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Thorner: VP Pence encourages Chicago area conservatives Friday night



Turning Point USA Charlie Kirk with Vice President Mike Pence

By Nancy Thorner - 

Vice President Mike Pence bolstered a frustrated crowd of Chicago area conservatives – both young and not-so-young – last Friday night by encouraging them to be bold and be persistent.

Turning Point USA, founded by Charlie Kirk in 2012 at age 18 in the back of his garage in Mt. Prospect, IL, is a national student movement dedicated to identifying, organizing, and empowering young people to promote the principles of free markets and limited government. Charlie, now 25, heads the largest conservative youth organization in the world, Turning Point USA.  With over 500,000 students on 1,300 high school & college campuses, it is winning back America’s future.

Turning Point USA’s Midwest Regional Conference was held March 29-30, 2019 in Chicago, IL, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare Hotel, 9300 W Bryn Mawr Ave, Rosemont, IL.  Invited to attend were student activists between the ages of 15 and 26 to hear guest speakers, to participate in customized activist training sessions, and to network with others who are actively involved in the conservative movement in the Midwest region, which includes Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. 

The opening General Session of the Conference on Friday, March 29, 2019 commenced with a dinner featuring Vice President Mike Pence as the keynote speaker. Many supporters and friends of Charlie Kirk from across Chicagoland and beyond registered to attend to hear Vice President Pence, swelling attendance to an estimated 800 participants. Observed was how well-mannered, knowledgeable about the issues, and neatly dressed the young student attendees were, certainly a good omen for the future of this nation.

Charlie Kirk introduces Vice President Mike Pence

A comprehensive video portrayal of Vice President Mike Pence was shown on large screens to set the stage for the introduction of Vice President Pence by Charlie Kirk. Video clips noted the selection of Pence as Trump's running mate; his swearing into office; Pence standing by to vote in favor of Supreme Court nominee Bret Kavanaugh should Republicans be unable to come up with the 51 votes to outright confirm Kavanaugh; and ending with  remarks recently made by Pence at  AIPAC when declaring that "Anti-Semitism has no place in the U.S. Congress."

In introducing Vice President Pence, Charlie Kirk expressed his long time admiration for Vice President Pence when Pence served in the House of Representatives and then as governor of Indiana.

Mike Pence speaks

Hello Chicago, said Vice President Pence, who then quipped, I didn't know there were so many conservatives in Chicago.  About Turning Point USA, Pence said of Charlie Kirk: You stand and voice inspiration to young people.  Pence also brought well received greeting from the 45th president of the U.S

Pence in declaring What a week we had!, then proceeded to enumerate the reasons why:  

  • Caliphate is no more with last capture.
  • Green New Deal received 0 votes. 
  • Collusion, delusion is over, after 2 years of relentless allegations with no collusion or obstruction of justice. This total vindication should be welcomed by every American, so the American people will focus on issues that are most important to our society to make a stronger and safer world.

Following, Pence set forth many accomplishments of the Trump administration:

  • Two years of action with results. Promises made and promises kept.
  • Cut red tape.
  • Unleashed American energy -  Now largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world.
  • Trade deals:  NAFTA is out and UNMCA is here.
  • Signed largest tax cut and reform in American history.
  • Cut out heart of Obamacare.
  • 5.3 million new jobs, with 490,000 new manufacturing jobs, after President Obama said even waving a magic wand wouldn't bring jobs back.  To which Pence replied: We just needed to elect Donald Trump as president.
  • 5 million Americans were lifted off food stamps. 
  • More job opening than Americans looking for work. Jobs are back. We are just getting started
  • Strong national defense with more investment since days of Ronald Reagan of resources and supplies needed to accomplish the mission. 
  • National defense with law enforcement and includes those who enforce our immigration laws.  Pence promised that the Trump administration will never abolish ICE.  As Trump said: If we don't have a border, we don't have a country.  In spite of what Democrats might say, We have a crisis. 
  • Nothing manufactured about the drug crisis. Drug overdose is the leading cause of death for people under 55 years of age.  In 2018 an average of 192 individuals every day lost their lives from a drug overdose.
  • Appointment of conservative judges, which doesn't even include Gorsuch and Kavenaugh, who are strong conservative men on the Freedoms of Speech and Religion, on keeping and bearing arms, and the unalienable right to life.  Pence couldn't be any prouder of President Trump who stands for sanctity of life.  Pence cast the tie breaking vote in the Senate that allowed all 50 states to defund Planned Parenthood, while Democrats continue to embrace a radical agenda of abortion on demand.  The Virginia governor even supports infanticide of a new born baby.  Said Pence: This administration will always stand for life.

There was a resounding NO when Pence asked, Are you tired of winning yet?  Pence then spoke about a victory that must occur 19 months from now through the support of President Trump in 2020, which elicited an extended and hearty USA chant.

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Photos by Mark Weyermuller

Pence speaks of a hostile environment

Pence warned of a hostile environment on American colleges where debate is being shut down.  Said Pence: Conservative voices are not welcomed; trigger warnings and safe places exist. It's a battle over the closing of the American mind.   Reference was made to Hayden Williams, invited to UC Berkeley to help recruit students for a yet-to-be-formed chapter of Turning Point USA campus, who was punched in the face while recruiting students.  https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/22/us/conservative-activist-assault-uc-berkeley/index.html  

Pence then spoke about President Trump's executive order extended to every university and college in the nation, which also withholds money for non-compliance.  Pence referenced a recent Washington Times' article in which 3 in 4 voters (73%) were in favor Trump's order about free speech.

Ellen Wittman was with Donald Trump, and so honored, when he signed the order promoting free speech on college campuses. Ellen was president of a chapter of Students for Life at Miami University in Florida in 2017 when she tried to display small crosses representing the unborn.  School officials told her that she would need to post “trigger warnings” around campus in case her display offended others.

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Pence speaks of a future with a choice

As to the future, Pence spoke of the choice this nation faces in 2020, a choice that has never been more important if we are to keep our security and prosperity.  As Pence stated: Democrats want to take this nation on a hard left turn to Socialism. Our government was founded on the principle of freedom.  It is the free market that has given this nation the highest quality of life the world has ever known. 


As to Obamacare:

Obamacare was but a giant government takeover of healthcare which has already failed,  Its objective all along was to provide Medicare for all in a  government takeover of the nation's health system.  Pence stated that his administration would never up in its efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. 

As to The Green New Deal:  It is only green in what it will cost the American people.

As to immigration:

In contrast to past illegal immigration, it now consists of unaccompanied minors and families who are often abused along the way. Pence then spoke of a recent day when 4,000 illegal immigrants attempted to enter our nation. Accordingly, Trump has declared war on our southern border Mexico is being called on to do more. If Mexico doesn't, Trump has threatened to close down the border for all coming into the U.S.  As Pence said, First build the wall, then fix the broken immigration system once and for all

Pence urges students to press on, but have fun

In closing, Pence used pertinent quotes from individuals who had gone before him to reinforce what he wished to impart to the TPUSA young people in attendance.

Margaret Thatcher about SocialismThe problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.

Winston Churchill about facing opposition:  You have enemies Good! -  that means you stood up for something sometime in your life.  You have enemies?   

Calvin Coolidge (30th president of US – 1872 – 1933) on perseverance:  Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

Pence urged student attendees to press on but to also have fun, because winning is fun. Students were further reminded that freedom is not free. We need to keep on fighting, SO LET'S DO IT!

View here featured Charlie Kirk videos. 


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  1. Some other details from event.
    There were over a dozen loud standing ovations. One of the loudest was when the Vice President expressed support for the unborn. On this same day last Friday, the pro life movie was released on 1000 screens nationwide that will bring the issue of abortion into the front pages.
    Thank you Nancy Thorner for the excellent report. I hope all the readers enjoyed my photos included in the story.
    One other detail. For me seeing close to 1000 pro American conservatives in one room in the Chicago area gives me great hope.