For months the Hillary Clinton campaign has alleged that Donald Trump would govern exactly as he campaigned, and now, thanks to his pick of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) as his running mate, her allies say they have a legislative record on which to build that case.
“It seems to me that his choice of former Congressman Pence to be his running mate is a pretty doubling-down on the divisive rhetoric that he has been stressing throughout the campaign,” Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-SC) said on a press call with reporters Friday afternoon. Clyburn and Pence served together when Pence was in the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2011.
“His legislative record puts Trump’s rhetoric on record and I do believe it’s the kind of record that we are going to have to put before the American people,” Cyburn said, calling the choice the “first indication of any substance to what Mr. Trump has been saying throughout his campaign.”
Chad Griffin, the president of the LGBT rights group the Human Rights Campaign, was a little more direct.
“The Trump-Pence ticket is the gravest threat the LGBTQ community has ever faced in a presidential election,” Griffin said on the call.
The last time Pence — governor of Indiana since 2013 — was in the national spotlight in a major way, it was for the so-called “religious freedom” law he signed in 2015 that human rights activists said would allow businesses to discriminate against gay people. Facing enormous pressure, particularly from the business community, Pence backed down from supporting the law and asked his legislature to fix it..
But before that, while in Congress, Pence opposed anti-discrimination legislation that protected LGBT workers, the bill permitting gays to serve openly in the military and a LGBT-inclusive hate crime law.
He has also backed measures to defund Planned Parenthood, while signing as governor anti-abortion legislation that inspired the “Periods For Pence” campaign, in which women call his office to talk about their periods.
“This is a man who has in fact the track record of putting Donald Trump’s most unpopular promises into actual practice,” Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said on Friday’s call, adding that the slogan for the Trump-Pence 2016 ticket should be “Make Misogyny Great Again.”
Martin Garcia, director of campaigns for Latino Victory Fund, meanwhile, spotlighted Pence’s congressional opposition to a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and to his support of limiting birthright citizenship.
“If the Latino community sleeps through this election, we are going to wake up to a nightmare,” Garcia said on the call.