Indiana Gov. Mike Pence joins Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a rally in Westfield, Ind., Tuesday, July 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Friday Indiana governor Mike Pence is his choice to be his running mate in November’s upcoming general election.
“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.,” Trump tweeted Friday.
Pence has reportedly accepted Trump’s invitation to run in the vice presidential slot, according to CNN.
A rather unorthodox selection for the billionaire real estate mogul, the pick sets up for a classic clash in styles: Trump, a brash and outspoken candidate with a penchant to freelance into controversies alongside Pence, a cautious former congressional leader who’s stayed within arms-reach of conservative methodology since beginning his career in talk radio years ago.
“Honored to join @realDonaldTrump and work to make America great again,” Pence said from his official Twitter account in response on Friday. Pence’s lawyer filed the necessary paperwork with the Indiana secretary of state office officially removing him from the governor’s race. The campaign also debuted new logos at the same time which features the names of both candidates.
Trump’s announcement was originally slated to take place Thursday, however, the announcement was delayed in the aftermath of the day’s events in France. The Republican did his best to keep the excitement boiling, saying he hadn’t yet made any final decisions that evening during an appearance on Fox News.
“I haven’t made my final, final decision,” he told Greta Van Susteren Thursday evening. “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.”
Later in the evening speaking at a Los Angeles fundraiser, Trump said he had made his pick and the campaign was “ready to announce.” However, he did not say who he had chosen.
On Wednesday, Trump held vetting meetings with Pence, New Jersey governor Chris Christie and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. His original plan was to unveil his choice at the upcoming Republican National Convention, but Indiana law forced his hand in announcing early — candidates can’t run for both state and federal office after July 15, meaning Pence would be required to withdraw his name from re-election.
The pairing gives Trump a running mate who has the strongest of ties with the Republican base, particularly with social conservatives. He was among the first in the party to embrace Tea Party members on Capitol Hill, and as governor of Indiana, Pence faced major political backlash over his decision to sign into law a “religious freedom” measure that infuriated major businesses that saw it as anti-LGBT.
Additionally, the Pence selection ties Trump to the Koch brothers and other influential donors who have so far stayed away from the candidate.
Pence is widely viewed as the safe selection for Trump’s campaign, especially after he made clear this week he has no issue with attacking presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, whom he strongly criticized during a Trump rally in his home state.
Clinton, Pence told the applauding crowd, “must never become president of the United States.”
Pence had previously endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz during Indiana’s May primary, which Trump emerged victorious from. However, Pence praised Trump at the same time, saying the candidate has “given voice to the frustration of millions of working Americans with the lack of progress in Washington, D.C.”
“Let me be very clear on this race: Whoever wins the Republican nation for president of the United States, I’m going to work my heart out to get elected this fall,” Pence said at the time.
He hasn’t steered away from criticizing his new running mate publicly, calling Trump’s attacks on an Indiana-born judge of Mexican heritage “inappropriate,” and said his proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States was “offensive and unconstitutional.”