Mike Pence's Interview with 'Time' Magazine This Morning Turned Inexplicably Awkward
This morning, Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to interview with Time magazine. Unfortunately, due to a scheduling mishap, things didn’t go quite as planned. The following is the transcript of the interview provided by Time magazine.
Shelly Comstock: Good morning, Mr. Vice President. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit down with Time magazine this morning.
Mike Pence: [looks haplessly around the room] “Of course, Shelly. But where’s Walter? I’m supposed to be meeting with Walter Skellar this morning.”
Comstock: I’m sorry, Mr. Vice President. Walter got called away on assignment early this morning. I’ve been asked to fill in for him.
Pence: I was told this interview would be with Walter.
Comstock: Right, yes. I know, Mr. Vice President. But he couldn’t make it. I’m plenty qualified to conduct the interview, sir. I’ve been a political reporter for 22 years and I have interviewed a number of political officials, both foreign and domestic. Can we get this started, sir?
Pence: I’m sorry, Shelly, it’s just that … it’s that my wife didn’t accompany me this morning. She had a previous engagement.
Comstock: I understand that, sir. But I am not interviewing your wife. I’m interviewing you, Mr. Vice President.
Pence: Is this some kind of April Fool’s joke?
Comstock: Sir, I assure you that it is not.
Pence: I agreed to meet with Walter.
Comstock: Yes, sir. You mentioned that, but as I mentioned, Walter couldn’t be here this morning. I’m filling in. Let me just start with the first question: On Thursday, it was reported that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn …
Pence: Shelly, I’m sorry, but this is highly unprofessional. I was assured that I’d be meeting with Walter Skellar.
Comstock: I understand that, sir, but as I said, Walter couldn’t come.
Pence: But you’re …
Comstock: I’m what, sir? I’ve been a news reporter for Time Magazine for three years, and before that, I covered politics for the Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, and the Minneapolis Star-Ledger. I assure you that I am capable of asking you a few questions.
Pence: Is there someone else who could conduct the interview?
Comstock: No, sir. The magazine sent me.
Pence: Would you mind pulling your skirt over your knee, ma’am?
Comstock: Sir, I’m wearing tights, and I’m not sure what my knees have to do with the scandal confronting the White House at the moment.
Pence: Shelly, are you aware of my religious beliefs?
Comstock: I understand you are Christian, sir, but your religious beliefs are outside of the scope of this interview.
Pence: Did you read the Washington Post profile on my wife this week?
Comstock: Sir? I haven’t had a chance yet. I returned late last night from an assignment in Afghanistan, and and as you know, I prefer the Examiner anyway.
Pence: Oh, I see. Well, gosh. It’s just that …
Comstock: It’s what, Mr. Vice President?
Pence: It’s just that, well, my wife …
Comstock: Your wife?
Pence: … she’s not here.
Comstock: No, sir. She’s not. Do you need to call her to make sure she’s OK?
Pence: No, it’s not that. It’s just that …
Comstock: It’s WHAT? Mr. Vice President?
Pence: It’s that you’re a woman.
Comstock: Yes. Have been all my life. Is that a problem?
Pence: Oh no no. Not at all. As the President has made clear, there’s no one who respects women more than …
Comstock: Great, can we get started, then?
Pence: Uh, sure. Can you, just, uh, can you put on another sweater or something?
Comstock: Sir, I am plenty comfortable in the attire that I am wearing.
Pence: It would just me make feel more comfortable.
Comstock: Is there something wrong with what I’m wearing, Mr. Vice President?
Pence: No, Shelly. It’s not that. It’s just that you’re a woman.
Comstock: Yes, I believe that we have established that, sir. Can we move on, or do I need proof of my gender?
Pence: Uh, how exactly would you go about proving that … wait, I’m sorry. Never mind. Forget I asked. I need to get out of here.
Comstock: Sir! We haven’t even started the interview.
Pence: I have to go.
Comstock: But Mr. Vice President! Is there something I can do to make this interview more comfortable for you?
Pence: Errr … uhh … what do you mean?
Comstock: Maybe I could get you a drink?
Pence: NO. GOD NO. I have to leave. Now!
[The Vice President leaps out of his seat and scurries toward the door, tripping over his foot as he leaves]
Comstock: Mr. Vice President, are you OK? Let me help you …
Pence: No, no! Get away! I can take care of myself. Please stand back. Please, just leave me alone!
Comstock: I’m so sorry, sir. I don’t know what I have, uh, let me just grab the door for you.
Pence: NO. Just stand back, Shelly. I have. to. leave.
[The Vice President leaps to his feet, briskly walks to the door, opens it, and vanishes into the hallway]
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