Donald Trump is leaning toward picking Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as the Republican vice presidential nominee, a senior Trump adviser told CNN on Thursday.
But until an offer is made and accepted, nothing is for certain in this very fluid situation. The Trump adviser cautioned Trump’s leaning could change.
The real estate mogul is slated to announce his decision Friday at 11 a.m. in New York, and multiple sources have said Trump’s shortlist is down to Pence, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Trump’s latest leaning comes after the billionaire spent 24 hours in Indiana where he spent much of his time with the conservative Indiana governor, who Tuesday evening joined Trump at a fundraiser, a rally and later dined with him. The two men also shared breakfast Wednesday morning at the governor’s residence, where they were joined by Trump’s adult children, who are all influential in Trump’s decision-making process.
A separate Trump adviser told CNN on Wednesday that Trump’s “gut” was pushing him to pick Christie, the outspoken New Jersey governor.
Pence’s selection would give Trump a running mate with strong ties to the Republican base — particularly social conservatives. As governor, he faced major political backlash over his decision to sign into law a “religious freedom” measure that infuriated major businesses that saw it as anti-LGBT. He also signed a restrictive anti-abortion measure into law.
He was among the first Republicans to embrace the tea party on Capitol Hill. Pence, as a former congressional leader, also has ties to the Koch brothers and other influential donors who have so far stayed away from Trump.