Trump vice president pick "in near future"; reports point to Pence

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump will make a decision "in the near future" about who will run with him as his vice presidential candidate amid US media reports Thursday that Indiana Governor Mike Pence would get the nod.

Washington publication Roll Call first reported that Trump would pick Pence, citing a Republican with direct knowledge of the decision.

The Indianapolis Star newspaper confirmed that Pence was Trump's pick and that Pence was dropping his reelection bid for governor in order to join Trump's team.

Other US media were more cautious, with broadcaster CNN reporting that Trump had not yet called Pence to offer him the job.

Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort said on Twitter shortly after the Roll Call report was released that "a decision will be made in the near future and the announcement will be tomorrow at 11 am (1500 GMT) in New York."

Trump met Wednesday in Indiana with Pence, as he has done with other candidates he has said are his top choices. Trump himself has said that Pence was among his top picks, along with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Pence, 57, has served as governor of the central US state of Indiana since 2013 and also represented the state in Congress for more than a decade.

Trump has signaled that he wants an experienced lawmaker to help his presidential ticket because he is a political outsider with no experience in governing.

Pence is seen as a fiscal and social conservative who can appeal to a broad swath of voters in centre-right party in a bid by Trump to make himself more palatable to some Republicans who have been wary of his candidacy.

He points to his work enacting the largest tax cut in state history and lowering business taxes, balancing the state's budget and efforts to draw businesses to the state.

As governor, Pence came under fire after signing a so-called religious freedom bill that opponents said would have allowed businesses to discriminate against gays, but he later revised the legislation.

Pence however has disagreed prominently with Trump on a number of issues, including speaking out against Trump's controversial call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States and on trade deals.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the top Republican in Congress who had been slow to endorse Trump, said he was a "big fan" of Pence.

Pence is in tight reelection bid for governor and if nominated as vice president would have to withdraw from that race.

Last update: Thu, 14/07/2016 - 20:49
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