Trump introduces Pence as unifier

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Donald Trump formally unveiled Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate Saturday, calling him the key to unifying the Republican Party after a tumultuous primary season.

“One of the biggest reasons I’ve chosen Mike, one of the reasons is party unity, I have to be honest,” Trump said before introducing Pence at the Hilton Midtown in New York. 

{mosads}In an extended 28-minute introduction speech in which Trump talked more about Hillary Clinton and his primary victories than his new running mate, Trump called Pence his first choice and praised his governorship in Indiana. 

“He fights for the people, and he’s going to fight for you. He’s a solid, solid person.” 

“He’s really got the skills of a highly talented executive, leading the state of Indiana to jobs, growth and opportunity despite the obstacles in his state’s way … by the way of the Obama administration,” Trump said. “Mike Pence is a man of honor, character and honesty.” 

Still, Trump couldn’t keep from steering back to Clinton, vowing to make her “pay the price” come election day for using a personal email server while secretary of State.

“While she didn’t pay the price she should have, she’s going to pay that price when Nov. 8 comes around. She’s going to pay it at the polls, believe me.” 

“Hillary is a weak person. We are the law and order candidates, and we are the law and order party. We’re going to change things around. There’s going to be respect again for law and order,” Trump said. 

Trump went off on a number of tangents, including one where he trashed the NAFTA trade deal and called those who supported it “stupid,” even though Pence himself supported it. 

“NAFTA, signed by Bill Clinton, has drained our manufacturing jobs … NAFTA is the worst economic deal in the history of our country,” Trump said. 

Trump found himself jumping back and forth between introducing Pence and addressing other topics, pausing at one point to praise his own popularity among veterans and evangelicals. 
“I dominated with the evangelicals. They know I’m going to get things done. They’re very smart,” Trump said. “Thank the evangelicals. Without the evangelicals, I couldn’t have won the nomination. 

Trump originally planned to make the announcement at an event Friday, but said he canceled it after the terror attacks in Nice, France. Still, he sent out a tweet Friday afternoon announcing Pence as his pick.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were also reportedly on the shortlist. 

When Pence finally took the stage, he introduced himself as a “Christian, conservative and a Republican, in that order.”

Pence, who was also a House lawmaker from 2001 to 2013, could improve Trump’s conservative bona fides and help appeal to the party’s base. 

He would full Trump’s need for someone who could work with Congress from the executive branch, and he would also do much to shore up Trump’s relationships with social conservatives and GOP officials.
“I thank Donald Trump for the confidence you’ve placed in us, and I accept your invitation to run and serve as vice president of the United States of America,” Pence said after his introduction.
He followed Trump’s usual lines of attack against Clinton, painting her as corrupt, elite and out of touch with the rest of the country.
“Elections are about choices, and I also joined this ticket because the choice could not be more clear, the stakes could not be higher,” Pence said.
“Americans can choose a leader who will fight to make America safe and prosperous again and bring real change, or we can elect someone who literally personifies the failed establishment in Washington, D.C.”
– Updated at 12:25 p.m.
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