KUSA—In a satellite interview with 9NEWS on Thursday, Republican VP nominee Mike Pence defended Donald Trump’s false assertion that President Barack Obama is the “founder of ISIS.”
“The one thing about Donald Trump is he doesn’t go tip-toeing around the rules, the semantic rules, of political correctness,” Pence said when pressed about the factual inaccuracy of Trump’s words. “Everybody in the country knows exactly what Donald Trump means.”
Pence went on to assert that Trump’s meaning was that the Obama administration’s policies in the Middle East have failed, creating the conditions that allowed the so-called Islamic State to grow into a more powerful force.
“Last night you said that the president was the founder of ISIS," Hewitt said. "I know what you meant, you meant that he created the vacuum, he lost the peace."
"No, I meant that he's the founder of ISIS," Trump said.
Pressed on whether he would be willing to repeat Trump’s “founder” claim himself, Pence deflected and repeated his defense of Trump’s wording. At no point in the 9NEWS interview did Pence refer to the president as the “founder” of ISIS.
Earlier in the same interview, Pence disavowed former Congressman Mark Foley, who attended a Trump rally this week.
Foley resigned amid accusations of sexually charges messages to congressional pages.
“I denounced congressman Foley’s behavior ten years ago in the Congress,” Pence said. “I don’t know why he was at that rally and we don’t welcome his support.”
Pence then pivoted to criticize Hillary Clinton over her own embarrassing campaign event guest, the father of the Orlando nightclub shooter.
Much as Pence did with Foley, Clinton’s campaign disavowed Seddique Mateen’s support of her candidacy after that incident.
The Foley incident has done some political damage control for Clinton by taking steam out of the Mateen story.