Though the White House has repeatedly made clear that President Donald Trump has no interest in replacing Vice President Mike Pence as his running mate ahead of the 2020 elections, rumors have persisted. Now, the president is once again setting the record straight.
Appearing at a town hall event hosted by Fox News on Thursday, Trump announced that though reports have suggested he has plans to oust Pence, the two men “get along great,” the Daily Wire reported.
“If I did [replace Pence], that would be a great act of disloyalty because he’s been great,” Trump said, according to the Daily Wire.
Standing by Pence
Co-hosted by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, the town hall with Trump took place in 2020 hopeful Joe Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Fox News reported. However, unlike Biden and his former boss — who has still yet to endorse his former vice president in the Democratic presidential primary, according to National Review — Trump made clear Thursday that he and Pence still have a strong relationship.
Asked at the end of the hour-long question-and-answer session who his “closest friend” in Washington is, Trump said he “get[s] along great with our vice president”
“I keep hearing I’m replacing him,” Trump said of rumors about Pence, according to a transcript of the town hall provided by the White House. “He’s doing a phenomenal job. He’s a great guy and a loyal guy, and he works so hard.”
Trump went on to suggest that loyalty will be reciprocated.
“Every day I read: ‘He’s going to put this one, he’s going to put that one [to replace Pence],'” Trump lamented, according to the transcript. “If I did, that would be a great act of disloyalty because he’s been great. I speak to him a lot.”
The rumor mill keeps on churning
The rumor mill was running rampant once again this week after CNN political analyst Paul Begala predicted, according to Newsweek, that Trump will “dump” Pence in favor of former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who had previously served as governor of South Carolina before leaving the post in 2017 to work as at the U.N. Her resignation from the ambassadorship in October 2018 came as a shock to many Republicans, according to The New York Times.
“On Thursday, July 16 — that’s the date the Democrat [nominee] gives his or her acceptance address — on that day, to interrupt that narrative, Donald Trump will call a press conference at Mar-a-Lago,” Begala said Monday, according to Newsweek. “He’s going to dump Mike Pence and put Nikki Haley on the ticket to try to get those suburban moms.”
Insisting that “this is not a prediction, it’s a certainty,” Begala suggested that “Trump put Pence in charge of coronavirus to throw him under the bus,” Newsweek reported. But based on the president’s recent remarks, it doesn’t seem that is the case.
Of course, that doesn’t mean Democrats and those in the media won’t try to keep fanning these flames. But by all indications, Trump’s supporters can rest assured that Pence will be on the ticket come November.