Democrats’ attempts to tie Donald Trump to racists is an “act of desperation,” Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence said Sunday.
The Indiana governor said that it is not a coincidence that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign made the charges as the polls tightened and she was battered by new reports about the State Department email scandal and possible ethics conflicts involving the Clinton foundation.
“The fact that you see Democrats and Hillary Clinton and her running mate rolling out the same old playbook of racial divisiveness sounds a little bit to me like an act of desperation,” Mr. Pence said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“The American people are sick and tired of politician who seek to divide the people of this country,” he said.
Mrs. Clinton last week said Mr. Trump’s campaign was appealing to white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Her running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, said Mr. Trump promoted “Klu Klux Klan values.”
“I think that is deeply offensive,” said Mr. Pence, adding that Mr. Trump is reaching out to minority voters.
“Donald Trump believes we can make America great again for every American, regardless of race or creed or color,” he said. “The only answer Hillary Clinton and her running mate have is more of the same kind of racial divisiveness and racial attacks and I really think it is beneath the dignity” of a presidential campaign.
Mr. Trump previously encountered sharp criticism for hesitating to disavow support from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, who is running for U.S. Senate in Louisiana.
Mr. Pence said he is “really bothered” by Mr. Duke’s support.
“Donald Trump made it clear repeatedly this week that not only does he denounce David Duke, but we don’t want the support of people who think like David Duke,” he said.