Washington Times: There's a 95% chance Trump will tap Gov. Pence for VP slot

Speculation on Donald Trump's choice of running mate is reaching a fever pitch, as the nominee is expected to reveal his choice this week.

Most GOP insiders believe that Indiana governor Mike Pence is on a very short list of candidates.  But the Washington Times goes a step farther and declares that there's a 95% chance Pence will be the V.P. nominee.

Constitutional lawyer James Bopp, an Indiana delegate to the Republican National Convention who is close the governor, told The Washington Times that Indiana House Speaker Brian C. Bosma, 58, a conservative Republican, had sought advice from him on running for governor.

“He wanted my counsel on what he needed to do to set himself up to run for governor, because he expects Pence to step down as governor in order to be Trump’s running mate,” Mr. Bopp said in an interview.

The Trump election team boosted the Pence speculation Sunday by suddenly adding a campaign rally in Indianapolis to a fundraiser planned for Tuesday featuring Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence.

Several Republicans close to the campaign and to the governor have told The Times over the last 24 hours that they are now convinced it’ll be Mr. Pence.

Indiana Republican Party Chairman Jeff Cardwell said that Sunday’s sudden addition of a Trump rally after the fundraising event was a complete change from Mr. Trump’s original schedule, which had called for a quick appearance at the fundraiser and equally quick exit from Indiana.

Mr. Pence, who is little known nationally but highly admired in conservative circles, also made a telling private call to Mr. Cardwell, according to a Republican close to both men.

In the call the governor told Mr. Cardwell to delay his planned Tuesday departure to Cleveland for a Republican National Committee meeting, saying Mr. Cardwell needed to be sure to attend an Indianapolis fundraiser featuringMr. Trump and Mr. Pence.

The Trump-Pence fundraiser already was a big deal, with tickets are going from $2,700 to $250,000. But its scheduled date falling so close to the July 18-21 Republican National Convention here was being interpreted by some political observers as ideal for a possible VP announcement by the party’s presumptive presidential nominee.

But Mr. Cardwell also said the request to delay his departure for Cleveland came from the RNC, not the governor, and had nothing to do with “Trump announcing Pence as his running mate.”

The problem with this story is that even though it appears that everything adds up and that Pence will be announced on Tuesday as the nominee's choice, Donald Trump is never one to do the predictable.  While Pence would be the kind of choice that would reassure many Republicans reluctant to support the nominee, Trump has demonstrated in the past that he doesn't care.  He will do it his way, and if people don't like it, tough for them.

The Trump campaign has done a good job keeping everyone guessing about who the V.P. nominee will be, generating intense interest in the press and among Republicans.  But sometime this week, Trump is going to have to announce a choice.  Both Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie are acting as if the decision is nowhere near a done deal, which leads one to believe that Trump himself probably hasn't made up his mind yet.

Speculation on Donald Trump's choice of running mate is reaching a fever pitch, as the nominee is expected to reveal his choice this week.

Most GOP insiders believe that Indiana governor Mike Pence is on a very short list of candidates.  But the Washington Times goes a step farther and declares that there's a 95% chance Pence will be the V.P. nominee.

Constitutional lawyer James Bopp, an Indiana delegate to the Republican National Convention who is close the governor, told The Washington Times that Indiana House Speaker Brian C. Bosma, 58, a conservative Republican, had sought advice from him on running for governor.

“He wanted my counsel on what he needed to do to set himself up to run for governor, because he expects Pence to step down as governor in order to be Trump’s running mate,” Mr. Bopp said in an interview.

The Trump election team boosted the Pence speculation Sunday by suddenly adding a campaign rally in Indianapolis to a fundraiser planned for Tuesday featuring Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence.

Several Republicans close to the campaign and to the governor have told The Times over the last 24 hours that they are now convinced it’ll be Mr. Pence.

Indiana Republican Party Chairman Jeff Cardwell said that Sunday’s sudden addition of a Trump rally after the fundraising event was a complete change from Mr. Trump’s original schedule, which had called for a quick appearance at the fundraiser and equally quick exit from Indiana.

Mr. Pence, who is little known nationally but highly admired in conservative circles, also made a telling private call to Mr. Cardwell, according to a Republican close to both men.

In the call the governor told Mr. Cardwell to delay his planned Tuesday departure to Cleveland for a Republican National Committee meeting, saying Mr. Cardwell needed to be sure to attend an Indianapolis fundraiser featuringMr. Trump and Mr. Pence.

The Trump-Pence fundraiser already was a big deal, with tickets are going from $2,700 to $250,000. But its scheduled date falling so close to the July 18-21 Republican National Convention here was being interpreted by some political observers as ideal for a possible VP announcement by the party’s presumptive presidential nominee.

But Mr. Cardwell also said the request to delay his departure for Cleveland came from the RNC, not the governor, and had nothing to do with “Trump announcing Pence as his running mate.”

The problem with this story is that even though it appears that everything adds up and that Pence will be announced on Tuesday as the nominee's choice, Donald Trump is never one to do the predictable.  While Pence would be the kind of choice that would reassure many Republicans reluctant to support the nominee, Trump has demonstrated in the past that he doesn't care.  He will do it his way, and if people don't like it, tough for them.

The Trump campaign has done a good job keeping everyone guessing about who the V.P. nominee will be, generating intense interest in the press and among Republicans.  But sometime this week, Trump is going to have to announce a choice.  Both Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie are acting as if the decision is nowhere near a done deal, which leads one to believe that Trump himself probably hasn't made up his mind yet.