Hillary Clinton's Response To Donald Trump's Veep Selection? She's Not Letting His 'Extreme' Views Go Overlooked
On Friday, despite initially claiming he'd postpone his vice presidential announcement in view of the deadly truck attack in Nice, France, presumptive Republican nominee Donald J. Trump made it official: Indiana governor Mike Pence is his running mate, meaning his presidential ticket just got a serious shot of religious and culture-war conservatism. Of course, on the Democratic side the VP choice hasn't yet been made, which means presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton gets the first crack at addressing her opponent's pick. So, how did Hillary Clinton respond to Trump's veep selection?
There's no indecision on this one: her campaign went on the attack, and in no uncertain terms. While Pence may have some peculiar conflicts with his new boss ― he's previously supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which no candidate in the race did after Clinton's about-face during the primaries ― he's a pretty typical Republican on business, taxes and economics, and an especially strident one on religious and social issues. It was Pence who signed Indiana's controversial "religious freedom" law earlier this year, which legalized various forms of anti-LGBT discrimination on faith-based grounds.
And, judging by the ad the Clinton campaign released following Pence's selection, those two aspects of his record ― his career-long opposition on virtually every gay rights issue that he's faced, and his ardent opposition to a woman's right to choose ― are going to be central planks in their argument against him.
Here's an excerpt from the statement Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta released about the Pence pick on Friday, as reported by Politico. Needless to say, with all the leaks heading up to the announcement, she and her team probably had plenty of advance warning.
As governor, Pence personally spearheaded an anti-LGBT law that legalized discrimination against the LGBT community, alienated businesses, caused boycotts, lost investments and embarrassed Hoosiers — a law he was later forced to revise. Pence also personally led the fight to defund Planned Parenthood while serving in the House and fought to pass Indiana's 2016 anti-abortion law, with some of the most outrageous restrictions in the country that threatened women’s privacy and limited their choice. And just like Trump, he’s been a long-time opponent of comprehensive immigration reform. ... This new Trump-Pence ticket stands in dramatic contrast to Hillary Clinton’s vision of our future - one where we are stronger together, where unity prevails over division and the economy works for all Americans, not just those at the top.
Pence, 57, is currently in the final year of his first term as Indiana governor, and the legacy he's left in just four years is sure to inflame liberals who're following the presidential election. In addition to the aforementioned opposition to LGBT rights, and as the ad embedded above notes, he's a vociferous opponent of reproductive rights. Earlier this year, Pence signed a bill into law that would've forced women to have funerals for their dead fetuses ― cremation or burial ― regardless of whether they were aborted or miscarried. It also would've banned women from getting abortions because of fetal abnormalities.
The law was ultimately struck down by a federal judge, so the women of Indiana don't have to live under that system. But Pence did sign it, and now that's yet another thorny part of his record that the Clinton campaign will clearly try to exploit in the months to come.