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Politics

3 reasons why Trump-Pence is a thing now




Indiana Gov. Mike Pence joins Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a rally in Westfield, Ind., Tuesday, July 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence joins Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a rally in Westfield, Ind., Tuesday, July 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/AP

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Donald Trump made his vice presidential pick official Friday morning.

The proclamation came by tweet:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/753965070003109888

The Trump camp had scheduled a formal announcement Friday but postponed it after the attack in Nice, France.

So why Pence, and what will he do for the ticket? 

For answers, Take Two spoke to Rachel VanSickle-Ward, a professor of political science at Pitzer College.

Highlights

Trump was considering former Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, but he went with Mike Pence. Why do you think the Indiana governor ended up as his choice? 

I should start with the caveat that, as we often say, VP selection is rarely going to be a huge game changer in a presidential election. With that said, there does look to be some strengths to this selection for Trump. One, he has governing experience, which Trump does not have and two, he has the potential for motivating social conservatives. It's worth noting that Trump has done better with religious conservatives than you might expect given his background, but Pence is particularly popular among this group. 

Pence was running for re-election in Indiana. He's now put that on hold. What could this position mean for him?

What's interesting is that he's not particularly popular within his own state. His approval ratings are relatively low there. He won his last re-election, but only by three points, so there's some discussion that he might be up for a relatively tight race. Given that, this gives him a smart exit and a chance to have a national profile and sure-up those connections if perhaps he was going to lose the governor race in Indiana. 

One of the things we've seen and heard from Mike Pence is that he criticized Donald Trump when he attacked that Indiana-born judge with Mexican heritage. He also criticized Donald Trump for his call on a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US. I'm wondering what that conversation was like when they finally decided to make that choice. 

While he has criticized a couple of stances that Trump has taken, he has also never been a "Never Trump" guy. He endorsed Cruz early on, but he didn't completely slam Trump in the process, so I think the mending of bridges was probably easier than it could have been with other individuals. Because he has those strong connections with strong social conservatives, his endorsement of Cruz early on is probably a plus for Trump. 

Press the blue play button above to hear the full interview. 

(Answers have been edited for clarity.)



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