How Politicians Are Reacting to a Donald Trump-Mike Pence Ticket

Pence accepted Trump's offer to be VP Thursday, according to sources.

July 15, 2016, 10:32 AM

— -- Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump asked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to be his running mate on Thursday, according to sources, and Pence accepted. Trump tweeted today confirming the news and, now, prominent voices from both sides of the aisle are weighing in on the Trump-Pence ticket.

Hillary Clinton

The campaign for the presumptive Democratic nominee released a statement, a video and a tweet shortly after Trump confirmed Pence as his pick on Twitter.

Hillary for America Chair John Podesta in a statement called Pence the “most extreme pick in a generation.”

“By picking Mike Pence as his running mate, Donald Trump has doubled down on some of his most disturbing beliefs by choosing an incredibly divisive and unpopular running mate,” Podesta said.

The White House

Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked about Gov. Pence’s VP nod, and with a smirk, offered praise for the governor’s past work with the Obama administration.

“To what extent President Obama has had an opportunity to interact with Gov. Pence, I know that Gov. Pence did do some important work with the administration to expand Medicaid in his state,” Earnest said at Thursday’s press briefing. “That's something President Obama has been encouraging Democratic and Republican governors across the country to do.”

Capitol Hill

House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Thursday before the news came out that he hoped Trump would pick a “good movement conservative” and that Pence, who previously served 12 years in the House, fits that bill.

“It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Mike Pence, we’re very good friends,” Ryan said. “I have very high regard for him.”

Former House Speaker John Boehner also voiced his support, saying "Governor Mike Pence is an exceptional leader, and an even better man. As chairman of the House Republican Conference during a critical time for our country, he played a key role in helping us earn the majority in the House."

A former colleague of Pence’s, Iowa Rep. Steve King told ABC News, “I once said to Mike, ‘Mike Pence, I would support you for every position for which you endeavor all the way up to but not including pope.”

Rep. Luke Messer praised Trump’s selection and called Pence the “anti-Trump.”

“He has a strong record as a strong conservative,” Messer told ABC News. “Donald Trump is famous for speaking off-the-cuff every day. Mike is someone who is...very consistent in his message and philosophy throughout his career.”

On the other side of the aisle, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi slammed Pence’s service in Congress as a fight for a “hateful agenda.”

“…Mike Pence personifies the radical agenda of discrimination and bigotry that House Republicans have been pushing for years,” Pelosi said in a statement.

Others Considered for the Job

Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House, was reportedly being considered by Trump for the position. He told ABC News before the decision was announced that if Trump chose Pence, Gingrich “would not be surprised.”

Early Thursday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, in an interview with MSNBC, said he had no idea who Trump would pick, but seemed to say he would be disappointed if it wasn’t him.

“I’m a competitive person. I'm not going to say it won't bother me if I'm not selected,” Christie said. “Of course it bothers you a little bit. Because if you're a competitive person like I am and you're used to winning like I am, again, you don't like coming in second. Ever.”


Several conservative groups are rallying behind Trump’s pick for VP because of Pence’s long-held views, while liberal groups are voicing their opposition. Pence opposes gun control, abortion, same-sex marriage and amnesty for immigrants.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, praised the decision, saying that “Mr. Trump’s selection of Gov. Mike Pence is an affirmation of the pro-life.”

Ken Blackwell, board member of the National Rifle Association and a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, said that “Mike Pence is a home run choice and by picking him Donald Trump gets an A-plus for his first presidential decision.”

The president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, Penny Nance, also praised the decision saying, “This is an excellent choice by Donald Trump, Mike Pence will be a unifying factor and conservatives will be very supportive.”

Matt Schlapp, president of the American Conservative Union, said that “This is a great day for conservatism and great news for conservatives.” Schlapp said that Pence’s “Reagan-esque approach, as a great communicator with the courage of his convictions, send the signal to conservatives across America that Donald Trump is eager to bring Americans together to reject Hillary Clinton’s plans to continue President Obama’s radical agenda.”

Some liberal groups are raising concern over Trump’s selection, voicing disagreement with Pence’s positions on the issues.

“Donald Trump just doubled down on his agenda of hate and discrimination by choosing the notoriously anti-LGBTQ Mike Pence for his ticket,” said Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin in a statement released Thursday.

Planned Parenthood also expressed their concern with Pence via Twitter:

ABC News’ Shushannah Walshe, Katherine Faulders, Jordyn Phelps, Alex Mallin, Ali Rogin and Benjamin Siegel contributed to this report.

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