INDIANAPOLIS, July 1 (UPI) — Add Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to the growing list of people said to be under consideration by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as he considers his choice for a running mate in the fall.
Citing an anonymous source, NBC News reported Friday that Pence is under consideration for the vice presidential nomination by Trump, one person on a list that’s included eight or more names over the past several weeks.
Others thought to be under consideration include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as top contenders, according to The Washington Post. Those two have been asked to submit personal financial documents to be vetted by the campaign, a step not taken with other candidates, including Pence, the Post said.
Pence told reporters in Indianapolis he has not had any direct conversations with Trump since before the Indiana primary in April, when Pence endorsed Trump’s rival, Sen. Ted Cruz.
“You’d have to talk to [Trump’s] campaign about who they’re looking at or who they’re not looking at,” Pence said of the speculation.
Pence could help Trump ease concerns among some conservatives about his core values. Pence is a stout conservative who, before becoming governor four years ago was a six-term congressman with a highly conservative voting record. As governor, Pence signed a controversial “religious freedom” bill supported by evangelicals in Indiana, which prohibits business owners from being sued if they do not want to provide services, such as those for gay weddings, that violate their religious beliefs.
Pence told the Indianapolis Star he would not comment on a “hypothetical” nod as the GOP’s vice presidential nominee.
“I think any attention on us is more a reflection of the progress we are making in this state,” Pence said. “Indiana really stands out as a state with a balanced budget, with low taxes, with the right investments in infrastructure, education and healthcare. And with record employment, I really do believe that any mention of me in any context at that level is as much a compliment to the people of Indiana and what we’ve accomplished together as anything else.”
Pence is presently running in a tight re-election campaign for governor against Democrat John Gregg, a bid he would likely have to end if he were to join the ticket.
Pence narrowly defeated Gregg to win the governorship four years ago.