Gov. Mike Pence in Waukesha: “The goal is to defeat Hillary Clinton; we’re going to work hard”

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WAUKESHA -- It’s arguably the “red” heart of the Republican Party in Wisconsin, and on Wednesday night, July 27th, Waukesha played host to the first solo campaign stop of Gov. Mike Pence -- Donald Trump's running mate.

The Indiana Republican spoke for about 30 minutes Wednesday at the Waukesha County Expo Center.

For many, this was a personal introduction to Pence -- a man who calls himself a Christian and a conservative -- in that order.

Pence came out on stage with his wife, and called Governor Scott Walker a close mentor.

He stressed his record for lowering unemployment numbers in his home state of Indiana. Pence said he believes Donald Trump is a leader who will grab Washington, D.C. by the lapels and shake out the full potential of the American people.

Mike and Karen Pence

Gov. Mike Pence and wife, Karen

If elected president, Pence said Trump will put the safety and security of the American people first. He said Trump will support law enforcement at every level -- and he will "hunt down and destroy the enemies of our freedoms."

Speaking before Pence was a host of notable Wisconsin Republicans, including Governor Walker. Walker called Pence a close friend, but more importantly, Walker called him a “Reagan conservative” and one of the best governors in the country. He said Pence supports the right to life and the importance of protecting the unborn.

Gov. Mike Pence, wife Karen and Gov. Scott Walker

Gov. Mike Pence, wife Karen and Gov. Scott Walker

As Pence took the stage, he made references to President Barack Obama’s speech Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention.

FOX6's Bret Lemoine was the only Milwaukee TV reporter to get a one-on-one interview with Pence after his speech in Waukesha.

Bret Lemoine: “It’s your first solo campaign stop.  Why did you choose Waukesha?”

“Wisconsin just looms so large in this presidential year.  When Donald Trump and I talked about where I would head first, we both talked about Wisconsin," Pence said.

Gov. Mike Pence in Waukesha

Gov. Mike Pence in Waukesha

Bret Lemoine: "How will you reach out to the “classic” conservatives in Waukesha County who, by a large margin, supported Ted Cruz in the primary? How will the Trump-Pence ticket sway those voters?”

“Well, we’re going to just go out and tell the story.  Donald Trump has a stronger vision for America at home and abroad.  Rebuilding our military, confronting our enemies -- cutting taxes and repealing ObamaCare. I enthusiastically embrace this team and look forward to carrying that message across Wisconsin and America," Pence said.

Bret Lemoine: “A number of people were chanting 'Lock her up.' What is your reaction when you hear that from the crowd?”

“I think the goal is to defeat Hillary Clinton.  Based on the failed policies of this administration, and long career and a part of the liberal democratic establishment in Washington DC, people want a change.  We’re going to work hard to elect Donald Trump and make sure Hillary never becomes president of the United States," Pence said.

Gov. Mike Pence and Gov. Scott Walker

Gov. Mike Pence and Gov. Scott Walker


Opinions on Pence's speech were mixed in Waukesha County. Republicans said Pence is a balanced VP choice, while Democrats said he's dangerous.

"This is all brand new to me and I'm so excited," Luann Madonna said.

Madonna was one of the first in line outside the Waukesha County Expo Center ahead of Pence's rally.

"I've never been to a rally like this," Madonna said.

Line outside Waukesha County Expo Center

Line outside Waukesha County Expo Center

Madonna, a first-time voter, said Trump is pushing her to the polls this election season. She thinks Pence will be a good partner."I just loved him. I think he's going to even out Trump a little bit," Madonna said.

Mike Pence in Waukesha

The Bero family tried to get a better understanding of Pence. They were not originally Trump supporters, but they're now on board.

"I don't really know him, so I'm hear to get to know him," Bobee Bero said.

"Our political system needs to be shaken up," Andrew Bero said.

Hillary Clinton supporters react to Mike Pence's rally

At the Waukesha County Hillary Clinton campaign office, Democratic supporters held their own media event -- warning against Republican politics.

"Mike Pence's views are dangerous for women across America," Rija Rehan said.

"Wisconsin is looking for a president who will bring people together. Donald Trump has done nothing but divide us," Julie Craig said.

Mike Pence in Waukesha

Mike Pence in Waukesha

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