IT'S OFFICIAL: Donald Trump picks Mike Pence as his running mate

Picture: Getty Images

Donald Trump announced Friday that he had officially selected Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate.

“I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate,” Trump tweeted.

The announcement came after Trump postponed the planned unveiling event that was originally set for Friday, citing the horrific terror attack in the French city of Nice which claimed the lives of at least 84 people.

Trump said in his tweet Friday morning that the event would instead take place Saturday morning.

It was widely reported Thursday that Pence would be Trump’s choice, edging out former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. However, Trump told Fox News Thursday night that he hadn’t “made a final, final decision” yet.

Pence is a former congressman who had been called a “rising star” among conservatives. He chose to run for governor of Indiana in 2012 rather than seek the Republican nomination for president, and was rumoured to be considering a 2016 bid for the White House.

Pence was locked in a reelection race that he withdrew from Friday morning after it was announced he would be Trump’s running mate. In Indiana, a candidate cannot seek the governorship and the vice presidency simultaneously.

Pence will give Trump credibility with social and movement conservatives and could help him gain an edge in what could be a close race in Indiana and throughout the Rust Belt — a stretch in which Trump must perform well.

One of Trump’s closest competitors for the Republican nomination, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, called the selection a “great pick” shortly after on Twitter.

Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign wasn’t as high on the selection as the Florida Republican.

John Podesta, chair of the Hillary Clinton campaign, called Pence the “most extreme pick in a generation.”

“By picking Mike Pence as his running mate, Donald Trump has doubled down on some of his most disturbing beliefs by choosing an incredibly divisive and unpopular running mate known for supporting discriminatory politics and failed economic policies that favour millionaires and corporations over working families,” he said in a statement.

Pamela Engel contributed to this report 

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