On Sunday evening, 60 Minutes aired Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s first joint interview since the former officially tapped the latter as his vice presidential running mate last week. The roughly 20-minute long segment was—not unlike the pair’s first public appearance as political partners—a highly awkward affair.
Trump, as Trump does, repeatedly interrupted both the person asking the questions (Lesley Stahl) and the person who was often supposed to be answering them (Pence). When Pence was allowed to get a word in, the Indiana governor was left to try to explain away some of the many substantive areas of domestic and foreign policy where he and his new boss disagree—which, on at least one occasion, Pence tried to do by just pretending there was no disagreement to begin with. “I support free trade, and so does Donald Trump,” said a man who backed NAFTA and the Trans Pacific Partnership of a man who calls TPP “a rape of our country.”
The most surreal exchange, however, happened when it was Trump, not Pence, who was the one forced to explain—or at least excuse—the actions of the other, in this case Pence’s 2002 vote in the House to authorize military intervention in Iraq.
“I don’t care,” Trump said of Pence’s vote. Pressed on how he could say that given he’s used Hillary Clinton’s vote on the same war as evidence that she’s unfit to be commander in chief, Trump responded that it was “a long time ago” and that it doesn’t matter because he (Trump) was “right on Iraq” from the beginning (a statement for which there is no actual evidence). “He’s entitled to make a mistake every once in a while,” Trump added of his new no. 2. “But [Clinton’s] not?” Stahl shot back. “No,” Trump said, “she’s not.”