VPOTUS Travel Pool Report No. 4: Dominoes Park

From: "Rucker, Philip"
Date: June 16, 2017 at 12:29:55 PM EDT
Subject: VPOTUS Travel Pool Report No. 4: Dominoes Park

VPOTUS Travel Pool Report No. 4

Vice President Pence stopped at Dominoes Park in Miami’s Little Havana for a brief visit on his way to the Cuba policy event. Rain was heavy as the vice president stepped out of his limousine. His suit jacket off, Pence’s white dress shirt was drenched by the time he stepped under an overhang to greet dominoes players.

Former Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), similarly drenched and still wearing a congressional pin on his suit lapel, served as Pence’s sherpa, introducing the vice president informally as they gamely worked the dominoes tables.

Pence extended his arm to shake hands and made small talk. “I need to come back on a sunny day and play some dominoes,” he said.

Most of the players were men, although some women were present, and many of them spoke in Spanish.  Some of them took pictures of Pence, and some were visibly moved by greeting him. One woman tearfully told him about a loss in her family. “We pray for him,” the vice president said. It was unclear to your pooler if she was talking about her husband, brother, son or another man in her family.

“I voted for you guys twice – the first one and the second one,” one woman told Pence, presumably referring to casting ballots in the Florida primary and then the general election for Donald Trump.

“Thank you,” Pence said.

Some men shouted, “Viva Trump! Viva Trump!”

As Pence prepared to depart, one man told him, “I’ll remember you for a long time.”

“Thank you very much,” Pence said.

As he left the dominoes table, your pooler asked Pence whether he had ever been to Little Havana before.

“I have,” he said, “but never here to Dominoes. I have to come back when it’s a little drier and I have more time.”

Then your pooler asked if he had any comment on hiring his own counsel to deal with the Russia matter.

“It’s very routine,” Pence said. “Very routine.”

Rushing back to the motorcade, your asked Diaz-Balart what it means to have the vice president visit Little Havana.

“It’s a very gracious and appreciated gesture,” Diaz-Balart said. “We’re very happy to have the vice president and the president here today.”

Philip Rucker

The Washington Post

White House Bureau Chief

xxx-xxx-xxxx (cell)

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