Foundation
Mike Pence , Governor for Indiana and nominee for Vice President
Marco Rubio , U.S. Senator from Florida
Phil Ruffin , hotelier and owner of Treasure Island Hotel and Casino
Darrell Scott , Pastor at the New Spirit Revival Center Ministries
Eric Trump , son of Donald Trump and Executive Vice President of The Trump Organization
Michelle Van Etten , entrepreneur
Scott Walker , Governor of Wisconsin

Thursday, July 21st, 2016 Republican Convention Speeches

Joe Arpaio , Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona
Tom Barrack , CEO of Colony Capital
Marsha Blackburn , U.S Representative from Tennessee
Mark Burns , Pastor, The Harvest Praise & Worship Center
Mary Fallin , Governor of Oklahoma
Jerry Falwell, Jr. , Liberty University president and evangelist
Brock Mealer , motivational speaker
Tony Perkins , President of the Family Research Council
Reince Priebus , RNC Chairman
Dr. Lisa Shin , member of National Diversity Coalition for Trump and principal at the Los Alamos Family Eyecare in New Mexico
Fran Tarkenton , Legendary quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings & New York Giants
Peter Thiel , billionaire venture capitalist and hedge fund manager
Ivanka Trump , daughter of Donald Trump and executive vice president at the Trump Organization
Donald J. Trump , nominee for President


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Pat Smith
Sajid Tarar
Fran Tarkenton
Kent Terry and Kelly Terry-Willis
Peter Thiel
John Tiegen
Melania Trump
Eric Trump
Tiffany Trump
Donald Trump, Jr.
Ivanka Trump
Donald J. Trump
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Karen Vaughn
Scott Walker
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Andy Wist
Kerry Woolard
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