Although Vice President Mike Pence has become known for his cool, calm demeanor, a recent exchanged belied that mild-mannered persona.
In response to continued criticism from the administration of Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Pence shot back with a few barbs of his own, as the Washington Examiner reported.
“Poor decisions by the state”
His uncharacteristically pointed remarks came during an appearance on Monday’s installment of The Ingraham Angle on Fox News.
Host Laura Ingraham brought up recent critiques from Cuomo aimed at the Trump administration’s response to the ongoing public health crisis. Considering that Pence was put in charge of the White House coronavirus task force, such remarks could be interpreted as personal criticism.
The most recent opprobrium from Cuomo came earlier in the day when the governor accused Trump of failing to learn anything throughout the duration of the pandemic. During the press conference, he insinuated that the administration had done little right and had botched the job at every turn.
While Cuomo sought to pin much of the blame on the federal response, Pence replied that New York’s tragic outcome was not a direct result of a White House failure.
“Well, our hearts grieve for the fact that one in five of all the American lives that have been lost in the coronavirus pandemic were lost in the state of New York, and some of that was because of poor decisions by the state and by Governor Cuomo,” the vice president said, according to the Examiner.
“Couldn’t be more proud”
As the Examiner reported, more than 32,000 of the roughly 158,000 reported deaths caused by COVID-19 nationwide occurred in the Empire State. Pence went on to note that Cuomo has changed his tune considerably when describing the Trump administration’s plan.
“I liked it better when he said President Trump’s leadership was, in his words, phenomenal,” Pence said. “He said that repeatedly as we surged testing, as we surged [personal protective equipment], as we sailed in a hospital ship, as we built hospitals in New York.”
Adding that he “couldn’t be more proud of the support that we rendered to the people of New York,” he asserted that New Yorkers understand what really happened.
“I think the American people know the facts here and the fact that Gov. Cuomo has been on-again, off-again, he’s complimented the administration’s response and then he pivots to criticism,” he concluded, according to the Examiner. “I think people see through that. It’s just politics.”
It might take a lot to get under Pence’s skin, but other Democratic leaders should be advised that such a response is possible for those who seek to blame the ongoing toll of this pandemic on the Trump administration.