UPDATE – 3:23 p.m. EST: Clinton campaign chair John Podesta responded to the news of Donald Trump’s decision to choose Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice-presidential nominee, calling the latter the “most extreme pick in a generation,” and blasting Trump for “doubl(ing) down on some of his most disturbing beliefs by choosing an incredibly divisive and unpopular running mate.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus also weighed in on the Pence selection, saying it “clearly shows (Trump) is pivoting to the general election. He is choosing a person who has the experience inside and outside Washington, Christian conservative, very different style that I think shows a lot of maturity.”
While Pence has been portrayed as Trump’s “safe” choice, the Indiana governor has had his political differences with the New York billionaire — endorsing Ted Cruz before the Hoosier State’s primary in May.
Pence has also publicly supported U.S. free trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and criticized Trump for his proposed Muslim ban, labeling the idea “offensive and unconstitutional.”
After much back-and-forth speculation in the media over the past week regarding the identity of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s running mate, the New York real-estate mogul announced on Twitter Friday morning he has chosen Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to run alongside him on the GOP ticket.
Trump reportedly informed Pence of his decision Thursday. After the governor accepted, the controversial candidate continued to stir speculation by canceling a previously announced press conference on Friday in New York and telling media members a final decision hadn’t been made.
I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate. News conference tomorrow at 11:00 A.M.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2016
The press event will be held at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Trump’s final decision is believed to have been made Wednesday after meeting with three short list candidates, including Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie.
Some controversy surrounded Gingrich’s flight to Indianapolis Wednesday morning, when two sources close to the situation leaked information to CNN that the private plane the former House Speaker used to travel there was paid for by Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Hannity acknowledged the story in a Wednesday night tweet, which read: “I have known Newt Gingrich since 1990 (I emceed his event the night the became Speaker of the House in 1994) he has been a long term, very dear friend of mine and is a private citizen. Whatever favors I do for my friends is my business.”
[CNN] [AP] [Photo courtesy Indianapolis Star]