We’re just a week before the RNC Convention in Cleveland, Ohio and conservative GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has repeatedly stated his VP running mate announcement would happen before it begins!Now, political insiders are getting the word out: Trump’s VP running mate will be Governor Mike Pence of Indiana,
Trump’s campaign confirmed that Pence has already announced that Pence will join Donald Trump in a rally near Indianapolis on Tuesday night, which only confirms the rumor. The Washington Times is now putting the odds of a Pence choice at 95%:
Scrambling among Indiana politicians has reached the point where Republican Party insiders are convinced that presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump will pick Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate.
Constitutional lawyer James Bopp, an Indiana delegate to the Republican National Convention who is close the governor, told The Washington Times that Indiana House Speaker Brian C. Bosma, 58, a conservative Republican, had sought advice from him on running for governor.
“He wanted my counsel on what he needed to do to set himself up to run for governor, because he expects Pence to step down as governor in order to be Trump’s running mate,” Mr. Bopp said in an interview.
The Trump election team boosted the Pence speculation Sunday by suddenly adding a campaign rally in Indianapolis to a fundraiser planned for Tuesday featuring Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence.
Several Republicans close to the campaign and to the governor have told The Times over the last 24 hours that they are now convinced it’ll be Mr. Pence.
Mr. Bopp, also a member of the convention’s rules committee, told The Times that the “rally made it a 95 percent probability it’s Pence.”
This is an interesting choice, as Pence endorsed Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the Republican presidential primary. But as National Review speculates, Pence may be eager to run with Trump, as he’s been far more successful politically in Washington, D.C. than in Indiana. Plus, he would be incredibly helpful in passing the Trump legislative agenda through Congress:
It’s more difficult to figure out what would be in it for Pence. Several of the governor’s confidants spoke on the condition of anonymity, agreeing to shed light on what could be the most significant decision of his political career. In many cases, they asked not to be quoted directly. Their accounts paint a portrait of a devoutly religious man paying close attention to how he can best serve the country, but also of a battered governor who believes a spot on the national ticket could simultaneously lift him out of a tough reelection campaign in Indiana and make him a top prospect for the Republican nomination in 2020 or 2024. “He would obviously be a favorite for a future presidential campaign after Trump has been president, and that’s unusual for somebody who didn’t run himself in what was a very crowded and talented field this year,” says Kellyanne Conway, the Trump pollster and longtime Pence consultant who brought the Indiana governor to Trump’s attention as a potential vice-presidential nominee. Pence eschewed entreaties from conservatives to run for president in 2012 and again in 2016, but those close to him say he’s always had his eye on the White House. He first ran for Congress, unsuccessfully, in 1988, when he was just 29 years old, and, after a brief stint as a successful talk-radio host, began climbing the political ladder in earnest.
As a politician, he has been far more successful on the federal level than in his own state. In Congress, he rose to national renown as a staunch opponent of the Bush administration’s domestic initiatives from No Child Left Behind to Medicare Part D and finally to the bank bailouts of 2008. He rose steadily through the GOP ranks, becoming chairman of the Republican Study Committee in 2005 and GOP conference chairman in 2009. But messy fights over a state-funded pre-kindergarten program and a religious-liberty law have marred his tenure back in Indiana, where he was elected to the governorship in 2012.
Other possible VP running mates are former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA). But as of today, it’s all but certain that Trump has already made his decision, and the 2016 GOP ticket will be Trump/Pence.