Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence participated in a rally Tuesday in Indiana. Photo: Getty
Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump announced Friday that he has chosen Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to be his vice presidential candidate.
Trump’s tweeted the announcement after he said that he would postpone the 11 a.m. press conference he had scheduled for Friday for his running-mate reveal. Trump said he has moved that to Saturday at 11 a.m. because of the terror attack in Nice, France.
Trump offered the vice presidential spot to Pence Thursday, and the governor boarded a plane for New York in anticipation of a Friday announcement, according to a Republican with knowledge of the process. But shortly after Pence arrived, Trump abruptly said he was postponing an announcement because of the deadly attack in Nice, France, that left more than 80 people dead.
The delay sparked speculation that the notoriously unpredictable Trump might make a last minute change. But the businessman put those questions to rest Friday when he tweeted that he was "pleased" to announce Pence as his No. 2.
Pence's re-election prospects in Indiana added to the drama surrounding Trump's decision.
State law prohibits candidates from being on ballots in two contests, and Pence faced a noon Friday deadline for withdrawing from the governor's race. Trump's announcement came about an hour before that deadline.
Minutes after Trump tweeted, one of the governor's aides filed the paperwork with the Indiana Secretary of State's office.
Since taking office in 2013, Pence has presided over Indiana's improving economy and falling unemployment rate, which Republicans credit to the state's low taxes, limited regulation and pro-business climate. Yet his popularity at home has tumbled and re-election was not guaranteed.
Pence has been a vocal Trump supporter since he clinched the Republican nomination, will turn his attention toward helping the real estate mogul defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in November. Even without Pence, Trump has been closing the gap.
A new CBS News/New York Times poll released this week shows Clinton and Trump tied at 40 percent just one month after Clinton had a 6 percentage point lead. Yet, projections based on state polls suggest Clinton has an advantage, albeit a diminishing one.
Trump appeared to have winnowed the field of potential running mates from about 10 people last week in a fashion that some have compared to a reality-TV show, complete with auditionlike campaign appearances. Aside from Pence, the other favorites were former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.