NEW YORK - Donald Trump formally introduced Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice-presidential running mate Saturday morning in New York. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, announced his choice of Pence Friday on Twitter. The two appeared together at a Manhattan hotel Saturday, two days before the start of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Pence said he was honored to run on the ticket with Trump, because the country needs "strong Republican leadership". Pence launched a tough critique of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, saying "Hillary Clinton must never become President of the United States."
In his introduction Saturday, Trump described Pence as his "first choice" to be on the ticket with him. Trump aides have rejected suggestions that he had second thoughts about his selection in the days before the announcement.
Trump described Pence as a steady leader, and said he "will never be afraid to speak the name of our enemy, radical Islamic terrorism." Trump described himself and Pence as "the law and order candidates". He praised Pence for his management of Indiana's economy, crediting Pence with cutting taxes, balancing the state budget and keeping unemployment low.
Pence was critical of President Obama's foreign and domestic policies, pointing to recent acts of terrorism and the attempted coup in Turkey as signs of American foreign policy failure. Pence said, "America needs to be strong for the world to be safe. Donald Trump will lead from strength."
Pence has a reputation as a steady conservative, and is popular among Evangelical voters. Aides believe he may help ease some voters' concerns about Trump's lack of political experience.
Trump's formal announcement of his running mate was originally scheduled for Friday. Trump decided to postpone the announcement following the terror attack in Nice, France Thursday.
Hillary Clinton's campaign was quick to criticize the selection of Pence. Her team described Pence and his conservative social positions as being out of step with mainstream Americans. In a web video released Saturday, her campaign described Trump as "Always divisive. Not so decisive."