Pence Refuses to Validate Clinton’s ‘Deplorable’ Label In Denouncing David Duke

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence on Tuesday reiterated his refusal to label former KKK leader David Duke as “deplorable” not to validate Hillary Clinton’s term used to attack Donald Trump’s supporters.

“Donald Trump and I have denounced David Duke repeatedly. We have said that we do not want his support and we do not want the support of people who think like him,” Pence said at a press conference following a meeting with House Republicans on Capitol Hill. “The simple fact is that I am not in the name-calling business. My colleagues in the House of Representatives know that I believe that civility is essential in a vibrant democracy and it’s never been my practice.”

Pence came under fire for refusing to use the term “deplorable” during an interview with CNN on Monday.

“There are some supporters of Donald Trump and Mike Pence who ― David Duke, for example, some other white nationalists ― who would fit into that category of deplorables. Right?” CNN host Wolf Blitzer asked, referring to Clinton’s remarks over the weekend that half of Donald Trump supporters can be put into a “basket of deplorables.”

“Donald Trump has denounced David Duke repeatedly. We don’t want his support and we don’t want the support of people who think like him,” Pence replied. When pressed if he’d call Duke “deplorable,” Pence said, “No, I’m not in the name calling business.”

Following the interview, when contacted by a BuzzFeed reporter, Duke praised Pence for not playing the “media game” in outright denouncing him. “It’s good to see an individual like Pence and others start to reject this absolute controlled media,” he said.

At the press conference, Pence insisted that he is not going to “validate the language that Hillary Clinton used to describe the American people.”

“Hillary Clinton wasn’t talking about that bad man,” he asserted. “She was talking about people all across this country who are coming out in record numbers to stand by Donald Trump and to stand with him in his vision to make America great again.”

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