On this weekend’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday,” Republican vice-presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) said his running mate presidential nominee Donald Trump’s tweet to invite Gennifer Flowers to Monday night’s debate was only “to mock” Hillary Clinton for inviting Trump critic Mark Cuban.
Partial transcript as follows:
WALLACE: Let’s start with breaking news on the debate story. After the Clinton camp announced that it was inviting billionaire and Trump critic Mark Cuban to sit in the front row at the debate, Trump invited Gennifer Flowers, who once had an affair with President Clinton, to also sit in the front row. And she has accepted that invitation. Two questions: Why would Trump do that? And will Gennifer Flowers actually be there tomorrow night?
PENCE: Well, look, Hillary Clinton apparently thinks this is an episode of “Shark Tank.” But this is America, Chris. It’s serious business. The American people have an enormously important choice to make. And Donald Trump’s tweet was really mocking the fact that Hillary Clinton was trying to distract attention away from this moment in our national life where the American people are going to see a strong contrast between the broad-shouldered leadership of Donald Trump, who’s prepared to rebuild our military, reduce taxes, repeal Obamacare, stand by our Constitution, and —
WALLACE: If I may, sir, because we’ve got limited time. I want to ask you, will Gennifer Flowers be there?
PENCE: Gennifer Flowers will not be attending the debate tomorrow night. Donald Trump was using the tweet yesterday really to mock an effort by Hillary Clinton and her campaign to really distract attention from what the American people are going to be focused tomorrow night, which is on the issues, on the choice that we face. I mean, Hillary Clinton essentially wants to continue the policies of this administration that have weakened America’s place in the world, stifled America’s economy, walked away from our most cherished constitutional principles. And I just — I can’t wait to see the debate tomorrow night because I just know that Donald Trump, who is a leader who literally embodies the American spirit, is going to be able to present that message and present that choice to the American people.
WALLACE: But, Governor Pence, I’ve got to ask you, because as “The Wall Street Journal” wrote, it shows people top concern about Donald Trump is, one, his temperament, and two, his language, especially towards women. So why would Trump even go down the road of bringing up Gennifer Flowers, who once had an affair with the president.
PENCE: Well, the question really should be why was Hillary Clinton and her campaign, you know, inviting some celebrity basketball team owner to the debate to sit on the front row, someone who has mocked and ridiculed my running mate.
WALLACE: Do you really see those two as equivalent? Do you really see those two as equivalent, Mark Cuban and Gennifer Flowers?
PENCE: Well, look, you know, Mark Cuban has been out there saying some pretty tough stuff about my running mate. Mark Cuban knows as much about national security as I do about professional basketball.
But the truth is that Donald Trump has a unique way of communicating to the American people. And I think his tweet yesterday was all about demonstrating that here we have in Hillary Clinton and her campaign just a couple of days before a debate of enormous importance in the life of our nation — she was trying to distract attention, her campaign trying to play games with front row seats.
Donald Trump’s not about that. He’s going to focus in this debate tomorrow night as he has throughout this election on the issues the American people care about. I think that’s why you see the momentum in this campaign. Here in Iowa last night before an enormous crowd here, I was in North Carolina earlier this week, in Williamsburg, Virginia, in the pouring rain with 650 —
WALLACE: Governor, I don’t want to interrupt, but I want to try to get —
PENCE: And that’s why Donald Trump is on his way to the White House.
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