Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence is reminding people that the father of Omar Mateen, the terrorist in the Orlando night club massacre this year, attended a Hillary Clinton rally last month and spoke positively of her campaign.
Pence referenced Seddique Mateen’s support for the Clinton while dismissing more questions from the press about white supremacist David Duke, who supports Donald Trump.
“I would draw no more conclusion of [Duke’s] expressions of support than I would the fact that the father of a terrorist who killed 49 Americans was seen at a Hillary Clinton rally, cheering her on and said he was there because she was good on national security,” Pence said.
“Look, we live in a free country,” said Pence, while speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill. “And people of ill motives can associate themselves with politics.”
Pence repeated his recent statement disavowing Duke. “Donald Trump and I have renounced David Duke repeatedly,” Pence said. “We have said that we do not want his support and we do not want the support of people who think like him.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) September 13, 2016
On Monday, CNN host Wolf Blitzer — referencing the Clinton campaign’s argument that half of Trump’s supporters belong in a “basket of deplorables” — asked Pence if he considered Duke deplorable. Like he did during that interview, Pence said he didn’t want Duke’s support and said he isn’t the “name calling business.”
“I’m also not going to validate the language Hillary Clinton used to describe the American people,” Pence said.