I’ve been saying this for a while now, but something people need to understand about the current state of American politics is that Rep Mike Pence (R-IN) is not a smart man. He lacks intelligence. He’s been able to rise into the House leadership and even somehow acquire a reputation as a policy thinker of the right larger because it’s extraordinarily rare for the media to ask a politician to answer a question about a policy issue. But when Pence is asked to do this — as Norah O’Donnell did below — he’s completely unable to deal with it.
Basically, Pence is very upset that Obama’s budget proposal would lead to high deficits. Pence is also the author of an alternative “budget” “plan.” O’Donnell, sensibly, asks him what the deficit would be under his plan. It’s not a tough question, it’s not a gotcha question, it’s not an ideological question. Indeed, if Pence knew the answer to the question, and if the answer made sense, it would actually count as an absurd softball. But Pence doesn’t know!
Now we’re told the Republicans will have more details next week. If so, it’ll be interesting to see if they submit the thing to the CBO for rigorous scoring.