When Donald Trump announced Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate, it was widely seen as an uncharacteristically establishment pick for a presidential candidate known for bombastic — and often wildly inaccurate — statements.
Pence is a seasoned politician — a governor and former US representative who had served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee — and thus had the potential to bring some order, and maybe some policy rigor, to Trump’s unconventional and often vague political positions.
But in their first joint interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes on Sunday, the Trump-Pence ticket proved to be no different from the Trump primary runup. The interview was a 20-minute homage to the Trump/Chris Christie hostage moment, with Trump repeatedly interrupting both Pence and interviewer Lesley Stahl and just generally dominating the entire conversation while Pence just sits there looking increasingly uncomfortable.
Here are the five most awkward, ridiculous moments from the interview:
1) The exchange when Trump equates winning the evangelical vote with being personally religious
Mike Pence is by all accounts a "religious" man: He’s a devout evangelical Christian with a proven political record of fighting to defund Planned Parenthood and opposing same-sex marriage.
Trump, on the other hand, says the Bible is his favorite book but couldn’t name his favorite passage when asked. Although his camp has evidently been trying to push the narrative that the candidate has found God recently, Trump has been notably progressive about religiously charged social issues, defending Planned Parenthood, open to same-sex marriage, and indifferent to what bathrooms transgender people use.
So when Stahl asked Trump and Pence what they had in common, religion and values seemed an unnatural choice — and one that ultimately had Trump arguing that his support among evangelicals is proof enough of his own religiosity:
Lesley Stahl: But what about the chemistry between you two? You don't really know each other that well. [Addressing Pence] You're — at least I've read, a very low-key, very religious, [addressing Trump] you're a brash New Yorker —
Donald Trump: Religious.
Lesley Stahl: Religious?
Donald Trump: Religious —
Lesley Stahl: Are you?
Donald Trump: Yeah, religious.
Lesley Stahl: — you wouldn't —
Donald Trump: Hey, I won the evangelicals. The evangelicals —
Lesley Stahl: That doesn't —
Mike Pence: You know, nobody thought –
Donald Trump: —well, I think it means a lot. I don't think they think I'm perfect, and they would get up and they would say, "You know, he's not perfect," but —
Lesley Stahl: They'd point to the —
Donald Trump: — they like me —
Lesley Stahl: — divorces —
Donald Trump: — but I won — I won states with evangelicals that nobody thought I'd even come close to—
Lesley Stahl: Well, that's true —
Donald Trump: — and I won —
Lesley Stahl: — so you didn't —
Donald Trump: — with landslides —
Lesley Stahl: — need him for the evangelicals?
Donald Trump: I think it helps. But I don't think I needed him, no, because — I won with evangelicals.
Mike Pence: But I think we have more in common —
2) The exchange in which Trump vaguely laid out a declaration of war against ISIS
Last week, a truck driver plowed through a group of revelers in Nice, France, killing more than 80. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, although investigations have been inconclusive. In response, Trump said, if elected, he will declare war on ISIS.
But when Stahl asked what that "war" would look like in practice, Trump seemed a little unsure. "We’re going to use NATO, probably," Trump said, despite having previously stated that the United States should "pull out of NATO" because it is "obsolete."
There would be "very few troops on the ground," he assured Stahl, without specifying further. Oh, and lots of intelligence: "We're going to have unbelievable intelligence, which we need, which right now we don't have." How exactly he plans to get all that intelligence (especially with very few troops on the ground), however, remains a mystery.
Here’s the whole exchange:
Lesley Stahl: Let's talk about what happened in Nice, horrendous, carnage, horrible —
Donald Trump: Horrible.
Lesley Stahl: Horrible. You said you would declare war against ISIS. What exactly do you have —
Donald Trump: It is war. By the way, it is war.
Lesley Stahl: No, but does that — when you say, "Declare war," do you want to send American troops in there? Is that what you mean?
Donald Trump: Look, we have people that hate us. We have people that want to wipe us out. We're gonna declare war against ISIS. We have to wipe out ISIS. These are people that —
Lesley Stahl: With troops on the ground?
Donald Trump: I am going to have very few troops on the ground. We're going to have unbelievable intelligence, which we need; which, right now, we don't have. We don't have the people over there. We are going to use —
Lesley Stahl: You want to send Americans —
Donald Trump: Excuse me — and we're going to have surrounding states and, very importantly, get NATO involved because we support NATO far more than we should, frankly, because you have a lot of countries that aren't doing what they're supposed to be doing. And we have to wipe out ISIS. And speaking of Turkey, Turkey is an ally. Turkey can do it by themselves. But they have to be incentivized. For whatever reason, they're not. So we have no choice.
Lesley Stahl: But I still don't know if you're going to send troops over—
Donald Trump: Very little. I'm gonna —
Lesley Stahl: But declare war —
Donald Trump: — get neighboring states and I'm going to get — we are going to get NATO; we're going to wipe 'em out. We're gonna —
Lesley Stahl: But declare war?
Mike Pence: Lesley —
Lesley Stahl: What does that mean —
Mike Pence: This is — this is the kind — this is the kind of leadership that America needs, and it —
Lesley Stahl: But what —
Mike Pence: — and it begins with deciding to destroy the enemies of our freedom.
Lesley Stahl: How?
Mike Pence: And how we do that? I have every confidence. You — you remember I served on the Foreign Affairs Committee. And I'm very confident that when Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, he'll give a directive to our military commanders, bring together other nations, and we will use the enormous resources of the United States to destroy that enemy.
Donald Trump: Now look, we are going to get rid of ISIS, big league. And we're going to get rid of 'em fast. And we're going to use surrounding states. We're going to use NATO, probably. And we're going to declare war. It is war. When the World Trade Center comes tumbling down, with thousands of people being killed, people are still — I have friends that are still —
3) When Trump said he doesn’t care that Pence voted for the Iraq War
Trump has made the Iraq vote a centerpiece of his foreign policy argument: It is both a main line of attack against Hillary Clinton — who voted for the Iraq War — as well as a supposed testament to his brilliant foreign policy foresight.
There’s just one problem: Pence also voted for the Iraq War. But when Stahl pointed this out to Trump, he said flatly, "I don’t care. … He’s entitled to make a mistake every once in a while."
As for Hillary Clinton, she didn’t get the same lenience. Asked why she isn’t entitled to a mistake, Trump simply said, "She’s not." And it ended there, with no explanation or reasoning.
Here is the exchange:
Lesley Stahl: But we did go to war, if you remember. We went to Iraq.
Donald Trump: Yeah, you went to Iraq, but that was handled so badly. And that was a war — by the way, that was a war that we shouldn't have entered because Iraq did not knock down — excuse me —
Lesley Stahl: Your running mate —
Donald Trump: Iraq did not —
Lesley Stahl: — voted for it.
Donald Trump: I don't care.
Lesley Stahl: What do you mean you don't care that he voted for?
Donald Trump: It's a long time ago. And he voted that way and they were also misled. A lot of information was given to people.
Lesley Stahl: But you've harped on this.
Donald Trump: But I was against the war in Iraq from the beginning.
Lesley Stahl: Yeah, but you've used that vote of Hillary's that was the same as Gov. Pence as the example of her bad judgment.
Donald Trump: Many people have, and frankly, I'm one of the few that was right on Iraq.
Lesley Stahl: Yeah, but what about he —
Donald Trump: He's entitled to make a mistake every once in a while.
Lesley Stahl: But she's not? Okay, come on —
Donald Trump: But she's not —
Lesley Stahl: She's not?
Donald Trump: No. She's not.
Lesley Stahl: Got it.
4) When Trump said the US Constitution is great, but it shouldn’t stop us from banning Muslims
Trump has made a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States his main solution to the country’s terrorism problems. However, his new VP once stated on Twitter that calls for such a ban are both "offensive and unconstitutional."
In an apparent attempt to compromise with his new VP’s pesky views about the Constitution, Trump is making it a much more workable policy: banning immigrants who come from specific "territories." Because, as Trump sees it, the Constitution is great, "but it doesn't necessarily give us the right to commit suicide, as a country."
Pence said he was comfortable with this new idea because Trump is speaking "from his heart," not as a politician — to which Trump clarified, "I speak from my heart and my brain":
Lesley Stahl: In December you tweeted, and I quote you, "Calls to ban Muslims from entering the US are offensive and unconstitutional."
Donald Trump: So you call it territories. Okay? We're gonna do territories. We're gonna not let people come in from Syria that nobody knows who they are. Hillary Clinton wants 550 percent more people to come in than Obama —
Lesley Stahl: So you —
Donald Trump: — who doesn't know what he's —
Lesley Stahl: — so you're changing —
Donald Trump: — so we're going to —
Lesley Stahl: — your position.
Donald Trump: — no, I — call it whatever you want. We'll call it territories, okay?
Lesley Stahl: So not Muslims?
Donald Trump: You know — the Constitution — there's nothing like it. But it doesn't necessarily give us the right to commit suicide, as a country, okay? And I'll tell you this. Call it whatever you want, change territories, but there are territories and terror states and terror nations that we're not gonna allow the people to come into our country. And we're gonna have a thing called "extreme vetting." And if people wanna come in, there's gonna be extreme vetting. We're gonna have extreme vetting. They're gonna come in and we're gonna know where they came from and who they are.
Mike Pence: You just asked me — if I'm comfortable with that and I am. What, what Donald —
Lesley Stahl: You're on the same page on that?
Mike Pence: Clearly this man is not a politician. He doesn't speak like a politician —
Lesley Stahl: He's done pretty well.
Mike Pence: — he speaks from his heart —
Donald Trump: Is that a good thing? I think that's a good thing.
Mike Pence: — he speaks from his heart. And —
Lesley Stahl: Well, I —
Donald Trump: Well, I — I speak from my heart and my brain. Just so we understand.
Mike Pence: Right.
Donald Trump: This is [points to head] may be more important.
5) When Pence tried to argue Trump wasn’t running a negative campaign, and Trump interrupted to start name-calling Hillary Clinton
Lyin’ Ted Cruz, Little Marco Rubio, Goofy Pocahontas Elizabeth Warren, Crooked Hillary. Trump is known for his negative epithets of his rival candidates.
After running an incredibly nasty — and unsuccessful — congressional campaign in 1990, Pence wrote an op-ed in the Indiana Policy Review titled "The Confessions of a Negative Campaigner," in which he condemned negativity in political campaigns.
In an attempt to defend Trump’s nasty name-calling, Pence argued that Trump is "a good man who's been talking about the issues the American people care about." Before he could elaborate, though, Trump jumped in — and proceeded to call Hillary Clinton a bunch of nasty names:
Lesley Stahl: I want to ask you though about something you've said about negative campaigning.
Donald Trump: Yeah.
Lesley Stahl: [Pence] said negative campaigning is wrong, and a campaign ought to demonstrate the basic decency of the candidate.
Mike Pence: Right.
Lesley Stahl: With that in mind, what do you think about your running mate's campaign and the tone and the negativity of it?
Mike Pence: I think this is a good man who's been talking about the issues the American people care about.
Lesley Stahl: But name-calling?
Mike Pence: In that —
Lesley Stahl: "Lyin' Ted?"
Mike Pence: — in the essay that I wrote a long time ago, I said campaigns oughta be about something more important than just one candidate's election. And, and this campaign and Donald Trump's candidacy has been about the issues the American people care about.
Lesley Stahl: — but what about —
Donald Trump: Lesley, Lesley —
Lesley Stahl: — the negative side? He apologized for being a negative —
Donald Trump: We're different people. I understand that. I'll give you an example. Hillary Clinton is a liar. Hillary Clinton — that was just proven —
Lesley Stahl: That's —
Donald Trump: — last week.
Lesley Stahl: — that's negative —
Donald Trump: Hillary Clinton —
Lesley Stahl: By the way —
Donald Trump: — you better believe it. Hillary Clinton is a crook.
Lesley Stahl: That's negative —
Donald Trump: I call her "Crooked Hillary." She's crooked Hillary. He won't, I, I don't, I didn't ask him to do it, but I don't think he should do it because it's different for him.