It’s official: Donald Trump has chosen Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate. Trump delayed the news conference in light of the attack in France, but Pence had to either opt in or out today because Indiana law prohibits him from simultaneously running for governor and vice president.
Clearly, Pence is a strategically safe and smart pick. What he brings to the ticket is a solid record built on socially and fiscally conservative principles. He is a genuinely nice guy and a traditional values family man. Pence describes himself as, “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.” He’s a former host of a conservative talk radio program who was elected to congress in 2000, and who then won election as governor of Indiana in 2012. He’s good friends with House Speaker Paul Ryan, which would help advance Trump’s agenda.
He has been a favorite of the Tea Party movement. While a congressman, he willingly broke with George W. Bush, voting against “No Child Left Behind” and Medicare drug expansion. While governor of Indiana, he cut tax rates helping to spark an economic recovery. He’s also a big proponent of free trade, having supported recent Pacific and European trade initiatives.
From Trump’s perspective, having Pence as his running mate communicates that he is serious about standing for conservative principles. While Pence won’t be the aggressive attack dog that Newt Gingrich or Chris Christie would be, passing over Gingrich or Christie doesn’t mean both won’t continue to be effective surrogates. As a seasoned politician, Pence knows how to handle the pressures of public office and the media. Now the pair have the weekend to make a splash before next week’s convention.
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