Trump chooses Pence as running mate

  • 16/07/2016

Republican Donald Trump's choice of Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate has helped bolster support among some conservatives skeptical about his policies.

Some conservatives who had fought against Trump's ascendancy in the Republican nominating race welcomed his announcement that he had picked Pence, a well-known social and evangelical conservative.

Other conservatives were also heartened by Trump's VP pick, which the businessman announced in a tweet ahead of a joint appearance in his hometown of New York on Saturday.

Trump, 70, chose Pence, 57, over two politicians he considers friends and close advisers, former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, 73, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, 53.

Pence is viewed as a safe choice for Trump.

The Indiana governor's low-key demeanour is a contrast to that of the bombastic real estate developer.

He and Trump will have to smooth over some policy differences.

Pence does not support trade protectionism or a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, two policies that are central to Trump's campaign message.

In a Fox News interview on Thursday night, Trump said Pence had done a great job in Indiana and that of all the people he had interviewed for the job, "there's nobody that agrees with me fully on everything".

Pence's selection was slammed by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign.

"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 known for supporting discriminatory politics and failed economic policies that favour millionaires and corporations over working families," said Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta.

Trump is set to be formally nominated as the party's candidate for the presidential election at the convention, which opens in Cleveland on Monday.

The Republican National Committee expects the convention to draw 50,000 people to the Ohio city, whose population is about 390,000. US authorities were preparing for the possibility of violence, whether from demonstrators or planned attacks.

The Department of Homeland Security will send more than 3000 personnel to each convention, Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Thursday, speaking before the Nice attack. No specific or credible threat to either gathering has been reported, he said.