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:
CLEVELAND — 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.