Critic slams Mike Pence's 'delusions of grandeur': He might be turning on Trump — but he's no GOP savior
Mike Pence (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Esquire columnist Charlie Pierce is reminding voters that former Vice President Mike Pence is no savior for the mainstream GOP, even if he's going up against Trump in Georgia with a battle of endorsements.

Pence, he explained "is such a political maladroit that he makes Willard Romney look like Pericles." Pence tends to "yammer" about Jesus a lot, wrote Pierce, but other than that he's generally doing the worst possible things at the worst possible time.

Pierce remembered the time Pence signed the anti-LGBTQ bill on the same weekend as the Final Four basketball tournament. There was no game that day, Pierce recalled. But there were about 9,000 reporters sitting around doing nothing and waiting for news when Pence signing the bill fell in their laps. The story exploded. Companies with conferences and events scheduled for Indiana moved them to other states.

"Pence’s discriminatory bill had enormous consequences for Indiana’s economy and reputation," wrote the Human Rights Campaign in 2017. "Indianapolis’ non-profit tourism agency estimated that in their city alone, Pence’s anti-LGBTQ bill cost up to 12 conventions and $60 million in lost revenue. And polling conducted by HRC after the 2015 fight found that 75 percent of Hoosiers said the law was bad for the state’s economy, and 70 percent of those surveyed said they opposed it."

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Pence ultimately walked back his comments.

In an interview with the New York Times, Pence was "overwhelmed by delusions of grandeur," wrote Pierce. While he aims at the Oval Office, he is promoting the four years he stood nodding behind Donald Trump's shoulder. Prior to that, Pence was racking up a list of failures that hurt his state. Raw Story crafted an extensive list of all of them from his policy mistake that led to an HIV outbreak to his mishandling of the Indiana economy.

Trump essentially saved Pence's career in 2016 when he was picked for the VP spot, said Pierce.

"Pence never has evinced the political skill to navigate these kind of lunatic circumstances, and being oblivious is not a strategy," wrote Pierce. "Pence’s most fundamental problem is that, except for that part at the end about saving America, everything the Trump flack said is true. Pence was firmly atop the scrap heap when he took the job of running with El Caudillo del Mar-A-Lago. He may have thought the notion of Trump’s actually being elected was as far-fetched as everybody else did throughout. Once it happened, even his wife reportedly was ambivalent about the black hole to which Pence had hitched his wagon."

Trying for Pence to pivot away from it isn't going to be possible, concluded Pierce. After all, more than of the party doesn't trust him because of Jan. 6, he closed.

Read the full report here.