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Breaking Down Trump's VP Announcement, On A Difficult Day


Donald Trump has ended weeks of speculation announcing today his choice for vice presidential running mate. It's Indiana Governor Mike Spence - excuse me - Mike Pence (laughter). For more, we've got NPR political editor Domenico Montanaro in our studio. Welcome.


MONTAGNE: Been a long morning.


MONTANARO: Long morning - long couple...

MONTAGNE: Now you can tell how well he is known.

MONTANARO: I guess our long veep speculation nightmare is over. It's been a - it's been a day.

MONTAGNE: At last - and, you know, there was a little bit of a trick to this. I mean, he delayed his decision because of these terrible attacks in Nice. But the event was meant to be 11 o'clock Eastern time this morning in New York. Instead, a half an hour ago, 11 o'clock Eastern Time, he tweeted it out. Why did he do that?

MONTANARO: Well, there was a very hard deadline. I mean, Mike Pence is not allowed to run for both governor and vice president. He was in New York in a hotel room that was flown out by the Trump campaign. And within a half an hour of now, at noon Eastern time, he would have had to have withdrawn or filed papers for re-election. So at some point, you know, there had to be maybe, like, a knock on the door from Pence or something that said, like, hey, you know, I kind of have to make a decision here.

MONTAGNE: Well, you know, Trump's campaign manager - chairman rather - speaking of the - of the delay in any event, or the talk about a delay, he said this was an emotional decision on Trump's part because of the Nice attacks. What does - what does that mean exactly?

MONTANARO: Well, I mean, you know, the Nice attacks happened right in the middle of all of this. And, you know, Trump was supposed to announce - have an announcement on stage with Pence or whoever the pick was going to be at 11 a.m. Eastern time this morning. But when Nice happened, Trump felt that it was inappropriate to have something that was not as big as the, you know, incident in Nice, which has been horrific. And he felt like that he might get some criticism for that, so he wanted to push it off. But he was stuck in this time frame that was, you know, cornering in Mike Pence. And if it was really going to be Pence, he needed to make this decision.

MONTAGNE: And why Pence?

MONTANARO: Well, look, Donald Trump going into this Republican National Convention certainly needs to shore up the conservative base of the party. Mike Pence will likely give that to him. He has a very different temperament than Donald Trump - soft spoken, certainly very conservative, however, and should not be, you know, just because he has a more moderate tone, to be thought of being somebody who has more moderate policies. That's not the case. But he's a heartland governor, somebody who's trusted by, you know, rank and file within the party and helps him going into this convention to, you know, allay any concerns that Trump wouldn't be a conservative.

MONTAGNE: All right, well, thanks very much.

MONTANARO: Thank you.

MONTAGNE: NPR's political editor Domenico Montanaro and on the news that Donald Trump's running mate will be Mike Pence. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Domenico Montanaro
Domenico Montanaro is NPR's senior political editor/correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage.
Renee Montagne
Renee Montagne, one of the best-known names in public radio, is a special correspondent and host for NPR News.
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