Vice President Mike Pence angrily pushed back against a New York Times story this past weekend that suggested he was plotting a "shadow campaign" for the presidency should President Donald Trump be removed from office.
However, Republican strategist Rick Wilson on Monday said Pence's denial rings very hollow -- and he predicted that there would be growing support for ousting Trump among Republicans should Trump continue to flounder as president.
"His denial is a full confession of guilt," Wilson wrote on Twitter Monday. "The 'Pence is running' whispers follow months of 'Pence is a circuit breaker for Trump's cray' whispers. Pence is a *major* safety blanket for GOP Members, particularly in the Senate. He's a kind of 'But Gorsuch!' talisman they clutch in the dark, stormy moments of Trump's most evident instability."
Wilson then argued that Democrats should embrace efforts to replace Trump with Pence, despite the fact that they loathe Pence's politics. The reason, he said, is that ousting Trump will result in a conservative "civil war" that will badly damage Pence and any campaign he runs for president in 2020.
"If Trump collapses Pence is at solid risk for splash damage in the conservative civil war to come," he writes.
Read the full tweet storm below.
His denial is a full confession of guilt: Mike Pence Rejects Report That He Is Positioning for 2020 https://t.co/PkiIe2odgz— Rick Wilson (@Rick Wilson) 1502104213.0
2/ Pence is a *major* safety blanket for GOP Members, particularly in the Senate. He's a kind of "But Gorsuch!" talisman they clutch...— Rick Wilson (@Rick Wilson) 1502104495.0
4/ ...to be soberly saying, "Well, Mike Pence is so much smarter, more reliable, more stable, more handsome, and has better hair."— Rick Wilson (@Rick Wilson) 1502104625.0
6/ And... #ETTD is a proven rule now, so plan accordingly.— Rick Wilson (@Rick Wilson) 1502104825.0