In Nashville visit, Pence praises Trump, Black for anti-abortion efforts

Vice President Mike Pence used his latest visit to Nashville to offer support for the anti-abortion movement and reassure those gathered at a Christian broadcasting conference that the Trump administration will be the most vociferous supporter yet of issues important to evangelicals, reports The Tennessean.

The vice president delivered two well-received speeches Tuesday at the National Religious Broadcasters’ 75th annual meeting, which is being held this week at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.

The thousands of Christian communicators attending the evangelical association’s annual convention greeted Pence with standing applause.

“I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,” Pence said, repeating one of his oft-used phrases in his afternoon speech. “To all of you whose faith and ministries have inspired the hearts of millions, it is great to be back.

Pence, who is visiting Nashville for the second time since the 2016 election, welcomed U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to the stage, and both men decried abortion, with Pence later specifically calling out Planned Parenthood as an adversary to the sanctity of life.

The vice president lauded the Trump administration’s first-year progress during his roughly 25-minute long afternoon talk. He covered topics ranging from school safety to  fighting terrorism. A few remarks brought the audience to their feet, including the decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

…Earlier in the day, Pence addressed a much smaller crowd attending a luncheon hosted by the Susan B. Anthony List and Life Institute, an anti-abortion organization. He praised the president for his strong anti-abortion stance and listed off the policy changes made under the Trump administration.

“Allow me to bring greetings to you from the most pro-life president in all of history, President Donald Trump,” Pence said. “To all of you who are gathered here, to religious broadcasters who have made a difference for the cause of life, we thank you.”

…He also praised U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., for her anti-abortion work. Black, who is running for governor or Tennessee, spoke before the vice president.

The newspaper has a separate article on Black’s speech, which included a declaration that “the torch that burns in Congress is the brightest on life issues in the years since I’ve been there.”

“We are so delighted to have a president and a vice president that stand for life and they don’t back down,” she said.

Update/note: The Black campaign sent out a press release later including this comment from Pence:

 “I understand that you’ve heard from one of the great, great champions of life in the Congress of the United States. Congresswoman Diane Black, my great friend, is with us today. I appreciate her very much.” 

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