Vice President Mike Pence defended his refusal to say “black lives matter” on Sunday during an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” instead saying “all lives matter.”
Host John Dickerson told Pence that the phrase is something “protesters would like to hear” from leaders. “You won’t say that. Why?” he asked.
“All my life, I’ve been inspired by the example of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. When I was in Congress, I traveled to his home church in Montgomery with Congressman John Lewis. I walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday,” Pence acknowledged “I cherish the progress that we have made toward a more perfect union for African Americans throughout our history.”
Pence described the current political platform of the Black Lives Matter movement as a “really a hard issue for me.”
“And as a pro-life American, I also believe that all life matters, born and unborn,” he said. “But what I see in the leaders of the black lives matter movement is a political agenda of the radical left that would defund the police …”
“Leave that out of it. Just the phrase …” Dickerson pushed, trying to get Pence to say the words.
“That would tear down monuments, that would press a radical left agenda and support calls for the kind of violence that has beset the very communities that they say that they’re advocating for,” Pence continued.
“But, sir …” Dickerson interrupted.
“I’ve literally met with African American leaders around this country, and in the national capital area, who made it clear to us they want law and order, they want peace in our streets,” Pence said.
“So you won’t say black lives matter?” Dickerson asked.
“John, I really believe that all lives matter, and that’s where the heart of the American people lies, Pence responded.”