Will Trump Pick This VP Contender Who Opposes His Signature Policy Position?

Mike Pence loves NAFTA, CAFTA, and the TPP. Does Trump know this?

Stacy Revere/Zuma

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


The guessing game concerning Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick entered a new round this morning, as the presumptive Republican nominee, his adult children, and campaign manager Paul Manafort visited the home of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. Pence is one of the few potential Trump running mates who has not publicly turned down the job, and he would bring social conservative cred to Trump’s White House bid.

As the Washington Post reported earlier this week, Pence has held a radically different position from Trump on a central issue in the campaign, because Pence is a major advocate for free-trade deals, which Trump has railed against, calling for higher tariffs on trading partners and penalties for companies that move jobs overseas. The Post noted that Pence has backed the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, two of Trump’s top targets.

But as a congressman who consistently voted for free trade agreements, Pence offered a full-throated endorsement of the North American Free Trade Agreement, another one of Trump’s targets. Trump has decried NAFTA as a “disaster” that has allowed other countries to defraud the United States. Yet Pence praised the deal in 2001 and insisted that NAFTA had brought hundreds of millions of dollars to his home state of Indiana. He claimed that under NAFTA, “the volume of US corn exports to Mexico has nearly tripled since 1994.”

Watch Pence champion the deal Trump considers evil:

In 2005, Pence urged his House colleagues in Congress to pass the CAFTA, arguing that “a dream of democracy” was at stake with the vote. “Let us not in this Congress and in this nation turn our backs today on those same fledgling democracies that are embracing our principles of free-market economics and freedom,” Pence said.

Watch that here:

Can Trump pick a running mate who holds the exact opposite policy on one of Trump’s signature issues? Who embraces the “rigged system” that Trump holds responsible for undermining American greatness? The world will know soon.

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate