NBC’s Today Devotes Two-Minute Discussion to ‘Old-School’ Pence Policy

In the wake of left-wing hysteria over Vice President Mike Pence avoiding going out to eat alone with a woman who is not his wife, NBC’s Today seized on the story during Friday's show and devoted a nearly two-minute-long discussion to the topic, debating whether or not such marital fidelity was a “wise policy.”  

Leading off the show’s 8 a.m. Eastern hour “Trending” segment, co-host Savannah Guthrie announced: “...the Washington Post did a profile piece on Karen Pence, the Vice President’s wife, and it really started a great discussion in our newsroom. In the article, we learned that Mike Pence has a policy....he says he doesn't dine alone with a woman unless his wife is there.” She noted that “it got a lot of us talking” and wondered: “...what do you think of that policy? Do you think that's a wise policy?”

Fellow co-host Carson Daly chimed in: “Sounds like an old-school policy that Mike Pence would be on board with.”

Guthrie defended the rule: “I think it makes some sense....I don't think I would ask my husband to have that policy, but I think it's, like, probably wise.”

Daly was skeptical: “But why? Why wouldn't you have dinner with – ?” Fill-in co-host Craig Melvin offered an explanation: “Well, I mean, I think from his point of view, the easiest way to resist temptation is to avoid it. Not to say that the Vice President – you know, I’m not assuming anything.” Daly scoffed: “That’s just because they say men and women can't just be friends, it goes back to that whole thing.”

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Special correspondent Maria Shriver joined in the discussion, pointing to both Daly and Melvin and jokingly telling them: “Alright, so we're not going to have dinner. We’re not going to have dinner.”

Like Guthrie, weather person Dylan Dreyer saw benefit in the idea: “I could see it making a wife uncomfortable....if he's out to eat with another woman, I don't know.” Daly insisted: “What if the wife knows the woman? That’s no big deal.”

Guthrie shared an anecdote backing up Pence’s policy: “I don't come down either side of it, but I do think it's interesting. I had a friend whose father told him when he got married, “You know, I’m going to give you a piece of advice, don’t get yourself in that situation. Don't let yourself even get in a situation where you’re tempted and you’ll be in good shape.” I think that's what's behind that idea.”

Melvin wrapped up the segment by touting mockery of the Vice President: “The satirical newspaper, The Onion, had a bit of fun with this story....The headline here, ‘Mike Pence Asks Waiter To Remove Mrs. Butterworth From Table Until Wife Arrives.’” Daly remarked: “Just remove the situation....No temptation.” Guthrie gushed: “Yeah, love The Onion.”

Here is a full transcript of the March 31 segment:

8:14 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Well, here we are, everybody. It's 8:13, it’s Trending. But it isn’t just any Trending because we’ve got Craig [Melvin], we’ve got Dylan Dreyer, and Maria Shriver!

CRAIG MELVIN: This is going to be fun.

MARIA SHRIVER: I'm back!

GUTHRIE: Lots to talk about. We’ve got a good talker at the top here. The Post recently – the Washington Post did a profile piece on Karen Pence, the Vice President’s wife, and it really started a great discussion in our newsroom. In the article, we learned that Mike Pence has a policy, you know he and his wife have been married for years now. Here’s his own personal policy, he says he doesn't dine alone with a woman unless his wife is there. And that really got –

MELVIN: Never alone with another woman?

GUTHRIE: Yeah. And it got a lot of us talking in the newsroom, you know, is that – what do you think of that policy? Do you think that's a wise policy?

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Dinner “Reservations”; VP Pence’s “Rule” Starts Conversation]

CARSON DALY: Sounds like an old-school policy that Mike Pence would be on board with.

GUTHRIE: I think it makes some sense. It’s like, I don't know if I would – I don't think I would ask my husband to have that policy, but I think it's, like, probably wise.

SHRIVER: Does she have that policy?

GUTHRIE: I don't know.

SHRIVER: Mrs. Pence, yeah.

GUTHRIE: I’m not sure.

MELVIN: That’s a good question.

DALY: But why? Why wouldn't you have dinner with – ?

MELVIN: Well, I mean, I think from his point of view, the easiest way to resist temptation is to avoid it. Not to say that the Vice President – you know, I’m not assuming anything.

DALY: That’s just because they say men and women can't just be friends, it goes back to that whole thing.

SHRIVER [POINTING TO DALY AND MELVIN]: Alright, so we're not going to have dinner. We’re not going to have dinner.

[LAUGHTER]

GUTHRIE: Yes, exactly.

SHRIVER: That’s it, we're done.

GUTHRIE [POINTING TO SHRIVER]: You and me, we’re out at dinner.

SHRIVER: I’d like them to come.

DYLAN DREYER: I could see it making a wife uncomfortable.

MELVIN: You can see it making a wife uncomfortable?

DREYER: Yeah, if he's out to eat with another woman, I don't know.

DALY: What if the wife knows the woman? That’s no big deal.

MELVIN: Then it’s okay, no?

GUTHRIE: I don't know. I’m not – I don't come down either side of it, but I do think it's interesting. I had a friend whose father told him when he got married, “You know, I’m going to give you a piece of advice, don’t get yourself in that situation. Don't let yourself even get in a situation where you’re tempted and you’ll be in good shape.” I think that's what's behind that idea.

MELVIN: The satirical newspaper, The Onion, had a bit of fun with this story.

GUTHRIE: I know, you’ve gotta love The Onion.

MELVIN: The headline here, “Mike Pence Asks Waiter To Remove Mrs. Butterworth From Table Until Wife Arrives.”

[LAUGHTER]

DALY: Just remove the situation.

GUTHRIE: Yeah, love The Onion.

DALY: No temptation.

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