Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has reportedly chosen former congressman and current Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate. Pence’s conservative credentials have the potential to draw in Republican voters worried about Trump’s positions; as a congressman, he authored a bill to end tax breaks for insurance providers who covered abortion.
While Trump is scheduled to announce his vice presidential nominee Friday at 11 a.m., several media outlets have already broken the news, according to a Reuters report.
While Pence’s popularity among conservatives may be an asset for uniting the GOP around Trump, he brings liabilities to the table as well. As a congressman, he voted against a number of Bush initiatives – including the Medicare prescription drug benefit in 2003, according to a Bloomberg report. And as governor, Pence signed a 2015 “religious freedom” law widely seen as anti-gay; the law prompted such a backlash that he was forced to sign a non-discrimination bill to walk back the original law. He also signed a law restricting abortions in the state that prompted widespread backlash.
Pence was on Trump’s shortlist for VP along with GOP notables like Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Trump advisor Eric Brookover said that Trump “first and foremost” wanted a running mate with whom he has good chemistry, and who could help him govern best, Reuters reported.