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VP Mike Pence Tells News Media: 'We've All Got To Do Better'

The vice president picked up on president Trump's theme of railing against the news media, during a speech at a Washington event Saturday.
Image: Mike Pence
Mike Pence.Reuters

Vice President Mike Pence chastised the news media over what he saw as unfair coverage at a posh Washington event Saturday evening, while also poking fun at administration he serves.

Pence was attending 132nd annual Gridiron Dinner, a white tie affair that every president since Grover Cleveland has attended at least once, which features music, skits and comedic remarks from senior political figures. Trump, who is spending the weekend at his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort, did not attend.

Mike Pence.Reuters

Pence took light-hearted aim at a wide range of targets, from the recent Oscars’ best picture flub to revelations that he used a private email account while Governor of Indiana.

“[It] really was embarrassing for me to have millions of Americans learn that I’m one of the few people in the country to still have an AOL account,” he said.

But despite his easygoing tone, Pence also criticized the media’s coverage of the administration, albeit in a more reserved tone than the president tends to employ.

“These days, and I say this with the deepest respect,” he told reporters in the room, “it seems like in this short news cycle … too often stories will make page one and drive news with just too little respect to the people who are affected or involved.”

“So let me just say to you as, not as your vice president, but just as a neighbor … that I think we’ve all just got to do better. And the way I think we can do better is by focusing on what unites as more often as Americans,” Pence added.

Earlier in the day, he complained to The Associated Press about publishing private information about his wife, Margaret Pence.

According to the AP, it removed an email address that it had published from all subsequent stories after learning that Margaret Pence still used the account.

The news service added: "The AP stands by its story, which addresses important transparency issues."

Pence's approach to the media stands in marked contrast to his boss's: President Trump has developed a hostile relationship with some journalists covering his administration. He regularly aims twitter missives at outlets, including NBC News, who he brands “FAKE NEWS,” and claims are misrepresenting his actions and policies.

Pence’s remarks are the latest example of the vice president advocating Trump’s policies, but in a less confrontational fashion than is typical of the president.

On his recent visit to Europe, Pence sought to reassure the U.S.’ NATO allies that the Trump administration continued to support the alliance, but did push forward with Trump’s demand that other countries would have to contribute more financially.