Pence slams Clinton’s ‘playbook of divisiveness’ – Politico

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“It’s time we had a president who will unite these United States of America and I promise you Donald Trump and I will fight every day to make America great again for every American,” Pence said. | AP Photo

PURCELLVILLE, Va. — Mike Pence slammed Hillary Clinton’s denouncement of Donald Trump’s “alt-right” supporters, calling it an attack on “millions of hard working Americans who long for a better future in this country” at a rally here Saturday.

It was Pence’s first sustained response to the Democratic nominee’s Reno speech attacking his Republican running mate, as the presidential race saw new levels of insult-slinging in recent days.

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“It’s really remarkable isn’t it? After Donald Trump spent the last two weeks reaching out to minorities across this country and making sure that everyone in America understands that we can make America great again for every American regardless of race and creed and color. Now the Democrats and Hillary Clinton have rolled out the old playbook of divisiveness,” Pence said. “The American people are tired of the politics of division. And we’re tired of politicians who divide our country to unite their support. It’s time we had a president who will unite these United States of America and I promise you Donald Trump and I will fight every day to make America great again for every American.”

Trump recently, and repeatedly, declared Clinton “a bigot.” Clinton said in her Thursday speech that Trump built his campaign on “prejudice and paranoia.” Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine accused Trump of pushing KKK “values,” after a Clinton campaign ad linked Trump to white supremacists.

For much of the week, Pence avoided the heated debates over race and politics.

“We do well to remember a simple truth, one that I was raised on, and that is that there will always be more in America that unites us than will ever divide us,” Pence said Saturday, deploying a typical stump speech line that increasingly feels divorced from the daily realities of this presidential campaign.

The comments came on the same day that Trump found himself courting controversy again after tweeting Saturday morning: “Dwayne Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!” Within a few hours he deleted the tweet, only to send it out again with the correct spelling of the basketball star’s first name: Dwyane. He later tweeted his condolences.

Trump’s pitch to African-American voters has been defined by the line “What do you have to lose?” which Trump routinely asks after accusing Democratic politicians of inflicting a litany of horrors on African-Americans.

Pence stopped by a Virginia Republicans central committee meeting in Richmond earlier Saturday. He ignored a reporter’s shouted question if he agrees that Clinton is a “bigot.” In a brief address at the meeting, he touched on race only briefly, saying that Trump will “reach out to make America great again for every American regardless of race and creed and color.”

At the afternoon rally, Pence mostly stuck to his usual broadsides against Clinton, accusing her of corrupt practices at the State Department and of leaving Americans in harm’s way in Benghazi, Libya. He also included a line he has begun deploying in recent days, attacking Clinton for her spending initiatives and wealthy backers.

“When she was asked the other day how she was going to pay for all those big government programs she actually said, and I’ll quote, ‘I’ll tell you how we’re going to pay for them, we’re going where the money is, we’re going after the super wealthy, we’re going after corporations, we’re going after Wall Street,’” Pence said. “Well, judging from her speaking fees and the Clinton Foundation, she certainly knows where to find them.”

“We’re going to lower taxes across the board for every American,” Pence said, before deploying some Trump-style bravado. “A lot of economists are projecting great things about this agenda.”

The event wrapped up a low-key week of campaigning for Pence, during which he mostly toured factories and conducted employee town halls, before canceling planned events Thursday to tour storm damage in his home state of Indiana. He will hit the trail again Monday with events in Georgia — a long-time lock for Republicans that has become competitive this year, largely on Trump’s weakness among minority voters and suburban women.

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