Book Reveals How Pence Won Trump Over Despite Not Being a 'Killer'
An upcoming book reveals new details about the relationship between President Donald Trump and Mike Pence, particularly regarding how Trump chose Pence to be his vice president.
With the Republican National Convention looming in the summer of 2016, then-GOP presidential nominee Trump was seriously considering three candidates: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Pence.
That summer, Trump met with Pence, then the governor of Indiana, to talk about the VP job, according to veteran political reporter Tom LoBianco in “Piety & Power: Mike Pence and the Taking of the White House,” which is set to be released Sept. 24.
During their meeting at the governor’s mansion in Indianapolis, the two men “got down to brass tacks,” LoBianco wrote, as the Washington Examiner reported.
Comparing Pence with Christie, who was frequently calling him to lobby for the running mate slot, Trump wondered at one point whether Pence even wanted the job, according to the book.
“Trump looked at Pence,” LoBianco wrote, and “held up his cell phone. He had several missed calls from Chris Christie.”
“I need killers, I want somebody to fight. Chris Christie calls me nonstop about this job. He calls me every 10 seconds; he’d do anything for this job. He is dying to be vice president. And you, it’s like you don’t care,” Trump reportedly said.
“I need killers! Do you want this thing or not?”
Despite his calm outside demeanor, Pence assured Trump he very much wanted the job, LoBianco wrote.
The Indiana governor just did so in his own way.
“Look, Donald, if you want somebody to be a killer, if you want somebody to be a constant attack dog, I suggest you go find someone else,” Pence replied, according to the book.
“I’m not that guy,” he said. “I’m going to enjoy myself; I’m going to be respectful. I’m going to do things with my own style because that’s how I’m comfortable.”
LoBianco wrote that Trump seemed somewhat confused.
“‘Well, then why are you going through this process?’ Trump asked, perplexed by Pence’s dismissive answer,” the author wrote.
Pence replied: “Well, you’re in my home, you tell me.”
He then made himself crystal clear, according to the book.
“Your whole family came here to see me. Obviously, the feeling is mutual, right?” Pence said.
“All Trump could say was ‘Wow,'” LoBianco wrote.
Trump, of course, would go on to pick Pence as his running mate, and together the two shocked the world by defeating Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
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