Trump VP pick brings conservative cred, controversy

by Ryan Smith14 Jul 2016
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has reportedly chosen former congressman and current Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate. Pence’s conservative credentials have the potential to draw in Republican voters worried about Trump’s positions; as a congressman, he pushed back against bailouts in the wake of the financial crisis.

While Trump is scheduled to announce his vice presidential nominee Friday at 11 a.m., several media outlets have already broken the news, according to a Reuters report.

While Pence’s popularity among conservatives may be an asset for uniting the GOP around Trump, he brings liabilities to the table as well. As a congressman, he voted against a number of Bush initiatives – including the Medicare prescription drug benefit in 2003, according to a Bloomberg report. And as governor, Pence signed a 2015 “religious freedom” law widely seen as anti-gay; the law prompted such a backlash that he was forced to sign a non-discrimination bill to walk back the original law. He also signed a law restricting abortions in the state that prompted widespread backlash.

But Pence was also an early voice in Congress against taxpayer bailouts – an important cause to many Republicans. He led House opposition to TARP in the wake of the financial crisis, according to ConservativeHQ. “Nationalizing every bad mortgage in America is not the answer,” Pence wrote to his colleagues in the House at the time.

Pence was on Trump’s shortlist for VP along with GOP notables like Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Trump advisor Eric Brookover said that Trump “first and foremost” wanted a running mate with whom he has good chemistry, and who could help him govern best, Reuters reported.


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