Pence says he’s not pre­par­ing to run for pres­i­dent

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY VA­LERIE RICHARD­SON

Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence on Sun­day called a re­port that he may be pre­par­ing a 2020 pres­i­den­tial run “cat­e­gor­i­cally false” and ac­cused the me­dia of at­tempt­ing to “di­vide this ad­min­is­tra­tion.”

The vice pres­i­dent weighed in shortly after White House coun­selor Kellyanne Con­way dis­missed the spec­u­la­tion as “com­plete fic­tion,” say­ing Mr. Pence’s only in­ter­est is in run­ning for re­elec­tion with Pres­i­dent Trump.

“It is ab­so­lutely true that the vice pres­i­dent is get­ting ready for 2020 — for re-elec­tion as vice pres­i­dent,” Ms. Con­way said on ABC’s “This Week.”

The re­ac­tion came after The New York Times re­ported Satur­day that Mr. Pence’s sched­ule is “so full of po­lit­i­cal events that Repub­li­cans joke that he is act­ing more like a sec­ond-term vice pres­i­dent hop­ing to clear the field than a No. 2 sworn in a lit­tle over six months ago.”

Mr. Pence said the ar­ti­cle was “dis­grace­ful and of­fen­sive to me, my fam­ily and our en­tire team.”

“The al­le­ga­tions in this ar­ti­cle are cat­e­gor­i­cally false and rep­re­sent just the lat­est at­tempt by the me­dia to di­vide this Ad­min­is­tra­tion,” said Mr. Pence in a state­ment.

Newsweek jumped on the re­port with the head­line, “Mike Pence pre­par­ing 2020 elec­tion run against ‘weak’ Trump?”

“That is com­plete fic­tion. That is com­plete fab­ri­ca­tion,” Ms. Con­way said. “And I know that his ad­vis­ers who had com­ments at­trib­uted to them have pushed back strongly, as has the vice pres­i­dent. And as am I right now un­equiv­o­cally.”

She em­pha­sized that the for­mer In­di­ana gov­er­nor was “very loyal” to Pres­i­dent Trump.

“Vice Pres­i­dent Pence is a very loyal, very du­ti­ful, but also in­cred­i­bly ef­fec­tive vice pres­i­dent, and ac­tive vice pres­i­dent, with this pres­i­dent,” said Ms. Con­way. “He is a peer to the pres­i­dent in the West Wing.”

She chalked up the spec­u­la­tion to Repub­li­can con­sul­tants play­ing the “par­lor game” who are not in the Trump “in­ner cir­cle.”

Added Mr. Pence: “What­ever fake news may come our way, my en­tire team will con­tinue to fo­cus all our ef­forts to ad­vance the Pres­i­dent’s agenda and see him re-elected in 2020. Any sug­ges­tion oth­er­wise is both laugh­able and ab­surd.”

Pence

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