Trump and Pence’s Conflict

By Rachel Fergus.

It is not uncommon for a Presidential candidate to choose a Vice Presidential (VP) candidate that brings skills and experiences the Presidential hopeful does not possess. For example, an article in The New Yorker laid out three reasons why Clinton chose Tim Kaine to be her running mate: Kaine is fluent in Spanish with ties to the African American community. Secondly, Kaine has a track record of being a fairly conservative Democrat. The New Yorker article shared that “According to the Progressive Punch index, the four Democratic senators whose voting records are less progressive than [Kaine’s] are Claire McCaskill, of Missouri; Joe Donnelly, of Indiana; Joe Manchin, of West Virginia; and Heidi Heitkamp, of North Dakota”(John Cassidy). The hope is that conservative Democrats who may be uncomfortable with Clinton will vote for her because of Kaine. Finally, in the Senate Kaine was known as “a consensus builder – a team player and affable individual” (John Cassidy).  Just by looking at Clinton and Kaine, it is obvious that the Presidential and VP candidates often view politics differently. However, there are some matches that just confuse everyone – matches like Donald Trump and Governor Mike Pence.

When Pence was originally announced as the Republican VP candidate, those that followed the Trump campaign thought the choice made sense. Some even called choosing Pence the “safe” choice. According to, Trump’s political beliefs are usually slightly to moderately conservative while Pence is very conservative. For example, in domestic and economic issues, Trump has moderate conservative views. At the same time, his views on individual rights and defense/international issues are only slightly conservative. Pence, meanwhile has very conservative views on all of the above categories. A very conservative member of the ticket ensures the hard-core Republicans and Evangelicals vote for Trump.

The ideals the candidates entered the race with should be the main differences they possess. Once the campaign begins, they become one team. However, Trump and Pence look like anything but a team. Since July 15, 2016 when Trump announced his running mate, the two men have publically disagreed and contradicted each other constantly.


When confronted by Tim Kaine in the VP debate, Pence assured his opponent and the American people that the idea of Trump calling for a deportation force is “nonsense”. However, as CNN showed, Trump is on record numerous times assuring the American people of a deportation force. For example Trump proclaimed: “We are going to be sending in people in a very nice way… we are going to be giving notice, we are going to be saying you have to go”.

Nuclear Weapons:

In the VP debate Senator Kaine suggested that Trump would allow more nations to have nuclear weapons. “He never said that” was Pence’s response. However, in May 2016 Trump was asked, “But you’re ready to let Japan and South Korea become nuclear powers?” He replied, “I am prepared to, if they’re not going to take care of us properly, we cannot afford to be the military and police for the world”(CNN).

Syria and Aleppo:

Governor Pence believes that the United States needs to be involved in Syria, as he said in the VP debate: “The United States of America should be prepared to use military force to strike military targets of the Assad regime to prevent them from carrying out more humanitarian [crises] that [are] taking place in Aleppo” (Pence, VP debate). The VP candidate also stated in the debate: “provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength”. Mr. Trump, on the other hand, believes “it would be great if we got along with Russia because we could fight ISIS together”. Later in the second presidential debate Trump stated, “I don’t like Assad at all, but Assad is killing ISIS. Russia is killing ISIS and Iran is killing ISIS…” Phil Ewing of National Public Radio commented on this statement while fact-checking the debate. Ewing noted that the majority of airstrikes from Russia are not aimed at terrorists, but instead at anti-government forces near Damascus.

A Rigged Election:

Trump has become very adamant about the need to prevent a rigged election, saying that there is a great risk for voter fraud. Trump tweeted on October 16th:

            The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media       pushing Crooked Hillary – but also at many polling places – SAD

At a rally in Ohio (Oct. 20) Trump announced “I would like to promise and pledge, to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States, that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election if I win”.

This declaration comes four days after Mike Pence told Meet the Press: “we will absolutely accept the result of the election. Look, the American people will speak in an election that will culminate on November the 8th ”. Obviously Trump did not get the message that his campaign is planning to accept the election’s outcome, despite the winner.

Banning Muslims:

On December 8, 2015 Pence tweeted:

            Our Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. The U.S. cannot          discriminate on the basis of religion.

Pence made his statement the day after Trump announced at a rally: “Donald J, Trump is calling for a total and complete shut-down of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on”(CNN).  Granted, since his original remarks on Muslim immigration, Trump has specified that he meant there would be exceptions and flexibility, but he is still adamant about the need to screen any Muslim entering the United States.

The election is in a week. Yet, the Presidential and VP candidates for the GOP cannot agree on important matters such as how to react to Russian violence, or even if Russia is perpetrating violence in Syria. If Trump and Pence are elected, how can the country simultaneously respect the Constitution and allow people of all faiths into the country, and at the same time ban all Muslims? Based on what these two politicians have said over the last few months, an outsider with no previous experience in American politics may think Trump and Pence were running against each other instead of running on the same ticket.

Image Source:

This caricature of Donald Trump was adapted from Creative Commons licensed images from Gage Skidmore’s flickr photostream. This caricature of Mike Pence was adapted from a Creative Commons licensed photo from Gage Skidmore’s Flickr photostream.

This image was originally posted to Flickr by DonkeyHotey at .

The image has been licensed for fair use by the creator under the Creative Commons license – Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) . No changes have been made.

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