So much for Mike Pence’s White House aspirations.
The Indiana governor had been considered a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2016. His state’s economy is in good shape. He’s a “telegenic” fellow, meaning he looks good on TV. He’s an articulate politician.
Then he put his name on a piece of legislation that has created a serious political firestorm that is engulfing his state.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act has been viewed as a pretext to allow businesses to discriminate against gay people. It protects business owners from being sued if they refuse service to gays and lesbians based on their religious beliefs.
The backlash has been ferocious. Other state governors have banned non-essential government travel to the Hoosier State. The men’s collegiate basketball Final Four tournament to be played in Indianapolis is facing enormous economic pressure.
Gov. Pence wants to tinker with RFRA to exempt the LGBT community from discrimination.
The damage is done. RFRA has become synonymous with discrimination and, yep, it has Gov. Pence’s name on it.
A potentially crowded Republican presidential field has been narrowed — more than likely — by one.