Donald Trump’s running mate is making another campaign appearance in New Mexico, days after a rally by a high-profile Hillary Clinton surrogate. Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana and the running mate of the Republican presidential nominee, will appear at the Embassy Suites hotel in Albuquerque this Thursday, according to the Trump campaign website. Pence campaigned in Albuquerque and Roswell in August. In August, top Republicans, including Congressman Steve Pearce and state House Majority Whip Alonzo Baldonado, R-Los Lunas, and state Rep. and Secretary of State candidate Nora Espinoza, R-Roswell, spoke at the Pence rally. Trump himself headlined a rally ahead of the Republican primary in Albuquerque.
Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence spent his Tuesday Albuquerque town hall defending the character of his party’s controversial presidential nominee in wake of constant negative headlines. So did a few other local Republicans who spoke at the event, including Congressman Steve Pearce and State House Majority Whip Alonzo Baldonado, R-Los Lunas. Pearce said he was won over during the Republican National Convention with a few “dramatic revelations of the character of Donald Trump.”
Among them was Trump’s “disarming and revealing” words about his evangelical Christian supporters. “He said, ‘I’m getting support from the evangelicals and I’m not sure I deserve it,’” Pearce said. “That’s what I am looking for in politicians who will be transparent.”
Another moment of revelation?
Donald Trump’s running mate has a reputation for being more subdued in public than the Republican presidential candidate, but that doesn’t mean they attract different crowds. A case in point came during Mike Pence’s town hall in Albuquerque Tuesday afternoon when a person from the audience during the question and answer session asked the Republican vice presidential nominee why establishment Republicans were publicly jumping ship from the Trump ticket. He brought up Gov. Susana Martinez, who has publicly feuded with Trump and refused to endorse him, as an example. “She is one of many Republicans that are deserting,” the man said. “Why are there an unprecedented amount of people who are deserting you and Mr. Trump in your own party?”
Pence replied by saying that Martinez is “a very dear friend of mine.”
“She’s a great governor,” Pence said, as audience members gathered at Sandia Resort Casino started booing.
Two Democratic legislators aired grievances against Republican Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence one day before his scheduled visit to New Mexico. During a small press conference Monday morning in Albuquerque’s Civic Plaza, State Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, addressed Pence’s social conservative views by calling him “perhaps the most anti-LGBT nominee for national elected office we have seen in modern history.”
“His policies in Indiana have legalized hatred, have legalized discrimination, and at the end of the day those are the things that we do not accept in New Mexico,” Candelaria, who is openly gay, said. “That’s not who we are as a state.”
Candelaria was referring to Indiana’s controversial “religious freedom” law which Pence, the state’s governor, signed last year. The Indiana law prohibits the state from “substantially burden[ing] a person’s exercise of religion.”
The religious freedom law drew national attention after critics bemoaned it for allowing businesses to legally discriminate against LGBT people on the basis of religion. Amid the backlash, Pence and legislators soon amended the law to add protections for “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
Candelaria and state Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton, D-Albuquerque, also took aim at the economic policies of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, whom Pence is running with on the ticket this November.
The Republican Vice Presidential nominee will make two campaign appearances in New Mexico in addition to a previously-reported fundraising event. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who is Donald Trump’s running mate on the Republican ticket, will make an appearance in Albuquerque and one in Roswell, both on Tuesday. Pence’s Albuquerque appearance will be at the Sandia Ballroom at Sandia Casino at 1:00 p.m. In Roswell, Pence will appear at New Mexico Military Institute at 8:00 p.m.
It’s not clear if Pence will hold a fundraiser in Roswell as well as Albuquerque. The rallies will be the first public events by major political figures in the general election. Ahead of the primary, Trump himself held a rally in Albuquerque, as did U.S. Senator and then-Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders.
The Republican vice presidential nominee will travel to New Mexico to headline a high-dollar fundraiser, according to a local TV station. Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana, is Donald Trump’s running mate and will take the Republican presidential campaign to New Mexico on August 16. The fundraiser for the Trump Victory joint fundraising group, first reported by KOB-TV, will cost $2,700 to attend. If an attendee dishes out $5,000, they will be a VIP. Trump Victory is a joint fundraising group, which means donors can donate up over $100,000, which would go to the Republican National Committee and various state parties in addition to the Trump presidential campaign.
New Mexico journalists shouldn’t feel too upset that Gov. Susana Martinez’s office doesn’t return phone calls or emails—the governor reportedly did the same to Donald Trump’s campaign manager. That’s part of a story in The New York Times about how Trump came to choose Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate. A list of 16 names, put together by then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and campaign chairman Paul Manafort, did not include Martinez. It did include five women. Update: Martinez’s camp said they never were called by Lewandowski.
Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump’s pick of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate prompted reaction from New Mexico politicians, most notably our state’s own governor. “Thanks to Governor Mike Pence’s strong, conservative leadership, Indiana is in a more prosperous position now than before he was elected, and it’s a direct result of his commitment to pro-growth policies and successful governance,” Gov. Susana Martinez said in a statement for the Republican Governors Association, which she chairs. “The RGA congratulates Governor Pence on his selection as the Republican Vice Presidential Nominee and we look forward to the nation benefiting from his dynamic leadership.”
Martinez is among the few high profile GOP figures who hasn’t officially endorsed Trump. She previously clashed with the New York business magnate over his immigration policies, which include building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and deporting all 11 million undocumented immigrants from the country. When Trump visited Albuquerque in May, he criticized Martinez at his rally for presiding over a state with a large number of food stamp recipients.
Gov. Susana Martinez is still quiet on if she will support presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, but she will attend the convention dedicated to him this summer. Martinez said, as the head of the Republican Governor’s Association, she would attend this year’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland. She was answering a question from an Associated Press reporter on Monday. The video is available at the bottom of this post. “It is my responsibility to also be part of the Republican convention,” she said.