Bill Knight column for Mon., Tues. or Wed., Oct. 17, 18 or 19
Other Republican office-holders are criticizing Trump or asking him to withdraw from the race. (One estimate is that 33 House Members and 17 Senators have publicly rejected Trump, meaning that more than 200 House Republicans and 37 Senators are sticking with him.) And though Pence is under some pressure to quit – especially after Trump during the last debate conceded he hadn’t talked with Pence and disagreed with his position on Syria – Republicans including U.S. Sens. Ron Portman (Ohio) and Mike Crapo (Idaho) want Pence to replace Trump as their nominee.
Meanwhile, Pence is being held up as more reasonable than Trump (which isn’t difficult). But Pence may just be a smoother politician.
Some history: Before becoming Indiana’s governor in 2012, Pence started his political career by losing a 1988 race for Congress, and then two years later losing again (while using campaign funds for personal expenses – which wasn’t yet against the law that eventually sent U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. to prison). After a five-year stint as a right-wing broadcaster on talk radio and morning TV, he won a Congressional seat in 2000. In a 12-year career as a Congressman, Pence was a Tea Partier before there was one, authoring 90 bills – none of which passed.
“His interest was more in preventing things from happening — spending, taxing, expanding liberal social policy,” reported New York Times journalist Carl Hulse.
Pence supported invading Iraq War, de-funding Planned Parenthood, and legalizing discrimination of prejudiced people using a religious justification, and he opposed the rescue of the auto industry, raising the minimum wage, and addressing climate change.
And he’s dishonest, based on his remarks from the vice presidential debate. Non-partisan fact-checkers verified Pence’s following lies in the Oct. 4 debate with U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), Clinton’s running mate. Pence said …
1. it was “nonsense” that Trump didn’t know Russia had already invaded Ukraine/Crimea. (Trump showed that on ABC-TV in August);
2. Trump didn’t break his 2014 promise to release his tax returns. (Trump said, “If I decide to run for office, I'll produce my tax returns, absolutely.”);
3. it was “nonsense” that Trump proposed a “deportation force.” (Trump proposed that in Phoenix in August);
4. Trump wouldn’t shirk NATO responsibilities. (Trump in July said he’d fulfill the U.S. commitment to NATO allies “if they fulfill their [financial] obligations to us.”);
5. it was “absolutely false” that Trump advocates banning Muslims from entering the United States. (Trump on Dec. 7, 2015, called for “eliminating Muslim immigration … a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”);
6. Trump didn’t praise Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. (At NBC’s Commander-in-Chief forum Sept. 7, Trump said Putin’s “been a leader far more than our president has been a leader.”);
7. Clinton initiated a deal paying $150 billion to Iran (when Secretary of State John Kerry oversaw the agreement that returned Iran’s own money seized as part of international sanctions);
8. “Donald Trump and I would never support legislation that punished women who made the heartbreaking choice to end a pregnancy.” (Trump told MSNBC’s Chris Mathews in March, “There has to be some form of punishment.”);
9. accused Clinton of proposing “open borders.” (Actually, she advocates for immigration reform while strengthening borders, instituting “targeted and effective” enforcement, and reporting those “who pose a threat to public safety.”);
10. “We have the smallest Navy since 1916” (a whacky comparison of today’s aircraft carriers and nuclear-powered warships to gunboats and small vessels of a century ago);
11. the Clinton Foundation spent “less than 10 cents on the dollar [on] charitable causes. (The nonpartisan American Institute of Philanthropy says the foundation spend 88 percent of its expenditures on programs);
12. Trump “never said that” more countries should have nuclear weapons (although he did, to the New York Times in March.).
Maybe Pence forgot that records exist, or was covering Trump’s butt – or his own, looking to 2020.
“Pence’s most shameless answers imagine a world where the voters who do not intend to vote Clinton will begin to think like Trump voters. Not just to vote for Trump – to admire his business and ignore his problems the way that Trump’s base and late-deciding Republicans have decided to,” said David Weigel in the Washington Post. “Pence tried to convert more voters into amnesiacs.”
[PICTURED: Graphic from FlaDems.]