Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence appeared on CNN’s ‘The Situation Room’ for an interview with host, Wolf Blitzer on Monday where he tore into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for her comments on Friday evening where she called half of Trump supporters a ‘basket of deplorables.’
The Trump campaign has seized on Clinton’s comments, a rare attack on supporters rather than the candidate, to tell voters that Hillary is unfit to be president.
Clinton issued a statement on Saturday expressing regret for quantifying the number of supporters who fit into the ‘basket.’ However, both Clinton and her campaign have stated that they are happy to have the fight regarding Clinton’s position that Donald Trump’s campaign welcomes and is supported and led by the fringe groups such as the Alt Right, including white nationalists, and similar types, almost daring the Trump campaign to engage.
In a speech in Baltimore on Monday, Donald Trump devoted consideratble attention to Clinton’s comment. Pence continued his running mate’s lead in the interview with Blitzer:
“What Hillary Clinton did Friday night was shocking. The millions of people who support Donald Trump around this country are not a basket of anything. They are Americans, and they deserve the respect of the Democratic nominee for the president of the United States.”
Pence went on to call Clinton’s comments “really shocking,” adding that a person with such a “low opinion” of the American people should never be president.
However, when pressed by Wolf Blitzer, Pence gave what many regard as his own shocking remark. Blitzer asked “There are some supporters of Donald Trump and Mike Pence, who like David Duke, for example, some other white nationalists who would fit into that category of deplorables, right?” Pence replied:
“Well, as I told you the last time I was on. I’m not sure why the media keeps dropping David Duke’s name. Donald Trump has denounced David Duke repeatedly. We don’t want David Duke’s support, and we don’t want the support of people who think like him.”
Blitzer then asked again, “You’d call him a deplorable? You would? Pence answered, “No. I’m not in the name calling business, Wolf.”