Speaking with conservative radio host, Charlie Sykes, the Republican vice presidential candidate expanded on Trump’s proposal, saying, “The position that Donald Trump is advocating today is that we should temporarily suspend immigration from countries that have been compromised by terrorism, which I think is altogether fitting and appropriate.”
When Sykes asked him to clarify whether the ban would apply to Christians, Jews and others from “compromised” countries, as well as Muslims, Pence suggested that would indeed be the case.
“I think what you heard in the convention speech from Donald Trump, what we talked about out on the stump is that we would temporarily suspend from countries or from territories if you will — the caliphate obviously of ISIS expands beyond one country — but to say that individuals that come from regions or countries that have been compromised by terrorism, we would suspend that immigration,” Pence said. “I think that’s appropriate until we develop a new vetting system.”
Pence called Trump’s proposal “offensive and unconstitutional” at the time, though he now says he’s “very supportive” of temporarily blocking people “from countries where terrorist influence and impact represents a threat to the United States.”
Despite his enthusiasm for the ban now, Pence actually once advocated for showing compassion toward Muslims. In a 2003 speech unearthed Monday by Right Wing Watch, Pence, then a member of the House of Representatives, urged the country to “practice justice and kindness toward every American citizen and visitor of Middle Eastern descent.”
Reading from statements he made just after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Pence said, “The terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are not representative of the overwhelming majority of Arabs or Muslims in the United States.”
“Terror has no regard for religion or ethnicity,” he continued. “If we attack the innocent simply because of their ethnic status, we are no better than the terrorists who attacked us.”
He has since, however, launched an attempt to ban Syrian refugees from entering Indiana ― though a judge blocked the effort, saying it “clearly discriminates against Syrian refugees based on their national origin.”
Pence’s selective memory seems to allow him to preach compassion only when it’s convenient to him.
Listen to a clip of Pence’s interview on The Charlie Sykes Show below: