Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump yesterday announced Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his vice-presidential running mate, after postponing an event on his decision following the deadly truck attack in France.
Republican sources had said on Thursday that Trump had decided on Pence, but the campaign had not confirmed this until now.
Viewed as a safe pair of hands, Pence, 57, has diverging views with Trump on his proposed Muslim ban and trade, and is more socially conservative, but he could help unify a divided party behind Trump’s bid to win the White House in the November 8 election.
“I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate. News conference (on Saturday) at 11.00 A.M.,” Trump said in a tweet.
Trump had faced a midday deadline to announce Pence because the governor had to declare by then whether he would be on the ballot in his home state for re-election.
Trump had chosen Pence from a short list that included two other finalists, former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Trump said he postponed his planned announcement out of respect for the victims in Nice.
Trump, 70, is set to be formally nominated as the party’s candidate for the presidential election at the convention in Cleveland. Traditionally, the vice-presidential choice is used to build enthusiasm among party loyalists.
The Republican National Committee expects the convention to draw 50,000 people to Cleveland and US authorities were preparing for the possibility of violence — whether from demonstrators or planned attacks.
The Cleveland gathering and the Democratic Party Convention the following week in Philadelphia have been given the status of special national security event by the federal government for the first time and security will be heightened, said Republican Party spokesman Sean Spicer.
“They’re just going to make sure that it’s the safest place on Earth for the guests, the attendees, the delegates and the media,” Spicer said.
The Department of Homeland Security will send more than 3,000 personnel to each convention, Secretary Jeh Johnson said before the Nice attack.
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