Commentary: What If Pence Were The GOP Presidential Nominee?

Mike Pence, in Tuesday night's vice presidential debate (David Goldman/AP)
Mike Pence, in Tuesday night's vice presidential debate (David Goldman/AP)

It's obviously too late and he didn't run in the primaries, but the Chicago Tribune editorialized in July that Mike Pence would've made a much more electable presidential candidate than Donald Trump. Pence has run for and won political office before, several times -- for Congress and governor in Indiana.

Were he the Republican candidate for president, Pence probably would not have said many self-destructive things Trump has said on the record.

He wouldn’t have attacked all Muslims or political opponents that he's already defeated.

He doesn't consider The National Enquirer, a supermarket tabloid, a reliable source of information, such as for Sen. Ted Cruz's father's role in the John F. Kennedy assassination or on people claiming to have been abducted by Martians with two heads and probes used for exploring earthlings’ orifices.

He hasn't called reporters disguised as “Barron” or “John Miller” to name starlets who want to have sex with him.

Pence has released 10 years of federal income taxes; he earned $113,026 last year, paid $8,956 in taxes, (effective rate a minor 7.9 percent), and gave $8,923 to charity.

He knows the meaning of the word “temperament.” He doesn’t confuse it with winning.

He doesn’t hire workers or small businesses then refuse to pay them.

He hasn’t attacked a federal judge from Indiana because he’s of Mexican descent.

He has never declared bankruptcy, not even once.

He's only been married once, to the same woman for over 30 years.

He hasn't openly lusted after his own daughter.

He has no secret plan to defeat ISIS.

He knows the nuclear triad isn't a weapon.

He knows 1,400 Carrier Corp. jobs in the Indianapolis area are going to Mexico and can’t be stopped.

He did not buy a football helmet once owned by Tim Tebow for $20,000 in charitable funds.

He never said returning U.S. soldiers with PTSD are “not strong” and “can’t handle it.”

Of course, Pence is dead wrong on plenty of other subjects. He said gay couples signaled "societal collapse."

He signed a bill that would’ve made it legal for Indiana business owners to discriminate against couples having a same-sex wedding; it was later revised out of existence. 

And he signed a bill to ban abortions when a fetus has a disability such as Down Syndrome. A federal judge blocked it from taking effect.


Headshot of Dan Payne

Dan Payne Democratic Political Analyst
Dan Payne is a Democratic political analyst for WBUR.



More from WBUR

Listen Live