During a segment in MSNBC's "Morning Joe," regular contributor John Heilemann said recent comments by Vice President Mike Pence make it appear that he is putting distance between himself and Donald Trump and may be a sign of the parting of the ways as the president's fortunes plunge.
Speaking with host Joe Scarborough, Heilemann explained that Pence is not the only one who seems to be moving away from the president.
"We're not at the point yet, I want to be not hyperbolic about it, but we're getting to a point where we're going to get the answer to a question you've been asking me three and a half years, which is when are Republicans going to abandon Donald Trump and stop following him down the path to political doom as they have done for three and a half years," he began.
"I have said to you, Joe, there will come a day when the math, the pure math of this -- it's not about principle, policy -- it's about the electoral math, the day will come when it'll be more costly politically to stick with Donald Trump than it will be to leave Donald Trump," he continued. "When we get to that moment, Republicans will abandon Donald Trump, this is a matter of pure self-interest."
"[Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell standing up and wearing a mask is a direct repudiation to Donald Trump. [South Dakota Republican Senator] John Thune the other day stood up and said the White House needed to change its message," he elaborated. "You pointed to the others. Mike Pence is now effectively repudiating the president, he's on the phone with governors yesterday congratulating the governors who are shutting back down their states right now. That's not an explicit repudiation of Donald Trump, but Mike Pence in a mask and not saying 'full speed ahead on the economy, you governors who are being careful are doing the right thing,' is Mike Pence understanding his political interests and Donald Trump's interests are starting to diverge because the president has put them all in a position they could all be doomed."
"You look up at the Senate and Republican senators, most of them did not mention Donald Trump yesterday about making statements on the Russian story," he continued. "These are the sounds of Republicans starting to see the sign where the split has not yet come but it's on the horizon and as Donald Trump keeps propelling them down the path towards political doom he will see people abandon him in explicit ways. We are not that far-off from that as his numbers continue to nose-dive."