Catherine Byrne is an Air Force mom whose 27-year-old son serves in the UAE. On Thursday, Ms. Byrne had the opportunity to attend a rally in Carson City, Nevada; a rally in support of Donald Trump. Mike Pence, who most people know is Donald Trump’s running mate and may very well become our next vice president, was speaking at the event and took the time to field audience questions after delivering his speech.
During his Q&A session, Catherine took her opportunity to make a statement about Donald Trump’s words toward the Khan family. Khizr and Ghazala Khan lost their son, a decorated Army veteran, in Iraq in 2004. Donald Trump has taken some heat in recent days over his retort to somewhat inflammatory statements Mr. Khan made in response to his call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States. Trump’s tiff with the Khan family began on Thursday at the Democratic National Convention, when Mr. Khan said the billionaire had sacrificed nothing and no one.
— CNN (@CNN) August 2, 2016
Catherine asked, “Will there ever be a point in time when you’re able to look Trump in the eye and tell him enough is enough?” Before she finished speaking, the crowd erupted with booing and several people jeered.
— Independent Journal (@TheIJR) August 2, 2016
Mike Pence handled the situation with grace and respect, requesting that the crowd quiet down. He then said, “That’s what freedom looks like. That’s what freedom sounds like.” He took a moment to honor Byrne’s son and his service to the country before responding to her question. “I know this has been much in the news as of late in the last few days. But as I said last night… Captain Khan is an American hero and we honor him and honor his family.” Pence acknowledged the controversy over Donald Trump’s reaction to Mr. Khan, but also took the opportunity to pay respect to a fallen American hero.
The crowd rallied behind him and cheered.
After Pence addressed her comments, Byrne spoke with CBS. “I did like his words about Captain Khan and his family.” However, she didn’t feel that Mr. Pence fully answered her question. In specific, Byrne, who is a CPA in Carson City, felt that Pence avoided her question about Trump’s disrespect toward the Khan family.
Pence went on to say that he has never been around someone who is “more devoted” to our nation’s military and our veterans than Donald Trump.
At a political rally in Reno, Nevada a few hours later, Mike Pence brought up Capt. Khan and his parents without being prompted by a member of the audience. He again spoke movingly about Capt. Khan and told his audience that, as the father of a U.S. Marine, he both understands and appreciates the attention the media and the American people have given to the Khan family.
Pence then publicly noted the presence of a different Gold Star family at the rally and went on to say that he does not understand why the media continues to ignore the mother of Sean Smith, who was one of the Americans murdered in Benghazi. Smith’s mother spoke to those in attendance at the Republican convention in July and has received very little press in comparison to the Khan family.
Following the event, Byrne did an interview with MSNBC during which she stated she knew it “would take bravery” to mention the Khan family in that environment. She also stated that the situation between the Khan family and Donald Trump has been “very upsetting” for her and that she had cried a lot thinking about the issue from a mother-to-mother perspective.
You can watch the MSNBC interview below.
Browse Inquistr News for more stories like this and updates on other trending topics.
[Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images]