If you’ve been concerned that your distaste for Bono is coming from a purely irrational and deeply petty place, reflecting more on your own flaws than the U2 frontman’s, then we have good news for you: Bono totally kissed Vice President Mike Pence’s ass at a meeting in Germany over the weekend. The meeting, as Rolling Stone points out, was an impromptu one, scheduled after it was discovered that both men were scheduled to speak at the Munich Security Conference. At the beginning of their brief meeting, the two were seen laughing and joking, as Bono quipped that Pence was “the second-busiest man in America.” (With President Trump on vacation in Florida for the third weekend in a row, it begs the question: Who was Bono referring to as “the busiest man in America,” exactly? Lin-Manuel Miranda, maybe? The Rock?)
The topic under discussion was AIDS relief in Africa, a cause that Pence supported when he helped get the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) passed in 2003, and then renewed in 2008. “Twice on the House floor you defended that. That’s how we know you, and we really appreciate that,” Bono told Pence, who responded, “It was an extraordinary historic accomplishment and you played a leading role in carrying it forward.”
This is, of course, deeply ironic considering that Pence’s home state of Indiana experienced an HIV outbreak of unprecedented proportions after Pence closed public health clinics and eliminated clean needle exchanges in the state during his term as governor. But Bono—who, like Pence, is deeply religious, although he remains cagey about his church affiliations—has been giving Pence and his ilk credit for passing PEPFAR for years, saying “I also want to thank the evangelical community for [getting PEPFAR passed], because it wouldn’t have happened without their leadership,” in an interview with Focus On The Family back in 2013.