Mike Pence says that while he was “offended” by Donald Trump’s vulgar 2005 comments about women, reported by the press Friday, he never considered withdrawing his name from the Republican presidential ticket.
“It’s absolutely false to suggest that at any point in time we considered dropping off this ticket,” Pence said on CNN on Monday. “It’s the greatest honor of my life to have been nominated by my party to be the next vice president of the United States of America.”
After video of Trump’s lewd commentary surfaced, the Indiana governor canceled an event and mostly stayed quiet until Sunday night’s presidential debate.
“He’s made the decision not to spend an ounce of time or energy focusing on anything beyond the town hall on Sunday night,” a Pence campaign source told Yahoo News.
“I wanted to give [Trump] time to show his heart on Sunday night,” Pence said on “Fox & Friends” Monday.
On CNN, Pence said he encouraged Trump to “continue to express his genuine remorse” for the comments on the tape, which include the businessman boasting that, as a celebrity, he could get away with groping women.
“I think last night he showed his heart to the American people,” Pence said. “Look, politics is a very tough business. I get that. This is my first time … at the national level. And the fact is that, you know, as I said on Saturday, I couldn’t condone, I couldn’t defend those remarks. I encouraged Donald Trump on Friday to apologize for them. He did. He expressed his personal remorse. But I also encouraged him Saturday to take that to the American people to show his heart.”
Pence added: “And when he said on national television he wasn’t proud of it, he was embarrassed by it, I do believe that he expressed himself straight from his heart to the American people.”
— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) October 10, 2016
The governor said he was satisfied that Trump’s sexually aggressive commentary captured by the hot mic was “locker-room talk” — as Trump repeatedly called it — and that the Republican nominee had not actually assaulted women.
“He said last night very clearly that that was talk, not actions,” Pence said. “And I believe him.”
During last week’s vice presidential debate, Pence said the United States “should be prepared to use military force to strike military targets” of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime if Russia continues to be involved in airstrikes on Syrian civilians.
During Sunday’s debate, Trump was asked by co-moderator Martha Raddatz if he agreed with Pence’s position.
“He and I haven’t spoken, and I disagree,” Trump replied. “I disagree.”
Pence, though, denied there was any split between them on the issue.
“I’ve talked to him about our policy,” Pence said on CNN. “And, frankly, I got a lot of respect for Martha Raddatz, but she just misrepresented the statement that I made.”
“The question I had was about the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo and what we ought to do,” he said. “Donald Trump’s position, our position has been that we need to establish safe zones, and you need — you need to be willing to use — you need to be willing to use resources, and including military power, to secure those safe zones.”