Donald Trump had originally planned to announce Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate on Friday but he delayed the announcement because of the attacks in Nice, France.
Prior to running for Governor, Pence was a former six-term congressman who described himself as “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,” according to the Indianapolis Star.
While Trump did tweet on Friday that the decision is official, the news conference where the Trump-Pence ticket will debut is now scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. ET at his golf course in New Jersey. In the meantime, here are five things voters should know about Donald Trump.
1. Pence endorsed Ted Cruz in the Indiana Primary
Days before the critical Indiana primary, Pence publicly endorsed Ted Cruz.
“I’m not against anybody, but I will be voting for Ted Cruz in the Republican primary,” Pence told local reporter Greg Garrison of WIBC at the time. He did manage to slip in a disclaimer that he’ll be voting for a Republican on Election Day.
“Let me be very clear on this race: Whoever wins the Republican nation for president of the United States, I’m going to work my heart out to get elected this fall,” Pence said.
The ironic thing is that Pence’s endorsement didn’t help Cruz in the Hoosier State. Trump defeated Cruz, which essentially ended Cruz’s campaign. The Texas senator had initially vowed to go all the way to the Republican convention but dropped out following the loss in Indiana.
2. Pence is fiercely anti-abortion
Pence signed a measure that criminalizes doctors who help women with abortion and repeatedly voted for a law intended to give separate legal status to an embryo or fetus, according to NARAL Pro-Choice America.
The organization’s president, Ilyse Hogue, issued a statement condemning Pence on Friday morning.
“While Trump has only hypothesized that women should be punished for having abortions, Governor Pence has turned this theory into law. Governor Pence is a man who has worked to make abortion illegal, imprison doctors for providing abortion services for women, and ban some of the most common forms of contraception. It’s no coincidence that Purvi Patel is serving twenty years in prison in a state under his leadership for her attempt to have an abortion,” Hogue wrote. “His fervor to close Planned Parenthood clinics and rob Indiana citizens of basic health services has resulted in an all out health crisis for his constituents, including an uptick in HIV infection and fewer prenatal services for rural and impoverished pregnant women.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America also notes that Pence repeatedly co-sponsored legislation that would, if it went into effect, make abortion illegal nationwide and voted for a measure banning medically appropriate abortion care as early as 20 weeks without an adequate exception to protect a woman’s health.
3. He’s “Rush Limbaugh on decaf”
Back in the ’90s, Pence had a talk radio program called, “The Mike Pence Show.” He also appeared on a weekly Sunday night TV show in Indianapolis. He described himself as “Rush Limbaugh on decaf,” according to the Indianapolis Star. His programs discussed Conservative values but with a low-key approach, as opposed to the sometimes-overbearing Limbaugh.
It is safe to assume that Trump, who famously starred on hit reality show “The Apprentice,” was intrigued by Pence’s ability to articulate Conservative views.
“I’m a conservative, but I’m not angry about it,” Pence is known to say. The star also says Pence is “cool-headed” and “well-regarded” by evangelical Christians.
4. Trump listened to his advisors on this one
Trump’s team is aware the upcoming Republican National Convention in Cleveland is very important to the campaign. By selecting Pence, who is beloved by Conservatives, he found someone who can help unify the party and create a smoother convention.
“For the very first time, Donald Trump is going with what his advisors are telling him he needs to do and not with his gut, which is something that is not a comfortable feeling for someone like Donald Trump,” CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash said on air shortly after the announcement.
If Trump was simply picked a politician that he gets along with in order to feel comfortable, it is safe to assume the choice would have been Chris Christie or Newt Gingrich.
5. Pence contradicts Trump’s LGBT views
Trump famously said Caitlyn Jenner could use whatever bathroom she wants in Trump Tower, but Pence doesn’t share the same philosophy. The Human Rights Campaign, which is America’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, said that Pence became a “national disgrace” in 2015 for a bill that could have allowed businesses to deny service to LGBTQ people.
Last year, Pence appeared on ABC’s “This Week” to defend the bill but dodged questions regarding if he opposed discrimination against gays and lesbians, which prompted HRC to put together this damning video.
“Donald Trump just doubled down on his agenda of hate and discrimination by choosing the notoriously anti-LGBTQ Mike Pence for his ticket,” HRC President Chad Griffin said. “Mike Pence has never left any question about his animus toward LGBTQ people, from peddling a hateful and damaging ‘right to discriminate bill’ in Indiana last year, to his longstanding opposition to marriage equality — positions shared by Donald Trump.”
It should be noted that the Human Rights Campaign has openly endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.
I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate. News conference tomorrow at 11:00 A.M.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2016