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In Maitland, Mike Pence talks up Donald Trump as a defender of traditional American values

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Indiana governor and vice presidential nominee Mike Pence appeared at the Maitland Civic Center in Seminole County Monday afternoon, where he spoke to a galvanized audience of fans on the faults of Hillary Clinton and the virtues of Donald Trump eight days before the presidential election comes to a close.

Trump was the only candidate who, Pence said, can return America to a standard it has lost after eight years of Barack Obama‘s policies.

Pence extolled Trump’s virtues as classically American — “strong, freedom loving and willing to fight hard every day for what he believes in,” Pence said, to a chorus of cheers.

Clinton, by contrast, was characterized as dishonest and corrupt, with Pence hammering her throughout the speech on the many controversies that have dogged her all campaign long — among them her use of a private email server as secretary of state and her inaction during the Benghazi attack in 2012 when Pence and others claim she could’ve prevented it.

Pence’s speech was clean and organized, drawing constant comparisons between his running mate and Clinton, with the common refrain being that Clinton was a weak, ineffective and corrupt leader and Trump was a true leader who would cut through the dishonesty and gridlock in Washington.

“The American people are sick of ‘pay to play’ politics,” he said. “That will come to a crashing halt the day Donald Trump becomes president. He’s got a plan, in the first 100 days, to work with newly re-elected majorities in House and Senate, to pass ethics reform. We will have a government as good as our people, and we’ll drain the swamp.”

On Clinton, Pence didn’t mince words. He accused her of accepting money from foreign governments and large corporate donors, characterizing her as the embodiment of the decades-long Washington D.C. style of “self-dealing, conflicts of interest, pay-to-play, politics of personal enrichment.”

He also attacked Obama’s leadership in the Middle East, saying pulling out of troops from Iraq had created a vacuum that allowed ISIS to grow in their absence, and that negotiating with Iran for the release of American prisoners was a poor move.

Under Trump, Pence said nothing like that would happen again.

Pence encouraged the audience to vote, and said the choice for those who want someone to uphold the American values of “limited government, the sanctity of life, the Second Amendment and all the God-given liberties” they enjoyed, the choice was clearly Trump.

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