On Friday, Donald Trump (left) chose Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (right) as his vice-presidential running mate. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker issued statements of support for Trump's VP choice. Photo courtesy Michael Vadon/U.S. Congress
JACKSON U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour are set to speak today at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
Barbour is chairman of the Committee on Permanent Organization for the convention this year. His nephew Henry Barbour, Mississippi's Republican National Committeeman, is a deputy co-chair for the convention, serving on the Rules Committee.
The convention begins just a few days after the Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, announced Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate.
Haley Barbour said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation" that Republicans now realize that Trump will be their nominee this year and have put aside thoughts about nominating a different candidate at this week's convention. "I think people have realized that the Republican voters of the country have spoken," Barbour said on "Face the Nation." "Donald Trump got—he was not my first choice. He got more votes in the Republican primaries than any other Republican candidate in the history of our party."
"He won a huge victory," Barbour added. "And I think people are—some people who weren't for him are reconciled to that."
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant released a statement Friday, saying he was delighted with Trump's vice-presidential choice.
"Mike was a strong conservative leader in Congress and has been one of the nation's leading Republican governors," Bryant said in a statement sent by the Mississippi Republican Party. "I have known and worked with Mike as a fellow governor and am certain he will help Donald Trump make America great again."
Sen. Wicker told the Associated Press Friday that he supported Pence as the vice-presidential candidate. "He is an optimistic, cheerful and pragmatic leader from America's heartland," said Wicker told the Associated Press. "It's hard not to like Mike Pence. He could absolutely step into the presidency if needed."
Wicker served in the U.S. House of Representatives for seven years with Pence from 2001 to 2007. Pence left the House in 2013 when he was elected Indiana's governor.
The Associated Press reported Friday that Henry Barbour said Pence is a fiscal and social conservative and "a steady hand" who will make Republicans comfortable.
"He's a serious player," Barbour said. "This is not some guy from the B team."
The Republican National Convention starts today and lasts through Thursday. The schedule, posted on the RNC's website, says the convention will showcase stories from Republicans throughout the U.S. who want to "Make America Great Again."
Each day has a specific theme to match Trump's campaign slogan. Monday is "Make America Safe Again," Tuesday is "Make America Work Again," Wednesday is "Make America First Again," and Friday is "Make America One Again." The convention will be available via livestream on Youtube.
The Democratic National Convention is July 25-28 in Philadelphia, Pa.
Email state reporter Arielle Dreher at [email protected] and follow her at @arielle_amara on Twitter.