Mike Pence saw "gratitude" for Trump's leadership during Asia trip

Pence discusses his recent trip to Asia
Pence discusses his recent trip to Asia 02:12

Vice President Mike Pence says he encountered "a great deal of gratitude" for President Trump's leadership during his recent visits with U.S. allies in Asia.

The vice president spoke with CBS News' John Dickerson behind the scenes of Mr. Trump's rally last Saturday in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Dickerson began by asking, "Mr. Vice President, you were just in Southeast Asia. What was the mood there, given the escalating tensions with North Korea?"

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"I think there was a great deal of gratitude for the leadership President Trump is providing, and the renewed commitment that we have to our allies in the region," Pence replied. "Whether it was my time in South Korea or Japan or Australia...I just heard again and again how grateful the leaders of those countries are to see the resolve the president has to finally bring to a conclusion a 25-year objective of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

"Are they nervous though?" Dickerson asked. North Korea has test-fired a number of missiles in recent weeks.

"I think they recognize the most serious threat facing countries in that part of the world, one of the most serious threats in the world today, is the regime in Pyongyang," the vice president said. "The development of ballistic missiles combined with their nuclear program...represents a serious threat to populations across the region."

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"But I think they greatly welcome the president's call that the era of strategic patience is over, that we, as a nation, are now determined to marshal the diplomatic and economic power of countries in the region that are allies with America, and to call on China to begin to bring the pressure to bear to have North Korea change the trajectory of its missile program and its nuclear program once and for all," the vice president added.

Pivoting to domestic policy, Dickerson asked the vice president about the bumpy road the GOP's health care reform efforts have traveled. Pence, who spent many years in Congress before becoming governor of Indiana and eventually obtaining his current job, chalked up any difficulties to growing pains.

"I think it's just a matter, as the president said earlier, of Congress being out of the governing business for the last eight years," he explained. "Republicans...found themselves in the minority. They won majorities, but that was after a Democrat president was elected. But now with a Republican president, Republicans are finding a way to come together, to find the way to forge legislation that reflects a consensus. And I'm very confident on healthcare, on tax reform, on infrastructure, that we're going to make great progress for the American people."

For more of Dickerson's interview with the president, click here