It was widely reported Thursday that the presumptive GOP presidential nominee had picked Pence. But after the attacks in Nice, France, began dominating the news later that day, Trump said he would delay the formal news conference he had planned for Friday out of respect for the victims. Trump’s Friday tweet said he would hold a news conference at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Pence beat out former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, with whom Trump reportedly had a tense conversation on Thursday. Trump was reportedly upset that news of his announcement had leaked early.
Pence was elected Indiana’s governor in 2013 after serving 12 years in Congress. He has consistently attacked reproductive rights, is an unapologetic defender of the war in Iraq and came under fire last year for signing an Indiana law that allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT Americans. In December, he also criticized Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, tweeting that it was “offensive and unconstitutional.
A source told HuffPost that Trump liked the experience Pence would bring to the ticket and thought he would do a good job handling policy details, which aren’t exactly Trump’s strong suit. Pence could also help Trump reach out to establishment conservatives who have refused to back him.
Many GOP delegates who spoke with HuffPost in Cleveland this week described Pence as a reassuring choice whose background and experience could help bring conservative holdouts into the fold. Their reactions toward Pence, however, were relatively muted when compared to the prospect of Gingrich, a respected figure among the party whom they spoke about enthusiastically.
Learn more about Pence here.
Igor Bobic contributed reporting. This post has been updated to include impressions from delegates in Cleveland.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist