Mike Pence, the Republican Vice Presidential candidate, is trying to calm the furor over Donald Trump’s attacks on the family of a Muslim war hero, but he may have actually made it worse. Pence’s statement was both condescending and self-serving, and it also lacked sincerity. Pence’s son is a Marine so there is no doubt he supports the military.
While claiming that he and Donald Trump “cherish” Captain Khan and his Gold Star family, Mike Pence took the opportunity to attack Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and even went on to justify Trump’s banning of Muslim’s and their proposed lockdown on immigration. Captain Khan died in 2004 when George Bush was the President so it is not really clear why he’s blaming Obama and Clinton.
— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) August 1, 2016
The controversy began at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) when Khizr Khan, the Muslim father of an Army captain killed in the line of duty, spoke passionately about his support for Hillary Clinton. He spoke equally as passionately about Donald Trump saying that he does not know anything about the United States Constitution and stating that Trump has sacrificed nothing.
Trump being who he is could not let the opportunity to criticize Khan pass, and during an interview with ABC, Trump took things one step further and questioned why Khan’s wife Ghazala stood by and didn’t speak during the speech at the DNC. He didn’t stop there though. He went so far as to question whether it was because of their religion and maybe she wasn’t allowed to speak.
Khan went on to say that she did not need to speak “Because without saying a thing, all the world, all America, felt my pain. I am a Gold Star mother. Whoever saw me felt me in their heart.” She also tells the story of how her son joined the army and went to war to protect his country.
Your courage is inspiring, Mrs. Khan—and you’re right. https://t.co/wWrx9f65o0
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 1, 2016
The speech given by Mr. Khan was so powerful and inspiring that, according to ABC News, Amazon is showing that the U.S. Constitution pocket version, like the one Mr. Khan pulled out at the DNC, is in the Top 10 Best Selling Books on Saturday afternoon.
Reaction to Trump’s comments has been swift and brutal, leaving Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence to clean up the mess. It appears that Republican leadership is reluctant to wade into the fight. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan, who Mr. Kahn has called on to condemn the remarks, issued statements, according to Fox News, praising Capt. Humayun Khan and stating again that they do not agree with the immigration plan being proposed by the Trump/Pence campaign.
Father of American hero calls out republican leaders. Everyone should watch this https://t.co/sKZzux15QH
— Dan Olivo (@danolivo) July 30, 2016
Despite their statements in support of the Khan’s and their son, neither one directly criticized Donald Trump. Both Ryan and McConnell stated again that a ban on immigration for members of a certain religion goes against American values, but until today Mike Pence had remained silent on the controversial comments made by his running mate.
Ironically, NBC News reports that in an interview last Friday, Pence criticized President Obama’s comments about Trump at the DNC, saying that name calling has no place in public life. Considering the nicknames Trump has given people, including “Crooked Hillary,” “Lyin’ Ted,” and calling Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas,” it would seem that Pence should save that advice for his running mate.
‘Periods for Pence’ protests now called ‘Tampons for Trump’. Remember #Pence severely restricted women’s health rights in Indiana in April?!
— Emily Winfield (@sweaterboots) July 22, 2016
Mike Pence is certainly no stranger to controversy or drama. Earlier this year, he signed a new law in his home state of Indiana severely limiting access to abortion in the state. In protest of this new law, Periods For Pence was created, which involved calling Pence’s office to give him updates on their periods.
Cleaning this situation up is not an easy job, and Pence certainly tried to smooth it over. If reaction on social media is any indication, he failed miserably. Using it as a platform to push the Trump/Pence immigration policy they hope to get passed could be wrong and possibly not the time. If the behavior Trump has exhibited in the last year is any indication, this may not be the last mess that Mike Pence has to clean up for Donald Trump.
[Photo by John Moore/Getty Images]