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Pastor: Pence Is The ‘Anti-Trump’

Marie Eisenstein, a political science professor at Indiana University Northwest in Gary, wouldn’t be surprised to hear Donald Trump announcing Mike Pence as his running mate.

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, left, and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. A major shake-up for Indiana politics could be coming this week as Trump considers Pence as his Republican vice presidential choice.

Michael Conroy, David Zalubowski

The Trump Train makes another stop in Indiana today and some are speculating whether “The Donald” will announce Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate.

For some, it would make Trump a more attractive candidate to vote for in the general election.

For conservative Christians like Rev. Ron Johnson of Crown Point, adding Pence wouldn’t be a bad way to attract others like him.

“It wouldn’t seal the deal,” Johnson told WBEZ on Tuesday “but it would be more than symbolic.”

Johnson is pastor of Living Stones Church in Crown Point and head of the Indiana Ministers Alliance.

He says Pence’s unwavering pro-life stance is needed for Trump to attract those who question his Republican credentials.

“I call Mike Pence the ‘anti-Trump,” Johnson said. “He’s been strongly pro-life. He’s had a stellar career in Congress. He understands Washington. And he would, hopefully, would bring some much needed balance to the ticket.”

Johnson said whether you agree with Pence’s positions on issues or not, he’s done a lot to keep Indiana’s economy humming at a nice pace. He also says Pence may disagree with you, but he will also show you respect.

“His demeanor, his communication style is the complete opposite of what you see in Donald Trump. With Mike Pence, you’re going to find somebody who is kind, somebody who is thoughtful, somebody who is respectful even those who may disagree with his political philosophy or policy issues. Mike is the consummate gentleman. He’s represented Indiana very well.”

And that’s something just the opposite of Donald Trump’s combative style.

“I think the thing that people love about him is that he speaks his mind. But I think the thing that people hate about him is he speaks his mind,” Johnson said. “Sometimes (Trump’s) tone and his rhetoric is damaging or offensive to people. Whether he’s demeaning or whether he’s name-calling these kind of things certainly doesn’t embody the spirit of Christian civility.”

Meanwhile, some are speculating Trump will announce Pence as his running mate tonight.

Friday is the deadline in which Pence would need to let Indiana election officials know whether he wants his name removed from the November ballot for governor. He’s locked in a tight race against Democrat John Gregg.

One who wouldn’t be surprised to hear Trump announcing Pence as his running mate is Marie Eisenstein, a political science professor at Indiana University Northwest in Gary.

“Trump’s already met with Pence once so because he’s coming back. I think to myself that maybe Pence is more of a front-runner than what I would have imagined he would be,” Eisenstein said.

Eisenstein says Pence would give Trump a more “Republican feel” to his candidacy and also attracting more conservative Christians.

“Trump doesn’t seem very Republican to many people. But Pence is a very established conservative in general. Pence would bring to the campaign real bonified conservatives,” Eisenstein said.

The Trump for President Rally begins at 6:30 CST at the Grand Park Events Center in Westfield, Indiana, a wealthy suburb about a half hour north of Indianapolis.

Michael Puente is WBEZ’s Northwest Indiana Studio Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @MikePuenteNews.

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