Freshly minted as his party’s choice for the White House, Republican Donald Trump on Wednesday will make a display of solidarity with his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, a social conservative who is at odds with Trump on many issues.
Pence, the keynote speaker on the third day of the Republican convention in Cleveland, has been well received by the Republican Party’s social conservative wing, who were skeptical of Trump’s commitment to opposing abortion and same-sex marriage but trust his running mate, a former U.S. lawmaker.
But joint appearances between the two men have been awkward. Trump and Pence shared the stage only briefly on Saturday as Pence publicly agreed to be Trump’s running mate, and their first televised interview together, on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” was not smooth.
For example, asked about Pence’s support in Congress for war in Iraq, Trump responded, “I don’t care,” saying Pence was allowed to make occasional mistakes. When the interviewer asked if Democratic presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton should get the same wiggle room on her own Iraq vote when she was a U.S. senator, Trump said, “No.”
The choreography of the Cleveland convention where Trump was formally named the party’s nominee for the Nov. 8 election has been uneven. At times, anti-Trump delegates interrupted to shout their displeasure. Tuesday’s session was intended to focus on the economy, but few speakers hewed to the theme.
Several convention delegates called Trump’s choice of running mate a step toward uniting a bitterly divided Republican Party and working to build bridges with the party’s establishment. Pence’s performance on Wednesday, and his interactions with Trump, could help to sell hesitant Republicans at home on the duo.
Pence will speak in prime time on Wednesday, a day dedicated to “Make America First Again.” Earlier in the day, he will appear with his wife, Karen, Trump and his family at a welcome event.
On Tuesday, Pence delivered a surprise address to the American Conservative Union, where he repeatedly compared Trump to former Republican President Ronald Reagan, a favorite among the party faithful. He said he had gotten to know Trump and knew he cared about helping Americans.
“For all the world he reminds me of Ronald Reagan,” Pence said. “My fellow conservatives, it’s time for us to come together. Come together around this good man.”
Source: New York Times