This Mike Pence Tweet About The Muslim Ban Is Certainly Ironic Now, Isn't It?
During Tuesday's vice presidential debate, candidates Tim Kaine and Mike Pence clashed over a discussion of Donald Trump's would-be policies regarding Muslim immigrants to the United States. Democratic candidate Tim Kaine slammed Trump's plan to ban all Muslim immigrants from the United States. In response, Trump running mate Mike Pence appeared to deny that such a ban was even part of Trump's policies.
Immigration has certainly been one of the most contentious issues of this election season. Trump has insisted that the United States needs to deport all illegal immigrants, and furthermore that a border wall on America's southern border would be essential to protection from any illegal immigrants, whom he has also called "criminals" and "rapists." Trump has also argued that immigration from countries where ISIL has flourished should be eliminated or capped. Trying to deny that Trump wants to bar Muslim people from immigration into the United States, then, would be an extremely odd position to take. Anyone curious about Trump's stated policies regarding Muslim immigration need only review Trump's own campaign website, which unequivocally states:
Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.
Furthermore, Pence himself acknowledged that Trump was calling to ban Muslims from entering the country in a tweet he posted last December condemning the proposal, calling it "offensive and unconstitutional."
Eyebrows were raised across the country when Pence was named Trump's VP, considering he had previously been outspoken in opposing one of Trump's flagship policies. Pence had previously endorsed Trump's Republican primary opponent Ted Cruz and only switched his endorsement after Trump was the only remaining Republican.
Pence spoke at length on Tuesday night about his own religious experiences, even quoting from the Bible to defend his opposition to abortion. Pence was also widely criticized as governor of Indiana for a so-called "religious freedom" bill that would have permitted discrimination against LGBTQ Americans. Along with his history of Christian-right politics, Pence's December 2015 comments about Trump's proposed Muslim ban seem coherent.
If religion and "religious freedom" are truly as important to Mike Pence as he implied last December, it is perhaps surprising that he so readily accepted Trump's offer to be his vice presidential nominee.