Donald Trump has revealed his choice of Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his potential Vice-president if he were to win the upcoming election on November 8. Trump is expected to perform the official statement on Friday at three p.m. GMT.
Some of his campaign associates say that he has not yet made a choice, while Republican sources claim otherwise. Trump is also going to be formally anointed as the representative of the Republican party next week in Cleveland. Some believe that the role of VP would benefit Pence immensely, as he won the 2012 Indiana state election with a 49.6 percent, versus a 46.4 percent against Democrat former speaker of the state’s House John R. Gregg.
Mike Pence as Vice-president
Pence is also viewed as a low-risk option. He might be able to increase Trump’s stance in the U.S. Midwest, while also securing several votes of conservatives. The other options for a running mate were Newt Gingrich and Senator Jeff Sessions.
In light of the horrible attack in Nice, France, I have postponed tomorrow's news conference concerning my Vice Presidential announcement.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2016
With 12 years serving in the U.S. House, Pence is known to support non-viable immigration solutions. In 2006, he suggested that immigrants were expelled to their countries of origin, only to return as “guest workers,” which would confer some rights while also denying others reserved for lawful citizens and residents. Pence might be the right person to work with Trump on his immigration plans, a proof signaling that Donald Trump means business when he suggested building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
The current view on Pence is that he may be able to glue back together the GOP, while also following Trump’s policies carefully. Democrats can easily highlight him as a more classically-embroidered Donald Trump since he has delved in the area of cultural differentiation.
Mike Pence’s profile of controversial policies
57-year-old Mike Pence was elected governor of Indiana back in 2013 and has been promoting his re-election against Gregg. He was considered as a potential presidential candidate in the current race, but he did not develop his campaign in time. According to NJ, He is an outspoken evangelical, opposed to abortion rights and gay marriage, even if he grew as a devout Catholic. He has quoted the Bible extensively and has highlighted Martin Luther King, Jr. and John F. Kennedy as his inspirations. In 2013, he was recognized by the New York Times as the second most conservative governor in the United States.
Pence gained some notability thanks to a controversial bill known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which facilitates discrimination against the LGBT community. The RFRA did not pass on a federal level, but Indiana was the first state to see it become law. Currently, 20 states have existing RFRA laws.
The RFRA dictates that “a governmental entity may not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion…[unless it] (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest, and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”
What occurred after the bill was signed is that businesses were able to announce as they refused to host events that violated their religious beliefs, such as restaurants hosting same-sex marriage celebrations. They claim that if they came to the locale as clients, service wouldn’t be denied, but they can refuse to accept same-sex marriage.
The first restaurant that became involved in the bill’s controversy was forced to close due to threats and fake orders. Republicans have pledged both support and resistance to RFRA laws, as it also sprouted a reaction from Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, stating that he was “disappointed” with the bill. According to Indianapolis’ largest tourism non-profit organization, Visit Indy, the law meant a loss of $60 million and at least 12 conventions since it was signed.
Religion is an interesting topic to weigh Pence’s views toward Trump’s. Donald Trump has repeatedly stated his intentions of promoting Muslim bans, tracking and other devices of identification, arguably to fight terrorism. Mike Pence has indicated otherwise, while not radically breaking his conservative posture and his support to Trump, he said on Twitter that banning Muslims from entering the U.S. is unconstitutional.
Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional.
— Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) December 8, 2015
Trump choosing Pence is a strategic move, as many consider that Pence’s political career is dead unless he became anointed for a higher position. Pence is a conservative Republican that can stand behind Trump’s policies, even if Pence has already stated that he would vote for Ted Cruz in the GOP primary, as he said in an interview on MSNBC. A week later, Pence affirmed that Trump has allowed thousands of frustrated Americans to have a voice, which may indicate that Pence eventually chose to side with Trump, eventually leading him to become the most likely running mate for the real estate mogul’s presidency.