* This is the news that is creating all the chatter today:
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence emerged Thursday as Donald Trump’s likely running mate, with allies of Pence and Trump sending increasingly strong signals that Pence would join the GOP ticket and Republican leaders saying they have been told to stand by for an announcement.
But 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.
Remember: Trump values unpredictability above all else.
* True to the Obama tradition, today Josh Earnest gave Gov. Pence a death hug.
President Obama’s chief spokesman, Josh Earnest, lauded Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) for deciding to expand Medicaid in his state under ObamaCare.
I know that Governor Pence did do some important work with the administration to expand Medicaid in his state,” Earnest told reporters when asked what Obama thinks of the governor. “That’s something President Obama has been encouraging Democratic and Republican governors across the country to do.”
* Over 140 tech leaders signed on to an open letter on Donald Trump’s candidacy.
We are inventors, entrepreneurs, engineers, investors, researchers, and business leaders working in the technology sector. We are proud that American innovation is the envy of the world, a source of widely-shared prosperity, and a hallmark of our global leadership.
We believe in an inclusive country that fosters opportunity, creativity and a level playing field. Donald Trump does not. He campaigns on anger, bigotry, fear of new ideas and new people, and a fundamental belief that America is weak and in decline. We have listened to Donald Trump over the past year and we have concluded: Trump would be a disaster for innovation. His vision stands against the open exchange of ideas, free movement of people, and productive engagement with the outside world that is critical to our economy—and that provide the foundation for innovation and growth.
* Back in 2014, the Chamber of Commerce warned Republicans about what would happen if they failed to pass immigration reform.
Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue, a reliable supporter of key conservative election races and issues, said the GOP might as well sit out the 2016 presidential elections if they don’t tackle immigration reform this session.
I always think of that when I see polls like this:
A new poll ahead of the Republican convention finds that Donald Trump continues to do badly with Hispanic voters who support Hillary Clinton over him by 48 points, larger than the margin between President Obama and Mitt Romney in 2012.
* One of the things you have to appreciate about Charles Pierce is that he never minces words. You’re going to want to read the one he wrote today titled: “This Isn’t Funny Anymore. American Democracy Is at Stake.” He obviously reached the end of his ability to find any humor in Donald Trump’s candidacy when the presumptive nominee said this:
The other night you had 11 cities potentially in a blow-up stage. Marches all over the United States—and tough marches. Anger. Hatred. Hatred! Started by a maniac! And some people ask for a moment of silence for him. For the killer!
Here is a taste of Pierce’s response:
Nobody called for a moment of silence for Micah Johnson. Eleven U.S. cities are not on the brink of racial violence. He, Trump just made that shit up so his followers can stay afraid and angry at the people he wants them to fear and hate. This lie was a marching order and the Party of Lincoln is right in step with him, straight into the burning Reichstag of this man’s mind.
Welcome to the 2016 Republican convention: a four-day celebration of the ritual suicide of American democracy.
* Finally, to close out this all-Trump edition of Quick Takes (did you notice?), here is Hillary Clinton’s latest ad. Word out there right now is that this one is the best so far.