On CNN Monday morning, GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence said he and Donald Trump have no interest in ‘dredging up’ Bill Clinton’s former infidelities after he was asked about audio released on Friday that captured Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women.
So then, naturally, he dredged it up.
“I think the contrast between [Trump’s comments] and what the Clinton’s were involved in 20 years ago, the four women that were present last night was pretty dramatic for most Americans,” Pence told host Alisyn Camerota. “I remember those days. I remember the extraordinary avalanche of scandals that came out of president Bill Clinton’s despicable behavior.”
“The American people need to know the deeds of not only president Clinton but the efforts by Hillary Clinton to destroy the reputations of women who made accusations against her husband,” he added.
Pence’s comments — which come at a crucial time for the GOP presidential candidate’s already shaky relationship with female voters — indicate that the vice presidential nominee is in line with the Trump campaign’s efforts to aggressively double-down on Bill Clinton’s past, despite claims to the contrary.
On Friday, the Washington Post released a bombshell video that caught the Republican nominee bragging about sexually assaulting women, leading an unprecedented number of prominent GOP leaders to withdraw their support for the candidate.
In response, the Trump campaign is stirring up controversy over Bill Clinton’s sex scandals, even though Clinton is not running for president himself.
An hour before last night’s debate, Trump held a Facebook live event — which he called his “debate preparations” — with four women who have accused Clinton of sexual abuse: Juanita Broaddrick, Kathy Shelton, Paula Jones, and Kathleen Willey.
The campaign then attempted to seat the four women in the Trump family’s box at the presidential debate, reportedly hoping they would have a televised confrontation with Bill Clinton. Debate officials intervened and the women ending up sitting with the rest of the audience.
Moreover, the presidential hopeful is encouraging his surrogates to change the subject away from his own behavior toward women to harp on Bill Clinton’s marital scandals, according to campaign talking points obtained by CNN. “Hillary Clinton bullied and smeared women like Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinsky,” one reads. “Mr. Trump has never treated women the way Hillary Clinton and her husband did when they actively worked to destroy Bill Clinton’s accusers,” another states.
Pence — who is brushing aside rumors that he considered dropping off the presidential ticket as Trump’s campaign became mired in controversy this weekend — was less definitive about the allegations on his side of the aisle, however.
“If there was evidence this was more than just locker room talk, then would you drop off the ticket?” Camerota asked.
“Alisyn, he said very clearly last night that was just talk and no action,” Pence replied.