When Donald Trump met and sized up Indiana Gov. Mike Pence for vice president, he did not see a mirror image of himself.
Pence supported Ted Cruz for president. He has been a proponent of free trade. He slammed Trump’s proposed Muslim ban as “offensive and unconstitutional.” He wrote a confessional article renouncing negative campaigning tactics, which the insult-hurling Trump revels in.
If Pence is indeed Trump’s choice, as CNN and ABC News reported late Thursday, it adds to the ticket government experience — Pence also served 10 years the House.
He is also a more doctrinaire conservative, which could reassure Republicans and right-leaning independents leery about the New York mogul. But Trump may have explaining to do to his core supporters on how he reconciles his views with those of his running mate.
Trump postponed the scheduled Friday morning announcement in Manhattan of his vice presidential pick because of the terrorist truck attack that killed dozens in Nice, France.
He went on Fox News, vowing to “not allow people to come in from terrorist nations.” He said, “I haven’t made my final, final decision” on a running mate. That’s just a few hours after Pence arrived in New York.
It’s the third time in little over a month that Trump, Hillary Clinton or both have shelved or altered plans because of mass-casualty attacks. It happened after the killing of five Dallas police officers and the slaughter of 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando. But there might be, as the candidate would put it, a bit more to "what's really going on," given reports of peevishness and chaos in the Trump camp.
Newt's 'mentally-correct' proposal
Having big government regulate people's inner thoughts may sound -- certainly to most "conservatives" -- unconstitutional, or anti-libertarian, or anti-American, or all of the above.
But after another mass murder, Trump ally Newt Gingrich reiterated his old proposal that the U.S. "test" every person of Muslim background to see if they believe in Sharia law -- and deport those who do. He also blamed President Barack Obama for the carnage.
That sinking feeling
A CBS News/New York Times poll — with Trump and Clinton in a dead heat at 40% each — provided strong new evidence of what other surveys have pointed to this week: The FBI’s finding in its email investigation that Clinton was “extremely careless” is hurting her candidacy.
Clinton pollster Joel Benenson told The Washington Post that “there will be blips up and down along the way.” Election-forecasting guru Nate Silver has boosted his estimate of Trump’s chances of winning from 22% to 33.7% since Monday.
The take-away: Worse and worser
They’re not with her so much as they are against him. Or vice versa. Newsday’s Dan Janison writes that this election will decide whether Clinton or Trump is luckier for having the other as an opponent.
Ginsburg overrules herself
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has taken back her denunciation of Trump. “My recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them,” she said in a statement. Ginsburg was widely criticized for intruding into politics.
For his part, Trump shows little reticence in weighing in on others’ legal matters. He told the Washington Examiner that the sexual harassment allegations against Fox News boss Roger Ailes by former anchor Gretchen Carlson “are unfounded, just based on what I’ve read.”
The sadness of Chris Christie
If Pence is Trump’s choice, it will be a blow to his frequent sidekick, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who made no secret that he really, really wanted it.
“I’m a competitive person, so I’m not gonna say it won’t bother me if I’m not selected,” he told MSNBC.
What else is happening
- Clinton campaigned with Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine in what was seen as a road test for his vice-presidential prospects. “Do you want a trash-talking president or a bridge-building president?” he asked a crowd in a Washington suburb.
- The speakers list for the Republican convention looks light on star power but strong on the potential for verbal fireworks, Politico says.
- Trump said 'even my Jews' used to say "Merry Christmas!" when he appeared before an evangelical group -- at least according to supporter MIchelle Bachmann (at 2:29 in this video).
- Fear stalks the Cleveland convention planners, concerned about violence at the Republican fete....
- A speakers’ list surprise is that Sarah Palin is not on it. Trump gave an odd explanation to the Washington Examiner — that the much-traveled Alaskan lives too far from Cleveland — “It’s a long ways away.”
- An impasse between the Republican National Committee and conservatives is raising the chances of a floor fight at the convention on future party rules.
- Bernie Sanders has a deal for a book that will include reflections on his campaign. It will come out after Election Day.
- Pokemon Go has gone political. Clinton’s campaign is using the app to register voters. Trump’s campaign portrayed Clinton as a Pokemon monster to be captured.