Trump formally announces Indiana Governor Pence as his running mate

Trump was initially scheduled to make the announcement in New York earlier, but postponed it in the wake of the terror attack in French city of Nice.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 15, 2016, 21:18 PM IST
Trump formally announces Indiana Governor Pence as his running mate

Washington: Ending days of speculation, presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Friday announced that conservative Indiana Governor Mike Pence will be his Vice Presidential running mate as he sought to add political experience to his White House campaign.

Trump was initially scheduled to make the announcement in New York earlier, but postponed it in the wake of the terror attack in French city of Nice that killed 84 people and injured over 100.

"I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate," Trump said in a tweet.

Pence, 57, a lawyer by training and Governor of Indiana since January 2013, has accepted the offer, CNN reported.

Two other candidates in the race were Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

"We have to call him. But let me just say this. I have great respect for Governor Pence. But I also have great respect for Newt. I have great respect for Chris Christie. We have some tremendous people in the Republican Party but I will be making the announcement at the appropriate time," Trump had said prior to his announcement.

Meanwhile, Pence has also reportedly abandoned his re-election bid as Indiana Governor.

He was elected as the Indiana Governor in 2013. Before this he was a member of the US House of Representatives for 19 years from 2003 to 2013.

Pence keeps a low-profile and can play a crucial role in uniting the Republican party to rally around the controversial billionaire ahead of the November presidential elections.

He has often described himself as "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order."

As governor of Indiana, Pence has invited criticism for signing bills making it harder for women to have abortions.

Interestingly during the primaries, Pence had endorsed Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Before being elected as the Indiana Governor, he was elected to the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013.

The US media projected that Trump's choice was part of his bid to add political experience.

The Wall Street Journal said by picking Pence, Trump has balanced his ticket with an even-tempered conservative.

Trump has turned "to a well-established conservative who brings government experience" to the Republican presidential ticket, the New York Times said.

"In his selection, Mr Trump also gains a partner who is fluent in the ways Washington works, a background that complements Mr Trump's outsider status," the daily reported.

CNN said the pick sets up a stark clash in styles -- a brash presumptive nominee with a tendency to freelance into controversies alongside a cautious former congressional leader who has stuck close to conservative orthodoxy since starting his career in talk radio.