Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump announced Indiana Governor and Tea Party member Mike Pence as his Vice President running mate on July 15.
Trump announced his pick via Twitter instead of at his planned event, which he cancelled after the Bastille Day attack in Nice, France.
Pence has served since 2013 as the 50th Governor of Indiana, and represented the state in the US House of Representatives from 2001-2013 in its 2nd and 6th districts for two and ten years respectively.
At a July 15 event Trump officially presented Pence as his running mate, complimenting him, his political experience, and actions in office.
“I found the leader who will help us deliver a safe society and a prosperous—really prosperous society for all Americans,” Trump stated in his introductory speech. “Indiana Governor Mike Pence was my first choice. I’ve admired the work he’s done, especially in the state of Indiana.”
Pence spoke on his family history, personal background, values, and political goals in his acceptance speech, as well as offering criticisms of Clinton and praise of Trump.
“Paul [Ryan] knows me well,” Pence said in his acceptance speech following Ryan’s introductory section, “and he knows the introduction I prefer is just a little bit shorter: I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.”
Pence’s positions include pro-life and Planned Parenthood funding reduction, economic conservatism, traditional marriage, climate change denial, reduction of criminal recidivism, pro-traditional energy and anti-net neutrality. Pence voted in favor of the Iraq War, and against the Affordable Care Act and Medicare Part D.
Reactions to Trump’s pick of Pence for VP have been mixed, with general responses tending towards positive on the Right and negative on the Left.
The reaction from Trump and Pence’s own party has been largely positive, praising the governor’s policies and vision, and generally considered him a good match for Trump’s lack of experience.
“Donald Trump and Mike Pence can lead our nation in a new direction and begin to correct the mistakes and mismanagement they will inherit from the Obama Administration,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a July 15 press release. “Pence is a principled conservative, man of faith, and talented messenger for Republican ideas. Mike’s leadership in Indiana and Congress make him more than ready for the position of Vice President. His addition to the ticket will bring even more excitement to the voters who are eager to put a Republican in the White House and deny a third term for President Obama’s liberal agenda.”
The Indiana Democrats were less enthused with Trump’s selection, as they noted in statements leading up to and after the announcement. Such press releases were often critical of Pence, his policies, and his bid for the Republican VP selection.
“Mike Pence has spent the past three years focused only on his personal ambition,” said Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody in a July 15 statement. “He has embarrassed Hoosiers, signed divisive and discriminatory legislation into law, and alienated the business community –costing our state money in the process. Unfortunately, that qualifies him as a compatible running mate for Donald Trump, who is out only for himself and running one of the most toxic presidential campaigns in history.”
Pence is expected to accompany Trump on multiple future campaign visits to North Carolina, owing to the state’s electoral battleground nature. Future rally dates and locations have yet to be announced through Trump’s official website.