Profile of Mike Pence sheds new light on how Trump wrestled over whether to pull his VP nomination at the last second

Donald Trump was extremely hesitant to select Mike Pence as his running mate in the 2016 election, The New Yorker reported in a lengthy profile of Pence released Monday.

And Trump reportedly waffled on his choice until the very end, debating whether to go with Pence or New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, although once making the choice to select Pence, Trump boasted that the Indiana Republican was "straight from central casting."

A former campaign aide said that one of Trump's biggest issues with the then-Indiana governor was that he was not particularly wealthy. Trump also seemed wary of Pence's strong social conservative views prior to making the selection.

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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (L) and U.S. President Donald Trump appear on stage at a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. April 29, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
U.S. President Donald Trump talks with Vice President Mike Pence as he departs the White House to North Dakota, in Washington, U.S., September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump waves after attending a briefing with Vice President Mike Pence (L) and first lady Melania Trump (R) on Hurricane Irma relief efforts in Fort Myers, Florida, U.S., September 14, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump stands with first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen (R) during a moment of silence in the wake of the the mass shooting in Las Vegas at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence escorts U.S. President Donald Trump back towards the table after Trump left before signing an executive order on healthcare at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 12, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence stand on the ramp of Air Force One as Trump arrives in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., August 22, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump is joined by (L-R) Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, senior advisor Steve Bannon, Communications Director Sean Spicer and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn as he speaks by phone with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 28, 2017. With the departure of Bannon from the White House on August 18, 2017 none of these men remain working with Trump at the White House except Vice President Pence. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
Vice President Mike Pence laughs as U.S. President Donald Trump holds a baseball bat as they attend a Made in America product showcase event at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the first meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity chaired by Vice President Mike Pence (R) at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 19, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters with Vice President Mike Pence at his side at Trump's golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey U.S. August 10, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence attend a National Day of Prayer event at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington D.C., U.S., May 4, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
President Donald Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions attend the National Peace Officers Memorial Service on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., May 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump reacts as he is introduced by Vice President Mike Pence (L) during the signing of an executive order on "Energy Independence," eliminating Obama-era climate change regulations at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters in Washington, U.S., March 28, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in front of Vice President Mike Pence (L) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
U.S. President Donald Trump (C), Vice President Mike Pence (R) and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus arrive to meet Harley Davidson executives at the South Lawn of the White House in Washington U.S., February 2, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump sings the U.S. National Anthem while accompanied by his wife Melania, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen (R) during a prayer service at Washington National Cathedral the morning after his inauguration, in Washington, U.S., January 21, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump with his wife Melania and Vice President Mike Pence with his wife Karen cut a cake at the Armed Services Ball in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence salute marchers during the inaugural parade in Washington, January 20, 2017. Donald Trump was sworn in earlier as the 45th President of the United States. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Mike Pence(L), Donald Trump (2nd L), U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden attend inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
First Lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Karen Pence wave goodbye to Barack and Michelle Obama on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. REUTERS/Rob Carr/Pool
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) shakes hands with Indiana Governor Mike Pence (L) before addressing the crowd during a campaign stop at the Grand Park Events Center in Westfield, Indiana, July 12, 2016. REUTERS/John Sommers II
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump shakes hands with his running mate Governor Mike Pence (R) at the conclusion of the final session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Pence, however, reportedly pleased Trump by playing a round of golf with him at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club, later telling the press that the future president "beat me like a drum."

Still, Trump came close to picking Christie.

After visiting Pence in Indiana, The New Yorker reported that Trump called Christie and said, "I’ve got a question for you. Are you ready?"

Here's the rest of the dialogue from that call, according to The New Yorker:

"Ready for what?" Christie responded.

"Ready to do this with me," Trump said.

"Are you offering?" Christie said.

"I'm asking you — but you've got to make sure you're ready," Trump said.

"I'm as tough as they come," Christie said.

"O.K.," Trump said. "I'm making the decision tomorrow. Stay by your phone."

With Christie's detractors pointing to the Bridgegate controversy, however, Trump was "led into" choosing Pence, as a top Trump campaign aide told the publication.

"Pence was made the most palatable choice by those around him," the aide said.

But even after aides leaked that Trump was set to pick Pence, who flew to New York for the announcement, Trump asked staffers if he could back out of the decision.

He later called Christie and reportedly said "they're telling me I have to pick him."

"It's central casting," Trump said. "He looks like a vice president."

He would repeat that line days later behind the scenes at the Republican National Convention.

"Isn't he just perfect?" Trump reportedly asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich backstage as Pence delivered his acceptance speech. "Straight from central casting."

Read the full story at The New Yorker >

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