Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was put on the hot seat by Fox News host Chris Wallace Sunday, even though the interview was conducted on Pence’s home turf — the governor’s mansion.
The Republican vice presidential nominee was asked at about the 2:39 mark whether Donald Trump was serious or sarcastic when he remarked that President Obama and Hillary Clinton co-founded the Islamic State through their actions.
Clip via Fox News Channel
“He was being very serious,” Pence said. “And he was making a point that needs to be made, that there is no question that the failed policies of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in the wider Middle East, created a vacuum within Iraq in which ISIS was able to arise.”
He added that Trump “was making a very serious point” when Wallace asked why the GOP presidential nominee later claimed he was being sarcastic.
“There was a time when the Democratic president knew where the buck stopped in the White House,” Pence told Wallace. “And the responsibility for the failed policies in the Middle East that created the environment where ISIS developed belongs to President Barack Obama and [former] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”
But the “Fox News Sunday” host wasn’t satisfied, and continued to hammer.
Wallace acknowledged that although the governor’s points were legitimate, it wasn’t “what Trump said. He said Obama and Clinton were the most valuable players of ISIS.”
Wallace reiterated that his ISIS remark was intended as sarcasm, much like his invitation to Russia to release Clinton’s emails were intended as sarcasm.
“Isn’t the ‘sarcastic excuse’ getting a bit old?” Wallace asked.
Pence disagreed, suggesting that Trump, unlike most politicians, tends to speak plainly. “More importantly, [the American people] are going to have a president who tells them exactly what’s on his mind,” he said.
Pence also defended Trump after some 50 former Republican national security officials denounced him as being too reckless, prompting Wallace to ask: “Are you the cleanup crew?”
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