On Wednesday night, Vice President Mike Pence sat down with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham for a highly-anticipated interview, one of his first since he assumed the vice presidency almost a year ago. The segment was also seen as a victory lap, as the Republicans have cleared almost all of the bureaucratic hurdles and are on the verge of signing their tax bill into law — an accomplishment that’s definitely the White House’s biggest legislative win.
Throughout the interview, Pence lauded Trump, opening by saying, “All of us just felt very grateful, grateful for the president’s strong leadership … I watched this president all year long as he fought.” But Ingraham actually turned up the heat a bit on the vice president, asking about the estimated $1.5 trillion that the tax bill will add to the national deficit. Pence hit back by deferring again to his boss, saying, “President Trump really believes that by letting the American people keep more of what they earn … that we’re going to … see those deficits overcome.”
Ingraham went on to ask about the polls showing the Trump administration’s unpopularity; earlier in the show, she asked about the polls pointing at the widely-felt unpopularity of the tax cut, and Pence seemed to punt with a talking point, saying, “We’re going to continue to make the case for this middle class miracle.” On the unpopularity of the Oval Office in particular, Pence returned fire, saying, “One of the enduring lessons, for me, of Election 2016, was: Don’t believe the polls … We’re skeptical about what the poll numbers are.”
Throughout the second portion of the interview, Pence and Ingraham went back and forth, listing out the accomplishments of the Trump administration. The vice president noted America’s successes on the world stage, saying, “Our NATO allies are contributing as never before, North Korea has been isolated, we put Iran on notice … and the ISIS caliphate has collapsed … thanks to the leadership of our commander-in-chief.”
When asked about the 2018 midterm elections and the support that Trump could enjoy if Republicans hold both chambers of Congress, Pence said, “We’re going to be canvasing across the country in the next year; we’re going to be telling the story of the progress that this country has made.”
Ingraham closed by asking about the Mueller investigation that still looms over the White House, but Pence seemed to brush off the special counsel, saying, “We’re fully cooperating … But I have to tell you, it’s just not been a focus of mine, or of this president … We’ll let the special counsel do their job, but we’re going to continue to focus on our job.”
Pence closed by running through the administration’s accomplishments and nodding to his boss’s White House, saying, “It’s humbling for me to be a part of it.”