(Video above: Yellowhammer’s Cliff Sims interviews Indiana Gov. Mike Pence)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — News began to leak Thursday morning that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will likely be announced as Donald J. Trump’s running mate during a Friday morning press conference.
With over a decade of experience in Congress and a full term as Governor of Indiana under his belt, Pence is expected to bring decades of conservative street cred — particularly on social issues — to the Trump ticket.
In 2014, Pence visited Alabama for a Republican Party event and sat down with Yellowhammer’s Cliff Sims for a one-on-one interview prior to the event.
At the time Pence was being floated as a possible presidential contender, and Sims pressed him on whether he was going to run for re-election or make a national run.
“People who know me well know that I’m not a longterm planner,” Pence said. “I tend to think stay focused on the job that’s in front of you, stay focused on the people on Indiana and my future will take care of itself.”
Pence ultimately opted against a presidential run himself, but told Sims his time in Congress and as a state’s chief executive would uniquely prepare him for what now may be a role in a Trump administration. He also laid out a vision for Republican leadership in Washington, D.C., that would focus on returning power to the states.
“I was privileged to represent our state in our nation’s capital, and I will always cherish those years,” he explained. “Being a member of the Congress and being the chief executive of the great state of Indiana are two different types of leadership. I’ve learned so much and felt very privileged to be governor of my state at such a time as this.
“There are some people who say the next president ought to be a governor, and I’m certainly sympathetic to that view,” he laughed. “Let me say, all joking aside, I really do believe my experience in Washington and now my experience leading the state of Indiana tells me that the cure for what ails this country is going to come more from our state capitols than it ever will from our nation’s capitol… States are particularly well suited to craft the kind of policies that will encourage investment, create economic growth, create educational attainment and improve the quality of life of our citizens. I really do believe that renewed Republican majorities in Washington, D.C., and a new administration should make it their aim not merely to cut government spending in Washington, but we must demand that any new Republican leadership in Washington permanently reduce the size and scope of the federal government by restoring to the states the resources and the flexibility that is rightfully theirs under the Constitution.”
Trump has not been very specific about what he is looking for in a running mate, but did suggest to MSNBC’s Morning Joe team that someone with inside-the-Beltway experience could be helpful. Pence served in Congress for six terms.
“I think I’ll probably go the political route,” said Trump. “Somebody that can help me with legislation and somebody that can help me get things passed and somebody that’s been friends with the senators and the congressmen and all.”
Trump’s vice presidential announcement is set to take place Friday morning in New York City. For more segments from Yellowhammer’s sit-down with Gov. Pence, check out the links below.