A source familiar with the VP selection process also tells CNN that Trump told Pence in a phone call late Wednesday night that he is “moving toward” making the Indiana governor his vice presidential nominee.
The Indianapolis Star reports that Pence is dropping his gubernatorial re-election bid in Indiana to become Trump’s running mate, but noted that Trump’s national campaign spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, said “a decision has not been made.”
According to both CNN and The New York Times, Republicans have warned that the presumptive GOP could still change his mind before his campaign officially reveals his running mate in a planned announcement Friday at 11 a.m. in New York.
Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action released the following statement on Trump’s reported VP pick:
“If Trump picks extreme right-wing Governor Mike Pence as his running mate, he will be doubling down on his divisive and hate-filled approach to politics.”
“Like Trump, Pence has a long record of trying to turn Americans against each other. As governor, Pence has pushed laws making it legal to discriminate against LGBTQ people, tried to keep nonprofits in his state from helping to resettle Syrian refugee families, and signed one of the worst laws in the country taking away women’s access to reproductive healthcare.”
“Instead of uniting people,” the statement continued, “Pence has intentionally pitted his state’s communities against each other – he’s a divider, not a uniter, just like Trump, and that should be scary for all Americans.”
The VP reports come just one day after Trump and members of his family met with Pence at his Indiana home on Wednesday, further fueling speculation that the governor was Trump’s VP pick.
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Trump told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that he was looking for an “attack dog” running mate who’s “skilled in hand-to-hand combat.”
He called Christie and Gingrich “two extraordinary warriors” and said he had great chemistry with both men. Trump added that he didn’t know Pence well enough to assess his fighting spirit and their personal chemistry.
However, a day later Trump backpedaled on the “attack dog” comments.
“I want to pick somebody who is very good. I want to pick somebody who is solid, who’s smart. I’m not looking for an attack dog,” he said on Fox’s Special Report with Bret Baier.
“Frankly, I’m looking for somebody who really understands what we are talking about because I’d rather have the whole thing be on policy,” he also reportedly said. “People think of me as an attacker, but I’d rather be talking about policy.”