It’s not exactly the best time to be Mike Pence. In fact, it’s almost as though his life has gotten worse from the moment Donald Trump asked him to be his running mate – putting him in the awkward position of having to rationalize and make excuses for every vile thing Trump did on the campaign trail. Things only got worse from then on – from what Pence did or didn’t know about Michael Flynn to Trump stumbling on the question of whether or not he’d endorse Pence for president in 2024.
Sure enough, the fireworks we suspected under the surface are now public as Trump and Pence feud in the open. First, it was Pence’s stay at a Trump resort that drew attention to a much larger scandal of Air Force personnel routinely staying at Trump properties. Things escalated with the firing of John Bolton after he argued with Pence, a decision many suspect Trump made because he couldn’t simply fire and replace Pence.
Nikki Haley has floated the idea of replacing Pence on the ticket by denying a rumor that never was, only further fueling speculation that Trump is looking for a new running mate for 2020 – possibly one that could help to better balance the ticket. Now, Pence is facing a bit more resistance within his own party, as a group called Republicans for the Rule of Law attacked him in an ad on Thursday that ran during MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” news program.
The ad highlights his hypocrisy for attacking the Clinton Foundation in 2016 while staying silent as Trump hosted foreign government leaders at his hotels, even using the vice president’s own words when faced with the dilemma: “Who cares?” We have yet to see if this will materialize into another move by Donald Trump, who will almost certainly see the ad. It is noteworthy to say that Mitch McConnell has finally brought election security to the table, shortly after this same group called him out for it in an ad. We do know two things for sure: the Trump-Pence feud is going to get worse, and Mike Pence is having a much harder time operating in the dark.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making