Pence to Kaine at VP debate: ‘You whipped out that Mexican thing again’

FARMVILLE, Va. — Near the end of Tuesday’s vice presidential debate, Mike Pence had had enough of Tim Kaine’s attacks on Donald Trump’s controversial comments about Mexican immigrants.

“When Donald Trump says women should be punished, or Mexicans are rapists and criminals, or John McCain isn’t a war hero, he is showing who he is,” Kaine said.

“Senator, you whipped out that Mexican thing again,” Pence said.

“There was clearly an audible gasp in the room when it happened,” Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., the son of Mexican and Colombian immigrants, told Yahoo News in the spin room after the debate. “We’re not a ‘thing’ — we’re U.S. citizens.”

“You would never say ‘the black thing’ or ‘the Jewish thing’ but you somehow feel free to say that Mexican thing — that shows what your priorities would be for the Latino community,” he said.

Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, spinning for Trump just a few paces away, adamantly disagreed that the comment was insulting to Mexicans.

“I think there are people who make a living out of taking offense, and most of them are trying to live in a color-conscious society,” Hensarling told Yahoo News. “I think ultimately what Trump and Pence want to do is move us toward Martin Luther King’s view of having a color-blind society.”

Twitter users certainly took notice.

 

 

It seems someone supporting Hillary Clinton’s campaign was listening, too: The website domain ThatMexicanThing.com — which was purchased at 10:45 p.m. ET — redirects to the HillaryClinton.com. There is no evidence Clinton’s own team was behind the buy.

Kaine asked Pence if he could defend Trump’s comments, and the Indiana governor offered a not-so-full-throated explanation of his running mate’s characterization.

“There are criminal aliens in this country, Tim, who have come into this country illegally, who are perpetrating violence,” Pence replied. “He also said, ‘And many of them are good people.’ You keep leaving that out of your quote.”

This is what Trump actually said during the June 16, 2015, speech announcing his presidential candidacy: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

 

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