Fox News’ Harris Faulkner cut off former Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday to ask him to explain himself after he argued that former President Donald Trump doesn’t have conservative principles.
Pence has characterized himself as a conservative rather than a populist, taking shots at other Republicans who he claims have fallen out of touch with true conservatism.
“I’ve heard you talk a lot about that. Why is that key with voters you think?” Faulkner asked.
“I think it’s the choice that Republican primary voters face. I know there are a lot of ways to slice this. I still believe that the majority of Republican primary voters believe in a strong national defense, American leadership in the world, believe in limited government, fiscal responsibility and growth, believe in the right to life and traditional values. But frankly, there are voices, including the former president, and some of his imitators in this race that are articulating a set of policies that are described as populism but they’re unmoored to conservative principles —”
“Can you give me an example?” Faulkner cut in. (RELATED: ‘Isn’t This War Over?’: CNN Host Confronts Pence To His Face About Already ‘Losing’ To Trump)
“Well, I, well let’s begin with fiscal responsibility. Joe Biden’s policy about the national debt, which is now larger than our nation’s economy, Joe Biden’s policy is insolvency. He won’t even talk about reforming the kind of entitlements that are 70% of the federal budget. Donald Trump’s position is identical to Joe Biden’s. Other candidates in the field have said it should be for some other president down the road,” Pence said.
“I’ve been willing to say, ‘Look, I’m a conservative.’ I’m not in a bad mood about it but you know me, Harris, for a long time I have been in these fights for fiscal responsibility and reform. If I’m president of the United States we will bring common sense reforms to those policies. Another one has to do with taxes. When we were in office we cut taxes, the largest tax cut and tax reform in American history. Donald Trump today actually proposes a 10% tariff on all goods coming into the United States. The tax foundation says it could cost 500,000 jobs. And at a time when we’ve had 17% inflation across the country the last thing we need is to raise the cost of goods at the border.”
Faulkner then shifted the conversation to Iran and Ukraine.
A CNN poll found Trump remains the top choice in the Republican field for the 2024 nomination, ahead of his rivals by at least 30 percentage points. Still, Republicans, aside from Trump, are set to hit the stage for the second GOP debate on Wednesday, with Pence qualifying for the second time.