Donald Trump gestures to Gov. Mike Pence during a rally in Westfield Tuesday evening after Pence helped him raise $1.5 million at the Columbia Club.
Donald Trump gestures to Gov. Mike Pence during a rally in Westfield Tuesday evening after Pence helped him raise $1.5 million at the Columbia Club.
By BRIAN A. HOWEY

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is in New Jersey ready to become the Republican vice presidential nominee, but Donald Trump has in stunning fashion called off the 11 a.m. Friday press conference in Manhattan.

Trump cited the terror attack in Nice, France for the postponement, but the Manhattan billionaire appeared on Fox News early Thursday evening and said, “I haven't made my final, final decision." Trump's unprecedented veepstakes prompted Howey Politics Indiana on Wednesday to liken Pence to a phrase by former White House staffer John Ehrlichman's classic 1972 quote that he was "twisting slowly, slowly in the wind."

Pence traveled from Indianapolis to Teterboro Airport in New Jersey late Thursday afternoon, convincing just about everyone that an offer had been extended and he was poised to accept. An inquiry by Howey Politics Indiana to Pence gubernatorial deputy chief of staff Matt Lloyd late Thursday afternoon seeking confirmation that an offer had been made was not returned. Pence deputy campaign manager Marc Lotter flew out to New York earlier Thursday, presumably to coordinate the announcement.

Fox News reported: The Trump campaign still insists an offer has not formally been made to anyone -- and nothing is final until the presumptive nominee announces his running mate Friday morning. Informed and reliable HPI sources are saying that Trump is now summoning the other contenders - Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie and Jeff Sessions - to New York, setting up a potentially bizarre reality show drama where one of them is annointed on national TV.

That leaves Pence in what should be considered a historically awkward dilemma. He must withdraw from the Indiana gubernatorial nomination by noon on Friday, so the Indiana Republican Central Committee can choose a successor. Pence is now left with a decision to either walk away from the veep nomination after auditioning for the job for two weeks, or risk forfeiting the gubernatorial nomination while he waits for the fickle Trump makes up his mind.

Trump tweeted earlier in the evening after news of the terror attack in France that killed at least 30 people, saying, “"In light of the horrible attack in Nice, France, I have postponed tomorrow's news conference concerning my Vice Presidential announcement.”

Pence is in an already tough reelection rematch with Democrat John Gregg, who has accused him of “bailing out” of the race against him. There has been wide speculation that after currying Trump’s favor for two weeks, if he didn’t land the nomination, it would hurt his reelection bid.

Developing . . . .


And the New York Times reported: Less than 24 hours before Trump was set to reveal his vice-presidential choice at an event in New York, Trump had not made a formal offer, according Republicans familiar with the discussions who spoke mid-afternoon Thursday on the condition of anonymity because the ongoing talks were confidential.

That leaves Pence in what should be considered a historically awkward dilemma. He must withdraw from the Indiana gubernatorial nomination by noon on Friday, so the Indiana Republican Central Committee can choose a successor.

Pence is now left with a decision to either walk away from the veep nomination after auditioning for the job for two weeks, or risk forfeiting the gubernatorial nomination while he waits for the fickle Trump makes up his mind.

Trump tweeted earlier in the evening after news of the terror attack in France that killed at least 30 people, saying, “"In light of the horrible attack in Nice, France, I have postponed tomorrow's news conference concerning my Vice Presidential announcement.”

Pence is in an already tough reelection rematch with Democrat John Gregg, who has accused him of “bailing out” of the race against him. There has been wide speculation that after currying Trump’s favor for two weeks, if he didn’t land the nomination, it would hurt his reelection bid.

Developing . . . .