He started with an actual Reagan quote, including the citation. "And as Ronald Reagan used to say, they are tired of being told that a 'little intellectual elite in a far distant capital can plan our lives better for us than we can plan them for ourselves.'"
That's a quote from Reagan's speech before the 1964 election -- a speech that didn't help his party win but paved the way for Reagan's national rise.
Later in the speech, Pence used phrases from that speech without citing Reagan -- but the reference was clear.
"My fellow Americans, I believe we have come to another rendezvous with destiny," Pence said.
"You and I have a rendezvous with destiny," Reagan said at the end of his 1964 speech.
(Update: While Reagan's use of these words is certainly what Pence was going for, a helpful reader notes they were spoken by Franklin Roosevelt before Reagan, in a 1936 speech accepting his party's re-nomination for president. There are no new phrases in presidential speeches, apparently.)
"But we have a choice to make. This is another time for choosing," Pence said.
Reagan's 1964 speech is known as his "A Time for Choosing" speech. These are commonly known Reagan phrases, of course, and Pence uses "another" to make clear he's citing Reagan.
Pence also quotes another sacred text -- the Bible -- saying, "Should I have the awesome privilege to serve as your vice president, I promise to keep faith with that conviction, to pray daily for a wise and discerning heart."
"Wise and discerning heart" comes from 1 Kings 3:12: "I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be."
Again, these are sources Republicans commonly cite. One that they don't commonly cite is Bill Clinton. Clinton's wife, after all, is the foe in 2016.
And yet, whether intentional or not, Pence on Wednesday night used a phrase Bill Clinton previously uttered and appears to have coined in American politics. Between the Reagan references above, he says: "I have faith -- faith in the boundless capacity of the American people and faith that God can still heal our land."
The "boundless capacity of the American people" is a phrase Bill Clinton uttered in his final State of the Union address in 1999.
"Tonight, as I deliver the last State of the Union Address of the 20th century, no one anywhere in the world can doubt the enduring resolve and boundless capacity of the American people to work toward that 'more perfect Union' of our Founders' dream," Clinton said.
To be clear, this isn't exactly a trademarked phrase. While Clinton's use of it in 1999 is the first record of such a comment in Nexis's database, it got limited pick-up. What's more, those who have used it in the years since include Vice President Biden -- in 2011 remarks at Sichuan University in China and in 2013 at a conference of the Export-Import Bank.
"These accomplishments are made possible by the boundless capacity of the American people and the immigrants who constantly enrich and revitalize our national fabric," Biden said in the latter case.
And Pence himself has even used this phrasing before. During his 2015 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference he said, "So my fellow conservatives, let's be confident and let's have faith. ... Faith in the boundless capacity of the American people, especially in our states, to craft solutions to the complex problems that are facing us."
Again, this isn't plagiarism. The phrase is common enough that it's been uttered by a president, a vice president and now a potential vice president without incident or much fuss.
But given the source for Melania Trump's plagiarized speech was a Democratic first lady -- Michelle Obama -- it's interesting that the GOP vice presidential nominee just used a phrased that appears to have first appeared on the national stage thanks to a Democratic president.