Indiana Gov. Mike Pence "is sort of at the heart and soul of the Republican voters nationwide" and is a good man who could help Donald Trump achieve party unity, Sen. Jeff Sessions, who has become one of Trump's advisers, said after Trump formally introduced Pence Saturday as his running mate.
"He's got good integrity, got good values," the Alabama Republican, who himself had been mentioned as a potential vice presidential pick for Trump, told CNN
. "He's been on the right side of issues over time. He's shown courage, he's stood up to the establishment and he's been a leader in the House, the entire Republican conference. So I think he's going to help bring this party together, which is already happening."
Trump and Pence agree on many issues, but disagree, according to public statements, on items such as free trade and the war on Iraq, but Sessions said he believes the two candidates can work that out.
"What Pence said about the war in Iraq is where I am," Sessions said. "I supported it, supported President George W. Bush all the way through, we fought through that and the soldiers were fabulous, magnificent. And I believe as Pence said, the decision to pull out all of our troops by Secretary of State Clinton and [President Barack] Obama was a big error."
CNN, though, pointed out that Pence, like Clinton, voted in 2002 for President George W. Bush's war authorization, a move that Trump has criticized Clinton often over.
"People will make their own choice,' said Sessions. "A lot of people are uneasy about the result of that decision as time has gone by. It has not been as positive as we certainly had hoped. It's a bitter disappointment in many ways, some of the things that have happened."
Sessions would not say when he learned Pence would be Trump's eventual choice, but said Trump was "enthusiastic" every time he talked about the Indiana governor. The Alabama senator said he personally did not push for any specific eventual vice presidential pick, but instead "gave him my best judgment of where I saw the situation and how I thought it could come out, the pros and cons of the talented nominees that were being considered."
Sessions also would not comment about whether New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were Trump's other two final choices, saying he'd leave that up to Trump to comment.
"But I do believe Donald Trump gave this great thought," said Sessions. "I believe he correctly understood that he needed to unify our party, that Mike Pence will be a good president if called upon, that he's got solid values. He's got the courage to stand up against an establishment but at the same time work with people. So I think it was a good decision and he'll be a great vice president."
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