Pence Makes Clear There Is No Daylight Between Him and Trump – The New York Times

Mr. Gore found himself in a similarly awkward position in 1998, when Congress impeached President Bill Clinton for lying under oath about his affair with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.

Mr. Gore, too, remained steadfastly loyal. But unlike Mr. Pence, he never publicly supported Mr. Clinton’s defenses of his own conduct.

David Kochel, an Iowa-based Republican strategist, said that in vigorously defending Mr. Trump, Mr. Pence was making the only move available to him. “No matter what comes out, the base is going to stick with Trump,” even if some Republican members of Congress do not.

Mr. Kochel added that Mr. Pence “is going to be judged by” the president and “his fervent supporters on his loyalty to the president.” But he said there is little downside politically for Mr. Pence in demonstrating his loyalty during the impeachment fight.

“Right now it’s framed as a partisan fight,” he said.

Still, in expressing criticism of his predecessor, Mr. Biden, Mr. Pence also seemed to underscore the quandary he faces in his proximity to a president bearing a large load of ethical and legal accusations.

“The simple fact is that, you know, when you hold the second-highest office in the land, it comes with unique responsibilities,” he said. “Not just to be above impropriety but to be above the appearance of impropriety.”

Mr. Pence, who was in Arizona meeting with Hispanic leaders when he talked to reporters, did not address questions about whether he had a role or knowledge of Mr. Trump’s efforts to press foreign governments to investigate the Bidens and the origins of the F.B.I.’s 2016 investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia.

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