Mike Pence Background
After months of speculation, Donald Trump announced that Indiana Governor Mike Pence would be his running mate for the 2016 Presidential election. Pence emerged victorious above a litany of high profile competitors like Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie. Despite the lack of name recognition, he’s seen as a strategic pick who can ensure Christian and Evangelical voters’ support for Donald Trump.
Pence unsuccessfully ran for the US House of Representatives twice in the late 1980s and early 1990s before finally winning Indiana’s 2nd district in 2000. He served in Congress for 6 consecutive terms, first in the 2nd district and then in the 6th district after redistricting. In May 2011, he announced his intention to run for Governor of Indiana, eventually winning the election over his Democratic opponent by 3 percentage points.
Mike Pence on The Issues
Pence is seen as being both socially and fiscally conservative. A self-proclaimed “devout Evangelical Christian”, Pence is a strong supporter of religious liberties, and vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, Planned Parenthood & abortion rights. Pence is also a man-made climate change skeptic and has an “A” rating from the NRA.
Serving in the House of Representative in 2002, Pence supported the Iraq War Resolution authorizing US military intervention to remove Saddam Hussein from power. He has been a supporter of free trade agreements like NAFTA (a treaty Trump vehemently opposes). As Governor of Indiana, Pence openly supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
As a member of the House in 2006, Pence proposed the an immigration program dubbed “No Amnesty Immigration Reform”, and voted against the DREAM Act. He has also voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010, as well as Medicare Modernization Act in 2003.
Many were surprised by the Pence pick due to the history between him and Trump. Early in the election season, Pence endorsed Ted Cruz for president. Cruz and Pence are strongly aligned on religious and social issues. Pence also made headlines over the winter after calling, via Twitter, Trump’s proposals to ban muslim immigrants from entering the country “unconstitutional”.
Photo (crop): Mike Pence Speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0