Mike Pence, running mate to Donald Trump, on Sunday hailed what he said was Trump’s plainspoken way to explain a tweet by the Republican candidate that drew accusations of insensitivity following the shooting death in Chicago of a cousin of basketball star Dwyane Wade.
Donald Trump has a plainspoken way about him, Pence said on CNN’s State of the Union when asked about the tweet. The point Donald Trump was making as that we have a choice to make this fall.
Trump reacted in a tweet Saturday morning to news that a Wade cousin, Nykea Aldridge, 32, had been shot dead while pushing her infant child in a stroller. Dwayne [sic] Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago, Trump tweeted. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!
A second, nearly identical tweet, with the spelling of Wade’s name corrected, was sent soon after. Several hours later, Trump tweeted his condolences.
On Sunday, Chicago police announced that two brothers had been charged with first-degree murder over Aldridge’s death. More details were expected at an afternoon press conference.
It was not the first time that Trump’s tweeted reaction to tragedy has drawn criticism. In the immediate aftermath of the June mass shooting in an Orlando, Florida, nightclub, Trump tweeted about people congratulating him for his foresight.
Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, he wrote. I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!
On Sunday, Pence blamed liberal policies that apparently have been content with unsafe streets for violence in Chicago, and asserted that Trump would repair the situation without indicating how.
Pence was echoed by Republican national committee chair Reince Priebus, who said that Trump’s Wade tweet was a result of the candidate’s frustration with the inner city quandary.
It’s frustrating to see that the Democrats go into these cities, I think take advantage of this vote, and provide very little leadership in return, Priebus told ABC News.
In a string of recent speeches to mostly white audiences, Trump has focused on appealing for African American votes with a law and order message.
Speaking on Fox News Sunday, new Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said that though the candidate had not yet visited or staged events in cities like Chicago to which he is now appealing, he would do so soon.
Asked by host Chris Wallace if it was right for Trump to have made a political response to a personal tragedy, Conway said she was pleased that his next tweet expressed his condolences to the Wade family, about the death of his cousin.
Pence rejected a suggestion by CNN host Jake Tapper that lax gun safety laws in his own state, Indiana, may be stoking violence in Chicago. A study by The Trace gun tracking project of firearms recovered in Chicago from 2010 to 2014 found that most out-of-state guns originated in Indiana, which neighbors Illinois to the east.
Firearms within the hands of law-abiding citizens increase public safety, Pence said.
Pence also said Trump’s message about the death of Aldridge may have been crimped by the confines of Twitter.
Donald Trump is laying out in that tweet, in short form, 140 characters, that we have a choice to make in this country, he said.
Trump said at a rally in Iowa Saturday that gun violence breaks all of our hearts. It’s horrible, it’s horrible, and it’s only getting worse.
On Saturday, Wade did not respond directly to Trump. Instead, among other messages he tweeted: The city of Chicago is hurting. We need more help& more hands on deck. Not for me and my family but for the future of our world. The YOUTH!
News Source TheGuardianNews