Vice President Pence said he thinks the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement are pushing what he called a “political agenda of the radical left” when pressed during an appearance on CBS News about why he still refuses to utter the phrase “Black lives matter.”
Reporter John Dickerson asked Pence on Sunday why he refused to say the phrase as demonstrators have urged him to do.
“All my life, I’ve been inspired by the example of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. When I was in Congress, I traveled to his home church in Montgomery with Congressman John Lewis. I walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday,” Pence started to say in response. “I cherish the progress that we have made toward a more perfect union for African Americans throughout our history.”
“And I’ve aspired throughout my career to be a part of that ongoing work. It’s really a heart issue for me,” he continued. “And as a pro-life American, I also believe that all life matters, born and unborn. But what I see in the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement is a political agenda of the radical left that would defund the police.”
“Leave that out of it. Just the phrase,” Dickerson cut in.
“That would tear down monuments, that would press a radical left agenda and support calls for the kind of violence that has beset the very communities that they say that they’re advocating for,” Pence continued.
“So you won’t say Black lives matter?” Dickerson went on to ask Pence.
“John, I really believe that all lives matter. And that’s where the heart of the American people lies,” Pence responded.
Pence’s interview on Sunday comes about a week after he refused to say the phrase during an interview with Philadelphia outlet 6ABC Action News.
He instead said that “all lives matter,” a phrase that has been used, in many cases by non-Black people, in response to “Black lives matter.”