Governor Mike Pence of Indiana has been selected from a pool that included Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich to be Donald Trump’s, running mate.
This pick is a very strategic and political move by the GOP candidate. In many ways Pence’s political experience and social conservative knowledge provides Donal Trump with way more credibility as a presidential candidate than he has ever had. While Trump has big ideas and policies he would like to implement, as president it’s his VP who will be doing the ground work and heavy lifting in capitol hill to make it happen. With Pence’s 12 yr experience as a congressman, a moderately successful stint as governor and well-respected persona Trump has found someone he could really work with and rely on. For most of us Pence recently became a household name, here are 5 things to know about Trump’s VP pick.
1. HE IS THE ULTRA CONSERVATIVE
Pence has been known to describe himself as “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order”. One of the many weaknesses Donald Trump currently possess is his ability to appeal to the conservatives in the country, especially religious conservatives, some of his stances on issues like abortion and LGBT rights have been borderline moderate. Pence who is a staunch pro-life advocate is also known for defending religious freedom when it comes to LGBT rights gives Trump more support from the right-wing. As Governor of Indiana Pence signed a controversial religious freedom bill that was said to “…extend legal protections to Indiana business owners who didn’t want to participate in same-sex weddings”, after taking heat from left wingers, the NBA, corporations, LGBT activist he signed an amendment saying it wasn’t okay to use religious freedom to discriminate against members of the LGBT community. Even after having to withdraw from his original stance, his action received attention from right-wing conservatives all over the country. He has also signed into bill one of the strictest abortion laws in the nation, in Indiana it is illegal to have an abortion when the fetus has a disability.
2. MEMBER OF THE TEA PARTY
From 2001 to 2013 Mike Pence was a member of the U.S. Congress, and right when the right-wing Tea party gained significant traction in the House, Pence became a member of the Tea Party Caucus. According to romper.com Pence then became chairman of the Republican Study Committee and advocated for “aggressive non-defense” spending cuts and the right to bear arms. He worked with the NRA and was also known to have connections with oil and energy industries, including the Koch brothers.
3. WELL RESPECTED DEMEANOR
One of the many reasons political analyst believe Pence is Trump’s ideal VP pick is because their contrasting demeanor. Trump’s demeanor, which can be described as Narcissistic, loud, rude, impersonal, unprofessional and outspoken and downright racist has been a negative for him during his campaign, by adding someone like Pence to his ticket he campaign gains a different outlook. Pence is known for saying he’s a republican and not angry about it. He’s well-respected across the aisle because of his calm and collected disposition. Even as a conservative radio host in the 90s he was described as “Rush Limbaugh on decaf,” which means while he was a conservative he was not “bombastic and as outrageous” as Rush Limbaugh.
4. UP FOR RE-ELECTION IN A TIGHT RACE
Pence is currently up for reelection in his home state of Indiana and is just a few points ahead of his Democrat opponent. Since he cannot run for both races at the same time he will have to drop the bid for governor and focus on the presidential campaign.
5. SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, PAUL RYAN, LIKES HIM, A LOT.
Prior to Trump’s VP selection Paul Ryan was quoted saying “I hope he picks a good movement conservative. Clearly Mike is one of those.” Earlier today in a statement to the press and public Speaker Ryan said, “Mike Pence comes from the heart of the conservative movement — and the heart of America. I can think of no better choice for our vice-presidential candidate. We need someone who is steady and secure in his principles, someone who can cut through the noise and make a compelling case for conservatism,”. Although Paul Ryan had official endorsed Donald Trump’s candidacy, he still appeared to be reluctant about Trump’s potential presidency, with Pence as his running mate Ryan can now be at ease and potentially look forward to working with someone he admires, respects and holds in high regard. That will be crucial in a Trump presidency, especially when it comes to working with capitol hill.