Donald Trump went with the Republican establishment in tapping Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate, picking a political partner who has executive and congressional experience as well as support within the GOP’s conservative base.
“I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate,” Trump tweeted, confirming what had been widely reported as likely the previous day. Trump added that a news conference would be held Saturday. A formal announcement of his running mate had been scheduled for Friday in New York, but Trump postponed it Thursday following the terrorist attack in Nice, France.
Pence didn’t even endorse Trump ahead of Indiana’s Republican primary on May 3 — the governor went with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a strong social conservative — but quickly switched to the New York businessman after his big win in the Hoosier State all but nailed down the Republican presidential nomination.
“I’m going to campaign hard for the Republican nominee because Indiana needs a partner in the White House,” Pence said during his endorsement speech of Trump.
Following Trump’s Twitter announcement, Pence also tweeted, saying he was “honored” to join Trump on the ticket and to help “make America great again,” invoking the real estate mogul’s campaign slogan.
Throughout the running mate selection process, Trump and aides said they wanted someone with political experience who could help get bills through Congress. They also wanted someone who has good relations with party conservatives who don’t particularly like the nominee, seeing the vice presidential selection as a bid for party unity.
Trump has also said he likes Pence personally and believes he is a winner.
Pence, who served a dozen years in the U.S. House before winning election as Indiana governor in 2012, is particularly popular with religious conservatives and spent much of his career opposing increased government spending and immigration “amnesty.”
By joining Trump’s ticket, Pence gives up his re-election bid. Indiana law prohibits a candidate from running in more than one race. Trump aides believe Pence can help lock down a state that is essential to any Republican candidate, and perhaps help in other states like Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee met with Pence and his wife, Karen, on July 2 at the candidate’s golf resort in New Jersey. He later described the governor as “a great guy.” Trump and his children also met with Pence at his Indiana home earlier this week.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: USA Today, David Jackson