Trail Tales

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks at a town hall-style event at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College on June 6, 2023, in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Olive Garden Soup, Salad, and Breadsticks

Here’s a little check-in with each of the campaigns, looking at a single vignette from the past week. 

Mike Pence: The Premature Pardon

Pence recently did an interview with right-wing radio hosts Clay Travis and Buck Sexton, in which he refused to say whether he’d pardon Trump once in office. The hosts wanted Trump pardoned, and Pence basically had three answers. First, he riffed on the fact that he believes these are “serious charges” and he “can’t defend what’s been alleged.” Second, he says it’s “premature” to discuss a pardon because we don’t know what “the president’s defense is” or “what are the facts.” And then third, he says “we either believe in our judicial process in this country or we don’t; we either stand by the rule of law or we don’t.” Travis was having none of it: “What I’m hearing is that you’re fine with Donald Trump being put in prison and that to me, since you were his vice president, feels pretty disrespectful.”  

Strength: He’s carving out his own lane and is sticking to it. Normally, I’m not impressed with candidates who refuse to answer questions because they look like they’re being evasive for political reasons. The lack of authenticity is like nails on a chalkboard. But here, it actually is a real answer. He thinks the charges are real, but he’s open to hearing Trump’s side of the story. 

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