In December 1980, 21-year-old Mike Pence walked into the living room of his parents’ spacious home and saw his grandfather sitting on a couch, his eyes brimming with tears.
The old man, who had grown up in a two-room house in Tubbercurry, Ireland, had been struggling with health issues, and young Mike asked if his grandfather needed anything.
“He just shook his head, and his voice cracked ... and I said, ‘What’s wrong?’
“And he said, ‘I just never thought a child of mine would live in a house like this.’”
His grandfather passed away that Christmas Eve, but the moment illuminated in Pence’s mind what he had witnessed in his own home: the American Dream. It explains, in part, his dedication to creating growth and opportunities for people, he said.