Mike Pence strikes unity notes in acceptance speech

Mike Pence to Take RNC Spotlight

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence introduced himself and offered the first taste of the pitch he'll make with Donald Trump in a broad convention speech that hit all the necessary marks. But as he sought to heal GOP divisions, earlier events on the convention floor served as a stark reminder of how deep those rifts remain.

"On issue by issue — he and I will take our case to the voters, pointing out the failures of the Obama-Clinton agenda and showing a better way. We will win the hearts and minds of the American people with an agenda for a stronger and more prosperous America," Pence said after accepting the party's vice presidential nomination.

See photos from Pence's acceptance speech:

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Mike Pence acceptance speech
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Mike Pence acceptance speech
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) greets vice presidential nominee Mike Pence after Pence spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) and vice presidential candidate Mike Pence at the end of the third day of the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on July 20, 2016. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 20: Indiana Governor Mike Pence speaks on the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of prostesters and members of the media. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/WireImage)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 20: Indiana Governor Mike Pence speaks on the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of prostesters and members of the media. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/WireImage)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 20: Indiana Governor Mike Pence and his family great supporters on the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of prostesters and members of the media. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - JULY 20: Donald Trump joins Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on stage at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 20: Presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, and his running mate Mike Pence appear on stage at the Republican National Convention held at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, July 20, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 20: Mike Pence, running mate of Presidential candidate Donald Trump, addresses the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, July 20, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 20: Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence prepares to address the crowd, during the third day of the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 20: Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence is greeted by House Speaker Paul Ryan before he addresses the crowd, during the third day of the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. (Photo by Michael Robinson-Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets vice presidential candidate Mike Pence after his speech on day three of the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 20, 2016. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, USA - JULY 20: Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump points to Indiana Governor Mike Pence after he officially accepted the Republican nomination of Vice President during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, USA on July 20, 2016. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, USA - JULY 20: Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump attempts to kiss Indiana Governor Mike Pence after he officially accepted the Republican nomination of Vice President during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, USA on July 20, 2016. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) greets vice presidential nominee Mike Pence after Pence spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) greets vice presidential nominee Mike Pence after Pence spoke during the third day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) greets vice presidential nominee Mike Pence after Pence spoke during the third day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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The convention hall buzzed earlier with jeers when Texas Sen. Ted Cruz urged voters to "vote their conscience" and pointedly refused to offer a direct endorsement of the GOP nominee.

But Pence, who endorsed Cruz over Trump ahead of the Indiana primary in May, told the national audience that following a tough intra-party primary fight, Trump is "still standing and running stronger than ever," calling him an "independent spirit." The selection of Pence by the Trump campaign was intended to appease the more hard lined conservatives in the party, many of whom voted for Cruz in the primaries.

RELATED: Indiana gov. Mike Pence through the years

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Vice President Mike Pence through the years

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., Derek Karachner, Ian Slatter, Molly Jurmu, Mark Ahearn.

(Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)

Mike Pence, R-Ind., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., talk during the markup of the bill which would establish the Department of Homeland Security.

(Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)

(L-R) Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), attorney Floyd Abrams, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and attorney Kenneth Starr speak to reporters in the U.S. Supreme Court Plaza in Washington, D.C., September 8, 2003. Attorneys made arguments during a special session of the Supreme Court about the constitutionality of the McCain-Feingold campaign financing reform law.

(REUTERS/Stefan Zaklin)

Rep. Mike Pence, new head of the Republican conservative caucus, taken in his Hill office. Includes a bust of Ronald Reagan.

(Photo by Robert A. Reeder/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) and Indiana Governor Mike Pence (L) wave to the crowd before addressing the crowd during a campaign stop at the Grand Park Events Center in Westfield, Indiana, July 12, 2016.

(REUTERS/John Sommers II)

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 07: Mike Pence, R-Ind.

(Photo By Douglas Graham/Roll Call/Getty Images)

MEET THE PRESS

Pictured: Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) left, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) right, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010.

(Photo by William B. Plowman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence arrives at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 13, 2016.

(REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

President-elect Donald Trump takes the stage with Vice President-elect Mike Pence during a rally in Orlando, Fla., on Friday, Dec. 16, 2016.

(Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)

Vice President-elect Mike Pence arrives at Trump Tower on December 15, 2016 in New York City. President-Elect Donald Trump continues to hold meetings with potential members of his cabinet at his office.

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Tim Kaine, 2016 Democratic vice presidential nominee, left, and Mike Pence, 2016 Republican vice presidential nominee, speak during the vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine arrive at tonight's debate with three main assignments: defend their bosses from attack, try to land a few blows, and avoid any mistakes showing them unfit to be president.

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (L) takes the oath of office from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (R) as his wife Karen Pence holds the Bible, on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of Chrysler Group LLC and Fiat SpA, left, speaks with Mike Pence, governor of Indiana, at the Chrysler Group transmission plant in Kokomo, Indiana, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. Chrysler Group LLC, the automaker majority owned by Fiat SpA, will invest about $374 million and add 1,250 jobs at Indiana factories to boost output of eight-and nine-speed transmissions.

(Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

UNITED STATES - JULY 25: Mike Pence--IND

(Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)

Reps. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., left, and Mike Pence, R-Ind, share a laugh at a rally to support a House resolution, scheduled for a vote Thursday, that would require a list of earmarks and the names of lawmakers sponsoring them to be contained in committee and conference reports. The rally took place on Cannon Terrace.

(Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)

US Republican Representative from Indiana Mike Pence, gestures as he speaks during a press conference at the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, 01 April 2007. Pence and a group of US Congressmen are on a visit to the war-torn country.

(SABAH ARAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., makes marks on the House health care bill as House Republicans gathered in the House Republicans Reading Room in the Longworth House Office Building on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009.

(Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images)

U.S. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) speaks during a rally on Capitol Hill April 6, 2011 in Washington, DC. U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), thought to be a contender for the 2012 presidential race, also spoke at the rally held on Capitol Hill by Americans for Prosperity in support of spending cuts.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

House Budget chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., speaks with Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., as they arrive for a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the basement of the U.S. Capitol on Monday, July 25, 2011.

(Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Indiana Governor Mike Pence is seen at the 2015 IPL 500 Festival Parade on May 23, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) while Vice President Mike Pence (C) looks on during a luncheon at the Congress of Tomorrow Republican Member Retreat January 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Congressional Republicans are gathering for three days to plan their 2017 legislative agenda.

(Photo by Bill Clark-Pool/Getty Images)

US Vice President Mike Pence and Karen Pence dance during the Liberty ball at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.

(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

From left, First Lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, Major General Bradley Becker, Vice President Mike Pence, and his wife Karen Pence review the troops following the swearing in of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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The spectacle was evidence of the schism that still remains within the party — one that Trump's pick of Pence was meant to heal.

Pence remains largely unknown to a majority of voters. The latest NBC|SurveyMonkey poll found 48 percent of voters don't know enough about him to have a favorable or unfavorable opinion.

The vice presidential nominee even jokingly introduced himself "to those of you who don't know me, which is most of you."

RELATED: Trump vs. Pence on the issues

"Lock her up," rang out as Pence spoke. He paused for several seconds as the chants blared, and then suggested Hillary Clinton is "disqualified from ever serving" as the head of the U.S. Military, and attacked her on her tenure as Secretary of State.

Pence also sought to reframe some of Trump's most controversial qualities as assets for the Republican party, offering a favorable contrast to Hillary Clinton, who he dubbed the "secretary of the status quo."

"At the very moment when America is crying out for something new and different, the other party has answered with a stale agenda and the most predictable of names," he said, adding the Democratic Party had nominated "someone who represents everything this country is tired of."

And even as some conservatives still seemed reluctant to back Trump, Pence asserted that the candidate has "brought millions of new voters into the Republican Party."

At times Pence's message discipline and poise read as stiff and scripted, however, especially in contrast to the dramatic moments from the panoply of prominent Republican stars that spoke before him.

But the crowd seemed ready to accept a Trump-Pence ticket. Shouts of "We like Mike!" rang out from the crowd as he spoke, and many were on their feet cheering when Trump joined him onstage to close out the night.

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