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NY Times: Trump's Grounded Plane a Lucky Break for Pence in VP Race

Image: NY Times: Trump's Grounded Plane a Lucky Break for Pence in VP Race
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By    |   Saturday, 16 Jul 2016 08:42 PM

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence won the No. 2 slot on Donald Trump's ticket over a frenzied three weeks that began in earnest on Tuesday after the presumptive Republican nominee's private plane was grounded in Indianapolis because of mechanical problems.

Trump flew his children to the city — and Pence and his wife, Karen, "hosted the family for breakfast on Wednesday morning at the Tudor-style Governor’s Mansion," The New York Times reports.

Over breakfast, Pence "delivered an uncharacteristically impassioned monologue" slamming both Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton, the Times reports, based on information from people "with direct knowledge of his remarks."

That sold the Trump camp, even persuading son-in-law Jared Kushner, a close adviser who supported former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Trump, however, did not make any forays until he and Pence talked on Wednesday night, according to the report.

The pair also campaigned together Tuesday night in Westfield, an Indianapolis suburb.

"You’re my guy," the developer said, a person briefed on the conversation told the Times.

"It is fair to describe the relationship as fairly new and quickly flourishing," said Kellyanne Conway, a pollster and senior adviser to both men.

They are not a natural pair, their close associates said.

"He tends to be very formal in public, and he had a reputation when he was in Congress of being a bit stiff," David Kensinger, a Republican strategist in Kansas and former Pence adviser, told the Times. "Pence is a man of 21st-century ideas and 19th-century manners."

The former governor served 12 years in the House of Representatives before he was elected to the Statehouse in 2012. He also is a former chairman of the House Republican Caucus.

Trump and Pence first met in the fall of 2011, when the Hoosier State politician approached the billionaire seeking a contribution to his gubernatorial campaign.

Trump sent a $2,500 check, but no personal friendship blossomed, the Times reports.

However, Trump aides reached out to Pence earlier this month — Pence said he would meet only as a courtesy — and they played golf together over the July Fourth Weekend at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.

Trump’s wife, Melania, and Karen Pence came along — and they all eventually had breakfast, joined by the Pence's daughter, Charlotte, 23, according to the report.

"The thing I think both of these men have in common is their preferred leisure time is to spend their time with their families," Conway told the Times.

Their wives, she said, "connected as mothers."

"Friends noticed a shift after the holiday weekend," the Times reports. "Pence no longer described conversations with the Trump campaign as a pro forma affair.

"Instead, he advised his allies that a spot on the national ticket, if offered, would be a hard prize to turn down."

During the primaries, Trump and Pence met at the Indiana Governor's Mansion in April before the state's primary.

That conversation "was perfunctory but pleasant," the Times reports.

Pence endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the race, but he did not attack Trump.

What also helped Pence was that his vetting was "completed quickly, with no red flags," according to the Times.

That differed from others reportedly under consideration, including Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who had been tarnished by the Bridge-gate scandal.

In addition, "Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa was inexperienced and evoked unflattering comparisons to Sarah Palin," according to the Times. "Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee had a rough audition with Trump, and Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama would face scrutiny of his record on race."

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence won the No. 2 slot on Donald Trump's ticket over a frenzied three weeks that began in earnest on Tuesday after the presumptive Republican nominee's private plane was grounded in Indianapolis because of mechanical problems. Trump flew his children to...
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Saturday, 16 Jul 2016 08:42 PM
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