Meet Trump’s VP pick, Gov. Mike Pence

Donald Trump made history as the first presidental candidate to announce a running mate on his favorite social media platform, Twitter.

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SiriusXM Editor
July 16, 2016

Meet your 2016 Republican vice presidential nominee, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

Donald Trump made history as the first presidental candidate to announce a running mate on his favorite social media platform, Twitter.

Sources leaked to the press Thursday that Trump planned to pick Pence, a move supported by many establishment conservatives. The campaign denied any decisions and in the wake of the deadly truck attack in Nice, France, Trump said he’d postpone his vice presidential announcement.

But, as many political reporters pointed out on social media, Pence had to file his papers for re-election in his state’s gubernatorial race by a noon deadline Friday — a time constraint that likely prompted Trump to take to Twitter to announce his decision.

Shortly after Trump’s tweet, Pence formally withdrew his name from Indiana gubernatorial race (state law prohibits running on both a state and federal ballot).

Trump made a televised announcement Saturday morning, but it was still considered unconventional.

Trump’s decision to select Pence — a former congressman and current governor — aims to alleviate any concerns about the presidential nominee’s lack of political experience. Pence is generally well liked among his Republican colleagues for his adherence to traditional conservative values and policies.

Former Speaker John Boehner released a statement calling Pence “an exceptional leader, and an even better man.” Indiana Sen. Dan Coates praised Pence’s “remarkable economic progress” in their shared home state. Former RNC Chair and SiriusXM host Michael Steele also expressed his support for the pick.

Pence was not always on “team Trump.” He endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz ahead of the Indiana primary (Trump won the state with 53% of the vote). And many on Twitter were quick to resurface a tweet from Pence in December of last year criticizing calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. — a message aimed at a proposal offered by the man on the top of his ticket.

The governor is known by many for signing into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a bill that would allow businesses to deny services to LGBT individuals based on religious beliefs. After backlash, the bill was amended, but it left a mark on the gay rights community and hurt Pence’s own presidential aspirations — top-of-the-ticket aspirations, that is.

“Anyone who could choose Mike Pence as a running mate does not care about LGBT rights, does not care about women’s rights,” SiriusXM Progress host Michelangelo Signorile said last week.

As we head to the Republican National Convention, we’ll learn more about the Trump-Pence ticket and how the two align — or don’t align — on issues including gay rights, abortion, trade, foreign policy and more.

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