Biographer Michael D’Antonio is releasing a new book about Vice President Mike Pence, and though he’s clearly not in Pence’s corner, his appearance Tuesday on CNN summed up perfectly the Christian values that drive the vice president’s actions.
D’Antonio told CNN’s John Berman that he is confident Pence feels God is “calling him” to “function as a president-in-waiting.” The biographer, promoting the new book, “The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence,” argued “absolutely everything” the vice president does is about “becoming president.”
"Absolutely everything that Mike Pence does is oriented toward him becoming President," says Michael D'Antonio, a Trump biographer whose new book on the Vice President is called "The Shadow President" pic.twitter.com/trBN1h51Lf
— New Day (@NewDay) August 28, 2018
“His decision to accept Donald Trump’s offer to be his running mate — it even goes back much further,” D’Antonio, who has had no contact with Pence regarding the book, said. “By the time he had left high school, he had decided that he was going to be president of the United States. … He thought God was calling him to, now, be vice president and function as a president-in-waiting.”
Pence, according to the book, is OK with becoming president, even if it’s at the expense of President Donald Trump’s demise. D’Antonio told Berman that Pence is positioning himself as the “normal guy” in the administration, arguing his campaign-style appearances around the country are evidence Pence is building “his own network.”
It should be noted, though, D’Antonio intended none of his comments about Pence or his faith to be interpreted as a good thing. He wrote in the book, “With his oath of office, Vice President Mike Pence became … the most successful Christian supremacist in American history.”
Berman rebuffed the claim softly, pointing out that many presidents — and vice presidents — have, in the past, boasted deeply held religious beliefs.
“There have been,” D’Antonio conceded, “but if you think back to JFK’s presidency, when he ran for office, he was asked, ‘Who’s gonna be calling the shots? Is it you or will it be the pope?’ He actually signed a statement indicating his religion would be second to his patriotism.”
The author continued, “Mike Pence goes around saying, ‘I’m a Christian, I’m a conservative, and I’m a Republican, in that order.’ He doesn’t say, ‘I’m an American.’ I think he’s a very divisive figure.”
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D’Antonio either fundamentally misunderstands the role the gospel plays in the life of a Christian — that our primary and most important identity is as a child of God, not a citizen of a certain space on earth — or he is simply totally dismissive of such convictions.
It appears to be the former, given that later in the interview D’Antonio seemingly suggested it’s somehow radical for Pence, like every Christian with a basic understanding of Scripture, to believe those who don’t trust in the gospel are destined for eternal separation from God.
Furthermore, he — like many on the progressive left — oddly believes Pence wants to establish some sort of theocratic dynasty, should he ascend to the presidency. D’Antonio argued Pence would “like to impose a religiously inspired politics on our country.”
“That means rolling back marriage equality, it means a ban on abortion, a whole host of policies that are religiously driven,” D’Antonio claimed. “He’s very upfront about it.”