WASHINGTON ― Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday issued a pointed response rebutting a New York Times report that he is among several Republicans gearing up for a White House run in 2020 in case President Donald Trump doesn’t seek re-election.
In a statement to reporters, Pence characterized the story as “fake news” and “disgraceful and offensive.” He also termed it “laughable and absurd.”
“The allegations in this article are categorically false and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this administration,” he said in the statement.
Pence then went on to praise Trump, saying he was “honored to be working side-by-side with a president who is making America great again.”
On Saturday, the Times reported that some Republicans are mulling a “shadow campaign” in 2020, amid Trump’s mounting scandals and low approval ratings. The story noted that Pence has formed his own political fundraising committee, “shrugging off warnings from some high-profile Republicans that it would create speculation about his intentions,” and that he has hired a veteran campaign operative as his chief of staff, rather than someone with more government experience.
Pence’s spokesman pushed back on Twitter, calling the “shadow campaign” notion “wishful thinking.”
Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway on Sunday similarly called the story a “complete fabrication” and the result of Republican political strategists “trying to play the parlor game.”
“The president says privately and publicly often ... that he’ll be [in the White House] for seven-and-a-half more years,” she said on ABC’s “This Week.” “So he plans on being a two-term president.”
Pence’s full statement:
Today’s article in the New York Times is 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.
Thanks to the President’s leadership, we are rebuilding the military, ISIS is on the run, and we’ve seen more than 1 million jobs created while the stock market hits all-time highs.
The American people know that I could not be more honored to be working side by side with a president who is making America great again.
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.