— -- In his first couple weeks as Donald Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence has found himself walking back Trump’s remarks on Russia, the Khan family and Paul Ryan -- always arguing Trump had been misunderstood. On the stump, Pence often praises Trump for not “tiptoeing around the thousands of rules, the semantic rules of political correctness.” He blames the media for -- purposefully -- misinterpreting Trump.
“Everybody this country knows exactly what Donald Trump means,” Pence told local Denver station KUSA on Thursday.
Still, this week the Indiana governor was back at it -- translating Trump-speak, repeatedly trying to explain his running mate’s baffling remarks.
On Thursday, Trump made waves by insisting Obama is the “founder of ISIS,” even doubling down on the claim when given the opportunity to use alternate wording. (He later tweeted that it was "sarcasm.")
At a rally in La Crosse, Wisconsin, later that day, Pence referred to Trump’s remarks as “another controversy over semantics.”
“It was Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that withdrew American forces precipitously without a Status of Forces agreement and created the very vacuum in which ISIS was able to be spawned and conjured up,” he went on, insinuating Trump had meant the Obama administration had helped create ISIS and not that Obama is its "founder." (Pence dodged when asked by KUSA if he would have used Trump’s wording).
Pence was also forced to explain what Trump meant when he said “Second Amendment people” might be able to stop Clinton appointing judges.
"[What] Donald Trump is clearly saying is that people who cherish that right, who believe that firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens makes our communities more safe, not less safe, should be involved in the political process and let their voice be heard,” Pence told a local Philadelphia station on Tuesday.
Asked if Trump had been inciting the use of violence against Clinton, Pence answered, “Of course not, no. Donald Trump is urging people around this country to act in a manner consistent with their convictions in the course of this election, and people who cherish the Second Amendment have a very clear choice in this election.”
On Thursday, Pence attacked the media for focusing so heavily on what Trump is saying.
“They’re so busy parsing every word Donald Trump said in the last 30 minutes they’ve been ignoring what the Clintons have been doing for the last 30 years,” he said at a rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.