DES MOINES, Iowa — CNN is reporting that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has called Indiana Governor Mike Pence and offered him the vice presidential slot on his ticket and that Pence has accepted.
Governor Pence was scheduled to be in Des Moines Thursday night as part of the national governors association meeting, but he was a no show over at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, where governors from around the country gathered to attend.
“Governor Branstad Presents: Feeding and Fueling the World,” an hour-long discussion on how trade and innovation is vital to feeding and fueling a growing world population that is expected to reach 9 billion by the year 2050.
Some of the other governors that were in attendance gave reaction to the reports that Trump has chosen Pence to be his running mate.
“The most important decision that any candidate for president has is picking someone who’s capable of being president. I think anyone, Democrat or Republican alike, would look at Mike Pence’s record, both as a governor and in Congress and say here’s someone who’s an adult, who’s serious, who is capable of being president of the United States if God forbid, something were to happen,” said Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. “Mike’s just someone that’s very well respected, certainly amongst governors, democrat and republican alike, highly regarded, and he’d be a great vice president.”
“Outstanding. Mike Pence is the finest man in politics that I know, literally. He`s a dear friend of mine. There is no governor in the country, literally, that I have turned to more often for his insight, for his, wisdom, for his just, measured demeanor, his approach to things. He is truly a class act,” said Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin.
“Donald Trump has talked about finding somebody that has some experience and Governor Pence has been the governor of Indiana. He’s also served in Congress, so, he has some experience of how the operational side of the federal government works, and so I think that’s probably what he was looking for was a governor that’s had successful results in their state,” said Kim Reynolds, Lieutenant Governor of Iowa.
Governor Terry Branstad declined to comment on the reports of Pence being tapped for VP.
But despite all of the praise that was being lavished upon Governor Pence by the governors at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, another point of view was put forward in Urbandale from conservative radio talk show host Steve Deace, who did not have such nice things to say about Pence.
“From a conservative perspective, Mike Pence is a disaster,” said Deace. “Mike Pence is guilty of the worst backstab I’ve ever experienced, as an activist, and given the state of today’s Republican Party, that’s kinda saying something. What he did to religious liberty last year in Indiana was inexcusable. Whatever percentage that you think Trump has to win, whether it’s 10%, 20%, 50%, that’s the only percentage Mike Pence has ever of being a national figure in the Republican Party after what he did to the base on religious liberty last year.”
Deace is referring to when Indiana passed a state religious freedom restoration act that provided protections for businesses that had objections to catering gay weddings, among other things.
The law was decried as an act of bigotry by many and some conservatives believe Pence folded by gutting the law within a week of it being passed, instead of taking a stand for religious freedom. Deace is of that opinion.