Mike Pence Disagrees With Donald Trump On The One Policy That Could Change Everything
Update: On Friday via one simple tweet, Donald Trump confirmed Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is his vice presidential running mate.
Earlier: Donald Trump's campaign reportedly reached out Thursday to leaders of the national Republican Party with news Indiana Gov. Mike Pence would be Trump's vice presidential pick, according to the New York Times — though the Trump camp has not confirmed that news and says an official announcement will come Friday. If the rumors are true, Trump's decision to align himself with Gov. Pence has sparked some questions about how the two men will come together on the campaign trail given the fact the Indiana governor disagrees with Trump on one issue that has become central to the presumptive Republican nominee's campaign.
Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States has been one of his campaign's most talked about and controversial ideas since he first floated the suggestion in the aftermath of the San Bernardino shooting last December. But even many of Trump's supporters took offense to the presumptive nominee's plan, including Gov. Pence. "Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional," Pence tweeted back in December. "Our Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. The U.S. cannot discriminate on the basis of religion."
While nothing is 100 percent confirmed until Trump officially announces his running mate to the public — something the Times reports he'll do Friday — Pence allegedly surfaced as a campaign favorite on the real estate mogul's shortlist in the last few weeks.
While Trump has continued to stand by his proposal to ban foreign Muslims from entering the United States throughout the election, his policy has evolved slightly, which may be what is enabling Pence to throw his support wholeheartedly behind the real estate mogul now.
In May, the presumptive Republican nominee began to emphasize he meant the ban to be temporary. A month later, when Trump renewed calls for a ban on Muslims in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting, he was again careful to stress the temporary nature of the proposal. Trump modified his proposal again while in Scotland in June, telling reporters he would make an allowance for British or Scottish Muslims looking to enter the United States. "We must suspend immigration from regions linked with terrorism until a proven vetting method is in place," Trump tweeted later that day in an attempt to clarify his comments.
While banning an entire religious community may not be something Pence supports, the Indiana governor may be more willing to stand behind a proposal which bans immigrants from specific regions as he attempted to institute a state ban on Syrian refugees last year. Pence pushed an order barring state agencies from resettling Syrian refugees in Indiana in November of last year, although a federal judge later blocked it.
Pence appeared unconcerned that he and Trump don't see eye-to-eye over one of the real estate mogul's prominent proposals a few days prior to Thursday's report. "I've taken issue with candidates from time to time," Pence told ABC's Tom Llamas in an interview Tuesday. "But I'm supporting Donald Trump to be president of the United States of America."
When pressed about the issue, Pence cited his nearly 15 years in politics as giving him the experience of effectively working with people he may not always agree with. "Look, I served in Congress for 12 years, I've been governor for three and a half years," he said. "I haven't agreed with every one of my Republican colleagues or Democratic colleagues on every issue. But I'm supporting Donald Trump because we need change in this country. I believe he represents the kind of strong leadership at home and abroad that will, to borrow a phrase, make America great again."