U.S.

Mike Pence Praises Trump, Says It’s Never a Mistake to ‘Stand Up for What You Believe in,’ Despite Walking Out of NFL Game Over Anthem Protests

Vice President Mike Pence defended President Donald Trump's fight over his long-promised border wall by saying Trump was simply standing up for his beliefs. 

CBS's Jeff Glor asked Pence if he thought the government shutdown—sparked by Trump's demand for funding for a border wall—was a mistake. 

"I never think it's a mistake...to stand up for what you believe in. What the American people admire most about this president is he says what he means and he means what he says in a very real sense," Pence said. "He said there's a crisis at our southern border. He said he was determined to get the funding to build a wall and secure our border. And he was willing to take a stand to accomplish that." 

But Pence has previously acted against people standing up for their beliefs, even if that "standing up" meant kneeling. 

As Vox's Aaron Rupar tweeted: "Pence walked out of a NFL game because players protested racism."

Pence did, indeed, travel to an Indianapolis Colts NFL game in 2017, seemingly with the intention of walking out when players protested against police brutality and racism by kneeling during the national anthem. NBC News' Peter Alexander reported at the time that journalists were warned of the VP's possible early departure during the October game. Sure enough, after posting an old photo of himself in Colts gear, Pence left after the national anthem. 

In a series of tweets, Pence posted: 

"I left today's Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem. At a time when so many Americans are inspiring our nation with their courage, resolve, and resilience now, more than ever, we should rally around our Flag and everything that unites us. While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I don't think it's too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National Anthem. I stand with [President] Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem."

Later, Trump tweeted that he had instructed Pence to ditch the game if players kneeled. "I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen," he tweeted.

mike pence nfl trump standing up beliefs Vice President Mike Pence on February 1, in Doral, Florida. Pence praised President Donald Trump's push for a border wall, saying standing up for one's beliefs was never a mistake. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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