Mike Pence

vice president of the United States from 2017 to 2021
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Michael Richard "Mike" Pence (born June 7, 1959) is an American politician and attorney. He served, from 2017 to 2021 as the 48th vice president of the United States. He also served from 2013 to 2017 as the 50th governor of Indiana, represented Indiana's 2nd congressional district and Indiana's 6th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013, and served as chairman of the House Republican Conference from 2009 to 2011.

Honesty is the axis on which leadership spins.
I truly do believe, if all of us do all that we can, that we will once again, in our time, restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law.
I'm a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order.
The quickest way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Pence led the White House Coronavirus Task Force. After Joe Biden won the 2020 United States presidential election, he refused to use his position as Vice President to decertify the results and rejected arguments from the Trump administration that he had a constitutional authority to do so. He started a campaign in the Republican Party primaries for the 2024 United States presidential election, but suspended it before voting began and endorsed Trump.




  • Further, [President Clinton's] repeated lies to the American people in this matter compound the case against him as they demonstrate his failure to protect the institution of the presidency as the 'inspiring supreme symbol of all that is highest in our American ideals'. Leaders affect the lives of families far beyond their own 'private life.'


  • Just because I’m a-clappin’ for it, doesn’t mean I’m a-votin’ for it.
  • As a conservative who believes in limited government, I believe the only check on government power in real time is a free and independent press. A free press ensures the flow of information to the public, and let me say, during a time when the role of government in our lives and in our enterprises seems to grow every day--both at home and abroad--ensuring the vitality of a free and independent press is more important than ever.


  • We cannot have four more years apologizing to [America's] enemies and abandoning our friends. America needs to be strong for the world to be safe, and on the world stage, Donald Trump will lead from strength.
  • Donald Trump and I believe that Captain Humayun Khan is an American hero and his family, like all Gold Star families, should be cherished by every American. Captain Khan gave his life to defend our country in the global war on terror. Due to the disastrous decisions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, a once stable Middle East has now been overrun by ISIS. This must not stand. By suspending immigration from countries that have been compromised by terrorism, rebuilding our military, defeating ISIS at its source and projecting strength on the global stage, we will reduce the likelihood that other American families will face the enduring heartbreak of the Khan family.
  • I truly do believe, if all of us do all that we can, that we will once again, in our time, restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law, I just know in my heart of hearts that this will be the generation that restores life in America.
  • Honestly, my focus is completely on the progress we're making, we fully support the decision that was made regarding that employee.
  • We stand with Israel because your cause is our cause, your values are our values, and your fight is our fight.
    • Remarks by Vice President Mike Pence in Special Session of the Knesset — [8] (January 22, 2018)




It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.
  • If his people who are called by His name will humble themselves and pray, He will do as He has done for generations and heal His people and He will heal this land, I leave here today confident that God is at work. Even though it may not seem that way God is working. Even when things don’t seem like they’re going the way we expected, they’re going the way God expected.
  • Precisely correct.
    • In response to reporter's question "So when you said 4 million tests, seven weeks ago, you were just talking about tests being sent out, not actually being — being completed?" April 28, 2020
  • It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.
    • Official statement prior to engaging in his role in the counting of the votes of the Electoral College (6 January 2021)
Remarks in Press Briefing (April 19, 2020)
Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing, (April 19, 2020), whitehouse.gov
  • That White House Coronavirus Task Force met today. It was reported to us that, at this moment, more than 746,000 Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus. Fortunately, more than 68,000 Americans have fully recovered. But sadly, more than 41,000 Americans have lost their lives to the coronavirus. And we always want to express our deepest sympathies to the families in their loss, as well as to all the families who have loved ones that are struggling with this disease.
  • Remember that, a month ago, we had done 80,000 coronavirus tests in America. This weekend, we cleared more than 4 million. And we’re currently testing more than a million Americans a week. We fully expect to actually have tested more than 5 million Americans before the end of this month. But at the President's urging, we’re going to continue to scale that testing and then work with governors to make sure that they can manage and implement and deploy that testing in the manner that will most support their efforts to move their states forward. Remember that the testing that is contemplated in the Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, for phase one, are testing people that have symptoms that may be coronavirus, and then also having the testing resources to deploy to vulnerable communities: nursing homes or other vulnerable communities that we have identified as needing additional –what is called "monitoring" or "surveillance testing".
  • We believe we have the testing today around the country that would allow any state in America to move into phase one if they've met the other criteria: fourteen days of consistent declines and strong hospital capacity, so that their system would not be overwhelmed in the event of a flare-up. But we’re going to be working with governors tomorrow on the subject of testing and supplies. And as the President said again this evening: We’re here to help. We’ve forged a partnership with governors around the country, and tomorrow we’ll be building on that partnership to hopefully arrive at the day that we can make sure governors around the nation have the best advice and the best resources to put America back to work.
Interview at Meet the Press (April 19, 2020)
Interview with Chuck Todd at Meet the Press (April 19, 2020). Transcript online at NBCNews.com
  • It really is remarkable to think about the progress the American people have made over the last several months. When the president tapped me to lead the White House Coronavirus Task Force, he gave us the first objective is to save lives. And to focus on slowing the spread, bending the curve. And because of the extraordinary efforts of the American people, we continue to see every day evidence that cases are declining, hospitalizations are declining. That's a tribute to the American people. Frankly, it's a tribute to all of those governors, governors in both parties across the country who put these mitigation efforts into effect.
  • Secondly, the president made it clear to us that we were to make sure the hospitals in impacted areas had the resources and the equipment that they needed to be able to save as many lives as possible. And I have to tell you that tens of millions of personal protective equipment that we've coordinated for delivery around the country, especially in areas most impacted and the fact that ventilators have been delivered in areas across the country so that no American who needed a ventilator has ever been denied a ventilator. We're actually increasing the stockpile today. But testing has been a focus of ours as well, from very beginning. And it's the reason why the president, early on, brought in this vast array of commercial labs that took us from 80,000 tests one month ago to now four million tests as of yesterday. And as we'll make clear again to governors tomorrow in our weekly conference call, we look forward to continuing to partner with governors all across the country as we continue to scale testing. Because we really believe that, while we're doing 150,000 tests a day now, that if states around the country will activate all of the laboratories that are available in their states, we could more than double that overnight and literally be doing hundreds of thousands of more tests per day in a very short period of time.
  • Just so we're very clear, when the president outlined his guidelines for opening up America, we laid out a plan for both -- for when and how we thought it was best according to our best scientists and advisors for states to be able to responsibly and safely reopen. And we believe today as Dr. Birx has said, as Dr. Fauci and others have said, is that there is a sufficient capacity of testing across the country today for any state in America to go to a phase one level which contemplates testing people that have symptoms of the coronavirus. And also doing the kind of monitoring of vulnerable populations in our cities, in our nursing homes that we ought to be watching very carefully for outbreaks of the coronavirus. But we believe working with the governors, as we'll continue to partner with them, that we can activate labs around the country and that states today, if the governor so chooses, have sufficient testing to be able to move into the testing contemplated in phase one.
  • What we've done through FEMA and through U.S. public health service is literally marshal the full resources of the American economy. We've been bringing medical supplies including, testing supplies, in from all over the world and will continue to do that.
  • I've been working almost daily over the last two months with Republican and Democrat governors across the country. And this vast and complex system of testing, using the commercial labs around the country and using hospital and public labs is a new concept. And so we've been working with governors around the country to make sure that they and their health officials know about all the resources in their states. And we also have deployed a team from Walter Reed that over the last two weeks has been calling every single laboratory in the country that can do coronavirus testing. And tomorrow we'll be presenting all of those details to governors so that they can activate those tests in their state.
  • Admiral Brett Giroir of the U.S. Public Health Service spends all of his time coordinating testing deployment and resources deployment from FEMA. And what we're making clear to governors, and I want the American people to know, is that we will continue to do that. While the president has made it clear that we want the governors to implement testing and deploy testing where they deem it's most appropriate in their state, we're going to continue to fully partner with states around the country to increase the supply, to make sure that they have the reagents and the test kits necessary to perform those tests. But I want to say again, it is truly -- it's a tribute to the president's leadership that early on in this process he brought in the top commercial labs in the country. They formed an alliance. And we went from one month ago to 80,000 tests being done to four million tests being completed as of yesterday. We'll continue to increase that. We'll continue to make governors aware of that.
  • In any health care crisis, we want to make sure the health care workers at the local level have the resources they need because it's locally executed. It is state managed. But it's federally supported. And the federal government at the president's direction will continue to support governors as they deploy the testing resources in the time and manner of their choosing. But we believe today, as Dr. Deborah Birx has confirmed, is we have a sufficient capacity of testing today for any state in America to move into phase one and begin the process of reopening their state and their economy.
  • At the president's direction, as we announced last week, the CDC is going to deploy teams in every single state in the country to do contact tracing over the next 12 to 18 months. The CDC is really the expert at contact tracing. And it really is, Chuck, the way that we, that we typically control the outbreak of infectious disease. You identify someone who has symptoms. You test them. And then you immediately find out who they've been in contact with. That's what the CDC does. And, as we announced last week, we'll be deploying coronavirus CDC teams in every state in the country on top of the hundreds of CDC personnel that are already embedded in states today.
  • I've seen that report in the papers this morning. And I know that HHS is making inquiries. But we believe those issues were resolved on that particular test by early February. But it's important for your viewers to know that that test, the slow lab-based test that is typical for CDC and public health labs would never have been able to meet the needs of testing in this coronavirus epidemic. That's why President Trump was so right when he brought together these commercial labs and formed a consortium. And literally took us from -- at that time in February we had done some 20,000 tests total across the country. Now we've done more than four million and we believe we'll have done more than five million tests before the end of this month. None of that would have been possible without the president's leadership, without the innovation, without the incredible efforts of companies like Roche and Avid Laboratories. And the American people can be confident that whether it is supplies, whether it is testing, we're going to continue to make sure that our governors, our state health care officials and most especially our health care workers have the resources and the support they need. But I want the American people to know that sitting here this morning we really are seeing encouraging signs because of what the American people have done, we believe we are slowing the spread.
    • About a FDA's report stating that CDC's initial test was faulty.
  • There's a downward trajectory beginning in even some of the hot spots around the country. And now more than ever it's important that each of us continue to do our part. And I can assure the American people that, at the president's direction, we'll continue to play our role, we'll have a full partnership of governors around the country. And we will some day in the near future, we, will put the coronavirus in the past.
  • No one wants to reopen America more than President Donald Trump. And I think the American people have known that from weeks ago when the president declared that important balance, we have to make sure that the cure isn't worse than the disease. Because the reality is that for all of the sacrifice the American people have made, sacrifices that literally have saved lives, the truth is that there are real costs including the health and well-being of the American people to continue to go through the shutdown that we're in today. And so the president laid out new guidelines for every state in the country to say that if you’ve seen cases decline for 14 days, if you're in a position to do the kind of, the kind of testing and you have the health hospital capacity that we want to encourage every state to examine the way to go to phase one. And that's the new guidance that we're giving.
  • Chuck Todd: I understand that. I've given you a lot of leeway here. I've not been wanting to interrupt you. That's not true, I always want to jump in on some things. I've given you a lot of leeway. Why is the president trying to undermine the guidance you've been laying out and that he's been -- he laid out this guidance on Thursday and undermined it on Friday.
Mike Pence: Chuck, I just -- I don't accept your premise and I don't think most Americans do either. The president's made it clear, he wants to reopen America. And we laid out guidelines for every state in the country to safely and responsibly reopen their economy at the time and manner of their choosing. We laid out the criteria for when our best scientists believe that would be appropriate. If it was 14 days of declining of cases and they had proper hospital capacity. And we laid out the means that they could move into phase one. When you hear the president, when you see people across the country talking about reopening, every American and this president want to do that in a safe and responsible way. The guidelines for opening up America are a framework for doing that. And we'll work with governors across the country to implement those because we want to, we want to put America back to work as soon as we responsibly can. And at the president's direction we're going to continue to work to do that every day.
  • The American people can be confident that this president wants to reopen the American economy as soon as we can safely and responsibly do it. But we believe, with the guidelines to open up America again, we've given governors around the country our very best counsel about how they can do just that. And we'll continue to work with governors to make sure that they have the guidance, that they have the council and they have the resources to accomplish that. And to put the coronavirus in the past someday and to put America back to work.
  • We believe that under the phase one criteria that we have a sufficient amount of testing at that level to allow states to begin to responsibly reopen. And literally doing more than 150,000 tests a day now, a number that we believe we could double once we activate all the laboratories around the country, we're confident that that would enable any governor who's otherwise met the criteria of 14 days of declining cases to be able to have the testing capacity sufficient to monitor people that may have symptoms so we can identify them and do contact tracing and also deploy the resources to vulnerable populations, nursing homes and particular vulnerable populations in our city to ensure that we don't see a resurgence of the coronavirus. So yes, we think we've laid a strong foundation for testing for phase one and we're going to continue to expand testing going forward for the nation in the weeks and months ahead.
Bob Woodward interviews






  • It really is good to be back with all the patriots in the NRA, men and women who stand on the ramparts of freedom, defending all the God-given liberties enshrined in the Constitution of the United States every day [...] With your support, the Trump-Pence administration championed freedom for four remarkable years, and every single day we stood without apology for the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
Statement in Indianapolis on Trump indictment on 2020 election interference
I want people to know that I had no right to overturn the election, and that what the president maintained that day and frankly, has said over and over again over the last two and a half years, is completely false.
"Pence speaks on Trump indictment in 2020 election interference probe" MSNBC (2 August 2023)
  • The Constitution is quite clear about the role of the vice president in the counting of electoral votes. It essentially says the vice president presides over a joint session of Congress where the electoral votes that are certified by the states shall be opened and shall be counted. And irrespective of the indictment, I want the American people to know that I had no right to overturn the election. And that on that day, President Trump asked me to put him over the Constitution. But I chose the Constitution and I always will. … I really do believe that anyone who puts themself over the Constitution should never be president of the United States. And anyone who asks someone else to put themselves over the Constitution should never be president of the United States again.
  • I want people to know that I had no right to overturn the election, and that what the president maintained that day and frankly, has said over and over again over the last two and a half years, is completely false. And it’s contrary to what our Constitution and the laws of this country provide.
    You know, I’m a student of American history, and the first time I heard in early December, somebody suggests that as vice president, I might be able to decide which votes to reject and which to accept. I knew that it was false. Our founders had just won a war against a king, and the last thing they would have done was vest unilateral authority in any one person to decide who would be the next president. I dismissed it out of hand, but sadly, the president was surrounded by a group of crackpot lawyers that kept telling him what itching ears wanted to hear.

Quotes about Pence

  • Trump spent his last hours as president handing out pardons like lawn care flyers to political allies and friends who had been convicted of serious crimes. Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Steve Bannon, and some 140 others received Get Out of Jail cards, just as disgraced General Michael Flynn had earlier. Such massive subverting of the justice system strengthened the impression that for all his posturing, Trump had a career criminal’s appreciation of law and order. If you broke the law for Trump and remained loyal, you would not be punished. All the dedicated investigation it took to uncover deeply hidden facts, the careful presentation of evidence in court, the conscientious deliberations of jurors in fulfillment of their civic duty, and the endless appeals of guilty verdicts to higher courts became ultimately pointless because “the fix” was in at the end—provided you never crossed Trump. This amounted to good advertising for the future, should Trump regain power. He might as well have put up “Wanted” signs for criminals in the post office, except they would be recruitment posters promising big job benefits, including a presidential pardon for crimes committed on his behalf.
    Anyone who expected Trump to follow tradition and attend his successor’s swearing-in ceremony to help unify the nation did not understand the man who had spent four years splitting the country in two. But Mike Pence did attend, and President Biden privately thanked Pence when their paths crossed after the ceremony for honoring his oath to the Constitution on that fateful day two weeks earlier. Former president Bill Clinton and General Milley also personally acknowledged to Pence how much the nation owed him.
  • Reverend Barber, at one point during the debate, a fly landed on Pence’s head for nearly two-and-a-half minutes, prompting widespread commentary online. Professor Ibram X. Kendi, author of the best-selling book How to Be an Antiracist, tweeted, “As soon as Pence started denying the existence of systemic racism, the fly got him!” And you have a record last night, a ceiling shattered. Senator Kamala Harris made history as the first Black woman to debate a white man in a presidential or vice-presidential debate. She was the first Black woman, Indian American woman. The significance of this...? Amy Goodman
  • She was fusion politics indeed. She was the second Black woman to be the vice president on a major ticket, first on the stage to debate. You know, I couldn’t help but go to the Book of Exodus, where it talked about where God said, “If you don’t let my people go, I’m going to cause flies to come as a sign of what’s wrong. But I won’t let the flies be on the people, but the fly will be a symbol that you’re just wrong. You’re lying. Let my people go.” And Trump and Pence need to let the people go. They’ve been holding poor and low-wealth people hostage, essential workers hostage. It’s time for a change in this country. William Barber II
  • During Wednesday’s debate, Vice President Mike Pence refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power if Biden wins the election. Instead, he referenced the Trump administration’s legal efforts to restrict mail-in voting. Rev. William Barber says the Republican Party’s voter suppression efforts ahead of the November election, aimed primarily at Black and Brown voters, amount to “surgical racism with surgical precision.” The Poor People’s Campaign, of which Barber is co-chair, is leading a major voter mobilization effort to combat voter disenfranchisement. “They know they cannot win if everybody votes. They are terribly afraid of poor and low-wealth Black and Brown people voting,” he says.
  • Trump was often just one yes-man away from doing what he wanted. One attorney general. One military commander. One vice president. Many of those who blocked Trump were complicated figures who had spent years enabling him before finally deciding he had gone too far. Even then they often remained in his orbit or refused to speak out. Mike Pence, Bill Barr, Mike Pompeo, his four chiefs of staff, his lawyers, the Republican leaders on Capitol Hill. For them, every day was a moral challenge, a series of tradeoffs in which they weighed the benefits of accomplishing whatever agenda had brought them into Trump’s world in the first place—whether patriotism or personal ambition or policy goals or simply partisanship—against the need to stop the situation from spiraling out of control. There was a not inconsiderable element of hubris to this; they believed they could manage him, and often succeeded for a while in doing so, only to claim they were shocked it had not worked out when it all ended badly, as it inevitably did. This book is their story too, because without them Donald Trump might have been just another angry old man shouting at the television between golf games.
  • One of the staffers said [Pence and I] looked like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, coming through those swinging doors, so we’ve called each other ‘Butch’ and ‘Sundance’ jokingly ever since.
  • Mike is intensely loyal. That’s a virtue. He has never uttered to me one syllable of disagreement with the president. And frankly, I admire him for that.
    • Jeff Flake, on Pence and his relationship with Donald Trump — [10] (January 3, 2018)
  • We’ve taken different paths, but I’m not trying to suggest that mine is a more virtuous path than his. He’s in a position with considerably more power than I have, and there’s something to be said for that.
    • Jeff Flake, on Pence and his differing opinions regarding Donald Trump — [11] (January 3, 2018)
  • ...Trump is many things. He is pampered, he is an immature man, he is a teenager craving unconditional, endless love from everybody. I don’t think he is fanatic. I’m not sure I would say about his vice president that he is not a fanatic, he probably is...
  • Mike Pence did an incredible job, and I'm getting a lot of credit because that's really my first so-called choice.
  • We have to stop saying things were well before COVID. It’s almost as though we give that away to the Trump and Pence. The reality is, Wall Street was well. The reality is, those who got his tax cuts were well. The reality is, though, that before COVID, they were trying to overturn healthcare. Before COVID, they were blocking living wages. Before COVID, we were not addressing the issue of poor and low-wealth people...
  • Well, you know, when Pence talked last night, he told what my grandmother called a bold-faced lie. The first CARES Act, 83% of the money went to corporations and banks. It did not go to the people.
  • The Trump-Pence plan is talking about giving more money to the wealthy. In fact, the Trump-Pence-McConnell plan, they refuse to pass a stimulus because they want another $200 billion in tax cuts, they want money for a fighter jet, and they want to protect corporations from liability when those corporations didn’t protect their people from coronavirus... So, what we have is two different worlds operating. Pence, with a straight face, lying, basically said, “Vote for us, and we’ll take your healthcare and undermine your preexisting conditions. Vote for us, and we’ll block living wages. Vote for us, and we will not protect the environment...Vote for us, and we’ll put people on the Supreme Court who will be against your healthcare, against labor rights.” ..And so, we’re living in two different worlds. Not only will Pence and Trump not acknowledge racism when it comes to police violence, they are not even acknowledging the disparate racism in economics and in healthcare, and so forth and so on.
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