Mike Pence talks plane skid, voter fraud, and state of the race

Just hours after the plane carrying Mike Pence skidded off the runway while landing in New York City, the Republican vice presidential nominee joined “CBS This Morning” to discuss the harrowing incident as well as the state of the race in its final stretch. 

“We’re great. Thank God. And just -- just very grateful for the concern expressed for us,” Pence said Friday morning after the incident, which shut down runways at LaGuardia Airport. “It was about 10 seconds of uncertainty. As we landed we -- we got a low ceiling... But once we were on the ground, you could tell they were trying to brake, stop the aircraft as quickly as possible. It slid back and forth a little bit and left the runway. But all are well.” 

The vice presidential nominee went on to express his gratitude for the emergency personnel on the scene late Thursday. 

“Once the plane came to a stop we noticed that there was mud on the windows on our front half of the plane and we smelled the burned rubber,” Pence said. “But it was over quickly. I’m so grateful to the first responders. They were virtually on the scene before the plane stopped rolling. Grateful to the pilots, everyone involved.” 

Quoting his son, a Marine Corps aviator, Pence added: “Every landing that you walk away from is a successful landing.” 

Pence was also asked about recent concerns that Election Day could see a surge in violence, given how passions have run high throughout the entire campaign and amid recent unsubstantiated charges by the Republican ticket that the election is “rigged.” 

“We certainly would denounce, you know, any calls from anything other than people vigorously being involved in the electoral process,” Pence said, adding that he believes “we’re gonna have a great day come Election Day.” 

“The people that are rallying around this team, rallying around our cause, love this country, are passionate about this country and are anxious to see change,” he said.

Pressed on whether the campaign felt it was necessary to “reassure” the country to respect the election results, Pence said, “of course.”

“We all feel that way -- that all of us are involved in the political process,” he said.  

Weighing in on the unsubstantiated accusations that the election is fixed in favor of the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, Pence said that voter fraud is not out of the realm of possibility. 

“Make no mistake about it, there are many instances in our lifetime of voter fraud and individual polling places and in certain jurisdictions,” he said. “And Donald Trump and I are just calling on people to respectfully participate in the electorate process.”   

On his recent campaign stop in Utah -- a typically red state that’s seen renewed interest because of the rise of Evan McMullin, a popular third-party candidate -- Pence discussed the close state of that race. 

“I was making a western swing,” he said of his campaign stop. “I was out in Colorado and out in Nevada.”

But, he acknowledged, “there’s a unique situation in Utah.” 

“My message is with all the support we’re getting from independents, from the support we’re getting from many Democrats now it’s time for Republicans to come home,” he said. “I know we went through a 17-way primary. I watched it from afar...it’s time for Republicans to come home to elect Donald Trump as president, re-elect a Republican Congress and make sure Hillary Clinton’s never elected president of the United States.”