Pence Says Claim That Dems Are Politicizing Coronavirus Is ‘Justified’

US President Donald Trump (R) listens as US Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 outbreak at the White House on February 26, 2020. - US President Donald Trump on Wednesday defende... US President Donald Trump (R) listens as US Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 outbreak at the White House on February 26, 2020. - US President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his administration's response to the novel coronavirus, lashing the media for spreading panic as he conducts an evening news conference on the epidemic. (Photo by Eric BARADAT / AFP) (Photo by ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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March 1, 2020 10:57 a.m.
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Vice President Mike Pence re-upped the notion shared by both the Trump administration and its allies that Democrats are weaponizing coronavirus fears to make the President look bad during Sunday morning TV news appearances.

On CNN Sunday morning, Pence defended Donald Trump Jr.’s remark that Democrats want Americans to die from coronavirus in an effort to slam the President.

“But responding to the kind of things that have been hurled is understandable,” Pence said. “But what the President’s charged us to do — in my conversation with Speaker Pelosi, with Senator Schumer, my conversations with Republican and Democratic governors — is to set the politics aside on this and to work the problem.”

Watch Pence’s remarks on CNN below:

When pressed by MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Sunday morning about how he’s gone out of his way to keep coronavirus from getting politicized, Pence was asked about what facts there are supporting the right-wing notion that Democrats are trying to bring down Trump with fears surrounding the outbreak.

“Well, I will tell you, there’s been a lot of irresponsible rhetoric among Democrats and commentators on the left,” Pence said.

When asked to name some names, Pence mentioned a New York Times column by a “prominent liberal journalist” before Todd pushed back and said “this doesn’t help.”

“This is decisive action to protect the American people,” Pence said. “And when you see voices on our side pushing back on outrageous and irresponsible rhetoric on the other side, I think that’s important … I never begrudge people responding to unwarranted and unjustified attacks.”

Todd then asked if there has been irresponsible voices on his side such as when Rush Limbaugh said that the coronavirus wasn’t anything to worry about, prompting Pence to reply that “viewers know the kind of rhetoric that has emerged quickly.”

“Washington D.C. has just become reflexively critical of this president at every turn, and we saw some of that early,” Pence said.

Asked if attacking Democrats is the way to make it clear that “we’re all in this together” like the President supposedly told him to do as the leader of the administration’s coronavirus task force, Pence replied that he reached out to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) before arguing that “if this was almost any other issue other than the health and wellbeing of the American people, I think our nation would be more patient for it.”

Watch Pence’s remarks on MSNBC below:

Asked by Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo about Trump’s critics who have “revved up the politics once again” on coronavirus, citing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Pence touted how he’s in charge of the administration’s coronavirus task force.

“I will tell you, the job the President has given me to bring this team together, to drive forward to his objective to bring a whole of government response, the full resources of the federal government to bear on the coronavirus in this country is going to be my singular focus,” Pence said.

Watch Pence’s remarks on Fox News below:

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