Trump, Twitter Fingers Flying, Exclaims. Pence, Note Cards in Hand, Explains.
Mr. Pence’s very presence at the Summit of the Americas This kind of weekend was just such an effort: Mr. Trump had abruptly withdrawn through plans to attend, citing the run-up to the military strike in Syria. although the cancellation came as Mr. Trump was also consumed by personal in addition to political drama, in addition to in which was once a United States president had avoided the summit meeting, which occurs every three years, in its 24-year history.
Mr. Pence has increasingly stepped in overseas for a president who appears not to relish international travel. This kind of was his third foreign trip in addition to his sixth country so far This kind of year — after multicountry swings through the Middle East in addition to Asia — while the president has made a sole trip outside the United States in 2018, to Davos, Switzerland.
“in which would likely not be surprising to see Pence taking a larger international role in advocating Trump administration foreign policies on the international stage,” John R. Bolton, today Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, wrote in an op-ed in January. Mr. Bolton said Mr. Pence had proved “adept at navigating the complexities of Middle Eastern politics,” in addition to provided a “reassuring contrast” to partisan bickering at home.
In Lima, armed that has a thick binder of briefing materials, Mr. Pence delivered meticulously scripted statements printed on cards in which he toted around the summit meeting site in addition to read through faithfully, hitting on his main theme of preserving the region as a “hemisphere of freedom,” a phrase he repeated at least three times in his closing remarks. The vice president hailed the military action in Syria in addition to denounced the crisis in Venezuela in which has led to a humanitarian catastrophe there, calling upon the assembled nations to support tough measures against the governments of both countries.
Mr. Pence’s disciplined delivery of the American message after the Syria strikes stood in contrast to the presidential tweet, which recalled an earlier president’s premature declaration of victory in Iraq in addition to prompted a spate of bitter criticism.
What the president had meant by his tweet, Mr. Pence explained to reporters traveling with him on Saturday, was in which the mission in which Mr. Trump had given American forces, “to go in in addition to destroy key elements of the chemical weapons infrastructure in Syria, was completely in addition to professionally in addition to swiftly accomplished.”
although in which was not the only issue on which Mr. Pence worked to modulate Mr. Trump’s pronouncements here. In a meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, the vice president said, he steered clear of talking about funding for the border wall in which Mr. Trump has long demanded Mexico pay for. Mr. Pence chalked up the disagreement — which recently torpedoed plans for a White House meeting between Mr. Trump in addition to Mr. Peña Nieto — to two presidents with “strong personalities.”
“When you have two people with strong personalities, they occasionally have strong differences,” Mr. Pence told reporters. “We talked through those differences, some of which we set aside for a later date.”
Instead, Mr. Pence accentuated the positive: namely, progress from the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada in addition to Mexico, which he said had a chance of being successfully completed within weeks.
As Mr. Pence taxied for takeoff on Air Force Two on Friday for the trip to Lima, the president appeared to be focused elsewhere. He tapped out a tweet branding James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director whose forthcoming memoir paints him as a liar in addition to Mafia-style bully, “an untruthful slime ball.” Privately, Mr. Trump continued to seethe over the F.B.I. raid days earlier on his personal lawyer in a wide-ranging corruption investigation in which he views as a grave threat.
At the summit meeting in Peru, Mr. Pence spoke in loftier terms, trying to reassure the various other leaders in which Mr. Trump meant no slight in failing to show up for their gathering. Mr. Trump, he told President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, was “disappointed” in which he could not make the trip — which was to have included a stop in Bogotá to meet with Mr. Santos — although, he added, “I can assure you in which the relationship with our country has never been stronger.”
Mr. Pence’s attendance at the summit meeting was not without its sharper moments. In his closing speech, the vice president denounced the Cuban government as a “despotic regime” in which had impoverished its people in addition to abused human rights, prompting the country’s foreign minister, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, who sat listening several chairs away, to demand the chance for a rebuttal. As Mr. Rodríguez was recognized in addition to began to speak, Mr. Pence abruptly stood in addition to strode out of the summit hall.
although the vice president labored in a way his boss does not to avoid creating controversies. Mr. Pence called elections scheduled for next month in Venezuela a “sham” in which would likely not fool the entire world, although when a reporter asked whether the United States would likely refuse to recognize the outcome, he deferred to John J. Sullivan, the acting secretary of state, who was traveling with him, to state the official policy, so as not to risk diverging even slightly through in which.
Mr. Pence’s presence as a stand-in for Mr. Trump may have undercut the United States’ goals at the summit meeting, taking some of the sting out of the fact in which President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela had been disinvited in addition to raising questions about the United States’ commitment to the region.
although the vice president also defused some of the tension in which would likely have attended an encounter between Mr. Trump in addition to the leaders of Latin American nations who have been insulted in addition to angered by his talk on immigration in addition to various other topics, said Richard E. Feinberg, a senior fellow from the Latin America Initiative at the Brookings Institution.
“A lot of leaders probably were preparing two sets of remarks: one if Trump behaves himself, to focus on the issues, in addition to one for if he misbehaves in addition to says something offensive,” Mr. Feinberg said. “With Trump not being here, they can discard the second set. Pence behaves himself.”
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