Donald Trump has called Indiana Governor Mike Pence and offered him the vice presidential slot on his ticket, and Pence has accepted.
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’s stuck close to conservative orthodoxy since starting his career in talk radio.
Trump said Thursday evening he’s postponing the official announcement, previously set for Friday morning.
“In light of the horrible attack in Nice, France, I have postponed tomorrow’s news conference concerning my vice presidential announcement,” he tweeted.
In light of the horrible attack in Nice, France, I have postponed tomorrow's news conference concerning my Vice Presidential announcement.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2016
He also did his best to keep the drama going after a frenetic day.
“I haven’t made my final, final decision,” he told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Thursday evening. “I mean, I’ve got three people that are fantastic. I think Newt (Gingrich) is a fantastic person. I think Chris Christie is a fantastic person, been a friend of mine for 15 years. Just a fantastic person. And there’s Mike, and Mike has done a great job as governor of Indiana. You look at the numbers, and it’s been great — he’s done really a fantastic job. But I haven’t made a final, final decision.”
On Wednesday, Trump held a series of auditions with Pence and other top contenders including Christie and Gingrich. And on Thursday, despite sources indicating that Trump was strongly leaning toward Pence, others in his inner circle including Trump’s son, Donald Jr. — repeatedly urged caution.
But by early evening, Trump made the offer. Trump had initially suggested he would wait until the Republican National Convention to unveil his vice presidential choice, but Indiana law forced his hand. Candidates can’t run for both federal and state office after July 15, meaning Pence had to withdraw his name from his re-election race for governor.
Trump called to offer Pence a spot on the presidential ticket and Pence accepted.