Trump’s speech was exactly what you would expect from him, which is to say that it was rambling, unfocused, and unconventional, to say the least. During the speech, Trump repeatedly ad-libbed to move the focus away from Pence and onto him. In a speech ostensibly about why Pence was the right choice, Trump discussed:
- Getting more votes in the Republican primary than Dwight Eisenhower
- A new Trump hotel in Washington D.C. that’s coming in under budget
- Hillary Clinton, who he accused of murder and said belongs in prison
- School choice, the VA, and the Johnson Amendment
- NAFTA, which Pence backs, and which Trump called “the worst trade deal in American history”
- The failure of the #NeverTrump movement
- The Brexit, which Trump says he predicted, and the Iraq War, which he says he opposed
Trump’s speech went on for 28 minutes and, though peppered with the occasional “Back to Mike Pence” and “I’m really more interested in Mike,” was mostly about Trump’s favorite subject: himself.
That said, we did learn three somewhat interesting things from Trump and Pence’s remarks: Trump claimed Pence was his “first choice,” despite rumors that he tried to dump him at the 11th hour and admitted that he selected him for “party unity,” while Pence told the audience that Trump asked him to be his running mate on Wednesday, a day earlier than many believed. Trump, meanwhile, exited the stage during Pence’s remarks, suggesting a pretty clear power dynamic—which is to say that Mike Pence is getting the McDonald’s now.