July 17

Why Trump Chose Pence

Governor Mike Pence may have just come to your attention. While Americans are aware of major national news happening, it takes a political junkie to know the details of each governor, and their background. While Pence was on the national stage over the Freedom of Religion Restoration act, other than that, he was not a major player on the GOP stage. For this reason, the fact that Trump chose Pence may have come as a shock, especially when other big names like Ben Carson and Newt Gingrich were rumored to be on the VP short list. Even Chris Christie, who was one of Trump’s first major supporters and frequented the campaign trail with Trump, seemed like a more likely candidate.

So why did Trump choose Pence? When a candidate chooses a running mate, it is usually so the running mate enhances the candidate’s positive qualities. But in this case, there are many points of difference between Trump and Pence, and this, may be exactly why Trump chose him.

On the main issue, Trump and Pence are at an agreement. Trump said that the reason he chose Pence was because of what he did as governor for the economy, “the numbers” showed results. As the economy is one of Trump’s main issues, and as he promises to revitalize the economy, he needed a running mate who cut taxes and oversaw economic growth. In this area, Pence fits the part. Furthermore, Indiana is a purple state, which are the most crucial when it comes to election night. Pence is also against amnesty, and takes a hard line on illegal immigration. This has been one of Trump’s most sought after aspects of his campaign platform, and so he needed a running mate that held similar views to him on this issue.

As for the other issues, Pence and Trump are at an interesting crossroads. Pence is considered much more far right when it comes to issues like gay marriage. Far right conservatives think Trump is too lenient on this issue, and Pence has already been attacked by Hillary Clinton over his view on gay marriage-so we know that he is far right when it comes to this. But, he also overruled the Freedom of Religion Restoration Act. So, when it comes to debates, Pence can play both cards on this. He can talk about what he did to help religion, but he can also talk about what he did to protect the gay community. As Trump is not clear what he feels about the LGBT community, the two can really blindside any attacker because their stance is so unclear. Pence is socially conservative on issues like abortion, and Trump is considered a wild card to many conservatives on this issue. While Pence can appeal to the socially conservative voters, Trump can appeal to the more socially liberal.

Pence also differs from Trump over the ban on Muslims entering the country. Again, this has been one of Trump’s most controversial statements. Because of Pence’s view on this, the two opposing views kind of cancel each other out, and allow the two to adopt whichever view is best at the moment. It allows for Trump to push one thing, while Pence can oppose it, which gives the Clinton team a hard job of finding one point of attack.

The Trump Pence duo is not one that immediately seems obvious, and in fact, may seem illogical when you see all of their points of difference. But when you think about it, the duo is actually genius. With two very different Republicans running together, the two can appeal to the various factions within the party, and broaden their base. It also makes it hard for Clinton to find points of attack, as the major points cancel each other out.