AIR FORCE TWO — Vice President Mike Pence told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on Friday that Democrats are not interested in bipartisan police reform because they are too focused on cutting funding for law enforcement and “blaming the police.”
The vice president spoke to Breitbart News as he traveled to Duluth, Minnesota, and Traverse City, Michigan, for campaign-related events.
During his campaign event in Minnesota, Pence condemned the violence and looting that has arisen in recent months in several major cities, including Minneapolis.
He said in Duluth, Minnesota, that “there’s also no excuse for the rioting and looting and violence that has followed.”
Pence said during the campaign stop in Minnesota that Democrats, including Joe Biden, did not condemn the violence and looting during the Democrats’ national convention:
President Trump and I will always support the right of Americans to peaceful protest. It’s one of our God-given liberties, but rioting and looting is not peaceful protest. Tearing down statues is not free speech. Perpetrating violence against innocent civilians and law enforcement is not peaceful. Those who engage in these actions will be held to the fullest account of the law.
You know, at the Democratic Convention last week, Joe Biden didn’t say one word about the violence and chaos engulfing cities across this country. So let me be clear, whether in Kenosha, Portland, or Minneapolis, the violence must stop.
“Too many American heroes have died defending our freedom to see Americans striking down Americans. We will have law and order on our streets for every American of every race and creed and color,” Pence added in Minnesota.
In his interview with Breitbart News, Pence blasted the media and Democrats for portraying issues surrounding police misconduct and supporting law enforcement as an “either-or” option. He charged that Republicans and the Trump-Pence administration have and will continue to support law enforcement while addressing issues surrounding alleged police misconduct.
“It really seems like the way the media and the Democrats have been framing this and the way they’ve been conducting themselves is that you’re either for the African American community, all of the social justice movements, or you’re for the police,” Pence told Breitbart News. “It’s an either-or instead of saying we can deal with issues in law enforcement.”
During his speech in Traverse City, Michigan, Pence charged that his administration would never push to defund American law enforcement, unlike Biden.
“But under President Donald Trump, I promise you: We will always stand with the men and women who serve on the Thin Blue Line of law enforcement. We’re not going to defund the police — not now, not ever,” Pence said in Michigan.
“This administration has already provided support for law enforcement — 4,000 new police officers on the street. And we’ve worked to provide new resources for law enforcement to improve public safety and training,” the vice president noted.
Pence told Breitbart News that Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) proposed legislation that would address issues surrounding alleged police misconduct, but Democrats killed the legislation because they are more focused on defunding the police.
“The president comes right out of the gate, signs an executive order, sends new resources, the use of force standards, more accountability for deescalation training, and Tim Scott comes out with a bill that says, ‘Let’s give more resources for law enforcement,’ but the Democrats kill all of it because they’re all about cutting funding for the police and blaming the police,” Pence told Breitbart News.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.