Presumptive Republican nominee for president Donald Trump announced Friday that he has chosen Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate.
Gov. Pence is famously—or infamously—right-wing, and a particular darling of far-right Evangelical voters.
Pundits surmised that Trump is attempting to sway the conservative Christian portion of the Republican party, which had previously rallied behind Ted Cruz.
Progressives decried the decision. Leftists pointed out Pence’s plethora of policy stances and decisions that have threatened civil rights, women’s health, the environment, and the welfare of the most vulnerable since he was elected to Congress in 2000 and then as Indiana’s governor in 2012.
“Look, I don’t know that [climate change] is a resolved issue in science today.”—Gov. Mike Pence, 2014
Regarding Pence’s climate stance, Greenpeace listed the many times in which Pence acted against the climate and for the oil and gas industry:
- As a Congressman, Pence consistently voted true to his climate denial, voting to prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, to reverse President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act, and against enforcing limits on global carbon dioxide emissions. He was also a vocal critic of the Clean Power Plan, insisting in a letter to President Obama that Indiana would not comply.
- Pence joined his fellow House Republicans in opportunistically using the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill to call for energy independence built on access to all of our domestic resources, including more offshore drilling. (Never mind that Deepwater Horizon was an offshore drilling rig in U.S. waters.)
- During his tenure as governor, he has overseen the expansion of the Whiting Refinery to process increasingly risky forms of fossil fuels, particularly petcoke and tar sands coming in from Canada. It is the 3rd largest tar sands refinery in the country, and its processing of petcoke, a byproduct of tar sands extraction that is cheaper and way dirtier than coal, has tripled in recent years.
Pence has also expressed doubt regarding evolution. “Do I believe in evolution? I embrace the view that God created the heavens and the earth, the seas and all that’s in them,” he said on MSNBC in 2008.
In the late 1990s, long after scientists had conclusively shown that cigarette smoking was linked to lung cancer, Pence dismissed such claims as “hysteria.”
In March, Pence signed into law what reproductive rights activists characterized as “one of the worst anti-abortion bills in the country.” As Common Dreams reported:
Click Here: Cheap Chiefs Rugby Jersey 2019
Civil rights groups subsequently sued the state over what they described as a “cynical, deceptive attempt to ban abortions.”
Pence also joined many right-wingers in attacking Planned Parenthood in response to a fake video purporting to show the group selling bodily tissues. (The filmmakers were eventually indicted for tampering with government records.)
Last year, Pence signed into law the so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” that gave “legal cover, under the guise of ‘religious liberties,’ to any businesses or individuals who wish to violate anti-discrimination laws,” as Common Dreams reported.
As Rolling Stone‘s Jeb Lund wrote:
“Governor Pence has a long history of fighting to cut and privatize Social Security,” writes Nancy Altman, co-director of the progressive group Social Security Works. Altman released the following statement in reaction to Trump’s choice of Pence for VP:
Igor Volposky, deputy director of the Campaign for America’s Future Action Fund, dug into congressional records and discovered that during his tenure in the House of Representatives, Pence had served as “Bush’s chief war propagandist” when it came to the U.S. invasion of Iraq:
Many pundits pointed out the contradiction between Trump’s and Pence’s stances on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.
“Before he became governor of Indiana and a candidate to be Donald Trump’s vice-presidential nominee, Mike Pence was a congressman, and he voted for every free-trade agreement that came before him,” the Washington Post wrote.
Pence’s stance has apparently already hurt his state’s workers: “This year, Pence urged an Indiana manufacturer, Carrier Corp., to reconsider a decision to move 1,400 jobs from Indiana to Mexico. The company is continuing with the plans but agreed to repay some state and local tax incentives,” the Post reported. “After meeting with the company, Pence said he did not want to give Indiana workers ‘false hope’ that the jobs would stay in their state.”
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) executive vice president Rocio Saenz condemned Pence’s record on immigration in a statement released Friday:
And in response to Trump’s decision, Twitter erupted on Friday with comments both decrying and quipping about Trump’s choice:
Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.