Pence Says He and Trump Have 'Different Styles' | NECN
Decision 2016

Decision 2016

Full coverage of the race for the White House

Pence Says He and Trump Have 'Different Styles'

An 11-year-old asked Pence at a Raleigh town hall why he's been "softening up on Mr. Trump's policies and words"



    Republican Vice presidential candidate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, gives a thumbs-up during a town hall meeting in Raleigh, N.C., on Aug. 4, 2016.

    Since his selection as Donald Trump's running mate, Mike Pence has tried to stay focused on winning over conservatives skeptical of the New York billionaire. 

    His new boss keeps getting in the way. 

    On several occasions in the past week, the Indiana governor has found himself in direct conflict with Trump, taking a different campaign tact or running damage control after one of the Republican presidential nominee's incendiary remarks. The latest came Wednesday, when Pence offered an unqualified endorsement of House Speaker Paul Ryan's re-election bid a day after Trump refused to endorse Ryan.

    But the vice presidential candidate took a different turn Thursday by declining to say whether he would endorse Arizona Sen. John McCain and New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, saying he stands "shoulder to shoulder" with the Republican presidential candidate.   

    “I look forward to supporting Republican candidates in the days and weeks ahead all over the country, and so does Donald Trump,” Pence said. “But the stakes in this election are so high. To restore our country and home and abroad, we need new leadership, and I’m looking forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with Donald Trump to drive that new leadership forward.”

    Pence's communications adviser, Marc Short, said Thursday the Indiana governor endorses both senators in their primary bids. 

    Earlier Thursday, he was held to task — by 11-year-old Matthew Schricker, who asked Pence at a Raleigh town hall why he's been "softening up on Mr. Trump's policies and words." 

    Apparently alluding to controversial comments by Trump, Pence said, "sometimes things don't always come out like you mean." 

    Michelle Obama: When They Go Low We Go High By Voting

    [NATL] Michelle Obama: When They Go Low We Go High By Voting
    Presidential elections are decided on a “razor’s edge,” Michelle Obama told a crowd at a campaign event in North Carolina where she spoke after Hillary Clinton on Oct. 27. The first lady got a loud round of applause when she pointed out what previous generations sacrificed for the right to vote, and encouraged everyone to exercise that right.

    “Casting our vote is the ultimate way we go high when they go low,” Obama said, “Voting is our high.” (Published Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016)

    Pence added that he and Trump "have different styles," which shouldn't be "confused with differences in conviction." 

    Curt Smith, a longtime Pence friend who runs the socially conservative Indiana Family Institute, said, "There's been some cleanup. I think you'll see more." 

    The early days of the general election campaign have been a contortionist act for Pence, who has remained loyal to Trump while trying to maintain his reputation as a principled, down-to-earth Midwesterner with the primary mission of acting as an emissary to the conservative and evangelical wings of the Republican Party. 

    The first noticeable split between nominee and running mate came during the Democratic convention, when Trump encouraged Russia to find and make public missing emails deleted by Hillary Clinton from the private servers she used while secretary of state. 

    Trump Mixes Business With Politics at DC Hotel Ceremony

    [NATL]Trump Mixes Business With Politics at DC Hotel Opening Ceremony
    As Hillary Clinton traverses battleground states across the country in the final stretch of the presidential election, Donald Trump took a detour from the campaign trail for the ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday of his Washington, D.C. hotel — but his remarks made clear the race to the White House was not far from mind. Trump claims the hotel is a symbol of what he'll do for America, noting it was completed "under budget and on schedule". (Published Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016)

    At roughly the same time, Pence blasted Russia in a statement issued by the campaign that said "the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences" if Russia is "interfering in our elections." 

    Last weekend, Pence, whose only son is a U.S. Marine, sought to quell the uproar Trump created by lashing out at Capt. Humayun Khan's parents, who appeared at the Democratic convention and have criticized Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric. Their son was killed in Iraq. 

    In a statement, Pence said he and Trump believe Khan is "an American hero" and said "his family, like all Gold Star families, should be cherished by every American." He then shifted gears to praise Trump, who he said will "support our military and their families" and "defeat the enemies of our freedom."

    He backed up those remarks at a Monday evening town hall meeting in Nevada, when the audience jeered a woman who asked how he can tolerate what she called Trump's disrespect of American servicemen. 

    Crowd Sings 'Happy Birthday' to Clinton in Florida

    [NATL] Crowd Sings 'Happy Birthday' to Clinton in Florida
    At an event in Coconut Creek, Florida, Hillary Clinton said that Trump is "attacking everything that has set our country apart for 240 years," pointing to his refusal at the final debate to commit to conceding the race if he loses. As she tried to make this point, the crowd erupted into singing her "Happy Birthday." Clinton turns 69 on Oct. 26. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016)

    Pence asked the crowd to quiet down and then said of the questioner: "That's what freedom looks like. That's what freedom sounds like." 

    Trump, meanwhile, wrote on Twitter that day: "Mr. Khan, who does not know me, viciously attacked me from the stage of the DNC and is now all over TV doing the same... Nice!" 

    On Tuesday, Pence held a meeting with Arizona Sen. John McCain — a day after the former prisoner of war said Trump did not have "unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us," and hours after Trump responded by telling The Washington Post he would not endorse McCain's re-election. 

    In that same interview, Trump also refused to endorse Ryan, who faces a primary election next week. On Wednesday, Pence had a very different message. 

    'Late Night’: Trump's Obamacare Fail

    [NATL] 'Late Night’: A Closer Look at Donald Trump's Obamacare Fail
    With the Obama administration announcing that premiums for health care would go up next year, Donald Trump had a substantial critique in his grasp. But, host Seth Meyers says, the Trump campaign missed the opportunity for a substantial critique, opting to instead make strange appeals to black voters. (Published Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016)

    "I'm very confident after Donald Trump is elected president and Paul Ryan is re-elected to Congress ... these two men are going to do great things," Pence said in an interview with Fox News Channel. "I talked to Donald Trump this morning about my support for Paul Ryan and our longtime friendship. He strongly encouraged me to endorse Paul Ryan." 

    While Trump has been openly hostile toward members of the media, Pence has struck a conciliatory tone. He recently gave a reporter in his traveling press entourage cupcakes for her birthday. And after law enforcement and local volunteers barred a Washington Post reporter from entering a rally in Wisconsin, Pence said on conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt's radio show the campaign would evaluate its policy and added that events would be "available to the media, whether they're fair or unfair." 

    Campaign spokesman Marc Lotter didn't respond to a request to interview Pence about his relationship with Trump. He also would not answer questions about the Indiana governor's approach to dealing with the fallout from Trump's remarks. 

    But there are no outward signs that Trump has any issues with Pence, or that his statements come as a surprise to the candidate at the top of the ticket. Two people familiar with the campaign's inner workings said the official statements and tweets from Pence are approved at campaign headquarters. They spoke on condition of anonymity, because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. 

    Warren to Trump 'Nasty Women' Vote

    [NATL] Warren to Trump 'Nasty Women' Vote
    Hillary Clinton is joined by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren on the campaign trail in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Oct. 24, 2016. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016)

    Indiana Republican public affairs consultant Mike Murphy compared Pence's relationship with Trump to an arranged marriage. 

    "He's staying consistent with his character and he's not changing who he is, but he's also careful not to criticize his spouse," said Murphy, who has known Pence for nearly 30 years.