The two biggest political stories of the week were Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton‘s trading of cannonfire with Republican rival Donald Trump over Trump’s courtship of the racist “alt-right,” and the Trump campaign’s gyrations on the issue of deportations. On Sunday’s State of the Union, Jake Tapper tried to get to the bottom of things by interviewing Trump’s running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, but got more mixed messages instead.
Like his campaign manager, Trump’s running mate says that there will be no legalization for any undocumented immigrant who doesn’t leave the country first, but also like Kellyanne Conway, Governor Pence was cagey on the question of a “deportation force”:
Tapper: The one issue you didn’t address is whether or not the 11 or 12 million undocumented immigrants will be removed by a deportation force, as you heard Mr. Trump say in the clip from November of last year. Is that policy still operative?
Pence: What you heard him describe there, in his usual plain-spoken American way, was a mechanism, not a policy. I mean, you’re going to hear in more detail in the next two weeks that lays out all the policies.
This apparent stall tactic gives the Trump campaign time to gauge the effects of a policy shift on immigration, but also risks eroding his support just when he needs it most.
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