WASHINGTON – Vice President Mike Pence delivered a well-received speech Thursday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the largest annual gathering of conservatives in the country.
His speech began by recognizing the Parkland, FL shooting while sending his condolences to the victims' families.
Pence praised President Donald Trump for the victories seen in his first year such as economic growth, tax reform, pro-life influence, and strengthening America's relationship with Israel.
But while CPAC is a prime platform for political narratives, Pence took the opportunity to pay tribute to the late Rev. Billy Graham, "America's Pastor."
"Yesterday mourned the passing of one of the greatest Americans of the past century, the Reverend Billy Graham. We remembered his ministry. A ministry for the gospel to change the lives of millions, and we remember his matchless voice that inspired our nation during some of our darkest times.
Pence reflected on when he saw Graham speak at the National Cathedral three days after the terror attacks of 9/11. Pence was serving his first term in Congress.
"On that day Billy Graham said to the American people, 'the spirit of this nation will not be defeated.' He also admonished American to, in his words, come together to confess our need for God. He said, 'We've always needed God from the beginning of this nation but today we need him especially,' and, he reminded us that the Bible says 'God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.' Therefore we will not fear."
Pence's unapologetic speech on faith comes in the wake of The View's Joy Behar comparing Pence's faith to mental illness.
"It's one thing to talk to Jesus, it's another thing when Jesus talks to you…that's called mental illness," Behar said.
In an interview with Axios, Pence responded to the unprecedented accusation.
Pence concluded his CPAC speech with a challenge to his audience.
"And, so with that admonition in my heart, I close today with faith. Faith in the boundless capacity of the American people. Faith in the President, and the leaders they've elected to represent them at every level. And with that other kind of faith– what Billy Graham called 'hope for the present and hope for the future.' That in the days ahead as we work to advance our cause, restore our country, let us also remember to claim that hope, remembering those ancient words that if His people who are called by His name will humble themselves and pray, He'll hear from Heaven and He'll heal this land. This one nation, Under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."