The New York Times published a story Monday on Vice President Mike Pence's growing role in shaping the Republican Party heading into the 2018 elections.
According to the article, Pence has deterred Trump from intervening in inter-party battles, like picking the next Speaker of the House of Representatives. Apparently, he also encouraged Trump in April to stay out of Florida's Republican primary for governor.
From the article:
The same month, Mr. Pence weighed in to deter Mr. Trump from intervening aggressively in the race for governor of Florida. The president had endorsed Representative Ron DeSantis, a vocal defender of Mr. Trump and critic of Robert S. Mueller III on Fox News, in a December tweet, and privately told Mr. DeSantis to expect a joint appearance this spring.
But Mr. DeSantis faces a contested primary against Adam Putnam, Florida's agriculture commissioner and a former House colleague of Mr. Pence. After allies of Mr. Putnam appealed to the vice president, Mr. Pence — along with cautious White House aides — argued against further meddling in the race, according to people briefed on the White House deliberations. Mr. Trump has yet to appear with Mr. DeSantis.
Advisers to Mr. DeSantis remain optimistic that Mr. Trump will intervene again in the race, despite internal resistance.
Trump Tweeted support for DeSantis, who has happily promoted it as an endorsement.
Pence and Putnam were members of the same freshman class elected to Congress in 2000. In November, the vice president spoke at the Republican Party of Florida's annual fundraising dinner in Lake Buena Vista where he gave a shout out to Putnam.
"I gotta tell you, your agricultural lead here in Florida is an old friend of mine. I served with him when he was about 10 years old in the House of Representatives. Adam Putnam, I am so honored to see you tonight."
So far Trump has not held a campaign event for DeSantis in Florida, but he continues to talk up the three-term Congressman. During his breathless 30-minute call in to Fox & Friends in late April, Trump unprovoked called DeSantis an "absolute warrior."
DeSantis on Monday was in Jerusalem for the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Israel, attended by several members of Trump's inner circle.