Indiana Governor Mike Pence joined me this morning to talk all things 2016:
HH: On the first game of the World Series day, I’m joined by the Governor of Indiana, the next vice president of the United States, the Honorable Mike Pence. But sadly, I am informed he is a Cubs fan. Is that slander true, Governor Pence?
MP: (laughing) All my…Hugh, good to be with you.
HH: Good to be with you. But I mean, really? You’re not going for the Indians?
MP: Hey, look, it’s going to be a great World Series. Yeah, ever since I can remember, I’ve been a Cubs fan. I went to Wrigley many times, and it…there, but it’s going to be a great start in Cleveland tonight.
HH: All right, well, we’ll put that aside and focus on the fact that you’re out there campaigning. Governor Pence, the fact is you want to be the president of the Senate as well as vice president. That’s the Constitutional authority.
HH: And the Senate is in the balance. I know, for example, Todd Young, running in your Hoosier state, is said to be by Real Clear Politics behind, but I don’t believe that. What do you think about the Todd Young race?
MP: Yeah, I’ll tell you what, Todd Young is running a fantastic campaign. I think Indiana’s going to send Todd Young to the United States Senate. And you know, I’m really glad you started there this morning, because you know, Donald Trump said in Naples on Sunday night, I said in rallies in North Carolina yesterday, that while we’re calling on Trump/Pence’s team, we’re calling on all of our supporters to pull the level for Republicans to keep the majority to save the House and save the Senate. I mean, to move…the American voter, we going to need Republicans in the majority. And so as I head to Ohio today, that’s the message, and we’re going to continue to urge our supporters not only across the Hoosier State, but reelecting Richard Burr, and in Ohio… I mean, Donald Trump’s due to get this economy moving again, to…and as you said so often, they confirm…
HH: You know, Governor, you are cutting in and out. You are cutting in and out of us, and so I think what we might do is have you call us back and maybe reconnect there, because I think these Senate races are so important, not just to the Trump-Pence effort, but to the future of the United States with the collapse of Obamacare, I want people to be able to hear every word. I do believe, America, as we reconnect with Governor Pence, that the Todd Young race in Indiana is going to surprise. And there is a reason that Secretary Clinton is not going to Indiana. That’s because of the collapse of the Evan Bayh campaign. And we are, we’re going to reconnect with the Governor and see if we can’t get a better line on that. But Todd Young is a combat Marine veteran, member of the House. He’s been on this show many, many times. Evan Bayh, his campaign is collapsed underneath him. And I think we’ve got Governor Pence back now.
MP: Now I’m back, Hugh, thanks.
HH: You just mentioned when you broke up that Richard Burr is another Senator. He’s up six points in some polls this morning. I just don’t see he or McCrory losing North Carolina. I think your campaign’s got a good shot there.
MP: I do, too. I was in that, and thanks for your patience on that cell phone. You know, my message yesterday in North Carolina, it’ll be my message in Ohio today, and all over the country, is what Donald Trump said on Naples on Sunday night, and that is while we need to elect Donald Trump as president of the United States, we also need to reelect Republican majorities in the House and in the Senate to make sure that that contract with the American voter, a contract to rebuild our military, particularly rebuild the Navy, to get this economy moving again through tax cuts, and to ensure that we can have confirmed strict constructionists to the Supreme Court of the United States of America requires that we reelect a Republican Senate and a Republican House. And we’re going to continue to drive that message over the next two weeks. But to your point, you know, the enthusiasm for Senator Richard Burr yesterday in North Carolina was palpable. And for Governor Patrick McCrory, I called him right after our evening rally in North Carolina, and I told him that the roof almost blew off when I told them that they needed to reelect their Senator and reelect their Governor. So I think the enthusiasm is real. People know it’s all about the team, and I couldn’t be more encouraged two weeks out about our opportunity to really turn this country around and make America great again.
HH: Now two members that you served with in the House, Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, Roy Blunt in Missouri, are incumbent Senators. You served with them when you were in a leadership position in the House.
MP: I did.
HH: They are part of the solution to this Obamacare collapse, and it is a collapse, Governor. And in Arizona, the Benchmark plan’s premium is going up 145% in Phoenix. I can’t imagine Arizona voting for Democrats.
MP: Yeah, it really is incredible. Isn’t it amazing that you had Barack Obama a week ago literally celebrating the launch of Obamacare, and then we find out from his own HHS in the last 24 hours that premiums are going to go up 25% across the board. That outlandish number in places like Arizona, and you’re absolutely right, to repeal Obamacare, lock, stock and barrel, replace it with health care reform that’s grounded in free market principles and more consumer choice and health savings accounts, we’ve got to reelect Senator Pat Toomey. We’ve got to reelect Senator Roy Blunt. And I’ll tell you, campaigning across Pennsylvania, we’ve been expressing strong support for Pat Toomey’s reelection. I think he’s going well. He’s in the fight, and I’ve been campaigning on behalf of Senator Roy Blunt as well over the airwaves and the phone lines in Missouri, and I’m honored to do it. This is exactly what we need in this country, and part of the closing argument of this campaign, for Donald Trump and for me, is that we need to elect the Trump-Pence team, but we also need majorities in the House and Senate, Republican majorities that will help us pass our agenda for our contract with the American voter. That’s how we make America great again.
HH: Now Governor Pence, the three closest Senate races in the United States are Senator Ayotte in New Hampshire, Senator Johnson in Wisconsin, and Congressman Joe Heck, a general and a doctor in Nevada. We have listeners in all three of those states. I don’t know if you are able to make it everywhere that Republicans want you to come to preach the free market gospel. Have you been able, and are you optimistic about those three races?
MP: Yeah, headed into Nevada this week, been there several different times, was just in New Hampshire. And your listeners could Google, we not only were out there championing the top of our ticket, but I was championing Senator Kelly Ayotte, who has been a tremendous voice on national security and on dealing with the scourge of drug abuse and addiction. She’s done a tremendous job for the people of New Hampshire. And you know, to me, this is part of a larger message here in the last two weeks. I really do think that you know, we’ve appealed to many independents across the country who are tired of corruption and inaction in Washington. We frankly appealed to many Democrats around the country who are tired of these trade deals that have cost jobs, and that liberal social policies, but my message yesterday in North Carolina was it’s time for Republicans to come home. It’s time for us to get with our neighbors and friends who are Republicans and conservatives and say it’s time to come home. It’s time to elect the Trump-Pence team. It’s time to reelect Republican majorities in the House and Senate. And we have to come home and come together just to make sure that Hillary Clinton is never elected president of the United States.
HH: Now Governor Pence, your good friend, Paul Ryan, the Speaker…
HH: I think we need him back as Speaker. But a couple of Republicans came out this week and they voiced that they want a change at the top. I think that’s a disaster for America with a President Trump or a President Clinton. We’ve got to have Paul Ryan back in that gavel-holding chair behind the next president of the United States. What do you say to those Republicans who are nipping at his heels, because I don’t know why. He’s like the perfect Speaker.
MP: (laughing) Well, Paul Ryan is a friend of mine. And Paul and Jan have been friends of Karen and mine for years. I think he is an immense talent. And you know, while members of the, I used to be the chairman of the House Republican Conference. Members are entitled to have their opinion. I actually get excited when I think about the combination of a leader like Donald Trump, who’ll cast a vision for a stronger and more prosperous America working with Paul Ryan and working with Mitch McConnell. These are two very capable legislative leaders who have, you know, who have a whole range of well-developed policy ideas that can come straight to the floor. I think when you look at Donald Trump’s agenda for the first 100 days, and having Republican majorities and having experience Republican leadership in the Congress, you know, it all comes together. And I really do believe what Donald Trump says, you know, more often than anything else is how surprised people will be, how quickly we can turn things around. I mean, you know, once you make an investment in peace through strength to rebuild our military, that’s going to send a deafening message on the world stage of American strength. Once you commit to cutting taxes, rolling back regulation, repealing Obamacare and having the kind of trade deals that’ll put American jobs first, you’re going to see this economy come roaring back. And just the confidence of the American people are going to feel by having the kind of strong leadership that Donald Trump represents back in the Oval Office, I think it’s going to be morning in America again. I truly do believe it. But we’ve got to have Republican majorities in the House and Senate, and we’ve got to have capable leadership in those majorities to drive that agenda forward.
HH: Now Governor Pence, I want you to go back to your oversight days in Congress.
HH: I am an alum of the Department of Justice, and then at OPM when I was a general counsel and deputy director. I worked closely with the Bureau.
HH: We have the Attorney General on a plane with Bill Clinton. We have Director Comey giving basically incomprehensible press conference followed by indecipherable testimony. And now we have a very honorable man, I’m sure, Deputy Director McCabe. His wife runs for state senate in Virginia, gets $675,000 in Terry McAuliffe donations directed or controlled. He goes on to become the deputy director and does not recuse himself from the server investigation. I think, and he’s a great FBI agent, 20 years, Russian mob, counterterrorism, all that stuff. But what has happened to the Bureau that they are so indifferent to that admonition to avoid even the appearance of impropriety?
MP: Well, I think, actually you beat me to the punch on that last one. This is, you know, the questions that emanate out of the idea that the deputy director’s wife received, what was it, about half a million dollars from Terry McAuliffe’s PAC and from the Democratic Party? And people know Terry McAuliffe’s close relationship with the Clintons has been going on for generations, or for at least a generation. It just doesn’t rise to the level of being over the appearance of impropriety. I mean, the idea that the deputy director of the FBI was not intimately involved in the most high profile case of the FBI, investigating Hillary Clinton’s server, just doesn’t, it just doesn’t pass the smell test. But it, you know, cumulative weight of all of this, particularly when you look at the fate of General Cartwright, who’s being held to account, who may well go to jail, a vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who is being properly held to account for having compromised classified information, what it says to the American people is that there is a double standard. What it says to the American people is that we all live under a certain set of laws and rules, and well we should, but that Hillary Clinton and those around her seem to be held to a different standard. And you know, I thought we decided back in the 1970s that no one was above the law, even the president of the United States? And I truly do believe it’s one of the reasons why you see these incredible crowds coming out for Donald Trump, and even, you know, over a thousand people out for me yesterday at venues in North Carolina. I’ll be in Ohio today. The enthusiasm on the ground, I think, is that the American people know something is wrong in our system. There’s, it seems to work for the favored few and not for the American people. And I think that’s the reason why Donald Trump’s going to be elected. In part, it’s going to be a reason why Donald Trump’s elected as the next president of the United States, because the American people want change, and they want to end this day of double standards at the highest level.
HH: Governor Mike Pence, good luck to you expect in baseball matters over the next couple of weeks. It’s a long haul, and I’m sure you’ve got the energy for it. Thanks for joining me this morning, Governor.
MP: Thanks, Hugh, great to be with you.
End of interview.