COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Former Vice President Mike Pence addressed Texas A&M students and the public at an event at Rudder Auditorium Thursday night. He appeared on stage, waving to the crowd, to the song "Takin' Care of Business" as the crowd jumped to their feet and applauded. He made sure to address the crowd with a boisterous "Howdy!"
Pence started out the evening by thanking the men and women who are serving or have served in the military. He thanked them for their service as students got to their feet and applauded. He declared the young people in the audience as the "Freedom Generation."
The Trump Administration: The Reagan Revolution of our time
Pence, who at a young age considered himself a Democrat, said he had been inspired to switch parties by President Ronald Reagan. "I joined the Reagan Revolution and I never looked back," he said. Citing the former president's optimism and drive for traditional values, Pence didn't mince words.
"President Ronald Reagan was one of a kind. He's universally admired today but it was not always that way," he said. "Before he was known as the Great Communicator, Ronald Reagan was the Great Disruptor. A Conservative outsider who vigorously opposed the moderate Republican establishment in his day."
When Reagan won the presidency in 1980, Pence said it breathed new life into the Republican party and changed the course of not only the nation, but the world. He said it's easy to draw the same conclusions to the Trump Administration.
"President Donald Trump is one of a kind. He disrupted the status quo, he challenged the establishment," Pence said. "Under the Trump-Pence Administration, we achieved things that Conservatives had only been talking about for the last 40 years."
Pence went on to talk about what the administration had done for the country and especially for the military. He also went on to say the administration stopped illegal immigration by 90% and was proud that during his time in office, he stood for the sanctity of life. "I could not be more proud than to have been Vice President in the most Pro-Life administration in American history."
Pence POV on Biden-Harris Administration
Pence also took time during his speech Thursday to discuss his thoughts on the Biden-Harris Administration. He said it took only months for President Biden to tear apart the progress the Trump Administration had put in place.
"It's heartbreaking to see," he said. "As we stand here today, I scarcely need to tell Texans that we're in the midst of the worst border crisis in American history. Inflation is at a 30-year high. Massive tax increases are on the horizon."
Pence left nothing untouched. "Worst of all, America was embarrassed on the world stage after the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan." He also said the Biden-Harris Administration is taking away American liberties by enforcing mandates when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"America is not a racist country"
"I don't have to tell any Conservatives on any campus in America about the assault on free speech," he said. "Under the Biden Administration, 'cancel-culture' is the order of the day. Patriotic education has been replaced by political indoctrination."
Pence said by allowing schools to teach critical race theory, we are teaching our students to be "ashamed of their skin color." Pence said he believes critical race theory is nothing but "state-sanctioned racism."
"Let me say from my heart," he said. "America is not a racist country. America is the most just, noble and inclusive nation ever to exist on the face of the earth. Our drive for a more perfect union has made America the envy of the nations."
He encouraged audience members not to read books and/or information about the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence, but read the actual document. He said Americans should take the time to reflect on the words of the Constitution's preamble.
"We the People in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, promote the common defense, the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity. These are not just words, men and women," Pence said. "It's a to-do list."
Pence: Stand up to China
Pence said the current generation needs to continue to choose freedom, especially when it comes to the economy. He said people shouldn't stand for big government socialism and should instead pursue less taxes and less regulations. He said he wants people to understand American jobs and American workers must come first.
"It means standing up to China. Insisting China open its markets, stop stealing intellectual property, respect human rights or risk their access to the most prosperous economy in the world," Pence said.
Serving the country in any capacity
Pence said the greatest thing this generation can do is serve. He encouraged the men and women in the audience to sign on to the armed forces or get involved in politics and serve their country in that capacity. "I want to challenge you. Think about serving your country in any capacity. Decide now that you'll be men and women that keep your oath."
Pence also told the audience serving as the Vice President was the greatest honor of his life. "I'm a Christian, a Conservative and a Republican in that order," Pence declared.
Pence was hosted by the Texas A&M Young Americans for Freedom. Having him at the university is part of the organization's Preserving American Liberty & Freedom Lecture Series.