NYT columnist warns 'cruel bigot' President Pence would be worse than Trump: 'From a kleptocracy to a theocracy'
Mike Pence (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Writing for the New York Times, columnist Frank Bruno cautioned those who want to impeach President Donald Trump that they might come to regret it if they were to succeed, saying Mike Pence as president would likely be worse.

According to Bruni, the former congressman turned vice president -- who knows the ins and outs of lawmaking after a career in politics -- would know how to work with Congress to pass laws that reflect his hard-right Christian outlook.

"There are problems with impeaching Donald Trump. A big one is the holy terror waiting in the wings," Bruni began. "That would be Mike Pence, who mirrors the boss more than you realize. He’s also self-infatuated. Also a bigot. Also a liar. Also cruel."

According to the longtime columnist, as bad as Trump has been, Pence would plunge the administration from a "kleptocracy to a theocracy."

Speaking with journalists Michael D’Antonio and Peter Eisner about their book, "The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence,” the writers explained their case against the veep moving into the Oval Office to the columnist.

According to the authors, Pence likely would have been ousted as governor of Indiana if he ran again, and that Trump threw him a lifeline that saved his political career when he was tabbed to be the president's running mate in 2016. Now that he is safely ensconced at Trump's side, and with Trump facing possible criminal charges that might force him from office, Pence might be looking at becoming the new commander in chief -- and that could make thing in the U.S. worse.

Pence's "disregard for science, evident in his onetime insistence that smoking doesn’t cause cancer and a belief that alarms about climate change were 'a secret effort to increase government control over people’s lives for some unstated diabolical purpose,' should be alarming," Bruni wrote.

According to Bruni, Pence can be thanked for the appointment of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, writing, "They are longtime allies, going back decades, who bonded over such shared passions as making it O.K. for students to use government money, in the form of vouchers, at religious schools. Pence cast the tiebreaking vote in the Senate to confirm her as education secretary. It was the first time in history that a vice president had done that for a cabinet nominee."

D'Antonio related to Bruni a tale of a college friend of Pence’s who later sought his counsel about coming out as gay. With the author stating that Pence told the friend: “You have to stay closeted, you have to get help, you’re sick and you’re not my friend anymore.”

"Pence sees himself and fellow Christian warriors as a blessed but oppressed group, and his 'hope for the future resided in his faith that, as chosen people, conservative evangelicals would eventually be served by a leader whom God would enable to defeat their enemies and create a Christian nation,'" Bruni wrote.

Asking D’Antonio, "Is America worse off with Trump or Pence?" the author argued for Trump because he is so "obvious" about what he wants.

Pence tends to “disguise his agenda.” D’Antonio explained, while adding that, should Pence assumed the presidency by way of impeachment with two years remaining on Trump's term, he’d could run for president in 2020 and 2024 giving him ten years to do damage from the Oval Office.

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