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Mike Pence finally stands tall on the campaign trail

Jul 25, 2023

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Presidential hopeful Mike Pence has spent a lot of time on the campaign trail defending his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, the day he certified President Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. The topic came up again on a recent campaign stop in Iowa, when the former vice president encountered yet another angry voter who blamed him for Trump’s defeat.

Straight Arrow News contributor Ruben Navarrette took notice of Pence’s bold response to his accuser, which made him wonder if the Mike Pence he had interviewed years ago—a young politician whom he believed had integrity—has finally returned.

When Pence was named number two, for he who shall not be named, in July 2016–well, the darkness swallowed him whole. Pence stayed in that dark space, quietly going along with every harebrained and half-baked scheme proposed by the administration he helped lead to impose tariffs, limit immigration, cut taxes and curtail freedom.

In fact, there were times when I thought Pence would stay in that hole forever. And honestly, I was starting to see an earlier version of the man, the one that served in Congress in the early 2000s, disappear behind a fog of ambition and insincerity.

Now, it looks like he’s back. It may not be soon enough to save his floundering presidential campaign. He’s way down in the polls, and he hasn’t raised much money. In fact, it’s very likely that he’ll lose this race and return to private life in Indiana.

Along the way, he may have found something more valuable: his integrity. 

Welcome back, Mr. Vice President.

 

There he is. There’s the real Mike Pence, the guy I know a little bit and used to like a lot. Of course that was way back in the mid 2000s when Pence was still a congressman from Indiana, before he became governor of the Hoosier State, and then Vice President, going over to the dark side. 

 

In 2006, Congressman Pence convinced then Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, a Texas Republican, to co-sponsor with him a bill that offered legal status to undocumented immigrants, the nativist wing of the GOP went ballistic. And yet Pence didn’t back down — even when some Republicans derived his plan as a “mini amnesty.” That kind of courage was a beautiful thing to behold. Since I write about immigration a lot, our paths were bound to cross and they did. I interviewed the Congressman several times. I wrote some nice things about him and he responded in kind. 

 

I liked Pence 1.0 — brave and principled, much different from the poor guy in the hostage video, who served as vice president. Recently, Americans had an honest to goodness sighting of pre-Trump Pence at a pizza parlor in Sioux City, Iowa. He was there to sample the pie, and drum up support for his long shot bid for the White House. 

 

A retired store manager in the audience named Luann Bushrod grilled Pence about the tragic and treasonous events of January 6 2021. That was a shameful day when an angry mob of sore losers stormed the US Capitol, attacked police officers and tried to overturn a lawful election. And what’d they chant? Hang Mike Pence. Luann insisted the administration led by he who shall not be named, accomplished wonderful things.

 

So she got right up in Pence’s face, wagging her finger at the poor guy. She proceeded to inform the former vice president how he had single-handedly wrecked the country. The way Lou An sees things, that is through a MAGA lens, Pence got Joe Biden elected president in 2020,  100%. She wishes Pence had rejected, as vice president, the electoral votes of several states and maybe thrown the election to the House of Representatives. 

 

“If it wasn’t for your vote, we would not have Joe Biden in the White House, Bertrand said. “That was a constitutional right that you had to send those votes back to the States. You changed history for this country.”

 

Pence let the woman say her piece, and then he responded with a bang. “The Constitution affords no authority to the Vice President or anyone else to reject votes or return votes to the States. He said, quote, I want to tell you with all due respect, and I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again right now. President Trump was wrong about my authority that day, and he’s still wrong. 

There he is. There’s the real Mike Pence, a man brave enough to face down the mob and not give into it. A statesman looking for solutions and not just sound bites. 

 

When Pence was named number two, for he who shall not be named in July 2016, well, the darkness swallowed him whole. Pence stayed in that dark space, quietly going along with every harebrained and half baked scheme proposed by the administration. He helped lead to impose tariffs, limit immigration, cut taxes, and curtail freedom. In fact, there were times when I thought Pence would stay in that hole forever. And honestly, I was starting to see an earlier version of the man, the one that served in Congress in the early 2000s, disappear behind a fog of ambition and insincerity.

 

Now, it looks like he’s back. It may not be soon enough to save his floundering presidential campaign. He’s way down in the polls, and he hasn’t raised much money. In fact, it’s very likely that he’ll lose this race and return to private life in Indiana. 

 

Along the way, he may have found something more valuable: his integrity. 

 

Welcome back, Mr. Vice President.

 

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