Donald Trump picks Mike Pence to be VP, reaches out to mainstream Republicans
While the news will not be official until today, Donald Trump has selected Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate to face Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential election. Pence has dropped his re-election bid in the Hoosier State and arrived in New Jersey on Thursday to hammer out details with the presumptive GOP nominee.
In a Thursday evening interview with Fox News, Trump said he still hadn’t made a “final, final” decision, hinting at more surprises, but really just avoiding the “sense of surprise” which will come today in Manhattan as Pence is officially announced.
“I mean, I’ve got three people that are fantastic. I think Newt (Gingrich) is a fantastic person. I think Chris Christie is a fantastic person, been a friend of mine for 15 years. Just a fantastic person. And there’s Mike, and Mike has done a great job as governor of Indiana. You look at the numbers, and it’s been great — he’s done really a fantastic job. But I haven’t made a final, final decision.”
Pence is a social conservative, a former U.S. House member and chairman of the House Republican Conference. While no one labels Pence an “establishment guy,” he brings a ton of experience and appeal for mainstream Republican voters.
Pence’s departure for national politics sets up a scramble among Indiana Republicans to determine who will replace Pence to run against Democratic challenger John Gregg in the November gubernatorial election.
Pence had endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz over Trump before Indiana’s crucial early May primary, a primary Trump won, knocking Cruz from the contest and clinching the nomination. The Indiana governor unloaded a ton of praise on Trump during that WIBC radio interview where he endorsed Cruz, pointing to Trump’s focus on Carrier, the Indianapolis air conditioning company that was shipping 2,100 jobs to Mexico.