Mike Pence wants to avoid getting dragged down in Donald Trump's scandals. But despite his best efforts and his team's contacts with the press, Pence's approval ratings are taking a beating because America isn't buying his spin.
Mike Pence’s approval rating has dropped significantly as his role in the scandals enveloping the Trump administration becomes clearer, according to a new poll from Fox News.
Pence has dropped from a 50 percent approval in April to 42 approval now. His disapproval number also increased 10 percent, now at 43 percent.
Sources associated with Pence, or perhaps even Pence himself, have been trying to make the case in the press that he was in the dark about the Trump administration’s decision to hire Mike Flynn as national security adviser.
At the time of Flynn’s appointment, the Trump team had information on Flynn working as a foreign agent for the Turkish government, as well as the fact he had been paid by the Russian government as part of an appearance on RT, that nation’s propaganda network.
Pence was certainly not isolated from the process. He was the head of the Trump presidential transition team, which was informed of Flynn’s dealings by the House Oversight Committee, and reportedly by Flynn himself.
In the most charitable reading, Pence was grossly incompetent in his vetting of Flynn, when America’s national security was at risk. Or Pence is lying about what he knew.
This poll, and others showing a similar slide, suggest that Pence’s attempt to build a parallel political organization to Trump’s may face trouble ahead.
He has made the unusual step of forming a political action committee to promote congressional candidates, an odd move to make when Trump already has a PAC. He also held a political rally in Louisiana and gave a round of commencement speeches while Trump visited the Middle East and Europe.
As Republicans come to grips with increased evidence that Trump attempted to obstruct justice by firing FBI Director James Comey and pressuring the heads of security agencies to vouch for his innocence in the ongoing Russian election probes, some have talked up Pence as a replacement president.
But unlike Gerald Ford, who took over for Richard Nixon without being swept up in the Watergate scandals, Pence is an inside man, involved at the highest levels of the Trump team’s bad decision making and subsequent attempts to cover them up.
The polling shows that America isn’t buying what Pence is selling. Trump and Pence are joined at the hip, and if one goes down, he is almost guaranteed to take the other with him.