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Vice President Mike Pence mixes faith & politics in commencement address

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Vice President Mike Pence talked about faith, traditional values, and the Trump administration in his commencement address at Hillsdale College Saturday afternoon.    

Pence spoke to more than 300 graduates, as well as their friends and family at the small liberal arts school in southern Michigan.

“Let’s be honest, no one comes to commencement to hear the speaker,” Pence joked. But the vice president was well received by the audience at the school that is influential in conservative political circles.

“You’re beginning your careers at a time of a growing American economy and restored American stature at home and abroad,” Pence told the audience. “And I can personally attest from my travels across this nation … faith in America is rising once again.”

The vice president drew his loudest applause while talking about the Trump Administration’s foreign policy.

“On the world stage you’ve seen America embracing our role as leader of the free world. With action just this week on Iran, North Korea,” said Pence. “And on Monday, America will lead the world again when we open our new embassy in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.”

Beyond politics, Pence praised the students for their accomplishments and the lessons learned at Hillsdale College.

“It seems at times we live in an age of grim relativism,” Pence told the crowd. "But here, this class has seen the power of unchanging truth to change lives.”

This is the third time Mike Pence has visited the Hillsdale campus. His two previous trips came before he became vice president. This is his fourth trip to Michigan since becoming vice president.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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