Indiana governor Mike Pence faced a tough question at a town hall in Nevada on Monday over the controversy regarding the family of Capt. Humayun Khan: “You have a son in the military, how do you tolerate his disrespect?” a woman asked him.
Pence’s response was gracious, measured, and strategic. He began by defending the woman who asked the question; lauded her son’s service — and Khan’s; avoided mentioning the Khan family; and pivoted to Donald Trump’s policies on the military.
It shows why Donald Trump was right to choose him as his running mate. In a crisis, Pence not only brought balance to a ticket noted for rhetorical bombast; he brought confidence as well.
As noted by John Sexton at HotAir:
This is how it’s done. Pence took a tough question that riled up the room and handled it well from beginning to end. Let’s consider the list of things he did right here:
- He respected the woman’s right to free speech.
- He reminded the audience that that’s what America sounds like, i.e. disagreement shouldn’t get shouted down in America.
- He praised the woman’s son for his service and praised the family.
- He acknowledged the controversy.
- He praised Captain Khan as a hero.
- He said we honor his family as we do all gold star families.
- He demonstrated that he sincerely respected Captain Khan’s service by recounting his story for the audience.
- He called Khan a great leader and an American hero.
- He said he cherished Khan’s gold star family.
- And then, having said all that, he actually answered the woman’s pointed question about how he can still respect Donald Trump.
To that, one can add: he gave personal testimony about Trump’s feelings toward the military and veterans and their families.
The choice of running mate is the first real governing decision the candidates make. By that standard, Trump is far ahead.
Watch the video below.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.