Trump picks Pence for VP; Arkansas Lt. Gov. says the choice will ‘do no harm’ to the ticket

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 260 views 

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump on Friday (July 14) picked Indiana Gov. MIke Pence to be his running mate, with Trump set to hold a press conference Saturday to discuss his selection.

Pence, who signed into law Indiana’s controversial religious liberty bill, is a staunch anti-abortion advocate, and has been vocal in his opposition to same-sex marriage, is perceived as helping Trump shore up his support from the so-called evangelical wing of the GOP.

The press conference was originally scheduled for Friday, but was delayed following the tragic mass killing in Nice, France.

Pence, 57, is serving his first term as Indiana’s governor, after being elected to the office in November 2012. Prior to being governor, he served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. While in Congress, he rose to the chair of the House Republican Conference.

Pence was born and raised in Columbus, Ind., graduated from Columbus North High School, earned a bachelor’s degree from Hanover College in 1981 and earned a juris doctorate from Indiana University School of Law in 1986. He has been married to Karen Pence since 1985 and they have three adult children, Michael, Charlotte and Audrey.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R)
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R)

During taping for this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin (R) said the Pence selection meets the first goal of “do no harm” to the ticket.

“The history is to look for someone that fills in some of your gaps; that compliments you, that strengthens you where you are weak or are perceived to be weak,” Griffin said during the interview.

Griffin added: “He’s someone with real government experience in the Congress, real government government experience as a governor, as an executive. He has bonafides with the conservatives in our party. He is a serious sort of even-keeled guy. I think that a lot of that stuff compliments, will help, Donald Trump.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker (D), who was part of the panel interview with Griffin, agreed that Pence does no harm to the ticket, but was unsure how Pence would be instrumental in helping Trump win critical swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Griffin said a key for Trump will be to use Pence as part of overall effort to bring in independents and blue collar Democrats.

“Pence will help in the midwest, I think,” Griffin said.

As to a potential VP nominee for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Tucker recommended U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va. Kaine has also served as governor and Lt. Gov. of Virginia, and was the mayor of Richmond, Va.

“I think he would be a good vice president. … You want someone who not only can do no harm, but also take care of this country,” Tucker said.

(The interview with Griffin and Tucker will appear on Sunday’s TV edition of Talk Business & Politics, which airs Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on KATV Channel 7 in Central Arkansas and in Northeast Arkansas on KAIT-NBC, Sundays at 10 a.m.)

U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., said Pence will be an “asset” for Trump.

“Governor Pence is a good friend and former colleague. As a former Congressman and now Governor of the Hoosier State, Mike has a proven conservative track record. He has a broad range of executive and law-making experience, and I am confident he will be an asset to the ticket,” Boozman noted in a statement to Talk Business & Politics.

The Clinton campaign quickly put out a video highlighting Pence’s background. The video ended with the tagline: “Donald Trump and Mike Pence: building a great, big, beautiful wall between America and progress.”