Donald Trump is set to pick Indiana Governor Mike Pence to be his running mate. Pence, who is set to lose his reelection bid, is grabbing at this lifeline as a way to avoid embarrassment.
Scott McKay isn’t totally opposed to the Pence pick:
Pence is an asset to Trump’s ticket. Naming him would serve to placate GOP establishment types who remember Pence as an excellent congressman, and he still carries a decent odor with conservative groups who fondly remember his exploits as a conservative critic of the excesses of the Bush administration in domestic policy.
Pence is a solid communicator and an articulate defender of conservative principles. He successfully fought off challenges to Indiana’s right-to-work laws in court and stood strong behind it.
Let me put my cards on the table. I would never support Donald Trump, no matter who he picks as VP. Trump remains utterly unqualified to serve as President of the United States. He was a fascist asshat before picking Pence and he’s still one after picking Pence.
I always knew that Donald Trump was going to make a terrible choice for VP, but Mike Pence is particularly bad. Pence is clearly a bone thrown to the neo-Puritan, self-righteous, hypocritical kooks who are writing the GOP’s platform. These guys are authoritarian progressives with Bibles.
Mike Pence is a special kind of awful because he’s a fraud and a coward. Mike Pence once backed allowing bakers, florists, and others to not serve gay weddings. But the Gay Mafia objected to the legislation Pence pushed for and signed and he folded like a cheap suit. Pence also loves him some Common Core and implemented Obamacare in Indiana.
Pence also claims to be a conservative, but his record as Indiana governor is anything but. Here’s Joy Pullmann, dismantling it in The Federalist:
Pence is not appealing to moderates. In Indiana, the moderate business types are upset with him because they also think he handled the RFRA fiasco badly. Not because he capitulated, but because he did it so awkwardly. They’d rather not be talking about trans bathrooms at all. The moderate mom types are upset with him over the state’s testing and Common Core regimes, and all the “mean” social issues.
So all he really has left are base voters, whom he alienated by betraying them when the chips were down on RFRA and Common Core while offering them no major wins in other areas such as: economic deregulation, school choice expansions (Indiana’s programs, which began under Daniels, are overregulated and underfunded), reformed occupational licensing, actual health reform, rejecting federal funds in myriad areas it invites federal overreach, or overhauling our sclerotic state bureaucracy.
So it’s not really clear on the issues how choosing Pence is a win for Trump or the country. Despite all this, I think he’s a fitting vice presidential pick for Trump, because it would prove another bit of gossip: That Trump is all about show, not substance. He’s about the meme, the message, not the man underneath. That’s exactly the way Pence has conducted his governorship. And look where it’s getting him!
Mike Pence’s record in Congress was one of both pro-free trade and pro-immigration. He supported immigration reform, including a path to legalization for illegal immigrants. Pence also voted for every single free trade agreement that came up in Congress. If Pence was sincere on these two issues, he wouldn’t align with the most anti-immigration, most protectionist presidential candidate in recent memory. Pence though has proven to be malleable, if anything.
Actually, Mike Pence is the perfect VP pick for Trump. He’s a gutless authoritarian who just talks a good game, just like Trump. It’s a cry for help for political failures, not a ticket that can defeat Hillary Clinton.