Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence tried—and failed—to offer some clarity on Donald Trump’s immigration plan on Sunday’s Meet the Press.
“We're going to enforce the laws of this country. We're going to make sure that we essentially end illegal immigration once and for all,” Pence said.
But Pence offered little to no specifics on that plan, or how Trump would pay for a wall. Pence vaguely spoke of a “deportation force” but did not answer if they planned to enforce this plan and how it would be possible to deport 11 million people. At least Pence didn't kick Chuck Todd out of the room, like when Trump had Jorge Ramos removed from a press conference for asking the same question!
Deporting undocumented immigrants was once the terrifying (albeit unrealistic) bedrock of Trump’s campaign, but Trump lately has been (inconsistently) changing his rhetoric. Two weeks ago, his campaign suggested he was seeking “fair immigration reform.” Trump himself suggested a “softening,” and he crowd-sourced the audience on Hannity to figure out what he should do.
He then visited Mexico and met with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. Despite Trump’s frequent rallying cry that Mexico would pay for this giant wall he wants to build, Nieto said they never even discussed it.
Given that Trump’s hardline rhetoric on immigration has been one of the key issues to his supporters, it’s hard to imagine a more radical change.
But throughout these tumultuous two weeks, Pence has tried to insist Trump is not changing his mind, but Pence has offered few specifics when questioned. Pence insisted on Sunday that Trump's plan would "humanely" deal with undocumented workers, but insisted there was no path to amnesty. Sure sounds clear!
Perhaps he should just take a cue from Trump surrogate Chris Christie, who spent last weekend trying to twist words for Trump but then spent this week dancing to Bruce Springsteen.