Confirming what many media outlets had already reported, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has officially appointed his Vice Presidential running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence. As many of his advisors had worried, he made the announcement this morning, via Twitter.https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/753965070003109888
Trump did his best to keep reporters guessing throughout the week, telling Fox News that he had not yet made his "final, final decision", but that he had seemingly narrowed down the field to Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie, and Mike Pence. His official announcement was supposed to have come at 11:00 a.m. Friday morning, by way of a press conference. Following the horrific attacks in Nice, France, Trump tweeted that he had decided to postpone the press conference, leading many to suspect he would wait until Saturday to make his announcement.https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/753728269019549696?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Apparently a tweet was found to be more respectful than a press conference.
Trump reportedly made the offer to Pence on Wednesday night, which, despite Pence previously endorsing Ted Cruz for nominee, he accepted. The decision to go with an established Republican, and one with strong ties to the tea party, may seem like an odd choice for Trump, but it does make sense if Trump is making a serious bid for the Presidency. His other two choices, Christie and Gingrich, are known for their larger than life personalities, and would only push big name Republican donors further away. By choosing a "safe bet" in an established Republican politician, Trump may be able to convince those donors to invest in his campaign.
Pence famously signed Indiana's "religious freedom" measures into law, and faced a huge backlash from the LGBT community and their allies. It is interesting that Trump, who famously boasted how good he would be for "the gays", would opt for someone with an established history of anti-LGBT legislation.
Pence was also a major supporter of the Iraq War, something Trump has consistently campaigned against and has insisted repeatedly that he was opposed to it from the beginning. In addition, Pence and Trump have drastically differing opinions on trade, with Trump being a vocal opponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Pence being an adamant supporter.
Trump's opinions on Muslim immigration, and his criticisms of U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel have also been opposed by Pence, who has called those comments "inappropriate". Pence referred to Trump's proposed ban of Muslims entering the United States as "offensive and unconstitutional".
It will be interesting to see what type of influence Pence has on Trump's campaign. Trump himself is famous for changing his mind and altering his opinions on political issues, leaving many to speculate Pence's appointment could cause Trump to go back on a few of his campaign statements.
Pence has acknowledged that he and Trump differ on a number of key issues, but deflected concerns saying that "I haven't agreed with every one of my Republican colleagues or Democratic colleagues on every issue. But I"m supporting Donald Trump because we need change in this country...I believe he represents the kind of strong leadership at home and abroad that will, to borrow a phrase, make America great again."
For my part, I would like to know when exactly America was great, and for whom.
Get ready for an incredibly interesting four months.