Vice President Pence touted the Trump administration’s economic progress and slammed reporters who forgo “decorum” at the White House in a wide-ranging interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“The reality is, in the last two administrations, the economy grew by less than 2 percent,” Pence said. “And in the first 18 months of this administration — we were a little shy of 3 percent last year — we’re on track to be at 3 percent or better this year.”
The “dramatic increase” in business investment and exports are a testament to the policies of the Trump administration, Pence said.
On Friday, the Commerce Department released a long-awaited estimate showing that the gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, marking the fastest economic expansion in nearly four years. The Obama administration saw 5.2 percent GDP growth in the last quarter of 2014.
Pence also reacted to news that a CNN reporter had been barred from a White House press event on Wednesday, following questions she asked President Trump earlier in the day while she was representing the press pool. The episode prompted shows of solidarity with CNN from other media outlets, including Fox News.
The correspondent, Kaitlan Collins, claimed the White House denied her access to Trump’s Rose Garden statement on trade with the European Union Commission president because officials found her earlier questions “inappropriate.”
Collins’ questions had focused on Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, and the recent revelations of audio recordings of a conversation between the two men. “Did Michael Cohen betray you, Mr. President,” Collins could be heard asking Trump in a clip provided by CNN. “Mr. President, did Michael Cohen betray you? Mr. President, are you worried about what Michael Cohen is going to say to prosecutors?”
The vice president told Bartiromo that while the Trump administration “believes in the freedom of the press,” it was also important for reporters to behave appropriately.
“Maintaining the decorum that is due at the White House, I think, is an issue that we’ll continue to work for. But I’m very confident that, whether it be with that network or any network, or any members of the media, that we’ll continue to work in such a way that ensures the access of the American people to this administration and all the incredible progress we’re making.”
Pence claimed that progress occured despite “unprecedented obstruction” from Democrats, and said Republicans will seek to expand their congressional majorities in November.
“It’s remarkable to think all the progress that we’ve made in the last 18 months has been made in partnership with Republican majorities, but it’s been against an unprecedented level of Democrat obstruction,” he said.
“Not one single Democrat in Congress voted for those historic tax cuts,” Pence added. “We have literally faced four times more filibusters in our first two years than any of the last administrations going back to Jimmy Carter.”
One upcoming GOP agenda item won’t be subject to delaying tactics: Republicans eliminated the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees last year after Democrats were nearly united in their opposition to Neil Gorsuch.
Both parties have a history of obstruction on appellate court picks — with Democrats notoriously blocking high-profile George W. Bush nominees such as Miguel Estrada, and Republicans stonewalling Obama nominees until Democrats eliminated the filibuster for non-Supreme Court selections.
Despite the tension on Capitol Hill, Pence predicted that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed soon.
“We remain confident that before the fall is out that Judge Brett Kavanaugh will be Justice Brett Kavanaugh,” Pence said.
Fox News’ Matt Richardson contributed to this report.