CLEVELAND (CBSNewYork/AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence took the Republican National Convention stage Wednesday night to accept the vice presidential nomination.
“I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order,” Pence said.
Pence said he never thought he’d be standing on the stage at his party’s national convention and even joked that running mate Donald Trump is charismatic and must have been looking for balance in choosing him.
“For those of you who don’t know me, which is most of you, I grew up on the front row of the American dream,” Pence said.
Pence told the crowd that he started out in politics in “the other party,” but signed on for the “Reagan revolution.”
Pence said Republicans “nominated a man for president who never quits, who never backs down.”
The Indiana governor stated that Republicans will retake the presidency in November because they’re being honest with Americans about the stakes in the election — and the choice facing voters.
“In the end, this election comes down to two names on the ballot, so let’s resolve here and now that Hillary Clinton will never become the president of the United States of America,” Pence said to a thunderous applause.
Pence continued to criticize Clinton and President Barack Obama, saying the former secretary of state “essentially offers a third Obama term.”
“As this election approaches, every American should know that while we’re filling the presidency for four years, this election will fill the Supreme Court for the next 40,” he said.
He continued, “For the sake of rule of law, for the sake of the sanctity of life, for the sake of our Second Amendment, and for the sake of all of our God-given liberties, we have to make sure the next president appointing justices to the Supreme Court is Donald Trump.”
Pence touted the billionaire as someone who will fight for Americans, calling him “tough” and as someone who “perseveres.”
“Donald Trump is still standing and running stronger than ever before,” the vice presidential nominee said. “The man just doesn’t quit.”
He finished off his speech, “We have but one choice and that man is ready, this team is ready, our party is ready, and when we elect Donald Trump the 45th president of the United States, together we will make America great again.”
Trump joined Pence onstage at the end of his speech.
Before Pence’s speech, Sen. Ted Cruz was booed off stage after not endorsing Trump. However, as CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported, the unexpected twist ended when Trump entered the arena and stole the crowd’s attention.
The theme of Wednesday night was “Make America First Again.” Trump’s son, Eric, took the stage to talk about his father earlier.
“It’s time for a president who understands the are of the deal and the value of a dollar,” Eric Trump said.
The man Donald Trump labeled “Little Marco Rubio” was on video so he could remain in Florida to campaign for his Senate seat.
“After a long and spirited journey, the time for fighting each other is over,” Rubio said.
In another development, it was revealed the person who wrote Melania Trump’s controversial speech was on of Trump’s in-house writers. Meredith McIver offered to resign, but Trump rejected it.
Trump will accept the party’s nomination Thursday night.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)