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Trump makes it official: Pence to serve as running mate

By
Eric DuVall
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaks at the Republican Governors Association meeting in 2014. Pence was officially tapped Friday to serve as the vice presidential running mate for Republican Donald Trump. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaks at the Republican Governors Association meeting in 2014. Pence was officially tapped Friday to serve as the vice presidential running mate for Republican Donald Trump. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, July 15 (UPI) -- Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said on Twitter Friday he has tapped Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate, confirming what was widely reported Thursday.

The announcement had been scheduled to happen in person Friday at Trump Tower in Manhattan, but the event was canceled in the wake of the Nice, France, terror attack that killed dozens of people on Thursday night.

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Trump said the two would appear together at a news conference at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Pence is a first-term governor who was up for re-election. He had faced a noon Friday deadline to have his name removed from the ballot in Indiana.

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His selection comes three days before the Republican National Convention kicks off in Cleveland.

Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton, responded swiftly to Pence's selection. Her campaign sent out an email to reporters, calling Pence "the most extreme VP pick in a generation."

John Podesta, Clinton's campaign chairman, called Pence "an incredibly divisive and unpopular running mate."

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Pence, a six-term congressman prior to becoming governor in 2013, brings a conservative and hawkish record to Trump's ticket, including several issues where he and Trump hold differences.

Pence voted in favor of all five free trade agreements brought before Congress in his 12 years in office and has said he supports the Trans Pacific Partnership, while Trump has railed against those agreements as killing American manufacturing jobs. Pence, like most Republicans at the time, supported President George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq. Trump has said the Iraq war was a significant foreign policy mistake that cost too much money and destabilized the Middle East. Pence also called Trump's proposal to temporarily ban all Muslims from immigrating to the United States "offensive and unconstitutional."

But where the two men disagree on a handful of issues, they are in agreement on many more.

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Both men favor large tax cuts as a means to stimulate the economy. Both oppose increasing the federal minimum wage. Both have said they support overturning Roe v. Wade and said they would nominate anti-abortion justices to the Supreme Court. Both have said they believe marriage should be limited to between a man and a woman, though Pence has been an outspoken critic of same-sex marriage, while Trump has largely been silent on the issue and has expressed support for LGBT rights other than to wed.

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Pence had been running for re-election in what polls showed was a close race against Democrat John Gregg, who Pence narrowly defeated four years ago. It will now be up to the state party to name Pence's replacement on the November ballot. The Indiana GOP faces a 30-day deadline to name Pence's replacement on the ticket.

One prominent Republican, former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, said Thursday he would not accept the party's nomination to make a return bid to public office. Daniels is now the president of Purdue University, where he said he intends to remain.

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