It did not take long for conservative leaders to praise—and for Hillary Clinton to pan—Donald Trump’s decision to pick Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate.
“If you had any doubts about Trump sticking with his dangerous plan for America, say hello to his VP pick,” Clinton tweeted after Trump made the announcement on his own Twitter.
If you had any doubts about Trump sticking with his dangerous plan for America, say hello to his VP pick. pic.twitter.com/xuFClfZeLi
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 15, 2016
Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta called Trump’s pick “the most extreme VP pick in a generation.”
In a statement, Podesta described Pence as “an incredibly divisive and unpopular” running mate who supports “discriminatory politics.”
— John Podesta (@johnpodesta) July 15, 2016
Conservative Leaders Respond
Conservative leaders had a very different take on the pick, with many of them praising it as a step in the right direction for Trump.
“Gov. Mike Pence provides the opportunity to give GOP voters still undecided about Donald Trump a reason to unite and to vote for a more principled ticket,” said Jenny Beth Martin, chairwoman of the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.
American Conservative Union Chairman Mike Schlapp also celebrated the choice:”This is a great day for conservatism & great news for conservatives,” Schlapp said via ACU’s Twitter account.
The National Rifle Association was equally as supportive of the Pence nomination, tweeting that it was “a great pro-
#2A ticket!” referring to the second amendment. The NRA endorsed Trump in May.
— NRA (@NRA) July 15, 2016
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who has endorsed but also frequently criticized Trump, praised Pence recently, saying that he would make a good pick as Vice President.
Ryan told reporters on Thursday: “I hope that he picks a good movement conservative. Clearly Mike is one of those.”
Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who has been a vehement critic of Donald Trump, said in reaction to earlier reports that it would be the “best choice Donald Trump’s made so far.”