Donald Trump hit the nail on the head when he chose Governor Mike Pence (Indiana) as his running mate. When Alton and I heard the names on his list of four, we were praying Pence would be the one. The fact that Trump appointed a governor who did not support him in the primary, shows that he has the ability to move past personal feelings and to gather the best people around him.
He desperately needed a running mate who would smooth out his rough edges, add character to the ticket, cater to minorities and women, win over evangelicals and those who are chanting “Never Trump,” bring experience from Congress and running a state (governors are best at this), provide inside connections to an outsider, bring in votes from the Midwest, and promote unity to a fractured party. Seven out of eight is not bad. I have no doubt that Trump has a plan to reach minorities and women, and he will have them in his cabinet and appointments.
He did consider a woman as VP. Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma was on his short list. Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie, and General Mike Flynn were in his top four up until the end. Newt has vowed to support him in any way he can, and his advice, experience and intellect will be valuable. Chris Christie will get a major cabinet appointment such as Home Land Security, and General Flynn, who was previously a Democrat, who became fed up with Obama’s military strategy, would make a great National Security Advisor or Secretary of Defense. Trump has already announced (on three separate occasions) that he wants Trey Gowdy to be Attorney General. Sarah Palin will also be in his cabinet. His list of possible Supreme Court Appointees is impressive.
Most people will admit that they don’t know much about Mike Pence, the former Congressman and now Governor of Indiana, who is well-liked and well-known to Republican circles. But here are my ten reasons why I believe Trump made a great pick:
1) Mike Pence will help to bring party unity. Trump himself said this, “One of the reasons I chose Mike Pence is for party unity. Because I’m an outsider. I don’t want to be an outsider.” And Trump is right. He needs an insider to help him to move his agenda through Congress.
2) Mike Pence is an Evangelical and social conservative with a proven record. Although he was born into an Irish Catholic family, during college he became a born- again Evangelical. He was also a Democrat until his college years. He says of himself, “I’m a conservative, but I’m not in a bad mood.” He will reach out to the Never Trumpers and those Evangelicals who can’t make peace with Trump. He acknowledges that his faith primarily shapes his politics. He recently signed into law one of the strictest abortion laws in the country. He began attempting to defund Planned Parenthood in 2007 before it was popular. While in Congress, he frequently scored perfect on the American Conservative Union scorecard. He talks the talk and walks the walk. He comes from the Tea Party Movement, but in time has softened his demeanor.
3) Mike Pence believes in limited government, balancing the budget and reducing taxes. His years in Congress and his term as governor of Indiana prove he is a true conservative. In Congress he voted against big spending bills and was part of balancing the budget. As governor of Indiana, he instituted the largest tax cut in state history. He eliminated the business personal property tax for small businesses, and he lowered corporate income taxes from 6.5% to 4.9%. He ended 2015 with $210 million dollar surplus and over $2 billion reserves for Indiana. This is very much in line with Trump. They do disagree on free trade, but Pence has agreed to support Trump on his views concerning this issue.
4) Mike Pence has experience as a Congressman and Governor. After serving 12 years in Congress, he rose to high and respected ranks including being elected Republican Conference Chairman in 2008. He has many political connections in DC. He also served on the Foreign Affairs committee and chaired the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East. As a Congressman, he visited the Middle East with Senator John McCain. His experience as a governor will aid greatly as an executive second in line to the president.
5) Mike Pence has stood for Religious Liberty. Although his recent stand cost him some popularity and promised him a tough re-election campaign in November, and he had to alter his bill to get it passed, he took his stand on this issue.
6) Mike Pence endorsed Ted Cruz for President. I’ll gladly admit that Ted Cruz was among my favorites and became my top choice in the primaries. His endorsement will resonant with conservatives. It also shows where he stands on the issues. However, he was kind to Donald Trump in the words of his Cruz endorsement. He clearly sees now that Trump is what the people want. “I’m not against anyone,” he said. “I will support whomever the nominee is.”
7) Mike Pence is a personal friend of Paul Ryan. This relationship is critical since he is the Speaker of the House who was having a hard time accepting Trump. Pence has warmed him to the ticket with Paul Ryan now saying, “I can support this ticket. Mike Pence represents the ‘Heart of America.’”
8) Mike Pence is connected to and is well-liked by the Koch Brothers. Their Americans for Prosperity focuses on his work in Indiana. The two brothers have vowed to stay out of the presidential race due to their dislike of Donald Trump. It will be interesting to see if they and others like them will now change their minds and support this ticket.
9) Mike Pence is a former radio talk show host who looks and acts presidential. He speaks well and will do well in interviews and debates. He has all the qualities to be the next president at a reasonable age and to assume the presidency if necessary.
10) Mike Pence opposed No Child Left Behind. As an educator of 32 years, I never understood why George Bush put this into action. It was a disaster on the front lines and contributed towards federal control of education, which Republicans never favor. At school we called it, “No Teacher Left Standing.” It put all the burden of success in schools on the teachers and administration, with no accountability for the home situation, the increase of drug babies entering our schools, the child’s own motivation, or children with special needs. A child with mental deficiencies was expected to reach the same goal as a child with a gifted IQ. The burden of this legislation was the last straw that drove many good teachers out of teaching.
It is a rarity to have two candidates with exactly the same views, but Trump and Pence have much more in common than not. Pence supported the Iraq War that Donald Trump opposed. But if Donald had been president at that time and privy to all security information, he may have changed his mind. I believe he owes the Bush family an apology. Trump and Pence are like-minded regarding border security, standing for Israel, limiting refugees and halting immigration from Muslim countries until we figure out what is going on, rebuilding the military, and defeating ISIS.
I believe Donald Trump knows how to bring a team together to accomplish important goals. I’m not proclaiming him a Christian, but he has done everything he can to reach out to Evangelicals including appointing a strong team of men and women to advise him. The list is impressive. View the list and Dr. Richard Land’s (President of Southern Evangelical Seminary) reasons for joining it:
I wonder what the “Never Trumpers” have to say about this list and his choice of Pence?
We need to pray for protection for all candidates. Trump and Pence both stand to be targets of ISIS and far-left liberals.
I found this interview with Sean Hannity to be a great introduction to Mike Pence and what he is all about. Click to view:
Keep praying and spread the word! Having a true Evangelical on the ticket is a huge victory for Christians. Now I can go to the voting both without holding my nose! Maybe God is bringing us another Cyrus for such a time as this. Our job is to pray, repent, and keep doing what he has called us to do and strive to be salt and light in a darkening world.
For the Kingdom,
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,
declares the Lord.
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
Ginny Dent Brant
Author, Speaker, Counselor & Soloist
Author of Finding True Freedom: From the White House to the World