ATLANTA — Vice President Mike Pence thanked a conservative audience in Buckhead for a "warm Georgia welcome" and rallied supporters to President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election campaign on Friday.
The vice president repeated many of the "promises made, promises kept" themes driving the president's campaign. That included touting the strength of the economy, recounting the president's record on appointing conservative judges, and endorsing the president's immigration policies.
He also made special note of the president's position on abortion rights - calling Trump the "most pro-life president in American history" - and praised the Georgia lawmakers who helped pass the controversial "Heartbeat" abortion law.
"Let me say the president and I are both grateful for the strong stand for life that Governor Brian Kemp and your legislature has made," Pence said.
The vice president delivered his remarks at the Resurgent Gathering at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta-Buckhead. The four-day event is organized by conservative commentator Erick Erickson.
While Pence took the stage with a standing ovation, a crowd gathered outside to protest his visit.
"People need to be out here speaking out," one protester said. "We will lose our humanity if we do not oppose and speak out against what we are seeing every day."
Also, just five miles away, the Democratic Socialists of America held its annual conference Downtown. The focus of their session was how to support Bernie Sanders in his bid for the presidency.
Pence, however, took aim at the 2020 Democratic candidates, warning that "all of this progress could be lost ... with one bad day in November in 2020."
"I mean all you have to do is look at that debate that took place this last week. Y'all watch that debate? I mean, kind of hard to watch," Pence said. "Those people were standing so far on the left I thought that stage was gonna flip over."
Pence also spoke at length about what he characterized as the threat of the "siren song of socialism" on the left.
"It was freedom, not socialism that gave us the strongest and most prosperous nation in the history of the world. It was freedom," he said. "It was freedom, not socialism that ended slavery, won two World Wars and stands today as a beacon of hope for all mankind. ... And so, I say to my fellow conservatives, the moment America becomes a socialist country is the moment America ceases to be America."
Gov. Kemp spoke earlier in the morning at the conference.
The vice president is expected to depart Georgia from Rome’s Richard B. Russell Airport at 3:35 p.m.
Read the vice president's full remarks below: