Former Vice President Mike Pence took the stage Saturday at the “First in Freedom” Luncheon at the 2023 N.C. GOP Convention. Coming off the heels of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s speech at the convention’s dinner last night, Pence’s speech was much more contained – focusing on family, patriotism, and faith.
Pence is the latest major GOP candidate to announce a run for president, declaring his bid for president just three days before his appearance at this weekend’s convention in Greensboro.
Pence spent a noticeable share of his speech on the recent Trump indictments. Pence told the crowd, “It’s important in America to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty.”
He also urged the audience to pray for the former president and his family then made a promise that, if elected president, he would “uphold the rule of law, clear house at the top levels of the Department of Justice, and restore the confidence of the American people in equal treatment under the law.”
He also addressed his rejection of Trump’s call for Pence to “return” electoral votes back to the states following the 2020 election. He said Trump presented him with the option to choose “between him and the Constitution.”
The former vice president stated he “chose the constitution and always will.” He continued, “Anyone who puts themselves before the Constitution should not be president of the United States.”
Pence’s speech repeatedly came back around to national security. Pence criticized the withdrawal from Afghanistan under the Biden administration and said that America must continue to support the Ukrainians in their fight against the Russian invasion. It contained significantly fewer references to the southern border than DeSantis’s remarks on Friday evening.
Pence has fallen behind in polling in North Carolina. Amongst likely GOP primary voters in North Carolina, Pence garnered only 8% of the support in recent polling. Among N.C. general election voters, Pence failed to receive more support than Biden. The race, however, was tight at only a two-point deficit. Nearly 20% of voters remained undecided in the matchup.
“God is not done with America yet,” said Pence. He closed with calling for prayers for the nation.
Pence’s former running mate, President Emeritus Donald Trump, will be speaking at the convention’s dinner Saturday evening.
The post Faith and patriotism center stage in Pence’s NCGOP Convention speech first appeared on Carolina Journal.