Donald Trump and Mike Pence make their debut as a campaign ticket


Donald Trump and Mike Pence are making their first appearance together as running mates

  • Trump and Pence appear together in Manhattan
  • Pence on Fox News offers unyielding support of Trump’s plans for a border wall and ban on Muslims
  • Hillary Clinton and Democratic National Committee raise $82 million
  • The Democratic convention speakers are out, and one big name is missing

Donald Trump and Mike Pence are playing unlikely roles in their pairing as presidential running mates

(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Debuting the Republican presidential ticket Saturday, Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence each played his part in what promises to be a role reversal for the fall campaign: the presumed nominee as attack dog, the running mate as the cool-headed stabilizer.

As partnerships go, theirs is not exactly a bromance. In their first joint appearance, the two displayed none of the warmth often shown in vice presidential rollouts. Trump stole the stage in a rambling speech before introducing Pence almost as an afterthought. They did not link arms afterward. Instead, they awkwardly shook hands and skipped altogether the classic pose of arms stretched into the air, hands clasped in victory.

It was another sign of Trump’s rule-breaking route to the GOP nomination, days before the start of the party’s convention in Cleveland. As Trump struggles to unify a fractured Republican Party, Pence brings a potentially comforting complement to the businessman’s often politically incorrect populist appeal.

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In return home, Mike Pence lauds Donald Trump

(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

There’s no place like home for Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

In remarks that lasted less than 10 minutes at a small airport outside Indianapolis, Pence thanked his family and constituents on Saturday as he entered the presidential race as Donald Trump’s running mate.

“I’m going to take Hoosier ideals to Washington, D.C.” Pence, who is in his first term as governor, said at the small rally which was billed as a welcome home event.

Earlier, in New York, Trump formally introduced Pence as his vice presidential pick, lauding Pence’s work in Indiana as well as his potential as a bridge between Trump and the Republican Party.

In Indiana, Pence was faced with a tough reelection, and his job approval rating is far from stellar.

A WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana Poll from May found that 42% disapproved of his job performance, while 40% approved. About 60% of Republicans in the state supported his reelection bid, which he dropped to join Trump on the Republican ticket.

Unlike in a Fox News interview on Friday and at the New York event, Pence did not mention Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, during his brief homecoming.

He did, however, heap plenty of praise on Trump.

“He’s a good man and will make a great president,” Pence said.


‘Happy warrior’: Pence’s team-up with Trump brings out hopes and fears in Indiana

(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

In many ways, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is the antithesis of Donald Trump — a deeply religious man who prides himself on not running TV attack ads while regularly proclaiming, “I’m a conservative, but I’m not in a bad mood about it.”

Described by one prominent state Republican as a “happy warrior,” Pence is a politician whose polished, milquetoast brand stands in such a striking contrast to the brash, turbulent Trump that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s decision to elevate him to his vice presidential pick left many in Indiana stunned, despite days of strong signals it was going to happen.

“People are so shocked and floored that Mike Pence was even a possible contender to line up with Donald Trump, given the type of personality he has,” said Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, a local conservative TV and radio commentator who noted the “big-time irony” in Pence, the self-styled positive campaigner, pitching himself as the right fit to join forces with the divisive Trump.

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Snapshot from the trail: Mike Pence in Zionsville, Ind.


Donald Trump provides unconventional story for TV coverage of convention

In 1952, TV manufacturers with such now-forgotten brand names as Philco, Admiral and Westinghouse were the exclusive sponsors of network coverage of the Democratic and Republican national conventions.

They sought to motivate Americans to head to their local appliance dealer to purchase their first televisions, and ABC, CBS and NBC helped by offering viewers hours of meetings in smoke-filled rooms, rallies, speeches and balloon drops that accompanied the selection of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson as the parties’ nominees. Bob Hope even showed up at the end of NBC’s coverage each night to deliver a few gags about the day’s proceedings.

Sixty-four years later, the conventions provide little in the way of drama thanks to the lengthy primary process that chooses the presidential candidates well ahead of time. As a result, the broadcast networks air just one prime-time hour per night (PBS airs three hours nightly). But the two four-day events, the first of which starts Monday with the Republicans in Cleveland, are still used to drum up business for cable news and online video streaming. They are also a boon to late-night comedy.

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Donald Trump, while introducing running mate, continues to criticize his positions

Why did Donald Trump tap Mike Pence to join him on the presidential ticket? The presumptive Republican presidential nominee acknowledged Saturday that the pick was partly meant as an olive branch to the party faithful.

“One of the reasons is party unity, I have to be honest,” Trump said, emphasizing how much he has tried to stay outside the GOP establishment even as he rose to claim the nomination.

But while Trump’s campaign has been defined by straying from Republican orthodoxy, those deviations can be a bit awkward now that his running mate has typically toed the party line.

On multiple issues, Trump boasted of policy positions that differ from Pence’s.

Take the Iraq war, where Trump once again falsely said that his position was, “Don’t go into Iraq,” even though he once expressed support for the war. Pence, when he served in Congress, voted to authorize U.S. military action.

On trade, Trump said the North American Free Trade Agreement decimated manufacturing jobs in Pence’s home state of Indiana.

“NAFTA is the worst economic deal in the history of our country .... It’s a horror show; [jobs are] moving to Mexico, moving to other places,” Trump said.

But Pence has backed trade deals, including NAFTA.

“Trade already benefits Indiana,” Pence said in a speech on the House floor in 2001, touting how NAFTA helped increase agricultural exports from the state.

Trump also faintly jabbed at Pence’s backing of Sen. Ted Cruz before the Indiana primary, implying that the governor was acting on behalf of outside interests and noting that Pence’s endorsement of Cruz included significant praise for Trump.

“Even though he was under pressure, because I’m so, you know, outside of the establishment, it was the single greatest non-endorsement I’ve ever had in my life,” Trump said.

Pence, for his part, presented a united front on his running mate’s platform, even on positions of which he had previously voiced skepticism.

He spoke approvingly of Trump’s plan to “temporarily suspend immigration from countries compromised by terrorism,” even though he had expressed distaste in the past for his running mate’s call to temporarily ban Muslim visitors or immigrants.


Hillary Clinton, Democrats raise $82 million, outpace Donald Trump and RNC

Hillary Clinton’s joint fundraising operation with the Democratic National Committee has raised nearly $82 million since April, adding to its war chest with less than four months until election day.

The joint committee, Hillary Victory Fund, has about $42 million in the bank, according to a report for the filing period from April through June submitted to the Federal Election Commission on Friday night.

By contrast, a similar fundraising operation between Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee, which consists of two committees, Trump Victory and Trump Make America Great Again Committee, raked in about $32 million for the same filing period. The committees were formed in late May and did not have a full quarter to raise cash, ending it with about $18 million in the bank.

In recent months, Trump, who throughout the primary lacked a serious fundraising infrastructure, has ramped up his solicitations for donations by attending several fundraisers across the country. On Thursday, he was in Bel-Air for a fundraiser for his campaign and the RNC, where attendees donated between $2,700 and $449,400 per person.

Yet Trump, his allies and the RNC have not doled out much money on advertising in critical swing states. Instead, the billionaire businessman has opted for holding large rallies where he sometimes speaks for more than an hour on a host of issues.

A recent report from NBC News/SMG Delta, a firm that tracks ad spending, showed Clinton and her backers, which include the super PAC Priorities USA, having doled out $45 million on ads so far in the general election. In contrast, Trump and his allies have spent about $3 million, based on the report.

Clinton’s and Trump’s individual campaigns will have to file FEC reports next week that show how much they raised for the quarter.


Donald Trump’s new campaign logo was mocked so much that it got quickly replaced

Has the much-mocked Donald Trump-Mike Pence campaign logo been reimagined? On Friday, the Trump team released a logo touting the vice-presidential pick. But some observers noted that the interlocking letters of the design were inadvertently suggestive.

Another new logo debuted early Saturday atop a fundraising missive sent during Trump’s introduction of Pence as his running mate. The redesign is more straightforward, providing less fodder for bawdy jokesters:

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After the announcement, a Trump-Pence family photo


How’s that Trump-Pence chemistry?


Mike Pence debuts on the Republican ticket: ‘Donald Trump gets it’

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence made his debut as Donald Trump’s running mate Saturday by lavishing praise on Trump as someone who has tapped into Americans’ desires “like no leader since Ronald Reagan.”

“I accept your invitation to run and serve as vice president of the United States of America,” Pence told Trump after the latter gave a long-winded introduction.

Pence then spoke to Trump’s political appeal.

“The American people are tired. We’re tired of being told that this is as good as it gets. Tired of having politicians in both parties in Washington, D.C., tell us we’ll get to your problems tomorrow,” Pence said.

Channeling Reagan, the former congressman railed against an “intellectual elite” in Washington determining the nation’s policies.

“Donald Trump gets it, and he understands the American people,” Pence said.


Pence Trump non-endorsement

It was the single greatest non-endorsement I’ve had in my whole life.

— Donald Trump, on Gov. Mike Pence’s endorsement of Sen. Ted Cruz before the Indiana GOP primary in May. Pence, of course, is now Trump’s running mate.


Donald Trump gloats about beating back fellow Republicans

Donald Trump was clearly pleased with how the anti-Trump effort failed at a key GOP panel Thursday night. Republican officials swatted back an effort to let delegates vote freely at next week’s convention, a move that could have imperiled Trump’s nomination.

Trump lamented Saturday that the committee vote was held late at night, but crowed about how decisive his team’s victory was.

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Where’s Mike Pence?


Trump kicks off Pence announcement by addressing violence in France and Turkey

Following a tumultuous 48 hours of international news, Donald Trump kicked off his vice-presidential announcement with a brief foray into foreign policy.

Addressing the terrorist attack in Nice, France, that killed at least 84, Trump said the world is experiencing “horror beyond belief, no matter where you look. And now it’s happening more and more, and it’s never going to stop.”

“We need new leadership, we need new thinking. We need, in our country, law and order,” Trump said. “And if I’m elected president, that will happen.”

He then pivoted to the violent attempted coup in Turkey, where his comments were notably more vague.

“It looks like they’re resolving the difficulty. I wish them well,” said Trump of the Turks. “There was a lot of anguish last night but hopefully it’ll all work out.”

Trump quickly accused President Obama and his former secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, of implementing failed policies that helped lead to the chaos abroad.

“Every single thing they touched has turned to horrible, horrible death-defying problems,” Trump said.


Donald Trump: ‘Pence was my first choice’

Donald Trump was unequivocal Saturday that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was his top pick for a running mate.

“I’ve found the leader who will help us deliver a safe society and really prosperous society,” Trump said.

“Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was my first choice,” he added.

Earlier Saturday, Trump pushed back on reports that he was waffling at the last minute between his final contenders, which included former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

As Mark Z. Barabak and Michael Finnegan report, the already frenzied speculation around vice presidential picks was heightened this week by Trump’s penchant for unpredictability.

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Trump takes stage for his first appearance with his running mate – by himself


No escalators, but a nearby tattoo expo: Views from the Trump-Pence announcment


Hillary Clinton plans quick action on campaign finance if elected president

(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

Hillary Clinton will promise Saturday to introduce a constitutional amendment intended to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision within the first month of taking office if she is elected president, according to a campaign official.

The pledge, which the presumptive Democratic nominee will unveil in a video at Netroots, a conference for liberal activists, sets a timetable for pushing an idea that Clinton has suggested throughout the primary.

The Citizens United decision, issued in 2010, is perhaps the most prominent of several court cases that helped unleash a flood of spending by big donors, corporations and others in recent elections.

Overturning the decision with a constitutional amendment would be a difficult task, especially because Republicans have opposed stronger limits on campaign financing. The proposal would need to be approved by two-thirds of each house of Congress, and then by three-fourths of state legislatures.

Clinton also wants new legislation to strengthen disclosure rules and new regulations that would require publicly traded companies to inform shareholders about political spending.

In addition, her plan includes an executive order that would require federal contractors to disclose their political spending, a step that would not require congressional approval.


Donald Trump misses a big opportunity to promote his running mate pick

Hours after Donald Trump revealed that Mike Pence would be his running mate, the silver-haired Indiana governor occupied prominent space on a presidential campaign website. The only problem: The website was Hillary Clinton’s.

Clinton’s team published a page attacking Pence almost immediately after the announcement, describing Trump’s pick as a “would-be disaster for America.”

Meanwhile, on Trump’s website, mention of the Indiana governor was practically invisible, save for an automatic stream of the real estate mogul’s Twitter feed far at the bottom of the page.

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Opinion: Republicans gather in Cleveland with a high potential for chaos

(David Horsey / Los Angeles Times )

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