Vice President Mike Pence has called on Americans to pray and to focus on eradicating racist groups from the public sphere in some powerful remarks delivered during a joint press conference with the Columbian President Juan Manuel Santos. Pence also criticized the media for focussing so strongly on President Trump’s words, instead of seeking to disavow the words of those hate groups who started the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“What happened there is in no way a reflection of the good and decent people of Charlottesville or of America,” Pence declared.
“Yesterday President Trump clearly and unambiguously condemned the bigotry, violence and hatred which took place on the streets of Charlottesville.”
“Our hearts go out to the victims of violence that ensued. The family of the young woman who lost her life. The families of the two police officers that fell in the line of duty and all of those that were injured.”
“We have no tolerance for hate and violence, white supremacists, neo-nazis or the KKK. These dangerous fringe groups have no place in American public life and in the American debate and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms.”
“The President also made clear that behavior by others of different militant perspectives are also unacceptable in our political debate and discourse,” Pence continued.
“The President’s call for unity was from the heart,” Pence declared.
“I take issue that the national media spent more time criticizing the president’s words than they did criticizing those who perpetrated the violence to begin with.”
“We should be putting the attention where it belongs. These extremist groups need to be pushed out of the public debate entirely, and discredit for the hate groups and dangerous fringe groups that they are.”
Then, Pence, who is a devout Christian, made a remarkable request of the American people.
“In the aftermath of yesterday’s violence, and on this Sunday here in Columbia I think it’s a good time to pray,” Pence said.
“To pray for those who lost their lives, to pray for their families, to pray for the injured. Also to pray for greater unity in America, that I believe will come.”