Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was left off the official Republican National Convention speaker list, fueling speculation he is Donald Trump’s pick for vice president.
An GOP insider also said Trump is going to pick Pence as his running mate on Friday.
The three other reported contenders, Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich and Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, are all slated to speak during the weeklong convention kicking off July 18.
If Trump were to personally introduce Pence as his running mate, it would make sense why he wouldn’t be on the speaker list, although keeping him off the list could be a ruse, but that’s unlikely given the insider leak.
Trump’s family met with Pence extensively this past week.
“Trump’s children Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, and campaign chair Paul Manafort joined Trump Sr. at Pence’s home in Indiana Wed. morning,” ABC News reported.
It’s also been reported that campaign chair Paul Manafort favors Pence over Gingrich and Christie due to his lack of baggage.
The Indiana governor shares numerous similarities to Trump: he fought the GOP establishment at the start of his political career and ultimately triumphed by winning a House seat, which he held for 12 years before deciding to run for governor.
Pence continued to butt heads with the party elite while in Congress, but he avoided personal attacks, preferring instead to stay friendly with opponents by keeping disagreements centered on policy.
And, much like Trump, Pence was never shy to oppose the Bush administration.
“While Trump was born and raised in New York City and has led a business empire headquartered on the East Coast, Pence was born and raised in a small Midwestern community, where as a boy he would stand in his backyard looking out over cornfields,” Breitbart reported. “Pence epitomizes small-town and rural America, with a full understanding of the vast interior of this nation, which coastal elites derisively dismiss as ‘flyover country.’”
“Like many people from Indiana, Pence is polite and well-mannered, almost to a fault, and would balance Trump’s energetic, larger-than-life style that is frequently confrontational.”
Longtime Trump ally Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) was also considered as a running mate, but sources say Trump sees him more as an adviser.