Vice President Pence returns to Michiana for Notre Dame commencement

Published: May. 20, 2017 at 4:31 PM EDT
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Vice President Mike Pence has returned to Michiana for his first visit since taking office.

Air Force Two landed at South Bend International Airport just after 5:50 Saturday evening. NewsCenter 16 was the only local television station present for the arrival.

"There's nothing like standing on the airport runway and watching that plane drop out of the air and land," said Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski, who represents Indiana's 2nd congressional district.

The former Hoosier Governor last visited a little more than a year ago as Governor to sign a pair of new laws into effect.

The Vice President will deliver Notre Dame's commencement Sunday morning.

Congressional leaders from both parties and members of the public greeted the Vice President and his wife at Atlantic Aviation.

"It's always an honor to have a president [or the] vice president come to our town, especially our former governor. So this is a big deal. It's a big deal for Michiana, as well," said Rep. Walorski. "Today will be a day, probably one of the first chances that I'll have to actually talk to him because we're usually passing, so this is a great opportunity.

"The Vice President invited me out and I thought it was the appropriate thing to do out of respect for the office and out of respect for Vice President Pence," said Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly.

Some of those greeting the Vice President also had the chance to step aboard and tour Air Force Two.

"I think it lived up to our expectations. It was fun and the Air Force Major-- the pilot-- personally took us through and pointed out some things. I think it lived up to our expectations. It was pretty exciting," said Bob Miller, a DeMotte resident. "I thought it was a little smaller. I expected a little bigger, but once you get inside a modern aircraft they're a little smaller than the outside."

"They don't actually let visitors go into the State Room, but you can peek your head in there and kind of see what the Vice President gets. He's got a little bed in there. A nice couch," said Sean Harte, a member of the Vice President's transportation team. "Anything he would have in the White House he has on the 757, so it's basically his flying office, which is pretty phenomenal."

NewsCenter 16 will have continuing team coverage of the Vice President's visit and commencement address beginning Sunday morning at 8.

If you want to check out the Facebook Live video from the airport,