On Thursday, less than a week after the White House Correspondents' Dinner took place in the nation's capital, the vice president of the United States was asked about the comedian who performed at the event. And he spoke his mind, albeit in a pretty characteristic way ― Mike Pence responded to Michelle Wolf's WHCD jokes with a Bible verse, insisting that he took the criticism and ridicule as "joy."
Pence was being interviewed by CBN, the Christian Broadcasting Network, and as such, the questions he got were a little bit leading in his defense. The interviewer, CBN White House correspondent David Brody, began by saying that Christians are "really tired of the pot-shots that are taken at them," and then pivoted to the subject of Wolf's jokes.
He remarked that Wolf had claimed Pence believes abortion is equivalent to murder, which Brody characterized as "not only untrue, but over the top." He then asked Pence what he thought of Wolf's jokes about him, which also included calling him a "weird little guy," and accusing him of enjoying the taste of orange juice immediately after brushing his teeth.
Pence replied first by lavishing praise on President Donald Trump ― who was avowedly pro-choice as recently as 1999 ― as "the most pro-life president" of his lifetime. Then, he gave a decidedly short and muted response to Wolf's jokes.
"I'm pro-life and I don't apologize for it," Pence replied. "And I couldn't be more honored to serve shoulder to shoulder with the most pro-life president in my lifetime," Pence said. "I mean, President Donald Trump has taken one step after another to affirm this administration's commitment to the sanctity of life. But with regard to the critics, David, you know, it comes with the territory. As the Bible says, I count it all joy when I endure trials or criticisms."
Wolf's jokes at the Saturday night dinner stirred up a lot of controversy, with both conservative attendees and some members of the mainstream press blasting the 32-year-old comedian for jokes she directed at White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Wolf joked that Sanders created "a perfect smokey eye" by burning up facts.
"Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's lies," Wolf cracked.
She also made a particularly searing joke at the expense of the media, suggesting that they pretend to hate Trump but actually love him, because of how much easier he makes for members of the media to sell their books, newspapers, and television programs.
In a subsequent interview with Terry Gross of NPR's Fresh Air, Wolf made it clear that she did not regret the shots she took at Sanders, nor at any member of the administration, Pence presumably included.
"I wouldn't change a single word that I said," Wolf told Gross in an interview that aired on Tuesday. "I'm very happy with what I said, and I'm glad I stuck to my guns."
In short, it was a pretty polarizing performance. But it was also the most successful one ever, at least if drawing eyeballs ― or as the president might say, "huge ratings" ― is the ultimate goal. As The Hill detailed this week, Wolf's performance has already been viewed more than 4.4 million times, outpacing the second-most viewed WHCD headliner act, which was Seth Meyers' performance in 2011.
And obviously, that happened seven years ago, meaning Wolf's surpassed seven years' worth of views in less than seven days. In short, given that she seems perfectly content with her comedic choices, and she got a ton of publicity and praise from liberal quarters, it seems pretty unlikely that she's sweating what Pence has to say about it.