Vice President Mike Pence got right to the point Tuesday when he addressed the National Religious Broadcasters’ 75th annual meeting in Nashville.
“Allow me to bring greetings to you from the most pro-life president in all of history, President Donald Trump,” Pence told an audience at a luncheon hosted by the Susan B. Anthony List and Life Issues Institute, a newly merged anti-abortion organization, the Tennessean reported.
“To all of you who are gathered here, to religious broadcasters who have made a difference for the cause of life, we thank you.”
Pence lauded the Trump administration’s pro-life record, naming a number of measures enacted by the president. He also drew attention to his tie-breaking vote in the U.S. Senate to pass a legislation that withholds federal funds from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
But the luncheon was just a warmup for Pence. Later Tuesday, he delivered a 25-minute speech to thousands of Evangelical Christians, who greeted the vice president with standing applause.
“I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,” Pence said. “To all of you whose faith and ministries have inspired the hearts of millions, it is great to be back.”
Pence welcomed U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to the stage, and the two proceeded to attack abortion and call out Planned Parenthood.
The vice president continued his speech, mentioning Trump’s achievements, from school safety to fighting terrorism, according to the Tennessean. Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy there brought the crowd to its feet.
But the speech also struck a somber note after Pence drew attention to the late beloved evangelist Billy Graham, who died last week at age 99 — and whose body will lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda beginning Wednesday, before his funeral in North Carolina on Friday.
“He was a man of towering faith,” Pence said of Graham. “He was an example and his ministry for the gospel and his matchless voice inspired our nation and the world.”
Pence said Trump will attend Graham’s funeral in Charlotte, making him the sole living president in attendance, USA Today reported.
The vice president has been using his position to advocate and energize the pro-life movement in America. Last year, Pence addressed the March for Life crowd in Washington, declaring that “life is winning” in the U.S.
“Life is winning in America and today is a celebration in that progress,” Pence said last year. “We’ve come to a historic moment in the cause of life and we must approach it with with compassion for every American. Life is winning in America because of you.
“Let this movement be known for love,” he added to thunderous applause. “Not anger. For compassion. Not confrontation.”