This week, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump selected Indiana Governor Mike Pence to be his running mate in the upcoming 2016 Presidential election. Many have come out in full support of this decision. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin stated that Pence “comes from the heart of the conservative movement,” and that there is “no better choice for [the Republican] vice presidential candidate.” Florida Senator Marco Rubio tweeted out that Pence was a “rock solid” pick on Trump’s behalf, and Arizona Jeff Flake also tweeted out that Pence “adds a great deal to the ticket.” While Governor Mike Pence certainly adds another layer to the Trump campaign, it is important to evaluate his past record before placing faith in his future actions.
Governor Mike Pence was born in Columbus, Indiana; beginning in the early 2000’s, he was a Republican Congressman, and, more recently, he is known for his position as Governor of his home state of Indiana. While many have hailed his political career as emblematic of a quintessential “principled conservative,” his actions on certain issues would suggest quite the opposite. On the political topic of immigration, Pence has been highly questionable and at times flat out violated conservative principles; in 2013, as governor of Indiana, he signed into a law a bill that drastically lightened restrictions on illegal immigrants being unable to receive in-state tuition rates at state colleges and public universities within Indiana. Pence has defended his immigration policies with arguments raised by the Obama administration, as is made evident by his stating in interviews that America is simply “a nation of immigrants,” and that the restrictions against illegal immigrants, which his legislation ended, violated the ethos of our nation. Pence has also received much criticism for his policies on education. As Conservative Review points out, despite the fact that Indiana was one of the first states to opt out of Common Core, Governor Mike Pence implemented his own plan, which contained nearly identical standards, and was accused by certain conservatives of even implementing a plan that was more overbearing than the Obama Administration’s Common Core initiative. Pence also increased Medicaid under Obamacare in the state of Indiana, and lastly, in 2015, he completely gave into leftist intimidation and ruined any hope of restoring religious freedom in his home state.
Governor Mike Pence is clearly not without his faults, but, at the end of the day, Pence’s principles and policies really wont change anything. Despite his bumpy history with conservatism, Pence is a very likable and well spoken man. Since the role of the Vice President is quite possibly the least demanding of all political positions within the federal government, personality and professionalism is really all Pence needs if he were to one day hold that office.