For some reason, Mike Pence is still running for president. And GOP voters aren’t very excited about it.
The ex-VP made an appearance over the weekend in Iowa, and embarrassingly, only a smattering of people were in attendance. That’s not a hyperbolic description, either. It looks like roughly two dozen folks dedicated their Sunday afternoon to watching the futile candidate make his stump speech on a trailer.
His minimal crowd on Sunday reflected that.
It’s the local chapter of Singles With Shingles.— Christopher Robin (@HumanError62) September 16, 2023
Singles and singles of people.— Michael Little (@Michael_Little_) September 16, 2023
Lol! Were the bales of hay necessary for crowd control barriers?— RebelwoApplause (@RebelwApplause) September 16, 2023
It’s obvious Mike’s just there for the fried pickles… Mom doesn’t allow them at home.— Chaz Stevens (@TheTweetOfJab) September 16, 2023
Like most of Pence’s campaign stops, the optics of his event Sunday were corny. Desperate to project relatability, Pence was wearing some good ol’ American jeans and brown boots, and elected to stand in front of haystacks.
He was in Iowa, remember?!
But hey: at least Pence actually spoke into the microphone and made a real speech. That’s more than what we can say about his ridiculous gas station commercial, in which the gay-hating pol pretends to fill up his car with fuel. (The car in question was a red truck, obviously. So masc!)
Needs Curb Your Enthusiasm sound.— Chris Hickman (@frotuss) August 9, 2023
While we’re at it, has anybody seen Pence at their local Dunkin’ Donuts? He’ll take an order of munchkins, please!
You are the saddest human ever.— Hoodlum 🇺🇸 (@NotHoodlum) May 17, 2023
Pence, who lost all respectability as Trump’s errand boy, has spent the last week sparring with Mitt Romney, who ripped the religious conservative for his gross hypocrisy.
“No one has been more loyal, more willing to smile when he saw absurdities, more willing to ascribe God’s will to things that were ungodly than Mike Pence,” Romney told his biographer.
In a separate interview, Romney said he doesn’t believe Pence is under any “delusions” that he can actually win the Republican nomination.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, Pence still insists he can.
Maybe he can start by drawing 50 people to an event?
“Look, Mitt Romney has no idea what I was doing in the administration,” Pence said in a CNN interview. “I haven’t talked to Mitt Romney for years.”
If Pence really thinks he has a path to the nomination, he seemingly hasn’t spoken to Republican voters for years, either. (When MAGA extremists stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, they chanted their desire to hang the feckless candidate.)
But Pence did converse with a tearful voter at a recent town hall, who called him out for his anti-trans views. Melissa McCollister, a social work professor, identified herself as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and asked Pence about the violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people.
Unsurprisingly, Pence didn’t answer the question. He briefly expressed grief for the loss of life, before jumping back into canned remarks about his opposition to gender-confirming care for minors.
“If I’m President of the United States I’m going to see to the protection of every American and the rights of every American” he said. “[But] I’m a Bible-believing Christian and I have a particular view on this matter.”
The mother of a trans child, McCollister pushed back against Pence’s thinly veiled bigotry.
“I have worked with kids as young as five years old that have gender non-conforming and identities that are transgender. And I’ve raised one,” she said. “And so to hear somebody tell me that it’s not OK for young children to make decisions about their gender identity and to ask their school officials for support, protection and help, is appalling.”
“Appalling” is one way to describe Pence’s record on LGBTQ+ issues as Indiana governor. Most notably, he tried to legalize discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in a religious freedom bill, before reversing course amidst broad blowback.
Pence’s rhetoric around social issues is just as harsh on the campaign trail. For example, he recently said liberal states shouldn’t determine their own abortion laws.
Nothing like a small government conservative who loves state’s rights!
Instead of sparking widespread outrage, Pence’s draconian policy proposals now just elicit a few sighs. He’s stuck in the mid-single digits, and holding events for virtually nobody.
How the hateful have fallen.
Do you think Mike understands he has 0 chance?— Christine King (@ckwest542) September 16, 2023
He might even get a few hundred votes.— LWB (@sabnabdab_lb) September 16, 2023