Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump officially chose Governor Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate on July 15. Trump announced his decision via Twitter. DN PHOTO SAMANTHA BRAMMER
Trump officially announces Pence as VP
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump officially announced on Twitter today that he has chosen Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate, confirming reports from the day before.
Trump was supposed to make the announcement at a news conference this morning, but he postponed the event after a terror attack in Nice, France, that killed more than 80 people. Trump rescheduled the news conference to 11 a.m. tomorrow.
Pence parted with his old Twitter handle, @GovPenceIN, and made a debut Tweet as simply @mike_pence this morning.
"Honored to join @realDonaldTrump and work to make America great again," he said.
Pence is an evangelical Christian who became nationally known after signing the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Pence gained negative attention again in March 2016, when he signed a law that would prohibit women from obtaining an abortion strictly because of the race, gender or disability of the fetus, making Indiana only the second state in the nation to do this.
The law also held doctors legally liable if they had performed an abortion that was motivated by one or more of the prohibited reasons.
Pence, who has said he is first and foremost a Christian, could help the duo secure more of the evangelical vote. However, according to a Pew Research Center poll, Trump already had their vote.
The Indiana governor should, in theory, make Trump appeal more to the Midwestern states. Ultimately, Pence is a longtime Republican officeholder and a strong social conservative — two areas where Trump is weak.
According to a poll conducted between January and May, Pence's approval rating as governor is 48 percent.
But despite some disapproval in his home state, Pence is, for the most part, unknown nationally. And what is known about him widely is his generally polite demeanor, unlike Trump.
Students have mixed feelings about Pence's move from governor to vice presidential candidate.
Malik Hurt, a senior political science major, said he thinks it's a good thing for Indiana, but not necessarily for Trump.
"It's a good thing ... because that means Pence will no longer be our governor," Hurt said. "But I don't see Pence bringing anything to Trump's campaign that he didn't already have, so to me picking Pence — it feels kind of redundant."
Another student, Evan Thorstad, a junior criminal justice major, said he thinks Pence as Trump's running mate could cost him Indiana in the election come November, but will ultimately be a good choice.
"I don't think it really helps [Trump] in Indiana, since most Hoosiers don't like [Pence]," he said. "[But] in general, it will probably help [Trump]."
Lacey Pamer, a sophomore public relations major, doesn't really see the bright side of Trump/Pence.
"If Trump gets elected, we're all going to Hell," Pamer said. "At least Pence will not be Indiana's governor anymore."
Early in the campaigns, Pence endorsed Ted Cruz. Junior economics major Joshua Watters said Trump could be seeking votes from those who originally supported Cruz, but he cautioned against just settling for a candidate.
"I believe this is the perfect election to look to a third party, such as the Libertarian Party or the Green Party," he said. "I think getting the candidates from those two parties into the debates would open many people's minds to voting on principle rather than party."
Melissa Jones contributed to this article.