When making a decision about who to choose as his running mate, Donald Trump was concerned with potential ticket mate Mike Pence. Why? Because he thought Pence was “embarrassingly poor.”
Before Trump chose Pence, he sized him up over a game of golf. The Atlantic reported: “Coming into the game, Trump had formed an opinion of the Indiana governor as prudish, stiff, and embarrassingly poor, according to one longtime associate.”
Pence knew the (Trump politics) game and had some help from one of Trump’s longtime advisers, Kellyanne Conway.
Conway suggested Pence talk to Trump about “stuff outside of politics,” and to act eager to learn business from him. “I knew they would enjoy each other’s company,” Conway told The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins. “Mike Pence is someone whose faith allows him to subvert his ego to the greater good.”
In New Jersey, Pence raved about Trump’s golf game and “broad shoulders” as Trump wavered between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the man who would become vice president.
Reportedly, campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied and said Trump’s plane was broken down while the candidate was in Indiana. “With nowhere else to go, Trump accepted an invitation to dine with the Pences,” The Atlantic wrote.
Three days later, he announced Pence as his running mate.
But Trump is still bothered by Pence’s (perceived lack of) wealth.
In January, the Pences reportedly moved some of their pets — which include two cats, a rabbit and a snake — into the Naval Observatory. Trump apparently thought it ridiculous.
“He was embarrassed by it; he thought it was so low class,” an adviser told The Atlantic. “He thinks the Pences are yokels.”
In 2016, The Wall Street Journal chronicled the Pences’ last decade of tax returns and found he never earned more than $200,000.
“On their most recent return, Mr. Pence and his wife, Karen, reported $113,026 in adjusted gross income, almost all from Mr. Pence’s salary as governor of Indiana,” according to the report.