After four-and-a-half years of unbending loyalty, Vice President Mike Pence is ready to move on from Donald Trump. All it took was the president inciting a riot that, quite literally, put Pence’s life in danger.
“Pence is done with Trump’s bulls–t,” said a former Pence adviser. “He’s not going to give a prime time speech saying, ‘F you Donald Trump,’ but in his own way he is going to just get to the finish line and keep his head down.”
The vice president has spent the past few days navigating between two political forces. There is bipartisan praise for his refusal to indulge the president’s unconstitutional ploy for a second term. But the MAGA base he cultivated alongside Trump is now threatening him with political retribution and even death for that same refusal.
Not wanting to inflame the situation further, Pence and his aides have tried to dodge the spotlight since the president attacked him for lacking the “courage” to illegally overturn the election outcome. While Trump traveled to the Southwestern border on Tuesday as part of an effort to shift the conversation away from last week’s deadly rampage, Pence’s team scaled back a similar farewell tour that would have dispatched the vice president to several events this week to tout the administration’s accomplishments.
But the VP hasn’t completely checked out or turned on Trump either. On Tuesday, he formally rejected calls for him to invoke the 25th amendment to initiate the removal of the president from office. The vice president is planning to attend a memorial service for famed Air Force pilot Chuck Yeager in Charleston, W.Va., on Friday — his first planned public appearance since overseeing Congress’ election certification last week — and has also discussed meeting with state governors battling the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and vaccine rollout between now and next Wednesday.
In a sign of Pence’s eagerness to go his separate way, he plans to attend Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 apart from Trump, who has vowed to skip his successor’s swearing-in and is expected to depart for his West Palm Beach estate prior to then.
It’s the most overt attempt by Pence to create political distance from Trump — a man he declined to abandon amid the “Access Hollywood” leak, or through an impeachment trial in 2019, or when Trump bullied Republican allies, threatened long-standing alliances and cursed his way through campaign rallies.
For that distancing, Pence has earned plaudits from prominent conservatives, Republican lawmakers and right-wing organizations, especially since last Wednesday, when he returned to the House chamber hours after the riots to oversee certification of Biden’s win. Even Trump allies have rallied by Pence’s side as the MAGA-faithful continue to rail against him for his alleged treachery.
“I am totally supportive of him doing what he thinks is right,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
People familiar with the matter said the vice president has found solace in the outpouring of support for himself and other members of Congress who rebuffed Trump’s pressure to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s win. Pence and his allies have also been pleased with what they perceive to be a reputational boost he’s enjoyed, and the increasing likelihood that Trump will forgo launching a comeback campaign in 2024. Pence harbors presidential ambitions of his own. But the prospect of Trump running for office again in four years had threatened to freeze the Republican primary field and place Pence in an uncomfortable position.
“Mike Pence is stronger today as a candidate for 2024 than he’s ever been because he’s been loyal to the president, but also loyal to his conscience and doing what’s right,” said a former White House official.
While Pence has yet to decide on a future presidential bid, he is expected to spend the next few months selling the successes of the Trump administration — on everything from tax reform and deregulation to religious freedom — with paid speeches and appearances in front of conservative audiences. He also plans to publicly push back as the incoming Biden administration works to undo many Trump-era policies, with op-eds and media appearances. One person close to Pence said his short-term goal is to help Republicans take back the House in the 2022 midterm cycle and find a lucrative board position or steady stream of speaking opportunities to generate income.
The future of his relationship to Trump is less clear. Though a senior administration official said the two had a “good” conversation on Monday night — their first since Pence had to be hurried out of the Senate chamber minutes ahead of the mob — it is unclear if Trump has offered an apology for what Pence allies view as a remarkable betrayal. Nor has Trump expressed contrition for his remarks that preceded last week’s Capitol Hill putsch.
“If you read my speech … it’s been analyzed and people thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday.
Despite a reprieve from Trump’s wrath after the president was banned from social media sites Facebook, Twitter and Instagram last week, Pence has faced increasingly dark threats from the president’s supporters and defenders. Outside the chaotic scenes last Wednesday, some Trump backers were caught on camera chanting, “Hang Mike Pence.” Over the weekend, attorney Lin Wood, who led an unsuccessful effort to overturn the 2020 election results, was censored on the Twitter-alternative Parler for suggesting that Pence be executed by “firing squads.”
A spokesperson for Pence declined to comment further on the conversation he had with Trump. But a former Pence adviser said of the president: “He absolutely owes the vice president an apology, not just for endangering his life, but for trying to dupe people into thinking [Pence] could do more” to change the outcome of the 2020 election.
Most Pence aides and allies said they anticipated that Trump would make life difficult for his vice president for declining to interfere with the Jan. 6 certification vote to affirm Biden’s win, citing the intense pressure Trump and his own allies — including White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, director of presidential personnel Johnny McEntee and former campaign adviser Boris Epshteyn — had already put on Pence and his team leading up to last week’s joint session.
But in the aftermath of last Wednesday, some said they’ve still been surprised by Trump’s refusal to make amends with his vice president, particularly as Pence resists calls to organize the president’s removal from office or pressure him to resign.
“It’s all just very disappointing. I thought I’d lost the capacity to be shocked and I was wrong,” said one person close to Pence, noting that Trump and those pushing Pence to unilaterally overturn the election results — like former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani — “didn’t even have a plan” for the unprecedented fallout that would have ensued if Pence had obliged.
16 thoughts on “Is Mike Pence Done with Trump?”
Once again a Washington insider has proved he , Pence is out for himself not the American people. I am Disgusted with All of it. For years lazy Americans have not been involved in holding their representatives accountable. So Now we have very little freedom to kick them out. It’s hard to trust any media, or truly know what is going on inside the beltway . Pence And other officials will find that MAGA people have been awakened to the corruption of our government and will NOT forget his cowardice behavior .
“Unconstitutional ploy for a 2nd term”..??? What was REALLY Unconstitutional is the CHEATING in an election = FRAUD is CRIMINAL, biden/demonRATS DIDN’T “win” NOTHING…..President Trump did NOT “lose”…He WON the election and is just fighting for what is RIGHT…He is NOT fighting for of what is WRONG….!!!! STOP twisting/MISCONSTRUING everything here,,,,,!!!!! The WHOLE country was BETRAYED…!!!!
I find the article curious in that it finds only fault with President Trump for posing the possibility of Mike Pence throwing up a roadblock to the obvious election irregularities. It’s as if that is the great sin- the President pleading for the action. That I do understand, and I also understand Mike Pence deciding that although he would wish he could have done so, it probably would have been an overreach. Instead we get the incoming leftish lies promptly following the rally- Biden accusing the President of a Goebbels meme. This was the real sin- that any such discussion of the irregularities is a criminal act of a man unfit for office. Uh huh. One of the most successful presidencies in terms of actual accomplishments- of which Mike Pence played an important part- and all we get here is an article detailing the usual political maneuvering showing Mike Pence is capable of looking out for himself. What does that mean? That’s he’s a good political survivor? Who cares- not me. I admire the President, and I admire the Vice President- that said, you know what would really make me admire him all the more? If he stood up and gave a real speech of his own. The one that says ” I only wish that I could have pushed for an overturn of the election as their were enormous illegal actions done by parties, including democrats that made the election of President Elect Biden suspicious indeed. I think the president and myself reserve the right to examine this in light of the threats to the republic by it’s changing of election laws that threaten the rights of citizens to have their votes counted- which obviously occurred this time and which we need to prevent from ever happening again. I am proud to have served under the President and helped him accomplish all that we did, which is now being smeared by democratic leaders and the incoming President as a man who is ‘unfit to lead’. That is rubbish and I say it now and in the future. I will hopefully be able to serve my country and lead the investigations into how our election laws were changed and how to prevent the deterioration in our voting rights- rights that need to be preserved if we are remain a republic and not some oligarchy that can be controlled by computer programs capable of changing votes or fraudsters performing harvesting of ineligible voters that seems to have occurred rather dramatically in this past presidential election.”
Now that would have been impressive, been gracious to a man who taught him how to navigate the economic recovery of the century, navigate the negotiations that brought the possibilities of peace treaties in the middle east that no one has ever been able to accomplish before, by a man who brought economic advancement to black and brown citizens, brought back real possibilities and realities for all the nation states of the world by showing how each nation has to consider their nations first- the real secret to his success, and how beneficial that is to the world, not just America. I find your article rather lacking in not exploring all this that Mike Pences silence reveals. I think Mike Pence is a great future candidate- but his silence in the face of this egregious onslaught against the President and all conservatives is what needs to be addressed to impress me.
Democrats should be ashamed.
A shame of what. I go back to Eisenhower was President . The only President in history who has destroyed our country is Trump. Before Trump people could agree to disagree without being harmed. Through the years votes made our leaders by votes and not guns. What has happened to our country? Many Senators do not represent or country or they would abide by the oath they took to protect the constitution. Some senators are saying it is okay to lie and steal because they are family. It is not okay for a family member to destroy our country because he is family. Republicans and democrats are suppose to be for the people and not for someone they consider GOD.
Democrats doesn’t even know what the word ashamed means let alone know how to spell it. They have no shame, their conscience is seared with a hot iron.
As for Mr. Pence running for president in 2024, he has to show he will to be able to confront he left at every point, he is to mild mannered for that, they will run ruff shod over him for the next four years. He is not a Leader. And for the Republicans to win back the white house. It will take a strong man, willing to stand up. Because the will be confronting, the Media, big tech, and social elite. the problems with the 2020 election, will be nothing compared with 2024.
Lizzy sounds like another Russian posting stupid rants.
What else can you throw up against the wall to see if it sticks
Free speech has its limits. They should be thanked for making efforts to protect our country from terrorist wanting to destroy it.
Take me off this bullshit.
Do not email me Democrat lies !!!
Pence and those 10 Republicans are treasonous! President Trump said NOTHING to incite violence! Pence and the Catholic Church are evil! President Trump is the best president ever!!! He’ll stay my president!
I am disappointed in Pence for not giving the states 10 days to take another look at the election results. The article indicated that the probe would have been unconstitutional. That is not true. The American people have been cheated out of this election. The ploy was that of the Democrats. It is a sad day and an illegitimate presidency that we are facing. Very sad for America.
President Trump did not incite the riot as it was already planned ahead of time when Antifa and BLM heard that Trump supporters were going to DC, they infiltrated the Trump supporters to cause them grief and put the blame on President Trump. One of the arrows in Pelosi’s quiver, if you remember she said I have arrows in my quiver. Pelosi is a liar and has no conscience, Child of Satan.
I keep hearing, and your article is one of them; wtf boys!?!?, that “Trump incited a riot” how? No one has provided a shred of evidence of this. The only thing we get was “well, his speech inferred…” Why don’t you stfu and stop behaving like a liberal rag mag and report FACTS, clear concise facts. Patriots 4 Freedom? Then stop playing the democrat game!