Sorry Ron DeSantis, But Mike Pence Was Not Too Aggressive – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis complained about the style of former Vice President Mike Pence following Wednesday night’s Republican debate in Milwaukee.
“He was aggressive and interrupting and getting involved and doing that, which is fine,” DeSantis said on Thursday’s Brian Kilmeade Show. “I saw a little bit of the cross chatter that was happening among some of the other candidates.”
“You always want as much time as possible because that’s exposure you’re getting.”
For Pence, it was a tactical move. The former vice president clocked in the most amount of speaking time at 12m 26s. That’s nearly a minute more than Vivek Ramaswamy and Chris Christie, and five minutes more than Asa Hutchinson’s 7m 24s.
As the first candidate in recent history to run against their former boss, Pence is in a strange situation. His talking time could be consider a big win.
He’s tasked with a difficult juggling act of convincing those on the right of the party that he didn’t flip on the former president, while simultaneously distancing himself from the actions which have so far landed Trump four indictments.
Praise For Mike Pence
Pence did indeed go on the attack, somewhat surprisingly so given his usually reserved demeanor. He was quick to call out the “rookie” Ramaswamy, proving his point when the 38-year-old called on him to pardon Trump if he became president.
“I don’t know why you assume Donald Trump will be convicted of these crimes,” Pence replied. “That is the difference between you and me. I have given pardons when I was governor of the state of Indiana. It usually follows a finding of guilt and contrition by the individual that’s been convicted.”
He was notable on abortion too. Pence was in the minority by using his faith in his reasoning behind an abortion ban at federal level. It’s a controversial strategy, but one which grabs attention in a debate where eight candidates have 80 minutes to make their case.
Pence’s strongest moment of the night, however, was the one where he said the least. He received unanimous support from fellow candidates for his refusal to adhere to Trump’s requests to overturn the results of the election. Pence even pressured Gov. DeSantis, who initially skirted around the question, into admitting that “Mike did his duty” on January 6, 2021.
“I made it clear and hoped that the issues surrounding the 2020 election and the controversies around Jan. 6 would not come to this, come to criminal proceedings,” Pence said in response to the question. “The American people deserve to know that the president asked me in his request that I reject or return votes. He asked me to put him over the Constitution and I chose the Constitution.”
Mike Pence is in an unprecedented situation and one which looks like a war on two fronts from the pro and anti-Trump camps. He was more aggressive than the Mike Pence we’ve seen in recent years, but he certainly did not cross the line.
Like the other seven candidates, he set out to tell voters what he wants to say. Topping the speaking time charts by almost a minute suggests Mike Pence did precisely that.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
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