Mike Pence says Trump might 'make the effort' to stop racist chants at his rallies. But no promises, apparently.
Vice President Mike Pence went on "Face the Nation" Sunday to discuss Trump's love of racist chants. Needless to say, Pence did not exhibit great moral courage.
Pence was asked about the racist "send her back" chant that erupted during Trump's North Carolina rally last week when Trump was speaking about Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar. Pence showed his moral fiber by beginning with a lie. He told CBS: "The president wasn't pleased about it. Neither was I. The president's been very clear about that."
Pence went on to stammer weakly about how Trump might — might — "make an effort" to stop a similar chant in the future.
Trump was actually quite pleased with the chant. When the crowd started chanting, he let the chants go on for 13 seconds before starting his speech again. When the chants stopped, Trump was still going after Rep. Omar. That's not how one expresses displeasure with what the audience is doing. Trump even went on to call the North Carolina audience that had howled for the deportation of Omar "incredible patriots."
Pence couldn't even keep up this meager facade of pretending to be concerned about the chants. He pivoted to saying that "millions of Americans share the president's frustration" about Omar and other members of Congress because they engage in "reckless rhetoric." And, Pence went on, Trump thought it was "important to stand up to them, and I'm glad he did it."
Of course, it's Trump's rhetoric that is reckless. On the anniversary of the murder of five journalists, Trump joked with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and told him he'd like to get rid of journalists he doesn't like. Thanks to Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric, armed right-wing militias are massing at the border. And it's impossible to read his rhetoric against Rep. Omar as anything but encouraging violence against a sitting member of Congress because she said things he doesn't like.
Mike Pence won't ever stand up to Trump. And that's exactly why he's got the job he does.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.