Donald Trump finally got to formally introduce his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, on Saturday morning in New York.
“I’m here to introduce the man who will be my partner in this campaign, and the White House, to fix our rigged system … to make America safe again and to make America great again,” Trump said before addressing the “Islamic terror attack in France” and calling for new leadership in America.
Trump expressed support for both France and Turkey to start the event and said the “Middle East today is more unstable than ever before,” blaming Hillary Clinton’s time in President Obama’s cabinet for the chaos.
“I found the leader who will help us deliver a safe society and a prosperous society for all Americans. Indiana Governor Mike Pence was my first choice,” the presumptive GOP nominee said. “I’ve admired the work he’s done. Especially in the state of Indiana.”
After Trump spoke for nearly 30 minutes, he finally called on Pence to join him on the stage.
“Would you join me in thanking Donald Trump, Melania and his entire family for the sacrifices that they are making to make America great again,” Pence said. “I thank Donald Trump … I accept your invitation to run and serve as vice president of the United States of America.”
“Donald Trump is a good man and he will make a great president,” Pence said.
Trump said one of the primary reasons that he selected Pence was because he studied Indiana during the primary race and liked what he learned about the Hoosier State, especially when it comes to unemployment rates and the state’s budget. He said Pence will fight for the people and called him a “solid, solid person.”
Trump first announced Pence as his running mate on the Republican presidential ticket on Friday morning on his favorite social media platform, Twitter. It was originally supposed to be a bigger spectacle, but Trump postponed the festivities in wake of the terror attack in Nice on Thursday.
“We are the law and order candidates,” Trump said. “Mike Pence will never be afraid to speak the name of our enemy.”
It’s been a wild 48 hours for the Trump-Pence ticket, as Trump reportedly had cold feet about the decision, tweeted it anyway and then unveiled a logo that was mocked across the Internet.
CNN’s Dana Bash said Friday that Trump was trying to get out of naming Pence around midnight ET Thursday. According to Bash, Trump had already offered the gig to Pence when he told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren that his mind wasn’t made up.
“I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,” Pence said on Saturday, which has become a line that he repeats on a regular basis.
Pence has a lot of policy experience, which is something Trump coveted in a running mate. Prior to being elected governor, Pence represented Indiana’s Sixth Congressional District in Congress. The Indiana Govenor is considered a staunch social conservative that will help Trump with religious conservative voters. He is also viewed as someone who could help Trump navigate Congress.
Pence is extremely anti-abortion, supported Ted Cruz in the Indiana primary and has controversial views on LGBT issues. Pence was also in favor of the Iraq war, which is an issue that Trump likes to attack Hillary Clinton on.
Trump mentioned on Saturday that Pence’s endorsement for Cruz during the Primary actually helped the Trump campaign. The Republican National Convention kicks off on Monday, July 18 in Cleveland, Ohio.