Amid White House crisis, Pence tries to avoid political fray

Posted May 19, 2017

While it's not common for a sitting vice president to set up a fundraising vehicle like Pence's, the PAC, Ayers says, moves all of the data, emails and digital assets that Pence had built up in a state-level gubernatorial political committee into a federal PAC. The type of PAC Pence is now headlining can be used to directly support candidates. While there were Trump supporters who wanted him to speak, the school chose to instead invite Pence, a former IN governor. Such will not be the case for Mike Pence, the toady vice president and the personification of much that has gone wrong in Washington.

The PAC, into which Pence can incorporate funds raised in the past, will also cover the costs of Pence's travels on Air Force Two to campaign for Republican candidates across the nation.

Pence previously visited the University during his time as Governor of IN, meeting with College Republicans while he was on campus. Great America Committee will be able to buy those assets from his state organizations and share or rent that information to other organizations.

But if the transition team knew about Flynn's ties, this can only mean one of two things for Pence: That he is lying about the extent of his knowledge, that he was an irresponsible manager of the transition, or that he is deeply ignorant of goings-on in the administration.

It's a "legal necessity", Ayers said, adding, "It is what it is". They can accept $5,000 a year from individual donors or other political action committees.

No one contacted by TheStreet could recall such a setup by other vice presidents.

Ricketts said Pence's record on LGBT issues made him a concerning choice to address students at Commencement. With all the talk of "President Pence" this week, it seemed odd that he was suddenly separating his political activity from Trump's.

"This is the first time you've had this situation with modern campaign finance law", he said.

Trump met news of the Wednesday appointment of a special counsel, former FBI director Robert S. Muller III, with a Thursday tweet about a "witch hunt" and strong words at a subsequent news conference about how he has not colluded with Russian Federation, how his top priority is the United States of America and how he never suggested in any way that Comey should end his investigation. Trump leaving would blow his makeshift coalition of working-class whites and traditional GOP voters apart, and supercharge the power struggle among congressional Republicans, between hard-right Tea Party Republicans and their more pragmatic or moderate counterparts.

"Apparently, Trump really thought firing Comey would quiet the Democrats down", he said.

What do regular Americans think of a Pence presidency? "Unless they get polling data say that Pence will get them the House back and Pence will get them the White House in 2020, then they'll leave him there". "Pence is less toxic than Trump", he said.

Still, how could Pence claim in March that he'd just learned about Flynn's questionable lobbying when it was widely reported in the months after the election, and Representative Elijah Cummings even wrote Pence a letter on November 18 bringing the matter to his attention? A large number of Republican lobbyists already view the vice president as a source of normalcy in an otherwise chaotic Oval Office.