By Adrianna Pitrelli
CLEVELAND — Chants of “We like Mike!” filled the room when Speaker of the House Paul Ryan introduced Gov. Mike Pence as the vice presidential candidate.
Wednesday night, Pence gave the biggest speech of his political career thus far on the national stage in Cleveland.
Pence opened his speech at the Republican National Convention by admitting he does not have the same rhetoric as his running mate, Donald Trump.
“He’s a man known for his large personality, his colorful style and his charisma—and, well, I guess he was looking for someone to balance the ticket,” Pence said, jokingly.
Pence said he is proud to be on Trump’s ticket because he is a man who never quits and never backs down. Pence said he is helping unite the party alongside Trump.
Pence also said he is ready to take on presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by working side by side with Trump to study the Obama-Clinton agenda and point out ways to resolve the any issues they caused.
“We will win the hearts and minds of the American people with an agenda for a stronger and more prosperous America,” said Pence.
Moments after Pence finished his speech and received a standing ovation, Indiana Republican Party Chairman, Jeff Cardwell, said he is still having a hard time believing Pence is the vice presidential nominee.
“I’m pinching myself to make sure this is not a dream,” Cardwell said. “It’s just a very proud moment for all of us that live in Indiana.”
Cardwell said he looks forward to seeing his governor become the vice president and knows he’s a good choice.
But Pence’s name isn’t well known around the country, and Pence is clearly aware.
“To those of you who don’t know me, which is most of you,” Pence said, laughing, “I grew up on the front row of the American dream.”
Former Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, Bob Davis of Nashville, said he didn’t know a lot about Pence before last week, but was impressed as he listened to Pence’s speech in the Quicken Loans Arena.
“I thought he was outstanding and electrifying,” Davis said. “I think he is certainly a great addition to the ticket.”
Pence ended his remarks saying, “We are going to make America great again.” As the audience clapped and cheered, Pence’s family joined him on stage alongside Trump.
Adrianna Pitrelli is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College.