As President-elect Donald Trump continues to attack the cast of Hamilton on Twitter for the statement they gave to Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Friday night, Pence himself has taken a more mannered approach.
“I did hear what was said from the stage, and I can tell you I wasn’t offended by what was said. I’ll leave to others whether that was the appropriate venue to say it,” Pence said Sunday morning in an appearance on Fox News Sunday, which you can watch in the video below.
On Friday night, actor Brandon Victor Dixon read a prepared statement to Pence from the stage of the hit Broadway musical, asking that the Trump administration govern for all people. (Pence has supported anti-gay policies as an elected official; Trump’s campaign rhetoric included inflammatory statements about Muslim and Mexican immigrants.)
“We have a message for you, sir. We hope that you will hear us out,” Dixon said. “Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you, and we truly thank you for joining us here at Hamilton: An American Musical. We really do. We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us, all of us. We truly thank you for sharing this show — this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men, women, of different colors, creeds, and orientations.”
Reacting to that statement on Sunday, Pence said governing everyone was the intention of Trump’s administration. “I do want to say that the basic element, the center of that message is one I want to address. I know this is a very disappointing time for people who did not see their candidate win in this national election. I know this is a very anxious time for some people. I just want to reassure people that what President-elect Donald Trump said on election night, he absolutely meant from the bottom of his heart. He is preparing to be the president of all of the people of the United States of America,” Pence said.
“To watch him bringing together of diverse views, bringing together people that differ with him strongly, seeing him talk to leaders around the world,” he continued. “I just want to reassure every American that in the days ahead, I’m very confident they’re going to see President-elect Donald Trump be a president for all the people. We embrace that principle and we’re going to work hard to make that principle every day that we serve.”
Pence’s comments stand in stark contrast to Trump, who has blasted Hamilton and its cast all weekend for the statement and claimed Pence was “harassed.”
“Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing. This should not happen!” Trump tweeted Saturday. “The Theater must always be a safe and special place.The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!”
On Sunday morning, Trump continued to attack the show, writing, “The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior.”
The President-elect tweeted and deleted another comment about Hamilton and Dixon, posting on Saturday night that it was “very rude and insulting of Hamilton cast member to treat our great future V.P. Mike Pence to a theater lecture. Couldn’t even memorize lines!”
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