On Monday, The Washington Post profiled how Vice President Mike Pence set himself up as President Donald Trump's most loyal and devoted disciple — only to be thrown under the bus when the president needed someone to blame for the failure of his administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Like many who served in Congress alongside the late John Lewis, then-Rep. Mike Pence made a pilgrimage to Selma, Ala., in 2010 to commemorate the 45th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday,'" wrote Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey, and Philip Rucker. "But when Lewis died last month of pancreatic cancer at 80, Pence, now vice president, held off on issuing a public comment on the civil rights hero’s passing. President Trump was no fan of the late congressman and openly complained about Lewis’s refusal to attend his inauguration."
"That hesitation — deferring to Trump for cues, and then following his lead — was classic Pence," continued the report. "It exemplified the well-honed subservience of a man who once governed his home state of Indiana but who as vice president has transformed himself into a loyal student and servant of Trump — binding his political ambitions to a mercurial and capricious boss now at risk of losing in November."
But despite Pence's rock-ribbed loyalty to the president, he has — at least behind the scenes — been a scapegoat for some of the president's failures, particularly on the coronavirus pandemic, which he has been overseeing as chief of the White House task force.
"Members of Pence’s team stressed that Trump has repeatedly praised Pence’s handling of the virus and provided a list of some of the president’s public comments, including boasts that Pence has been 'working day and night' and has made a 'fantastic' effort. But other aides say Trump has griped about Pence privately, blaming him for the negative coverage of the coronavirus response," said the report. Meanwhile, in the latest press briefings, "Trump usually appears alone, rather than flanked by Pence and the rest of the task force," and some of Trump's supporters have even suggested replacing Pence on the ticket.
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