Donald Trump Announces That Mike Pence Is His VP, But Will It Help Or Hurt Him? We Look At The Facts
There has been speculation over the past few days that Donald Trump would select Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate. On Friday morning Trump made it official.
The formal introduction was set for Friday at 11 a.m., but Trump postponed it due to the horrific terrorist truck attack in Nice, France. Saturday’s event will take place in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Pence beat out Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie to be Trump’s vice president.
“Mike has done a great job as governor of Indiana. You look at the numbers, and it’s been great — he’s done really a fantastic job,” Trump said of Pence earlier in the week.
Pence gives Trump a political insider with knowledge of state and federal politics, something the Donald lacks. Pence is a lifelong politician and has a wealth of experience. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001 until 2013. He was the Chair of the House Republican Conference from 2009 to 2011. Pence became the 50th Governor of Indiana in 2013.
Pence attended Hanover College, where he was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, and earned a B.A. in History in 1981. He earned a J.D. from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1986, then went on to be an attorney.
Pence gives Trump a presence and a voice in the flyover states that he may have lacked since he is such a New York personality.
The selection of Pence eases fears amongst establishment Republicans who were worried that Trump was too independent of the party. Pence is a staunch conservative and one of the first Republicans to embrace the Tea Party movement.
Pence has ties to the mega-wealthy Koch billionaire brothers as well as other influential donors, who have not supported Trump thus far.
Another bonus of Pence is that since he is not too well known, he can adapt his personal brand to Trump’s campaign.
Trump has been criticized by many in the Republican party for not being Christian enough, Pence helps him majorly in that category and gets votes from the evangelical community. Pence is a devout evangelical Christian. He describes himself as “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.”
As Governor of Indiana, Pence made national headlines when he signed a controversial religious freedom bill into law in 2015. Indiana Senate Bill 101, also known as the Indiana “religious objections” bill or Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which allows a business to not offer services to gay patrons if they feel it offends their religion. The law was deemed as discriminatory and anti-LGBT by many and prompted much protest. Numerous prominent figures condemned the law including Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff. The mayors of San Francisco and Seattle banned official travel to Indiana. Pence defended the law, stating that it was not about discrimination, but rather a religious freedom.
Pence sponsored the first House bill to defund Planned Parenthood.
Pence signed one of the strictest abortion laws in the nation this spring, one of two states in the nation that bans abortions when the fetus has a disability.
FiveThirtyEight points out, Pence’s net favorability rating would be the worst of any vice presidential pick since 1976 at the time of their selection.
However, the Marist College poll used also states that Trump’s other possible VP choices were even less favorable. Christie had a favorable rating of 34 percent and an unfavorable rating of 50 percent, while Gingrich had 33 percent favorable and 53 percent unfavorable, whereas Pence was at 9 percent favorable and 15 percent unfavorable.
As far as governors go, there are 33 governors who have better approval ratings than Pence.
Then there is the problem or hypocrisy that Trump and Pence vehemently disagree on certain major issues.
Trump’s controversial immigration policy proposal called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S. “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
Trump has lashed out at free trade agreements such as TPP, NAFTA and CAFTA, and insisted that they have been “job-killers” and ruined America’s economy. Pence has supported those free trade agreements.
In 2005, Pence implored fellow politicians in the House of Representatives to approve the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Pence sold CAFTA as “a dream of democracy” for nations in Central America. “Let us not in this Congress and in this nation turn our backs today on those same fledgling democracies that are embracing our principles of free-market economics and freedom,” Pence said.
Trump has criticized America’s intervention in the Middle East, and said that under his guidance the U.S. would be “getting out of the nation-building business.” He has said thay invading Iraq was a mistake, and was one of many failed foreign policies that the United States has made in the region. However, his vice presidential pick was a major proponent of that conflict.
“There is a nation, some 50 nations, that stand ready to end [Iraqis’] oppression, to dry their tears, and to lead Iraq into a new dawn of civilization, a new dawn of freedom from oppression and torture and the abuse of women and the stifling of basic civil and human rights.”
Pence opposed a withdrawal date from Iraq.
Oh. And then there is this video of Mike Pence declaring that he will be voting for Ted Cruz in 2016.
Then there is this rumor that Trump may have had buyers remorse as recently as last night.
Should Trump have selected a woman VP to neutralize Hillary Clinton’s “woman card,” which she admitted to playing? That may have not be authentic and hurt Trump instead, we won’t know.
Overall, it is a conventional and safe pick that just might get the diehard Republicans and Never Trump proponents over to his side.
It should be interesting how these two powerful men meld into one political force on their quest for the White House.