Pence defends Trump on shutdown: "I never think it's a mistake to stand up for what you believe in"

Pence: Government shutdown not a mistake

As lawmakers face a looming deadline to formulate a working deal on border security or risk a second partial government shutdown this year, Vice President Mike Pence suggested that the previous shutdown was not a mistake. In an interview with CBS News' Jeff Glor on Wednesday, Pence said, "I never think it's a mistake to stand up for what you believe in," saying that President Trump has stood firm in his determination to get necessary funding to build his long-promised wall along the southern border.

"He said he was determined to get the funding, to build a wall and secure our border and he was willing to take a stand to accomplish that," Pence said in the interview on "CBS This Morning."

Pence's comments come one day after Mr. Trump addressed a joint session of Congress for his second State of the Union address where he implored lawmakers to continue negotiations and hash out a compromise on border security. A bipartisan group of lawmakers have until Friday to formulate a deal or face the possibility of another shutdown a week later. While Mr. Trump did not address the shutdown in his remarks, Pence on Wednesday told Glor that he couldn't "guarantee" that the government wouldn't shut down again.

"The simple truth is that Congress needs to do their job," argued Pence. 

VP Pence says he "can't" guarantee that there won't be second shutdown

"We agreed to reopen the government for three weeks because after talking to Democrat rank-and-file members of the Senate and of the House, we were told that they were willing to work with us. They were willing to fund a barrier at our southern border and to address the other priorities that the president laid out in that common sense approach. We've taken them at their word. The American people saw this president is absolutely determined to keep his word to secure our border and end the crisis of illegal immigration," said Pence.

While many expected the president to issue a direct demand in his Tuesday night address to fund his border wall through the declaration of a national emergency, Mr. Trump instead focused on the ideas of unity and bipartisanship as a means of solving the nation's border crisis.

In his remarks, Mr. Trump touted his "common sense" proposal to build a wall at the southern border. Although other presidents had not managed to build a border wall, Mr. Trump said, "I will get it built."

"This is a smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier -- not just a simple concrete wall," Mr. Trump said. "Walls work and walls save lives!"

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital