WILLIAMSBURG, Va – “Thanks for coming out on this moist evening!” Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence declared to a rowdy crowd in front of a stately colonial building Tuesday evening, beginning roughly 25 minutes of remarks in the pouring rain.
The rain began coming down heavily almost on cue right as Pence took the stage, which was uncovered while he thanked introductory speaker former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, who walked off with a staffer holding an umbrella over him.
The audience appeared unperturbed by the weather, cheering as Pence went on.
“Where I come from in the Hoosier state, rain is a good thing,” Pence said. “And tonight we’re showing the media and showing the world this is a movement that’s going to elect Donald Trump as the next president of the United States!”
This was his second outdoor rally of the campaign so far. The last time Pence had an outdoor rally in North Carolina several weeks back,. The Tuesday rally in Colonial Williamsburg was the most striking event of Pence’s campaign in terms of visuals and atmospherics. He was soaked, the crowd was soaked, and reporters were soaked but the rally continued.
Adding to the scene, dozens of vocal protestors were positioned right behind the press riser chanting, “immigrants make America great,” and shouting, “no hate no fear, everyone is welcome here!” The campaign was unable to position them further behind the event because of permitting restrictions.
Finally toward the end, Pence told the crowd, “Give yourselves another round of applause for being out here. I’ll tell you what I’m so impressed.” He promised, “I’m going to pick up the phone with this soggy arm and call the man and tell him how great you all are,” referring to running mate Donald Trump.
“This is really amazing. It’s just going to bless his heart. Virginians are tough and you’re going to bring Virginia home for Donald Trump on November 8th aren’t you.”
With wet clothes on what felt like the longest ride back from the rally to the tarmac, a Pence advance staffer called the crew aboard the campaign plane to request that that the normally frigid temperature be warmed up to prevent the candidate and all parties from freezing. Aboard the plane, Pence, with his hair somewhat impressively still in place and sporting a quarter zip fleece, came to the back offering wet reporters towels to dry off with.
“I just hung up the phone with him,” Pence said, referring to Trump. “Six-hundred-fifty people standing in the pouring rain. I told him we’re going to win Virginia.”