OREM, Utah — Former Vice President Mike Pence faced cheers and criticism during a stop in Utah on Tuesday for a speech at Utah Valley University.
Pence spoke at the Gary R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy forum.
Trump's vice president says he developed a friendship with former Utah Governor Herbert when Pence was governor of Indiana.
"It was a great privilege to serve as your vice president for four years, and I want to thank the people of Utah for your support," said Pence.
Pence spoke in front of about 700 people at the Concert Hall of the Noorda Center for Performing Arts on the UVU campus.
Several Utah leaders, including Governor Spencer Cox, Lt. Gov Deidre Henderson and Senate President J. Stuart Adams were among the 700 people in attendance.
Pence touched on several hot button issues in the country, including the current state of the economy when it comes to inflation and high gas prices. He also spoke on immigration, telling the crowd there needs to be a rededication to securing the border and fixing, what he says, is a broken immigration system.
Pence also pointed to the overturning of Roe v. Wade back in June during his speech.
"At long last, Roe v. Wade has been sent to the ash heap of history where it belongs, and the American people have been given a new beginning for life," said Pence.
During a question and answer session, a Utah Valley University student asked the former vice president about what took place at the nation's capitol on January 6, 2021.
"January 6th was a tragic day, in the life our nation, but thanks to the courage of law enforcement, capitol police, federal law enforcement, the violence was quelled," Pence answered.
UVU junior Cade Bloomer attended the forum on Tuesday, saying it was an amazing experience to hear a former vice president speak in person.
"To hear the perception of the former vice president, you know, I think oftentimes we take for granted, the different views that we, as Americans have," said Bloomer.
Bloomer was also one of a hand full of students who got to ask Pence a question.
"Are you running as a candidate in the 2024 Presidential Election?" Bloomer asked.
"Cade, I'll keep you posted," answered Pence.
Outside, 40 students, with signs in hand, gathered to peacefully protest Pence being on-campus.
Puck Roth was one of the organizers of the protest as part of the Progressive Student Alliance at UVU.
"Honestly, having him here on campus does not make me feel very safe because he's actively spoke out against my rights," said Roth.
Other groups, Roth says, like Students United for Reproductive Freedoms and Spectrum: Queer Student Alliance at UVU also participated in the protest.
Roth says they wanted to make sure all the voices in the student body were heard.
"To make sure that we're bringing in speakers that represent both sides of the political spectrum," said Roth.
Pense wrapped up his speech and the question and answer session by saying democracy depends on heavy doses of civility.