VP nominee Mike Pence makes first campaign stop in Ohio

Posted at 10:36 PM, Jul 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-01 08:01:12-04

LIMA, Ohio -- After making his debut last week at the Republican National Convention, Indiana governor and potential vice president Mike Pence took the stage for a much smaller — but equally excited — crowd in Lima, Ohio, Friday night to repeat what Donald Trump has been saying for months: Trump is the only one who can fix America.

“He’s a fighter, a winner, and up until now, he’s had to do it all by himself,” Pence said of the Republican presidential nominee.

Trump is a political newcomer, having previously spent his career in real estate and reality television, and his legislative inexperience has been a source of concern within the Republican Party. However, Pence said he believed Trump’s unconventional candidacy could be the only catalyst for real change in the United States.

“We can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result,” Pence said. "We need a president who will lead America back to strength at home and abroad, and that man is Donald Trump."

READ: Introducing Trump’s VP Pick: Mike Pence by the numbers

In addition to throwing the full weight of his personal support behind Trump, Pence took time to reiterate their campaign’s key issues: securing the United States-Mexico border, lowering taxes and combating the Islamic State group. (Pence, like Trump, refers to this group’s activities only with the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” and has challenged other politicians to do the same.)

Some attendees said that Pence, whose tenure as governor of Indiana included controversial “religious freedom” legislation inspired by his evangelical Christian faith, brings a strong moral compass to the Republican ticket.

“I think Governor Pence is a great asset for Donald,” said Gugi Degen of Lima. “They’re a great-looking team, and together, they’re going to make America great.”

Trump and Pence will face off against Hillary Clinton and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine at the polls this November, and Ohio residents can expect to hear more from both sets of contenders in the meantime as they compete for the state's 18 electoral votes.