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Mike Pence describes '10 seconds of uncertainty' as his plane slid off runway

The Indiana governor discusses his runway scare at New York's LaGuardia Airport and the state of the presidential campaign.
/ Source: TODAY

Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, in a live interview with TODAY's Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer, described the moment his campaign plane skidded off a rain-slickened runway at New York’s LaGuardia Airport as "10 seconds of uncertainty."

"It seemed like the first responders were literally around the plane before we came to a rest," Pence said.

The chartered Boeing 737 was carrying the Indiana governor and 47 other passengers, including Pence’s wife and daughter. The plane had just flown in from Iowa for a fundraiser Thursday night at Trump Tower. Nobody was injured.

"As soon was we landed, we could tell they were trying to brake the aircraft pretty quickly," Pence said. "We felt the plane fishtailing a little bit, and then it slid sideways and when we saw the mud splash up on the windows up in the front of the aircraft, we new we were off the runway."

Members of the press pool traveling in the plane noted that Pence walked down the cabin aisle to check on everyone after the plane came to a stop.

"We're really grateful everybody's okay, including our press corps," he said.

Pence said he's never had concerns about his safety while in the air, and noted "we land on some pretty short runways" while traveling to campaign stops.

"We're wheels up, off to Pennsylvania and North Carolina before the end of the day," he said.

Following the close call, Pence spoke by phone with his running mate, Donald Trump, who was campaigning in Ohio and later referenced the incident at a rally.

"I just spoke to our future vice president, and he's okay," he told the crowd 40 minutes into his remarks. "Do you know he was in a big accident with the plane? The plane skidded on the runway and was pretty close to grave, grave danger."

Authorities, however, said nothing indicated Pence or other passengers were ever in such danger.

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Trump, who continues to claim the electoral system is rigged, also said Thursday he'd like to "just cancel the election" and be declared the winner.

Pence emphasized on TODAY that his running mate made the comment in jest, but said it reflects how troubled voters feel about this election season and how it's being portrayed.

"When he’s talked about a rigged system, he’s talked as much, frankly, about the bias that we see in the national media," he said.

But Pence provided assurances the campaign will be deferential to the next month's elections results.

"There are ways for citizens to be respectfully involved in the electoral process," he said. "We want a victory on Nov. 8 but I want it to be a victory for American democracy as well."