Former VP Mike Pence, widely assumed to be running for president in 2024, threw some stronger-than-usual shots Trump's way at the annual Spring dinner of the Gridiron Club, where he implied to the group of inside-the-Beltway journalists and Biden administration members in attendance that The Donald was a fake Christian.
Pence couched the slaps in jokes – but they were slaps nonetheless. And sometimes jokes hit harder.
Here's what he said:
- "I once invited President Trump to Bible study. He really liked the passages about the smiting and perishing of thine enemies. As he put it, ‘Ya know, Mike, there's some really good stuff in here.'"
- "I read that some of those classified documents they found at Mar-a-Lago were actually stuck in the president's Bible … which proves he had absolutely no idea they were there."
Those might seem tame, but for Pence – someone who cultivates such a "nice guy" image and whose identity and platform are so based on his faith – those are daggers.
And if you are a Christian ... well, you know exactly what Pence is saying.
Remember, Trump won the vast majority of the evangelical vote in 2016 and 2020. Pence's jokes likely foreshadow a strategy by which he will try to carve a chunk of those evangelical votes away from the former president in 2024.
I'd say that Trump, who famously held up a Bible in front of St. John's Church and who once said, "Nobody reads the Bible more than me," is likely to respond.