Donald Trump Has Picked His Sidekick
Even though yesterday Donald Trump said he was going to delay his Vice Presidential announcement after the terrorist attacks in Nice, France, he apparently forgot this declaration. Instead, Trump ended up tweeting today that he is choosing Governor Mike Pence of Indiana as his Vice President. While many were quick to laud the reality TV star for “finally taking the conventional approach” in picking Gov. Pence—Speaker Paul Ryan even said there is “no better choice” than Pence—it turns out that Mike Pence’s record as is full of Trump-like extremism. Here’s a quick overview of Trump’s new right-hand man, Mike Pence:
- Pence has championed discriminatory anti-LGBT policies: As governor of Indiana, Pence pushed for a broad Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a bill that made it easier to discriminate against LGBTQ Hoosiers. Championing the bill had significant consequences on the state’s economy: After RFRA passed, many businesses such as Apple, Angie’s List, Salesforce, and even the NCAA protested the discriminatory bill. Overall, it is estimated that Pence’s RFRA lost or put at risk over $250 million for Indiana. Pence created such a mess for Indiana with his RFRA bill that he had to hire a public relations firm to do damage control, which some report cost up to an additional $2 million for Indiana.
- As governor, Pence has severely limited a woman’s right to choose: This year, Gov. Pence signed HEA 1337, an incredibly anti-choice bill, which forced women to have particular justifications for seeking an abortion. Pence’s actions inspired women across Indiana and the country to start “Periods for Pence” in protest. The bill was later ruled unconstitutional and blocked from going into effect by a federal judge. This was not Pence’s only anti-choice action during his career: when he was in the U.S. House of Representatives, Pence co-sponsored a federal personhood amendment, led efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and also co-sponsored a bill that allowed hospitals to refuse women life-saving abortions.
- Like Trump, Pence is incredibly anti-immigrant: Based on his record, it appears Pence will fall in line with Trump’s “build a wall” immigration policies. Pence opposed comprehensive immigration reform in 2014, opposed a pathway to citizenship in 2010, supported revoking birthright citizenship for children of immigrants in 2009, and proposed deporting millions of immigrant families in 2006.
- Pence supports irresponsible foreign policy: Like Donald Trump, Pence’s views on foreign policies will likely make Americans less safe. While in the House, Pence made 56 speeches on the House floor to defend the Iraq War. He even delivered 15 speeches declaring “victory” in Iraq. As governor of Indiana, Pence joined other Republican governors to oppose the Iran nuclear deal.
In addition to these extreme positions, Pence believes that “smoking doesn’t kill,” is a climate denier, and has voted multiple times against strengthening equal pay protections.
BOTTOM LINE: Though many are trying to sell Gov. Mike Pence as the “conventional” vice presidential pick, in reality he is an opponent of immigrants, women, and LGBTQ Americans. Pence’s policies and record show he is extreme like Donald Trump.
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