Vice President Mike Pence told a cheering crowd Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference "this is our time" and called on attendees to back him and President Donald Trump because "the other side is not sitting idle."
"This is the chance we've worked so hard for so long to see," the former Indiana governor said to about 2,500 people at the annual gathering at National Harbor outside Washington, D.C. "This is the time to prove again that our answers are the right answers for America.
"A strong military. More jobs. Less taxes. Respect for the Constitution — and the values that have made America great, and a deep and abiding faith in the goodness of the American people.
"We must all of us rise to the challenge before us, tomorrow and every day thereafter," Pence later added. "The other side is not sitting idle.
"Their allies in the media are more than willing to amplify their defense of the failed status quo every day.
"We've got to mobilize," the vice president warned. "We've got to march forward as if it's the most important time in the history of our movement — because it is."
Pence's speech, lasting about 20 minutes, capped a busy CPAC day, following appearances by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos — and a joint session featuring chief White House strategist Steve Bannon and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
President Trump speaks Friday morning. The conference, which began Wednesday, ends Saturday.
In his ninth appearance before the group, his first as vice president, Pence thanked CPAC-goers for their support during the campaign and said "it is the greatest privilege of my life to be the vice president of a president with conviction and courage.
"You elected a man for president who never quits or backs down," he said. "He is a fighter and a winner."
Pence said Trump reminded him of former President Ronald Reagan, saying the latter commander-in-chief "gave voice to the aspirations of the American people like no leader of the century.
"I knew our president would reignite our cause and renew it in our own day — and he did just that.
"The establishment never saw it coming," Pence continued. "The media, the elites, and the insiders and everybody else who was preserving the status quo — they dismissed our president all the way.
"In dismissing him, they dismissed millions of hard-working men and women in the country today.
"They are still trying to dismiss them — and all of us."
However, Pence cautioned, "our fight didn't end on Nov. 8.
"We won the day, make no mistake about it. The harder and most important work lies ahead.
"The fight goes on," the vice president said. "Let me make you a promise: President Trump will fight for you every single day."
He then detailed some of the accomplishments of Trump's young term, ranging from his Cabinet picks — "the A-Team" — to his executive orders and other moves that proved "President Donald Trump is already delivering for the American people."
Pence reiterated pledges to rebuild the nation's armed forces, to return the control of education to the states, to uphold the Constitution, to respect human life, and to repeal and replace Obamacare.
"America's Obamacare nightmare is about to end," he said as the crowd roared. "Obamacare has failed, and Obamacare must go.
"Despite all the fear-mongering from the left, we'll have an orderly transition to a better healthcare system that finally puts the American people first."
Pence also vowed the United States stood with "our most cherished ally": Israel.
"Israel's fight is our fight," he declared. "Her cause is our cause. Her values are our values.
"America will stand with Israel."
Returning to his original theme, Pence called on CPAC attendees to "make your voices heard.
"In town halls, with your family and your friends, on the Internet, social media," he said. "All those places were common-sense conservative messages are most desperately needed, this is our time.
"President Trump and I need every ounce of our energy and enthusiasm.
"Your conviction. Your courage. Your passion," Pence said.
"And we need one more thing, if you're inclined: We need your prayers.
"I'm confident that with your help and with God's help — and with President Donald Trump in the White House, I know the best days for America are ahead of us," the vice president concluded.
"Let's get to work."
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