Trump to show solidarity with Pence

  • 21/07/2016
Trump to show solidarity with Pence

Freshly minted as his party's choice for the White House, Republican Donald Trump will make a display of solidarity with his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, a social conservative who is at odds with Mr Trump on many issues.

Mr Pence, the keynote speaker on Wednesday, the third day of the Republican convention in Cleveland, has been well received by people in the party's social conservative wing, who have been sceptical of Mr Trump's commitment to opposing abortion and same-sex marriage but who trust his running mate.

But joint appearances between the two men have been awkward.

Mr Trump and Mr Pence shared the stage only briefly on Saturday when Mr Pence publicly agreed to be Mr Trump's running mate, and their first televised interview together, on CBS's 60 Minutes, was not smooth.

For example, asked about Mr Pence's support for the Iraq war while he was a US lawmaker, Mr Trump responded, "I don't care," saying Mr Pence was allowed to make occasional mistakes.

When the interviewer asked if Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton should get the same wiggle room on her own vote for the war when she was a US senator, Mr Trump said, "No."

Mr Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort said Mr Trump and Mr Pence had begun to gel.

"They may have different personalities but they have similar visions," he told reporters on Wednesday. "I'm comfortable that it's a less awkward situation than I've seen in many marriages."

In an echo of Mr Trump's unorthodox journey from businessman and reality TV star to party standard-bearer, the choreography of the convention has been uneven, contrasting with what is generally a smoothly coordinated display of support for a party presidential candidate.

Mr Trump, who is trailing Ms Clinton in opinion polls, was formally anointed on Tuesday evening as the White House nominee for the November 8 election.

Anti-Trump delegates at the gathering on the shores of Lake Erie disrupted the convention on Monday to shout their displeasure and Tuesday's session was intended to focus on the economy, but few speakers hewed to the theme.

Allegations that a speech on Monday night by the nominee's wife, Melania, plagiarised passages from a Michelle Obama address in 2008, have dominated media coverage.

In his first comments addressing the controversy, Mr Trump said on Wednesday that the attention given to his wife's speech could in fact be a plus for his campaign.

"Good news is Melania's speech got more publicity than any in the history of politics especially if you believe that all press is good press!" Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.