Donald Trump Announces His Vice Presidential Pick: Mike Pence
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Donald Trump went ahead and made his announcement on time. He had called off a news conference to introduce his new vice presidential nominee. Instead, he sent a tweet saying the choice is, in fact, Indiana Governor Mike Pence.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
So let's talk about this with NPR's Sarah McCammon. She covered the Trump campaign, and she's in New York. Hi, Sarah.
SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.
INSKEEP: And also NPR's Ron Elving senior editor and correspondent. He's in Cleveland getting ready for the Republican convention next week. Ron, good morning.
RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.
INSKEEP: What does Pence bring to this ticket?
ELVING: He brings the consistency of conservatism in both his manner and his ideology that many Republicans have found lacking in Donald Trump. That's a big contrast, but he also brings a lot of strong ties to Christian conservatives within the party, religious conservatives, also two party establishment figures, many of whom knew him when he was a pretty good-sized figure in the national Republican sphere in the House of Representatives and also to big donors, especially the kind of big donors who don't like Donald Trump or haven't given to him so far.
INSKEEP: As someone who's followed him for a while, I feel like he's got a little different style than Donald Trump.
ELVING: He has a very different style from Donald Trump he tends to come off perhaps a little bit preachy at times. He certainly is a consistent member, if you will, of the Tea Party and a consistent member of the religious factions of the Republican Party. None of those things has been associated too closely with Donald Trump.
INSKEEP: Different positions?
ELVING: Different positions as well. Donald Trump has pretty much said that the Iraq vote in 2003 was a major disaster going into Iraq with that war. Mike Pence supported that. Mike Pence is a major supporter of trade deals, including some of the ones that Donald Trump has most roundly condemned. And also Donald Trump has defended Planned Parenthood, and it was Mike Pence who put in the first bill in 2007 to defund Planned Parenthood. And there are many other differences as well.
INSKEEP: Sarah McCammon, how does this choice compare with the things that Donald Trump had said in recent months about what he wanted in a running mate?
MCCAMMON: You know, the main things he said, Steve, are that he wants someone who can bring leadership experience, help him govern to, you know, bring that to the ticket. And he's also said that he wanted somebody that essentially he likes and gets along with.
For that reason, you know, people like Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie were - who've spent more time with Donald Trump were seen as possible picks. They seem to have chemistry. At the same time, Mike Pence certainly has executive experience as a governor and former experience in Congress, so he's someone that could, you know, help Trump in that way, help him work with Congress potentially. So, you know, ultimately there was a lot of speculation over the last 24 hours about what exactly was happening, whether Trump was having second thoughts. But it appears - well, he has told us he has gone with Mike Pence.
INSKEEP: Let me ask, though, Ron Elving, before you govern you have to win. Trump is in a position where a Republican - any Republican candidate would have a challenge because the electoral map and other factors. Does Mike Pence bring aboard any voters, expand the base in any way for Donald Trump?
ELVING: Perhaps not expand the target of the base - that is to say to not, perhaps, bring in states that they had not thought they could contest before. But he does solidify Donald Trump's claim on some of those Republican voters who, while they've been loyal, do not always turn out. And I'm talking here about Christian conservatives, religious conservatives, the kind of people who didn't vote for George W. Bush in 2000, but did turn out to vote for him in 2004. And Mike Pence is a Midwesterner, so it should help in some of those swing states like Ohio.
INSKEEP: Sarah McCammon - a couple seconds - when will we see this guy or see the two of them together?
MCCAMMON: They're expected to appear together tomorrow in New Jersey and possibly elsewhere, but we've heard from campaign sources in New Jersey, so that is, of course, the home of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who wasn't chosen.
INSKEEP: OK. So we'll see how that goes. NPR's Sarah McCammon will bring us the latest on that. Sarah, thanks very much.
MCCAMMON: Thank you.
INSKEEP: And our senior editor Ron Elving is at the Republican convention in Cleveland where this program will be live next Monday and beyond. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.