WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Donald Trump has tapped Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate, CBS News reports.
Trump is expected to formally call Pence Thursday afternoon, CBS News’ Major Garrett reported, citing a GOP official close to the process.
CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported Pence is on a plane headed for Teterboro, New Jersey.
Trump and his new running mate had been to make their first appearance as a team Friday in New York, but Trump announced late Thursday that he was postponing his announcement after an attack left at least 60 people dead in Nice, France.
The timing is aimed at energizing Republicans ahead of next week’s Republican convention in Cleveland.
Others on his shortlist included New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. All three of the finalists have had extensive conversations with Trump and his family in recent days.
CBS2’s Brennan reported people in the Trump camp said in his heart he wanted Christie for vice president, but the billionaire apparently opted for the safe choice.
Pence and Trump spent time with their families in Indiana on Wednesday.
“These are good people. This man is going to be a great president, and you can really tell a lot about a person when you get around their family,” Pence said following the meeting.
Pence quickly exited a speaking event in Indianapolis Thursday morning without taking questions from reporters. His staff has not released details of any other planned appearances Thursday.
Pence is running for re-election, but Indiana law prevents him from seeking two offices at once. He faces a Friday deadline to withdraw from the governor’s race.
A Republican familiar with Pence’s thinking said the paperwork has been drawn up for him to take that step. However, the documents have not been filed, according to the Republican, who insisted on anonymity because that person was not authorized to publicly discuss Pence’s plans.
Pence, 57, is a steady, staunch conservative who would help calm nervous Republican wary of Trump’s impulsive style.
“Mike Pence is beloved on the far-right of the party with conservatives. Trump has some problems with those folks, they question whether he’s really one of them, so Pence would probably assure them a little bit,” Bloomberg Politics’ John Heileman said.
House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters he’s a “big fan” of Pence.
“It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Mike Pence, we’re very good friends, very high regard for him,” Ryan said. “I hope he picks a good movement conservative, clearly Mike is one of those.”
EXTRA: Gov. Mike Pence Fun Facts
He served six terms in Congress before becoming Indiana governor. He also has deep ties to evangelical Christians and other conservatives, particularly after signing a law last year that critics said would have allowed businesses to deny service to gay people for religious reasons.
Trump took notice of Pence during the Indiana primary, noting that the governor had high praise for him despite endorsing one of his rivals.
Going into next week’s Republican National Convention, Trump is getting a bounce in the polls, as the latest CBS News/New York Times poll shows Clinton at Trump tied at 40 points each. The former secretary of state had a six-point lead in June.
Clinton was on Capitol Hill Thursday meeting with Democrats.
“It was focused on the really positive difference Democrats want to make on in the lives of many Americans,” Clinton said.
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