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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Disagrees With Donald Trump On Key Issues


With a tweet, Donald Trump announced he had finally chosen a running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Pence has solid Republican credentials. He is a fiscal and social conservative, and then there's his long experience in federal and state government. He is also low key in contrast to Trump. But as NPR's Don Gonyea reports, Pence and Trump also differ on some key issues.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Let's start with trade. Opposing trade deals, such as TPP and NAFTA, is a cornerstone of Trump's make America great again pitch to blue-collar voters.


DONALD TRUMP: We have to make smart deals. We can no longer - you know, we're losing. You look at our deficits. You look at our budget. You look at what's going on with this country. We're losing our jobs, and the politicians don't tell you that.

GONYEA: Presumably, there he's talking about politicians like Pence, who was a strong advocate of international trade deals. Here he is back in 2001, a member of Congress pushing for enhanced authority for the president to quickly negotiate such agreements.


MIKE PENCE: Congressional passage of presidential trade promotion authority is absolutely essential, and I hope that Congress will do so this week.

GONYEA: Pence argued then and now that trade agreements have been good for Indiana farmers and for jobs. Here is another one from way back when that Trump has made an issue of in 2016 - the war in Iraq.


PENCE: I rise in support of the resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq.

GONYEA: That's Congressman Mike Pence in 2002. Here's Trump this year on Fox News.


TRUMP: It was a huge mistake, whether people like it or not, and I'm the only one with the vision to have said, don't do it.

GONYEA: Though, it's also true that in 2002, before the war started, Trump appeared on "The Howard Stern Show" and said he supported invading Iraq. That leads nicely into a more current Trump-Pence dispute on another topic, Trump's call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.


TRUMP: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.

GONYEA: That was last December. Contrast that with what Governor Pence told reporters in Indiana that same month.


PENCE: I think comments that suggest that Muslims should be banned from the United States are offensive and unconstitutional.

GONYEA: Then there's Medicaid. Pence, as governor, expanded Medicaid coverage for the poor. Trump wants to roll back such expansions as part of his plan to repeal Obamacare. That would put a Vice President Pence in the position of opposing Governor Pence's policy.

The two men have also disagreed on Planned Parenthood. Pence was a sponsor of the first-ever effort in Congress to eliminate federal funds for the organization, even saying it's an issue worth shutting down the government over. But Trump, this year, said this.


TRUMP: Look, Planned Parenthood has done very good work for some - for many, many - for millions of women. And I'll say it, and I know a lot of the so-called conservatives, they say that's really - because I'm a conservative, but I'm a common sense conservative.

GONYEA: Though, Trump did also say that he didn't think Planned Parenthood should be providing abortion services. Still, his positive words are a departure from the kind of GOP orthodoxy that Mike Pence, his running mate, has spent a career espousing. Don Gonyea, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

You're most likely to find NPR's Don Gonyea on the road, in some battleground state looking for voters to sit with him at the local lunch spot, the VFW or union hall, at a campaign rally, or at their kitchen tables to tell him what's on their minds. Through countless such conversations over the course of the year, he gets a ground-level view of American elections. Gonyea is NPR's National Political Correspondent, a position he has held since 2010. His reports can be heard on all NPR News programs and at To hear his sound-rich stories is akin to riding in the passenger seat of his rental car, traveling through Iowa or South Carolina or Michigan or wherever, right along with him.

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