OPINION | Mike Pence's 2020 run will go down in flames with Trump's presidency

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Is he? Or isn’t he? To learn the answer, listen to what he says, not what he does.

Vice President Mike Pence spent the better part of his Monday morning tap-dancing his way out of the danger zone with President Trump after a New York Times article “Republican Shadow Campaign for 2020 Takes Shape as Trump Doubts Grow” rather credibly outlined how Pence is, in fact, choreographing a possible-to-likely 2020 run for president.

It’s as if Trump is of the belief — or illusion — he will be a candidate for re-election despite the fact that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has convened at least two grand juries regarding Trump, his family and his campaign contact with Russia. It’s as if Trump is unaware that 99 percentof the time, grand juries result in indictments. It’s as if Trump hasn’t seen the latest polls pegging him at the lowest approval rating of any president in modern polling history at this point in a presidency with even his base – that hardcore “don’t-confuse-me-with-facts MAGA” base – is starting to back away slowly from Trump.

Trump is weak.

Pence issued a statement of denial, or at least about 80 percent a denial (yes, Pence left some wiggle room, calling the suggestion he’s running “laughable and absurd” rather than saying outright he is not running for president in 2020). But it’s clear to even the casual observer or college freshman poli-sci major that Pence is readying for a run for the 2020 GOP nomination.

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