Donald Trump-Mike Pence Interview on '60 Minutes': 6 Awkward Moments
The interview, which aired on the eve of the Republican National Convention, has been described as everything from "awkward" to "tense" to "excruciating."
Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, sat down with vice presidential running mate Mike Pence for their first interview together since Trump announced his vp pick Friday.
In an interview with Lesley Stahl that aired on CBS' 60 Minutes on Sunday night — on the eve of the Republican National Convention, kicking off Monday in Cleveland — the duo sat down to answer questions together. But Trump fielded most of the questions, and even interrupted both Stahl and Pence to get his comments in (the Washington Post tallied that Trump spoke more than 2,160 words while Pence uttered about 900), leading to the media describing the interview as everything from "awkward" to "tense" to "excruciating."
Here are six of the most awkward moments.
1. Trump and Pence disagree over negative campaign tactics.
When Stahl asked Pence what he thought "about your running mate's campaign and the tone and negativity of it," the Indiana governor replied with a non-answer: "I think this is a good man who's been talking about the issues the American people care about."
When pressed by Stahl, Pence followed up: "In the essay that I wrote a long time ago, I said campaigns ought to be about something more important than just one candidate's election. And this campaign and Donald Trump's candidacy has been about the issues the American people care about."
A moment later, Trump reiterated his frequent remarks that Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, is a "liar" and again called her a "crook." He noted that Pence refuses to call her that: "He's not that kind of a person. We're different people. To me, she's 'Crooked Hillary.' I don't think he should use that term. I've never said one way or the other. But to him, I don't think it would sound right, but he will say how dishonest she is by going over the facts."
2. Trump allows Pence to get off the hook for voting to authorize the Iraq war — but not Clinton.
Before being elected as Indiana's governor, Pence served in the House of Representatives, during which time he voted to authorize the war. That's something for which Trump has repeatedly hammered Clinton. When Stahl asked why Trump was willing to let that slide with his running mate, Trump replied: "I don't care. It's a long time ago. And he voted that way and they were also misled. A lot of information was given to people." He added that Pence is "entitled to make a mistake every once in a while." As for Clinton? "No, she's not."
3. Trump cuts Pence off to tout himself.
Trump frequently interrupted both Stahl and Pence to get his own point across. At one point, Pence was looking to explain why he was at first opposed to Trump's ban on foreign Muslims. Noting that Trump is "not a politician" and nor does he speak like one, Pence said, "He speaks from the heart."
Trump interrupted: "Is that a good thing? I think that's a good thing. Well, I speak from my heart and my brain. Just so we understand."
Pence's response: "Right."
4. Trump gives Pence permission to answer a question.
Trump caught flak last year when he said Arizona Sen. John McCain is considered a war hero only "because he was captured." Stahl, in her interview, asked Pence if he thought Trump went too far with that remark.
Perhaps sensing some discomfort from Pence, Trump then gave his running mate permission to say yes: "That one, you could say yes, I mean, you're not — it's fine. Hey, look, I like John McCain. But we have to take care of our vets."
5. Pence wouldn't be afraid to confront Trump in the White House if the two disagree. Maybe.
Pence had trouble answering the question posed by Stahl. "It's probably obvious to people that our styles are different, but I promise you, our vision is exactly the same," he said. But Stahl pressed further. "One of the things I found out about this man is he appreciates candor," he continued, prompting Trump to cut in: "I'd like him to if he thinks I was doing something wrong."
When asked by Stahl if Trump would listen to Pence, the presidential candidate replied: "Absolutely. I might not apologize. I might not do that, but I would absolutely want him to come in. If he thinks I'm doing something wrong, Mike, I would want him to come in." He continued: "I accept that from my consultants and my people and if Mike came in and told me: 'You know, I think you should do this or that,' I would listen and very likely listen to him."
6. Trump is willing to praise Pence when Pence praises Trump.
Said Pence at one point: "Talking with him in private settings, I love the words you used because this man is awed with the American people, and he is not intimidated by the world. And Donald Trump, this good man, I believe, will be a great president of the United States."
Trump's reply: "I love what he just said."
Watch the interview below.