Morning Joe’s panel found itself in awe on Wednesday morning that vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence couldn’t bring himself to call David Duke “deplorable.”
Yes, it’s true: Even though Pence disavowed the former KKK leader’s endorsement of Donald Trump and called him a “bad man,” he still refused to say that Duke was in any way a “deplorable” person.
“How stupid is it, that you can’t say he’s deplorable?” said co-host Joe Scarborough. “You can say he’s deplorable without endorsing Hillary Clinton!”
Co-host Mika Brzezinski said she believed that Pence knows Duke is deplorable, but has been instructed by the Trump campaign to say he isn’t for whatever insane reason.
“Trump must be Putin-like in the office, because seriously, Mike Pence is at a loss with words?” she asked rhetorically.
Politico co-founder Jim VandeHei then chimed in to say that Pence’s reluctance to call Duke deplorable was just another example of how Trump’s embrace of racist rhetoric has infect everyone around him — even people who should know better.
“I bet when he was governor and he was asked this question, or when he was head of the Republican Study Committee, he would have said, ‘Of course he’s deplorable!'” VandeHei said. “It just shows that part of what Trump does is contagious.”
The panel then referenced a New York Times report about Pence getting an earful from Congressional Republicans during a meeting on Tuesday, including from one GOP lawmaker whose young daughter came home and told him, “Daddy, Donald Trump hates women.”
“They are hearing it at home, from their wives, their children, their daughters, their sons, from everybody,” Scarborough said about Republicans dealing with assorted Trump controversies.
Check out the full clip below.
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) September 14, 2016