Former Vice President Mike Pence recently spoke to a group of students at the University of Iowa as part of the “Preserving American Liberty and Freedom” lecture series organized by Young America’s Foundation.
In his speech, Pence described the impacts his personal faith in Christ as well as the presidency of Ronald Reagan have had on his political journey, recounting his early days as a Democratic community organizer and eventual transformation into the Republican Vice President of the United States.
Pence Tells His Story, Encourages Students to Study the Constitution
After being introduced and welcomed to the stage, Pence began his remarks by mentioning that he preferred a shorter introduction, saying, “I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order.” Pence has often repeated this statement throughout his political career.
Pence went on to tell the students in attendance that as a young man, he was a Democrat and a community organizer for candidates, describing his love for the American Constitution and his undergraduate studies in history.
Referencing his faith as part of his eventual shift from the Democratic Party to the GOP, Pence said, “It was in that time — also a time that I came to a personal faith in Christ — that my politics and my thinking about America began to shift.”
“And much of that was also impacted by the voice and the values and the optimism of the 40th president of the United States, Ronald Reagan,” Pence added. “I have to tell you that when I heard Ronald Reagan’s vision for this country, a vision for a strong national defense, for a limited federal government, for traditional values, the words of my immigrant grandfather, the words of my father who built a small business in a small town in Indiana resonated in my heart.”
It was at that time that Pence said he “joined the Reagan revolution.”
“When I think of the impact Ronald Reagan had on my life and the life of this nation, it’s accurate to say that President Reagan was truly one of a kind. While he’s nearly universally admired today, those of us that are old enough to remember it know that it wasn’t always that way,” Pence said, calling Reagan “a conservative outsider who vigorously opposed the moderate Republican establishment in his day.”
“I think today we actually find ourselves in a very similar position, because President Donald Trump was also one of a kind,” Pence added as the crowd applauded. “Think about it. He too disturbed the status quo, challenged the establishment, invigorated a movement. And, once again, there is no turning back.”