Indiana Gov. Mike Pence laced into Hillary Clinton and her running mate on Sunday for trying to tie Donald Trump and his supporters to white supremacist groups and brand the Republican presidential nominee as racist.
"Sen. [Tim] Kaine's comments [and] Hillary Clinton's comments on Thursday night sound desperate to me," Pence, the GOP vice presidential nominee, told CNN's Jake Tapper.
"I don't talk a lot about the polls … but I know the polls are all closing up and the fact that you see Democrats and Hillary Clinton and her running mate rolling out the same old playbook of racial divisiveness sounds a little bit to me like an act of desperation," he added.
Kaine and Clinton leveled separate attacks against Trump last Thursday, claiming that he is the candidate of the "alt-right" and highlighting the support he has received from controversial figures like former Klu Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke.
"Ku Klux Klan values, David Duke values, Donald Trump values are not American values, they're not our values," Kaine said at a rally Friday night in Tallahassee, Fla. "We've got to do all we can to fight to push back and win to say that we're still about heading toward that North Star that we set out so long ago."
Pence accused both Clinton and Kaine of putting "some sort of racist intention" on Americans who support him and his running mate, calling such a strategy "deeply offensive."
"It does really bother me," the Indiana governor told Tapper. "Donald Trump made it clear this week that not only does he denounce the support of David Duke, but we don't want the support of people like David Duke. But you see the choreography … Hillary Clinton has a really tough week — 15,000 emails coming out, you have the Clinton Foundation [and] more and more of the cascade of controversies — so all of a sudden, here it comes, they roll out the politics of divisiveness."
Pence added that Clinton's attempt to tie Trump to figures like Duke "is no more relevant than the fact that the father of a man who killed 49 people in Orlando, Fla. was cheering Hillary Clinton at one of her rallies."
"Donald Trump believes we can make America great again for every American regardless race or creed or color, and the only answer Hillary Clinton and her running mate have is more of the same kind of racial divisiveness and racial attacks and I really think it's beneath the dignity of the office," he said.