Paul Manafort says Trump picked Pence as VP for ‘party unity’ and ‘to help build a program that could get through Congress and become law in first 100 days’
Splashing lots of common sense this weekend on the choice of Indiana Governor Mike Pence to be 2016 Presidential presumptive nominee Donald Trump’s running mate, Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort explained in an interview with Chris Wallace of “Fox News Sunday” that while the two men are not expected to “see eye-to-eye on everything,” Pence was chosen for three big reasons.
Manafort cited “the mess that has been created by the people in Washington,” and stated that they need to be removed. He also revealed that Trump asked Pence to be the Vice Presidential running mate on Wednesday and Pence had gone to New York not for shopping but to be announced as such by Trump. However, Trump and Manafort were in California and because of the “tragedy” in the world they held off on the political announcement, which some took to mean Trump was not sure about his choice.
Pence could become President on ‘Day One’
Pence was not in New York to go shopping, Manafort told host Wallace. And in fact, Trump chose Pence not just for “party unity,” he said, but for three other important reasons. The first reason being Pence will be able to be “President on day one” if need be, and two being that the Indiana Governor could help build a program that could “get through Congress and become law in the first 100 days.”
The third criteria, revealed Manafort, was that Pence understands and has been inside of “the system.” That seems important because clearly Trump has been in business for most of his life.
Regarding Trump’s “temperament,” Manafort answered that Trump is clearly “upset” about “failed” leadership. On the question of the two men being so different on social issues, and what could be said to moderates and liberals in the expanding Republican Party, Manafort stated that Pence “is a man of principle.” (Note: Pence was listed over in an Esquire article from 2008 for running against “the oily John Boehner” and being “one of the most principled members, from either party.”)
Times have changed of course, but some history may be pertinent for the choice of Mike Pence this year. William Kristol, over at the NationalReview in 2009, once touted Pence as a person to challenge Indiana Senator Evan Bayh in a 2010 race, saying Pence “could make the race competitive.” When Representative Mike Pence challenged John Boehner for the minority leadership position in 2006, he lost, per the story at NBC from that year.
Manafort now says Pence is somebody who believes in “using the U.S. Constitution to defend the rights of all people,” and further, Manafort believes Pence and Trump agree that the “system” is “rigged” and this is a serious issue for many Americans.
Regarding the general “Huh, what?” reaction to Pence, Manafort said what Trump observed in Governor Pence was “exactly the kind of leadership” that Trump wants to bring to Washington. “So, Governor Pence complements Donald Trump.”
The question arose of the Governor’s initial reaction to Trump’s proposed Muslim immigration ban and Manafort played that one down, saying the men do agree there is a crisis, Manafort said.
“They both agree there needs to be a ban on terrorist countries until we figure things out, but on the issues you’re raising they are not disagreeing on fundamental things.”
NAFTA was supposed to be reviewed
On the issue of free trade, Manafort stated that “Pence agrees on fair and free trade.” But he pushed back on the media notions regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement which was a deal signed for Canada, Mexico, and the United States and took effect in 1994.
NAFTA is a situation that needs to be reviewed, according to Manafort. He then informed Wallace that there are “clauses in the law,” which state there are supposed to be “review periods, and they’ve never been reviewed.”
And, finally, as writer Robert Costa sums up perfectly on the subject, over at the WashingtonPost, “[i]n Pence’s favor is that, as a low-key Midwesterner and seasoned Republican, he would give Trump someone with governing experience and a running mate who presented voters with a temperamental and ideological contrast. A former talk-radio host and evangelical Christian who reveres Ronald Reagan, Pence has long couched his politics in the cadence of movement conservatism. Over the past decade, he has twice considered running for the White House before ultimately deciding against it.”