Mike Pence Accepts VP Nomination as Scott Walker Endorses Trump at RNC

by | July 21, 2016

By Tom Troy

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Wednesday night told the crowd of delegates and guests at the Republican National Convention that he accepts the party's nomination to run and serve as vice president of the United States.

The speech capped the third day of the national GOP convention, which nominated Donald Trump for president on Tuesday.

He said Democratic presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton is perfectly suited to succeed President Obama.

"The national debt has nearly doubled in these eight years and her only answer is to keep borrowing and spending," he said. "They say this economy is the best that we can do. It's nowhere near the best that we can do. It's just the best that they can do."

He said Indiana shows that a growing economy can be built on balanced budgets.

"Indiana is a state that works because conservative principles work every time you put them into practice," Mr. Pence said.

He praised Mr. Trump as a doer who "doesn't tiptoe around political correctness."

Mr. Pence, in a workmanlike speech that seemed to touch on all the points that unite Republican conservatives, said "on issue by issue he and I will take our case to the voters, pointing out the failures of the Obama agenda and showing a better way.

"Elect Hillary Clinton and get used to unelected judges using unconstitutional power to take unaccountable actions," he said.

He said Mrs. Clinton left four Americans in harm's way in Benghazi and afterward she said, "what difference does it make?" whether it was a planned terrorist attack or a spontaneous response to an anti-Muslim movie.

"We cannot have four more years apologizing to our enemies and abandoning our friends," Mr. Pence said. "On the world stage, Donald Trump will lead from strength."

After Mr. Pence finished his 30 minute speech, Mr. Trump came on stage just long enough to embrace him and give him two thumbs up, followed by Mr. Pence's family.

Mr. Pence was introduced by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) who said Mr. Pence led the fight in Congress to ban congressional pork-barrel spending on local projects.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who ran against Mr. Trump and has not endorsed the winner, congratulated the nominee and gave a speech sketching a conservative vision of America that he said was exceptional because of its commitment to freedom.

But Mr. Cruz disappointed many in the crowd when he ended without uttering an endorsement, and left the stage to boos.

Mr. Cruz specifically endorsed one of Mr. Trump's signature policies.

"We believe in an immigration system that puts America first and, yes, builds a wall to keep America safe," he said.

"Please don't stay home in November. If you love our country, stand and speak your conscience and vote for candidates up and down the ticket that you trust to defend our freedom and be faithful to the Constitution," Mr. Cruz said.

At the end of Mr. Cruz's speech, Mr. Trump appeared in the first row of the stands with members of his family while videos of children Donald, Jr., Eric, and Ivanka Trump talking about him played on the big screen.

In a live speech at the convention, Eric Trump praised his father for setting new benchmarks for a political campaign, with more Republican primary votes than ever and debates that became must-see TV.

"It's time to elect a president who understands the art of the deal and appreciates the value of a dollar -- our tax dollars. It's time to elect a president who signs the front of checks, not the back," Eric Trump said. "My father has turned dreams into reality his entire career. It's what he does. It's who he is."

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich sought to put a positive spin on Mr. Cruz's speech.

"He said you can vote your conscience for anyone who will uphold the Constitution. In this election, there is only one candidate who will uphold the Constitution," Mr. Gingrich said, citing the Trump-Pence ticket.

Mr. Gingrich used most of his speech to attack radical Islamic terrorism, offering the crowd a detailed list of recent attacks by terrorists in the name of Islam.

"Donald Trump is right. We are at war with radical Islamists. We are losing the war. We must change course to win the war," Mr. Gingrich said.

During the convention's first prepared speech Wednesday, by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, delegates broke into what has emerged as their favorite chant about Mrs. Clinton: "Lock Her Up."

Today's theme at the Republican convention is "Make America One Again." Here is a list of the scheduled prime-time speakers:

--Brock Mealer, motivational speaker from Wauseon

--U.S Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.)

--Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin

--Dr. Lisa Shin, National Diversity Coalition for Trump

--Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee

--Jerry Falwell, Jr., president of Liberty University and evangelical leader

--Peter Thiel, venture capitalist

--Tom Barrack, CEO of Colony Capital

--Ivanka Trump, daughter of Donald Trump and executive vice president at the Trump Organization

--Donald Trump, candidate for president

"I know there are some reservations about my friend Donald Trump. He can be a little rough and sometimes he's a little too direct," Mr. Scott said.

"It's time for all Americans to put down the partisan banner and save our country," he said.

He called Mr. Trump the solution and Mrs. Clinton the problem.

"Donald Trump knows that a nation without borders is not a nation at all. Hillary Clinton doesn't believe in borders," he said.

The Clinton campaign quickly issued a response quoting the fact-checking group PolitiFact.com that Mrs. Clinton "supported a 2013 bill that would have invested billions more in border security while creating a path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants."

Pundit and talk show host Laura Ingraham aimed a rebuke at those who remain neutral, which was a likely reference to Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

"All you boys with wounded feelings and bruised egos, we love you, but you must honor your pledge to support Donald Trump now," Ms. Ingraham said.

Her unscripted admonition brought most of the delegates to their feet, including some members of the Ohio delegation.

But not all.

Others in the Ohio delegation just sat there.

"I'm here tonight supporting Donald Trump because like most Americans, I refuse to leave them a country that is worse off than the one my parents left me," Ms. Ingraham said.

Phil Ruffin, a businessman in real estate, lodging, manufacturing, energy, and retail enterprises, who said he has done projects with Mr. Trump, said Mr. Trump sometimes works 20 hours a day.

"A tsunami is coming and its name is Donald Trump," Mr. Ruffin said.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who ran for president and was one of the first to drop out of the race, gave a speech that excoriated Mrs. Clinton.

''A vote for anyone other than Donald Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton," Mr. Walker said.

He recounted that just an hour earlier he had a phone conversation with Mr. Trump about the Supreme Court hanging in the balance.

"We cannot concede the court to Hillary Clinton for the next 30 years," Mr. Walker said.

"Hillary is the ultimate Washington insider. If she was any more inside, she'd be in prison. America deserves better," Mr. Walker said.

The Clinton campaign released quotes from Mr. Walker showing a previous lack of support for Mr. Trump.

When Mr. Walker left the race, he said, "I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner," who was Mr. Trump.

The theme of the third day was "Make America First Again," with an emphasis on America being "an exceptional nation."

The convention is to conclude tonight with Mr. Trump's acceptance of the nomination.

(c)2016 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)