Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence abstained from calling former Klu Klux Klan head David Duke "deplorable" on Monday night, instead choosing to attack Hillary Clinton for her choice of words in describing some of Donald Trump's supporters.
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Speaking with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Pence said that he was "not in the name-calling business."
“I’m not really sure why the media keeps dropping David Duke’s name,” Politico quoted Pence as saying. “Donald Trump has denounced David Duke repeatedly, we don’t want his support and we don’t want the support of people who think like him."
When asked whether he would call Duke "deplorable," Pence answered “No, I’m not in the name-calling business Wolf. You know me better than that,” going on to chastise the Democratic presidential candidate's calling half of Trump's followers a "basket of deplorables" last week. “What Hillary Clinton did Friday night is shocking,” Politico quoted him as saying.
Speaking at a New York fundraiser, Clinton had said that "to just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the 'basket of deplorables.'"
"Unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up," she added.
Clinton later apologized for being "grossly generalistic."
Duke has voiced his support for Trump throughout the latter's campaign. In the affair surrounding a Trump campaign tweet depicting Clinton against a background of dollar bills and with a Star of David reading "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!", Duke retweeted "Absolutely true." He went on to declare Clinton's top donors "all Zio-Tribalists."