Who is Trump’s right hand man: Mike Pence?
The American Vice President is often a man in the shadows. But the Joe Biden/Obama bromance the past eight years attracted more attention to the Veep office.
Nevertheless, it is a safe bet that the partnership between President Trump and his vice president Mike Pence will be a different dynamic.
video credit: ABC 15 Arizona
During the campaign and since he was sworn in on the 20th of January 2017, Pence’s principal activity is to clean up Trump’s mess. For instance, when Trump clashed with American Muslim parents whose son was killed serving time in Iraq, it was The VP who issued a statement saying that family should be “cherished by every American.”
The mild-mannered Indiana governor was raised Democrat by Irish-Catholics parents. His late conversion to Born-Again Christianity majorly influenced his political orientation. Now convinced Republican, he has strong conservative credential.
He is the bridge between a very controversial Donald Trump and the more conservative republicans. He appears to try to soften Trump’s critic of a military family and to encourage him to have a tougher stance on Russia.
Pence have a strong opinion on Russia especially it’s position in the Syrian conflict and Putin’s support to Assad. The situation in Syria is one of the points of disagreement between the new president and his second in command.
Even if Trump took a strong stand against ISIS and Promised to “Bomb the shit out of the Islamic State of Iraq and The Levant”, he have no intention to stand up against Assad and Russia.
The Republican VP on the other hand wants to go further on military actions in Syria. In October he reacted to the crisis in Aleppo and stated that: “The United States of America should be prepared to use military force to strike military targets of the Assad regime to prevent them from this humanitarian crisis that is taking place in Aleppo.”
video credit: CNN
Even if this statements line him up more closely with other democratic politicians like Hillary Clinton, Pence is, nonetheless, taking strong republican position on other matters.
One of his most controversial decisions was the signature of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2015 when he was still the governor of Indiana. This federal law is supposed to “ensures that interests in religious freedom are protected” but can be interpreted as extremely discriminatory against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. And pence’s decision was heavily criticised by Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and other influential businessmen.
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Pence signature of this law showed once again his extreme homophobic position. Over the last 10 years he was very engaged in the conservative battle against marriage equality and the freedom of sexual orientation. In 2007 he voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that would have banned discrimination against people based on sexual orientation.
His most controversial statement was in 2000 when he suggested on his website that the money used to support people with HIV should be directed to Gay Conversion Therapy.
The Post of Vice president is considered as one of the most frustrating of the US Political system as the Veeps often stay in the shadow of their president. Nevertheless Pence seems to be willing to get involve as much as he can and be a major player in the administration. Very active in the media, he will use his connections in congress and in Washington to lead Trump on his presidential journey.
By Victoire Bret