In 50 days, Americans will have a new vice president-elect, and the honor may go to Indiana’s right-wing governor, Mike Pence. ABC News’ Martha Raddatz talked to Donald Trump’s Republican running mate about his vision of the job.
GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence said his role model for the number two spot is the last Republican to hold the job – Dick Cheney.“I frankly hold Dick Cheney in really high regard in his role as vice president and as an American,” Pence said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Let’s not brush past this too quickly, because Cheney’s tenure in national office was one of the more important fiascoes in modern political history. Cheney’s time as vice president was marked by scandals, consequential lies, deadly misjudgments, and routine incompetence. This was a vice presidency of undisclosed locations, a man who saw himself as his own branch of government, and an official who told a cordial senator, “Go f*** yourself.”
Cheney left office with a 13% approval rating – roughly half the support Richard Nixon enjoyed at the height of Watergate.
In private correspondence, former Secretary of State Colin Powell described Cheney as an “idiot.”
In the same ABC interview, the Indiana governor added that, like Cheney, he hoped to be “a very active vice president.”
If Trump’s Republican ticket succeeds, Pence is likely to be “very active,” indeed. In May, a leading Trump surrogate reportedly reached out to a senior adviser to Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) about possibly serving as running mate. At the time, Kasich was told Trump’s vice president “would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.”
President Trump would prefer to focus solely on “making America great again,” while his VP did all the substantive work.
It makes Pence’s Cheney admiration that much more significant.