ASHLAND, VA (WUSA9) - Indiana Governor Mike Pence appeared rested, ready and well-prepared for the biggest moment of his political career on Monday night, punching up at Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at his final pre-debate rally.
“Hillary Clinton’s record on foreign affairs needs to be talked about. I’m heading over to Farmville tomorrow morning. I’m going to talk about it there. I’m looking forward to it,” Pence told a crowd of a few hundred supporters here. “It’s not gonna be pretty.”
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Pence’s role with the Trump campaign has been largely focused on reaching rural and conservative base voters like those who attended tonight’s rally in a trucking company lot. Even his fans here among the Donald Trump faithful knew little about him.
“Not much,” Trump supporter Sandra Briley responded, when asked what she knew about Pence’s record. “That’s why I’m here.”
And while Pence is less well-known than Trump, he, and his opposite, Sen. Tim Kaine, are generally better-liked than the tops of their respected tickets. Ironically, despite all their years of government service – Pence in the House of Representatives and Indiana governorship and Kaine in the Virginia governorship, then Senate, -- the two have never met in person.
While Pence attacked Kaine’s record as governor of Virginia during a brief interlude at the rally, he threw no personal punches, and even praised Kaine as a good family man and a Jesuit.
Attendees at the rally here seemed grateful for that, with a half dozen Trump supporters telling WUSA9 in interviews that they wanted to hear a more positive message from Pence on Tuesday. With, perhaps, some exceptions.
“I want to hear about all the issues that they stand for,” said Trump supporter Ann Woods, after the rally. “I don’t want him to fight; I mean a few times he can go into Hillary because she’s so crooked there’s so many things you can go into her for.”