The Issue Is: Mike Pence, Arnold Schwarzenegger, stars of 'Star Trek: Picard'

This week, one of the most star-studded episodes in The Issue Is history, an episode that takes us from the streets of Brentwood to the halls of power in Washington D.C. to the deepest corners of space, the final frontier.

Elex Michaelson is on the red carpet for the premiere of the Star Trek: Picard series finale. The show represents a farewell to Sir Patrick Stewart’s character Jean-Luc Picard, some 37 years after he first debuted.

Michaelson speaks with Stewart, as well as Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, LeVar Burton, Jeri Ryan, and more members of the "Picard" cast and crew about the emotional finale, the future of the Star Trek universe, and the legacy of Gene Roddenberry’s creation.

Michaelson is also joined by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The two discuss Schwarzenegger’s viral video in which he took matters into his own hands and filled a pair of potholes in his Brentwood neighborhood. Much more, the full half hour, with Schwarzenegger on next week’s show.

But first, Michaelson heads to the Nixon Presidential Library for an exclusive sit-down with Former Vice President Mike Pence. Pence, who is considering a run for President in 2024, challenging his former boss, President Donald Trump, was in Yorba Linda to attend an energy conference.

Pence and Michaelson discuss energy policy, and efforts by President Joe Biden and Governors like Gavin Newsom to move away from gas-powered vehicles, Pence’s 2024 plans, the debate over the abortion pill mifepristone, misconceptions about the former Vice President, and much more.


VICE PRESIDENT PENCE’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I'm pro-life, I don't apologize for it. I couldn't be more proud to have been a part of the administration that appointed three of the justices that sent Roe versus Wade to the ash heap of history and returned to the question of abortion to the states and the American people. And I think now we are engaged in a great national debate, not only in Washington, D.C., but all across the country on the on the subject of the sanctity of life….

"Whatever the future holds for my family, we'll continue to be a voice for the unborn. But also I want to be a voice of compassion for people that are facing crisis pregnancies. I think it's important as states move pro-life legislation, that we're also seeing additional resources for women, not only during pregnancy, but after they bring that child into the world. I want to see adoption reform in the country. I believe there's a whole range of of solutions that will bring greater compassion and greater outcomes for life...

"With regard to the question of mifepristone, you know, the Supreme Court is considering that issue this week. The reality is, that 20 years ago, the FDA exceeded its authority in approving the abortion pill - they actually used statutes that were designed for the emergency approval, so they didn't go through the ordinary processes, and women have paid the price. There's documented cases of hundreds and hundreds of women who've been injured by this pill. My hope is that the Supreme Court today will will rein in the FDA, require the FDA to live under the laws of our country, and at the end of the day, I fully support efforts to take the abortion pill off the market…"


VICE PRESIDENT PENCE’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Even here in California, we've been getting an awful lot of encouragement around the country. I think it's two-fold. Number one is, I think people look at the record of the Trump-Pence administration, where we made historic investments in our national defense. We secured our border. We cut taxes, rolled back regulations, unleashed energy, created an unprecedented prosperity, and 300 conservatives to our courts at every level to uphold all the God given liberties enshrined in our Constitution. I think people want to get back to those policies, but I'm always very humbled that people recognize that, that the approach I've taken to politics, the premium that I've placed on trying to show respect and civility in the public debate, could well be an idea whose time has come...

"I believe that democracy depends on heavy doses of civility and frankly, on both sides of the aisle, we've gotten away from that in Washington, D.C.. Our politics is more divided today than any time in my lifetime, but I'm not convinced the American people are as divided as our politics. And, you know, I really do believe the challenge that we face in 2024 is not just to get back to the policies that were working for the American people, but ultimately to have government as good as our people, a government that treats one another the way the American people treat each other just about every day. That could create the conditions where we can take on some of the large, intractable problems that we face, whether it be the crisis at the border, the rise of China, Russian aggression, or the massive debt crisis that's facing our children and grandchildren, it's going to take a style of leadership that at least has the capacity to bring people together…"


VICE PRESIDENT PENCE’S CENTRAL TAKE: "What our administration was able to do with energy, unleashing American energy, an all-of-the-above energy strategy, really powered the economic prosperity of the Trump-Pence years - 7 million good paying jobs, wages rising at the fastest pace in 50 years. 10 million people moved from welfare to work. The war on energy that's been waged by the Biden administration and by by governors around the country, including Governor Newsom, has put a tremendous hardship on American families. Gasoline prices, while there's been some relief, went through the roof for the last two years, that's eaten into family budgets…

"I truly do believe, that to revive our economy, we've got to unleash American energy, as we did during the Trump-Pence years. We've got to move away from these government mandates that actually, I think, will only serve to increase the cost on Americans, whether it be in purchasing cars or gasoline, and at the end of the day, when you think about where most electric batteries are manufactured, these mandates by the Biden administration, and even here in California, about driving Americans toward electric vehicles, actually will most benefit China, where most most of the batteries for electric cars are manufactured today…"


VICE PRESIDENT PENCE’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I'm always very moved, as I've traveled around the country since I left the White House, how many people would come up to me in a diner, on a street corner, or after a little event and say, 'I didn't know you were like that'...

"I don't take myself too seriously. I love this country. I love the American people. I've got my own convictions, my own values, but to know the Pence family is to know that we show respect to every American, whatever their politics and whether we agree on every issue, and I'm always very moved when people reflect on that. And if we choose to enter the race for the Republican nomination for president, I would do so recognizing that I'm well known, but I don't think I'm known well, and if we enter the race, I would hope to have the opportunity, as I did in my autobiography, to let people know our hearts...

"I'm just a small town guy from southern Indiana that got to live the dream of serving my country in the Congress, as Governor, as Vice President. My grandfather immigrated to this country. My dad was a combat veteran, and I would hope people would have a chance come to know us for who they are and then make their own decision…"

The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to