Pence says Trump bears no responsibility for inspiring alleged suspect

Vice President Pence said the president is not responsible for inspiring alleged mail bomber Cesar Sayoc.
5:43 | 10/27/18

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Transcript for Pence says Trump bears no responsibility for inspiring alleged suspect
Pierre, thank you. President trump addressing the arrest of the bomb suspect at a rally overnight in north Carolina calling for unity moments before once again slamming the media. ABC's white house correspondent Tara Palmeri is in St. Louis where she has reaction from the vice president. Tara, good morning. Reporter: Good morning, whit. That's right. I spoke to the vice president about whether the president's own words are to blame for the bomb scare. Overnight at a rally in north Carolina, the president pointing fingers at the media. The media has a major role to play, whether they want to or not. Reporter: Saying they're to blame for the toxic political dialogue in this country. We have seen an effort by the media in recent hours to use the sinister actions of one individual to score political points against me and the public Republican party. Reporter: Earlier in the day the president fielding questions about whether his rhetoric inspired suspected bomber Cesar sayoc to send explosives to some of the president's most critical opponents. -- To blame at all for what happened, Mr. President? There's no blame. Reporter: We caught up with vice president Mike pence on the campaign trail in New Mexico where he says the president should not be blamed. Does the president bear some responsibility for this? No, not at all, and neither did Bernie Sanders bear any responsibility when the Illinois man opened fire at a Republican baseball practice. Reporter: But then just last week the president said it was okay for a candidate to body slam a reporter. He's called the press the enemy of the people. How is this not related? It seems that this man is actually following the president's rhetoric. Well, Tara, clearly the president was joking in Montana. And I think the president and I both are frustrated from time to time with the fact that many in the media focus on the negative. Reporter: Earlier Friday the president suggesting the tweet that bomb scares were affecting the midterm elections tweeting, Republicans are doing so well in early voting and at the polls, and now this bomb stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows. News not talking politics. Did he not think they were real bombs this morning? Well, no, we understand that this was either a threat of violence or an act of violence, and the facts will speak for themselves as more information comes together. Reporter: The president has not mentioned the names of the targets since the bomb scare until last night at a rally in North Carolina, he said the name Maxine waters. But he stopped short of attacking her saying he wanted to be nice. We'll see if he holds back again tonight, Dan. Tara Palmeri, thank you very much. Let's bring in ABC news chief political analyst Matthew dowd. Matt, good morning to you. You just heard the president and the vice president there arguing Mr. Trump does not bear any responsibility for creating an atmosphere that inspired this alleged bomber. What is your take on that? Well, first, there's two things is, does the president bear responsibility, direct responsibility for what this crazy person did, no. Does he bear responsibility for creating a political environment that causes people to get ramped up and open up a situation where the rhetoric is fed, yeah. I think the president should do a series of self-reflection and ask himself why in 2015 did this guy become politically radicalized, and what led him to there? It would be great if he could do that, along with some other members of the right-wing media that have ramped up this rhetoric in such a way that people seem to be following it. You know, something you're hearing now from the right, and it was an argument that the vice president made quite pointedly with Tara Palmeri there. Last year a supporter of Bernie Sanders shot up a group of Republicans members of congress as they were practicing for a congressional baseball game. Is that not a fair comparison? Well, what happened to congressman Scalise and other members of congress is abhorrent but I don't think there's -- this is not a both sides moment. This is not a both sides moment. I think that there's no comparison between the two. Bernie Sanders never said let's target congressman Scalise or let's target somebody with hate speech. Bernie Sanders never called the press the enemy of the people. Bernie Sanders never celebrated someone committing physical violence against a reporter so there's no comparison between these two instances. So we're ten days out from the midterms now. A lot of Americans look at what's happening in our politics and no matter what their political affiliation is, they worry about the toxicity. What do you think we can do as individuals to bring down the temperature? You know, a week ago we in women lerly showed the mister Rogers movie "Won't you be my neighbor" as an emphasis on kindness. I think all of us can do better in our daily interactions and how we relate to each other, especially on social media. It's tone down the rhetoric. Get better at this and then block people that push hate speech and push this kind of political rhetoric that gets everybody caffeinated and ramped up, and the other thing I think people can do is pick people in this election as they early vote and as they vote on election day who represent their values of kindness and compassion and gentleness. That is the best thing we can do. Examine our own behavior and then pick leaders who represent what we want the best of us to be. Matthew dowd weighing in with some good advice on a Saturday morning from Wimberley, Texas. We always appreciate your 00 analysis, Matt. Thank you very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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