Likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says he chose Mike Pence, in part, for party unity.
Michael Hernandez - WASHINGTON (AA) – Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump formally announced Saturday that Indiana Governor Mike Pence will be his vice presidential running mate.
“I’ve found the leader who will help us deliver a safe society, and a really prosperous society, for all Americans,” Trump declared at a campaign event in Manhattan.
During a 25-minute buildup to Pence, Trump variously took aim at presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, praised himself, and Pence.
He also took time to express sympathies for those killed in the recent attack on Nice, France, and addressed the situation after Friday’s failed coup in Turkey, saying that it looks like it is being resolved.
“A lot of anguish last night, but hopefully it will all work out,” he said.
After taking the stage, Pence said that he is “humbled” to be at Trump’s side, accepting his invitation to run as his vice presidential candidate.
“Donald Trump is a good man, and he will make a great president of the United States of America,” he said.
“Donald Trump understands the frustrations and the hopes of the American people like no leader since Ronald Reagan,” he added.
Reports swirled on Friday that Trump had last-minute doubts about selecting Pence.
Trump maintained, however, that Pence is his “first choice” to be vice president.
“I also admire the fact that he fights for the people and he also is going to fight for you. He is a solid, solid person,” he said.
Pence spent 10 years in the House of Representatives before assuming the Indiana governorship in 2013.
Pence has significant support among the religious right, which could be vital to Trump, who has so far failed to sway that key pillar of the Republican Party.
Trump acknowledged that he chose Pence, in part, for “party unity.”
“I think if you look at one of the big reasons that I chose Mike – one of the reasons is party unity, I have to be honest. So many people have said party unity, because I'm an outsider,” he said.
Recent polls show Trump in a virtual dead heat with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has been dogged by issues of trust and allegations of impropriety linked to her misuse of a personal email server while she was America’s top diplomat.