Vice President Mike Pence was in Iowa this week where he praised the president for his new policy decision to increase tariffs on steel and aluminum. In his speech, the vice president said Trump will always put American workers and companies first and introducing new tariffs is one of the ways. Mike Pence has been a lifelong advocate of free trade and the free market, which makes his recent remarks all the more confusing. Trump's decision to increase tariffs shocked most of his aides, including the vice president.

Mike Pence playing it safe?

However, back in Washington, Pence has been one of the top officials urging Trump to hold off on this new policy.

According to White House advisers, Pence has been quietly relaying information from the Republicans on Capitol Hill to Trump. The vice president has been able to maintain neutral ground on Trump's recent policy, which has angered some Republicans, most of whom expected him to convince the president to back off from the protectionist plan.

Mike Pence has gone to great lengths to maintain his relationship with the president, constantly avoiding any public clash with the president, and only airing his concerns behind closed doors. Picking a fight with Mr. Trump has ensured a lot of resignations by some top officials in the White House.

According to some administration officials, Pence at times would keep his mouth shut, failing to express his views, especially when he is in disagreement with the president's decision.

Though his hands-off approach has gained him favor with Trump, other government officials are referring to him as weak, even comparing him to Dan Quayle, President George Bush's No. 2. However, other officials are supporting the vice president's approach. According to Alex Conant, who served as senior advisor to Marco Rubio during the presidential campaign, it's not the vice president's job to publicly criticize the president's decisions, but it is his job to help implement these agendas.

Trade War

Trump's top economic adviser (Gary Cohn) is the latest official to resign. Pence is now torn between siding with Trump and the Republicans who are firmly taking a stand against Trump's decision. Pence's office told POLITICO on Wednesday that the vice president fully supports Donald Trump's policy and people should not think the vice president is playing both sides.

Republican Mitch McConnell told reporters that a lot of Republican senators are showing much concern for the new policy, many argue that the new tariffs could ignite a broader trade war. Most lawmakers are urging the president to go for a more targeted approach and only increase tariffs for countries like China rather than US allies.