Nearly a day after the audio broke of Donald Trump being quintessentially Donald Trump, his running mate, Mike Pence has finally regained sufficient composure to issue a statement:

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In a way I feel sorry for Mike Pence. He’s not a very strong man, though undoubtedly he is the most substantial candidate of the four creatures running for president/vice president. He seems to be a very decent guy who would have been a credit to the nation as vice president. On the other hand, he basically sold his soul at a Blue Light special to be Trump’s running mate, either from the hubris that he could mitigate the damage a President Trump would inflict upon the nation or party loyalty or visions of being president himself.

The fact that it took Pence nearly a day to issue a statement and the statement itself is one step shy of Mike Lee calling on Trump to pull out of the race is a testament to two things. First, Pence, and by extension the RNC, actually didn’t see this coming. Hard as it is to believe, despite what we knew about Trump’s grotesque personality and behavior from his past and his conduct during the race, these people seem to have been able to pretend Donald Trump was not Donald Trump. The second thing is that the RNC has officially thrown in the towel on the presidential campaign. Their mission at this point is to avoid a Battle of the Somme level of blood letting in November 8.