Mike Pence stops in Gettysburg to talk veteran treatment and more
By Ari Snaevarsson, Features Editor
On Thursday, October 6 Mike Pence and his daughter, Charlotte, made the trip to Gettysburg to speak at a town hall event held at the Wyndham Hotel. The two first visited the Gettysburg National Military Park, paying their respects and taking in the profound historical significance of the site. Pence made the campaign stop in hopes to gain some traction for the Trump-Pence ticket in Pennsylvania, as every major poll currently has Hillary Clinton on top in this swing state.
Congressman Scott Perry, an outspoken advocate of Trump’s cause, welcomed Pence with an opening speech. Another notable speaker who appeared at the event was Otto Voit, candidate for state treasurer known for being the first open Trump supporter in the Pennsylvania state government.
Not even two minutes into the talk, two men, one dressed in a red rain jacket and the other in yellow, stood up and began chanting obscure remarks. It may have had to do with a group of Evangelists outside holding signs that read “Repent your sins,” as some claim they heard the men shouting similar sentiments. The only coherent segment of their tirade, peculiarly, was, “Pence! Pence!” Whatever the case, the men were hollered at by surrounding Trump supporters and eventually carried out forcefully by security.
Pence stuck to a humble style of speaking, missing no opportunity to deflect credit ascribed to him to Trump. For instance, when suggesting a popular consensus that he had won the vice presidential debate against Tim Kaine, he immediately made sure to exalt Trump for being the true winner.
He also capitalized on the treatment of veterans and the priority of improving a declining military strength. One emotional point that stood out was his mention of the fact that brave Americans fight in foreign lands for our freedoms just to come back home and die because of unacceptable care by the VA. This was met with great acclamation by a sizable number of veterans in the audience.
As well, he warned of what would be to come with a Hillary Clinton presidency, specifically citing her e-mail mismanagement and irresponsibility regarding the lives lost in Benghazi. Thematically, Pence emphasized his Christian faith and its influence on his policies with a saying of his to which he has been inextricably linked in this election cycle: “I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.”
Among a few other questions about veteran care and attention to the inner city under a Trump-Pence administration was what seemed to be the pinnacle moment of the event: a 10-year-old named Dwayne was the last person picked to ask his question in the Q&A portion of the townhall. He asked how long it would take, under their leadership, to “fix everything that Obama has done.” Met with some chuckles and “aw”s from the audience, Pence went on to answer the child by assuring him it would not take “as long as you’d think,” referencing his accomplishments as Governor of Indiana and policy changes that his running mate, Donald Trump, has proposed.
Minus the brief heckling incident, the event went over smoothly and ended right on time. Pence stayed for a little while to meet and take pictures. Chris Matthews was in attendance, coming from the roundtable discussion he had hosted with Howard Fineman earlier that day at Gettysburg College.