PANAMA CITY — On a normal day, Vice President Pence’s praise of his boss knows few limits.
But on Thursday, it seemed to reach a new level. During a visit to the Panama Canal here, Pence spoke of President Trump as the modern reincarnation of one of the vice president’s personal heroes, Theodore Roosevelt.
“In President Donald Trump, I think the United States once again has a president whose vision, energy and can-do spirit is reminiscent of President Teddy Roosevelt,” Pence said.
“Think about it,” the vice president continued. “Then, as now, we have a builder of boundless optimism, who seeks to usher in a new era of shared prosperity all across this new world. Then, as now, we have a leader who sees things not just as they are but for what they could be. And then, as now, we have a president who understands, in his words, ‘a nation is only living as long as it is striving.’ ”
Standing at the dock of the Panama Canal’s newly expanded Cocoli Locks, Pence delivered a formal speech celebrating an engineering feat that he said “changed the face of the Earth.”
Pence sought to yoke Roosevelt’s legacy helping construct the Panama Canal in the early 1900s to the Trump administration, playing to Trump’s vision of himself as a builder of monumental proportions and a president of historic achievements.
“Under President Trump, the United States will break new ground and break new records,” Pence said. “We’ll recapture the spirit and rekindle the vision of our forebears in partnership with the free nations and free peoples across this hemisphere. We will once again awe the world with all that we accomplish together.”
Pence added, “Just as President Roosevelt exhorted his fellow Americans to ‘dare to be great,’ President Donald Trump has dared our nation to ‘make America great again,’ and we’ll do it with all of our friends in the world.”