Could Donald Trump dump Mike Pence as his running mate in a desperate bid to improve his re-election chances? A former White House official thinks so.
Trump is not faring well in the polls right now at all as Joe Biden continues to hold a lead over him in several key battleground states and a 14-point lead over him nationally.
Biden has yet to make his choice for Vice President, and that could directly impact Trump’s decision about Pence. Speculation is running high that Biden could choose an African-American woman, which would definitely excite people of color and women to vote. At the very least, it appears Biden will choose a woman.
Either decision would force Trump’s hand unless he really wants to double down on the white male ticket.
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And a former official who served in Trump’s White House thinks Trump would boot Pence to the curb.
“He would throw Mike Pence in a wood chipper if he needed to,” the former Trump official told Politico. “I’m still very surprised that he’s on the ticket. If someone walks in there and tells him, ‘The only way you’re going to pull this out is to put an African American on the ticket or to put a woman on the ticket’ — if it’s good for Trump, he’ll do it in a second.”
The problem is that dropping Pence could anger evangelicals and cause some to turn on Trump. It’s a constituency that Trump cannot afford to lose and Pence provides a bridge to those voters. It’s certainly a big risk.
In addition, another former White House official claimed that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would walk away from Trump to save his own power.
“At the end of the day, the Senate majority leader wants to be the Senate majority leader,” the former official said. “He cares about the Senate, he cares about maintaining that majority, so if that means walking away from Trump at some point, he absolutely will.”
McConnell engineered a rigged impeachment trial to protect Trump and has not shown any indication that he is willing to abandon the president despite having many chances to do so. In short, Mitch is not gonna walk. He’s going to stick with Trump because he’s scared of losing votes from Trump’s base.
The officials also say that Trump won’t refuse to leave office, but that he will do so all while claiming the election was stolen from him because he is incapable of admitting he lost.
“That will be his rationale and for the rest of his life, we’ll never hear anything but, ‘It was stolen,’” the official said. “He can’t admit that he lost, so how he’ll comfort himself or justify it is that it was stolen.”
Complacency is dangerous, so let’s not pretend that Trump will just concede on Election Night. He’s already broken every constitutional and democratic norm in the book. The peaceful transition of power is one of the few left that he has not stained. Assuming that tradition is too sacred to violate would be a mistake. This is Trump, after all.
Featured image via White House Photo/Tia Dufour
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