Vice President Mike Pence has been unfailingly loyal to Trump, but it looks like he's not getting anything for his unfettered devotion.
In an interview with his pals at "Fox and Friends" on Friday morning, Trump refused to endorse Vice President Mike Pence as his successor, even though Pence has been a slavishly loyal sidekick to Trump.
When a Fox host asked Trump if Pence would have his "automatic endorsement" in 2024, Trump made it crystal clear that the man one heartbeat away from the presidency did not have his full confidence: "Well, it's — I love Mike. We are running again. You're talking about a long time, so you can't put me in that position."
As a consolation to Pence, Trump added he "would give it very strong consideration."
Ouch. A statement like that can't sit well with Pence, who has remained loyal to Trump no matter what Trump has done.
Pence loves to talk about his devout faith, yet still stands by Trump, a man who has paid hush money to multiple mistresses and once bragged about the joy he takes in sexually assaulting women. Pence refused to speak out against Trump's cruel family separation policy and even defended Trump's use of Russian propaganda in 2016.
Pence's ambitions for the White House are a poorly kept secret. In 2018, Republican operatives were allegedly planning for Mike Pence to be the GOP nominee in the event that Trump's presidency collapsed. The plan was far enough along that it was rumored Nikki Haley, Trump's former U.N. ambassador, would have been Pence's running mate.
But Trump's refusal to endorse Pence is not a major surprise, considering Trump's relative disdain for Pence. In 2017, Trump mocked Pence for his religious beliefs about abortion and LGBTQ rights, for one. And in late 2018, Trump was mulling dropping Pence from the ticket in 2020, with one source saying Pence "didn't add anything" to the ticket.
Trump has often said that he values loyalty. Pence has shown a degrading level of loyalty to Trump, and he is learning exactly how much loyalty to Trump is worth.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.