So, America, what do you think? Did Trump pick the right guy for the job? Give us your thoughts below.
Donald Trump put to rest Friday the speculation and revealed the worst-kept secret in Washington: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will be his running mate.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee made it official with a tweet:
I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate. News conference tomorrow at 11:00 A.M.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2016
Pence responded that he was “honored.”
— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) July 15, 2016
Trump had originally planned to roll out his pick at a news conference in New York on Friday, but postponed the event because of the terror attack in Nice, France. Per his tweet, that event will take place Saturday morning.
While the initial postponement of Trump’s announcement fueled speculation that he might be having second thoughts, it was widely expected that Pence was in line for the job.
The Pence pick follows a very-public vetting process that included meetings in recent days with Pence, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, among others. The selection of Pence, who went from dark horse to leading contender in a matter of days, presumably is aimed at galvanizing support from the party’s conservative base as Trump charges into the Republican nominating convention.
Pence was selected from a slimmer-than-usual short-list — of candidates not only favored by Trump but also willing to stake their political future on the unconventional and unpredictable White House contender. Several prominent names publicly took themselves out of the running.
Pence, also a former member of House Republican leadership, emerged relatively late in the vice presidential stakes.
But he moved almost immediately to the top of the list, considering he gives the Trump campaign much-needed social conservative credentials without the kind of political baggage that Democrats had hoped to exploit in other finalists like Christie or Gingrich.
Consideration of Pence also put Trump on the clock. Pence faced a Friday deadline to file paperwork to appear on the official state ballot as either a gubernatorial or vice presidential candidate. Under state law, his name could not appear on the ballot twice. Fox News learned Thursday Pence would not seek re-election, a clear sign he was gearing up for the VP announcement. And on Friday, he filed the paperwork to withdraw.
The Hillary Clinton campaign quickly unloaded on Trump’s decision, calling him “the most extreme pick in a generation.”
“By picking Mike Pence as his running mate, Donald Trump has doubled down on some of his most disturbing beliefs by choosing an incredibly divisive and unpopular running mate known for supporting discriminatory politics and failed economic policies that favor millionaires and corporations over working families,” campaign Chairman John Podesta said in a statement.
Pence, now in a tough re-election bid, spent 12 years in Congress including as the leader of the House Republican Conference.
While Democrats are hammering his Tea Party ties in Congress, the 57-year-old Pence also could help Trump with critical fundraising, considering the Trump campaign has roughly $1.3 million in the bank, compared with Clinton, whose campaign has $42 million and a network of donors assembled through her lengthy career in politics.
Pence’s deputy chief of staff was a former spokesman for Koch Industries and his chief of staff in Congress later ran the Koch brothers’ political umbrella organization.