It’s Official: Donald Trump Announces Pence As Running Mate

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Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Donald Trump announced Friday morning on Twitter that he is choosing Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to join him on the Republican ticket.

“I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate,” Trump tweeted.

Trump said a news conference with Pence will take place Saturday at 11 a.m. He had originally planned to hold a New York event with his running mate Friday. But citing the terrorist attack in France on Thursday, Trump postponed the announcement.

The other finalists under consideration for vice president were former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions and former Lieutenant General Mike Flynn were also considered by Trump.

The last 24 hours have been chaotic: On Thursday, word leaked to news organizations that Pence would be chosen, only to have the Trump campaign deny a decision had been made and Gingrich to publicly say he thought he still had a chance of being picked.

Later Thursday, Pence was spotted arriving in New York, a sign that he was preparing to be introduced as Trump’s running mate. But after Trump postponed the announcement, there were questions on whether the presumptive nominee was second-guessing himself. The Indiana governor was also facing a time crunch: he had to decide by the Friday noon deadline whether he would still be running for re-election as governor.

Hailing from what could be a battleground state in the general election, Pence, a 57-year-old former radio host, has Washington legislative experience as a former congressman and executive experience as governor of Indiana.

He’s a Christian conservative popular with movement and tea party conservatives.

But Pence hasn’t always embraced Trump or his positions. Pence endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the Indiana Republican primary this year. Old tweets surfaced of Pence calling Trump’s proposed Muslim immigration moratorium “offensive and unconstitutional” and speaking in support of the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Pence’s selection was welcomed by some in the conservative grassroots — a voting bloc whose support Trump needs.

“He has strong conservative credentials with experience in public service leadership and on Capitol Hill,” said Mark Meckler, a former leader of Tea Party Patriots. “Pence was one of the earliest supporters for the Tea Party Movement and his votes reflected so in 2010. He earned a lot of credit after the year 2000 by opposing No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, TARP and cutting spending. At 57, he’s young enough to be a good candidate for President after Trump’s tenure. His selection will go a long way towards solidifying Trumps grass roots base.”

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