Indiana Governor Mike Pence is trying to sell himself as a working class hero who hears the concerns of working class people. It shouldn’t work if voters understand that Pence’s record is more self-serving than public servant.
In 2009, auto workers across the country but especially in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Indiana were facing economic disaster. Through no fault of their own, hard working men and women were faced with the bankruptcy of an entire industry. To save jobs, and the U.S. economy, Congress passed an auto bailout that is now seen as a success story that saved the U.S. auto industry and spared millions of families from economic disaster. Mike Pence opposed saving these families.
Pence will defend his vote against Midwestern families by saying that he doesn’t believe that taxpayers should have footed the bill and that the “free market” would make everything just perfect. Pence would have us believe that his position is pure and that he would never use taxpayer dollars to bail anyone out – unless that person is Mike Pence.
Fast forward a few years and Mike Pence was in the middle of a public relations scandal of his own making. He signed a discriminatory bill aimed at allowing open discrimination against the LGBTQ community and the outcry from both activists and businesses was fast and furious. To fix his public relations mess, Pence used taxpayer dollars to hire an International public relations firm to bail out his image. That’s right, Mike Pence couldn’t be bothered to bail out hard working auto workers who didn’t cause the auto industry’s problems but when a problem of his own making arose, Pence made those same families pay to bail out his image. If all of this sounds familiar, it’s because that’s the same type of behavior that Donald Trump has displayed over his professional life. Trump calls for lowering wages for auto workers, stiffs cabinet makers for their work and then files for bankruptcy protection when his bills come due.
Midwesterners have a set of values that are pretty firm – work hard, own up to your mistakes, help out your neighbor in a time of need, and be consistent. It seems Mike Pence doesn’t share our values. Apparently for Trump and Pence, self-serving behavior trumps values.