An explosive showdown between the president and Democratic leaders rocked the Oval Office on Tuesday as Donald Trump threatened to shut down the government if his version of border security was not included in a bill to fund the government. House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tried their best to convince the president they had a bill addressing his concerns that would get bipartisan support.
Amid a contentious debate over what constituted border security — Trump wants his wall, Pelosi and Schumer said it’s not necessary — Vice President Mike Pence sat there in agonizingly noticeable silence. His apparent “Weekend at Bernie’s” act stood in stark contrast to an animated, and adamant, Trump.
At one point the president was boasting of Republicans winning the Senate, prompting Schumer to clap back and take a swipe at Pence’s home state.
“When the president brags he won North Dakota and Indiana, he’s in real trouble,” Schumer snorted and chuckled in apparent smug self-satisfaction.
But not even that could provoke Pence, whose facial expression stayed the same as Pelosi and Schumer double-teamed the president into what may be the prevailing sound-byte from the meeting.
“I am proud to shut down the government for border security,” Trump told Schumer in a moment that will likely be capitalized on by Democrats looking to further paint the president in an ignorant light. “So I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down.”
Even with that wild proclamation that seemed to have Trump willing to cut his nose off just to spite his face, there was not a shred of evidence that Pence felt one way or another about it. The tried and true Trump loyalist was apparently more comfortable being a glorified piece of Oval Office furniture than he was chiming in on a topic that the vice president has been more than vocal on (racist?) in recent months.
The combination of Democrats on the attack in the White House and a muted response, to put it mildly, from the vice president got many users on social media to wondering if Pence was even a human being.
Hyperbole aside, the silence from Pence — who The Washington Post said didn’t seem “to want anything to do with the spectacle” — prompted Twitter to collectively check his pulse in what was increasingly becoming yet another moment to mock in Trump’s presidency. See below for Twitter’s most imaginative — and funny — reactions to the vice president not saying anything at all during the debate over border security and funding the government.