Who Is Mike Pence? Pence, Like Trump, Has Seen His Share Of Controversy
Update: On Friday via one simple tweet, Donald Trump confirmed Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is his Vice Presidential running mate.
Earlier: Indiana governor Mike Pence is reported to be Donald Trump's vice presidential pick, according to Reuters, though camp Trump has yet to confirm and says that the official announcement will be made on Friday morning. Pence, as Trump's probable VP choice, would have beaten out several top contenders, including Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich. The report comes as Trump and his campaign ramped up their vetting process in preparation for next week's Republican National Convention. Pence would be an understandable choice for Trump should he be given the position — just like his often-embattled potential new boss, Pence has also made controversial headlines throughout his time as Indiana's governor.
So just who is Trump's potential right-hand man? You may recognize his name from when he made headlines last year as one of the first of many state officials to pass a notoriously anti-LGBTQ bill that left the state suffering massive economic losses. Pence's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which would have allowed businesses to discriminate and refuse service to LGBTQ patrons on the basis of "religious liberty," received nationwide backlash from LGBTQ advocates and many throughout the business community.
Though a "fix" was later signed by the governor to clarify that the state law did not seek to override local civil rights protections, much of the damage was already done. According to IndyStar, the state lost up to 12 planned conventions and $60 million in revenue from Pence's discriminatory bill. IndyStar also polled Indiana voters, finding that only 36 percent hope to see Pence re-elected.
Given Trump's own discriminatory views on LGBTQ equality, it comes as no surprise that he would likely pick someone who has put those same views into political action.
Pence also came under fire this year for signing an abortion bill into law that passed sweeping restrictions across the board. The New York Times reports that this law will severely limit Indiana women's access to abortion, including banning abortion that is "motivated solely by the mother's objection to the fetus' race, gender, or disability." It also places additional restrictions on medical professionals, as well as bizarrely requires abortion providers to cremate or bury fetal tissue.
Indiana's women rightfully responded by creating the Periods for Pence campaign, calling the governor's office to discuss intimate details of women's health issues, like abortion and menstruation.
This again puts Pence in line with Trump, who has also spent an absurd amount of time talking about women's rights, something he also seeks to limit.
It should therefore not be a big shock if Trump ultimately chooses Pence as his running mate. As two peas in a pod, the pair would make for the most "anti-everything" ticket in recent history.