Trump Vice-Presidential Announcement Delayed

In the wake of last night’s apparent terrorist attack in Nice, Donald Trump’s campaign has delayed the announcement of the candidate’s running mate announcement, but we should know by early this afternoon if it really is Indiana Governor Mike Pence:

In a stunning move late Thursday, Donald Trump said he was scrapping his plans to announce a running mate because of the terrorist attack in southern France, following a day of strong signals that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was the likely choice.

Throughout the day, aides to Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, were preparing to formally announce Pence as the vice-presidential candidate at a news conference in New York on Friday morning. But by early evening, Trump said that he had yet to make a “final, final decision” between Pence and two other candidates, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.).

With the Republican National Convention just days away, it was unclear when Trump would finalize or announce his selection. But he won an important victory as Republicans setting the rules of next week’s convention squashed attempts to rob him of the GOP nomination.

Trump cited the attack in Nice as his reason for postponing his vice-presidential announcement, although that was the only part of his campaign he was suspending. On Thursday night, he continued with fundraising events in California, and he called in to two Fox News Channel broadcasts for interviews.

Pence was spotted Thursday evening in New York, an indication that he had been chosen, while Gingrich had no plans to be in the city, according to several Republicans familiar with the process.

Trump sparked intense speculation as he held off throughout the day on notifying Pence or any other potential picks of his decision, said these Republicans, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the confidentiality of the ongoing talks.

As of now there’s no word on when any announcement would be rescheduled to, although Trump’s son Donald Jr. apparently hinted during an interview that it would likely be Saturday. In any even, though, there is a deadline relevant to this process that comes up well before Saturday afternoon and it concerns Pence himself. Under Indiana law, if Pence is going to withdraw from the race for Governor in time to allow Indiana’s GOP to select a replacement, he must do so by Noon today. Beyond that deadline, any effort to get off the ballot could end up involving court action the outcome of which would be up in the air for several weeks to say the least. Since Pence cannot legally be on the ballot for two separate offices at the same time under Indiana law, this would present a real problem for the Trump campaign and Indiana Republicans. One suspects that Pence will go ahead with filing the paperwork in question even absent an official announcement from the Trump campaign assuming that he’s gotten the proper assurances that he is in fact Trump’s selection. If he doesn’t file the paperwork, though, then that will lead to speculation that Trump had changed his mind at the last minute.

So, stay tuned.


FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Hal_10000 says:

    I’m on tenterhooks wondering which idiot is going to have his name nailed to Trump for the rest of his life.

  2. Mu says:

    They have an agreement in principal, it’s just coming down to the nitty gritty contract details. Trump wants Pence to have to serve him breakfast in bed every morning, the Pence camp insists he gets one day off a week.

  3. CSK says:


    Apparently it’s Pence. Career suicide.

  4. An Interested Party says:

    Trump wants Pence to have to serve him breakfast in bed every morning, the Pence camp insists he gets one day off a week.

    If Pence agrees to that, what will be left for Chris Christie to do…

  5. Greg says:

    Pence it is:

  6. SKI says:


    Apparently it’s Pence. Career suicide.

    Not sure there was much of a career left to kill. When he proposed the RFRA anti-gay bill and then, facing backlash, backed down, he ticked off both the wingnuts and the moderates. He was no lock to win re-election.

    Plus, depending on how he campaigns, he may be able to push the loss off on Trump and have a case for 2020. I doubt it, given his general dumbness, but its possible.

  7. CSK says:


    Good point. I wonder how many people to whom Trump sent out inquiries shrieked in horror at the prospect of sharing a ticket with him?

    As a side note, this delaying-the announcement-out-of-respect-for-the-Nice-victims shtick may be the most transparently sleazy stunt Trump has pulled yet. “Respect,” my keister. Trump just wanted to be at the top of the news cycle.

  8. Moosebreath says:

    On the other hand, Pence is in many ways the anti-Trump within the parameters of Republican thought:

    “Pence has dissented, at times forcefully, from the positions Trump used to win the nomination. He has endorsed free trade enthusiastically throughout his career, and worked with the George W. Bush administration to enact immigration reform. He called Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigrants “offensive and unconstitutional.” In his state’s primary, he endorsed Ted Cruz, then the vehicle for Republicans desperate to derail Trump’s nomination. Pence is also an evangelical Christian, a constituency that was one of Trump’s weakest during the primary.

    Accordingly, among Republicans, enthusiasm for Pence is nearly a perfect reverse-indicator for their initial enthusiasm for Trump. Paul Ryan has praised Pence unreservedly. Conservatives who have declared their unwillingness to support Trump have showered his vice-presidents with bouquets. Pence would be the “best choice Donald Trump’s made so far,” says Senator Jeff Flake. William Kristol calls him “a well-informed, principled free market conservative.” Conversely, right-wing writer Ann Coulter, who has thrilled to Trump’s nationalism and lambasted the party’s Washington elite, calls Pence Trump’s “first mistake.””

  9. SKI says:


    Trump just wanted to be at the top of the news cycle.

    Well, that may have been his gut instinct but, if so, he was dead wrong. First, he would have been top of the news regardless – as the coverage of his tweet proved. Second, Pence had to make it public by noon today (the deadline to withdraw from the Gov. race in IN). By delaying the news conference, all Trump did was allow the Clinton campaign to provide the media the only video (their oppo hit on Pence) for 24 hours.

    My bet is he threw a fit that there were leaks and acted impulsively.

  10. SKI says:

    @SKI: And now the other shoe drops

    Scoop: @realDonaldTrump was so unsure about @mike_pence that around midnight last night he asked top aides if he could get out of it— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) July 15, 2016

  11. CSK says:


    “Threw a fit…and acted impulsively.”

    Sounds like a swell augury, doesn’t it?

  12. SKI says:

    @CSK: I don’t know about swell but it sounds accurate. 🙁

  13. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @SKI: He was worried that even though Pence is shorter, his hands might be bigger and wanted the measurement checked.