Hillary Clinton did not wait long to launch an attack on Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick.
About 15 minutes after Trump's Friday announcement that Pence would be his running mate, Clinton’s campaign released a video and a statement blasting the Indiana governor as "the most extreme VP pick in a generation."
"Trump has doubled down on some of his most disturbing beliefs by choosing an incredibly divisive and unpopular running mate known for supporting discriminatory politics and failed economic policies that favor millionaires and corporations over working families," said John Podesta, a Clinton’s spokesperson, in an email.
In some ways, Pence was a surprisingly conventional, establishment-friendly choice. He has criticized Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric. And he has supported free trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a position that puts him at odds with Trump’s protectionist views on trade.
But the Clinton campaign video goes after Pence for his role in Indiana’s controversial religious freedom law, which opponents said would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ people. It also portrays him as an extremist on abortion rights who is eager to shutter Planned Parenthood clinics and reverse the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling.
"I long for the day that Roe v. Wade is sent to the ash heap of history," Pence says in the ad.
Pence’s selection looks to some observers like a sign that Trump is trying to rebrand himself as a conventional conservative Republican. But Clinton wants to portray Pence’s conservative orthodoxy on abortion as itself a form of extremism.
Below is Clinton’s statement in full.
Pence is the most extreme pick in a generation and was one of the earliest advocates for the Tea Party. He was the first of GOP leadership to join Michele Bachmann’s Tea Party Caucus. 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.
Pence has been no economic leader or friend to the American worker. In fact, he wants to get rid of the very wages that make the middle class possible. Pence opposes raising the federal minimum wage and signed a law allowing skilled workers in Indiana to be paid less. Under his failed leadership, the incomes of Hoosiers have stalled at 38th in the nation.
Voters deserve better than more of their divisive policies and "me-first" economic proposals. 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.