ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Cal Thomas: Mike Pence is a man of integrity

From the commentary: In his new book "So Help Me God," Pence quotes Trump as pressuring him to overturn the results of the 2020 election by rejecting electoral votes from the states. When he refuses, Pence says Trump told him "you're too honest." It was cynicism at its worst and what so many people hate about Washington and politics.

Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence discusses the U.S. economy at the University Club of Chicago on Monday, June 20, 2022.
Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence discusses the U.S. economy at the University Club of Chicago on Monday, June 20, 2022.
(Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
We are part of The Trust Project.

If former Vice President Mike Pence is ever in need of a character witness, he could not do much better than one statement former President Donald Trump made to him.

Cal Thomas commentary
Cal Thomas Commentary
Tribune graphic
Summary: I once heard the late evangelist Rev. Billy Graham say America was not at a crossroads, but had traveled down the wrong road and needed to come back to the crossroads and take the right road. What if we can no longer agree on the right road and where the wrong road is leading us?
Summary: Donald Trump would do well to withdraw from the field and allow younger and less controversial candidates to replace him. His record of policy successes while president are undeniable (except for those in denial), but his narcissistic personality contributed to his loss. It is also contributing to the work of the January 6 committee. If that committee wishes to "bring us together," it will forgo recommendations of criminal prosecution and let voters decide, as they should and ultimately will, the future of Donald Trump.
Summary: When rhetoric gets heated, perhaps the best way to be heard is to speak in a tone Scripture attributes to God — "a still, small voice." As noted by the writer of Proverbs: "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
Summary: Many viewers might want to know why Congress can't seem to fix any of the country's real problems. That perennial question is why increasing numbers of Americans have grown sour about Washington. They see members of Congress more interested in re-election, in their careers and in perks than in the people they are supposed to represent.


In his new book "So Help Me God," Pence quotes Trump as pressuring him to overturn the results of the 2020 election by rejecting electoral votes from the states. When he refuses, Pence says Trump told him "you're too honest." It was cynicism at its worst and what so many people hate about Washington and politics.

Pence says he told Trump, "...other than your family, no one in the administration has been more loyal to you than me." That is undeniably true. Some critics have accused Pence of being too loyal and say he should have spoken out, or resigned, in the face of Trump's denial of the election outcome.

If Trump defines narcissism, Pence defines integrity: "adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty." Can someone who is more mild-mannered than Clark Kent and the answer to Diogenes' search for an honest man be elected president in our toxic environment?

The same question was raised following the Johnson and Nixon administrations which saw demonstrations and street violence in reaction to Watergate and the Vietnam War. Along came Jimmy Carter, a church-going, once-married man who seemed just the right candidate to restore moral and political order to the country. In his book, Pence says he twice voted for Carter, but later became a Reagan Republican.

ADVERTISEMENT

In an interview with David Muir of ABC News, Pence described Trump's language and behavior that incited a mob to invade the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 as "reckless." He said it "made me furious."

He told Muir he had not spoken with Trump in more than a year and didn't seem especially displeased with that. Asked whether he could support Trump who announced Tuesday he is running again for the presidency, Pence said he thinks there are "better choices."

The book is not a salacious "tell-all" screed that some other people who worked for presidents have written to settle scores. It is a sober reflection on Pence's life and his role in one of the most controversial periods of our political and national history. Pence admits when he has made mistakes, something rare for politicians, and he doesn't make his criticisms of Donald Trump personal. He criticizes Trump's words and behavior, but does not demean the man. Trump should take note.

Pence comes as close to saying Trump lied to him as he could without saying it outright. Pence had told the president he did not believe he had the power to block congressional certification of President-elect Biden's election. "Regardless," he writes, "the Trump campaign issued a statement saying that I had never said that and calling (The New York Times report) 'fake news.'

More Commentary:
From the commentary:
From the commentary: Perhaps the ultimate point is that Pompeo’s attack on Weingarten and teachers must do just that. Pompeo’s demagogic words must bring together all the sane patriots who still call themselves Republicans. They must unite to condemn his message — and tell Americans we must work with our teachers to help them build the infrastructure that will be America’s ultimate bridge to tomorrow.
From the commentary: Ocasio-Cortez has a long record of pushing primary challenges to Democrats deemed insufficiently radical. These attempts are almost always unsuccessful though draining to the incumbent.

"I couldn't believe what I was reading. The campaign had issued a statement directly contradicting what I had told the president just a few hours earlier." When Pence's chief of staff, Marc Short, called the campaign's communications director, Jason Miller, Pence writes that Miller apologized and then quotes him as saying, "I had no choice."

While these are some of the juicier parts of the book, much of the rest is about Pence's upbringing, his father and mother, wife and children. It is a recipe for how his values and worldview developed.

Pence told Muir his family will gather over Christmas and likely decide what the future holds. If he runs for president, he will have stiff competition, all of whom are much better than Donald Trump.

This Cal Thomas commentary is his opinion. He can be reached at cthomas@wctrib.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

Commentary logo
Commentary logo
Tribune graphic

Related Topics: COMMENTARY
What to read next
Ann Bailey explains why she's thankful for agriculture in professional and personal life.
From the commentary: This fetish with identity started as a tic of the left, which tends to believe that voters want candidates who represent certain groups, as opposed to certain ideas. What it should have learned by now is that Republicans are perfectly capable of running their own candidates of color, witness their support in the Georgia senate race of the unintelligible Herschel Walker, a Black football player.
From the commentary: Still, as Biden quietly marked his 80th birthday on Nov. 13, the basic Democratic dilemma remained: Will it be best for the party — and the country — to renominate the nation’s oldest president, even if the alternative is chaos?
"After a couple of years of celebrating apart because of the pandemic, and also for having just lived through another rancorous national election, we all could use the joy and hope and anticipation that is promised us in Christmas, in the birth of a mighty little king born in a manger."