FRANKLIN, Ind. – Gov. Mike Pence kept speculation alive Thursday, campaigning for re-election at a local pizzeria, while at the same time heaping praise on presumed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“I think it’s important for every Republican to get on board for Donald Trump,” Pence said.
Surrounded by a growing national press corps, Pence greeted Hoosiers at Greek Pizzeria and Tapp Room in downtown Franklin, making routine campaign chit-chat while promoting his administration’s agenda.
But the chatter among Hooisers and a watchful Republican base nationwide is whether he’s the right pick to run alongside Trump.
“I’ve come to no conclusions about what decision we would make,” Pence said.
Pence acknowledged he is being vetted by Trump’s campaign.
“Our team has made an effort to be supportive of the process they’re going through, I believe with a number of leaders around the country,” Pence said. “And we’ve been providing them with information as requested.”
Hoosiers gathered for lunch had mixed views on Pence potentially leaving the governor’s race for presidential politics.
“I think he’d make a great fit,” Jill Schoch said. “I think he’d be awesome. I think a good balance.”
Pence offers a strong liking from conservatives nationwide, some leery of a Trump presidency.
“I really like Gov. Pence,” Marilyn Watson said. “That’s all I’m going to say about that.”
Pence’s name remains at the top of the list, alongside those like Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie.
Trump met with Republican lawmakers in Washington D.C. Thursday and campaigned Wednesday night in Cincinnati with Gingrich.
“I’m not saying it’s Newt,” Trump said. “But if it’s Newt, nobody’s going to be beating him in the debates. That’s for sure.”
With a decision looming and the GOP convention days away, Pence said he will attend the highly-anticipated gathering in Cleveland, and speak if asked.
“The kind of leadership I truly do believe, to borrow a phrase would make America great again,” Pence said. “And if they want me to talk about that, I’d be happy to.”
Reports indicate Trump will make a decision before next Friday, the deadline for Pence to remove his name from Indiana’s ballot.
“Clearly we have a convention coming up and a very important deadline in the state of Indiana, which I will respect,” Pence said.
Leaving the event, the governor was asked if he wanted to be vice president.
“I’ve got to run,” he said laughing. “Thank you!”