Michael Richard Pence

Vice President

 | Jump to Bottom  |

  • 1990 Uses campaign donations from his bid for Congress to pay down his mortgage, his personal credit card bills, groceries, golf tournament fees and his wife’s car payments. Although not illegal at the time, it hurts his campaign. (WaPo)
  • 1990 Runs an ad during the campaign depicting a man in a robe and Arabic headdress thanking his opponent incumbent Phil Sharp for not helping wean America off of oil. His campaign defends the ad despite backlash. (WaPo)(Wikipedia)
  • 2001 Writes on his congressional campaign website: “Time for a quick reality check. Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill.” (Fortune)
  • 2002 States on the floor of the House of Representatives the following: “I also believe that someday scientists will come to see that only the theory of intelligent design provides even a remotely rational explanation for the known universe.” (Congress.gov)
  • 2006 Refuses to pardon an innocent man, Keith Cooper who spent nine years in prison and was released on DNA evidence, leaving it his successor, who pardons Cooper within weeks of taking office. (NewYorker)
  • 2009 Writes in an op-ed denouncing stem cell research, arguing that it is obsolete.” (the op-ed piece)
  • Spring 2009 Promotes a pledge authored by the Koch Brothers to promise not to spend any government funds on limiting carbon pollution, endearing himself to the Koch Brothers and opening the floodgates of their support money. (NewYorker)
  • 5/5/09 In an interview with Chris Matthews on MSNBC, says “Do I believe in evolution? I embrace the view that God created the heavens and the Earth, the seas and all that’s in them.” (YouTube)
  • 2010 One of three Republican leaders in a group of white male House Republicans to form the House Tea Party Caucus, which spends their first official day battling accusations of being a racist movement. (NYT)
  • 2011 Backed by Charles Koch for governor of Indiana with an eye on the White House. (NewYorker)
  • 2013 As governor of Indiana, signs a law preventing wages requirements beyond the federal minimum. (HuffPo)(Wikipedia)
  • 2014 Sends a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder stating that Indiana would not comply with federal prison rape elimination standards because they were too expensive. (USAToday)
  • 3/26/14 Signs a bill allowing firearms to be kept in vehicles on school property. (IndyStar)
  • 2015 After defunding Planned Parenthood and at one point banning a needle exchange program for addicts, contributes to an explosive HIV epidemic in Southern Indiana. (FiveThirtyEight)(ChicagoTribune)(HuffPo)(Politico)
  • 1/26/15 Reports indicate that Pence planned to launch a state-run, taxpayer-funded news service for the state. (USAToday)
  • 3/26/15 Signs the Religious Freedom Restorations Act, a bill that permits discrimination based on sexual identity and sexual preference, and is met with widespread boycotting of the state from big businesses and some U.S. cities. (CNN)(AP)(IndyStar)
  • 4/2/15 Signs legislation revising the law to prevent potential discrimination. (NOLA)
  • 4/14/15 Drops the plan to have a state-run media outlet after embarrassing backlash. (USAToday)
  • May 2015 Disestablishes an education bureaucracy he had recently created and reconstituted a State Board of Education stocked with his own appointees in order to strip Democrat Glenda Ritz, Indian Superintendent of Public Instruction, of all power and influence. (ChalkBeat)(IndyStar)
  • May 2015 Signs into law a bill that limits lawsuits against gun and ammunition manufacturers and sellers, and retroactively terminates a still-pending lawsuit against gun manufacturers and retailers. The law is criticized as a violation of the separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches of state government. (IndyStar)(NWITimes)
  • 5/6/15 Repeals an Indiana law requiring construction companies working on publicly funded projects to pay a prevailing wage. (NWITimes)
  • 7/15/15 Sends a letter to Obama denouncing the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which would regulate carbon emissions from existing power plans, and states that Indiana would refuse to comply. (InsideClimateNews)(IndyStar)
  • 2/20/16 States that even if Indiana lost in court over the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, Indiana would still refuse to comply and not come up with its own plan to reduce emissions. (IndyStar)
  • March 2016 Signs a bill that attempts to blanket ban abortions based solely on race, sex or suspected disabilities, and is blocked by a federal court from allowing the bill to become law on Constitutional grounds. (NYTimes)
  • 3/14/16 Fails to keep Syrian refugees from entering Indiana despite widely publicized attempts. (Economist)
  • 7/15/16 Is announced that he would be the running mate to Donald Trump. (Guardian)
  • 9/18/16 Says his role model as vice president is Dick Cheney. (ABCNews)

As Vice President of the United States

  • 2/20/17 In a news conference at NATO headquarters, says the following: (CNN)
    • On Trump's attacks on the media: "You can anticipate that the President and all of us will continue to call out the media when they play fast and loose with the facts."
    • On each NATO country spending 2% of their GDP on military: "The patience of the American people will not endure forever."
  • 2/22/17 Makes a surprise visit to a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis that had been vandalized and addresses a small crowd with a bullhorn. (Hill)
  • 3/1/17 Asserts that Mexico will in fact pay for The Wall despite firm rejections by Mexico to do any such thing. (Hill)
  • 3/2/17 Is reported that Pence as governor of Indiana used his personal AOL email to conduct public business, including sensitive Homeland Security matters, and was at one point hacked. (Indiana Star)(some of his emails)
  • 4/17/17 From the South Korean side of the DMZ, warns North Korea not to test U.S. military might by pursuing its nuclear weapons program, citing recent strikes in Syria and Afghanistan as proof of American “strength and resolve.” (NYT)
  • 5/11/17 Says that Trump fired FBI Director James Comey following the recommendation of the DOJ, but is contradicted by Trump, who said he was going to fire Comey regardless of any recommendations. (Politico)
  • 5/21/17 Graduates at the Notre Dame commencement ceremony walk out on Pence as he begins his speech. (NPR)
  • 6/15/17 Hires a personal criminal defense lawyer to help him navigate the multiple investigations of the White House pertaining to Russian election interference, obstruction of justice and other potential charges. (NYT)
  • 6/18/17 In a speech promoting a Senate GOP healthcare proposal, makes a number of misleading statements and outright lies. (WaPo)
  • 8/22/17 Speaking of the recent tumult regarding the removal of Confederate statues, which most recently resulted in the death of a protester by the vehicle of a white supremacist, says: "I'm someone who believes in more monuments, not less monuments. What we ought to do is remember our history." (Hill)
  • 9/25/17 A federal judge permanently struck down provisions of an Indiana law passed last year that would have banned abortions sought due to fetal genetic abnormalities and required that aborted fetuses be buried or cremated, provisions that then-governor Pence signed into law in 2016. (ChicagoTribune)
  • 10/8/17 Walks out of an NFL game after some players take a knee during the National Anthem in protest of inequality among blacks, stating "“I left today’s Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem." (Reuters)
    • Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington criticizes Pence for using government travel to attend a football game. The preplanned stunt costed taxpayers about $250,000. (Hill)
  • "The Danger of President Pence" (The New Yorker article 10/23/17):
    • Pence as a child, along with his five siblings, was never allowed to speak at the dinner table.
    • Observes the "Billy Graham rule," which forbids him from dining alone with a woman without his wife present, or attend an event in mixed company where alcohol is served without his wife.
    • Holds a bible study group exclusively for Cabinet officers, led by evangelical pastor Ralph Drollinger, who describes Catholicism as a "false religion," calls homosexuality a "sin" and writes that women who work rather than stay home with their children is contradicting "God's revealed design for them."
  • 10/24/17 Breaks a 50-50 tie in the Senate to pass a bill that kills a landmark financial regulation that restricts banks and credit card companies from forcing customers into arbitration rather than fighting allegations in court. (Politico)
  • 10/25/17 Announces on behalf of Trump that the State Department will stop funding certain "ineffective" UN relief efforts and instead provide funding through USAID, as well as "faith-based groups" which have repeatedly had funding requests denied by the UN, saying "Those days [of the faith-based groups getting denied funding] are over." (Hill)
  • 12/13/17 The keyholder to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem, Adeeb Joudeh, announces that he will not welcome Pence when he visits because of Trump's announcement that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. (Hill)
  • 12/20/17 In a Cabinet meeting, directly praises Trump from across the table every 12 seconds for three minutes straight, applauding the passage of a $1.5 trillion tax cut for the wealthy. (WaPo)(transcript via TPM)
  • 1/5/18 Is reported that many top aides in Pence's office plan to leave at the beginning of this year, including his chief lawyer and his domestic policy director. (CNN)
  • 1/21/18 Uses a speech to military personnel at a U.S. base near the Syrian border to blame Democrats for a government shutdown, saying, in part: ""You and your families shouldn't have to worry for one minute about whether you're going to get paid as you serve in the uniform of the United States. In fact, we're not going to reopen negotiations on illegal immigration until they reopen the government and give you, our soldiers, and your families the benefits and wages you've earned." (RealClearPolitics)
  • 2/14/18 Claims that the U.S. intelligence community concluded in 2016 that Russia did not affect the election, despite copious evidence to the exact opposite. (Hill)
  • 3/28/18 Tweets a tribute to the late civil rights icon Linda Brown, and is excoriated online for having done so while recently staging a walk-out of an NFL game after several player kneeled during the National Anthem. (HuffPost)
  • 7/12/18 Orchestrates the release of Dwight Hammond and Steven Hammond, who were serving seven years in federal prison for arson on federal lands. Their incarceration sparked the 41-day occupation of a wildlife refuge in early 2016. Pence obtained their pardon from Trump after being asked by Forrest Lucas, an oil products tycoon who has donated more than $100,000 to Pence's campaigns. (NYT)
  • 7/13/18 Is reported that taxpayers have footed the bill for cleaning up 85 toxic gas station sites formerly owned and subsequently abandoned by the Pence family since the collapse of their business in 2004, with Indiana taxpayers alone paying $21 million thus far. The abandoned gas stations are spread across three states and contain underground tanks that leak toxic chemicals in the soil, streams and wells. (ABCNews)

  • 9/5/18 The New York Times publishes an anonymous op-ed in which a senior White House official, whose identity is known only to NYT editors, confirms that many staff act on a daily basis to thwart Trump's impulsive decisions that would otherwise destabilize the nation and the world. The author writes in part: "The root of the problem is the president's amorality." (NYT op-ed) Pence suggests that there is a legal basis for Trump's subsequent decision to use the Justice Department to investigate the identity of the author. (Hill)
  • 9/25/18 Becomes the first vice president to address the anti-LGBT Family Research Council's Value Voter Summit, following in the footsteps of Trump, who the year before became the first president to do so. The FRC is designated a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center. (Newsweek)
  • 10/30/18 At a rally in Michigan, invites to the stage a "Messianic rabbi" to say a prayer for the victims and survivors of the recent synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh that left 11 dead. The rabbi, Loren Jacobs, invokes the name of Jesus during the prayer. Is later reported that Jacobs was stripped of his rabbinic ordination at the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations in 2003 after being found guilty of libel. (NBC)
  • 11/28/18 Casts a tie-breaking vote to advance the nomination of Thomas Farr to district judge in North Carolina. Farr has a record of defending racial gerrymandering as well as photo ID voter requirements. (USAToday)
  • 1/8/19 In three separate interviews, falsely states that there are 60,000 people attempting to enter the U.S. illegally every month. (official U.S. Customs and Border Protection Report)
  • 1/8/19 Covers for Trump's lie that four former presidents all attempted to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall, saying of Trump's claim: “I know the president has said that was his impression from previous presidents.” All four living ex-presidents have refuted the claim. (WaPo)
  • 1/18/19 Defends his wife against criticism that she has started teaching art at a school that seeks to exclude homosexual and transgender students and staff, saying in part: "I have to tell you, to see major news organizations attacking Christian education, is deeply offensive to us." (WaPo)
  • 1/20/18 On MLK Day, likens Trump's struggle to gain funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall to the struggles of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Slate)
  • 2/17/19 Is met with dead silence at the Munich Security Conference after saying: "I bring greetings from the 45th president of the United States of America, President Donald Trump." The silence lasted five seconds before he continued. (USAToday)
  • 5/18/19 Students and faculty walk out of Pence's commencement address in Taylor University, a Christian school in his home state of Indiana. (Newsweek)
  • 10/15/19 Refuses to turn over documents requested by House Democrats as part of their impeachment inquiry. (USAToday)