Republican Donald Trump calls his VP pick a party unifier

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich introduces Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump during a rally at the Sharonville Convention Center

At a Manhattan hotel, the NY property developer said his vice-presidential pick was a "solid" man. My first choice from start!

But Trump spoke for more than twice as long as Pence, whose speech clocked in about 12 minutes.

"Activist judges", abortion, terrorism, health care and more-Pence seized on virtually all of the Republican attack lines and complaints about President Obama in seeking to tie Clinton to the man she served as secretary of state, who has hit the campaign trail of late to support her.

Mr Trump and Mr Pence made their debut just two days before the beginning of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where delegates from around the country will convene to officially nominate the pair as their party's ticket for the November 8 election.

The formal introduction came a day after the Republican candidate had planned to make it.

After almost half an hour, Trump let his new best friend take the stage.

"Trade already benefits Indiana", Pence said in a speech on the House floor in 2001, touting how NAFTA helped increase agricultural exports from the state. His pick has been one of the most conventional steps for Trump since the beginning of his campaign.

It was hard to gauge what, if any, personal relationship exists. He also, fairly or not, acquired a reputation over the past few months as a spineless lackey for Trump, an image that would have reinforced the impression that Trump couldn't deal with independent politicians.

"Contribute now to be the first to join the Trump-Pence team", Trump said in an email solicitation. "I truly am deeply humbled to be at his side today", Pence said.

He presented his new boss's outsider status as an asset, saying the real estate tycoon understands the frustrations and the hopes of the American people like no leader since Ronald Reagan.

"He's a solid, solid person", Trump said of Pence, touting the ex-congressman's leadership of the House Republican Conference.

Mr Trump acknowledged that the choice was about unifying the party. Mr Pence backed Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Pence went on to say he has "never hesitated" to call out fellow Republicans who take actions of which he disapproves or make statements he doesn't believe are "quite right".

Trump, multiple sources told CNN, was troubled by his gut feeling that he should have gone with his friend, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie instead, and made calls to his children and campaign chairman Paul Manafort, but was told he could not.

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