5 big policy differences between Mike Pence and Donald Trump

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump announced on Friday that he picked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to be his running mate going into the November election.

Pence and Trump aren’t exactly on the same wavelength. Pence broadcasts an even-keeled demeanor, especially when compared with the bold and grandiose Trump brand. But Pence also has differed from Trump on policy.

Slideshow: Mike Pence through the years >>>

Take a look at five of the biggest contrasts between the two running mates.

1. The Iraq War

When Pence was in the House of Representatives, he voted for the 2002 joint resolution authorizing use of force in Iraq, a move putting him at odds with Trump.

Pence also said in a 2002 appearance on CNN that there was “strong and overwhelming evidence” to support a “connection between Iraq and al-Qaida.”

Trump has repeatedly claimed that he opposed the Iraq War, and he has sharply criticized Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s initial support for the intervention. During the Republican primary, Trump also boasted that his opposition to the invasion showed he had the right “vision” on foreign policy.

“I said it loud and clear, ‘You’ll destabilize the Middle East’” Trump said in a February debate.

But in 2002, Trump told shock-jock Howard Stern that he would supported an Iraq invasion, which occurred the following year. He was quoted opposing the war in 2004.

2. LGBT rights

Trump has made overtures to the LGBT community after last month’s attack at a gay club in Orlando that left 50 dead. He has argued that his purported strength in fighting terrorism would keep gay Americans safe.

“We want to live in a country where gay and lesbian Americans and all Americans are safe from radical Islam, which, by the way, wants to murder and has murdered gays, and they enslave women,” he said at a rally in Greensboro, N.C., in June.

But Pence has been a strong opponent of LGBT rights for more than a decade.

In a 2000 agenda posted on his campaign website, he called on Congress to block gays from obtaining status as a protected minority. He also wanted to “ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus.” Instead, he called for funds to be “directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”

Pence also championed the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act as governor. Signed in 2015, the bill prohibited government from infringing on religious rights unless absolutely necessary. Conservatives like Pence argued it was necessary in the aftermath of the Supreme Court finding a constitutional right to same-sex marriages. Critics, however, saw it as a way to discriminate against LGBT people. Pence ultimately backed off the bill and signed legislation to curb its more controversial aspects.

3. Obamacare

Despite vowing that he would work with House Republicans to “repeal Obamacare lock, stock and barrel,” Pence actually expanded Medicaid in Indiana. Taking fire from fellow Republicans, he opted to accept federal dollars in exchange for ideologically conservative concessions, including kicking users who don’t pay premiums off coverage and other reforms.

“Medicaid expansion proponents are satisfied with covering a vulnerable population with a program that is so deeply flawed. But I’m not,” Pence said in a 2014 speech. “Fortunately, Hoosiers have found a better way.”

During the primary campaign, Trump criticized GOP rival and Ohio Gov. John Kasich for accepting the expansion.



4. Muslim ban

Pence also joined with many other prominent Republicans in condemning Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

“Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional,” Pence tweeted in December, after Trump announced the proposal in the wake of the terror attacks in San Bernardino, Calif., and Paris.


5. Trade

A staunch advocate of free trade, Pence backed trade deals with a host of countries during his time in the House. He voted for the Central America Free Trade Agreement, as well as a proposal to normalize trade relationships with China and to keep the U.S in the World Trade Organization.

He also has publicly supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a frequent and intense target of Trump’s criticism.

“Reducing tariffs and other trade barriers so that Indiana businesses can enjoy increased market access and fairly compete on the world stage is something that Congress must do,” Pence wrote in a letter to the Indiana Congressional delegation last year.

Donald Trump announced on Friday that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, shown here at a Trump rally earlier this week, is his vice presidential pick. (Michael Conroy/AP)

Pence continued: “I encourage your support for Trade Promotion Authority, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and any other trade-related measures when they are brought before the Congress for consideration.”

Trump has slammed the TPP and free trade in general for shipping American jobs overseas.

“The TPP is horrible deal,” Trump said in a presidential debate last year. “It’s a deal that was designed for China to come in, as they always do, through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone.”