Pence once called Trump’s Muslim ban ‘unconstitutional"
Pence once called Trump’s Muslim ban ‘unconstitutional.’ He now applauds the ban on refugees.
Vice President Pence and Defense Secretary James Mattis stood directly behind their boss Friday, one man on each side, as President Trump announced an order that will ban half the world's Shiite Muslims from entering the country for months.
“I'm establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States,” Trump said from his podium at the Pentagon. “We don't want 'em here.”
Pence nodded along to the words. It was just over a year earlier when he had called Trump's proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States “offensive and unconstitutional.” That was before Trump picked him as his running mate and won the election.
Trump sat down after his speech, signed the executive order and handed it to Mattis — a retired general who six months earlier had said the mere suggestion of a ban on Muslims caused “great damage” to world order.
Now, Mattis was defense secretary. He took the order and grinned while Pence started clapping.
But when Trump upped the ante in December — calling for a border ban on all Muslims “until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on” — Pence joined the immediate Republican backlash.
Trump's words may have been "offensive" to Pence, but they were popular with others. After winning contest after contest in the spring primaries and turning his sights on the general election, Trump blasted Democrat Hillary Clinton for border policies that would “let the Muslims flow in.”