But he left no doubt in a sometimes awkward event that Pence's role will surely be as sidekick to the businessman-turned-reality-star-turned-politician at the top of the ticket.
In Congress, Pence was aligned with the ultra-right faction of congressional Republicans, serving as chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the main grouping of conservative Republicans.
The governor's faithful execution of duties for Trump might be rewarded even if both men fall short of the White House with a cushy governmental affairs gig at the company that bears Trump's name.
Raised in Columbus, Indiana, in an Irish-Catholic family, Pence revered the Kennedys growing up and has said he voted for Jimmy Carter in 1980.
For the many NSFW takes on Trump and Pence's borderline branding, simply search Twitter.
Trump claims (dishonestly) to have opposed the Iraq War; Pence voted for it while in Congress. Trump opposes free trade; Pence supports trade for both economic and foreign-policy reasons, and voted in favor of eight trade treaties while in Congress. Trump would sanction China as a currency manipulator; Pence voted to maintain normal trade relations with China. He added: "He's a solid, solid person".
The truck-driving terrorist who mowed down children and families celebrating in Nice has put new focus on immigration and border security, issues the real estate and entertainment mogul has made a key part of his campaign.
And he knows his way around the USA capital: he held a seat in the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013 and served as chairman of the House Republican Conference - the party's third most important position on Capitol Hill - from 2009 to 2011. "And they got crushed immediately, because people want what we're saying to happen". A voracious consumer of news, Trump fumed as he watched television reports declaring he had settled on Pence before he'd made a call to the governor. His fellow VP also-ran Newt Gingrich recently said the 24/7 job would be "too time consuming" for him to do, but then again, Christie is 20 years Gingrich's junior.
The question isn't about how the running mate does at defending the nominee.
Trump's is not the first logo to become an online punchline. If the worst thing critics can come up with is sexual innuendo jokes about the logo, you've won. Ted Cruz instead of Trump ahead of Indiana's presidential primary. He did return for a brief photo-op at the end.
Facing business-travel suspensions and boycotts, Pence and lawmakers amended the measure a week later to make clear that discrimination wouldn't be allowed.
"I think when we elect one of the best negotiators in the world as president of the United States, I'm open to renegotiating these trade agreements", Pence said.
The lead-up to the low-key Saturday was anything but smooth.
Clinton's campaign released a web video early Saturday highlighting the campaign's mixed signals and Trump's contradictory statements about where he was in the selection process in the lead-up to his announcement Friday morning of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
One topic Trump seemed to have less enthusiasm for was Indiana Governor Mike Pence, the man who would be one heartbeat away from the presidency in a Trump administration.
Just as Trump was settling on Pence, Republicans gathering in Cleveland essentially quelled the effort to stop him at the convention, all but assuring he'll be the GOP nominee.
A call from Trump Thursday afternoon prompted Pence to get on a plane to NY for an announcement the next day.
"He has a particularly strong talent, a gift if you will, for being able to stick to principle while making his political opponents or those who disagree with him feel like they are being heard and respected", said Ryan Streeter, a former Pence aide and George W. Bush staffer who is now a public affairs professor at the University of Texas.
Indiana's Governor Mike Pence stirred up global outrage previous year when he signed the controversial "Religious Freedom Restoration Act", which gives businesses the right to discriminate against gay people on the grounds of religion. But his hard line ideology is sometimes at odds with Trump. The two have had differing views on issues including abortion and trade.