Donald Trump’s VP pick, Mike Pence, has not really had much to say about his running mate’s controversial comments since he was chosen, but apparently felt he had to do some damage control Sunday after Trump’s criticism of a slain Muslim soldier’s parents. Trump has faced a lot of backlash over his comments about the parents of Captain Humayun Khan, an American Muslim soldier killed in action 12 years ago. Trump even made fun of the mother because she didn’t speak while her husband was addressing the DNC. Trump also said that he himself had made sacrifices, seemingly diminishing the ultimate sacrifice that the Khan had made.
According to RTV 6 ABC, VP candidate Mike Pence issued a statement on his Facebook account, trying to do some damage control after Trump’s controversial comments. Pence said that he and Trump both believe that “Khan is an American hero and his family, like all Gold Star families, should be cherished by every American.”
Pence talked about how Captain Khan gave his life for his country and blamed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the rise of ISIS in the Middle East. Pence supported Trump’s anti-immigration stance against people coming into the U.S. from countries “that have been compromised by terrorism.”
Pence also supported Trump’s stand on rebuilding the military and defeating ISIS so that the likelihood that “other American families will face the enduring heartbreak of the Khan family” will be reduced. Pence ended his statement by saying that Trump would support the military and their families.
The parents of Captain Khan, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, went to the DNC last week to endorse Hillary Clinton for President and to criticize Donald Trump on his anti-immigration campaign. Khan spoke about the actions of his son, who was 27 when he died, and criticized Trump while his wife stood silently by his side. Khan said they were honored to stand in front of the DNC as “parents of Captain Humayun Khan and as patriotic American Muslims,” to which the audience responded with standing ovations and applause.
Watch the full speech of Khizr Khan at DNC below.
Khan continued by saying they were also patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to their country. He said that they, like many other immigrants in this country, came here empty-handed and believed in the American democracy. Khan said that they were blessed to raise their three sons in a country where they could be themselves and follow their dreams.
Khan stated that his son wanted to be a military lawyer, but sacrificed his life to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. Khan said that if it had been up to Donald Trump, his son would have never had the chance to be an American. Khan spoke directly to Donald Trump, saying “You are asking Americans to trust you with their future. Let me ask you, have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy.”
The Khans are an American treasure. What Donald Trump Doesn’t Get about Ghazala and Khizr Khan - The New Yorker https://t.co/GOn8nFhcEy— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) August 1, 2016
Khan then told Trump to go to the Arlington National cemetery and see that there were soldiers buried there of every ethnicity. He declared that Trump had sacrificed nothing and no one, to thunderous applause from the audience. Khan said that problems could not be solved by building walls and sowing division.
After the heartfelt speech by Khan, Donald Trump took to Twitter, condemning the father for his speech and making fun of Mrs. Khan, by saying she was probably not allowed to speak because she was Muslim. Ghazala Khan responded Sunday with an op-ed in the Washington Post, saying that the reason she didn’t speak about her son was because she was in pain. Mrs. Khan said that she had begged her son to stay safe while fighting and to not try to be a hero because she knew “he would do something like that.”
She said that her son told her, “Mom these are my soldiers, these are my people. I have to take care of them.”
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]