Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence said Tuesday that a Donald Trump presidency would sync up with House Republicans’ agenda, adding that Americans should expect the GOP to keep control of the House and Senate if the billionaire businessman wins the White House.
The former six-term House member and current Indiana governor was joined by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy following what many described as a positive meeting with members of the House GOP at the Republican National Committee in Washington.
Pence later held an extensive question-and-answer session across the Capitol with Senate Republicans.
Pence said Ryan’s rebukes of Trump for a few controversial statements would not complicate efforts to present a united GOP front. Pence said he believed Trump’s “Make America Great Again” mantra fell in line with the House’s agenda.
“My and Donald Trump’s appreciation for Paul Ryan is boundless,” Pence said.
Ryan, for his part, highlighted his friendship with Pence and put a spotlight on him becoming vice president. Though he didn’t explicitly advocate for a Trump presidency.
With Pence on the Republican ticket, Ryan said, “we feel the wind in our backs.”
House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers said Pence received an “enthusiastic response” from members of the House GOP caucus when discussing Trump.
“He talked about the man himself and why he believes that Donald Trump would make a great president,” the Washington congresswoman told Roll Call. “He gave us insights into the process in which he got selected and through that, how he got to know Donald Trump and believes that he’s a good man.”
Pence said he didn’t know Trump before becoming his running mate but has since gotten to know the real estate mogul and his family, Rep. Peter T. King told reporters.
“He vouched for him,” the New York Republican said.
King said Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, spoke during the meeting about down-ballot races, saying that polls show the top of the ticket “is having no negative impact and in some cases, a positive impact.”
There was little mention of House or Senate races other than Walden’s remarks, members who were present said.
Pence mentioned House Republicans’ “Better Way” agenda and how Trump wants to work with members of Congress that Pence knows and trusts, Rep. Thomas Massie said.
“There was some connective tissue that I haven’t seen before,” the Kentucky Republican said.
Virginia Rep. David Brat said the meeting featured a “lot of faith talk, lot of Americana talk” and emotions surrounding Pence’s history on the House.
In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said there was an extensive Q&A at lunch with Pence. “Everybody felt good about the Pence selection when it was announced and felt even better about it today,” McConnell said.
Bridget Bowman contributed.