The evening session gave us two short presentations before the evening's headline speaker, Vice President Mike Pence.
First up was outspoken, conservative actor, Robert Davi. Robert spoke of the days leading up to the election, and the hope for the future he saw in Donald Trump. He relayed how election night, his sixteen-year-old son prayed for four hours that Trump would win. He even ate with his hands folded! He spoke of his hope for the future, the nation, and the rule of law. He ended his talk by reciting Red Skelton’s Pledge of Allegiance.
Next up was Judge Jeanine Pirro. Judge Jeanine spent her time discussing a common theme for this gathering and the election-- illegal immigration and sanctuary cities. She spoke of the danger and lives lost to violent illegal immigrants. She challenged the mayors of sanctuary cities to decide who should die next? Whose life is worth protecting these criminals?
Chris Cox from NRA-ILA introduced the Vice President. He recalled how six days before CPAC last year, Justice Antonin Scalia passed away and the upcoming election took on a new urgency. The NRA endorsed Donald Trump in May, earlier than ever before, knowing that a Hillary Clinton presidency meant open borders and certain danger for the Second Amendment. As he introduced the Vice President, he awarded Mike Pence with the Charlton Heston Defense of Freedom award for his support and defense of the Second Amendment.
The Vice President came on stage with his wife Karen, as the crowd rose to its feet. He told the audience this was his ninth CPAC. Mr. Pence suggested that he and Mr. Trump were a little different-- big city vs country, but that they could work well together. He promised that a Trump presidency would re-ignite the conservative movement.
Mr. Pence recalled how shocked the media and Democrats were that Trump had won, how they had dismissed him in his candidacy, and how they dismissed the citizens who voted for them. He suggested they had forgotten we are not a country of and by the elites, but of and by the people.
He said people had demanded a safer America, but that the election was just the beginning. There is much hard work ahead. Mr. Pence suggested that some opportunities were rare-- once every few generations or once in a lifetime. “This is our time,” he said.
He emphasized that Obamacare was a failure, crippling America with higher costs and fewer options, and that it would be repealed and replaced. More options, insurance across state lines, like with life and auto insurance, and more freedom to choose, and more responsibility for the individual. He promised that each state would be able to do what was in its best interest.
He promised the military would be rebuilt and given the tools it needed to do its job to destroy ISIS at its source, and pledged to cut taxes and regulations, rein in spending, rescind Obama’s Executive Orders, and leave education to the states.
The Vice President assured the people that we have shared values with Israel, and that we would stand with them as our strongest ally. He promised a stand for the sanctity of human life, and with a Judge Gorsuch, this is our time. He asked each in attendance to make their voice heard and to pray for the administration.
As he closed, he recalled being sworn in using the same Bible as Ronald Reagan, turning to the same scripture: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
“America’s best days are yet to come!”