REPUBLICAN Donald Trump’s choice of Indiana Governor, Mike Pence, as his vice presidential running mate on Friday helped bolster support among some conservatives skeptical about his policies, a crucial step as he prepares to accept the party’s nomination next week.
Some conservatives who had fought against Trump’s ascendancy in the Republican nominating race welcomed his announcement that he had picked Pence, a well-known social and evangelical conservative.
The Club for Growth, a conservative economic group, had sharply criticized Trump’s support for protectionist trade policies. On Friday, the group noted that as a member of the House of Representatives, Pence had been a strong voice for “free markets and economic liberty” at a time when the Republican leadership had been weak on these issues.
“Today’s news gives a similar hope that Mike Pence will be effective in pulling the Republican ticket toward economic conservatism and limited government,” the group said.
Other conservatives were also heartened by Trump’s VP pick, which the businessman announced in a tweet ahead of a joint appearance in his hometown of New York on Saturday.
“Pence is a principled conservative, man of faith, and talented messenger for Republican ideas,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “His addition to the ticket will bring even more excitement to the voters who are eager to put a Republican in the White House and deny a third term for President Obama’s liberal agenda.”
Trump, 70, chose Pence, 57, over two politicians he considers friends and close advisers, former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, 73, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, 53.