Trump’s VP reinforces campaign’s pro-Israel bonafides
Indiana Governor and former Congressman Mike Pence solidifies support among social conservatives, pro-Israel community.
JTA – On Saturday, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump finally made his choice of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a pro-Israel stalwart and conservative Christian, official as his 2016 campaign running mate.
“I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate. News conference tomorrow at 11:00 A.M.,” the presumptive Republican nominee tweeted Friday afternoon.
Trump had previously postponed a Friday morning news conference during which he had been expected to announce his running mate, out of deference to the terrorist attack in Nice, France.
Pence, 57, emerged quickly as a leader on pro-Israel issues during his 12 years in Congress from 2001 to 2013, where he rose rapidly in the GOP caucus leadership, chairing the Republican Conference in his penultimate term, 2011-2013.
He led a number of bids to place conditions on funding for the Palestinian Authority, and in 2007 he joined then-Rep. Ron Klein, D-Fla., in convening the Congressional Anti-Semitism Task Force.
Pence has continued his pro-Israel advocacy as Indiana governor, earlier this year signing one of the most robust state laws targeting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
Pence is known as a social conservative and Evangelical Christian. He opposes abortion rights as well as gay marriage. He signed a measure in March prohibiting abortions based on “sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, or disability, including Down syndrome.” In 2015, he signed a bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to customers based on their sexual orientation. Following protest, he signed a revised version of the law that prohibited such discrimination.
He has notably said he dislikes negative campaigning, which may blunt some of the sharp edge of Trump’s rhetoric.
Speaking at a Republican Jewish Coalition event last year, Pence faced pointed questioning from Matthew Brooks, the RJC’s executive
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