Mike Pence wants you to know he’s not planning on running for president in 2020, after a New York Times article speculated on the vice president’s Oval Office aspirations.
The article suggested a Republican “shadow” campaign in favor of a Pence candidacy in 2020 was taking shape amid growing heat from the investigation into whether President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Pence denied the rumors, calling the notion that he would be disloyal to Trump "laughable and absurd."
"Today's article in The New York Times is disgraceful and offensive to me, my family, and our entire team,” Pence said in a statement after the article was published Sunday.
Pence also called the article “fake news,” though several reports have since noted his response to the speculation was a little unusual and over the top.
The Times’ report points to Pence’s busy political schedule and noted he was ramping up fundraising efforts — last week Pence raised $1 million at a Washington fundraiser and in May Pence filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission establishing the Great America Committee, a political action committee that will fund his future campaign efforts and allow him to donate to other Republican candidates.
The timing of the PAC’s setup raised a few eyebrows as candidates start to look toward the 2020 presidential election, but a source told NBC at the time, "Don't read into 2020 as anything other than his running for re-election as vice president in 2020 and supporting other candidates.”
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway also denied the Times’ report in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”
"It is absolutely true that the vice president is getting ready for 2020 -- for reelection as vice president,” she said.
Trump responded to the report via a barrage of early-morning tweets on Monday in which he referred to the Times as “the failing @nytimes.”
"The failing @nytimes, which has made every wrong prediction about me including my big election win (apologized), is totally inept!” he wrote. “The Trump base is far bigger & stronger than ever before (despite some phony Fake News polling).”
The failing @nytimes, which has made every wrong prediction about me including my big election win (apologized), is totally inept!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2017
The Trump base is far bigger & stronger than ever before (despite some phony Fake News polling). Look at rallies in Penn, Iowa, Ohio.......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2017
The New York Times, however, is standing by its coverage, however.
“We are confident in the accuracy of our reporting and will let the story speak for itself," New York Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha said in an email to Reuters.