Who is Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Governor Mike Pence?

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Who is Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Governor Mike Pence?


Mr. Pence is opposed to granting amnesty for people who have come to the United States without authorization. He has supported increased border security measures, strict enforcement of laws prohibiting unauthorized residents from working in the United States and a government-run guest worker program that would place prospective immigrants with employers who cannot find American workers to fill open jobs. Earlier this year, he sought to bar the resettlement of Syrian refugees in his state.

Gay Rights

Mr. Pence, who has supported numerous legislative efforts to ban same-sex marriage in Indiana, was at the center of the national debate over so-called religious freedom laws that critics said could make it easier for businesses to refuse service to gay couples. As a congressman, Mr. Pence opposed federal funding that would support treatment for people suffering from H.I.V. and AIDS, unless the government simultaneously invested in programs to discourage people from engaging in same-sex relationships. He also resisted changes to hate-crime laws that that would have included acts against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and he opposed the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” a Clinton administration policy that allowed closeted L.G.B.T. people to serve in the military.


As governor, Mr. Pence signed into law several regulations that add broad limits to women’s access to abortions. He approved a bill in March that outlawed abortions based on a fetus’s “race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, or diagnosis or potential diagnosis of the fetus having Down syndrome or any other disability.” The bill led to backlash on social media from opponents of the regulation. Mr. Pence also called for an investigation of Planned Parenthood after footage leaked by abortion rights opponents that outraged many abortion rights advocates. The videos turned out to have been altered by the people who released them and the videographers were later indicted on a charge of tampering with a government record.

Foreign Policy

Mr. Pence’s foreign policy views mesh well with Mr. Trump’s “America First” framework, which is built around the idea of a robust American military. The Indiana governor called for big increases in military spending during a speech in 2015 and he has criticized Democrats who do not use the phrase “Islamic extremism” when discussing jihadists. As a member of Congress, where he was on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Pence was a strong supporter of Israel and a proponent of tough interrogation measures for prisoners at Guantánamo Bay. Mr. Pence voted to authorize military action in Iraq in 2002 and opposed proposals to set a date to withdraw troops from Iraq.

Gun Rights

Mr. Pence has received an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association, which has financially supported his campaigns for the House and for governor. He supports a national right to carry a firearm in public and in 2004, as a member of the House, he voted to repeal gun control laws in Washington, D.C. He wrote on Twitter in June that he “will always be a strong proponent of the Second Amendment.”


Mr. Pence has said he supports free trade, but he has also raised concern over the enforcement of trade agreements with China. Specifically, he asked the federal government to investigate allegations that Chinese steel companies were dodging tariffs in deals with American businesses. As governor, Mr. Pence visited nations like Japan and Germany on trade missions meant to stoke Indiana’s trade relationships with international businesses.

Economy and Budget

The Cato Institute, a libertarian-leaning group, called Mr. Pence a “champion tax cutter” and lauded his “frugal” spending record. As governor, he repealed Indiana’s inheritance tax and lowered taxes on corporate income and business property. In 2010, Mr. Pence proposed a bill in the House that would have instituted a limit on federal spending, but the idea did not have enough support to pass.


In 2015, Governor Pence threatened to disobey the Obama administration’s orders to lower carbon emissions unless the regulations underwent extensive changes. Mr. Pence said the regulations would “raise electricity costs on Hoosiers, result in less reliable electricity and impede economic growth and prosperity in Indiana and the rest of the country.” He said the Clean Power Plan was “ill conceived and poorly constructed,” and he accused the Environmental Protection Agency of going beyond its legal authority in enacting the rules under the plan. Under Governor Pence, Indiana joined several other states that have tried to block the Clean Power Plan in court.


Mr. Pence was one of only 25 Republican congressmen who voted against President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind policy. As governor, he challenged conservative Republicans in the State Senate to support legislation to establish a preschool program that would primarily serve children in poor families. He vocally supported school choice, locally set learning standards, and pushed to direct state support toward technical and vocational education programs.

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