Gov. Pence to meet with Donald Trump this weekend

Pence to meet with Trump: 6pm
Decision 2016: Gov Pence to Meet with Donald Trump
Chuck Todd on Pence/Trump
Pence Meeting with Trump
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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will meet with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump this weekend. Eyewitness News confirmed Gov. Pence has accepted a request to meet with Trump.

Earlier Friday, NBC News reporter Kelly O'Donnell tweeted that the two will meet this weekend. 

Up until this point, Gov. Pence has denied speaking with Trump about being the presidential candidate's running mate. NBC News has reported that the governor is still "in play" as a possible vice presidential pick.

Gov. Pence may have endorsed Ted Cruz in the Indiana primary, but the courtship between the governor and the billionaire started soon after that. In fact, NBC's Meet The Press host Chuck Todd says it started six weeks ago.

In an interview Friday afternoon, Todd told Eyewitness News, "I can tell you, Mike Pence has been very high on Trump's list for a long time. They've been keeping it more hush hush for a long time, because I think out of sensitivity to the fact Governor Pence is in the midst of a reelection campaign. Obviously if he somehow decided to go on the ticket that would cause a lot of issues in the state and all of that stuff. So that's why it's been extra hush hush and hasn't gotten around. But I can tell you, it's my understanding it was about six weeks ago that this courting process began."

"He's got the two most important things Trump is looking for in a running mate.  One - Washington experience and two - he's somebody social conservatives will be in love with.  Not just satisfied with but actually in love," added Todd.

Jeff Harris with Gregg for Governor says their campaign won't change, even with Trump courting Pence.

"It's about him. Not about Indiana," Harris said. "He's focused on national issues, not Indiana. When you hire a governor, you're hiring him to focus on our problems."

A candidate cannot run for governor and vice president at the same time. If the governor is offered and accepts the opportunity with Trump, he will have to make a choice - and so will the Republican party of Indiana.

"He's in a tough re-election battle. His re-elect is below 40 percent. His head to head and job approval numbers are below 40th percentile. This might be a real good career option," said Brian Howey, political columnist.


Eyewitness News reporter Kevin Rader asked Pence Thursday if he was being vetted by the Trump campaign.

"You would have to talk to their campaign about who they are looking at. I will cut to the chase. I have not spoken to Donald Trump since before the Indiana primary and I have never spoken to him about that topic," the governor said.
 

But NBC News reports both campaigns have been in "regular contact" with just three weeks until the GOP convention in Cleveland.

"Indiana is going to be supportive of Mike Pence running for whatever he wants to run for," said state GOP Chairman Jeff Cardwell told NBC News. "He's a proven leader in the Republican Party, and he's one that brings people together at all levels."

Pence says any consideration he may be getting for vice president is only because of Indiana's balanced budget, low taxes and record employment.

"This is a case that has nothing to do with Pence's ability at the ballot box. This is a case where Trump's vulnerability is with social conservatives. He's still trying to unite the party," said Todd.

Trump is expected to be back in Indiana for a fundraising event July 12.

"About a year or so ago we thought Mike Pence was about to run for president himself and then we had RFRA and that debacle and then presidential ambitions seemed to go out the window and here we are a year later, and now he is gunning to run for vice president. Once again he is putting personal ambition ahead of the state of Indiana," said John Zody, Indiana Democratic Party.