Pence defends Trump in Lynchburg, rallies supporters in Salem

Published: Oct. 12, 2016 at 7:23 PM EDT
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Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence delivered a strong defense of his Republican running mate Donald Trump during two appearances in our area.

Speaking at Liberty University Wednesday morning, the Indiana Governor said Trump has apologized for his inappropriate comments about women that were captured in a 2005 video. And he said the controversy shouldn't keep conservatives on the sidelines.

Mike Pence found an enthusiastic audience at Liberty University. And he explained to the crowd of several thousand students why he believes Donald Trump still deserves their support.

"It's not about condoning what is said and done," Pence told the audience, "it's about believing in grace and forgiveness."

He said Donald Trump had shown humility after his lewd comments about women were made public.

And he said Trump is on the right side of issues that matter most to conservatives.

"Men and women of faith, this is a time for action not essays," Pence said, "and we must roll our sleeves up and be prepared to fight every day for what we believe in."

In Salem Wednesday afternoon, he delivered many of the same lines, touched on many of the same themes, even delivered variations of the same jokes, but there was one notable exception.

Pence did not address the video in Salem. He didn't have to. The crowd responded with enthusiasm as he framed the election as a choice between two different visions for the country.

"So I choose a stronger America. I choose a more prosperous America. I choose an America that respects our constitutional traditions. and our highest ideals," Pence said, "so I choose to stand with Donald Trump."

The Salem event was billed as a town hall forum, but like the Lynchburg appearance it was a straight campaign speech.

Pence hit all of the key issues we've come to expect from the Republican campaign, along with a strong defense of Donald Trump that focused on conservative issues instead of recent controversy.