Who Is Mike Pence? 6 Things About Donald Trump’s Running Mate You Need To Know

Over the past few weeks, Donald Trump and his campaign have floated handfuls of individuals as potential running mates, from Trump’s personal manservant New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, to daughter Ivanka Trump, but according to a Thursday report by Roll Call, Trump decided his running mate will be Indiana’s governor. So, who is Mike Pence? Let’s take a look at the GOP’s likely VP candidate.

The Indiana governor has a reputation for discipline and authentic, tested conservatism (which, for whatever reason, is actually appealing to some) to balance Trump’s impulsiveness and questionable conservative values. It’s worth noting Trump has a history of saying literally anything to inspire outrage or get less educated people on board with him, leading some to question whether or not he really is a conservative at all.

Trump has previously told The Wall Street Journal he wants a VP who is a “fighter skilled in hand-to-hand combat,” which is a perfectly rational, sensible requirement for the second highest office in the land, since Trump’s “getting attacked from all sides,” and all. Calm, cool, and collected Pence doesn’t exactly fit this requirement, but here’s some additional proof he’s pretty much a lock: Pence is dropping his reelection bid for Indiana governor, and there’s really only one reason I can think of as to why he would do this.

1. Pence has plenty of legislative experience, which is both a good thing and a not-so-good thing.

mike pence
CREDIT: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Pence’s experience as a former congressman and chair of the House Republican conference could be appealing as a balance to Trump, who literally has none. But it could be far, far less appealing to Trump’s many supporters who have been taught by Trump himself to loathe the political establishment.

2. Pence has a long history of fighting for radically smaller government.

mike pence
CREDIT: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

On the plus side for Trump’s supporters and their pathological hatred for “establishment” government, Pence has a long history of fighting for a government even smaller than what traditional GOP leaders, and even former President George W. Bush, have advocated for. Pence opposed both Bush’s Medicare expansion and the No Child Left Behind policy, and in a 2011 interview, claimed he was “Tea Party before it was cool.”

3. Pence has previously disagreed with Trump about Muslim immigration.

George W. Bush isn’t the only one Pence has disagreed with. Pence has previously clashed with Trump himself, calling Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims from entering the U.S. “offensive and unconstitutional.” Whether or not this will cause problems for the duo, especially since Trump very recently rebooted this idea in the wake of the Orlando shooting, is to be seen.

4. He could give Trump’s fundraising a huge boost.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Holds Press Conference
CREDIT: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Trump has famously struggled to earn money for his campaign through supporter donations, but Pence could give him a huge boost. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Pence is “an effective fundraiser with close relationships to wealthy donors who have so far declined to back Trump.” Pence’s cool, conservative presence on Trump’s ticket might just sway them.

5. But he might not win Trump new support in Indiana.

Gov. Mike Pence
CREDIT: Bill Clark/Getty Images

Pence’s approval rating among Indiana voters in May was lower than 40 percent, and the first-term governor might just have lost his suspended reelection bid, anyway. Meanwhile, 42 percent disapproved of his job performance, and he had only a slight four-point edge over his Democratic opponent. Including Pence on his ticket isn’t likely to help Trump capture a lead over Clinton.

6. His views on abortion and LGBTQ rights are as conservative as they come.

Gov. Mike Pence
CREDIT: Bill Clark/Getty Images

Pence proudly signed into law Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which allowed discrimination against the LGBTQ community to protect the “religious freedom” of homophobes at the expense of gay people’s rights. Additionally, in March, Pence signed a measure prohibiting women from having abortions because of the “race, gender, or disability of the fetus.” The measure holds doctors legally liable for “wrongful death” for performing abortions for any of these reasons. Additionally, Pence dramatically cut Planned Parenthood funding, leading to many clinics closing and even an HIV outbreak in his state.

On the other side of the aisle, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has made social issues a focal point of her campaign, and will likely bring attention to Pence’s extreme stances and record.