Mike Pence’s record in Indiana shows his plan for the country
This segment originally aired Jan. 9, 2016, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence officially relinquished power as Indiana’s governor yesterday, capping off four years in which he struggled to balance the state’s needs against his own values.
When then-candidate Donald Trump chose Pence as his running mate last year, his approval rating was in the forties, making him less popular than most governors nationwide. As governor, Pence faced national scorn and was forced to backpedal after he signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, allowing businesses to deny services based on religious belief.
He was also criticized for moving slowly to address the HIV outbreak that hit rural Scott County with a needle exchange program. The virus was allowed to spread while Pence went through what he freely admits was a personal moral calculus.
“I think that he had to work through the same thing that some legislators had to work through, and that’s that whole issue of whether or not you’re enabling addicts,” Indiana Republican State Sen. Jean Leising told VICE News correspondent Evan McMorris-Santoro.
When faced with the HIV outbreak, Pence proved his adage about being a Christian and conservative above all else. Soon Pence will be one of the decision makers on national issues — like judicial appointments and the funding of planned parenthood — and his religion will surely play a role.