Donald Trump announced Friday that he had selected Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana to be his running mate.
“I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate,” Trump tweeted.
The official announcement came after Trump postponed the planned unveiling event that was scheduled for Friday, citing the terrorist attack in the French city of Nice that killed at least 84 people.
Trump said in his tweet Friday morning that the event would take place Saturday morning.
It was widely reported Thursday that Pence would be Trump’s choice, edging out former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey. Trump, however, told Fox News on Thursday night that he hadn’t “made a final, final decision” yet.
Pence is a former congressman who had been called a “rising star” among conservatives. He chose to run for governor of Indiana in 2012 rather than seek the Republican nomination for president, and he was rumored to be considering a 2016 bid for the White House.
Pence was locked in a reelection race that he withdrew from Friday morning after it was announced that he would be Trump’s running mate. In Indiana a person cannot seek the governorship and the vice presidency simultaneously.
Pence will give Trump credibility with social and movement conservatives and could help him gain an edge in what could be a close race in Indiana and throughout the Rust Belt – a stretch in which Trump must perform well.
But Pence has also been on the opposite side of the Manhattan billionaire on two key issues that have been paramount to Trump’s campaign: immigration and trade.
“Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional,” he tweeted in December after Trump initially outlined his proposal to indefinitely suspend all Muslim immigration into the country.
He has also come out in favor of free trade and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the historic trade agreement Trump is urging Congress not to ratify. Trump has also gone as far to insist that the North American Free Trade Agreement should be repealed as well.
“I urge IN [Indiana] Congressional Delegation to support Trade Promotion Authority & trade agreements for IN biz/econ,” he posted last year.
“Trade means jobs, but trade also means security,” he wrote in September 2014. “The time has come for all of us to urge the swift adoption of the Trans Pacific Partnership.”
- Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images
One of Trump’s closest competitors for the Republican nomination, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, called the selection a “great pick” shortly after the announcement.
Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign wasn’t as high on the selection as the Florida Republican.
John Podesta, chair of the Clinton campaign, called Pence the “most extreme pick in a generation.”
“By picking Mike Pence as his running mate, Donald Trump has doubled down on some of his most disturbing beliefs by choosing an incredibly divisive and unpopular running mate known for supporting discriminatory politics and failed economic policies that favor millionaires and corporations over working families,” he said in a statement.
Pamela Engel contributed to this report.