After Donald Trump lashed out at the family of a deceased Muslim soldier over their speech at the Democratic convention, sparking backlash from the left and from his Republican supporters, vice presidential candidate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence issued a statement Sunday night describing Captain Humayun Khan as “an American hero.”
“Donald Trump and I believe that Captain Humayun Khan is an American hero and his family, like all Gold Star families, should be cherished by every American,” Pence said in the statement sent out by the Trump campaign. “Captain Khan gave his life to defend our country in the global war on terror.”
Though Pence’s statement appears to be an attempt to temper Trump’s comments, the governor did not refrain from making the statement political.
“Due to the disastrous decisions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, a once stable Middle East has now been overrun by ISIS. This must not stand,” he said. “By suspending immigration from countries that have been compromised by terrorism, rebuilding our military, defeating ISIS at its source and projecting strength on the global stage, we will reduce the likelihood that other American families will face the enduring heartbreak of the Khan family.”
“Donald Trump will support our military and their families and we will defeat the enemies of our freedom,” Pence concluded in the statement.
Khizr Khan, alongside his wife Ghazala Khan, honored his son in a speech at the Democratic convention last week, during which he urged Americans to help defeat Trump in the election.
Trump quickly lashed out at Khizr Khan, complaining that he was “viciously attacked” in the speech and suggesting that Ghazala Khan was “wasn’t allowed to have anything to say” during the convention speech.
The Khan family returned Trump’s fire. In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Khizr Khan said that Trump doesn’t have a “moral compass.” And Ghazala Khan penned an op-ed explaining that she was asked to speak at the convention but felt unable because she was overcome with emotion.
Trump faced bipartisan backlash for his comments, including the Clinton campaign.