The advantages and disadvantages of a Trump-Pence ticket

Reaction from the 'Special Report' All-Star panel


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," July 15, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


GOV. MIKE PENCE, R-IND.: We love Indiana. We love our country. And my family and I couldn't be more honored for the opportunity to run with and serve with the next president of the United States.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Donald Trump making his pick today via Twitter, saying "I'm pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my vice president running mate. News conference tomorrow 11:00 a.m."

And that's how it went down. There was more to it, but let's welcome in our panel here from Cleveland: Steve Hayes, senior writer for The Weekly Standard, Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent for the Washington Post, and Charlie Hurt, political columnist for The Washington Times. All right, this choice of Pence, Charlie?

CHARLES HURT, THE WASHINGTON TIMES: You know, this probably is the un-Trumpiest choice of the names that we have had bandied about. It's hard to see. You have the world's most exciting presidential candidate picking the least exciting vice presidential candidate.

It's also, I don't know, strategically how this helps Donald Trump, because you are talking about a guy it's kind of hard to see. Mike Pence as a long record in politics going out there defending Donald Trump in all the ways that he is going to have to defend Donald Trump.

But, that said, he has clearly picked somebody who has pretty good conservative bona fides. He is somebody who stood up to his party, stood up to President George W. Bush against No Child Left Behind. And then later he was one of just 25 House Republicans who stood up against the Medicare prescription benefits. All of these things that took some daring and earns him a lot of credit among conservatives.

BAIER: Karen?

KAREN TUMULTY, THE WASHINGTON POST: I think there are two big goals for the Republicans this week. One is to make Donald Trump sort of more popular and acceptable to the country. The other is to heal a party that has had very, very rough primary season. And I think that Mike Pence was probably the choice to do that. I can tell you that people I have talked to here are feeling very, very reassured. This is ending a signal to the donor class, to the establishment class that it's going to be possible for everybody to get on board.

BAIER: Steve, there was a sense that this is a stable pick, a safe pick. Let's leave the process how we got to this pick and the rollout out of this, and the substance of the pick, and how it helps him or hurts him on the campaign trail.

STEVE HAYES, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I think on balance, it's a good pick for Donald Trump for some of the reasons that both Charlie and Karen have mentioned. It will be reassuring to donors. I'm thinking about for the next four months as Donald Trump makes his case to the country, people are going to see -- I think it will seem like a less risky choice to pick Donald Trump and Mike Pence with Pence alongside him. Pence presents well in public. He is a conservative. I would say he earned a conservative reputation in Congress. It's been sullied a bit with some of the decisions he has made as governor, expanding Medicaid, his inability really to defend his religious freedom decision, the choice to have sort of a state run news outlet which was a bizarre episode. But on balance I think this is a pretty good pick for Donald Trump. It will have that reassuring effect.

BAIER: And quickly, in a dangerous world with all that we are seeing happening, he does have some foreign policy experience from Capitol Hill.

HURT: That absolutely helps. But I think the biggest thing for members of Congress that they're looking for, they have campaigns that they have got to run this time too. And they often turn to the presidential candidate of their party to help them raise that money. And Mike Pence is the guy that will do that for them.

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