WESTFIELD, Ind. — Donald Trump certainly knows how to tease a big announcement.
As the days left in the veepstakes tick down, the presumptive GOP nominee appeared Tuesday with his fourth potential running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. “How’s your governor doing, by the way?” Trump asked a mostly-cheering crowd after Pence announced him from the stage. “Good? I think so, I think so.”
Ticking through his usual attacks on Hillary Clinton and President Obama, as well as an extended riff about the need to support law enforcement in the wake of the Dallas shooting that left five officers dead, Trump once again stoked veepstakes flames when he said, “I don’t know whether he’s going to be your governor or your vice president. Who the hell knows? Good man.”
Leaving both options open, Trump assessed that the people of Indiana would either call Pence as “governor or Vice President” to say, “Sir, please, please speak to Mr. Trump” because “we’re winning too much.” (Trump, in his usual fashion, said he wouldn’t care and the country would continue to win.)
The Indiana Governor, for his part, took the chance to showcase his abilities as an attack dog — a quality that Trump said he valued in his soon-to-be-chosen Number 2. Pence took shots at Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, calling him "the nicest socialist I ever served with in Washington, D.C.” and reappropriating, in Trump-like fashion, from the FBI Director’s report that it would be “extremely careless”to elect Hillary Clinton.
“We will stand together, we will not rest, we will not relent until we make this good man our next president,” Pence rallied, following his time on the stump with a 12-tweet series of support for the man whose ticket he may join.
Pence is the fourth potential VP to join Trump for an on-the-trail audition. Sen. Bob Corker, former Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have all taken their turn flanking Trump on the stump — though only Corker did not introduce the candidate, instead opting for a more soft-spoken and seemingly awe-struck few minutes at the podium before turning it back over to the man who will soon officially be at the top of the Republican ticket.
While the impending VP announcement ruled the airwaves, Trump’s mind was still with Dallas and the recent killings of five officers there. Calling it a “country in chaos,” the consistently pro-police, self-proclaimed "law and order" candidate opened his rally praising law enforcement as “the best of our society” and calling them people who “represent our highest ideals.” As he spoke, some police standing on the sides of the stage clapped.
But Trump was also quick to mention the deaths of Fernando Castile and Alton Sterling, killed in the days before Dallas. “It was tough to watch,” Trump said of these deaths. “For everybody here it was tough to watch. We have to figure out what's going on. Was it training? Was it something else? Could have been something else. We have to take care of everybody and remember that." Still, Trump lamented the amount of coverage bad events such as these get and how “nobody talks about” the good that police do.
Trump circled back to the Black Lives Matters protests that exploded in the wake of the two deaths in Louisiana and Minnesota, saying that eleven cities were “in a blow up stage” from marches characterized by “anger” and “hatred.” Trump even alleged that some people asked for a moment of silence for the man who killed the Dallas police officers.
Trump also revived an older attack from the primaries, blaming Hillary Clinton for “directly and indirectly” creating ISIS through her policies. “She’s the one that created it!” Trump said. The businessman even predicted “four more years of civil unrest” should she be elected.