Mike Pence Responds To NYT Claim He's Running In 2020

A huge story from the New York Times that went live yesterday claimed that Mike Pence and his “power base” have been laying the foundation for a 2020 presidential run.  The story piqued the interest of a few folks in politics and soon enough, it became a big enough thing that Pence himself had to respond.

And boy did he.

Calling it “disgraceful and offensive,” Pence is vehemently denying the Times’ claim that he is gearing up for a 2020 bid. It’s not just him, either. His recently sworn-in chief of staff, Nick Ayers, also denied reaching out to Republican power players to set up this supposed bid.

Let’s be clear here: Do I want Pence to be the nominee in 2020? Very much so. I like Pence and I would prefer anyone (except John Kasich) over Trump in the White House. I don’t necessarily think he’s gearing up for a run right now, though.

Washington is a strange place, and with Trump in the White House, things are a billion times stranger. What I think we’re looking at here is Pence building a team that can help insulate him from whatever Trump might do to implode. Pence has not distanced himself from Trump in any way, but Trump has the potential to be a big drag on his future political career should he decide he wants to run in the future.

Pence’s character does not strike me as the type to be trying to undercut the guy he works for. He has been very tactical in what he responds to and where he has been going. His political activity seems to be a way to give him non-Trump things to do, but not as a means of gearing up for a run.

Of course, I could be wrong, but the New York Times story seems like more of a fantasy than the reality.