Donald Trump names Mike Pence as his running mate in race for POTUS

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Jul 16, 2016 06:08 IST
Indiana governor Mike Pence, and his wife Karen leave the Intercontinental Hotel to meet with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on July 15. Trump has chosen Pence as his running mate, adding political experience and conservative bona fides to his Republican presidential ticket. (AP Photo)

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump on Friday confirmed that Indiana governor Mike Pence as his vice-presidential running mate as had been speculated lately.

“I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate,” Trump said in a tweet, adding, “News conference tomorrow at 11:00 A.M.”

Though he was scheduled to make the announcement at a news conference on Friday, he postponed it to Saturday after the terrorist attack in Nice, France on Thursday night.

But Trump went ahead with the announcement.

Read | Trump keeps suspense alive over choice of running mate

That he was picking Pence, or was leaning towards him, had become clear in recent days with several high-profile meetings, joint appearance and a breakfast between the two families.

Pence, a 57-year-old first-term governor of Indiana state, has been touted as a safe pick, whose understated, low-key profile complements Trump’s flashy, larger-than-life style.

The others on Trump’s very public shortlist — governor Chris Christie and former Speaker Newt Gingrich — were from the same mould as him, brash and outspoken.

Pence, who has had more than 10 years in the House of Representatives, also checks an important box on Trump’s requirements from his VP pick — legislative experience.

Pence is expected to help the nominee reach out to conservatives who remain wary of him, and there are still a lot of them around.

While Pence had not responded to the announcement, the Hillary Clinton campaign was quick to offload some of its opposition-research based dirt on him through social media.

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“Get to know Trump's VP pick, Mike Pence: current governor of Indiana and potential disaster for America,” said a tweet from the Clinton campaign, starting a flurry of hit-tweets.

The Clinton campaign sought to portray Pence as a supporter of tax cuts for the rich, opponent of abortion rights and someone who would deport immigrants and oppose immigration reforms.

Clinton has not announced her running mate yet, and was said to be waiting for Trump to announce first.

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