Trump Mum On Vice President Pick After Indiana Rally With Pence

Jul 13, 2016

Gov. Mike Pence attends a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Indiana on July 12, 2016.
Credit Barbara Brosher/Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence got his chance Tuesday to sound vice presidential for Donald Trump as the Republican presidential candidate’s decision on a running mate approaches.

The two met in Indianapolis earlier in the day, prior to a private fundraiser.

Pence was effusive in his praise for Trump at the Republican presidential hopeful’s rally in Westfield.

Pence declared to a crowd of more than a thousand that Trump “gets it” and hears the voice of Americans.

“We’re ready to put a fighter, a builder and a patriot in the Oval Office of the United States of America,” he says. “We’re ready for Donald Trump.”

Trump spoke little of Pence in his nearly hour-long speech. But he did call Pence a good man who’s doing a good job.

“You’ll be calling up Mike Pence,” Trump says. “I don’t know whether he’s going to be your governor or your vice president, who the hell knows?”

Reports say Trump’s pick will come Thursday or Friday.

That's cutting it close for Pence, and Indiana Republicans who would need to choose a candidate to replace Pence on the ballot if he is selected to run for vice president.

Friday is the deadline for candidates to withdraw or add their names to the November ballot. 

If Pence drops out of the governor's race, potential candidates such as Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb, U.S. Representatives Todd Rokita and Susan Brooks, and Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma face the prospect of having to give up their spot on the ballot and filing to run for governor without knowing whether they would win the party nomination.

Seventh District Chairman Tom John says the party would likely schedule a meeting to replace Pence.

Then, if Rokita, Brooks or Bosma lost the governor nomination, precinct leaders in their districts would have to nominate them for their previous slots on the ballot.

John says all of the candidates who've announced interest in the governor's job are qualified. But he says, Republicans would need someone who can hit the ground running with a campaign.

He notes the discussion becomes moot if Trump doesn't select Pence.

The Republican National Convention opens Monday in Cleveland, Ohio.