After weeks of holding auditions for running mates, lots of hemming and hawing, and even rumors of last-minute regret over his choice, Donald Trump finally made his final-final pick for Vice President. Without the usual pomp and circumstance that is the Trump “brand,” however, the presumptive GOP nominee simply took to Twitter to make the announcement Friday morning.
I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate. News conference tomorrow at 11:00 A.M.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2016
As it happens, Trump really wasn’t ‘pleased’ about Pence.
— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) July 15, 2016
News of the Pence pick was met with sighs of relief at GOP headquarters. Like Pepto Bismol for heartburn, Republicans needed a lifelong conservative like Pence to help bridge the gap between the #NEVERTRUMPers and the evangelical base. Pence is also close with influential donors who have refused to touch Trump with a 10-foot pole, so he may help the party raise the campaign raise monies it now seriously lacks.
For Indiana, the news was met with gleeful shouts of goodbye and good riddance. Hoosiers hate him, Democrats and Republicans alike. His nearly four-year record in the state’s highest office was poor, at best, and his favorability rating has plummeted to a low 40%. Instead of paying attention to the daily duties of his office — like fixing the issues of Indiana’s crumbling roads, bankrupt schools and high unemployment — Pence focused his attention on social policy decisions that brought Indiana to the national stage in a negative light.There are actually lawn signs up and down the state that read “Fire Pence.” Truth is, if Governor Pence hadn’t quit his re-election campaign to become Trump’s sidekick, his bosses (Indiana voters) would have fired him.
Ironically, Trump should also hate Mike Pence. He represents most everything the presumptive nominee claims to reject: the Republican establishment. Pence was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for six years and chairman of the House Republican Conference. Pence has also disagreed with with many of the insane things Trump has said in the past and some of Pence’s own social and economic views put him at odds with Trump in a major way. For example, he slammed the controversial call to ban Muslims and fully supports free-trade agreements like NAFTA that Trump claims have made America less great.
Trade means jobs, but trade also means security. The time has come for all of us to urge the swift adoption of the Trans Pacific Partnership
— Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) September 8, 2014
But if you thought Donald Trump’s grip on reality was loose, wait until you meet Mike Pence. He’s like Sarah Palin, without the charm.
For one, Pence continues to claim that smoking won’t kill you. Of course, he’s been in the back pocket of Big Tobacco for decades, writing “Time for a quick reality check. Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill. In fact, 2 out of every three smokers does not die from a smoking related illness and 9 out of ten smokers do not contract lung cancer.”
Here are a few other things you should know about the man:
He’s anti-gay. A staunch Christian, Pence has always favored a license to discriminate against the LGBTQ community. In Congress he voted against repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and same-sex marriage. As governor he signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to ensure that businesses had the right to refuse service to anyone who did not conform to their religious beliefs.
He’s anti-choice. As a member of Congress Pence voted for legislation that would give “personhood” rights to embryos and voted to defund Planned Parenthood. As governor he actually did defund Planned Parenthood and signed the most extreme anti-abortion bill in the country (it even requires women to bury or cremate their periods, if they contain a fertilized egg).
He’s anti-science. Pence thinks global warming is a hoax and he doesn’t believe in evolution.
He’s a Koch-head. Pence’s career has been funded by their Americans for Prosperity group for years.
So it’s official: If you hate women, gays, and people of color and seriously believe we walked with the dinosaurs, the Trump/Pence campaign ticket is for you.
And with the new ticket comes the campaign’s “penetrating” new logo.
And it looks like the logo is now scrubbed from Trump’s campaign website.
Needless to say, social media has had a field day trashing the suggestive design on Twitter.
Here’s one of my favorites:
— Donnacha Kenny (@TheRealDonnacha) July 15, 2016