Sep. 10, 2016 1:05pm Kate Scanlon
WASHINGTON — Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence responded Saturday to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s characterization of his campaign’s supporters as a “basket of deplorables.”
Republican vice presidential candidate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaks to the Value Voters Summit in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)
During remarks at a fundraiser on Friday regarding supporters of her rival Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign, Clinton said, “You know, just to be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.”
“The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it,” she continued. “And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”
Pence, the governor of Indiana, responded to Clinton’s charge Saturday, telling attendees at the Values Voters Summit that she described Trump’s supporters “in the most deplorable of terms.”
“Hillary Clinton’s low opinion of the people that support this campaign should be denounced in the strongest possible terms,” Pence said. “The truth of the matter is that the men and women who support Donald Trump’s campaign are hardworking Americans: farmers, coal miners, teachers, veterans, members of our law enforcement community… members of every class of this country who know that we can make America great again.”
“Let me just say from the bottom of my heart: Hillary, they are not a basket of anything,” Pence added. “They are Americans and they deserve your respect.”
Pence said he has “not heard that level of disdain for Americans” since President Barack Obama referred to those who opposed him as people who “cling to their guns and religion.”
“No one with a record of failure at home and abroad, no one with her avalanche of dishonesty and corruptions, and no one with that low opinion of the American people should ever be elected president of the United States of America,” Pence said. “We must decide here and now that Hillary Clinton will never be elected president.”
Addressing the gathering of social conservatives, Pence also pledged that the “Trump/Pence administration” will work towards pro-life legislative goals, such as passing the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, preserving the Hyde Amendment and defunding Planned Parenthood.
Trump — who described himself as pro-choice prior to launching a Republican bid for president and has defended Planned Parenthood during his campaign — did not address his position on the issue when he spoke to the gathering on Friday.