Stirred up by The New York Times, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence reacted to a Saturday article alleging Pence was gearing up to run for president in 2020. On Monday night, late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel weighed in on the topic, having prepared an ad for the vice president to aid in his efforts to deny the claims.
The New York Times’ article claimed Pence’s political engagements, coupled with rumors about discussions he’d had with top aides, signal his intention to run for the presidency after Trump’s first term, ostensibly as long as President Trump doesn’t seek reelection himself.
In reaction, VP Pence denounced the report, calling the allegations false and offensive. “Whatever fake news may come our way, my entire team will continue to focus all our efforts to advance the President’s agenda and see him re-elected in 2020,” Pence wrote. “Any suggestion otherwise is both laughable and absurd.”
President Trump also lashed out at the Times Monday afternoon. He tweeted: “How much longer will the failing nytimes, with its big losses and massive unfunded liability (and non-existent sources), remain in business?”
During his Monday “Jimmy Kimmel Live” monologue, the late-night host addressed the controversy.
“Pence got nervous and issued a statement strongly denying all of it,” Kimmel said, “He said the article was ‘disgraceful and offensive to me, my family, and our entire team.’ He said the suggestion he’s running for president in 2020 is ‘laughable and absurd.’ Right… Why would Mike Pence want to be president in 2020? He’s going to be president much, much sooner than that.”
After pausing for laughter, Kimmel introduced the advertisement, saying it came via the Pence team: “Not only did the Pence team put out a statement denying that he’s starting some kind of shadow campaign for 2020, he also released this advertisement.”
The fake ad looks like a normal political ad campaign and includes images of Vice President Pence meeting with foreign leaders and touring the country during various engagements.
The narrator says, “Mike Pence is a dedicated public servant, with the vision and passion it takes to lead this country. Not that he wants to…”
The clip goes on in that manner, highlighting Pence’s abilities and denying he has any interest in a 2020 run.
You can watch the clip below:
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