This is hardly the first time Pence, who didn’t even have the current president as his first choice for GOP nominee last year, has had to use the skills he gleaned from years in both media and radio to defend Trump’s positioning.
Darrell West, vice president and director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution, said on Thursday that Pence has to take responsibility “because he is the formal chair” of the group.
“[Members of Pence’s team] are the ones guiding the effort and pushing for further analysis,” West said. “They clearly see this as a vehicle to crack down on fraud and enact more stringent voter-suppression rules in the future. People should not ignore Pence in all the discussion over Kobach, because he also has spoken about fraud and exaggerated its scope and impact.”
Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics said in an email interview that it was “absolutely” Pence’s problem.
“He knows very well that there is nothing to Trump’s claim of 3 to 5 million illegal votes, or even any substantial vote fraud in 2016,” Sabato said. “Yet he’ll have to find a way to create enough doubt about fraud to please the boss and give Trump enough ‘facts’ to justify his bluster.”